The 'dreaded' A bus gates

Old Jan 24, 2023, 2:55 pm
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The 'dreaded' A bus gates

It appears that the A bus gates are not only being used for short haul flights but more frequently for long haul ones. Although this might qualify for the DYKWIA thread why should that mean that groups 1 through 8 or whatever it is, all get crammed in the same bus. Other airports have separate buses for first and business class passengers. Other than processing Group 1 more rapidly at the gate, one still gets crammed into the same bus. LHR should provide a separate bus or alternative transport (car such as some other airlines) for First passengers

I was in this situation yesterday. When I got to the flight I anticipated those of us travelling in First would at least have some offer of assistance with our carry on up the steps - not just the elderly females for which I now unfortunately qualify, but also other First Class Passengers. However no one was on hand to provide any help until finally reaching the door when the outstanding crew took over.

However, for all the BA naysayers, the in flight service was terrific considering the 8 F configuration had been replaced at the last minute with the older version.
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Old Jan 24, 2023, 3:08 pm
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Can't see it happening, although occasionally they do have a separate bus for F (and maybe CW) passengers. There might have been a couple of times where some people have had a black cab or something drive them to a plane, but it's rarer than Unicorn poo full of Hen's teeth as far as I'm aware.

The ground experience with BA is practically the same as if you're a status less passenger flying on the cheapest Y ticket through to a GGL paying 10k for an F ticket.

(I've had one flight in the last year that wasn't a bus gate. Two if you include one where we were loaded onto buses, but after 20 mins taken off as the plane had been hit by lightning on approach, so the aircraft had to be substituted whilst the engineers looked at it, and we ended up 5hrs later leaving from the B-Gates). LHR-JFK A10 and LHR-MAN A4 in the last week.

Last edited by xenole; Jan 24, 2023 at 3:13 pm
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Old Jan 24, 2023, 3:21 pm
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Other than a few minutes less to get comfy / pre departure drink, there isn’t much benefit to boarding first in Group 1 on a long haul.
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Old Jan 24, 2023, 3:25 pm
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Maybe all those in boarding group 4 and higher should give group 3 and lower a piggyback to the aeroplane.
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Old Jan 24, 2023, 4:03 pm
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Originally Posted by dwugson
LHR should provide a separate bus or alternative transport (car such as some other airlines) for First passengers.
Do you mean BA? Heathrow dont operate the buses to the remote stands at T5.

I totally agree a separate First car / minibus and Club bus should be provided for remote departures and remote arrivals. (Although a separate combined First / Club bus is quite common for arrivals.)
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Old Jan 24, 2023, 4:30 pm
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Originally Posted by mikeyfly
Other than a few minutes less to get comfy / pre departure drink, there isnt much benefit to boarding first in Group 1 on a long haul.
Agree and I was on the last bus out....however it was a miserable experience even though i tried to maximize my time in the Concorde lounge.

Originally Posted by Genius1
Do you mean BA? Heathrow dont operate the buses to the remote stands at T5.

I totally agree a separate First car / minibus and Club bus should be provided for remote departures and remote arrivals. (Although a separate combined First / Club bus is quite common for arrivals.)
I stand corrected, yes BA provides the service or should. Much easier with arrivals with First/Club disembarking first and therefore getting crammed into the first bus.

Last edited by NWIFlyer; Jan 25, 2023 at 12:19 am Reason: Merge consecutive posts
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Old Jan 24, 2023, 4:54 pm
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Been doing a lot of flights into Zurich, Casablanca and Chisinău and all of then manage a business bus to the plane for their business passengers paying a 100 or so premium on their flights, even on small planes (my last flight into ZRH had 3 of us in J).

Returning to heathrow after time away is always a negative shock in one form or another.
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Old Jan 25, 2023, 2:13 am
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Originally Posted by dwugson
Agree and I was on the last bus out....however it was a miserable experience even though i tried to maximize my time in the Concorde lounge.


I stand corrected, yes BA provides the service or should. Much easier with arrivals with First/Club disembarking first and therefore getting crammed into the first bus.
Hi. We had a separate bus for First and Club coming off the 116 from JFK this morning. A nice touch and pleased to see some things slowly creeping back..
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Old Jan 25, 2023, 2:27 am
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So fed up with bus gates at Heathrow that I have become, Ive switched to London City for as many of my flights as possible. Distance from home is virtually the same to either. Situation even worse than OP described because being called to the bus first, as Group One, one invariably ends up being the last off the bus, and then standing in a long line out in the rain or freezing cold to climb the metal steps to the aircraft.
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Old Jan 25, 2023, 6:12 am
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Originally Posted by EuropeanPete
Been doing a lot of flights into Zurich, Casablanca and Chisinău and all of then manage a business bus to the plane for their business passengers paying a 100 or so premium on their flights, even on small planes (my last flight into ZRH had 3 of us in J).
Also at Funchal, when bussed to the aircraft, rather than taking the short walk.

If LHR is bad, by my reckoning DOH has at least 38 bus gates, which I've had the pleasure of using on 3 out of my 4 journeys through there. But at least J pax were decanted into dedicated buses and whisked past aircraft littering the remote stands, to transfers.
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Last edited by Robert279; Jan 25, 2023 at 6:36 am
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Old Jan 25, 2023, 6:37 am
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Flew Doha to Kuwait recently in QR F and the 4 passengers in F had a bus with incredibly big and comfy seats all to ourselves.........just a wee bit ostentatious I thought.
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Old Jan 25, 2023, 6:59 am
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Originally Posted by mikeyfly
Other than a few minutes less to get comfy / pre departure drink, there isnt much benefit to boarding first in Group 1 on a long haul.
Overhead space. That is the decider for me.
WIth some of the planes having no bins due to crew rest over Row 1 central seats, what is left fills pretty fast, even in F.
I have 2 conforming carry on's - wheelie and backpack and it can be a struggle sometimes in F to find space.
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Old Jan 25, 2023, 7:04 am
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As an avgreek I don't dread bus gates anymore. At Heathrow i enjoy the opportunity to spot different planes on the way round. It's a bit like a free airport tour. Bus gets a bit cramped at times, yes, but it's really not the end of the world.
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Old Jan 25, 2023, 8:32 am
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It would be better if they could build a new terminal LHR for BA short haul flights, and have people walk across the apron to board as they do with Ryanair at MAN. Save the airbridge gates for long hauls.
They're half way there at present.
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Old Jan 25, 2023, 9:31 am
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Do bear in mind that even Easyjet have a separate bus for Speedy Boarders so the concept is not that alien !

I was there on Sunday ( Dusseldorf) and there was a JFK flight on the busses as well.

Given Sunday had loads of cancellations you would have thought that there would be lots of gates!
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