Into Brexitania and the Premier Inn Terminal 5
To Stuttgart and Schwabisch Hall
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
- 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
Exiting onto the tarmac, the bus awaited. I grabbed a seat as it filled up for the trip to Terminal 5A.
And of course, we play sardines at Heathrow Airport. It’s a tradition.
The bus ducked under and up a couple of times as it drove from the hardstands onto the main terminal building.
Arriving at Heathrow, I honestly was preparing myself for the worst – with all the press reports (even at 8:20 p.m.).
Nonetheless, I headed off onto the shuttle bus for the long ride around the terminal and back roads, until the bus popped out at T5A, finally parking at a point to allow passengers off the bus.
I followed the flow, heading up to the main transfer and immigration area.
Would I be confronted with a sea of humanity and a multiple hour wait?
Not really – traffic had died down, so our planeload of passengers was one of the few being processed through.
As such, I was initially directed to the eGate, where I made a swerve for a manual check (as my passport still is in the state where the chip is technically “buggered”.
There was no wait at the border and I was cleared manually. The border agent was not interested in COVID passes or Passenger locator forms – just the passport.
With a question of where I came from satisfied, I was allowed to proceed.
It took me a total of three minutes to clear the border and clear through to the luggage collection. Not bad at all – considering I had budgeted two hours here. It also made the plan for the hotel foolish – I could have easily made a train to London, then another home without any issue.
But it also meant I had no rush home to deal with – something I was rather thankful for.
With the luggage spitting out of the belt rather quickly, I grabbed the new suitcase and headed for the green lane – and out of the secure area of Heathrow.
Out we go. You know things are bad when World Duty-Free is shut…
I made a beeline out of the terminal, as I needed to find where Bus 423 would be.
Where is the exit..?
Exit. Stage right.
Waiting at stand number 8, was bus 423 – this was beyond excellent timing, Well it almost was bad timing as I was the last person aboard the bus before it set off.
Whilst I would only need to one ride stop for the Premier Inn, I was deposited on a bypass.
Time to fish out Google Maps again – which directed me down an alleyway to the hotel.
Nothing says welcome to the UK than a dimly lit alleyway, smelling of weed at night.
Popping out the other side of the alleyway, the Premier Inn was on the right-hand side.
That walk could have been a lot worse.
I made my way into the welcoming lights of the hotel.
Premier Inn Terminal 5
I headed into the hotel, where there was a choice of check-in – either by machine or by a person. I chose a person, who confirmed by booking for the night and issued a key, along with the contact number for the hotel as the internal telephone system was playing up.
With a room on the 2nd floor, I toted my bags to the lifts which were controlled by keycards. Once validated, I was on my way.
Eventually, I found my room, and let myself in
The room itself beat out both the rooms I stayed in Germany – with a fully made bed. And more space than both of them combined.
The bed itself was pretty comfortable and firm – a welcome sight after walking around Stuttgart for an afternoon.
I took the opportunity for a quick shower to feel a bit more human, as well as check the nice clean bathroom.
As for amenities, there was a TV. It also had a kettle (something missing from the last two hotels), an iron and ironing board. (again, something that would have been more than using the previous two hotels).
Tea, Coffee, Kettle and TV.
With me feeling a little fresher and the bags gone, I was in the mood for food. I could have gone back to the M&S that’s there. I also considered JustEat/Deliveroo.
However, I fired up google maps – and found a McDonald’s attached to the petrol station next door to the hotel.
And sometimes, Chicken Nuggets make the world a better place.
So yes, for my culinary delights, I had nuggets. I have no shame.
Hotel internet was variable. Variably bad, with internet connectivity not even hitting a 1Mb. Enough to attempt to stream some video – but in the end, I reached for the mobile hotspot to provide connectivity – especially when I had to connect to the work email server to do actual work in the morning.
Outlook Web Access, after all, is a royal pain up the jacksie.
With me rested enough, I exited the hotel around 10 am the next morning, dropping my keycard off and checking out.
Overall: One of the better hotels on this trip? For the price – it wallops the German hotels, with the experience of the qubixx even slightly coming up to what we’ve seen at the Premier Inn. There are faults – least of all with the internal phone system dead (to the point where they have a stamp on the keycard paperwork for receptions number).
But it delivered a clean and comfortable bed, with semi-workable Wi-Fi.
It delivered for what I needed – a decent crash pad at a decent price.
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