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Topic: LHR To FUE Via MAD With BA & IB
Username: BA319-131
Posted 2007-04-12 10:49:21 and read 5739 times.

Back in January my better half & I decided March would be a good time for a holiday, after looking around at various locations across the globe, we decided upon Fuerteventura, this report is for the outbound trip.

10.03.07 BA458 A319-131 G-EUPW 6A
4th Flight on this aircraft & 38th A319 Flight
SCH DEP 09:20 SCH ARR 12:50
ACT DEP 09:32 ACT ARR 12:28


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Photo © Sergio Domingos



Thankfully we only had a short trip to the airport, I'd managed to persuade my GF that 1 stop via MAD, travelling from LHR, more BA miles in her account lounge access beat travelling from Gatwick on a charter flight, all this for pretty much the same price.

A quick check-in at BA's premium check-in area and straight through security (with shoes on) left us in the shopping mall that BAA call T1. We only needed a few bits to read and then on to the lounge.

As you know, BA's lounges are pretty good, we managed to down fresh fruit, yoghurt, toast and I even managed a Vodka & Tonic! It's just a shame that this one does not have any runway/apron views.

The flight board indicated boarding had started so we headed down to the gate. I knew we would need to go through another security area so better early than late, good job too, the whole area was chaos, the que,if you could call it that, went back to the moving walkway (which had been turned off), people were pushing in all over the place, madness!! BAA really need to get their act together for these secondary screening areas, they are just so badly set up and thought out.

We made the plane, lot's of American school kids from Philly on this flight, most lacking manners!!

Anyway, flight was pretty much full, I had 6A, my GF 6B and one of the school Kids in 6C with a very loud MP3 player or whatever they listen to these days don't people know they can damage your hearing??

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BA 319 @ LHR T1


Push back was 2 minutes behind schedule with a brisk taxi to the active runway.

A short hold, wheels left the ground at 09:45.

I must be honest, I don'tt recall much about the flight as I was totally knackered from a long week and not getting home until about 2am that morning. I do remember a tasty sandwich and a coffee, but that's about it, sorry.

We touched down early and headed to the gate. Once off the plane, we noted the next flight left from the other part of Terminal 4, I think that's what it's called. Anyway, we cleared Passport control and followed the transfer signs to transfer to the other terminal.

Now the annoying thing here is that you don't leave the security of airside but still have to clear security at the other terminal, daft if you ask me.

That aside, we found the IB Lounge and had a few drinks, snacks and I did a little spotting before our next flight. The lounge is pretty nice and airy, plenty of comfy seats to relax in. IB offer a decent wine selection however snacks are minimal, crisps, nuts & olives pretty much sum it up, quite poor compared to BA.

Time got away with us, it might have been down to the decent Rioja in the lounge  Smile we had to run for the flight!!

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IB Lounge @ MAD


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Terminal View from IB Lounge @ MAD


10.03.07 IB876 A320-214 EC-HDT 2A
1st Flight on this aircraft & 60th A320 Flight
SCH DEP 14:20 SCH ARR 16:01
ACT DEP 14:42 ACT ARR 16:10


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Photo © Stefan Sonnenberg



After sprinting from the lounge, we found the gate just 5 minutes before departure, the IB agent took our boarding passes and advised we had been re-seated, bugger, I guess they though we weren't going to show, I asked if we were still seated together and he said yes, we had been upgraded to Business Class due to my Silver Status!!  Smile Result, thanks Iberia.

The flight had shown as a 752 at time of booking, but had been downgraded to a 320 today, no biggie, I prefer the 32X cabin size.

Push back was late, the crew giving no indication as to the delay, though it appeared to be mostly a hold for connecting passengers.

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IB M88 @ MAD


Our cabin had 9 out of the 18 seats occupied, Y looked pretty much full though.

A short taxi and the main gear left the ground at 14:51.

Having not flown IB Business for a few years, I was not too sure what to expect, especially as this was a domestic flight.

Cabin service started soon after take-off, drinks with a small bag of nuts being offered.

The meal arrived sometime afterwards and it looked pretty good, salad, bread, Veal as the main and a very tasty desert to finish it off. The usual Tea & Coffee afterwards along with more wine etc if req. I must say it was pretty good, the only down side being the meat was rather pink inside, I prefer my meat well done, I like it dead!

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Meal on IB876


The trays were cleared away promptly leaving us free to relax, it was quite a pleasant flight.

As the plane began it's decent we noticed how foggy it was outside, even as we touched down it was still far from clear weather, I was quite disappointed, hopefully it would improve for the rest of the week.

