I just got back from another hectic 2 weeks in Baku, Azerbaijan with my Dad and his family and so I thought I'd write a report on it.
My first flight was from ABZ to LHR on 23/12/2005 to catch my connecting flight to GYD, operated by BMED for BA. The flight was on time, and got into LHR just after 11:30am. From here I went to catch a bus to Terminal 4 where BA6613 to Baku was due to depart at 1:35pm.
I cannot remember the registration number of the aircraft from ABZ to LHR.
When I boarded the flight to Baku, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was empty, and so got a row to myself, allowing me to recline and sleep some of the journey off. I actually found out that one of the cabin crew on this flight from LHR to GYD was on my flight from GYD to LHR in October. She recognized me and we got chatting, and I passed on my details as she said she would try to get me an upgrade. I was really chuffed!
When the flight was approaching GYD I noticed that it was raining heavily. Bearing in mind that I was landing on the very same night as the An-140 J2 flight crashed shortly after takeoff. Of course, we as passengers did not know this.
Aircraft was G-MEDG, the same aircraft I flew on GYD > LHR in October.
In GYD, I had to wait 20 minutes for the Visa guy to get the keys from the other side of the airport to open up the Visa room. Because of this, I was going through passport control behind the BMED crew that flew us into GYD. I began speaking with the First Officer about Baku and what my purpose of my journey was.
The next night my Dad and I went to Finnegan's pub and the BMED crew were in (this is now Christmas Eve). The First Officer noticed us and came over to speak to me and my dad and explained that he had been in the Gulf Wars and was a previous fighter pilot for the RAF. He too, like the stewardess took my details to try to get me upgraded. He also told me some very valuable information, which has boosted my drive to become a pilot.
My holiday was very enjoyable and mainly consisted of drinking copious amounts and celebrating Christmas with my little sister who is 1 3/4 years old and my 2 month old brother, as well as New Year.
When 06/01/2006 came, it was time to come home. My Dad drove me to GYD airport where he saw me through security and to check in where he left me. I approached check in and found that I was 6kg over my limit of 23kg. The duty manager gave me a slap on the wrist and told me not to do it again. What I was more concerned about was my seat. I was assigned 23F (from ba.com, where I chose it). "Ok..." I thought, they didn't manage to get me an upgrade. No worries.
I approached passport control after checking in and the BMED crew were already there, and to my surprise the same stewardess I was now friends with was again crew! She had told me she was due to only come back to Baku on the 7th, not depart it on the 6th! It was a nice surprise.
When we ready to board, we were, as usual, on a remote stand and so were bussed to it. Again, the aircraft was A321 G-MEDG.
Photo © Sergio Domingos
I got onto the plane and sat in my seat of 23F. I again, had a row to myself I thought. Just as I was settling in a stewardess approached me and said "Mr. McConnell?" and I replied "yes" and she then told me to follow her. I thought something really bad had happened, until we reached the front of the aircraft where she directed me to my Club World seat. "First Officer Dave Longhurst put a word in for you" she told me. I asked for paper and a pen to write him a note to thank him personally, and passed on my email address as well.
I was in seat 3A. Out of 33(?) Club World seats, there were only 4 of us. This was my first time in a class greater than economy, so I was extremely happy. Lots of legroom, own TV, top class meals, fantastic drinks....wow! Business people know how to travel! The flight went a lot faster in Club than it does in World Traveller.
Arriving at LHR I caught a bus to Terminal 1 where I has to go through security which was pretty quiet. I then reached the gate for ABZ (Gate 5) and waited for more information. Our gate was later moved to 74.
I boarded the aircraft and was given seat 11A (Overwing Exit). This flight went pretty quickly as well, but on decent I found my ears hurt more than usual. Perhaps this was due to the location of my seat.
Upon landing in ABZ Reverse Thrust was only applied lightly until the Flight Crew realized "Oh sh*t, ABZ has a short runway" and so rammed it on fully, sending my iPod shooting 3 rows in front!
I cannot remember the aircraft reg again.
Overall, this is one of the best ABZ > GYD via LHR trips I have taken. If First Officer Dave Longhurst reads this or anyone knows him, please contact me, as I would like to keep in contact.