First actions of being 42 – Coach 210, British Airways Galleries South
“Life, The Universe and Everything”
- In the beginning I begun to write this trip report. This made a lot of people very angry, and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
- First action of being 42 – Coach 210, British Airways Galleries South
- BA710 London to Zürich in Club Europe
- A brief wander into Zürich featuring the Canon 50mm F1.2
- Mostly Harmless – The Zürich Airport Observation Deck
- The Aspire Lounge, Zürich Airport (B/D Dock)
- BA717 Zürich to London in Club Europe
- The Race, The Coach, The Cold
- Six by Nine? Forty Two?
With weather conditions turning my local road to conditions of ice and snow, it wasn’t a pleasant way to wait for Uber to come to the flat to pick me up for the run over to Digbeth.
Thankfully, the driver was careful, even though we got caught in a nasty snow cell for 10 minutes during the drive to the coach station.
I was dropped at Digbeth coach station – the starting point of many an adventure, and thankfully – the coach hadn’t arrived yet.
The coach pulled in at its departure time, leading to one of the biggest whinefests going. It seems that the driver wasn’t accepting trolley bags (bags with wheels) as hand luggage. For some passengers with two suitcases, this spelt bad news as they had to pay an excess fare to board.
For me – armed with a single little rucksack, I headed straight aboard the coach.
National Express Coach 210 Birmingham Airport to Heathrow Terminal 5
Price paid: Expensive (£40 return).
I boarded the coach, and found a seat – thankfully, at this time of morning – there’s plenty to choose from, and settled in.
With the majority of passengers heading onto Gatwick, I was hoping to get a bit of snooze between Warwick and London, before the madness of the day really kicked into high gear.
Although I’m quite mad for attempting this.
With a bit of snow on the road, the coach left Digbeth gingerly. Once on the main roads, the driver ploughed on, heading first to Birmingham Airport, Coventry, Warwick Parkway and finally the Heathrow complex.
Unfortunately, there were some who were intent on chatting the entire journey. Thankfully, they gave up around Warwick, with silence enveloping the coach.
I was hoping to charge the phone up during this bit of the journey, sadly – the mains power socket wasn’t working on the coach.
The on-board Vuer WiFi service was functioning – but I wasn’t in the mood to watch any content. I have plenty of content on the iPhone that’s good for falling asleep to (I can highly recommend the NHK World Japanology Series… I think I’ve learnt more about Sake when sleeping than awake recently).
With me lightly dozing once we hit the motorway, I only stirred once the coach pulled off the M4, and onto the Heathrow Approach.
I must had been tired – even though it took me at least 30 minutes to find a good snoozing position.
The coach entered the Heathrow tunnel, and out throw to Heathrow Central Bus station.
With the coach discharging a few passengers, it departed onwards to Terminal 4 and finally to my drop-off point – terminal 5.
Heathrow Terminal 5
I bundled out of the coach into a crisp early morning. With it being 4am and me being nowhere near awake – there’s only one thing for it – an early morning Costa Coffee.
Coffee in hand, I woke up slowly. And headed up to the departures level.
This being before 4:30 in the morning, the lights are dim in the airport terminal.
At 4:30 on the nose, the lighting brightened up considerably, waking those who have been sleeping in T5, and making me wake up in the process.
I positioned myself near South Security – so when it opened, I would have a clear path through to air-side.
I wasn’t the first person through – but I slipped into FastTrack Security when prompted. Unnecessary this time of morning – but I paid for it – might as well use it.
And air-side. It’s oh so quiet. Shhh… Shhh.
There are some improvements for the passenger as soon as you are air-side such as the ability to refill a water bottle…
If only if it worked.
Security was done and dusted in 5 minutes flat, giving me time to walk through a rare sight at Heathrow Airport – Closed shops.
Yes. There are times when the shops are closed at Heathrow Airport. This may shock some of you, but this does happen now again.
I got bored walking past closed shops, so I decided to ride the elevators and escalators to kill time until the lounge opened.
Heck, might as well start as I mean to go on today. Grow old disgracefully.
Eventually, Galleries South opened, and I headed upstairs to the BA Galleries South Lounge – home of the most judgey lamp at Heathrow Airport- HorseLamp.
I was waived into the lounge, and I headed in.
British Airways Galleries South
With very few people in this time of the morning, I had my pick of the seating. I headed to one of the high-back chairs where there would be comfort and more importantly – a power outlet.
Thankfully, the power outlet was working. Which is nice to see (compared to a trip ago). Food was a little slow to come out, but cold items were out straight away. Bacon rolls and Cheese Omelette rolls followed shortly after opening.
Let’s face it – it’s one of the BA lounges are good for. With not a lot to do, I did something I haven’t done in a BA Galleries lounge before…
… and ordered Champagne.
In the past, I enjoyed the free-flow drinks selection in Galleries First. But since I’m a mere BA Silver, I am bubbly restricted. With not many people around, a glass of fizzy stuff arrived.
And yes, it was quite palatable.
With time to check I had everything I needed for the day (power cables, charged batteries for the camera, an iPhone charging back up… life’s essentials), I noted the clock had ticked towards gate open.
With a short-haul departure, there is a game to play – will the plane depart from a proper gate, or would I be sent to the hell that is A10?
Someone was smiling at me – I would be heading to A7.
Alas, this means I need to hike from one end of the terminal to the other. Well, I might as well work on getting my step-count in for the day.
By the time I had a comfort break and reached the gate, and had cleaned up, people were queuing in the priority lane. I joined them as I suspected boarding was but a couple of minutes away.
And lo and behold – I was right.
With a blip, my boarding pass was scanned, and I headed downstairs to the waiting Airbus A319 that would take me to Zürich
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