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Bmi In The Back: LHR-CDG-LHR With Pictures  
User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3711 posts, RR: 28
Posted (9 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 8235 times:

Back in early December I couldn't think of anything to get my girlfriend for Xmas, I'd done the fancy jewelery, she has a nice watch and thought taking her to Paris would make a change. I had a look on BA.com for fares with BA but couldn't get anything decent in Club Europe, all around £340 and for a 45min flight this seemed a bit of a waste especially bearing in mind my elite benefits. I then had a quick look over on flybmi.com as I could make the best of use bmi facilities thanks to my Lufthansa Senator status. Tickets in Business were again close to BA although I thought for a saving of £600 I could probably cope with flying on the cheap. The tickets and hotel were booked and all I had to do was keep quiet about it....

Date: 27th December 2004
Flight Number: BD177
Route: London Heathrow - Paris Charles de Gaulle
Departure Time: 1.10pm


We got a chauffeur driven Mercedes S Class to Heathrow (thanks Dad :D) and arrived at Heathrow around midday giving us enough time to make best use of the shopping mall and bmi facilities.

I was a little concerned about the check-in procedure since I had become rather accustomed to the effortlessness that is BA Premium Check-in in Zone R. Sectioned off from the rest of the terminal completely with its own security point I was cautious of checking in with the masses in the main area, despite having premium check-in benefits. Alas my fears were to be unfounded and check-in was effortless with only one person waiting ahead of us, giving the roaming bmi agent a chance to quiz me on my status and misguided attempts to send me to the lengthy economy line. The check-in agent noted my status in the booking and remarked that the flight was overbooked so my chances of an upgrade were good, however, having flown with Star Alliance partners before I was a little wary of my chances. A quick flash of shiny plastic at the Fast Track desk seemed to confuse the guard and he let us through and within a minute or so we were in a Clinique store and my Amex card was bursting into flames! A couple of shopping bags later we made it to the bmi Diamond Club lounge, a quick knock brought the somewhat sleepy attendant to life and he noted our details as we got ourselves some drinks from the bar.



The lounge was very empty, in fact only a couple of other people were in there with us, of which one was the cleaner and we relaxed with a few beers and biscuits until the flight was called.

http://img82.exs.cx/img82/5558/bmilounge25ct.jpg

A bmi agent obviously very bored offered to take us down to the gate on the Europier. Feeling a little rude takling to my girlfriend I asked if she knew whether the flight was overbooked. She wasn't sure but would check at the gate, we went past all the economy passengers where our boarding passes were taken by the agent, unfortunately we wouldn't experience the 'luxury' that is European business class today! After what seemed an epic walk to the back of the plane I settled into the seat amongst the ruffians   Wink After taxiing and a swift takeoff from 27R the plane banked to the south, the weather was much clearer than my BA flight to Barcelona a couple of weeks before and offered great views across the South. At this stage the drinks from the lounge were beginning to make a re-appearance and as soon as the seatbelt light went out I scooted down to the back of the aircraft. After exiting we were already on the French coast and a swift drinks and peanuts round was made. Before the crew had finished we seemed to be making what seemed a very early descent into Paris. Definitely glad I didn't pay an extra £600 now! We touched down less than 45mins after leaving London before taxiing round to the hellhole that is Terminal 1. Deboarding from the aircraft in Satellite 3 we took the lengthy travelator to the concrete donut which after flying into US and even UK airports seemed like something out of the dark ages!

By the time we had made our way through several plastic tubes complete with silly space music our luggage sporting Star Alliance priority stickers was whirling round the luggage belt. After flying BA a lot in premium cabins and not receiving priority luggage treatment it sure is nice when Star Alliance offer this benefit to their customers who are too tight to pay for premium tickets!

We then caught Les Cars Air France into the centre of the city before returning to the airport some three days later.....

Date: 30th December 2004
Flight Number: BD182
Route: Paris Charles de Gaulle - London Heathrow
Departure Time: 6.25pm


With neither of us being an expert in Parisian traffic systems we choose to leave the city in good time and caught the bus back to the airport. Despite being taken around the houses to Terminal 2 we made it to the concrete donut with plenty of time. After feeling like I should don flares and psychadelic colours to match the age of architecture I found the bmi desks. The Business Class desk was free so we waltzed up, we were done within a couple of minutes and assigned 4D and 4F (which turned out to be the first row of economy) with the middle seats blocked off. Meanwhile the static economy line brimming with many dozens of people had to deal with just two desks...

