Loading: (Outbound/ Inbound)
Club Europe: 87% / 50%
Euro Traveller: 80% / 60%
On 26th Sep, I flew my last flight in the tier run to become a silver member for the British Airways executive club. This flight was really uneventful and everything went very smoothly. For all the 12 flights I took with BA in these few days, it was all amazing. The crews are really nice and the food is decent as well despite the reduction in cabin meal services.
For this particular flight, I scored a great deal of £150pp in a Club Europe return (which is approximately £1.875/TP), with the restrictive border from other European destinations, flying domestically with this price tag to get the tier points is a pretty good deal imo.
In general, Heathrow airport is really packed despite the current COVID situation, especially during the morning rush hours, check in area is filled with energetic passengers waiting to start their holiday/ returning home/ going out for business.
Please sit back, and enjoy the short flight report! :)
As this short hop to Newquay will depart in the morning, I stayed at one of the Heathrow hotels the night before and arrived at the airport for check in at around 5:30am. To my shock, the airport was in a complete madness, loads of crowds flying out for vacation. As I approached to the Club check-in desk, there was a massive queue, perhaps due to the limited number of check in counters, and I queued for almost 30minutes to reach the agent to get my boarding passes and luggage sorted as I have oversize liquids despite having a cabin size baggage. The agent kindly printed out both boarding passes to me (to NQY and back) at the check in desk. The process is really efficient and the ground agent is really nice and kind that we have a really nice small talk as the check in is in progress.
Soon I headed for security. Unfortunately, as the COVID situation continues, there was no fast tracks, however, the lines for normal security is not long either, around 5-10 minutes wait, I am through and went on my way to the lounge. To my surprise, the agent now requires taking the shoes off for inspection. Is it the normal procedure in Heathrow T5 or is it a new requirement? Please do let me know below as I have probably forgotten since I haven't flown from the UK for half a year.
The lounge was not busy as I expected from the queue at the check in, the entry of the lounge is now all self service by self scanning the boarding passes in a machine to enter the lounge to minimise the contacts with the agents.
When I enter the lounge, I saw the tables are more separated, to ensure social distancing. The buffets has also been suspended and the food is now being served by attendants through ordering the online website.
For the breakfast options, there are a few choices at the time I visit: pastries (croissant with strawberry preserve, pain au chocloat), hot items (club breakfast aka a bun with bacon+rosti , vegan breakfast aka a bun with breakfast frittata+rosti) and light choices (yogurt with dried apricot/honey/granola). There a also a wide range of teas, soft drinks and alcohols to choose from.
For the all day menu, there are certainly more choices, which includes soup of the day, 3 kinds of salads, Thai green chicken curry jasmine rice, nachos and so on. During the afternoon tea, there is also a tea set selection which includes sandwiches, cakes and other delicacies.
To me, despite the choices of food are rather limited compared to the pre-COVID era, I really appreciate the table service provided, it sure really took a huge step forward and made the experience more seamless and enjoyable.
For the outbound flight to NQY, the flight departs at gate A2, which is a total opposite from the Galleries South Lounge. It is my first time seeing that there are a lot of Club passengers, a total of 8 rows in a small A319! With a very quick zoned boarding from back to front to minimise contact (no priority boarding), the flight left the gate on time and soared into the sky through runway 27R.
The flight was really exception, crews are very kind and nice to talk too. The BA flights all now have a revised service, that means no more hot food on board, except for first class.
In business class (Club), the food options are as follows (in September flights):
- morning flights: [Ham and Cheese croissant or Cheese croissant] + Chocolate Muffin + a bottle of water
- all day flights: [Chicken Cesar sandwich or Cheese and onion sandwich] + Chocolate Mousse + a bottle of water
Though the foods are far to be comparable to the hot dishes served before COVID, it was amazing, possibly because it is provided by one of the best airline catering in the world - Do&Co.
All day dining food non-veg option:
After the flight took off, there is a small hiccup that the air con APU was tripped and gone crazy with the cabin temperature rising to become an oven, and luckily, with the exceptional crew, the problem is solved and everything was back to normal.
Soon after a quick 40 minutes, the plane descended and landing into NQY with a nice view during the approach.
After the flight landed, the plane was disembarked in small groups using front and rear stairs, 5 rows at a time. By the time I reached the baggage carrousel, my bagged has already arrived! Really high efficiency! I then immediately walked out of the arrivals halls, turned left and walked backed to the departure side through a covered walkway, without enjoying the nice sunny weather outside. :( Hand sanitisers need to be used, boarding passes and identity cards are checked before entering the terminal.
At the check in desk, I re-checked in by bag and went through security in no time. From deplaning to be back and the departure gate, it is less than 10 minutes.
The Newqyay airport is a really small but lovely airport, behind this departure lounge, there is a small and handy cafe. It is lovely to see that the cafe is opened despite only have a handful of flights leaving NQY that day.
In NQY, boarding, however, was not done in small groups, all passengers walked to the plane's front door at the same time, despite agents told some to board from the rear. Despite this, the boarding was completed very quickly due to the light load.
After the boarding was complete, the plane took off from NQY and we enjoyed very nice views of the Cornwall coast line as we climb up into the clouds.
The service provided on this return flight was almost identical to the one coming in, only with a much more personal service (3 bar runs served one by one) due to a very light load in Club.
In this flight, I went to check out the flight WiFi pass to see whether there is any available for this short flight. For £1.99, you will be able to use Wifi for the duration of the flight, which is less than 30 minutes, and this is actually not as cheap as I thought.
Soon after some scenic views of Isle of Wight, Bournemouth and coast line, we went into land in LHR through runway 27L. Through the landing, I was able to spot some international carries parking at T2, which reminds me a lot about how busy LHR is in the pre-COVID era, and it is very sad the see the aviation in
To conclude, this very short BA flight is very enjoyable, though not top-notch. The catering are yet to be improved seeing other carriers in Asia still proved hot meals in business class during these times. The crew on board are really kind and nice as usual, and we had a really nice chit chat about the current situation and future travels.
The airports in both sides are really good, and NQY has really shined in providing very efficient baggage services. One of the downside is that, for the boarding, the staff could separate front boarding and rear boarding passengers into two waiting area (they are using two anyway), to maintain the social distancing when boarding as much as possible.
The staffs on board also really helped to enforce the compulsory mask wearing as people sometimes removed mask to breathe, the crews will remind them to put it back on as soon as possible when not having meals. The crews was also sanitising their hand whenever they return to the galley, and I really appreciated the effort go the whole team.
This is yet another nice flight with BA. To me, I used to not like BA that much because of the poor catering and the quietness of the crew, but it has really changed my view to it with their partnership with Do&Co and the crews engaged more in chatting with passengers on board. In the future, I would include more travels with BA to see whether the quality can be kept constant and enjoy the British hospitality.