Uniting two famously gray, rainy places just in time for some summer sun, British Airways long-anticipated nonstop flight between London's Heathrow airport and Portland International Airport launched on Friday, June 3, with a welcome party including flags, fanfare, and a phone booth.
Portland is now one of 26 US cities served by the airline with nonstops from the UK, and the westernmost American city. The current schedule lists the nearly-10-hour flight Friday and Sunday–Tuesday, leaving Heathrow at 3:15 p.m. and landing in Portland at 5:05 p.m., and departing PDX at 6:55 p.m. and landing at 12:20 p.m. the next day.
The first weekend's passengers could pack their fascinators for events celebrating Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years in the throne. (Or, we should note for Irish editor in chief, they could have simply ignored all the royal mummery and hopped a connection for somewhere else.) If you missed that, you can always take a Call the Midwife walking tour, bike around re-creating a Lily Allen video, or catch a screening at a café in Shoreditch.
Yes, we know there are many other fun things to do in London, from the stylish glories of the V&A Museum—current exhibition Fashioning Masculinities promises explorations on how designers have "constructed and performed masculinity"—to the Tate Modern—see the current Surrealism Beyond Borders exhibit—to the retail delights of Regent and Oxford Streets, not to mention markets like Borough and Brick Lane. (And yeah, that big house with the Queen in it, I guess.) You know, the usual tourist stuff.
Or maybe you're on your way to or from school. The first flight from London on June 3 was captained by a pilot whose daughter goes to Reed College—we're betting Mom's employee benefits will come in handy.