There will be more about England when I have time to post with pictures. However, I learned a very valuable lesson on my flights home yesterday. When flying with a stopover, don't ever fly through a city whose football team is playing in the superbowl, especially if you have to collect your baggage, clear customs and reenter the airport through baggage check, take the train to another terminal and THEN pass through security, because no one will be there to perform any of the jobs that make the above mentioned things possible.
Apparently, all vital staff either called in sick to work or would only do their proscribed duties between plays or during commercials. Only four immigration officers were working, though a weekend, our bags were unloaded only a few at a time and over an hour was spent waiting at the carousel while passengers escalated in anger and frustration, as most of us had short windows of time in which to catch our connecting flights, only six people were working the bag re-check once through customs, only one horrible woman was working information and no one was directing passengers to their proper terminals once through customs, as the terminal we flew in to was only international flights and all other domestic flights were in one of three other terminals accessible only by train. With only moments to spare, I made it to my flight, only to wait for an hour on the plane as bags were being loaded by most likely only one person, who must have used merely one arm as the other one was, to all probability, occupied by vigorous fist-pumping and high fiving. Then, the airport was apparently unable to find anyone to push the plane back from the gate to allow us to get underway. We made it to Seattle a half hour late, exhausted, dirty and frustrated.
I will now become precisely that type of person with whom I could never sympathisize: one who purchases a direct ticket despite the savings of many dollars on a flight with a stop over.