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Off to ICN next month with BA - a few questions

Off to ICN next month with BA - a few questions

Old Feb 24, 15, 3:20 am
  #1  
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Question Off to ICN next month with BA - a few questions

So, to quote Maverick, "it's time to turn and burn"....

Like I suspect a lot of others here, I'm suddenly looking at liquidating my avios and 2-for-1's into flights, whilst I still can, and have booked an "early birthday treat" of an F flight to ICN next month. I'll also likely be committing "FT thought crime" by using my final 241 on a short-haul redemption to a destination of my partners choice.

Ignoring all of the philosophical questions the above might raise, I'll stick to the practical ones:

Currently holding the Sheraton LHR (not the Skyline, sadly) as a hotel for the night before the flight, I'd have liked the Sofitel, but the GBP 180 rates are outside my budget for a stopover hotel - I've stayed in virtually every hotel on the Bath road over the years, but most of that was pre-T5 - any suggestions for a transit hotel that will offer a reasonably easy Hotel->T5 transfer experience in the morning? Also, I've seen the horror stories about the Hilton T5 (it being "just outside" the Taxi fare zone, and thus generating ridiculous fares) - am I right in assuming that a taxi from the Sheraton to T5 will be a meter fare, just like it used to be to T1-4?

With a flight that is scheduled for 13:00, getting lunch in the CCR seems challenging - anyone know how strict they are with menu changeover at midday (this wasn't a problem with our previous flight to ICN a few years ago as it was 2 hours delayed) - will a polite request allow us to dine off the day menu at 11:30ish? (My preference for jet-lag avoidance would be to lunch in the lounge and then schedule dinner on the flight later to help with body clocks).

Are BA still using the Asiana F lounge at ICN?

We're connecting from/to MAN (ah, free domestic connectors, soon to be a fond memory) so on the return we'll be doing an on-line connection at T5. I've done both the "Exit arrivals and go straight back in via Fast Track" and "Flight Connections Disas^H^H^HCentre" and neither has worked well in the past, what is the current best option for INTL->DOM at T5?

I have fond memories of shopping for duty free spirits at far flung airports, but, alas, all of this was before the "war on H2O" started. GOV.UK implies that international duty free is now allowed through security, but LHR website is rather uncommunicative on the issue - has anyone got recent experience of taking a sealed bag (of, say, a nice XO cognac) bought from a non-EU airport through T5 security? Will this likely only work if I'm willing to fight my way through the FCC?

Anything else I should be on guard for, flying a route that is about to be downguaged, only a few days before they remove the F-cabin altogether?

Flight details will shortly be on BA97, as always, we're happy to try and help with lounge access if the schedule works!

Ken.

Willard the Bear - Don't forget it's my Birthday too! I'll be 10 years old! In bear years that makes me virtually a pensioner!
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Old Feb 24, 15, 3:28 am
  #2  
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Originally Posted by KenF View Post
We're connecting from/to MAN (ah, free domestic connectors, soon to be a fond memory) so on the return we'll be doing an on-line connection at T5. I've done both the "Exit arrivals and go straight back in via Fast Track" and "Flight Connections Disas^H^H^HCentre" and neither has worked well in the past, what is the current best option for INTL->DOM at T5?
Domestic connections when conencting on to a longhaul reward flight are unchanged. It is only domestic connections to shorthaul which will be charged for beyond the 28 April. Domestic connections added to lonhaul reward flights were never free btw, they didn't cost any more avios to add on but there was a cash amount to pay due to carrier surcharge (around 30-50 per domestic flight added).

Have a look at the queues for domestic conenctions when you get to the FCC in T5A on your return. If the passport queue looks poor and there are poeple queuing at the bottom of the escalators then you will probably be better off exiting landside via the epassport gates and coming back in airside via south security.
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Old Feb 24, 15, 3:49 am
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Enjoy ICN - I've always enjoyed that route in F. I love the smaller F cabin, especially 4F and 2K, plus the escort through security at ICN whe travelling F.

Yes, it's still the Asiana lounge with the special toilets

Re the CCR, I've been able to eat from the lunch menu at 11.30 before - in the days when I had a CCR card and new some of the staff there - a polite request should achieve what you're looking for Enjoy..
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Old Feb 24, 15, 4:28 am
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This legendary thread should tell you everything you need to know about ICN..

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/briti...excursion.html
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Old Feb 24, 15, 4:28 am
  #5  
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Originally Posted by KARFA View Post
Domestic connections when conencting on to a longhaul reward flight are unchanged. It is only domestic connections to shorthaul which will be charged for beyond the 28 April. Domestic connections added to lonhaul reward flights were never free btw, they didn't cost any more avios to add on but there was a cash amount to pay due to carrier surcharge (around 30-50 per domestic flight added).
<GRIN>
I knew as I was typing that comment that someone would point out the factual incongruity!
</GRIN>

The fact remains though that as a non-London based traveller, with a native airline that has taken a commercial decision to remove all international flights from the regions, the nett effect is to make shorthaul redemptions nearly twice as expensive for us poor souls "oop-North".

