BA441 Amsterdam Schiphol to London Heathrow (EuroTraveller) – Train vs Plane!
In this … comparison. Yes. Let’s call it a comparison.
- Train vs Plane? What the blazes is this?
- Off to St Pancras on the Early Train (Virgin Trains Birmingham to London Euston), St Pancras Departures Lounge
- Eurostar train 9114 London St Pancras to Amsterdam Centraal
- A walk around Amsterdam
- Setting the timer off: Off to Amsterdam Schiphol
- A light bit of spotting at Amsterdam Schiphol
- British Airways Terraces Amsterdam Schiphol
- BA441 Amsterdam Schiphol to London Heathrow
- Into London, stopping the stopwatch and Chilterns home
- Who wins?
BA441 Amsterdam Scihiphol to London Heathrow Terminal 5
British Airways Airbus A319, Seat 10F, Eurotraveller (Exit Row)
231 Miles flown, 0 Avios Earned, 0 Tier Points Earned.
I headed down the jetway to the waiting plane.
I was welcomed aboard, and headed to the exit row – well, if I was going to do a short hop across the channel, I might as well do it in some comfort.
The seat is the classic B/E Pinnacle seat that we all know and… well, I was going to say love but that would be a downright lie. In the exit row, at least it’s pitched to a good 34”, whilst preserving the 18” seat width.
B/E (Rockwell Collins) Pinnacle Seat in the exit row.
With me settled in, and my bags in the overhead bins, the rest of the plane boarded. It looked like we’d be heading out with a fair load that evening – thankfully – the middle seat remained free.
With the plane loaded up and set to go, the crew checked I was willing and able to assist in an emergency. That confirmed, a few minutes later, the 6 minute long safety video played.
… and here
And if you think the version on Youtube is long..
… the inflight version comes in over six minutes. A little excessive.
At least the safety card is easy to digest.
Although, it was a good use of six minutes – as our plane had a 20 minute taxi over to the Polderbaan.
For those of you who’ve never had the experience of the Polderbaan – it’s a considerable distance from the main terminal area, west of the airport. Built as Amsterdam Schiphol’s sixth runway, it’s a good 5km away (so much so, it requires its own control tower). As such, in some cases, you’re spending the majority of the time on the Polderbaan rather than flying.
I *think* it’s a Privilege Style Boeing 757 that was following us all the way to the Polderbaan
Turkish Airlines Airbus A330-300 lining up
Eventaully, our A319 lined up behind a Turkish Airlines A330. With it clear of the runway, our BA441 powered up and headed into the sky for the short trip to London.
So with only the views for In-Flight Entertainment, there is the on-board catering guide to provide the real chuckles (the crew didn’t activate the screens for this plane to show the map).
In EuroTraveller, it’s Marks and Spenser’s On-board food options
However, the excesses of the day and the early start finally got to me, so I dozed off against the sidewall. I woke up as we were descending – which for a short flight like isn’t a bad thing.
Well, I had been walking around and had been going since 5am
Cabin ready for landing. Not the sun through the portals and reflecting against the luggage bins
The next thing I knew, the bongs had gone off for landing. It was a short doze, and worked well.
Our approach sadly would not be a river approach, but an approach via Windsor. And I on the wrong side for a look out to see the remainder of the days festivities.
You can’t make this stuff up.
The crew cleaned up the cabin as the plane continued its decent.
The plane banked sharply, as it lined up for a runway at Heathrow Airport. I prepped for landing.
With grace, BA441 touched down at Heathrow.
The plane peeled off the runway quickly, and it began the slow taxi back to Terminal 5, passing a bit of traffic on the way.
Taxing past T3. BA Airbus A320 and Finnair Airbus A321.
British Airways Boeing 747-400 with a sneaking Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER
A rare breed – a landing British Airways Boeing 767-300 (and considering how some of them are on short-haul, the sooner they’re gone then better)
British Airways Airbus A320 with fricking sharklets.
More planes with fricking sharklets. Also note the Robo-Tug being used to push the plane back.
The plane turned to Terminal 5 A (indicating a short walk to the border), with Gate 519 being our home for the evening.
With the plane coming to a halt, the safety belt signs were extinguished. And everyone got up to retrieve their luggage and make their way to the exit.
I thanked the crew and headed for the exit.
Overall: Not too bad at all on BA441. Whilst the crew were friendly, and the seat was reasonable – with any service, a crew has their job cut out to deliver it in time. The choice of an exit row seat is inspired (and if you get the option – pay for it on an “older configuration A319) – you legs will thank you. Combined with an 18” width seat, it’s about the only time I can say a Pinnacle seat had been “acceptable”.
For the price paid in cash and Avios – I wasn’t arguing.
Next: Into London, and to Home.
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