I left Saturday for Bournemouth, but it wasn’t a sure thing that I would arrive much before my match on Wednesday! I arrived at San Diego Airport for my flight to Manchester via NY/JFK. However, the Jet Blue flight I was on was delayed by over an hour…and I had only 90 minutes in NY before the delay. The delay meant I would not make my flight to Manchester (the flight arrived into a different terminal). The next flight on Thomas Cook which had seats (booked via Condor) was Monday night. So United (yes the maligned United Airlines) and my miles rescued me. Actually 30K miles got me all the way to London. And I was able to figure out transport from London to Bournemouth while I was on the plane as the wifi was working.
If I had looked at the flight status for Jet Blue or had had alerts enabled I could have avoided most of the issues, as I could have booked an earlier flight to NY on another airline instead of a whole new ticket.On the other hand, the flights on United were better and I ended up in London, which was much closer. Jet Blue has promised a refund and Condor and I are in discussions for a refund or voucher…we’ll see. Anyway, Travel Tips: Enable alerts; Check the flight status manually for your flights which connect and keep some miles for emergencies!
Anyway, from London/Heathrow to Bournemouth, the best and cheapest way seemed to be a direct bus. It was pretty cheap and direct, but not so smooth till we hit the expressway. My wallet liked the fare, about $35 better than my stomach did. Anyway, I made it here yesterday around 1:30, in time to look around the water front (though it rained just as I arrived), rent a bike, visit the grocery store and bike out to the tennis courts. The club is big, lots of clay courts, and four indoor hard courts. Play was going on on all courts due to the rain delay. I met up with a friend and we are going to practice tonight. Bournemouth seems very nice. It has a long stretch of sandy beach, some piers, gardens galore and nice shops and lots of restaurants.
The draws are up for the tournament too. Draws can be found here: http://www.itftennis.com/seniors/tournaments/tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100038292 (click on order of play, then draws).