Before I even start on the BA flights, I have just realised that I Must Have A Word with my booking system. I am quite sure that all it showed was Glasgow connections through LHR or LCY – and the latter sported a 35 min layover that I just didn’t have the nerves for.
But FlightStats just showed me that 5 min after my departure from CPH, there actually was a direct BMI flight there. Hrmpf.
Anyway, British Airways it was then – there and back and going through LHR both ways.
For a start, I had some issues with the Internet check-in at ba.com. Two browsers, three attempts – and no matter how much I clicked on a blue, empty seat, nothing happened – my selection did not move. But the iPhone app that I tried next was both slick and efficient and directly gave me and managed boarding cards – good one!
To mess up continuity a bit, here I’d like to say that transferring in LHR was a breeze. No queue at Immigrations, short security queue, through in just about no time. Which actually has me sitting enjoying wagamama Ginger Chicken Udon noodles and a Kirin Ichiban while I write the first part of this . At least I’m sure that menu beats the one on a BMI Embraer RJ135 (at least, that’s a typical aircraft for that trip)…
[Allow me a quick flashback please. This is where it all started. I do believe my first business trip, at least outside Denmark & Sweden, went to Glasgow via London Heathrow. Back in the days when you had to grab your luggage and physically take it through customs. Early nineties – not USA of today 😉 But there I was with a two hour layover – and spent one hour and forty minutes waiting for said luggage. While looking at a huge poster on the wall proudly naming the place I was in “London Heathrow. The world’s most successful airport.” I’ve had a strained relationship with LHR ever since…]
As to the first leg flight: rather few passengers on the Airbus 321 from Copenhagen – anyone needing sleep could easily find a three-row seat at the back as I saw a few do. I’d picked the exit row aisle seat 21D – no extra fees for that on BA. I’d say that 21 was the only full row – the guy next to me, it later turned out, was a seasoned traveller as well.
Short trip, 1 hour 25 minutes or so. We pushed back early and got in even earlier – and still, the cabin crew had snacks and a full drinks service, also down in the back end. Something for SAS and Continental to contemplate… And they managed the trolley with duty free sales also and throughout the whole process remained kind, gentle and warm. To top it all of, we were there not only in time, but a nice 23 minutes early.
I was thinking as I walked up the air bridge in LHR that the tone of the BA crew was not only polite – there’s polite and warm-polite and this was certainly the latter – but also the whole experience was that they did care and did enjoy what they did. Not least thanks to Laurie who sat facing us in her jump seat at take-offs and landings – we had a nice chat about impatient passengers who cannot even wait until the plane has stopped before they jump up and start opening overhead bins. As she said “And at Heathrow, they’re not always the quickest with the air bridges, so it’ll do them no good, even…”
I mean, what word in “stay seated with your seatbelt on until the sign is switched off and also please keep your mobile phones on until then” is hard to understand? Not a word above two syllables for Bob’s sake…
The only discipline where I can pin a “fail” on BA is the monitors showing gates. On arrival, and after the wagamama noodles, the message for the GLA flight was “gate opening 15:45.” It might have – but well past that hour, it was still a well kept secret exactly where the gate had opened. Shortly before 16:00, they did finally change that message for a short lived “info upcoming” sort of message, and then, finally the gate.
LHR-GLA was more or less modelled over the first leg flight – even the plane type was almost the same: A320 rather then 321 … Same drink and snack service, kind crew, basically ok and eventless, which certainly is not half bad! And 9 minutes early at gate 🙂
And Hertz issued me with a brand new VW Golf with 12 miles on the clock for my drive to Ayr. Which was fab but falls outside of the scope of this being a flight review. Just one thing, though: the glove compartment held a wee bag with a iPod/iPhone to VW car stereo system cable. Does anyone know where that plugs into the car? Drove me mad having the cable, yet not succeeding to connect my music!