photophil From Germany, joined Apr 2011, 193 posts, RR: 1 Posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 13106 times:
On the weekend before the start of the 2012 Olympics in London there was a smaller event taking place in the British Capital which I wanted to attend. As it is a tad expensive to fly to London and back just for a single day I opted to stay a bit longer and have a look around the city (which I anyway wanted to visit some time). So I looked for flight outbound on friday morning and back inbound on monday evening. I ended booking two British Airways flights Stockholm(Arlanda) to London CityAirport and back London Heathrow to Stockholm again. Equipment would be an Embraer E170 for the outbound and a more simple Airbus A320 on the way back.
Despite being a simple layout this trip would give some new things for my log:
a new airline (British Airways)
a new type (E170)
two new airports (LHR and LCY)
LcY ... LCY ... somehow always the name "Lucy" comes to my mind when reading the code for LondonCity ... Oh well ...
About a week before I departed on my trip I got an email if I would like to upgrade to Business Class as they would have special offers. Hmmm ... my outbound would cost about 480EUR to upgrade ... no thanks ... but the inbound from Heathrow was less than 90€ to upgrade from my discounte Economy to Business ... That was an offer I could not refuse ... finally my first flight in Business including all the extras like lounges and fast track lanes
As I wanted to maximize my time in London I had booked a very early flight out of Stockholm which also meant I had to leave home even earlier. After a very short night I took my car to ARN (as there are no trains running that early). I arrived well in time, occupied my prebooked parking spot and went up into terminal 5 for checkin which went pretty fast after the one behind the desk had refilled the paper in the boarding card printer. I headed through security and through passport control in quite a short time to end up in the "F" pier of Arlanda which handles the non-Schengen flight - and by that also the ones to the UK.
My flight to Lucy ... argh ... LCY would leave from gate F61 this morning
not really that many passengers waiting here ... but OK, there is still some time left before boarding starts
At least our crew is arriving now ...
I hear something of around 20 passengers on that flight (later I count 22) which is a pretty light load for a 78 seat aircraft I would say. We start boarding some minutes late but with so few people to get in its no problem to finish in time.
I settle down in my seat at 08A which provides a decent but not great legroom for someone of my size.
but due to the light load the seat beside me stays empty so that provides a bit more space for me.
We soon start our pushback right after the BA A320 beside us which is going to LHR ... there even was a Norwegian to LGW on the other side of us. The had placed three flights to London leaving within 25min beside each other ... just wondering if that maybe sometimes causes confused passengers ...
Taking off on 19R we passes Stockholm and some swedish landscapes
Soon breakfast was served with some fruits, joghurt, a bread roll, jam and orange juice ... plus coffee or tea (I opted for the second) ... I liked it - just that stupid cup with the fruits flooded my table while opening ... grrr
I think its pretty decent meal for a relatively short intra european flight.
After the breakfast had been cleared away (the overly active stewardess already wanted to take it ways when I was just finished half of it) I could relax a bit and get some shuteye using the diagonal approach (thanks to the empty seat beside me)
After some relaxing (very much needed after the short night before) we started the famous descent into LondonCity ... passing some harbour areas (sadly we got the approach from the east and not passing the center on the west of the airport)
... getting closer ...
Someone had to wait for us in the holding area
hmmm ... looks like Swiss is leaving the Lucy for now
Airport or just Port ???
it's really impressive how many planes they squeeze on this small apron area ... WOW
deboarding was just via stairs and then walking across the tarmac to the terminal (which is not really far away anyway)
I like that they use the "LCY" in the plane registrations ... LCYF ... LucyFer ... plane of hell
On Monday afternoon I squeezed myself into a totally packed underground on the Piccadilly line to bring out to LHR T5. London was not as full with tourists as I had expectd but this train was totally crowded. It dropped me off in the basement of T5 and I made my way up to the departure level ... I have to say I like this open layout in T5
As I was a business (or in BA words "club europe") passenger I could use the special section H for Check-In ... nice to have no line at all in front of you for checking in at an airport of that size.
The nice lady behind the counter was a bit confused when I could not tell her my flightnumber (had forgotten it) ... she even had to ask her colleague at the counter beside for the airport code of Stockholm (=ARN). Then she could check me in ... at least she tried. First the printer for the boarding pass jammed and I only got a slightly bended version after she rescued it from inside the printer ... then the printer for the luggage tags also jammed and only produced high screeching noises. After some work it got finally convinced to print that tag for my bag and so I could continue to have a look around LHR. My first way led me outside to do a bit of spotting:
It was time to get back in as I wanted to use my lounge access ... also to get some dinner there as it had gotten pretty late now.
