Well, how much aviation moves on in a year.
Or not, as the case may be.
I'm off to the US tomorrow, flying from Dublin with DL and since I live in Jersey, I had to get home and what could be more convenient than BA Cityflyer via LGW. This is what the choice comes down to now, since BA axed the JER-LHR route, which used to be an A320 service.
So, this time last year, I could have been sitting on a nice shiny A320; this time, the flight (advertised as an RJ100) was operated by an ATR72; a bit of a drop, don't you think. Service was fine and in fairness, punctuality was excellent. But it's still an AT7 and boy, did it vibrate; overheads were too small to take my cabin bag, so it had to go under the seat. Got into LGW and since my bag was being sent through to DUB (I thought!) I went out and had a look around before my connection, 90 minutes later.
In LGW, like no other airport in the world, you have to hand in your boarding pass after the flight (why, I don't know; they don't do it in LHR) and it's just one of the irritating little ways LGW finds to make life more stressful. But there's more.
Sitting at Starbuck's, 7.30pm, flight leaving at 8.15. Announcement: "last remaining passengers for BA 8088 to Dublin, please go to gate 102, as the flight is now boarding." Broke into a sweat running the half mile to the gate; as expected, no boarding and waited another 15 minutes for it to start. Asked agent why: "we want to get everyone here on time"; fine, but no excuse for LYING.
Flight to DUB did in fairness leave on time and wasn't too full. RJ100. Nuts & drink, crew nice. RJ100 is nice inside, but you do notice the difference between the 146/RJ100 and the A320 and of course, in 9A, I had a smaller overhead locker, and was looking out at the underside of the wing. Got into DUB on time; parked at end of C pier, around C45 (Dubliners will know this); what carousel could they uswe? Only the one at the very furthest distance POSSIBLE (No10) from the gate!
And I flew with the same airline, 90 minute connection, same terminal, bag checked through. Do you think my bag would have made it? Would it have killed them? Too much to ask? Evidently.
So, how do I rank it?
CONVENIENCE D (40/100)
PUNCTUALITY A (100/100)
SERVICE C (55/100)
CONNECTION AIRPORT D (50/100)
COMFORT C (55/100)
In general, a far more stressful experience than it needed to be.