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Buy your underwear at an airport hotel?

October 18, 2001

I must admit that the idea wouldn't have occurred to me if our luggage hadn't been sent from Lisbon to Stockholm instead of London, and if we didn't find that out until the Heathrow shops had closed Sunday night. When we queried the Radisson Edwardian Hotel receptionist, she said they had what we needed. Expecting a spacious shop in keeping with the elegance of the hotel, we discovered a small newsstand that seemed to offer only such items as deodorant, toothbrushes, and razors—although we did need them also.

Skeptically, we asked the clerk, who opened drawer after drawer, producing a range of men's and women's sizes to fit anyone—as long as you were satisfied with black bikinis! Once I thought about it, I realized that their rather unconventional choice does allow them to provide more stock in the available space. He also had black socks and white dress shirts. We were impressed by the workmanship and the quality of the fabrics and told him so. He said that since Heathrow's shops were so near it wasn't economically feasible for them to stock a variety of styles of each product, but when business travelers did need something, they demanded high quality.

The misadventure did have a bright side. The next day British Air gave us £100 for our expenses; we'd only spent about £40. And Betty Lou's persuasiveness parlayed the experience into entry to the lounge and choice exit row seats, before they were released to the check-in personnel's computers—it does help to be early. Although the supervisor in charge said they couldn't upgrade us, since the plane was only 60% full, he said that if we wrote a letter we could probably get free tickets for a future flight. We'll see.

© Copyright 2001 Jack Ludwick - All Rights Reserved

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