Date: June21st 2008
Flights: BA439 and BA442
Travel class: Club Europe
Terraces at AMS
and Galleries at LHR T5
Scheduled departure time: 10:50
Scheduled Arrival time: 11:05
This trip is only intended to gather Tier Points so that on my next flight to DXB
in F will not loose 160 TP
. Those who know how the BA
system works will realize that sometimes you need to spend a little to gain something. I decided this would be an excellent opportunity to explore T5
a little and have something on my mind before the exciting game tonight. If you lived under a rock for the last 2 weeks: I am talking about the EC2008 game between the Netherlands and Russia.
We lost by the way…
I was reasonably on time at AMS
because I anticipated a very busy airport due to fans flying to Basel for the game. Fortunately it wasn’t and I was through customs in no time. No cue whatsoever. From there it was straight to the lounge for breakfast. I was hungry. Failed to have breakfast. Since all of you are obsessed with food here , I made a little picture. Especially for you
Also I bought myself a little present: an Asus Eee PC
with a 9 inch screen. I am using it now to type my trip report. The keyboard will take some getting used to... Here is a picture of it still in the lounge. It is no bigger than a book.
Here are some BA
lounge pictures at AMS
The attendant at the lounge informed that the flight was on time and departing from gate D16. In fact it was 30 minutes late and departing from gate D12, but who's counting? The unexpected wait at the gate gave me some time for take some pictures. Hope you like them.
Again the boarding process at AMS
was chaotic. Only one baggage check machine and I think the security staff was being supervised since they were extremely thorough and thus slow. With one passenger processed per minute you do have the rare opportunity to have the bridge all to yourself.
Once we were on the plane we were informed that we had lost our slot and needed an additional 15 minutes or so. The captain was very clear about the reason for the delay (no prices for guessing it was caused by delays at LHR
) and very informative and apologetic. That always helps. The door had already closed and I quickly moved from 3A to 1A since the passenger in 4A kept kicking the chair. Either a very clumsy or very annoying dude. While moving I noticed that the cockpit door was still open, so here is a glimpse of the A319 steering hut.
And some Club Europe A319 interior shots
It took another 10 minutes before pushback. We were behind a row of traffic. Two I found interesting. Jade Cargo and ´Beko Home Appliances'. I am guessing that some LCC is no selling its a/c as advertising space?
Once in the air we were quickly served our br/unch. And yes, I did take all you airplane food enthusiasts into account. Here is a picture of a nice meal. First two observations: 1. Why provide a knife if it has been made 'hijack proof'? (This automatically makes it useless as a knife altogether.) 2. Why can't the English make a good cup of tea? This is supposedly their national heritage, no?
After a short while the captain came on again with another delay. Due to traffic to LHR
we were being put in a holding pattern over the north east of London. We did 4 rounds before we were cleared for descent. Here is how that looks:
The captain was right. The weather over London was pretty grey and rainy. I was hoping for better light to take some pictures. I did manage to snap a picture of a A319 parked at a bus stand with a bus leaving. Does this mean that the billions of pounds spend on T5
will not prevent this practice? That sucks...
I did not take any pictures of it, but on the subject of strange building concepts: why are the bridges at T5
built at such a strange angle? They are very long at a 45 degree angle in stead of short and straight. Wait. This is very unclear. I will go and make a picture. Hold on. Well, not sure the pictures work, but it is better than nothing.
Ok, since all I am doing here is gathering Tier Points I have no purpose being here. I did not feel lik going into London (been there enough) so today I am spending my time at the airport. I am not a spotter so that does not really get my juices flowing but I did always complain I never have enough time to spend at the lounge. Today is going to be different! It will also give me the chance to take some pictures to please the ANet readers. Yes my friends, I am thinking of you!
pictures first. There are so many of them that I will not write an interesting story for each and every one…
Just after disembarking
The Customer Service Desk at arrivals
Useless zigzag for hardly any passengers…
After the zigzag you get to a long escalator
Take your time getting to the gates
The infamous T5
Want a nice sports car?
Plane taking off through the windows… Er… well, you know what I mean
Ok, on my way to the lounge it is. Here are some pictures of how to get there…
If you are lucky and flying First, you can enter at the mezzanine level
If you’re not, you have to go down to the main level first
After going down, you have to go back up
Here is the entry to the First lounge after going up the escalators
Another view of the same
Entry to the Concorde room
And another view of the same
Since nothing exciting happened in the lounge I will let the pictures do most of the talking. Some comments: I watched a movie on my Eee PC
(Becoming Jane) and this worked spectacularly well. Maybe this Eee PC
will become my new favorite toy. I hate the warm food section of the lounge. Second time I tried their food (pasta Bolognese) and again the pasta was undercooked and hard in places. The sandwiches and so on are however delicious. Finally (and this is the God honest truth!) there was a fly in the soup.
Hot food presentation (not bad, but certainly not great)
Drinks and chips (or crisps)
Lunch. Quite nice, but no idea what they where…
I had a bit of a beginners goof by the way. I forgot that you only get to use the spa if you are in transit from a long haul flight. The delightful attendant was very apologetic and looked at me with that 'probably first time in the lounge' look. I do look forward to using their facilities here in T5
. They look great.
Entrance to Elemis Spa
There is a thread here somewhere about letting small children into F. No way, if I had anything to say about it, but I don't. Cannot ban them from the lounge either and that can be a nuisance, especially if they are bored and their parent too French to give a damn about their behavior. On the plus side, the annoying little brat had created a lot of empty seats in the lounge area of the lounge (if you know what I mean) and with my Etymotic earphones in I am safe!
I am always nesting. Here is the result
My view from my seat
A before shot. Really!
Exiting the toilets, this is what you see
My preferred location
The coffee bar on the left hand side (and then right)
A very nice coffee shop like area
The wine bar. Beautiful design.
Same bar, other view
Another nice seating area
The wine and chips bar
So, a lot of lounge pictures. That's what you get when you spent 6 hrs there. I must say it was very relaxing! Time to pack up again and leave my nest here. Back to Amsterdam. Lets take some more pictures of the terminal.
(no) service desk
Don’t go to the B gates by mistake
Takes a while, partly due to this escalator
The Hugo Boss store
The A1 to A7 gate area
Ze plane, ze plane!
Self portrait at Gate A2
Gordon Ramsey who does not eat his own dog food
Ok, this is really too long now. I will post some pictures of the way back. Cabin shots and arrival pics.
Watch the nice reflection in the engine
Nice clouds. Love clouds.
Shrimp salad on the way back. Tasty.
Passing the Dutch coast
Just before touchdown
Traffic Control had painted the tower orange. Did not do any good.
For a small country we sure have an airline with many planes…
It was a tiring day. Went to write this report while watching Holland loose to Russia. Such a shame but well done Guus Hidding!
I hope you liked this report of my visit to T5
. Next trip will be with KLM to LHR T4
in September. I need some time away from planes and airports!
Feedback always appreciated.