Here is the next segment of my routing bringing me from Washington, DC to Toulouse France, via London. As a reminder, I had routed myself through LHR to burn some avios on British Airways and had plans in London on the return leg.
Here is the routing:
These reports were originally published in French and you can find them here:
Warning: this FR is a bit short considering that I was pretty tired after a TATL flight. The return TLS-LHR segment will be more in-depth.
I had ended my previous report at the Yotel T4 which Delta uses as an arrivals lounge for Business and SkyTeam Elite+ pax. I took advantage of the 2 hours of free access to take a shower and a little nap which is really great to be able to do after an early AM arrival. I could have slept much longer and could have paid for additional time but I wanted to get to T1 and check in for my BA flight.
I find the time between trains connecting the terminals to be a bit long. 14 minutes before the next train is a little much. It reminds me of the DC metro on weekend/Holiday hours–for anyone familiar with Washington, you know what I'm talking about.
Once the train gets here it's only a 2 minute ride to Terminal 1.
It's a typically gray London day (sorry, grey for non-Americans ^^).
Marathon is not the only one promoting Taiwan
Terminal 1's Holiday decorations. I quite like it–not overdone and pretty.
I go directly to a kiosk to print out my boarding pass. I then go to a customer service desk because I had called the day before to change my ticket to Business class, but was told that they could not do it on the phone and that I should check at the airport. At the desk, the agent barely looked at his screen and told me that he couldn't becausedeparture was too close. Umm…it was in almost 3 hours. I didn't want to argue because I was tired and that could quickly turn into shananigans so I just walked away. I think he was just being lazy because it doesn't make any sense that tickets can't be changed when BA sells last-minute upgrades to Business at a discount all the time.
The boarding gates are only annouced at the time of boarding. I really don't like this process because there's very little to do in this area. Having lost my BA status I had no access to the lounge so I was quickly very bored. Because I very rarely take non-SkyTeam flights anymore, I'm really not used to not having lounge access.
Planespotting is not very easy from T1. It's a shame because LHR has such a great variety of aircraft and airlines–an AvGeek paradise! In my quest to find a good planespotting window, I wandered down some long empty corridors. On my little walk I met a very pleasant BA ground agent who asked me if I was going to Dusseldorf. He nicely explained to me that I was in a secure zone and that only passengers for Dusseldorf were allowed in this boarding area. He asked what I was looking for so I told him I was trying to find a decent place to sit down and watch the planes. He indicated a spot where I may be able to do this and walked me in that direction. How nice of him! As an American, everything sounds better with an English accent, LOL. Once I got to the area the agent had told me about, there was indeed a good view of the runways.
I gave up after a few minutes because the double-paned windows don't make it easy with the light reflecting off one window onto the other. I then go to grab a bite to eat at the pub in the central part of the Terminal. There was a great view of the tarmac from the pub but, unfortunately, all the window seats were taken.
The Flight Information screens indicated that the gate for our flight would open at 12:45, but at 1PM our gate was still not displayed, despite the flight still showing on-time. Many pax for Toulouse are waiting in front of the screens wondering why the gate is not showing yet and assuming there will be a delay.
At 13:15 the boarding gate is FINALLY displayed. I had to run to the gate and luckily did not miss the beginning of boarding as Business class was being called just as I walked up. Boarding is very disorderly with a bunch of people running up thinking they were going to miss the flight as I did. I am greeted with a lukewarm Hello from a male FA at the aircraft door who appears very disinterested in doing his job.
Once onboard, I find the seat pitch to be a bit tight. I was surprised considering that I had reserved a seat at the front of the plane because those seats are convertible to Business class seats and theoretically have more legroom…guess not.
It's also possible that I felt cramped because the flight was full and I had just come off a Transatlantic flight in Business class–so partly psychological, LOL.
Announcements are in English only despite the majority of passengers being French.
Reflection of the fuselage.
The flight is very full (load factor round 90%), but boarding is quick and efficient despite de delay at the beginning of boarding. We push back only about 15 minute late and take off shortly thereafter since this is not a busy time at LHR.
10 minutes later we are over the English Channel.
We quickly cross the English Channel.
Northern France under a blanket of snow.
Between the white noise of the engines and the jet lag catching up to be, I fell asleep and missed the drinks/snack service.
The initial descent wakes me from my slumber.
Rainy weather in Toulouse.
A Korean Airlines A380 in front of Airbus Industries.
We park at Terminal D with view of the control tower.
Thanks for reading! Leave a comment :-)
London - LHR
Toulouse - TLS
On-time performance: 15 minute delay that was not made up in the air. Comfort: I found the seat pitch to be tight and the leather seats to be a bit hard on the bum. Crew: I didn't find the crew to be particularly warm; in fact they appeared to be rather bored. However, they did their jobs efficiently. I am also taking away points for the lack of announcements (even pre-recorded) in French on a flight that was filled with a majority of French passengers. Catering: Because I noded off, I did not get to eat; however, I saw on my neighbor's traytables that sandwiches had been served and beer, wine, liquor, which is above average IMO for an intra-European flight of this length.
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