A Modelling Day out to Barcelona with British Airways
In this madcap day out
- Like I need an excuse to fly for a day out. (I blame my birthday)
- Off to Heathrow
- British Airways Galleries Club, Terminal 3
- BA478 London Heathrow to Barcelona El Prat (Club Europe)
- Into Barcelona on the Aerobús
- Working with a Model on location in Barcelona
- Back to El Prat and the Salon VIP Miro
- BA481 Barcelona to London Heathrow (Club Europe)
- Experiencing Mobility Arrival Services at Heathrow and back up the M40
- Sometimes, The Best Adventures are Shared
An Early Morning Run to Heathrow Airport
For a change, there was no National Express on this trip. Some of you might be in shock there – me not taking National Express to the airport – but if someone is willing to drive instead of me… I’ll take that chance.
So just before 3 am, my model and driver arrived outside the flat.
The route would be a simple one – out of Birmingham on the A38, onto the M6, down the M42, exiting out of the Birmingham box onto the M40 down to London, peeling off onto the M25 and finally to the pod parking bay.
Well, that’s the theory.
Whilst we left Birmingham on time, we ran into a bunch of nasty rain showers, which meant we cut our speed down to drive safely.
We had more than a few stormy cells like this, which wasn’t a great driving experience. We therefore talked and kept ourselves awake.
But even if we were awake, it seemed the car needed a drink of diesel too. We pulled off near the services near Cherwell Valley.
With coffee, hot chocolate and diesel, all persons and the car was ready for the run down to Heathrow airport.
An hour later, we pulled off the M25 and onto the local roads around Heathrow airport. Thankfully, parking is well signposted, and we arrived at the POD car park.
With the parking pre-paid, the parking system recognised the car registration and we were admitted into the car park.
A short drive around the car park and we found a slot we both liked – next to station A for the PODs.
With a few minutes to get organised – we were off to the PODs.
So, The Heathrow POD parking? It’s a system that was developed by Ultra (Urban Light Transit) which uses a personal rapid pod car to get from the parking station to the terminal. It’s a lot different to shuttle buses, as these are used on-demand, as opposed to waiting for a shuttle bus.
For want of a better term, this is more “Personalised transport”.
There seemed to be a shortage of pods that morning, with the pod we were going to use requiring to charge before it was ready to go.
With a pod being able to hold four people – it’s a squished space if it’s fully loaded.
From there, it was a matter of pressing the button to close the door, and pressing start.
With the pods going up to 40kph/25mph, it’s a fun little ride to Terminal 5 and drops you off at the lifts for the Short-Stay car park to the Departures area.
With us heading to the check-in area, we checked in.
And I made my first junior error – checking which terminal we were going from.
The Barcelona flight goes from terminal 3 – not 5.
Thankfully, we had more than enough time to head down to the Heathrow Express for the short ride to T3.
Eventually, we arrived at T3. With Boarding going from here, we headed in and headed to security.
My friend made a turn for the normal security queue – I dragged her to the Fast Track security. The first major change for her, compared with taking flights normally.
T3 Fast Track was as quick as normal, and we were done and dusted within five minutes. I can’t argue with that…. Nor could my friend who found she skipped duty-free.
We did have a little side shopping to do – she needed a cushion for travel purposes and I wanted water and headphones (yes – your writer and editor in chief managed to leave another pair of headphones at home – and needed a pair of Bluetooth headphones for no more than £16 all-in).
That done, it is time for a lounge. With my friend needing to conserve energy – I decided lounge hopping was out of the window. But with simple tastes needed, I decided the best course of action would be to head to the BA lounge.
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