Review of British Airways flight Amsterdam London in Economy

Airline British Airways
Flight BA429
Class Economy
Seat 26K
Flight time 01:25
Take-off 01 May 16, 10:20
Arrival at 01 May 16, 10:45
BA   #29 out of 67 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 862 reviews
TBloemink
By 1150
Published on 23rd January 2017
The flight in this report dates back to May 2016, so I might not remember éverything. Also, almost everything is taken/filmed vertically. It's a crime, I know, but I still don't want to keep this from you.
It was holiday week and me and my girlfriend spent a midweek in London.

We had difficulty choosing our airline at first given the fact that we did not want to spend a great bunch of money but there were a lot of options. KLM did have my initial preference, but that was soon enough switched when I saw BA had a morning flight operated by nothing less than a 767. Even though I had two other bookings in the past on a 767, I have never -actually- been on one. First times were in DUS in December 2010, to spend Christmas and New Year in London. That flight got cancelled due to LHR being closed for snow. Second time was in February 2011, rebooking of earlier failed trip, when the aircraft was downgraded to an A320. I did fly business class so that made things a lot better to start with.

It was certainly a lot more money than we hoped but the avgeek in me was satisfied with the 120 euro roundtrip on BA.

At the airport


The first of May 2016, at around 5 AM, we drove off to the airport, only to arrive there at 6.45 AM sharp. We were dropped off at Departure hall 3 where the non-KLM flights depart, both Schengen and non-Schengen (of which the former requires you to go back to departure hall 1 to clear security without having to clear passport control, twice, once to enter non-Schengen area and one to leave it afterwards, as 2 and 3 spit you out in non-Schengen area), of which BA is at the very right. The machines over there dó feature BA as an option, while the others at Schiphol don't (at least, not back then).

The machines had a lot of trouble with my girlfriends ID card so it advised us to go to the counter (while all we wanted was a real boarding pass besides our mobile ones, for the collection, as we already checked in online). We joined a queue even though the screens advised us that checkin wouldn't open for another half our. A friendly gentlemen asked us if we were already checked in and nodded yes, we were rushed in the empty bag drop line as we apparently joined the assistance line (more people had trouble with the machines).

The lady at the counter asked us if LHR was our final stop, wanted to see our passports, labeled our bags and sent them off, after which she asked if we were already in posession of boarding passes. Of course we said no :-) "If you don't mind, please print one out for us, thank you!" and were told that our gate was D2 (lucky! that's the first in the pier!) and it would close at 10 AM.

photo img_5412 Checkin counter with the line (we were in the wrong one)
photo img_5413 Security is now on the upper level before passport control instead of at individual gates
photo img_5414 Security was empty

Security was a breeze even though they always want to search me because I look so suspicious ;) In departures 3, you end up in Lounge 3 and if you wish to visit the McDonalds, after security on the upper level immediately head left (that saves you 2 stairways). We resided there for a muffin and some coffee after which my spotting spree would start.

photo img_5417 Breakfast with a view we all love

photo img_5415 First of all: this is PH-BFT (named "City of Tokyo"), one of KLM's new livery mixed config 747-400's, at gate F3

photo img_5421 View of said PH-BFT from the gate pen
photo img_5422 PH-BFC named "City of Calgary"
photo img_5423 PH-BFH named "City of Hongkong"
photo img_5424 PH-BQP, a 777-200 named "Pont du Gard"
photo img_5425 PH-BFA, a full-pax 747-400 named "City of Atlanta". Sadly, this 747 is now withdrawn from use and stored in Teruel, Spain, as KLM is phasing out their 747's.
photo img_5426 PH-BFR, another Combi, named "Rio de Janeiro"
photo img_5428 At this time, KLM's newest 787-9 Dreamliner, PH-BHF, named "Hibisbus". Since this time, three have joined the fleet.

After the KLM bird spotting spree it was time for boarding. I -somewhat- impolite was waiting near the BP scanner so when general boarding was announced we were boarded as one of the first. London here we come!

On board


Boarding was a tad late. I do not remember how late it was, at least around 9.45 AM. We walked through the jetbridge and were soon enough on board G-BNWZ (which had changed from G-BNWA to G-BZHC, and ended up with G-BNWZ) and found our seats.

photo img_5431 G-BNWZ at the gate

photo img_5433 Schiphol's Fokker 100 on the Panorama Deck as seen from the gate pen
photo img_5436photo img_5437 Boarding
photo img_5438 View from our pair of two seats. Ideal configuration in this 767, 2-3-2.

Flight was announced as full and people were asked to check in large items of hand luggage. I always have things in my bag that really can not go in the hold so that always is a no-no for me.

