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-   -   Flying after lockdown: LHR-AMS on the BA B787-8 in Euro Traveller! (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trip-reports/2021490-flying-after-lockdown-lhr-ams-ba-b787-8-euro-traveller.html)

Schwann Jul 13, 20 6:07 am

Flying after lockdown: LHR-AMS on the BA B787-8 in Euro Traveller!
 
Hello all,

Last week I had a night away in Amsterdam, primarily to take advantage of the opportunity to fly on a B787 on a shorthaul route. I have flown on the B787 countless times before, but there is always something special about hopping on a widebody for a short flight.

I'm primarily into video trip reports, which you can find below.. however below that is a small trip report written using stills from the videos. Both should give a brief overview of how it is to fly "after lockdown".

The video is best viewed on YouTube rather than in the embedded version, so then it goes widescreen.



I decided to take an Addison Lee taxi from my hotel to Terminal 5, as I get some discount from my Amex card.
https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...07b70f36b0.jpg


I was genuinely surprised by how many cars were about..

https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...b9c9fed5ac.jpg

There were plenty of hand sanitiser stations throughout the terminal:
https://cimg3.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...4ab876d94f.jpg

The terminal was also busy, but perhaps not surprising given that travel restrictions were easing as I travelled. Lots of people taking the chance to get away again after a while on the ground!





https://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...cb981b3335.jpg
I have access to the First Wing (with direct access to the Galleries First Lounge), but the queue to get inside was fairly long. Even though the Fast Track below was closed, security was quick. Everyone has to take their shoes off, which was the only concernable difference. https://cimg5.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...ba36feb98e.jpg

Most of the shops were starting to reopen, not that I wanted to go into any of them:


https://cimg8.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...3ffefd01b9.jpg


https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...2db8772a35.jpg

Good to see T5 looking busier again, but of course this also includes AA and BA shorthaul LGW departures which have all moved over.
https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...a78d8f3cd6.jpg

So, onto the lounges. The North Lounge is still closed, but the South Lounges below were beginning to open... at the time of flying, the Galleries Club lounge is open in the morning and then everyone goes into the Galleries First in the afternoon. The Concorde Room Lounge is still closed, it will perhaps reopen after a few weeks. For now, there is a "Concorde Terrace" for those in First Class, located within Galleries First.
https://cimg8.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...4d6abcf99d.jpg

The lounge was reasonably busy, but nowhere near full. It seems there had been some light refurbishment of the lounge with new carpets etc, although I think this was started pre-lockdown. Everyone going into the lounge had to scan their own boarding pass, and there were plexiglass shields on the lounge entrance desks. I believe there will be railway ticket barrier style gates installed in coming weeks.
https://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...4e4db8b135.jpg

As you enter you are also handed little cards.. although I cannot really remember what it said inside in relation to what purpose they serve!
https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...4369a346d6.jpg
https://cimg3.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...54ba0fc5ac.jpg



So the refectory food area has been closed off, and food is served from a hatch by the servers. As you can see on the blue sign, everything is done via table service now.
https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...61f4192600.jpg

You can scan the QR, and it brings up the menu. A password is required to be able to order though. You can order a cooked breakfast with items of your choice and there are some cold/bakery options too. At the moment the menu with eggs benedict etc is not available.
'https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...2cd3db224c.jpg

After several quick minutes, my breakfast was served to me.. just something lighter today.
https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...9b4b609443.jpg

Everything is table service with the exception of self serve water, which was located in another area..
https://cimg5.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...549dc30ae6.jpg


Overall, I think BA have done an excellent job with the lounges within scope of regulations and COVID. The staff were absolutely outstanding, proactively asking if you wanted anything and tidying up. The menu/offering is slightly reduced, but maybe this will increase over the coming months when travelling numbers increase?

Anyway, time to head to the gate:
https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...f6a1ee8c05.jpg


We're off to the B pier today, so decided to jump on the transit train. It is also possible to walk.
https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...a0c3870f67.jpg

The train was busy, so like some others, I held back and let the mob go first in order to keep some distance.
https://cimg8.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...68beac8c2d.jpg


Very weird to see AA at T5, who have just moved into T5 for a medium term period as T3 is closed.
https://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...83f44f2a7e.jpg



The gate are was pretty busy. The new procedure for boarding with BA is from back to front, so there is no priority boarding and basically business class boards last. On arrival, business class alights first and vice versa.
https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...4946250515.jpg

I joined the queue when my seat in row 26 was called, not much distancing though! At least everyone was wearing masks.
https://cimg5.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...bff1fdf863.jpg

I'm sure I have been down this gate many times, feels like a long long walk.
https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...e931a95207.jpg

Glad to be on a plane again:
https://cimg3.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...5e13e14ca4.jpg