Fast track security ... another bonus of my business class ticket ... just three people waiting in the line before me
once airside ...
... I headed into the North Gallery Lounge (which gave me a view of the departing planes at that time)
Drinks selection (hot, cold, wine, ...)
food selection with more drinks (soft drinks and beer)
The lounge was pretty full but that was expected at such a good time for business trevellers leaving London
I settled directly in front of the window in order to have a good view outside while eating my chicken curry and a backed potato.
Sadly they had two glass screens so the photos didn't turned out too good but anyway ...
after some more coke's and orange juices finally my gate was announced and I made my way down to the departure level and to the center of the terminal.
Gate for our flight to Stockholm this evening
not long after boarding was announced for families with small children first and then for everyone (business and card holders via the fast lane)
approaching my first ever flight in business on G-EUYL
and boarding ... then right into the aisle ...
... and another sharp right into 01A (just had to get that number once)
pushback was well on time with quite a good load in economy and maybe 50% in business (I had the whole 01ABC for myself)
on our way to the runway I did a bit more spotting ...
in one fluent movement we turned on the runway and started accelerating ... I think that timing is needed with such an amount of traffic like at Heathrow ...
central terminal complex
and a view down on T5 and the BA fleet
after takeoff we passed by windsor castle ...
... before a first set of a drink and some ceshews/almonds was served.
a bit further into the flight (somewhere over the north sea) we got dinner ... choices were either some lamb or chicken tikka masala (thats what I opted for as I just simply like that dish)
yepp ... looks a bit nicer than the economy setup
... and it looks even better in combination with this view out of my window ...
... while crossing the north sea.
funny ... sometimes our map service claimed to be a flight simulator
After dinner I just relaxed ... enjoyed some more drink brought by a very nice middle aged purser ... she was really great and funny ... best flight personell I had in a loooong time.
with about 100km/h tailwind we arrived about 20min early in Arlanda where I thanked the crew for that great flight and left the plane
we got up to the arrival hallway on escalators that had been switched off (damn you Arlanda)
Thanks for the nice experience G-EUYL
on the way down to passport controls and baggage reclaim again two switched off escalators (damn you again Arlanda)
even such a large airport can get pretty creepy around midnight ...
I collected my bag (which was one of the first to come out) and made my way back to the car for my drive back home through the night.
British Airways did a nice job that weekend. A nice but more standard flight to Lucy ... ehhmmm ... LondonCity and an exceptional flight from Heathrow back to Arlanda ... not only because of the first time I was flying business class but also because of the great team on board ... I will definitely fly BA again in future.London was also a great experience and I would have liked to stay some days longer but I will maybe just come again when all the Olympics hassle is over.
LH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1705 posts, RR: 14
Reply 1, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 12846 times:
Hey Phili, nice report! Good that you managed to experience the joys of Business Class for the first time. BA seem to be on the very top when it comes to delivering a solid EU Biz product, both in terms of catering and lounges. Hope that won't set the bar too high for future flights. Btw, how come you didn't sample the Champagne? (which is sadly slowly disappearing on many airline's EU Biz. SAS and LH have got rid of it already )
Quoting photophil (Thread starter): . but the inbound from Heathrow was less than 90€ to upgrade from my discounte Economy to Business ... That was an offer I could not refuse ... f
That's a good offer, although the 2400 SEK return flight offer is perhaps even better, given the fact that Economy Class tickets to London often end up costing marginally less. And on the summer, it's usually quite easy to come over these fares.
Quoting photophil (Thread starter): I hear something of around 20 passengers on that flight (later I count 22) which is a pretty light load for a 78 seat aircraft I would say.
That's no good load at all. But then again LCY is a Business oriented destination, so it's no surprise the loads are so bad during the summer. Perhaps BA should cease operations on the route during the summers, if the poor loads are a reoccurring problem
roberts87 From Netherlands, joined Dec 2011, 884 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 12660 times:
Nice report! Indeed the usual great performance by BA.
Great that you got to experience your first Business class flight.
Quoting photophil (Thread starter): We soon start our pushback right after the BA A320 beside us which is going to LHR ... there even was a Norwegian to LGW on the other side of us. The had placed three flights to London leaving within 25min beside each other ... just wondering if that maybe sometimes causes confused passengers .
