24 hours plus an 8-hour time change.
I got up at 6am London time yesterday. Made it to Heathrow, got checked in, had some food, and then eventually boarded a full flight to San Francisco. We were fed 3 times on the flight (including one snack), not bad for a US airline! There was enough onboard entertainment that I watched 3 full movies (Black Panther; Love, Simon; Pacific Rim Uprising), a James Cameron documentary on what his dives to Titanic showed him about what he got right and wrong in the movie, and a few other things.
Customs at SFO was absurd. There were plenty of us who were prepared with Mobile Passport, a CBP-sponsored phone app I've used before that allows you to breeze through customs. Well, it would
allow you to breeze through customs if the CBP people at SFO were organized. With planes disgorging hundreds of passengers each, we all followed the signs and got in the appropriate lines (US passport, visitors, etc). Then those of us with US passports were called to walk through all the non-US travelers and line up again. Then we were sent forward to the CBP agents--but the one window that's supposed to handle Mobile Passport carriers wasn't manned. All of us with Mobile Passport were sent to line up at another window--but others were also at that window, some of them having to fill out the blue customs form at the window while the rest of us waited
! And then those of us with Mobile Passport were shunted to another
line, and when I finally got to the window, the agent kept telling me that a different (closed!) window was supposed to be for Mobile Passport users! Nothing I can do about that, dude! He took my passport and then told me he wasn't able to handle the "digital receipt" (an official okey-dokey) from Mobile Passport. Getting a little frustrated, and seeing a stack of blue customs forms there, I just told him that I wasn't transporting any excessive money and didn't have any food, plants, or animals with me. At that point he just waved me through, uttering "welcome home".
We got our luggage and prepared to go through a customs inspection, where I was going to declare that I had nothing to declare, but there was no such inspection station. After picking up our bags we went straight outside, no hassle.
Is it really so difficult to have signs for who goes into which lines, and to process people in a reasonable manner? Perhaps SFO should send some people to Seattle or Dulles, two airports I've been to recently that were exceedingly organized, for some training or something.
We left London around 10am local time and arrived in San Francisco around 1pm local time. Ubered to my friend's place and rested (not really slept) there till around 9, by which time he determined that the traffic out of The City should be tolerable, and headed to Sacramento. I got home just before midnight; I'd forgotten how comfortable my bed is, after having slept in 2 hotels and a cruise ship for the past 3 weeks. Still, I was up before 5am--not yet adjusted to the time change!
I have to go to work on Monday, and I have so much to do over the next few days since I've been gone for 3 weeks. What a summer!