After having arrived from MIA on AA56, we had to take the shuttle bus from T3 to T5. When we arrived, the bus was already full but the driver thought he could squeeze in three more people and that's what he did. The doors could not even close at the first attempt and was I was praying that this ride would be over quickly. Those bus shuttles are the worst possible solution, especially if they don't run more frequently to avoid being so overcrowded. And the bus driver did not even drive carefully.
At terminal 5, we had to go through an additional security check and as the boarding gate was not yet announced, we just sat down at some place in T5A. About 30 minutes before boarding, the FIDS showed that boarding would be at gate A3. I'm wondering why they are not announcing the gates earlier, is that maybe on purpose to keep people in the general waiting areas next to the stores? That's my guess.
I got myself a sandwich at one of the stores because the AA dinner and breakfast were not filling and I did not want to rely on the BA chips for the next hours.
Sooooo many AA flights ;) if you take a pic when the codeshare flight #s are shown
When boarding was announced, passengers were asked to check larger carry-on bags if possible because the flight would be entirely full today and overhead storage was limited. The crew had a lot of work trying to relocate bags and making sure everything fits. My carry-on bag was a few rows ahead of my actual seat and that should become a problem later on. I did not get a proper shot of my aircraft and was hoping for a better opportunity in FRA. Today's A319 was one of the few with the feather livery and I was happy I got such a nice bird for my short flight to FRA. You can even see the livery on the wings :)
The seats were quite comfortable and pretty new. Soon we bagan taxiing and had to wait in a relatively long line before we could depart. I got a great view though and did not mind the extra time on the ground.
LHR is an excellent location for widebodies and more exotic airlines. I was especially happy to see my first Royal Brunei and Air Mauritius, as well as a Saudia 77W (in FRA there is only the A320), Air Malta A320, Virgin Atlantic A346, etc.
Eventually it was our turn to depart and I got a nice view of T3 and T5.
We were heading towards Dover and I got a great view the harbor where I had arrived on my first trip to the UK. Back then I was still in high school and he did a 5 day bus trip to London. On the other side of the English Channel you can see the French coast.
Dover (UK) and France on the other side of the Channel
Dover harbor, where the ferries from Calais arrive
The snack choice was again chips (BE: crisps) or cookies (BE: biscuits) or nuts. I opted for the chips. The nuts looked better though (different spiced nuts and dried fruit) and tasted great. My dad did not like them too much so I got his pack ;)
We crossed Belgium and the border to Germany. The sky was very cloudy since we entered continental Europe and I only saw Frankfurt short before we landed.
a parked Transaero 772, probably sold or soon to be sold as Transaero does no longer exist
As the first passengers left the plane and I got up from my seat, I noticed that my mom's carry-on bag was no longer in the overhead bin where I had put it. First I thought that it might have been shifted but that was not the case. Great -.- I quickly spoke with my parents what to do and they wanted to quickly leave the aircraft and look for the bag, hoping to find it. I spoke to the crew and they agreed with me that it might be best if I waited until everyone left and check if there is any bag left. After all, one passenger should have left his or her bag in the plane and taken my mom's instead. I got a glimpse into the cockpit and if the situation would have been a little more relaxed I would have asked if I could have a look, but the missing bag had priority. When all passengers had left, there was indeed one bag left with a giant purple ribbon. How could anyone not realize that they took the wrong bag if their's has a giant purple ribbon on top??? The flight attendants were a little unsure what to do and could not give me the bag as they knew that it was not mine, which is the correct way to do it. So they checked for a name but were not successful. They explained that they would hand over the bag to the BA ground staff and I should check with the BA service desk at the baggage claim. So I left without much information. When I came up the escalator and exited the gate, my dad and an older lady were already waiting. Luckily, he had found the "thief" and solved the situation. The lady was very sorry and quite upset that her bag was still on the plane and I had to explain to her repeatedly that the bag is not lost and will be brought to the BA desk next to the baggage claim. We all cleared immigration and I thought it was probably the best if I went to the BA service desk with the lady because she was still very upset and a little confused. Apparently, she and her husband had arrived from New York and were on their way to Freiburg (in the very southwest of Germany). My mom's bag would have taken a long journey… There were two people ahead of us at the BA service desk and in the meantime, her bag suddenly appeared on the baggage claim. She was so relived and so was I. She was sweet but didn't stop talking and I was happy that the situation was solved quickly. Due to this, I did not have the chance to take a good pic of the little A319 in the feather livery :( I guess I have to look for this bird again ;)
Thank you for reading. Tom
Upcoming flights: MF AMS-XMN-HKG AK HKG-KUL VN KUL-SGN-TPE MF TSA-XMN-AMS
I'm in Hong Kong from May 5 until May 11 in Kuala Lumpur from May 11 until May 18 in Taipei from May 18 until May 24 If any aviation fan would like to meet for some spotting, aircraft observation, or just a nice conversation send me a message. I'm always happy to meet new people with similar interests :)
London - LHR
Frankfurt - FRA
If the bag had not gone missing, this flight would have been quite uneventful. Except for the lack of storage space, there was nothing I could complain about.
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