Only three flights to LON withtin 25 minutes? On some days at AMS you within a 30-minute time frame:
- BA to LGW
- BA to LHR
- BA to LCY
- KL to LHR
- WX to LCY
- U2 to STN
- U2 to LTN
- U2 to LGW
Now that's bound to cause confusion!
jwhite9185 From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 1094 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 11947 times:
Nice report there Philip.
Quoting photophil (Thread starter): I like that they use the "LCY" in the plane registrations ... LCYF ... LucyFer ... plane of hell
Ahh the same bird that brought me back from Frankfurt earlier in the year.
Also good to see a few more pics from the lounge in T5 - looking forward to experiencing that one for the first time in October. The Club/Business experience looks a bit better than my BMI experience - not that I had any complaints about the BMI Business product.
deltamartin From Sweden, joined Dec 2010, 1061 posts, RR: 7
Reply 5, posted (1 year 7 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 10134 times:
Nice report with really nice photos!
Seems like BA treated you well, their product seems solid as ever.
Quoting photophil (Thread starter): I ended booking two British Airways flights Stockholm(Arlanda) to London CityAirport and back London Heathrow to Stockholm again. Equipment would be an Embraer E170 for the outbound and a more simple Airbus A320 on the way back.
Good idea, I've never had a bad experience on BA, and I've now managed to log both of BA's routes to ARN, just like you.
Quoting photophil (Thread starter): but the inbound from Heathrow was less than 90€ to upgrade from my discounte Economy to Business ... That was an offer I could not refuse ... finally my first flight in Business including all the extras like lounges and fast track lanes
Took advantage of the same offer for my first Business flight earlier this year too, sure is worth the investment.
Quoting photophil (Thread starter): I hear something of around 20 passengers on that flight (later I count 22) which is a pretty light load for a 78 seat aircraft I would say
I think there were about 40 passengers on my ARN-LCY flight, not very good either considering that this was a Weekday morning in March. But I can imagine that some pax are rather high yielding on those LCY flights, Let's just hope they won't cut the ARN-LCY route like they did with the CPH-LCY connection.
signol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 2978 posts, RR: 8
Reply 7, posted (1 year 7 months 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 9128 times:
Nice report, thanks! The LCY service looks good, nice to get more than a bag of nuts on board
Good offer too on your return, to upgrade. I too only took my first business class flight recently, also on BA, though I bought mine with miles Looks like your meal too was more substantial than mine, though perhaps because the flight to Stockholm is longer than TXL.
Glad you had a nice time in London, did you take any good destination photos?
The777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6379 posts, RR: 56
Reply 11, posted (1 year 7 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 7654 times:
Nice report with nice pictures !
Both flights look nice but very impressive meal on the return! Great offer to for the upgrade! Meal in the lounge looks really good as well. Reminds of the chicken curry I usually get when I'm in Japan.
Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly...T5, CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
photophil From Germany, joined Apr 2011, 193 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (1 year 7 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 6998 times:
Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 10): That was a very nice report indeed and it seemed you hit some major aviation milestones... including your first visit to LHR. Probably quite cool if it is your first time there.
LHR is a nice airport as far as I have experienced (but I have only seen T5 now)
Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 10): BA looked pretty strong, and I noted happily that the FA was good on your return. That can be a typical BA FA - middle-aged, and bubbly.
ba319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8410 posts, RR: 55
Reply 13, posted (1 year 7 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 6322 times:
Nice read and pictures, thanks for sharing.
Quoting photophil (Thread starter): About a week before I departed on my trip I got an email if I would like to upgrade to Business Class as they would have special offers. Hmmm ... my outbound would cost about 480EUR to upgrade ... no thanks ... but the inbound from Heathrow was less than 90€ to upgrade from my discounte Economy to Business
- 480 EUR is a joke but the 90 EURO is not a bad price, plus the extra Tier points that go with it.
Quoting photophil (Thread starter): I settle down in my seat at 08A which provides a decent but not great legroom for someone of my size.
- You must be quite tall? - I'm 5 ft 8 and find these BA 170/190 machines have great legroom.
Quoting photophil (Thread starter): a bit further into the flight (somewhere over the north sea) we got dinner ... choices were either some lamb or chicken tikka masala (thats what I opted for as I just simply like that dish)
- Looks very nice!
Quoting photophil (Thread starter): I would have liked to stay some days longer but I will maybe just come again when all the Olympics hassle is over.
- Don't worry about the hassle, there is nobody here, London is like a ghost town!