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The Flying Chariot in Heathrow Airport

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June 28, 2016 / Cafe / By
Katie Schenk

 

I’m not really great about travelling on a budget. I used to b excellent at it, but that was 15 years ago, and I seem to be out of practice now. Even though I can do it, the question of budget overshadowed the weeks before I left Joburg for my brother’s wedding in Cleveland.

And, I was planning to travel on my own sans kids. I do love travelling with them, but they add a multi-dimensional challenge to the budget problem. And, this trip was already going to have a strict budget. But, I can make it happen, and I had every intention of doing so.

About a week before leaving, I sat with Felix to look through the options for food in Heathrow Airport. That’s tough. Airports are expensive places. London is perhaps the most expensive city. And the Rand-Pound exchange rate is terrifying at the moment.

Online, we found our terminal and a list of eateries in it. Then we searched for menus. That’s when panic set in. We found a basic burger for about 10 pounds. That’s 200 Rand – and it’s possible to get a basic burger for about 10 percent of that price in Joburg. I’m pretty sure we could get a decently loaded burger at OR Tambo Airport for a third of the price.

We kept looking at menus and found to options that were possibilities for our layover… you know, if we really had to eat. I jotted the names down on my flight itinerary as Felix asked a question.

“So, wouldn’t it be cheaper if we packed snacks from home to eat in the airports?”

“Absolutely kid, as long as we stay in the airport and I buy stuff that travels reasonably well. But the trick is to eat as much of the food from the plane as possible.”

Felix thought about that for a bit, then earnestly asked, “So the food on the plane is free? Well, I mean, included in the price of the ticket?” After I responded affirmatively, he piped up again, “So, shouldn’t we bring some Tupperware so we can save the food we don’t eat right away?”

I had to appreciate his suggestion; that’s about as budget-friendly as you will ever hear from a child. Still, there’s a big difference between budget and bringing Tupperware on the plane – at least in my world.

I bought travel snacks and packed them in our carry—ons, and once we were on the plane, I did my best to encourage kids to eat. But, as we landed in London and had time to spare (though not nearly enough to leave the airport), we did need a place to sit and something to drink.

That’s how we ended up at the Flying Chariot, one of the names I had scratched onto my itinerary a week before. And, it’s true that the cost of two soft drinks and a coffee cost just over 150 Rand (about three times more than I would expect from a restaurant at home). But, the boys savoured those drinks as if they were trying to taste every cent.

As we joked and laughed in the airport, I sort of knew we’d be alright on my super-strict budget… It’s a little like the way I used to travel, just with the silliest travelling companions.

The Flying Chariot

Country: United Kingdom

Province/State: Greater London

City: N/A

Address: Heathrow Airport

Zip/Post Code: TW6 1EW

Location Tips: Before Security, Terminal 2

Phone: 020 8976 7540

Website:https://www.jdwetherspoon...

Price Guide:$$ (What's this?) N/A = home cooked meal,etc
$ = street food, fast food,etc
$$ = bistro, cafe, pub, bar,etc
$$$ = fine dining,etc

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