British Airways | Airbus A319 | LHR-DUS | Euro Traveller
NH Hotel Konigsallee, Dusseldorf
British Airways | Airbus A319 | DUS-LHR | Euro Traveller
Airline: British Airways
Aircraft: Airbus A319
Route: London Heathrow – Dusseldorf
Flight number: BA938
Seat number: 22F
Cabin: Euro Traveller
Flight date: May 2016
Check In / Security
Unusually for a BA flight, I had to actually pay a visit to check in on this occasion. Due to the airline now charging everybody on a hand baggage only fare to choose a seat (including elites) or be dumped where ever they see fit, more often than not I seem to end up in an aisle seat.
Normally I can pull a few strings to get my preference before hand, but this time I was unable to – so I had to resort to plan B. This was not collecting my boarding pass online and then visiting a Self Service machine and choosing for myself there, as the software in these hasn’t been updated. The downside of this approach however is that most people do tend to check in online and therefore most of the seats had gone. And this is what had happened here. Not to worry quite yet though as I had one more roll of the dice…
On to security, and as the South fast track looked a little busy (whats new…) I made a U turn and headed for the North fast track instead. This was a mixed bag. Much like on my last time using this one, I was through in a few seconds due to the fact it was deserted. However as a shift change appeared to be taking place, I then ended up waiting around ten minutes for my bag to appear. So in hindsight, by the time I’d made the walk to the Northern end of the terminal and then back again, I probably didn’t end up saving all that much time.
Up to the lounge, and this is where I’d have my final roll of the dice to try and get a window seat. I asked the lounge agent and she could see from her computer that there were a couple of rows blocked off at the rear of the plane. A quick call upstairs and I was moved to 22F with the added bonus of 22D and E still being blocked – so likely to end up with the entire row to myself. Excellent result!
As I’ve reviewed this lounge previously (https://my-tripreport.com/2016/04/16/british-airways-airbus-a320-lhr-arn-club-europe/) I’ll only focus on the food on this occasion, which was the only real difference between the two visits. Despite the lounge serving somewhat questionable food during lunch and dinner, the breakfast options have always been generally good. There are a few menu options, plus an extensive buffet of hot items, fruit, pastries, cereal and porridge. The champange is the same throughout the day.
I usually do a bit of a hybrid of the two and order a couple of poached eggs, then top up with buffet items.
As my flight would be departing from the B gates, I had around ten minutes to visit the Galleries Club lounge in T5B. I’d not visited this one for a while, as more often than not there just isn’t time to get settled between arriving at the satellite and boarding beginning. This time was much the same – a few pics, a glass of water and then back down to the gate. As this lounge caters for pretty much everybody that is entitled to lounge access (BA Silver/Gold card holders, OneWorld Sapphire/Emerald card holders, Club World, Club Europe and First passengers) departing from T5B, it was unsurprisingly quite busy.
Boarding / Onboard
Due to my second lounge visit, I wasn’t actually at the gate when it was announced. Although I’m pretty sure I over heard the announcement and it was done the old way – Bronze, Silver, Gold and Club Europe all at once. Still amazes me that despite the new procedure being in place for the best part of a year now, there are still flights being boarded the old way – and on home turf too!
Once on board, there were no surprises as far as the cabin went.
One thing of note however was that mid way through boarding, a stray bag appeared in the cabin. Despite numerous announcements from the crew nobody claimed it and a good fifteen minutes later it was offloaded. Luckily it didn’t cause any more disruption than a couple of extra announcements being made.
As Dusseldorf is a Band 1 British Airways route, due to the fact it has a scheduled sector time of 89 minutes and under, the service consisted of Lemon melt shortbread biscuits, crisps or nuts, plus a choice of drink from the bar. The service was a little different on this sector – a lone crew member came through the cabin with the snack baskets, followed by the other crew member with the drinks – I guess with just two of them on an hours flight, thats the method they have found works out the quickest.
Arrival was a few minutes late, most likely due to the hold up with the bag and a slow taxi at LHR. Due to Dusseldorf not being the biggest airport in the world, it still only took a few minutes to reach the station however to transit into the city.
Yet another standard European hop from British Airways, where they provided an efficient enough service for a decent price. Sure, the on board catering is a little basic on these shorter runs, however if recent rumours of the airline charging for food from the autumn onwards are to be believed, then I’ll personally find it a bit of a shame.
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