Big Plane, Heavy Plane! Short-Haul A380s with British Airways
To Heathrow T5 and a Sinking Realisation….
- Big Plane! Heavy Plane! (The Introduction)
- Chiltern Railways to London, Heathrow Connect and the Holiday Inn Ariel
- To Heathrow T5 and a Sinking realisation – THIS SECTION
- 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?
Off to Heathrow. In a slow fashion…
Getting to Heathrow, I decided to a choose the Hoppa from the Ariel to T5. We’ll come onto how much a mistake that was in a moment.
Now there are two options: either buy at a ticket machine, or buy at a bus. And the pricing unsurprisingly varies between con and ripoff.
Method Single Return Ticket Machine: £4 £7 Bus Driver: £4.50 £8
I honestly give up some days – when it comes to rip off Britain, Heathrow seems to be the first place to exposed to it.
Still, the bus turned up on schedule, and begun a long trip. And I mean LONG.
Oh, and the leg room is as tight as hell.
From the Holiday Inn Ariel (what the return bus driver called “The Bermuda Triangle” – Barry Manilow had it right sadly http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWOS9ffvltQ and not safe for listening… ), it was then to the Ibis, the DoubleTree, then the Premier Inn… before heading off to the Jurys Inn, taking the Western and Southern Approaches to Heathrow T4 and finally T5.
BA Maintenance Hangars
T5 in the distance
How long did this privilege take? That’s right kids – 35 MINUTES. This isn’t a shuttle speed – it’s a very bad joke.
With time ticking, I headed into the terminal (as the Hoppa drops you off at arrivals…) and headed up to departures.
And crashed departure screens too – notice the Blue Screen of Death Kernel Panic
I got some paper boarding passes and headed to North Security to be processed quickly (with a half opened bottle water in my bag, but I’ll let that slide Heathrow Security…)
I decided a quick visit to the lounge was needed for breakfast before the adventure.
Heading up to the lounges
Lounge stop – BA Galleries First Lounge
Looking at the food, things have seemed to have improved a bit since the darker days earlier in April and May, with food hot and fresh
Hot Breakfast selection
Cold Breakfast selection
I also kept an eye on the departures board, and at 6:10, headed over to C Gates.
The terminal train took its time, but eventually one turned up to take me forward.
Eventually, I arrived at the C Gates and popped up into the morning sun
I headed to what I thought was the gate… and saw what would be my chariot of the morning….
At the gate I was at, I thought it was a delayed boarding. Lots of people around, lots of excitement…. and no announcements.
And then I started looking a bit more carefully… and to my horror… well.
Notice these image. What’s up with that? Yes, the airbridges are retracting…. and I’m in the terminal.
For the 2nd time in my flying career, I had missed a flight. Yet I heard no final call to the podium. So the 06:50 to Frankfurt went without me.
The words I was uttering to myself at that point are not repeatable.
I headed to the gate next door – where the plane was departing from. I was greeted by name, and the agent set to work to put me on a flight to Frankfurt. She couldn’t, so I started to hunt for redemption space myself.
I therefore did a walk + type as I hunted for space. Thankfully, there was space on the final A380 flight of the day, so it was possible to try to recover this trip… if I could.
And off she goes… sans muggins.
I went to the customer services counter at T5C – and was sent to ticketing at T5B to sort out what could be done, if anything.
As I headed down the bowels of T5 – and sort of cheated and took the tunnel as opposed to the train.
Heading into T5B, I headed up to the lounge – and was directed to the ticketing counter. As I did this, I checked what redemption opportunities were available – and lo and behold – the latter flight (BA910) had space available to redeem in. As such, I was filling in the booking form, and getting close to the final booking command, when the agent called me forward.
The agent listened sympathetically… and i started pawing around for my passport. Yes – the OH CRAP OH CRAP OH CRAP moment when I discovered my passport was missing.
The agent took charge of the situation – 1) get me on a flight to Frankfurt and 2) reunite me with my passport. She found space, and moved me onto BA910 – checking if it was ok or not. After the boarding pass spat out for the outbound segment, she managed to un-cancel my inbound ticket, and issue a boarding pass for BA911.
With the fun part of boarding passes activated and issued, now came the sticky part of where my passport was. A quick call to T5C confirmed that the passport was with customer services. A sigh of relief, and I was sent back to T5C to pick up my passport, where I managed to recover the passport.
With that, I was sent to the transit station (how I missed that last time, I don’t know), and caught the train back to T5A.
I cleared FastTack compliance, and went to empty my bag of liquids. And my passport and boarding passes decided to stay there.
You know, some days the world is trying to tell you to give up on everything? Today is that day.
The two items were delivered to me by security, and I was set on my way through security.
With an advert for planes too.
So, lets review:
- I missed a plane, resulting now in a straight turnaround at FRA
- I lost my passport twice
- BA fished me out of the brown stuff when they didn’t need to, and could had insisted I brought a new ticket.
Three bad things and one good thing. Things can only get better from here.