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BRU-LHR-DUB-BRU In A Day On BA & EI  
User currently offlinesultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1685 posts, RR: 30
Posted (3 years 11 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 9689 times:
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Hello everyone and welcome to my fourth trip report!

The following story is about a daytrip I took which brought me from Brussels (BRU) to London Heathrow (LHR) on British Airways (BA), continuing to Dublin (DUB) on Aer Lingus (EI) and back to Brussels, also on Aer Lingus. The flights were booked some 3 months in advance ensuring me of the cheapest fares available; total trip cost was approximately € 150 so good value. This trip did not involve any special airlines nor aircraft but the main goal was to transit via LHR (I find it to be a fascinating airport) and see what that's like. Transfer time at LHR was about 3 hours and in the end I had not that much time left... You want to know how come, then please read on.

I left my house at around 8 am and arrived at BRU at around 9 am. The 30 min drive now took about an hour due to the morning rush hour traffic. But no problem for me as I had plenty of time, also because I did OLCI for all 3 flights the day before. The first flight of the day, BRU-LHR was leaving from terminal B (non Schengen terminal). It has been a while since I have been there.

FIDS at BRU terminal


Brussels Airlines check-in desks


So I went straight to terminal B, passport control was a breeze; security took somewhat longer but in the end I was through in about 30 mins, which is not bad at this hour of the day (with a lot of intercontinental flights leaving at this time from terminal B).

Just after security in terminal B, lots of people around


Since I had enough time I walked around and took some pictures.

CO B764 to Newark, about to leave
AC B763 to Montreal Dorval/Toronto (AC recently started this service, dont know how it's performing)


Etihad A332 to Abu Dhabi


Delta B763, United B763 and Jet Airways A332
MEA A320 to Beyrut


TAROM A318 to Bucharest


3 Jet's on the other side as well (BRU is a hub for Jet Airways with destinations Newark, John F Kennedy, Toronto, Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi)
LC_I/AAAAAAAABNY/_T5K6HIC814/P1030197.JPG" width="640" height="480" border="0"/>

Lineup for runway 25R


By then it was about time to head for the gate. We went downstairs to gate B95, a bus gate.

From the gate area I spotted this United B763 being serviced for departure to Washington/Las Vegas


My flight
Flight: BA 401
Aircraft: A320
Reg: G-EUUA
Load: About 25%
Scheduled: 10h50-11h05 (on time)


While waiting in the bus, this Jetairfly B763 drove past, arriving from a destination in the Carribean (sorry for the window glare)


Driving to our aircraft, passing by the Air Canada B763


In the distance, a Hainan Airlines A332 going to Shanghai later that day


Our ride: G-EUUA


And again


Engine close-up


No doubt about the Alliance it belongs to


I was greeted by a friendly all male crew and took my seat at the back, window last row of course. Good legroom for a short flight.

Cabin view just before departing


Seat view


After the safety demo on screen and a welcome from the captain, we drove off to the active runway; flight time would be 50 mins.

Delta boarding for Atlanta


An Air Atlanta B742 also heading for the active runway


Take-off today from 25R at BRU


We are next in line!


Great view of the Brussels Ring highway


I was hoping to spot this: the 'Atomium' and the 'Koning Boudewijnstadion' stadium with the stage of U2's 360° tour 'the Claw' in it (I attended U2's concert in this stadium the night before)


The crew came round with complimentary tea and coffee and a sandwich. The flight was calm but we flew in clouds all the time so no outside pictures.


Approaching LHR...


And of course entering a holding pattern


Breaking out of the clouds, poor visibility alas...


Don't know which stadium this is


Arrival was on 27L, with a quick taxi to terminal 5. Luckily we docked at a finger gate, because it was heavily raining outside.


Some company traffic and views from terminal 5.


Now I had almost 3 hours of transit time. The next flight was to depart from terminal 1, so quite a distance to go. I followed the transit signs and took the T5-T1 transfer bus. It was a scenic 10 mins ride, too bad the weather wasn't cooperating.


After arrival in T1 I had to get through border control which was painfully slow: it took me almost 30 mins. Then around the corner, another control: a biometric scan. What a strange procedure, you hand your boarding pass, are asked to stand on the 'X', and a photo is taken from you. Time taken: another 15 mins. Around the next corner: a security check, time = 30 mins. By now, almost half of my transit time was taken by controls here and controls there. Staff was friendly and correct but I began to doubt the overall efficiency of it all.
And there I was, in the departure area of T1. A look at the FIDS revealed the gate for my flight: 103, another 25 mins walk! So without any further due, I headed there. These gates are located in a sort of tube and are separated from each other with sliding doors. I was somewhat confused but the friendly gate agent ensured me I was at the right place. Our aircraft had just arrived from DUB and boarding started 20 mins later.

