Ba319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8743 posts, RR: 53 Posted (12 years 9 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 3479 times:
I've just returned home from a week away at my dad's villa in Menorca.The trip included flight by Spanair and Iberia,but i'll do those as separate trips.
737-436 G-DOCL 1A(last flew this plane 4/9/92 AMS-LHR)
SCH DEP 1930
ACT PSH 1949
OFF GRD 2010
SCH ARR 2305
ACT ARR 2259
Having checked in the previous night I arrived knowing my seat was safe,though I was still early.I planned to relax in the BA Terraces before the flight.
Check-in was smooth,as was the entry to air side.
Once in the lounge I grabbed a large JD & coke and found a free PC to check my mail.
The BA Terraces are really great places to wait for your flight,PC's with Internet access,large bar selection and on the 4th floor the Larder,plenty more booze and snacks,sandwiches,crisps cake etc.
Boarding was called about 1910,and since it was a long walk to the gate(26?) I left about 5 minutes later,feeling a little lighthead I must say,one or two JD's too many one thinks!
The gate area was a nightmare.Boarding had yet to start by the time I arrived,around about 1920 or so.In addition,this was a totally full flight,a large,and I mean large student party from Spain going home.
By the time we pushed back,the flight was 100% full,even in Club which had about 6 rows or so this evening.The seat next to me was occupied at the last minute by the daughter of a retired BA pilot.
DOCL is now some 11 years old,however is still in excellent condition on the inside,just shows how well BA maintain their fleet.
Some 10-15 minutes after take off drinks were offered,took a scotch with a packet or nibbles until dinner was offered.
Dinner this evening was either Fish Cakes or Lamb Chops on a large bowl of mixed salad with Olives,potatoes,peppers etc.I took the Lamb,which I must say was excellent,as was the rest of the meal,the other items being Salmon with a cream filling,warm rolls and a rather tasty desert which I cannot recall now.
Once the tray was cleared I took coffee and another scotch,several bottles were given to me - heck,saves asking for more.
All too soon,we were over Madrid,what a great city and it looks great at night too with all the lights on.
The main gear kissed Spanish soil 6 minutes early and we taxied to a remote stand.Typical Spanish summer weather,hot and humid,it was lovely.
An Iberia shuttle took us to Passport control and baggage claim,we were there in a few minutes.The bag arrived about 5 minutes after arriving at the carousel.
All in all,a very nice afternoon spent with BA,both in the Terraces and on the Plane.
Having arrived a few hours prior with Spanair(trip to be posted later) I did a spot of spotting,quite worth is as I made 20,not so bad.
Madrid's T1 area was a zoo,the midday rush was on,lots of longhaul flight checking in,inc CO,AA,DL,US and many,many IB to North and South America.
I waited about 5 minutes in the Club check-in line,then realized the people in front were not even flying BA,they had just decided to rest there! - not too amused.
I'd forgotten to check-in on line the previous day so had arrived early to try and secure a window.My BA profile gives me a window as a rule,but I wanted the A side as the middle seat in blocked.
As a note,the check-in agent did not ask any security questions,nor offer instructions on how to find the BA lounge.
Since the whole area was a zoo I decided it was best to get over to the 'B' gates asap.This turned out to be a good idea as the Passport control line was huge,not all of the positions were open so it took some time to get through it.
Once through I headed to the Iberia lounge,BA and IB share this lounge as I guess AA and AY do.The lounge is large and offers great views of the ramp.There are 3 individual PC stations,all with internet connection.The bar selection was ok,however the snack choice was quite poor.No sandwiches or cake,or at least none that I could see.Lots of peanuts though....
Boarding for this flight was called about 1210,with the gate closing at 1230,this being due to the aircraft being on a remote stand.Don't mind that,the plane was close to a LH CR7 and a couple of others i'd missed arrive and might need.
Todays load was about 70% down back and 80% in Club.
Off stand we trundled off down to the runway,passing several other planes I logged and the new terminal which is being built.I'd be interested to know if the new terminal will replace all of the old ones - anyone know?
