BA478 London Heathrow Terminal 3 to Barcelona El Prat Terminal 1
A Modelling Day Out
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
BA478 London Heathrow Airport Terminal 3 to Barcelona El Prat Terminal 1
British Airways, Airbus A320ceo
Seat 2F, Club Europe
713 Miles flown, 0 Tier Points earned
We headed aboard the waiting Airbus A320 that would be taking us to Barcelona that day. With us welcomed by the crew, we took our seats. Both of us wanted window seats – so my friend took the 3F whilst I took 2F.
As for the seating – once again, it’s my favourite short-haul business seat in the world, the Collins Aerospace (ex B/E Aerospace) Pinnacle Seat.
I think I’ve run out of opinions on this seat (thanks to the awful 30” seat pitch British Airways chose to install them with).
This being a traditional Airbus A320 (or Airbus A320ceo), the cost-cutting that British Airways loves to do hasn’t hit this plane as hard – with the cocktail table being retained.
Suffice to say – this aircraft had some unusual features installed in it – firstly it had audio programming controls (long since out of use), but more importantly – it had onboard connectivity.
We’ll get onto that in a bit.
With my luggage at my feet (as I couldn’t be bothered to put in an overhead bin – plus I needed the lens inside the bag), and my friend’s bag in the overhead – the aircraft filled up, with EuroTraveller going out pretty full. Meanwhile, Club Europe had some spare seats in it – including the ones next to my friend and myself.
In the meantime, hot towels were handed out.
With the aircraft loaded on time, there was a short delay to baggage being loaded. With that done, the safety video played.
We’re now on the third version of the “comedy” safety video British Airways uses – with the airline going for a “SuperCut” method – ie, splicing the two previous versions into a new video.
And – I’m sorry to say, it doesn’t work.
Whilst I liked the first video for trying something different – it seems the airline has gone for a “Best of” video. And considering this is where the safety messages need to be imparted, they seem to get lost with the comedy.
With an 8 am pushback, it was reasonably busy at Heathrow (but then, it’s always busy at Heathrow), with a Conga-line to the runway.
Eventually, it was our turn to turn onto the active and the twin IAE V2500’ to power into life, as the aircraft barrelled down the runway and into the sky.
With the aircraft in the sky – the white noise/engine noise the IAE engines makes did their magic – and I fell asleep against the bulked.
I woke up as the meal service passed me, but the drinks service didn’t.
Whilst I might be shooting later, I would happily try the bubbles BA now offer in Club Europe.
But first – there is a Wi-Fi Network to test. British Airways uses The European Aviation Network (EAN) to power their onboard Wi-Fi (offered by Deutsche Telekom and Inmarsat
The interface is akin to the OnAir interface that is used on the long-haul aircraft (which use Gogo 2KU).
There are three pricing options that BA offer for this flight:
- Messaging -£1.99
- 1 Hour Only – £4.99
- Full Flight (1 h 44) £7.99
I chose the 1-hour package – mainly as 1) I’M cheap and 2) I do have the ability to switch off and only play CrossyRoad on a phone.
Interestingly, I had a look at the terms and conditions- and found a limit that British Airways has put a fair use cap their network already and combined a maximum of 1mb connectivity speed.
The airline also offers ways to consume less data too.
That isn’t a great combination for the EAN network, which promises. How that would pan out – I would have to find out. With £4.99 down the pan, it was time to run speed tests.
And was there a 1mb speed cap? You betchya.
Hmm. I would expect better. That being said, the experience of using it was more than passable, with webpages loading promptly, Instagram posts and messaging working as intended.
In the time that I signed up for the Wi-Fi and done some testing, the cabin crew member with the food trolley came back to me.
The choices on offer were a full English breakfast or a Continental Breakfast. Well, normally – it’s tough to mess up a full English in the sky – so I put my trust into BA once again
And here’s the tray. Not a bad tray in the least – with the hot breakfast and yoghurt.
If there’s one meal I’ve found BA can’t mess up – it’s the short-haul English breakfast. It normally tastes freshly prepared, with a good mixture of ingredients.
This one had sausage, back bacon (not the crispy thing certain parts of the world call bacon), scrambled eggs (that aren’t too watery), mushrooms and tomatoes.
Regular viewers will note I skipped the yoghurt. 😉
With the service complete, the crew cleared down – ready to do their onboard sales service. Even in the business class cabin, they were doing well.
Although woe betides you if you wanted a free set of airline playing cards. Remember when they used to give them away on long haul flights?
Today – those playing cards are ancillary revenue.
Whilst it was a bit cloudy down-route, the clouds started to disperse as we approached the Pyrenees, to some amazing views.
With BA478 clear of the mountain range, the aircraft was being buttoned up for arrival. The cabin returned to normal, with the curtains put away, the windows up, and the aircraft performing a wonderful turn over the Mediterranean, before making its final approach to Barcelona El Prat.
BA478 made a nice soft touchdown at El Prat, ending the first flying part of this trip
With the aircraft off the runway, it peeled off to a taxiway for a taxi to the D gates, where we would be let off. And as usual, it’s nice to see different airline tails when you travel.
The plane made a turn for the gate, bringing an end to the flight.
With both my friends and I bags retrieved – there was a short wait to be, and then we were on our way.
I thanked the crew – and headed off into a city with such a beautiful horizon.
Club Europe is still a reasonable product and the breakfast service services still are some of the better services around. However, the hard product is disappointing, to say the least, these days – with room to improve on seating (to be blunt).
Whilst its welcome to see British Airways finally rolling out in-flight Wi-Fi (powered by the EAN), the bandwidth throttles are unwelcome to see at the same time.
There is some room for improvement – but there are some solid building blocks with the soft product and the crew.
Next: Into Barcelona.
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