Time for another snapshot, this time looking at the passenger experience between London Heathrow and Stuttgart with British Airways
For those who have forgotten, I have two major travel writing styles:
- Trip Reports – These are full deep-dive reports taking you into the experience and the small things… as well as the big things!
- Snapshots – These are bite-sized reviews that show you the basic product in some nice gentle headlines (and normally, only images shot on the phone).
Today, we’re on the Snapshot review. The full in-depth review is currently under the first draft (or as some might call it, I’m still editing the thing).
Before I could check in, three things were required for validation:
These were all done in turn, to upload the BA document server. This allowed a boarding pass to be generated for the flight.
I took the coach and Underground to Heathrow Airport – mainly as direct coach connections seems to be lacking still from my home city.
After attempting to clear security, I was initially declined entry into the secure zone, as a document check was required. This took 30 minutes from end to end.
Once the documents were confirmed by an agent, I was allowed to proceed to security. This was a quick process and I was through that hurdle.
I headed to the BA South Club lounge (as opposed to the first or Concorde rooms) to wait out the remaining time.
There are some differences in the BA South Lounge – with food and alcoholic drinks now being needed to be requested via a webpage, whilst soft drinks were self serve and hot drinks had baristas at each machine.
No snacks (biscuits or crisps) were placed out for “grab and go”.
The lounge itself was pretty busy, with people waiting out flights and delays.
Boarding was delayed due to a plane arriving late from Copenhagen. In addition, there was a shortage of ground staff to handle the aircraft, including ramp loaders and pushback staff.
Pushback was delayed initially to 16:15 and finally to 17:45 where the aircraft took off.
It’s an Airbus A320ceo, with G-EUYD taking the honours for this flight.
On this aircraft, all the seats were the Collins Aerospace Pinnacle seat. Semi-regular readers of this blog will know my exact thoughts on it.
The middle seat was kept free using a tray table, with the aisle seat remaining free. The rest of the cabin was pretty full.
Power at the seat was installed on this aircraft, with both mains and USB outlets available.
Onboard Wi-Fi was provisioned on this flight using British Airways .Air platfom.
This inflight connectivity solution is a branded version of the EAN (European Aviation Network) product, which is in use with the Lufthansa group as well.
Messaging plans were £1.99, whilst a 1 hour “Browse and Stream” plan was £4.99. A full flight plan was offered for £6.99.
The speeds were adequate but not mind-blowing, with just over a 1Mb up and down recorded.
Dettol wipes with a waste PPE bag was given out when boarding the aircraft.
Due to the delay, the cabin crew offered bottles of water and crisps to the entire cabin.
Once in the air, an afternoon tea service was offered, with either a choice of vegetarian or meat sandwiches.
I chose the meat finger sandwiches. They consisted of pastrami and rye and a ham and cheese one.
There was also a fruit scone and coffee cake.
Beverages were offered including champagne and water in my case.
The aircraft landed at Stuttgart airport at 19:52 – over 1 hour and 32 minutes late.
British Airways emailed an apology later that evening for the delay.
Our aircraft was directed to a hard stand on arrival.
Disembarkation was by steps to waiting buses to take us to the terminal.
Immigration into Germany took considerable time, as authorities checked all documentation (pre-departure test, German Passenger Locator Form, COVID vaccination status, hotel bookings, as well as stamping passports (yes UK Readers, your passport gets stamped now. But at least any new passport you get will have a blue cover on it).
Luggage pick up and onward transit
As I checked no luggage, I skipped this part and proceeded to the Green channel. After picking up dinner at Edeka, I took the train into Stuttgart – which was an adventure in itself as half of the line was shut.
The full BA920 review soon.
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