This blog series will take on something very near and dear to airline employees – our (albeit standby) employee travel privileges. We’re asking our expert employee travelers for their best tips for traversing U.S. and international destinations, while offering some advice on what to do when you’re there.
For our first entry, Envoy’s Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President of Administration Patricia Delgadillo has offered up a few words of wisdom when crossing the pond to London.
Bits and bobs of traveling to London
London is one of my all-time favorite destinations. American Airlines has several nonstop flights to Heathrow Airport (LHR) from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport as well as numerous one-stop back-up options, if needed.
There’s easy access from LHR to the City Centre via the London Underground (or colloquially, the tube), which take about 1.25 hours, or to Paddington Station via the Heathrow Express, about 15 minutes. If you take the Heathrow Express, be sure to purchase an airline staff travel roundtrip ticket for only nine pounds versus the normal 37 pounds.
Just present your Envoy ID to the cashier at the main Heathrow Express desk — don’t buy a ticket online or from the machines — and keep your ID available when they check your ticket on the train.
So many sights to see
Once you get into London, the tube is a great and easy way to get around. Buy a day ticket or use an Oyster card, which can be used for discounted single rides and refilled as needed.
The London tube is easy to use, and most major sights – like Big Ben, Trafalgar Square, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London – are on or near the Circle Line. Just be sure to grab an umbrella before you head out, as rain isn’t uncommon any time of year despite what the forecast says.
In addition to the must-see sights, I love to find interesting places off the beaten path. On a recent trip, I discovered Dennis Severs’ House, which recreates the living quarters of a family from the late 1700s to the early 1900s.
I also climbed all 311 steps to the top of The Great Fire of London Monument, more commonly known as the Monument. Just 10 minutes away, I had some really good Greek food in Old Spitalfields Market.
When you’re feeling a bit peckish
Speaking of food, London has fantastic Indian food, and there are lots of great and inexpensive options around town. Or head to one of several dishoom restaurants for their curry and dal options — yummy!
For the best Fish & Chips in town — in my honest opinion — head to The Laughing Halibut in Westminster, just south of Victoria Street. Finally, it’s also fun to visit a pub or two for a refreshing pint and to interact with locals and other visitors.
If your travels take you to London, have fun and just don’t forget to “Mind the Gap”!