The arrangement at Terminal 1 is very obscure. Security check you have a boarding pass before passing into another area of the terminal where your passport is checked and then security at each gate...Although since we were early we took advantage of the Star Alliance facilities and headed up a hidden lift to the United Red Carpet Club / ANA First Class Lounge.

http://img226.exs.cx/img226/8907/anaflounge5je.jpg

The lounge attendants were very welcoming and were even kind enough to point out I wasn't in the bmi lounge! No way! But a quick note of details and we were in. Having been in Red Carpet Clubs before I was quite surprised by this lounge, although maybe the grey concrete of the rest of the terminal just phased my judgement. A nice selection of Japanese beers had replaced the American junk that was probably there in the morning and so I settled into my seat with an Asahi or two. As the lounge was only used by First Class passengers it was very quiet indeed and most of them chose to hide in the far corner of the lounge.

After about 25mins or so we left the lounge and at the elevator noticed a sign for the SAS lounge.....another Star Alliance partner! Again we went and took a look, again very hidden away and quiet and the warden looked a little miffed, as if she was about to head home when we arrived!



The lounge itself was rather nice, a little branch of Ikea the airport and again empty, the drinks selection offered all the ingredients for Bloody Marys....except Vodka so we went for wine this time and chose to check our emails before leafing through a couple of magazines together.

Another 30mins or so passed and we thought it was a good opportunity to make our way to Satellite 3 where we could relax in the bmi lounge safe in the knowledge that no matter how paralytic we got lounge calls would at least let us know we were missing the flight. Deep in Satellite 3 was the windowless dungeon of a lounge that bmi call their home.

http://img28.exs.cx/img28/3927/bmilounge0ei.jpg

Again very similar in amenities to the lounges in London, although this time with added Japanese factor. Home to all the ANA Business Class passengers including one old man who was farting and weezing more than Thomas the Tank Engine. It had been about 10 minutes since we had last sampled an alcoholic beverage so it was time to have another! The ANA J class folk, including, farting old man soon left and in their wake was only a couple of other passengers on our bmi flight. BD182 was soon called and we headed as a group up to the main area of the satellite where security took place. This was a right buggers muddle and eventually all London bound passengers were rammed into a tiny little pen with perspex windows. This was definitely not well planned and a complete contrast to the experience in London with escorted bmi staff! The flight was called in garbled Frenglish and so I was the first person behind a couple of families with pushchairs, only to be rebuffed by 'le jobsworth' who was looking out for other people to board ahead of me. After some mumbling my girlfriend and I were allowed to pass onto the jetway and welcomed on board. We were the only two to board for some 30 seconds or so and a staffmember even took the time to ask 'Mr Davidson, Miss Juul, what drinks would you like after takeoff?'  thumbsup   Good initiative on his part and something I'd have expected on BA in CE!

Soon after the rest of the cabin filled up and push back was made, again on the taxi I felt those Asahis making a second showing and waited and waited for the takeoff and seatbelt sign to disappear. As I usually am in business on short haul I hate it when people from the front of coach use the business lavs so I ran back 20 odd rows dodging legs, misplaced carryons and people also heading to the galley. At my return I had my afforementioned drink and bag of nuts waiting for me and so I slowly chowed before we made our descent over London.

Landing from the east allowed nice nighttime views of the city and before we knew it we were on stand. Thanks to being seated in the front row of coach we were well situated to make a quick getaway for passport control which was dead and by the time we made it to the luggage belts our cases, again wearing bright pink Priority tags were waiting for us. Top marks again to bmi and Star Alliance for baggage handling.

After passing through the masses of people with signs we wheeled our way down to the Heathrow Express in order to reach our hotel in Kensington.

Summary: As this was the first out of perhaps three dozen trips I have taken within Europe that hasn't been in Business Class I find it hard to compare with other airlines. However, as a Star Gold holder the premium for business would have really been a waste of cash. As it was the flights were excellent value for money and I wouldn't be surprised if we drunk the price of our tickets in the lounges at CDG!

Baggage handling was as superb as ever on Star Alliance and something that my regular carrier British Airways really could afford to learn from.

As for CDG Terminal 1.... I understand that renovations are taking place but I feel it is like flogging a dead horse. Knock it down!

__________________

Next flight 24th March: BA293 LHR-IAD in Club World, 3rd April BA292 IAD-LHR in Club World

If anyone is interested I could write up my LHR-BCN-AGP-BCN-LHR Club Europe & IB Business trip from a few weeks ago. Got some photos for that too....