Pushback was late but we did make up some time. Engine start, flaps down, and off we were to runway 36L also known as the infamous Polderbaan.

photo img_5442 Flaps down!
photo img_5444 Crossing 36C/18C "Zwanenburgbaan" was our saving as policy is that no-one can cross this runway if it is in use. If it is in use, one must taxi around it. That, combined with distance from the terminal, makes 36L/18R the least favorable runway, and yet, it's the most used one.
photo img_5447 Because of said distance, 36L/18R has their own tower, tower west.
photo img_5448 Number two behind Scandinavian Airbus
photo img_5450 Crossing the coastline
photo img_5451

Takeoff video (unfortunately, vertical)

This flight would not be long so service started before leveling off and consisted of free drinks and some snacks (as it should be on such carriers IMO). I asked for an orange juice and picked some crisps. For my medication, I also asked for a cup of water and a spoon.

photo img_5455

I visited the loo as well as far as I can remember but did not take a picture of anything besides this cabin shot:
photo img_5452

Eventually descent started on this short channel hop:
photo img_5456photo img_5466 DRAG REQD

My seat lottery did turn out better than ever given the fact that the right side got a tour of Central London with the first eyecatcher being the London Eye:
photo img_5468
As seen zoomed in
photo img_5469

The holding pattern in combination with the right side of the aircraft at this time was a bonus as well!
photo img_5475
With for example, Buckingham Palace…

photo img_5472
…Another view of the London Eye and the aquarium of which I am unsure of the building has a name…

photo img_5473
and the houses of parliament.

Fun soon ended but more fun was imminent!
photo img_5476
This MUST be Heathrow!

photo img_5477
Almost there

Landing was on runway 27L and was a bit of a shocker given the fact that a sudden wind shear made us land with left gear first, followed by right gear. I have had worse but my girlfriend did not seem to enjoy. Video found here (it is vertical, sorry)

photo img_5481 BA tails, one of which is an A380, which never fail to impress me
photo img_5482 BA 787
photo img_5483 BA 747-400 in oneworld livery was a bonus to see as well
photo img_5484 Docking at remote terminal C. This meant we needed to take the underground people mover. Also a first for me.
photo img_5486 Endless joy of people standing up to get out first.

When we finally deboarded we went to the people mover and joined the queue for passport control.
When we collected our luggage we went to the Underground to catch the first Piccadilly line to Holborn.

photo img_5488
See more

Verdict

British Airways

8.1/10
Cabin8.5
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment/wifi7.5
Meal/catering8.5

Amsterdam - AMS

7.9/10
Efficiency7.5
Access8.0
Services7.5
Cleanliness8.5

London - LHR

7.4/10
Efficiency6.5
Access7.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

BA Shorthaul 767's are for a couple an excellent way of flying given the 2-3-2 seat plan. Nice opportunity. BA Shorthaul is in my eyes a good way to fly even though I still prefer KLM. For a short haul flight the catering was nice and the window provided for excellent entertainment. I have had few drawbacks on this flight, my compliments.

Schiphol never fails to amaze me when it comes to cleanliness and efficiency, even though the BA counter was a bit busy and it was unclear which lane that was. Luckily that was solved after all.

LHR T5 was clean and the people mover was as well. Passport control was a hell. Multiple flights from all over the globe and there were two agents on duty. The automated kiosks were not an option for us a staffer told us, so we needed to wait for one of those. Not sure why it wasn't an option, maybe registration is needed, just like the French PARAFE system? I don't know. The agent wás friendly though and wished us a pleasant stay in the United Kingdom.

Information on the route Amsterdam (AMS) London (LHR)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 21 reviews of 3 airlines on the route Amsterdam (AMS) → London (LHR).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is KLM with 7.4/10.

The average flight time is 1 hours and 19 minutes.

  More information

2 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 383132 by
    Razza_Pr 216 Comments

    Hello, TBloemink, and thank you for this FR!

    Albeit a report on a short hop, this was a better read than some reports covering longer flights!

    You visited London without telling me? (I live in Oxford, but my office is actually very close to Buckingham Palace) :P. Certainly hope you had a great time with your gf!

    BA's catering is a joke to KLM's. A bag chips vs a godsend cheese sandwich is by no means a close competition. I hear they're now SELLING M&S snacks on short-haul flights, as opposed to giving them out for free. Was the lavatory clean, at least?

    Your passport control experience at Heathrow's T5 wasn't an isolated incident, unfortunately. Not sure why, but more often than not, that's the case.

    Thanks again for this FR!

    • Comment 383151 by
      TBloemink AUTHOR 22 Comments

      Thanks for your comment! About their catering I was surprised they even had free stuff. I had heard numerous times they would charge for anything to nibble. KLM indeed does a better job on that with sandwiches, albeit tiny, they sure are good.

Login to post a comment.