We left the ground at 1259,the ride was a little bumpy to start due to the hot weather comming off of the mountains,nice view though.
Drink service started,took and OJ and read the paper until Lunch was offered.
Todays choice was either Swordfish or Chicken breast.Not being a keen fish eater I took the chicken.This was served on a salad bed of yellow peppers,green olives,cherry tomatoes,green broad beans and a few other odds and ends.Warm rolls were offered several times,desert was a refreshing mix of melon,kiwi fruit,grapes and mango - very refreshing.I took a nice white with dinner and coffee afterwards.I managed to sleep the rest of the flight,only opening my eyes just prior to touchdown.
Being quite please with arriving some 20 minutes early,it was quite a disappointment to learn we had to park on the domestic gates and wait for a bus which would be some 10 minutes or so.It appears Heathrow had suffered a power failure and check-in was being done by hand,thus delaying flights - apparently the international gates were all still full as many flights were running late.The fleet of ground busses were being run ragged due to the large demand.
Despite that,I still arrived at baggage claim when I would have expected and my bag was waiting for me too.
Overall,2 great BA flights,the only issue being the Madrid check-in agent,otherwise,excellent.
As stated i'll post the other trips soon,they are:-
Mas777 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 1999, 2939 posts, RR: 6
Reply 7, posted (12 years 9 months 22 hours ago) and read 3228 times:
Interestingly, I flew LGW-MAD-LGW about 2 weeks before this report...
Delayed - delayed - delayed on departure at Gatwick. No announcements were made and no reason was given. We (as a group) had all travelled from various parts of the country and a couple of my friends had flown down from Edinburgh earlier that day. Some of us were Executive Club members whilst others weren't. Problems with online check-in meant that half the group was already split prior to arrival at Gatwick for check-in/bag drop. However, this was rectified at the check-in counter as the group eventually met up.
LGW was starting to empty as our 1930 departure was delayed to 2030 and then to 2130 and then interestingly no departure time at all. Nevertheless, it was a chance for us to catch up at Chez Gerard.
Boarding finally commenced from the furthest gate possible and we were the only scheduled BA flight for the night. I had lost track of time thanks to the alcohol and constant retiming of the flight. Departure was swift and after much wrangling with BA Exec Club telephone lines over their lousy new "check-in software" - we discovered that most of the flight was empty.
About the new check-in system - non-Exec Club members cannot check-in online eventhough their booking is held with an Exec Club member. The allocated seating also ensures Exec Club members get 'better' seats even if it means separating them from their partners/companions... go figure...
So with most of the plane empty - we all sat together anyway! The pilot did then tell us that our proposed aircraft was still stuck in Munich - so they were called in to take us to Madrid that night.
It was late so most slept after take-off and I don't remember the All-Day Deli being particularly exciting. We landed at about 0100am or thereabouts in a groggy state and made our way to our hotel all ready for our weekend away.
On our return, check-in at Barajas was an utter nightmare. Confusion and throngs of people made the whole experience quite unpleasant. This time however, we all managed to check-in using the e-ticket kiosks so jumped the queue and dropped our bags at the Club Europe desks.
Boarding was on-time but our 'All Day Deli Bags' looked like refuse bags. Thai Chicken or Cheese was on offer and my 'Thai Chicken' baguette consisted of a dry baguette which was slightly frozen. One limp piece of lettuce browning at the edges, a piece of chicken about the size of a fifty-pence piece (3cm diameter) located at one end of the baguette.
Shocked by the appalling state of my sandwich - we compared all our sandwiches and they were all pretty awful although I won the prize for having the biggest joke of them all. None of us had a camera with us - but if we had we were going to take a picture of it and post it to Rod Eddington. The crew laughed at the state of my sandwich but refused to give me another. The steward told us that they were all pretty shi*t.
LAnding at LGW on time, we waited about 40 minutes for the first bags to arrive on the Carousel...
...British Airways - back to 'Bloody Awful' perhaps!