Had one of those not very good but actually quite good i.e. variable BA
Due to fly on the 1600 LGW
so I left the Market Porter (after a lunchtime refreshment of 3 pints of Guinness and some pork scratchings, total cost almost £13.10) at 1320 to get the 1342 FCC service from London Bridge. Bought my ticket from the third machine along from the left and headed to platform 5 where I found that the train had suddenly picked up a 9 minute delay, shortly revised to 10 minutes. It was raining at this point, getting alternately heavier and lighter. Two trains called at the platform before our FCC service, which confused some Asian tourists standing on the platform with me, so I helped out. The train was dirty when it arrived, but I pressed on and boarded through the right hand double doors of the second carriage and turned right to find a seat just next to the corridor to the next carriage. I put my bag on the seat next to me and noted with satisfaction that the seat fabric was a dark blue colour. I took my iPad out for entertainment purposes, and managed to download data speedily via the marvellous 3 network.
We left London Bridge and after a 3 minute stop at East Croydon we arrived at Gatwick. I can't remember which platform it was but I will look it up and get back to you. I got off the train and turned left to go up the escalator. This was quite full as a lot of the people had got off the train. Incidentally, does anyone know when the two new platforms at Gatwick will open? They seem pretty finished to me, apart from the total absence of track, which I suppose is quite a crucial requirement in the running of trains. It was still raining at this point.
I walked through the south terminal and to the transit. It said 2 minutes until the next shuttle but it was only about 90 seconds until it arrived. The Easyjet stewardess standing next to me looked very nice in her uniform and a little bit like a porn star, so I made a mental note for later. I got on the shuttle at the front, and stood by the door ready to get off quickly when we arrived at the North Terminal. We arrived at the North Terminal and I got off, quickly. There was a short walk (via the Turkish Airlines ticket desk where an entire family was repacking six cases of luggage) to premium security and no queue there. I unpacked my iPad and Macbook from my laptop bag and got my Tumi toilet bag with my toiletries in a plastic bag inside out of my Tumi holdall, in preparation for screening, which passed efficiently.
I proceeded into the departure lounge and purchased some duty free, mainly female cosmetics for my mother, which prompted a bit of light flirting with the woman behind the counter. She was very nice and also looked a bit like a porn star so I made another mental note for later. I also purchased a twin pack of Veuve-Cliquot non-vintage champagne for a special offer price of £60. I am not sure whether it was still raining at this point due to the lack of windows in the North Terminal departure lounge.
My shopping complete, I headed for the British Airways First Class lounge and gained access through my possession of a Gold card. I noted with some satisfaction that a family of foreigners had got the wrong lounge (probably on purpose) so were being ushered out of the First lounge into the Business lounge across the lobby. Once in the lounge, I headed for a seat by the window and noticed that it was still raining, quite heavily. How ironic seeing as it was raining when I left central London. The majority of the people in the lounge were single men with the occasional very attractive female, which I found reassuring as it made me feel like I was in one of the clubs in London which I frequent on a regular basis. At this point I felt like I needed a sandwich, so headed over to investigate the selection. There were a choice of three, egg & cress, smoked salmon & cream cheese and also ham and mustard. I took three ham and mustard, one egg, and two smoked salmon. Or, it might have been two egg and two ham and mustard but I am not sure. I also poured a glass of champagne, there was Castelnau and Taittinger on offer, so I poured about 2/3rds of a glass of the latter. I then eat my sandwiches and typed a few emails on my Macbook as technically I was supposed to be at the office. I also fielded a call from a senior colleague in another part of our business who I had asked to do something important and fortunately he was agreeing to it. The paperclips will arrive on time after all. This, together with another call took about 10 minutes of discussion and during the time the battery percentage on my iPhone 5 64GB went from 81% to 76%.
By this point I noticed that my flight had been delayed to 1633 with the gate information going to be displayed at 1541. I think but I am not sure that it was around 1520 at this time so I decided to switch to red wine and poured myself a glass of the Atena Malbec. Unfortunately the other red wines were either new world or a generic French vin de table with no region / appellation written on the bottle. I thought this was very poor for a First Class lounge. I also poured myself a large glass of Johnnie Walker Blue Label from the bottle which was about half full. The couple in front of me were clearly complete idiots as they both managed to order two bacon butties from the lounge host so soon their table was groaning under the weight of four bacon butties. At 1545 the gate information still hadn't arrived despite it saying 1541 (which was four minutes in the past) so I walked up to the front desk and asked the lady whether there was gate information yet. She said the aircraft was on final approach and likely to end up at gate 57J but I should check on the screens in a moment. Half way back to my seat I turned round and approached the desk again to ask where the flight was coming from, as I felt I needed to know this totally irrelevant and completely inconsequential piece of information. Edinburgh.