The logic behind back to front boarding is clear, as it avoids walking past lots of people. It isn't perfect but distancing and flying is very hard. Walking through the last generation Club World:
https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...446b365808.jpg

and World Traveller Plus, which was available for seat selection by economy passengers.
https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...7a1ca51a85.jpg
https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...ff0c81c1d1.jpg

My seat, 26K, in the forward Y cabin:
https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...dae83434f5.jpg

I do like the profile of the B787 wing:
https://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...3c7e3f2616.jpg

Small care bags are handed out which include a small towel and sanitiser gel:
https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...1cfa431d52.jpg
https://cimg8.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...0267184052.jpg


After a thorough and rather over enthusiastic introduction from the Captain, we are off! We also skipped the awful safety video and the crew did a manual demonstration
https://cimg5.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...11c5eab402.jpg

Terminal 4 is closed, the only aircraft around it was a BA B777-300ER.
https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...18d6723685.jpg

Always good to catch an A300:
https://cimg3.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...0c95e5c682.jpg

https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...624730f418.jpg
Goodbye LHR!
https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...30fb994fc4.jpg
https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...dc6721603b.jpg


The IFE is switched off, which is typical when BA use the 787 (or any longhaul aircraft) on shorthaul flights.
https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...9ffd8975e8.jpg

There is a brief service: everyone gets water and snacks.
https://cimg8.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...101e2a7311.jpg

Better than what we got before?
https://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...48b1e5fa6e.jpg

This is really only a 40 minute flight, so before long we were descending:
https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...1ceb3618c4.jpg

The gloomy Dutch landscape soon came into view:
https://cimg5.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...59e3fcc5c3.jpg
https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...d4afb38a10.jpg
https://cimg3.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...b4f81a9ce8.jpg

We landed on the Polderban, located about 20 minutes on road from the AMS terminals. :D
https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...ad1d993af4.jpg

Passing a Turkish B787-9
https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...06d06eac3a.jpg

And then passing a United B787-10
https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...d1f90b8e2c.jpg

Parked up on the D pier.
https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...a76179e66a.jpg

As we parked up, the CSM requested everyone to stay sat down until their row was called to leave. An FA was standing guard to stop people going too soon!
https://cimg8.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...23d20d6fdb.jpg
https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...d0c4ed1cf4.jpg

The idea is good in theory but it requires policing and also people to do it properly. I think they were announcing the rows too quickly, causing it to be pretty much deboarding as normal.

https://cimg5.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...7f9d3adbfd.jpg
As we got off, Dutch Public Health staff were there to ask people questions..
https://cimg3.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...32b8abc43b.jpg
Our aircraft:
https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...3c61047a6a.jpg
Wonder how the Qantas container bin got there?!
https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...5aa419c327.jpg

So, as you can see.. some subtle changes to how things are done. The biggest change of all is of course the masks are compulsory, but this is something I've got used to wearing in wider life anyway.

I thought BA did a very good job of the lounges and it is good to see them taking other precautions such as during the boarding process. As I said above and in the video, a lot of the responsibility lays with fellow passengers... so going forwards it is all something we have to get used to!



Thanks for reading!

enviroian Jul 13, 20 9:20 am

Great report thank you!

Spymon Jul 13, 20 12:15 pm

Thanks for posting. Looking forward to my next trip back up in the air whenever that may be!

fatmac70 Jul 13, 20 2:43 pm

Interesting report - thank you!

halfcape Jul 13, 20 5:40 pm

Thanks for sharing.

Schwann Jul 15, 20 6:43 am


Originally Posted by enviroian (Post 32528173)
Great report thank you!

Cheers!


Originally Posted by Spymon (Post 32528596)
Thanks for posting. Looking forward to my next trip back up in the air whenever that may be!

Indeed.. hope you manage to get up soon!


Originally Posted by fatmac70 (Post 32528971)
Interesting report - thank you!

Thanks!

Originally Posted by halfcape (Post 32529463)
Thanks for sharing.

My pleasure, thanks for commenting!

adampenrith Jul 16, 20 9:33 am

Thanks for the TR - i was fascinated with the departure board as here in Australia no one is allowed to depart the country without a permit, and they are very hard to get. Its really only for urgent business or compassionate grounds, or non Australians returning to their home country

Hopefully that will change soon but the word is mid 2021 before flights start again without restrictions.

gaobest Jul 20, 20 12:34 pm

Great TR - nice work in the lounge. Table service sounds fabulous.

Schwann Jul 26, 20 3:52 am


Originally Posted by adampenrith (Post 32535804)
Thanks for the TR - i was fascinated with the departure board as here in Australia no one is allowed to depart the country without a permit, and they are very hard to get. Its really only for urgent business or compassionate grounds, or non Australians returning to their home country

Hopefully that will change soon but the word is mid 2021 before flights start again without restrictions.

Yes, difficult times. Hope things can better, but it doesn't seem that way anytime soon.


Originally Posted by gaobest (Post 32545622)
Great TR - nice work in the lounge. Table service sounds fabulous.

It is arguably much an improvement!


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