Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

January 2006 : Flight Log : BA6898

London Heathrow (LHR) - Gibraltar (GIB)

As previously arranged, the group met up in the vicinity of the Terminal 1 BA Lounge Pavilion at around 0630 - more or less! There were enough gold cards to ensure that everyone could be admitted to the First Lounge and before long we were all seated at the impressive Champagne Bar. As at least one of the group said : "Might as well start as we mean to go on!" Actually, most people started off with fruit juice, cereal and bacon baguettes, but by 7 o'clock, all pretence was cast aside and the first corks were popping on some absolutely lovely Alfred Gratien pink Champagne. Very nice indeed   By 0730, I was dropping hints that it really was time to head for the gate. Champagne bottle count by 0730 : 5 

Delay at the gate was minimal and we were soon boarding our GB Airways A320, occupying almost the whole left side of the Club Europe cabin. I had managed to grab 1A using OLCI, in cahoots with fellow EDI-based FlyerTalker GregM, who was now in 1C. Those of us who were paying attention were well and truly startled to hear the Captain say, as part of his introductory remarks : " ... and a very special welcome to the group joining us from FT this morning!" My goodness ... news does get around! You know, in retrospect, there was quite a strong clue to the mystery in the message itself : the Captain had said "FT", not "FlyerTalk". Who else but a fellow FTer would do that? As we were soon to discover, our aircraft was to be flown by our very own DarrenT. What an exceptional turn of events!

Things were to be just a little bit delayed, however, for as Darren himself explained, four different aircraft had all requested pushback at the same time from the same little corner of the airport! Oh well, not to worry. We eventually got underway at 0812, made our way out to runway 27R and lifted into the morning skies at 0824, giving the group an excellent view of the latest progress at T5. A hot towels service was offered as we headed towards the Isle of Wight and soon thereafter, breakfast was being served, accompanied by ... you guessed it ... more Champagne

We passed the time chatting once the trays had been cleared away, as our A320 made its way across the Bay of Biscay, over the north coast of Spain, passing west of Madrid and out into the Mediterranean at Malaga. Our route then took us west through the Straits for a big U-turn that would let us make our easterly approach into Gib. The landing at GIB is a spectacular one : it is such an odd feeling to be flying so low over water and with such restricted space available at the airport, it's essential that the pilot sets the aircraft down at just the right spot. Even then, it's a major braking and reverse thrust job to ensure that you don't end up taking an unscheduled boat trip   Thankfully, Darren had the situation well under control and we taxi-ed to our stand for an on-time 1144 arrival.

Although it seemed strange to sit tight while the Y cabin disembarked, we did exactly that, so that we could say hello and thank you to the other FlyerTalker aboard BA6898 - the one in the very front seat! Champagne bottle count by 1145 : 10 

Date: Sat 21 Jan 2006
Aircraft : Airbus A320
Scheduled dep : 0800
Actual departure : 0812
Scheduled arrival : 1145
Actual arrival : 1144
Cabin : Club Europe (Business Class)
Seat : 1A

Linked reports from same trip :-

Gibraltar Fun-day

Flight Log BA6899