Old Aug 17, 14, 9:49 am
Moderator, Iberia Airlines, Airport Lounges, and Ambassador, British Airways Executive Club
Join Date: Feb 2010
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A business traveller's week on BA and oneworld


This isn't a trip report, well not of the normal variety. No LPGS perished in this saga, no knee shots, no hotel bathrooms and definitely no synchronised spoons. What's the purpose? Well an insight I guess into one of BA's frequent business travellers, and maybe some readers will find some of the timings useful in terms of their own plans - such as how long it takes to get from one form of transport to another. I can see many BAEC members mainly fly for leisure purposes, this is to show how the other half live. Well, I guess we're all different and don't segregate neatly into categories. Also I've got some connections and jumping around to do, so hopefully you will find some of this interesting. And I hope this shows something different than trip reports, which seem to focus on the hedonistic side of travel - and there's no harm in that, this is just something different.

Let's see how we go. We start with this one:

this lounge:

and this aircraft:

BA1333 - Newcastle to Heathrow T5 17 Aug 2014.
Airbus A320 G-EUYJ
2 Captains, 5 cabin crew, senior cabin crew level: purser.

Scheduled departure 15:50
Actual departure 15:53 – pushback
Scheduled arrival: 17:05
Actual arrival 17:05 – doors open
Time needed to clear security at NCL Fast Track: 37 seconds.

I am not sure I really have a typical week, but this one is as good as any. It is certainly a typical number of flights and flying time, though there is a new service for me later in the week…. I logically should have started this trip in Edinburgh, for reasons that will become apparent, but unfortunately my car is on a prebooked servicing in Newcastle. Naturally this is a hand luggage only week.

Now I live 36 miles from the airport, and it takes be 40-45 minutes to drive there on empty roads. So I’m in the position of not leaving the house until the outbound service has left Heathrow. Today there was a delay there, it left Heathrow at 13:53, 13 minutes late, was presumably stuck on the apron for a bit, and therefore arrive in to Newcastle at 15:12, which is 22 minutes late.

I therefore left home at 14:14 for my 15:50 flight, I got parked and handed over the keys for servicing, and into the airport terminal for 15:10. No delays in security, which took just 37 seconds to clear, so I was in the BA lounge in NCL at 15:16. One coffee and a slice of walnut and toffee cake. Boarding started at 15:35, I prefer to board last, so I boarded just before they closed the doors at 15:47. Thanks to slick operations at Newcastle the excellent ground staff managed to get what was effectively an on time departure, despite the late arrival, and we were airborne at 16:02.

The aircraft was only about two thirds full, I was in 1D and the middle seat 1E was empty, as they were for many other rows. 1E wasn’t available for me to select at OLCI. Friendly and bubbly staff, no special welcome but two rounds of tea, and some others got a double drinks round too – G&T seems the favourite today. I declined the biscuit/crisp/spicy mix basket. The crew had suffered the 7:30 am fire alarm at their hotel, which gave them something to talk about. At my student hall of residence some wags used to try this, to see who emerged from which room....

We had a manual safety demonstration since the video system wasn’t working, which also meant no Moving Map unfortunately. Once round in the hold over Aylesbury, then the usual approach via the City and along the Thames to Heathrow. It was a bit choppy in this approach today, thanks to the lumpy clouds, and the captain gave us advance warning of this.

We touched down at 16:57, get to Gate A6 at 17:03, doors open at 17:05. So I was in Marks and Spencers in Arrival for 17:10, and on the tube platform at 17:17. I got water, milk and a salad for tea. The Piccadilly tube left LHR at 17:26 and I am now en route for South Quay, Isle of Dogs…..

Tube to South Quay
Leave LHR T5 Tube station: 17:26
Arrive South Quay DLR station: 18:48
Piccadilly line to South Ken / Circle Line to Monument / DLR from Bank to South Quay.
Oyster Fare: 3

This is one of the more difficult trips to do from LHR, and though Heathrow Express may be a little quicker, there's so little in it that I went tube the whole way. Those who live in London will probably pick up on the fact that I changed at South Kensington rather than Barons Court, but I saw a lot of people waiting at Hammersmith - so I thought I would do the more awkward interchange at South Ken in the successful attempt to get a Circle line service. Tube's busy but I got a seat most of the way.

Nightstop: Hilton London Canary Wharf

Booked: Double Hilton Guestroom (standard room in other words)
Received:Junior Suite, plus 2 x 330ml still water bottles (Diamond benefit).
Arrived at hotel at 18:53, in room by 18:58.

I have stayed here a few times before but normally this is one of the more expensive Hiltons in London, so I don't get to come here very often. However on an August Sunday they had some very good rates and it gives me an extra 30 minutes in bed (clue for Monday's travel!). I got a hefty room upgrade, which while not entirely unusual is still not something I always get. I'd normally stay in the Metropole, more out of habit than anything. Now at this stage of pre-season training I should be heading to the gym, then something to eat, Flyertalk, music, book and bed. However it appears my shorts are still in the washing machine, they're not in my bag at any rate, so part one is on hold tonight at least. As a Diamond I get free wifi, Executive lounge and breakfast.

I've added a few extra comments at the start as to my intentions with this post. With that, here ends today's installment.

Last edited by corporate-wage-slave; Aug 18, 14 at 3:05 pm
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