Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

Flight Log: October 2011: LH3776

Milan Malpensa (MXP) - London Heathrow (LHR)

My second experience of Lufthansa Italia in its last days of operation provided a different perspective, in that the flight was operated by bmi under a wet lease arrangement. Boarding didn't get underway until 1600 and then proceeded at an all too leisurely pace, especially considering that there didn't seem to be that many people at the gate. I had noticed that the next London flight, scheduled for 1725, had been cancelled, so it's possible that we picked up some extra passengers from that. Exactly as expected based on online check-in, there were two rows of Business Class and only two passengers: myself in 1F and another initially in 2A, who moved to 2C. The seating was again old-style Lufthansa with the nice little drop-down tables blocking the middle seats. Although these seats had by now become standard on the bmi fleet, looking very smart in brown leather, these ones were still in the original LH grey colour scheme.

We eventually pushed back at 1625 and proceeded to the closer runway, where we waited for a Saudi Arabian A320 to depart and followed suit at 1636 local time. Very quickly into the climb there were some spectacular views of the Alps, which improved further as we gained sufficient height to cross this imposing natural barrier. I was pleased to see the curtain being closed on this sector, which made for a considerable improvement on the outbound experience. Like the outbound flight, however, the in-flight meal had a rather minimalist feel about it, but was tasty enough. I drank white wine, water and coffee. The Purser opened a bottle of champagne and took it down the back, where it seemed there was some kind of celebration in progress. Meanwhile, I was offered top-ups for all three of my own drinks.

We were passing Paris by 1625 UK time and an announcement from the flight deck indicated an on-time arrival. While not wishing to sound overly cynical, I knew better than to take this as gospel when flying into Heathrow. The temperature in London was given as an impressive 18C, which was warmer than Milan! We began our descent over the French coast and I can only assume that the Purser shared my doubts about our arrival time, as I was given unexpected top-ups of both white wine and water over south-east England. We made a few circuits in a holding pattern over south-east London before breaking out and heading west, still to the south of central London, to eventually make a U-turn for our approach to Runway 09L. Daylight was fading as we touched down and made the short taxi to Terminal 1.

   (Operated by bmi)
Date: Sun 23 Oct 2011 
Aircraft: Airbus A319 
Scheduled dep: 1610 
Actual departure: 1625 
Scheduled arrival: 1705 
Actual arrival: 1723
Cabin: Business Class 
Seat: 1F 


Linked reports from same trip:

Flight Log LH3771