[Edited 2005-03-13 00:41:54]


"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
15 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineOrion737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (9 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 8003 times:

Lucky girlfriend! She is spoilt, hope she takes good care of you.

User currently offlineMyk From Canada, joined Jul 1999, 455 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (9 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 7936 times:

Hello, thanks for the report.

I just wanted to know more about your impressions about Globeground in Paris, as they handle BMI.


User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3711 posts, RR: 28
Reply 3, posted (9 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 7916 times:

Spolied on bmi in coach to Paris? What would you say if our next vacation was South Africa in BA First  Embarrassment

Globeground were nothing amazing, nor were they awful, although they did a very good job with the baggage! The check-in staff were a little moody although the things I didn't like about CDG 1 were beyond bmi's control...state of the terminal, renovations, dumb position of security checks etc



"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
User currently offlineSulman From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 2035 posts, RR: 32
Reply 4, posted (9 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 7847 times:

Interesting, well-written trip report. This, however, is hilarious:

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):
I was a little concerned about the check-in procedure since I had become rather accustomed to the effortlessness that is BA Premium Check-in in Zone R. Sectioned off from the rest of the terminal completely with its own security point I was cautious of checking in with the masses in the main area, despite having premium check-in benefits. Alas my fears were to be unfounded and check-in was effortless with only one person waiting

What did you expect? An army in retreat? Anarchy, blood and bartering amongst the chavs queueing for steerage passage?



It takes a big man to admit they are wrong, and I am not a big man.
User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3711 posts, RR: 28
Reply 5, posted (9 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 7830 times:

Quoting Sulman (Reply 4):
What did you expect? An army in retreat? Anarchy, blood and bartering amongst the chavs queueing for steerage passage?

Well, for one reason or another, I have been in Terminal 1 every two to three weeks or so in the last year and have seen the main departures level absolutely rammed in summer time. Checking in myself I've used the secluded area offered by British Airways which is on the walk from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2. I'd be surprised if most of the folks passing through T1 knew of its existence! Allows for an effortless passage through the airport

As for the chavs.....nah they are at Gatwick and Luton checking for flights to Magaluf  Wink

PS. I've noticed you are in education at SOU...you don't happen to work in Boldrewood do you? If you don't know what I am on about I've just made an ass of myself!



"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
User currently offlineWheelsatc From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 111 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (9 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 7605 times:

FbgDavidson

Unlike the few others above who have commented on your@report I am not a fan of your reports. This report, much like your others, does not provide much factual info about the flight itself, no mention of aircraft type or registration for example, you seem to mostly concentrate on how you are used to flying F or J and comparing it and describing what is done for you in the lounges. It seems to me that your posts are used to gloat about how privalged you are going on these fancy trips which you are desparate for everyone to know about. Your profile suggests you are a student so quite how you can afford all your trips I don`t know (one imagines daddy does though!!) or if you are now working how someone so young needs to go on so many biz trips I don`t know.

Regards


User currently offlineBabybus From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (9 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 7576 times:

Quoting Wheelsatc (Reply 6):
Unlike the few others above who have commented on your@report I am not a fan of your reports. This report, much like your others, does not provide much factual info about the flight itself, no mention of aircraft type or registration for example

I have to agree with Wheelsatc. Where is the factual info about the flight? Where are the photos of the aircraft? Why do we need to see your girlfriend? Where's the Cabin photos?

I'm not having a dig but your writing and visual presentations would be more interesting if you stuck to the subject a bit more and worried less about you.

Thanks mate.


User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3711 posts, RR: 28
Reply 8, posted (9 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 7563 times:

Quoting Wheelsatc (Reply 6):
This report, much like your others, does not provide much factual info about the flight itself, no mention of aircraft type or registration for example

When writing trip reports I always try and look up the aircraft and registration on the www.lhr-lgw.co.uk database however these flights were not listed. If anyone else knows an alternative source for finding this information I'd gladly list it.

As for my trip reports in general they do tend to focus on the service aspect of the travel experience and not necessarily the operational one, I don't know much about flaps, engine thrust or that kind of thing. When travelling as a status passenger or in premium cabins a lot of the aspect of the flight as orientated around the check-in and lounges as well as the flight so it is important to include such details in the report.

Regarding, factual information it is hard to write much about a 45min flight where the only meal service is a bag of nuts and a drink and where I spent 15mins of that in the bathroom! My comments on lounges are useful for threads that often crop up on Civil Aviation asking about various lounges.

