Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

October 2005 : Flight Log : BA6844

London Gatwick (LGW) - Paphos (PFO)

I left the F lounge at 1445 and set off in the direction of the new high-level bridge walkway, to reach Gate 111. The new bridge was really quite spectacular and suddenly I could understand the talk I'd heard when the bridge opened at first, that some passengers might be affected by vertigo. Unfortunately I was not to catch sight of a plane passing underneath me, but had I been just five minutes later, a Virgin 747 would have done exactly that   I soon found the gate and was slightly alarmed by the number of rather noisy kids in the place. (It was the mid-term break, after all!) Boarding started at 1500 and, apart from the initial rush, proved to be quite a leisurely affair.

As I settled into 2A - which seems to be my favourite seat - a member of the cabin crew hung my jacket in the wardrobe and offered me a newspaper. The Club Europe cabin was unusually large for such a leisure-oriented route, proving that the premium leisure market is very much alive and well. I began to get increasingly alarmed as I realised that more and more children were taking their seats in Club. Oh no ... was the experience about to be ruined by a bunch of screaming brats? You'll have to read on to find out ...

We pushed back a little behind schedule at 1540 and managed to get airborne by 1555, using runway 08R. This was to be my first ever Club Europe flight with in-flight entertainment, using the little fold-down LCD screens that are normally reserved for the safety demo and moving map display. Headsets were complimentary in Club and £3 a pop back in Euro Chaveller   The main feature was the movie version of Bewitched, which was certainly of interest as it borrowed heavily from the original TV series, which I had always greatly enjoyed as a child. As we climbed to our initial cruising altitude, the captain explained that our route was to be via Brussels, Munich, parts of Austria and Croatia, Belgrade, Macedonia, Athens and Rhodes. There was a hot towels service at this point, although they weren't all that hot!

Before too long, the pre-meal drinks service was underway. I had a glass of Champers and some breadsticks to nibble on. Next, the meal trays appeared, minus main courses at this stage of play. The starter was a chicken salad and I had the Boeuf Bourguignon option as my main course. Warm bread rolls were offered at least twice. There was a nice and healthy fresh fruit salad for dessert, some cheese, crackers and grapes and a mint to finish off with. I washed all this down with two small bottles of Spanish Gran Feudo red wine, some still ice water and a couple of cups of coffee. All in all, a thoroughly satisfying meal. (I really don't know whether to call it lunch or dinner!) My solitary gripe ... still plastic cutlery   Darkness fell quickly over the Alps and seemed to bring with it a bout of turbulence, which delayed the tea & coffee service for a few minutes.

The meal service had been undertaken at quite a leisurely pace, which was well suited to the length of flight and, along with the IFE, helped to pass the time. So what about all those children in Business Class for a 4.5 hour flight? Well, I'm absolutely delighted to say that - thankfully - the behaviour of these particular Club Class Kids was exemplary   They were genuinely a credit to themselves and their parents.

We touched down at 2200 local time, decelerated fiercely, performed a rather elegant pirouette at the end of the runway and back-tracked to our remote parking position, arriving just five minutes down at 2205. Another excellent Club Europe experience by franchise partner GB Airways

Date: Sat 15 Oct 2005
Aircraft : Airbus A321
Scheduled dep : 1530
Actual departure : 1540
Scheduled arrival : 2200
Actual arrival : 2205
Cabin : Club Europe (Business Class)
Seat : 2A

Flight History 2005