And given that the rest of the earn/burn changes seem to say "We'd rather like you to earn miles on expensive J/F tickets, but spend them on ET/WT (or CE, at a pinch) redemptions" removing the domestic connectors is just another subtle hint that if you don't live near LHR/LGW, they'd really rather not believe you exist!

...."London Airways" at it's best....

I've a strong suspicion that AA may well be seeing a lot of new EXPs based in the UK in the next year or so....

Originally Posted by BApilotinsider
This legendary thread should tell you everything you need to know about ICN..
...but do I have to do the dance???

Ken.

Willard the Bear - I liked SWISS, they used to give me a fluffy Jumbo Jet every time I flew....

Last edited by KenF; Feb 24, 15 at 4:31 am Reason: Add a relpy, why do 2 posts when one will do?
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Old Feb 24, 15, 4:31 am
  #6  
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Originally Posted by KenF View Post
<GRIN>
I knew as I was typing that comment that someone would point out the factual incongruity!
</GRIN>
Haha, sorry

Don't worry, as a fellow northern based traveller I am as disappointed as you on that particular change.
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Old Feb 24, 15, 5:43 am
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Re the duty-free - I can't help with your question re security, but I was at ICN about 3 weeks ago and the prices weren't great - at least not for spirits and wine, though I didn't look at the Cognac.
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Old Feb 25, 15, 6:12 am
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Originally Posted by hendricks View Post
Re the duty-free - I can't help with your question re security, but I was at ICN about 3 weeks ago and the prices weren't great - at least not for spirits and wine, though I didn't look at the Cognac.
Since all of this "liquids bag" stupidity started I'd also stopped looking at duty free except on the (very few) occasions where I was flying direct to MAN, but, alas the mountain of odd-shaped cognac bottles has finally diminished to the point where I'd like to get some more, and the prices in UK shops are frankly terrifying! I still remember picking up bottles of Camus and Otard XO for around the 30 quid mark, but that was then!

If I'm going to spend north of 60 quid on a bottle of spirits, getting it "confiscated" at LHR on the inbound would be adding insult to injury - hence my keen interest in anyone who has had positive (or negative) experiences with T5 security bringing in sealed duty-free bags.

Has anyone here been on this route recently (LHR-ICN-LHR) ? Given that it is shortly going 3 class, I'm interested if there is any change (read: degradation) of the F service as they "wind down".

Ken.

Willard the Bear - As long as they don't want to open sealed Bears! <shudder>
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Old Feb 25, 15, 11:29 am
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Originally Posted by KenF View Post
Since all of this "liquids bag" stupidity started I'd also stopped looking at duty free except on the (very few) occasions where I was flying direct to MAN, but, alas the mountain of odd-shaped cognac bottles has finally diminished to the point where I'd like to get some more, and the prices in UK shops are frankly terrifying! I still remember picking up bottles of Camus and Otard XO for around the 30 quid mark, but that was then!

If I'm going to spend north of 60 quid on a bottle of spirits, getting it "confiscated" at LHR on the inbound would be adding insult to injury - hence my keen interest in anyone who has had positive (or negative) experiences with T5 security bringing in sealed duty-free bags.

Has anyone here been on this route recently (LHR-ICN-LHR) ? Given that it is shortly going 3 class, I'm interested if there is any change (read: degradation) of the F service as they "wind down".

Ken.

Willard the Bear - As long as they don't want to open sealed Bears! <shudder>
We did NRT-LHR-MAN in F last june, bought some nice whiskey but they dont provide sealed bags, so we went landside at LHR and checked in 1 of our handcarry bag with the duty free booze inside
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Old Mar 7, 15, 7:59 am
  #10  
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Originally Posted by KenF View Post
Has anyone here been on this route recently (LHR-ICN-LHR) ? Given that it is shortly going 3 class, I'm interested if there is any change (read: degradation) of the F service as they "wind down".
Sad that no more F on this route Was just looking to book - did BA say why? I noticed the Boeing 787 is going to be doing the route.
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Old Mar 7, 15, 8:43 am
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We bought a couple of duty free bottles back from GIG in January.
LHR security was a bit bothered that one of the bags wasn't properly sealed - it was a big carrier bag that the checkout girl had taped together but missed a few inches.
We were let through with a lot of tutting that other places couldn't manage to seal bags properly.
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Old Mar 7, 15, 10:50 am
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I stay at the LHR Sheraton a lot. I tend to travel relatively light, and unless running very late I just amble over to one of the two bus stop for the free bus to T5. You can check which bus is first online.

The stop opposite: http://tfl.gov.uk/bus/stop/490014282...brook-by-pass/
The stop on Bath Road, down the side of the Premier Inn: http://tfl.gov.uk/bus/stop/490008019...-thistle-hotel

If you do want to take a taxi, it'll be with the meter. The Met Police area, and therefore where the taxis use meters, is bounded on the West by the M25. Since Bath Road to T5 is inside that, you're fine. http://content.met.police.uk/Page/YourBorough has a helpful map.

Last edited by typical; Mar 7, 15 at 11:01 am
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