This report covers the return leg from Malta to Heathrow on Easter Sunday. Before I come to the trip report, just a few shots I took in Malta.
Valletta, the capital city of Malta, is not necessarily a city you instantly fall in love with. Valletta is old: it was built in the 16th century as a fortress against the invading Ottoman Empire. The beauty of Valletta captures you only at a second, perhaps even a third glance.
This is the church of Floriana, where my granny was born.
But on to the trip report. A taxi picked me up at the Phoenicia at 06h00. At that time of day there are no buses running to the airport. The trip to the airport will cost you 20 Euros from Valletta.
At the airport, counters 11 and 12 are reserved for Business Class and upper tier members of Air Malta’s frequent flyer programme. Check-in was quick, polite and efficient. I was given my invitation to the La Vallette Business Class lounge and I was on my way. My flight to Heathrow was scheduled to leave Malta at 07h15. There were quite a few other flights leaving around that time. Even so, security was no hassle at all. Even so, the airport authorities could provide a priority lane for Business Class and upper tier passengers.
After security, passengers go upstairs. There is only one way to get to the departure lounges, and that is to walk through the duty free shopping area, which is rather large compared to the size of the rest of the airport.
The lounge is on the right hand side of the lounge. When I got there it was pretty empty, with only around 3 other persons in the lounge. Five minutes before boarding I decided to leave the lounge as I still had to go through immigration. I wasn’t quite sure how long that would take. As it turned out, I was through in no time. A few minutes later, boarding started. There was no extra queue for Business Class passengers, so I decided to wait for all the riffraff to board first. Like that I would also not get in the way of anybody behind me while I took pictures.
Date: 24 April 2011
Aircraft: A 319
The empty lounge early on Easter Sunday.
You can do last minute shopping in the non-Schengen part as well.
Up close and personal with my ride to Heathrow.
By coincidence, my aircraft was named after the city of Floriana.
I was the last passenger to board and settled into my seat, 1A. There were four passengers in Business Class, every passenger had a whole row of three to himself.
The flight attendant greeted me by name and placed a copy of each of the three national English language and two of the Maltese language newspaper in the empty seat next to me. She also brought me a glass of fresh orange juice, which was much appreciated.
View from 1A.
After take off, service started by distributing hot towels before breakfast. Then the tablecloth was set and eventually the meal arrived. On the outbound leg there had been a choice of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dish. On this flight however, this did not seem to be the case. The bread served with the meal had been warmed. There were regular top ups for drinks throughout the breakfast service.
The meal consisted of a dish with cheese, salami and ham; Müsli; fresh fruit and the hot meal itself (omelette, potatoes, tomato, sausage and ricotta).
As soon as I had finished my meal, the tray was taken away to give me more space. The flight attendant took excellent care of all the passengers in C. She passed through the cabin more than once during the flight offering drinks. I had one last Kinnie. Before landing another round of hot towels was served. I thought this was a nice touch and very refreshing.
All in all, the flight passed really quickly, which is always a good sign.
CDG from 38000 feet.
Top of descent.
The next part will cover the final segment from Heathrow back to Basel.