The POD trip to Terminal 5 is quick, efficient and smooth, unlike our JFK airport transfer. But more about that later.

The only problem so far is that I managed to break the wheel on one of our big suitcases yesterday. That’s going to make the walk to the New York ferry terminal fun on Friday morning…

Check-in at Special Assistance desk in Heathrow Airport, isn’t particularly efficient. Despite completing all the paperwork accompanying Linda’s mobility scooter in advance, we have to go through the whole rigmarole again. On the plus side, we get to fast track the security queue when it’s done.

No lounge today

Having lost Executive Club Silver status, we no longer have access to the BA Club lounge. Although my Amex Gold card includes four free Priority Pass credits, we decide not to bother today.

Instead we find a nice quiet corner on Level 2 and sit to enjoy an early morning coffee.

A map of Heathrow Terminal 5 showing where to find some quiet seats while you wait for your flight
There is a quiet seating area located between the escalators on Level 2

Boarding the 777

People with mobility issues are allowed to board the plane first. This is particularly useful as we are sat in the very last row of the Boeing 777.

The two-seat set-up of this particular row gives us a tiny bit more room – and no neighbour’s elbows. Nice.

The buttons on my in-flight entertainment system are broken. And the in-flight mapping system goes down after an hour and never comes back.

The flight to JFK

The flight is smooth and uneventful. We even nap for an hour or so. Not that it feels like it. 

Disembarkation and immigration

We are the last off the plane – which makes sense as we’re in the last row. Once off the plane, we simply follow the other special assistance passengers. 

Normally, immigration at JFK takes us at least an hour, standing in a hot, dingy corridor waiting to have passports and visas checked. This time we are through in a matter of minutes. Nice.

Transfer from JFK to the hotel

This is the point where the journey gets “interesting”. I have pre-booked a JFK airport transfer with Booking.com in a ‘large SUV’ for just £51.40. That’s about half the price of a yellow taxi or an Uber ($100+)…

A picture of the Booking.com confirmation of our JFK airport transfer
These are the same JFK airport transfer details the driver received – but he still headed for the wrong Holiday Inn Express!

According to my confirmation email, the transfer service is provided by Carzen, a Chinese company.

After collecting our luggage I send a text as instructed and receive a response from our driver. Perfect. I told him where to meet us – and again the driver responded to say he would be with us in a few minutes.

However…

The car details supplied via the Booking.com were wrong. The confirmation email told us to expect a black GMC Denali. Instead the driver arrived in a white Volkswagen. It takes us quite a while to find our car. At least there is plenty of boot space for our luggage and the scooter.

As we headed towards Manhattan it became clear that the driver didn’t actually know which Holiday Inn Express we are staying in. It took a bit of to-and-fro to get him pointed towards Wall Street. 

That said, we didn’t make any wrong turns, double-backs or unexpected toll roads. So although somewhat mysterious (will we get there?) the journey was actually straightforward and fast.

Would I recommend a Booking.com transfer? Yes. But you may find the process smoother if you have a US data plan just in case you need to call the driver – or help point them in the right direction.

As for the Holiday Inn Express Wall Street, I’ll write the review after we finish our stay…


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