In view of the ongoing security mess as a result of the alleged terrorist plot we wanted to get to the airport as early as possible. But the check-in desk was only going to open two hours before the scheduled take-off time so we had an hour and a half to kill before joining the extremely long queue. We had seen posters at the airport explaining that US bound passengers could take nothing on board, but there was no information about UK-bound flights. Eventually, through a combination of the queue grapevine and BetterArf going and asking somebody, we learned that no hand baggage would be allowed on board. Bugger. I had one backpack containing my laptop, the video camera, BetterArf's camera and a couple of mobile phones. I absolutely did not want to lose sight of that bag, and the thought of it being hurled about various baggage-handling areas and then placed in a freezing cold hold did not inspire me with confidence. When we got to the check-in desk we were not surprised that we were overweight. We explained that two of the bags would have been carry-ons but they charged us for four kilos extra anyway, which begs the question 'is stuff heavier when it's in the hold than when it's in the cabin?' - in the cabin they would not have charged us, but in the hold they did. Theiving barftuds.
Getting through security was the next, very slow, process, and we didn't have time for anything because we had to get straight on the plane.
The flight was OK though, and pretty soon we were at Manchester Airport. The baggage took forever to come through, having been screened yet again, but I was pleased to see that none of the cops or customs peeps wanted a chat. Buddy Brian was waiting to chauffeur us to Liverpool, only slightly worried that we might have been arrested. We spent a couple of days in Scouseland, got rained on a bit, and tried to organise transport across the Pennines.