So on my last report (for a flight from Palma to London in December) I apologised for the delay. Then I found the boarding card for this flight and realised I had taken lots of pics of this also. And an eventful flight it was too!
The reason for my visit to Warsaw was two-fold: I had always wanted to visit Poland; and I read that the cheapest five star hotels in the world were located in… Warsaw. A quick check brought up the likes of the Radisson Blu hotel at £36 per night! So that was booked!
After a few freezing days it was time to head back to the airport. When I say freezing, I mean freezing. New clothes purchased there freezing. Vodka shots and some delicious mulled wine and Polish food helped of course!
A few shots of Warsaw.
At the time of check-in, my friend was offered a discounted upgrade to Club Europe while I was not. I was mildy troubled at that. After all, I was the one who had previously suggested Club Europe to my pal!
So, with him showing off his row 3 seat, I was determined that I would quite like to try Club Europe too.
A few queries at the airport revealed that they thought I was asking for a free upgrade, and when I said I wanted a price they offered me a rate of £79 which was fine by me.
With upgrade had, it was time to head through Fast-track security and off to the lounge.
The lounge was OK, all told. I had a few drinks and a wander around.
The flight was called, and I have to admit to being a bit bamboozled by the lay out of the airport. I did have to ask for directions at one point as all the signs seemed to point in the opposite direction of where I needed to me.
Boarding was swift. The cabin was the 'new' Club Europe which looked very smart, with dark grey panels featuring a silver British Airways 'ribbon' embossed at the front of the cabin.
The middle seat was an identical size to the aisle and window. In Club Europe configuration, the middle seat becomes a tray table, but you can see how this gives three seats for an all-economy flight. In practice, the Club Europe seat is no wider than an economy seat.
The legroom was OK - I think the same as economy now, which I have never had an issue with.
The usual selection of BA magazines was available:
The other thing was that the cabin was spotless.
Economy was packed, and there was very little overhead luggage space. The crew weren't especially friendly, however they did have a lot of time taken up finding overhead luggage space for other passengers. They also chatted almost incessently chatting about internal BA procedures which was really unprofessional.
Hot towels were distributed. Such a funny little ritual, I wonder how long it will last?
Scheduled departure was 1925 however due to earlier Heathrow delays and engines icing up we would be a tad late.
Service felt slow too, and drink orders were taken, and served, individually. Economy passengers were served their bacon sandwiches before C service had started, however, all was good with a bottle of Champagne in my possession, and a second rapidly offered when crew saw that my first one was empty. :)
Obligatory image of bag of nuts with contains nuts warning….!
I recall there was some bumpy air around Berlin, and then the meal service started. Three choices. By the time they got to me, there was only one left - swordfish with saffron risotto, roasted peppers and aubergine. I don't really like fish, but this was a really tasty main course. This was followed with an orange crumble 'thing' and some cheese.
Two more bottles of Champagne were gratefully quaffed during the flight.
Our approach to Heathrow:
Clearing security did not take too long, and I happily raced to immigration. It's funny: from leaving the plane I had not given it a single thought, and as soon as I saw the 'UK BORDER' sign I immediately realised that I had left my passport on the plane.
I was then taken to a little part of the immigration area that was fenced off by those queue control ribbons, and waited… and waited… and waited.
Forty minutes later, I was reunited with my passport, thanks to the BA crew checking the plane after I disembarked. So top marks for them!
I would still always look for a cheap BA upgrade, however I can see why some passengers used to 'old' Club Europe may be non plussed by the new one. For me, a spotlessly clean cabin, an in flight meal which was amazing, and some fizz to go with it, along with fastrack security and lounge access is a winning combination.
Polish Airports State Company Bolero Executive Lounge (Non-Schengen)
Warsaw - WAW
London - LHR
My first ever time in asking, and receiving, a 'cheap' upgrade at the airport. And while I can see why some might not like new Club Europe, the commercial decision behind it is obvious.
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