To Stuttgart and Schwabisch Hall – Off to Explore Innovation in seating with Recaro Aircraft Seating
In this trip report:
- An Invite to Germany
- Testing and Paperwork
- Off to Heathrow, Terminal 5, and the South Galleries Lounge
- BA920 London Heathrow to Stuttgart (Club Europe)
- The joy of German Immigration, Into Stuttgart and the Novum Hotel Rieker, Stuttgart Hauptbahnhof
- Off to Schwabisch Hall, qubixx stattemitte Hotel
- Economy Class and Beyond at Recaro Aircraft Seating
- The inauguration of their new customer facility
- The Recaro Hybrid Seat Show
- Exploring the Crash-Test facility
- Back to Stuttgart and the joy of pigeons
- Off to Stuttgart Airport
- BA921 Stuttgart to London Heathrow (Club Europe)
- Welcome to Brexitainia, The Premier Inn Heathrow
- Off Home again
- Innovation is the driver
To some – in writing this trip report – I’ve sold my soul again by partnering with a big company to deliver a passenger experience set of posts, as well as live-tweeting myself to oblivion when this occurred. To those, I say this: believe it or not – to write quality content, a lot of my cash goes into this (and I’ve seen minimal returns over the years).
I’ve never redacted an opinion because a company told me to – and I’m not starting now.
At least I don’t hawk credit cards to you all, spam you constantly with affiliate links or allow sponsored posts – I’d rather you enjoy my writing, rather than constantly be bombarded with adverts for cards or affiliate products.
And yes, it’s a conscious decision not to put you through that hell. Believe it or not – I do trust my readers knowing that what I write is as unbiased as possible (and heck, a lot more readable than in the past).
To those who have hung around thick and thin – Thank you as always, your support keeps me going to write quality and entertaining content. To those who are new, welcome aboard, take a Dettol wipe and ensure the seat you’re sitting on wasn’t left messy by the last passenger.
For those missing transatlantic adventures in economy class – don’t worry – I’m sure they’ll be back soon enough.
An Invite to Germany
Most of you will know that I have partnered with Recaro Aircraft Seating various times, bringing you news of their seating innovations, as well as some live reporting from events – both on the ground and in the air.
Recaro Aircraft Seating kindly invited me to an event in their home of Schwabisch Hall to celebrate the opening of the new customer facility, as well as look around the site – and of course, see and try some seats.
I decided to extend this trip a bit for my sanity as the real world has been… odder than usual
September seems to be a familiar time of year when I’m out in Germany (if we’re looking at the previous year when I wandered out of the UK for a few days).
So, the next step- how to get there?
Whilst travelling from Birmingham Airport might have been an option, it was fraught with high fares and long transfers – things I wanted to avoid this trip where possible.
That takes us back to Heathrow – and the joy of British Airways.
Well. I might as well pretend to be loyal to the airline for now, since they’ve extended my Silver status for another year.
Thankfully, ticketing was wide open, allowing me to score a EuroTraveller out/Club Europe fare back for around £180 – not too shabby (including an Avios sale discount).
What was even less shabby was that a few days after I booked my ticket, BA emailed me about an upgrade for £79. With this yielding 1000 Avios and 80TP, this was getting into a “no brainer” land of thinking.
After all, extra tier points and Avios are always welcome.
With the airline tickets secured, came the next fun part – hotels.
Initially, I planned for my entire stay to be in the Schwabisch Hall area, but I then applied that wonderful thing I have – logic- to the situation.
With an evening arrival, I’d have limited time to get to that part of the Black Forest in a reasonable time frame. It would be easier to overnight in Stuttgart the night before, then take the train the next morning.
For Schwabisch Hall, I selected the qubixx stattemitte hotel – as it seemed the best out of the bunch and was competitively priced at £81 a night. That would do for two nights.
As for Stuttgart itself – that was a little more troublesome.
Why? So much choice, but also, it’s a German city I never stopped in. So, I decided to play it safe and look at hotels near the train station. My budget also came into play as well, and I found the Hotel Novum Rieker for £42 or so. I filed this under “well, how bad could it be” pricing filter and booked it.
Both hotels were booked via booking.com, and whilst not the best consolidator – I did yield a good £7+ in cashback via Quidco.
As time went on, the horror stories of Heathrow waits came out. Rather than risk being stranded at Heathrow for a night (or risking late-night National Express back home), I decided to book the Premier Inn near Heathrow T5 – for an amazing price of £42 – it would have been £39 if I had booked a non-change night.
I left the flexibility in there – in case I was turned away at the German border and I needed a refund.
Finally, to get to London, I lent on National Express – who got me to London for £6.90 and London Northwestern Railway, who would get me home for £17.90 for a single fare.
It almost sounds all too good to be true and well planned, doesn’t it?
Let’s see how things turned out… or not 😉
But first. Paperwork. Tests. More Paperwork and more tests.
FULL DISCLOSURE: Recaro Aircraft Seating kindly invited Economy Class and Beyond, as a guest to their facilities, offering a stipend to assist with expenses.
All opinions and thoughts are the author’s own and are not directed by Recaro Aircraft Systems.
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