Big Plane, Heavy Plane! Short-Haul A380s with British Airways
- Big Plane! Heavy Plane! (The Introduction) – THIS SECTION
- Chiltern Railways to London, Heathrow Connect and the Holiday Inn Ariel
- To Heathrow T5 and a Sinking realisation
- Killing time in the F Lounge – an Airplane Art Special!
- A Look at the lower deck of the BA A380
- BA910 London Heathrow T5 to Frankfurt T2
- A Frankfurt Stopover
- BA911 Frankfurt Airport T2 to London Heathrow T5
- The work of a photographer
- A bright future?
Yes gentle reader. I know you don’t want to read about trains and Norwich. I’ve therefore decided to give you all a bit of a treat (and myself to…) and try out a big plane before it goes into long haul service. Of course, I’m referring to the Airbus A380 and in particular British Airways version of the A380. Told you it would be something different!
Big Plane, Heavy Plane!
With much fanfare (and probably more than 787), British Airways received the first of its Airbus A380 superjumbos earlier this year. Since its arrival, the plane has been busy as crews learn their way around the this near aeroplane, serious miles being accrued by the crews as they prepare to take this plane into its planned long-haul duties of Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Johannesburg.
However, crews need to adapt and learn about the plane – and this is where the training at Manston field was needed. Of course, then you have to put that training into practice.
British Airways (without much fanfare) decided to operate the plane between London Heathrow T5 and Frankfurt Am Main International – which if you think about it, is rather a good thing as there is A380 support at both ends (both at LHR and FRA).
Now, part of the reason why BA didn’t do the big song and dance can be put simply into “what if the plane went inoperable?” The last thing you want to do is strand a lot people in the wrong place of Europe. As a result, BA sold only the normal amount of seats it’s expecting to sell on a Boeing 767 or an Airbus A319, which it normally expects on the route.
The idea being, that it doesn’t guarantee the type, and you are playing with pot-luck to see if you get a seat.
As a Vegas winner (all of $25, but still a winner – I knew when to walk away ;)), I like a bit of pot luck … and besides – worse comes to worse, it’s a day out.
Which is never a bad thing.
For booking this ticket, I decided to raid the Avios war chest I’ve built up since my BMI days, and blow the grand total 18,000 Avios, and £50 in fees to fly Club Europe both ways with a Reward Flight Saver ticket.
Not a bad redemption at all – whilst the fees could be lower (blame both the UK and German Government for slapping fees on to break the bank), it’s not exactly “breaking the bank” (and still a bucket load of cash saved compared to the economy fares… let alone Club Europe Fares!!!).
The ticket was booked straight into Club Europe (with the hope that both segments would be operated by an A380, and I’d be upgraded to Club World).
In addition, this would be my first ever redemption flight with BA. All done on-line without a problem.
As I’m due in London doing some of my “Normal” (well can be described as normal for me) photography work, I’ll also be overnighting in London – which means its back to my usual haunt of the Holiday Inn Ariel, which positions me nicely the shoot in the afternoon.
Originally, I was going to take the coach to London, and then catch the plane – but it seems National Express are in the mood to make heavy profits, charging the full whack of £38 for a single to Heathrow. Considering that the Ariel is £42.50 a night on a 2 for 1 rate, I’m going to stay in a hotel and be comfy before travelling, rather than being bleary eyed all day.
So the German finance capital for a day, the home of the European Bank… and maybe a currywurst or two.
Well, it is Frankfurt after all.
So here’s a map (simple as it is…)
Image – Great Circle Mapper – www.gcmap.com
Of course, all never flows simply in the land of GhettoIFE. Sit back, grab some popcorn, and prepare to laugh multiple times at my expense…
Next: The Holiday Inn Ariel