I went for a pee three times whilst in the lounge.
When the gate flashed up on the screen I left the lounge and walked down the stairs. As I left the lounge complex I spied the landmark of the FIDS screen and knew then that I was exactly 4 minutes and 32 seconds from gate 57. I arrived at gate 57 and it was clear that we were nowhere near ready for boarding as the chocks were only just being applied to the Airbus A319-112 G-DBCJ powered by IAE V2500 turbofans and originally ordered from Airbus Industrie by British Midland International Airways Limited who were at the time based at Castle Donnington. I took a seat by the window and noted that it was still raining. Standing in front of me were the flight (2) and cabin (4) crew. The purser was fiddling with his iPad, the captain seemed a jolly sort and the first officer looked about 12. Or perhaps 13, but I didn't have access to his testicles to clarify.
The next gate along had the Easyjet flight to Amsterdam boarding which meant the holding area was full of chavs and other minor public school-educated oiks. Unfortunately none of the staff looked like porn stars. I noticed that the aircraft arrived after ours but started boarding before us.
Eventually we got on board G-DBCJ and I sat in 1F. I checked that the seat had been converted to Club Europe correctly by checking the position of the armrests being flush with the middle table. Had this not been done correctly I would've summoned an engineer and possibly delayed the flight as this is an integral part of the Club Europe product offering. Fortunately I was first on the aircraft (deftly overtaking the wheelchair passenger on the jetway) so I filled up all the overhead locker space above 1DF 2DF with my Tumi bag (placed lengthways in for its own protection), laptop bag and two bags of duty free alcohol, cosmetics and all the newspapers and magazines that I had stolen from the lounge, together with a potted plant liberated from next to the third computer on the left in the business centre. I reasoned that if BA
hadn't wanted me to take the plant they would have placed a notice saying so. I noticed at this point the Easyjet flight to Amsterdam was pushing back and we were still boarding. I looked out of the window and it was still raining and all of the luggage was getting wet. Apart from mine as it was above me on the aircraft.
Eventually we taxied out to runway 08R and took off. When we got above the clouds it stopped raining. I proceeded to read the newspapers and my book. Afternoon tea was served which comprised of three sandwiches (I checked there were three) of cheese & pickle, smoked salmon and cucumber and chicken salad. There was a shrink-wrapped piece of cake on the tray and hot scones were served from the basket. I eat these with clotted cream and jam, putting the cream on first and then the jam, but only after mistakenly opening the milk carton which I thought was the cream. I may have had a drink by this point, so decided to carry on with 5 gin and tonics dispensed by the cabin crew who started service from the front. We headed out over the Bay of Biscay and occasionally the ride was turbulent. The sunshine was coming right through the window so from time to time I opened and closed the window blind depending on the position of the aircraft relative to the compass heading. The window was clean.
All too soon we started our descent to Faro so I ordered another gin and tonic from the waitress with a plastic cup to keep it in. The captain came on and gave us the weather and encouraged us all to have drinks on the balcony in the evening, we lucky things. However, unfortunately due to the incompetence of his colleagues and ultimately his employer, we were arriving after sundown which negates the point of drinking a sundowner.
We landed smoothly from the east towards the west and taxiied into the terminal. Although we managed to stop before crashing completely into it. I noticed the abandoned 727 owned by an African dictator is still sitting by the side of the control tower. They really should move it as first arrivals to Portugal might get the wrong impression and think the place is some sort of bankrupt banana republic which it clearly is not thanks to the Germans.
I got off the aircraft after thanking the crew and the captain who by now had come out of the flight deck and had placed his hat on his head. It was a short walk to the biometric passport gate which didn't work so I had to use a manual one. I walked through customs, met my father and then went for a pee (after walking to the toilet). We then drove home via the N125 and A22 dual carriageways and motorway, paying the electronic toll electronically via the Via Verde box fitted next to the rear-view mirror on the windscreen of my father's Volvo station wagon car. It went beep every time we passed under a gantry.
Upon arrival at home I said hello to Mother (who was on crutches) and then drank another bottle of red wine whilst watching a football match that had been recorded using Sky+HD but it wasn't in HD
as we don't get the HD
version of ITV1 as Sky owned by News International have cut off that part of the beam.
I realise that this should be in the Trip Report forum but I can't be bothered to post it there and anyway I just wanted to tell you all about the horrific experience I had on British Airways and ask you how many Avios I am due.