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On approach to FUR


We taxied past a Thomas Cook 320 & 753 and an Air Berlin 738 to our gate.

Baggage claim was busy as the planes above had only just arrived, I guess it too about 15 minutes for the bags to arrive, not too bad really.

That's it for Part I, part to follow soon.


Thanks for reading, any comments are appreciated.

Regards

Mark

Topic: RE: LHR To FUE Via MAD With BA & IB
Username: Semsem
Posted 2007-04-12 20:32:57 and read 5365 times.

The food served on Iberia is excellent even in Y on their long distance flights. How was Fuerteventura? I hope to go this year. Thanks.

Topic: RE: LHR To FUE Via MAD With BA & IB
Username: Ndebele
Posted 2007-04-13 13:03:28 and read 5132 times.

Hi Mark,
it's been a while since I last read one of your reports, so reading this one was very nice and entertaining. I liked the pics as well - the IB business meal looks superb!

Quoting BA319-131 (Thread starter):
travelling from LHR, more BA miles in her account lounge access beat travelling from Gatwick on a charter flight

True, especially when living so close to LHR.

Hope you spent a great holiday on Fuerte, and of course looking forward to reading part II of the report.

Have a nice weekend, Alex.

Topic: RE: LHR To FUE Via MAD With BA & IB
Username: Antdenatale
Posted 2007-04-13 13:36:42 and read 5117 times.

Loved your report, FUE is one of my favourite airports, it just seems so light with great views  Smile Must admit though never considered flying there via IB, may have to try that when we go next time.

Topic: RE: LHR To FUE Via MAD With BA & IB
Username: FLIEGER67
Posted 2007-04-13 22:36:20 and read 4971 times.

Hello, Mark,
nice to read your well written story.
The IB lounge at MAD looks well designed, while MAD is IMO more a big construction site than anything else nowadays.
I was for several times there, last time yesterday, lots of diversions between the terminals, blocked walkways, not the best for less experienced travellers.
Not bad to read about your positive IB experience, with all that spain domestic competition this time.
FUE was also a vacation destination for me and my familie for three or four times, let us know where you stay there and
about your ride back home.
Best regards,
Markus (FLIEGER67)

Topic: RE: LHR To FUE Via MAD With BA & IB
Username: P51Mustang
Posted 2007-04-13 23:49:27 and read 4933 times.

Hi there!

Nice report! Brings back the memories of my last real vacation.....

Thank you!

Andreas (P51Mustang)

Topic: RE: LHR To FUE Via MAD With BA & IB
Username: TurkishWings
Posted 2007-04-14 01:26:17 and read 4904 times.

Great report. Thanks for posting!!!

Quoting BA319-131 (Thread starter):
I was quite disappointed, hopefully it would improve for the rest of the week.

Did it improve then?

Topic: RE: LHR To FUE Via MAD With BA & IB
Username: Speedbird0697
Posted 2007-04-14 10:13:01 and read 4825 times.

Hi Mark,

Thank you for your interesting report. Quite a result getting upgraded with IB!

I'd be interested to hear what you think of MAD's T4. In most photos I have seen it always looks dark with no natural light inside. Is this the case in reality?

Many thanks,

Nicholas

Topic: RE: LHR To FUE Via MAD With BA & IB
Username: BA319-131
Posted 2007-04-14 11:52:06 and read 4789 times.

Hi Guy's, many thanks for taking time to read and leave comments, it's always nice to know what people think  Smile

Quoting Semsem (Reply 1):
How was Fuerteventura?

- Nice, I'd go again, though if the weather is bad make sure you have a book or something as there is nota great deal to do aparrt from lounge in the sun or climb the hills/mountains.

Quoting Ndebele (Reply 2):
the IB business meal looks superb!

- Hi, Alex, I must say it was pretty good, just show's IB can cut it with the rest when they want.


Quoting Ndebele (Reply 2):
it's been a while since I last read one of your reports, so reading this one was very nice and entertaining. I liked the pics as well

- Thanks, glad you enjoyed Smile

Quoting Antdenatale (Reply 3):
FUE is one of my favourite airports

- I quite liked it to, once airside the observation decks are ok for spotting thonugh not photo's. I quite fancy going back for a spotting trip in the summer, appears there may be some decent spots for pictures around the airport grounds.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 4):
The IB lounge at MAD looks well designed, while MAD is IMO more a big construction site than anything else nowadays.
I was for several times there, last time yesterday, lots of diversions between the terminals, blocked walkways, not the best for less experienced travellers.