Flight: EI 165
Aircraft: A320
Reg: EI-DEH
Load: 100%
Scheduled: 14h15-15h25 (on time)


We were welcomed by a friendly Irish crew and I took my seat in the back, window last row. Good legroom and an all economy cabin here.

Neighbour at the gate


Which one do you prefer?


Logo on the seat in front, no IFE on Aer Lingus


Everyone settling in


Some views out the window last row


A BA B752!


On the way to 27R for take-off


Air New Zealand B744 on tow to it's gate


Queuiing for take-off, with this Delta B763 before us


And here we go


Some views after take-off from LHR


Cruising above the clouded skies


Weather clearing on approach into DUB


Approach for runway 34 over the sea


Coming closer


The new T2, in as of Nov 2010


An all green airport: grass and aircraft


Also here an Etihad A332 at the gate


Touchdown was a few minutes behind schedule in a lightly cloudy DUB. After a short taxi we docked in next to a FlyBE Embraer.


Bye bye!
DUB has nearly no finger gates, so it was a Ryanair style short walk to the terminal building. Following the transfer signs, through a swift security check back at the ‘north terminal’ where our A321 to BRU was waiting already. I found it a bit strange that this aircraft was at the terminal while it was still nearly 1h15 mins to departure. But it was also good, since we would then have most likely an on time departure!

Some other Aer Lingus’


‘St Kilda’, our machine to BRU


Ryanair B738 ‘Bye bye Latehansa’
Flight: EI 638
Aircraft: A321
Reg: EI-CPF
Load: 100%
Scheduled: 17h50-20h25 (on time)


Boarding was called on time and we walked out to our aircraft in between 2 heavy rain showers.


The boarding process was to my surprise quite chaotic (as opposed to the boarding process in LHR): both the front and rear doors were available for passengers to board. As we had seats in the back rows, we naturally boarded via the rear stairs. Only to find quite some people who also had seats in the back and boarded through the front stairs with some pushing ans shoving and people getting in each other’s way as a result. The cabin crew made some annoucements regarding this situation slowing the whole boarding down, but the harm had been done. I think the gate agent should have enforced the boarding by seat number.


As soon as everybody had their seats, we were welcomed by the captain and pushed back to leave for the runway. Since we were fully loaded, we had quite a long take-off roll.

Cabin view during take-off


Leaving Ireland…


Some nice cloud formations on the way


By then it became dark quickly so I did not take anymore pictures.
We arrived on time in BRU and I was in the car in no time.

Thanks for reading,
(Sulta)Nils

[Edited 2010-09-27 03:55:06]


In thrust we trust.
8 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineshamrock604 From Ireland, joined Sep 2007, 4167 posts, RR: 13
Reply 1, posted (3 years 11 months 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 9515 times:

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
DUB has nearly no finger gates, so it was a Ryanair style short walk to the terminal building. Following the transfer signs, through a swift security check back at the ‘north terminal’ where our A321 to BRU was waiting already. I found it a bit strange that this aircraft was at the terminal while it was still nearly 1h15 mins to departure. But it was also good, since we would then have most likely an on time departure!

A great report and photos!

The lack of jetbridges is a temporary situation caused by the construction of T2 - Pier C (which used to be located there) had airbridges, and Pier B also has. T2 will have 19 of them.

Pier A and D do not have airbridges as the airlines (primarily Ryanair) do not want to use them there on their low cost routes.



Flown EI,FR,RE,EIR,VE,SI,TLA,BA,BE,BD,VX,MON,AF,YS,WX,KL,SK,LH,OK,OS,LX,IB,LTU,HLX,4U,SU,CO,DL,UA,AC,PR,MH,SQ,QF, EY, EK
User currently onlineeicvd From Ireland, joined Mar 2008, 2152 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (3 years 11 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 9487 times:

Hi Nils
Nice trip report, im a regular at LHR so nice to read another trip report involving Heathrow & also my home airport.
Sorry to nitpick but you arrived on runway 28 in DUB not 34 & the DL that departed in front of you at LHR was a 764, slightly famous as its in a hybrid livery.


User currently offlinebananaboy From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 1578 posts, RR: 23
Reply 3, posted (3 years 11 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 9372 times:

Great report - many thanks.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
Don't know which stadium this is

That's Twickenham... http://www.rfu.com/TwickenhamStadium

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
Queuiing for take-off, with this Delta B763 before us

I think that's a 767-400. Check out the wing tips!

