Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

February 2005 : Flight Log : BA697

Vienna (VIE) - London Heathrow (LHR)

I stood in a lengthy queue at the gate, behind a sizeable team of Eastern European sportsmen, boarding pass in hand for the 'A' seat in the front row of Economy. That seat is, of course, the best available in Economy on a European flight, yet I was just a little bit disappointed as I knew that the flight was very full. But when I eventually reached the front of the queue, the gate agent uttered the magic words : "Ah, Mr ******* - you've been upgraded!"   I went down the stairs to the bus with a new-found spring in my step and a new BP for 1F in my hand. It was a short ride out to the A319 and I was one of the last passengers to board in the rather unpleasant, sleety conditions.

I only spotted two empty seats on the flight but was happy enough that one of them was 1E   As there was nowhere else to put it, my roll-on was stowed in the flight deck! We left the remote stand just slightly behind schedule at 1149 and, as the captain had explained in advance, taxied to an area where the aircraft's wings would be de-iced. Strangely enough, in all the years of flying that I have done, this is the first time that I could recall this procedure being necessary on one of my flights. (It would be repeated just two days later ... what is it they say about buses? ) Maybe I've just always been a fair-weather flyer.

We eventually took to the wintry skies at 1205 local time and were soon well above the unpleasant conditions. The lunch offering was a choice of either chicken and pasta, or beef casserole. I had the beef - and very nice it was too - washed down by a French red wine that the FA had recommended. It was definitely to my liking and I ended up having another, which went equally well with the cheese. It was an enjoyable lunch - all the more so for being an upgrade! - but I couldn't help noticing that there were no separate pre-lunch drinks and there was no hot towels service. More "enhancements", I wondered?

Despite it being February, we hit the usual LHR congestion problem and had to describe several circles somewhere over south-east London. I spotted the Millennium Dome at least once through the clouds. We eventually made our approach and touched down on the north-side runway at 1320 and, after a necessarily lengthy taxi, arrived at Terminal 4 well behind schedule at 1331.

Date: Mon 21 Feb 2005
Aircraft : Airbus A319
Scheduled dep : 1145
Actual departure : 1149
Scheduled arrival : 1315
Actual arrival : 1331
Cabin : Club Europe (Business Class)
Seat : 1F

Flight History 2005