- Hi Markus, I found the newest part of T4 quite confusing, not very well laid out at all. I travel a fair amount so amd not one of these people who get's lost in the terminal, but I could see that happening here, there so much signage that it loses clarity and causes confusion. I also noted that flights had a tendancey to 'vanish' from the flight monitors inc our connection flight, this caused a bit of a worry, thought we had gone to the wrong terminal!! Re the IB lounge, that was quite nice, light & airy.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 4):
let us know where you stay there

- We stayed in the South of the Island, a town called Jandia, not many English there so we could avoid those drunken brits on holday  Smile - The beach was nice, nice places to eat and walk, I'd go back again.

Quoting TurkishWings (Reply 6):
Did it improve then?

- Oh yes thanks, though we had 2 poor days inc some rain, but hey, it is March.

Quoting Speedbird0697 (Reply 7):
Quite a result getting upgraded with IB!

- That was a nice unexpected bonus, well done to IB for picking up on my Status and actually rewarding me for loyalty - even if it was with a OneWorld partner and not them directly.

Quoting Speedbird0697 (Reply 7):
'd be interested to hear what you think of MAD's T4. In most photos I have seen it always looks dark with no natural light inside. Is this the case in reality?

- Re the lighting, I didn't really pick up on that though looking back the only natural lighting is from the glazed windows, none from the roof, but to be honest it seemed ok, I'll take a better look next time I'm there.

Have a great weekend all, weather is looking great here (15 miles form LHR) - BBQ out later  Smile

Kind Regards

Mark

Topic: RE: LHR To FUE Via MAD With BA & IB
Username: Antdenatale
Posted 2007-04-14 17:29:35 and read 4715 times.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 8):
- We stayed in the South of the Island, a town called Jandia, not many English there so we could avoid those drunken brits on holday Smile - The beach was nice, nice places to eat and walk, I'd go back again.

We hired a private villa at the north of the island, luckily it I think the island is still a little bit undiscovered by the drunken brits on holiday brigade just for the fact there is not much there to do apart from walk up the hills or lounge by the pool. Although we have seen a difference over the past 2 years that it is getting a little more commercial.

From what I can gather, there is a public road (well almost a dirt track) that runs parralell to the runway so that would be a great place for spotting / photographing

Topic: RE: LHR To FUE Via MAD With BA & IB
Username: Contact Air
Posted 2007-04-15 19:49:11 and read 4589 times.

Hi Mark,

thanks for this interesting report about your trip on a probably quite unusual way of getting from London to FUE, but I guess I would have made the same choice if the prices were similar. Full-service carriers like BA still offer a bit more than the typical charter carriers.

Quoting BA319-131 (Thread starter):
After sprinting from the lounge, we found the gate just 5 minutes before departure, the IB agent took our boarding passes and advised we had been re-seated, bugger, I guess they though we weren't going to show, I asked if we were still seated together and he said yes, we had been upgraded to Business Class due to my Silver Status!!

That's what I call good luck, especially on IB where Economy-service has been down-sized to a pay-for-food concept, but their Business Class seems to be on a very high standard, even on domestic flights.

I hope you enjoyed your time on Fuerteventura!

Regards
Christoph

Topic: RE: LHR To FUE Via MAD With BA & IB
Username: BA319-131
Posted 2007-04-16 21:42:45 and read 4509 times.

Hi Guys,

Quoting Antdenatale (Reply 9):
From what I can gather, there is a public road (well almost a dirt track) that runs parralell to
the runway so that would be a great place for spotting / photographing

- Ah, tks for that bit of info, I'll bear it in mind if I head back for some spotting.

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 10):
That's what I call good luck, especially on IB where Economy-service has been down-sized to a pay-for-food concept, but their Business Class seems to be on a very high standard, even on domestic flights.

- Yes it was, especially as European carriers tend not to upgrade to the extent of US carriers.

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 10):
I hope you enjoyed your time on Fuerteventura!

- I/we did and would go back again.

Regards

Mark

Topic: RE: LHR To FUE Via MAD With BA & IB
Username: Palmjet
Posted 2007-04-25 14:25:42 and read 4279 times.

Thanks for your trip report. Good detail and pics. By co-incidence I was at T1 that very same morning as you were as I was flying to DUS for the weekend on BA. I remember the EXACT group of teenagers that you are talking about. I was waiting for our boarding gate to be announced and suddenly, a whole gaggle of teenagers turned up, all wearing yellow caps, and simply engulfed everyone else sitting in the waiting area - it was so noisy that I, along with some other passengers, moved away.

It was a relief when I discovered they weren't on my flight. Sorry you had to put up with that on your flight to MAD!


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