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
By now, almost half of my transit time was taken by controls here and controls there. Staff was friendly and correct but I began to doubt the overall efficiency of it all.

I have never had to connect at LHR but it does sound painful. As an O&D airport though, I think it's pretty good.

Mark



All my life, I've been kissing, your top lip 'cause your bottom one's missing
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 31
Reply 4, posted (3 years 11 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 9107 times:

Hi Nils.

That's what I call a nice day of flying. Nothing exotic, but then again a nice way to experience two transits at two airports where the procedure is IMHO quite horrible. Good pictures and narrative, well done!

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
TAROM A318 to Bucharest

Took this very same morning flight once. It still remains my only A318 ride.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
By now, almost half of my transit time was taken by controls here and controls there. Staff was friendly and correct but I began to doubt the overall efficiency of it all.

That's Heathrow (and the stupid UK regulations regarding re-screening etc.) for you! Honestly all my recent transfers have been to T3 and somewhat more efficient, the extra security check never took more than 10-15 minutes. It's been quite a few years since I did a domestic transfer to T1 at LHR, but even that was quite ok actually, nothing like what you experienced.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
And there I was, in the departure area of T1. A look at the FIDS revealed the gate for my flight: 103, another 25 mins walk! So without any further due, I headed there. These gates are located in a sort of tube and are separated from each other with sliding doors. I was somewhat confused but the friendly gate agent ensured me I was at the right place.

Oh yeah, the famous Ireland pier of T1! It's quite a horrible place and so far away from the main terminal. The first time I was there I could swear we were going to walk to Holyhead and take the ferry instead to Ireland!

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
A BA B752!

Nice shot. These babies are gone forever in a matter of days now.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
I found it a bit strange that this aircraft was at the terminal while it was still nearly 1h15 mins to departure. But it was also good, since we would then have most likely an on time departure!

Yeah, EI isn't quite as efficient at utilizing their aircraft than the main competition at DUB - Ryanair. But it is nice to have some slack in the system to cater for anything unexpected and to avoid snowballing delays.


User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From Spain, joined Sep 2003, 5159 posts, RR: 55
Reply 5, posted (3 years 11 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 8694 times:

Hey, Nils,

what an interesting day, also interesting to see the load differences on BA and EI.
A shame to follow you´re transit experience at LHR.
You never know what´s coming up there.

Two weeks ago, together with the pope´s arrival in the UK, it was also not an easy procedure for me,
story will follow.

Well done and greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)



Next: Shopping and sun med style!.
User currently offlineQuokka From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (3 years 11 months 8 hours ago) and read 8199 times:

Hi Sultanils ,
What a hassle to get through security; couldn't they think of a way to simplify things?

It would be great to be able to do a round trip in a day here. But as PER is a long way from anywhere a day trip involving several flights, aircraft types and airlines is impractical. So I really enjoy reading posts like yours.

Thanks for sharing.


User currently offlinemusapapaya From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2004, 1086 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (3 years 11 months 3 hours ago) and read 8011 times:

thanks for the report - the BA flight was just 25% full, which is a very bad load I have to say if their counterparts are doing better than this!

regards
musapapaya



Lufthansa Group of Airlines
User currently offlinesultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1685 posts, RR: 30
Reply 8, posted (3 years 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 7666 times:
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Hi everyone, thanks for taking the time to read and comment my report, I appreciate it!

@shamrock604: I indeed noticed that the new terminal is equipped with jetbridges. Is this terminal going to be used for long or short haul/Intra-European or Intercontinental flights? I prefer walking the apron to the terminal, gives you mostly good photo opportunities weather permitting.

@EICVD: Thanks for correcting my 'silly' errors, runway numbering always seems to confuse me  

@bananaboy: Now this stadium has a name for me   At first I thought it was Wembley but some Google-ing showed that it wasn't. Thanks for clarifying.

@FlyingFinn76: The Tarom A318 is the only A318 service operating at BRU; maybe someday I find myself taking it to the east (of Europe that is). And for Heathrow, the transit time indeed wasn't the fastest. And I was not doing a connection no one else would do, because the flight to DUB was codeshared with BA so in theory a transfer from T5 to T1 ('Ireland' pier) like I did will be done by others also.

@Flieger67: Yes there was indeed a big difference in loads with BA and EI. My first experience with Aer Lingus also and I was pleasantly surprised. Looking forward to your 'Pope' story  

@ Quokka: Glad you enjoyed the report, too bad indeed that such a daytrip will be hard to do from your hometown airport PER.

@musapapaya: I don't know how BA's counterparts are doing: BA has 5 flights a day ex BRU and Brussels Airlines has 2, mainly feeding their African network.

Nils



In thrust we trust.
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