I stayed at a hotel in London and took the underground for 6£ only. I arrived to Heathrow at 09.30. Terminal 5 is nice, modern and is obviously home for British Airways.
I checked in online and I only had hand luggage but I was first sent to the passport and visa check counter. Service was quick and polite.
I went through automated boarding pass control (no waiting time) and security (waiting time: two minutes). The terminal airside:
It was a little crowded with quite a lot of people waiting on the seats. World Traveller Plus does not give access to a lounge unless you are BA silver or gold card holder. So I went to the Premium Plaza lounge opened in November 2017.
Access costs 40£ but only 34£ if booked advance. The lounge is smaller than I expected. It was however not crowded and had a good apron view, so it was perfectly fine for me.
There’s hot breakfast in the morning.
There’s a serviced bar. Soft drinks and most alcohols are included (not a huge choice but still OK) except champagne and prosecco which are extra.
Hot lunch starts at 11 am. Lunch was OK. not bad but nothing outstanding.
Service at the lounge was OK but don't have very high expectations. Toilets are inside the lounge. I spent most of my time working on my laptop (free and fast wi-fi), enjoying a few drinks and an early lunch. My opinion is that the lounge is good value if you book in advance, you stay for at least two hours and you have a few drinks and a meal.
My flight departed from gates B and the nice and spacious satellite building to where you have to take a free two-minutes train ride. It took me 15 minutes to get from the lounge to the gate.
There is a nice view over some huge birds
My aircraft for this flight
Boarding started at 1200 with the priorities respected.
World Traveller Plus (premium economy) has five rows in a 2+4+2 configuration. Fantastic: I was the only passenger for the four middle seats. Load was only 16/40 in World Traveller Plus.
Legroom was huge at this 21D bulkhead seat
Blanket, pillow, a proper headphone and a basic amenity kit were waiting on my seat.
Water, orange juice and sparkling wine were offered after boarding
Menu card was distributed a few minutes later
Push-back was on time at 1245. Long taxi with views on Air Canada, Air New Zealand, Ethiopian and many other aircrafts including a Concorde. Take off was exactly at 13.00.
A hot towel was offered 15 minutes after take-off. Five minutes later the crew came with the snack and drink service. I asked for some sparkling water and white wine - I got two small bottles of wine! “Can I give you back one of them?” “ Oh, don't worry, just keep it!” “Is there any way I could get some Kir Royal?” “Of course, no problem!”
Meal was served at 13.50, so about 50 minutes after take-off. The couscous salad was very good. I pre-ordered the lamb. The rice with nuts was good, the vegetables were a little bit spicy for me but they were good, and the meat was also very good. The whole main course was very original compared to the usual economy or premium economy food. While the presentation was not top notch and the white wine was just so-so I found the meal altogether quite good.
Service was helpful and efficient. Orange juice and water were offered every hour. Snack service was provided one hour before landing: chicken wrap, Toblerone, tea/coffee/juice/soft drink.
British Airway’s in-flight entertainment offers a huge choice of movies: I counted 49 comedies and 52 dramas. There were also many other films in several other categories. There was an even bigger choice of tv programme. As for the choice of music I like a lot of different types of music but I couldn't find almost anything I knew, let alone something I liked. Some British bands that were NOT available on British Airways: The Beatles, The Clash, Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, Queen, Sex Pistols, Pink Floyd, Madness, Iron Maiden, Kate Bush – and the list could go on. Anyway I spent my time watching movies.
We landed at Bahrain International Airport at 21.56. Flight time was almost exactly 6 hours. Visa for most EU Citizens is now available at the border with no advance paperwork required. If you stay for a short time your visa costs only 5 BHD which can be paid by card. The queue for visa was about 15 to 20 minutes long.
I spent about 24 hours in Bahrain. While there are not a lot of sights this is still a very interesting country to visit. Unlike in the UAE or in Qatar almost half of the population (around 1,4 million people) are local. Manama, the capital city has three very different faces. You can find some nice old forts and smaller palaces, and there is a nice large mosque
Most of downtown Manama is like travelling back to the 80’s. This area is certainly not beautiful with the exception of a few buildings such as this Central Asian sytle mosque but the feeling of going back in time is priceless. And there are of course shops selling gold in the souq.
There’s an excellent National Museum with a very nice modern building next to it
Most of the skyline is made of unremarkable tower buildings but there are a few new skyscrapers with a very remarkable architecture.
Thank you for reading my flight report.
Plaza Premium Lounge - Terminal 5
London - LHR
Manama - BAH
This was a faultless flight. Heathrow. Lounge. Boarding. Bulkhead, light load, 4 seats. Meals. Crew. On time departure and early arrival.
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