Quoting Wheelsatc (Reply 6):
It seems to me that your posts are used to gloat about how privalged you are going on these fancy trips which you are desparate for everyone to know about. Your profile suggests you are a student so quite how you can afford all your trips I don`t know (one imagines daddy does though!!) or if you are now working how someone so young needs to go on so many biz trips I don`t know.

These reports all provide good information on the 'I'm flying J class on XXX to XXX what can I expect' threads that often appear on Civil Aviation. As for the showing off comment are you suggesting all trip reports that aren't flying MyTravel to PMI should be classed as showing off? I feel I am sharing my experiences with those on the board. Although I have to disagree on one point, anyone who says shorthaul business is fancy is really kidding themselves  Wink If I was resorting to showing off to a group of people on the internet that I have never met I must have some serious issues!

As for funding, these trips are all leisure and I pay for them myself and have done for the last three years.

Quoting Babybus (Reply 7):
Where are the photos of the aircraft? Why do we need to see your girlfriend? Where's the Cabin photos?

Of the two photos I took in the lounge this was the better of the two and it gives a good overall feel for the lounge.

As for your other comments perhaps you should look at my LHR-SFO-LHR report I submitted a few months ago. All the info you are looking for including registrations, plane type, cabin shots etc etc is included in the report.
BA Club World: LHR-SFO-LHR September 2004 (by Fbgdavidson Oct 13 2004 in Trip Reports) I would appreciate feedback on this report too if you have enough time to read it!


Thank you for all your feedback, I usually sumit my reports to Flyertalk where there is a tendency towards the service rather than operational aspect, I can learn to tailor my reports to suit the needs of the folks here a little better.

Thanks
Fraser

[Edited 2005-03-15 16:56:52]


"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
User currently offlineWheelsatc From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 111 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (9 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 7453 times:

Fraser

Nice reposte!! There is no problem what so ever in providing details about the lounges etc and indeed when it is combined with the other flight details it makes for a very intresting read (the more details the better), I just feel that you have a tendency to highlight the fact that you travel well all the time and it comes across as gloating, however I am sure you do not mean it. Perhaps it is because I am a spotter that I like to know the more factual details!!

No hard feelings.

James.


User currently offlineUSAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 53
Reply 10, posted (9 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 7435 times:

Poor Fraser, having to fly in the back  Sad... Wink Seriously though, great report as always, look forward to hearing more soon!

Greg



Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
User currently offlineMyt332 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 9112 posts, RR: 70
Reply 11, posted (9 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 7307 times:

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):
As for the showing off comment are you suggesting all trip reports that aren't flying MyTravel to PMI should be classed as showing off?

I did a MYT Palma report as saddening as it may be. Can't I show off my 28" seat pitch?!

Anyway, I enjoyed reading about your trip. What aircraft did they give you, A319, 20, or 21?

Looking forward to your IAD report.



One Life, Live it.
User currently offlineVSLover From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 1897 posts, RR: 22
Reply 12, posted (9 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 7256 times:

like all your other reports, this one is crafted quite well, and i do appreciate the service-oriented nature of these reports.

User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3711 posts, RR: 28
Reply 13, posted (9 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 7181 times:

Quoting Myt332 (Reply 11):
I did a MYT Palma report as saddening as it may be. Can't I show off my 28" seat pitch?!

Go for it!

Quoting Myt332 (Reply 11):
Anyway, I enjoyed reading about your trip. What aircraft did they give you, A319, 20, or 21?

A320 both ways - really should have put that! Embarrassment



"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
User currently offlineSkymonster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (9 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 7025 times:

Nice report.

Quoting Wheelsatc (Reply 6):
This report, much like your others, does not provide much factual info about the flight itself, no mention of aircraft type or registration for example

Some of us, probably those who travel regularly, don't really care whether the aircraft was G-MIDA or G-MIDB, nor that the captain's name was Fred or whether the aircraft made a grinding noise when the flaps were retracted, or whatever... Feedback such as this trip report provide valuable insight into how airlines actually treat passengers and what facilities are available. Lounges and customer service maybe irrelevent to the once-a-year Ryanair punter, but to some of us the sort of information offered in this report can be useful to know when making decisions about the next trip. I acknowledge that there's plenty of space in this forum for both types of report, but please don't knock the folks who have an interest in a different perspective on air travel than yourself.

Andy


User currently offlineGkirk From UK - Scotland, joined Jun 2000, 24938 posts, RR: 56
Reply 15, posted (9 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 7044 times:

Quoting Skymonster (Reply 14):
nor that the captain's name was Fred

How do you know the Captains name was Fred? Source please  tongue   Big grin  Silly

Nice report  Wink



When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
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