Hong Kong 3: For the LOVE of Avios! With Swiss and British Airways
BA26 Hong Kong International Airport - London Heathrow T5
- Memo to Self: Stop looking at Booking Engines Late at Night
- Leaving Birmingham, Servisair Lounge, To Zürich with Swiss and OLT Express on LX425
- Zürich Night Stop – “Zürich Dayrooms”, Senator Lounge
- LX1952 Barcelona to Zurich
- A Free Tour of Barcelona
- Back to El Prat, Lounge, BA0475 Barcelona – London
- British Airways T5 First Class Lounge
- BA027 London Heathrow – Hong Kong
- Holiday Inn Express Soho, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong Island
- One Time Exception: Macau with TurboJet
- GhettoIFE Special: Images of a Fragrant Harbour
- Lounging Around Hong Kong Airport
- BA026 Hong Kong to London Heathrow (THIS SECTION)
- British Airways T5 First Class Lounge, BA484 London Heathrow – Barcelona El Prat
- Barcelona Switch, Lounge, LX1955 Barcelona – Zürich Airport
- Run like the wind, LX424 Zürich – Birmingham Airport, Homeward bound
- Avios? Oh Yes, Oh Yes, OH YEAH!
Time to to get back on track with writing… and to the journey. Back to the airport first…
Leg 5 BA0026 Hong Kong – London Heathrow T5
British Airways, 39K, World Traveller (Economy)
Boeing 747-400, 70J Configuration
35 Tier Points Earned 11958 Avios (5,979 Base + 5,979 Tier bonus)
Upon boarding, I was greeted by the crew, and settled down to my seat in the main World Traveller cabin. Instead of an exit row, this time I had a bulkhead row. Bulkhead rows as we know contain a risk – the loud screaming variety of risk.
Thankfully, the right hand section of the row had me and another lady in it. There was a baby in the middle block of economy, but it was relatively quiet.
After settling down, I started chatting to the friendly cabin crew – I could see this was going to be a reasonable flight tonight. Boarding took its time, but eventually the plane pushed back without a full load of passengers, making for a reasonable environment.
As I was in the bulkhead row, the TV Screen was stowed in the seat. I extended it for the safety demonstration – which was the long version of the demo. It’s still relevant and a good video, but there does need to be a new version of it as it has done the rounds for many years now.
Take off was quick and reasonable, with the plane’s four Rolls Royce RB-211 engines powering up.
Now, here’s a little did you know. The flight I went on operated by G-CIVX – which featured in a documentary on how British Airways maintain its fleet at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_yHtfGH0nI (If you’ve got an hour, get a coffee and settle back – its a great documentary).
The seat itself is the old generation World Traveller seat, and that’s not a bad thing by any means. For starters, the padding on it is not akin to a steel bench, with the headrest you can drop down so it acts like a firm side pillow – a great alternative against sleeping against the bulkhead wall.
The drinks trolley came around, and I was good… I just stuck to the Diet Coke
Being a late night flight, food followed pretty much behind the drinks, with options. I went for the chicken, which was delivered on a tray with:
The salad was cold and edible, whilst the Sweet and Sour Chicken whilst the rice was a bit soft, the chicken was flavoursome – another reasonable meal indeed. Combined as a tray, it wasn’t a bad economy class meal at all.
Cleardown was quite quick as it was a late night flight, and I settled into use this IFE system.
Whilst this is an older generation system, it wasn’t exactly lacking in terms of content – which is another thing I look for in an IFE system.
And that’s what I fell asleep to (whilst waking up every now and again to restart the video).
Whilst it wasn’t sold sleep, I managed to get some rest until about 4 hours to go in the flight. During this time, a lens of mine decided to fall down the back of plane. At a quiet moment, I talked to the crew who offered to help me when we landed. Thanks to a bit of teamwork by one of the cabin crew (and by god, she got a ba.com/welldone from me when I got to the lounge), the lens was found rolled down two rows just before breakfast.
Speaking of breakfast, that came along shortly after the lens was found, with a choice of Noodles or a full English. I went for the noodles
The noodles were warm and plentiful – Singapore style, with a nice dash of meat, eggs and peppers. Not too spicy, but a very traditional far eastern wake up call. The pastry/cake was… edible at best, and yogurt… well we all know what I think about the bacterial fermentation of milk. The coffee was warm, brown and did the waking up thing. All good things. Mostly.
Soon the flight was closing in to London, with the map showing we were crossing the Channel, honing in over Clacton and Colchester, before heading for the London stacks.
As we cleared the stacks, our descent took us on a river approach. Whilst it was early in the London morning
During this time, the crew cleared down the plane – still smiling, talking to the passengers and interacting with all of them as they woke up as we closed into LHR.
And the approach into London was nothing short of… spectacular.
And the final 3 minutes of the trip to landing, captured digitally
After landing on 27R, our 747 begun the long taxi past the T1/T3 complex and towards T5, finally docking at the B Gates at Terminal 5. After a short wait and after thanking the crew for their help during the flight, I headed off the plane soon after 04:45 – shortly after landing.
Overall: I’ve said this once, I’ll say it again – Good Crew Make a Good Flight, and this crew exemplified this. The service itself was reasonable, but the way it delivered made it really enjoyable – like the crew wanted to be there to run the flight to London. Top Marks here British Airways.
Next: I may be in London, but I am nowhere near home. There’s still Barcelona and the tightest connection possible at Zurich. Next is… British Airways T5 First Class Lounge, BA484 London Heathrow – Barcelona El Prat