The final report in the July 2017 series will cover my return flight back up home to Newcastle, I had just arrived at LHRs T5 on Iberia at T5C and after catching the transit train I arrive at T5A where I’m able to quickly clear passport control using the e-gates which are a new addition since my last visit, security is cleared and I’m soon on my way to the galleries south lounge, where I spend the next couple of hours enjoying some peace and quiet in a newly discovered area at the other end of the lounge which I’ve never actually been in before.
Soon enough though boarding is shown on my phone through the BA app at gate A1, which is right at the other end of the Terminal so I leave the lounge and head to the gate, where I see a guy that I used to work with and after we enjoy a catch up it’s time to board, I’m directed to the new automatic boarding gates which lacks the personal touch, everything about BA these days seems to be about cost cutting, I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if they paint the planes orange next. Once on board I settle into my seat, which seems to be not preoperly secured the floor as it’s rather rocky.
Boarding despite the full load on tonight’s A319 doesn’t take long and we push back almost 10 minutes early, something I’ve never seen at LHR, the FO gives is a welcome PA and tells us it’s a great evening for flying, he’s not wrong as the sun is just beginning to set as we head of down to the other end of the airfield towards 27R.
We wait for a Flybe Dash 8 to depart, its weird to see them kicking around here these days, and afterwards make an intersection departure towards Windsor, were I catch a quick glimpse of the castle before we bank to turn north revealing the impressive sunset as seen on the ground, however it looks better from 12000 feet up.
We’re already over Birmingham by the time the purser working alone begins the service for our three rows of Club, she works impressively quickly whilst still being attentive to each individual passenger, there are two options this evening, a beef panini or a chicken and potato salad, each served with a desert of a cheesecake. Both are delicious and feel just right for a short flight such as tonight’s, I quickly wash the meal down with some champagne.
No sooner had I received my drink the nose had dipped and we’d began the descent to NCL just over Leeds, I’m somewhat interested to see how the Club service works on the MAN and LBA flights, especially on the northern bound legs which are always quicker than those into London.
The weather has deteriorated as we flew further north and as we make our approach towards NCL for the east it’s a pretty dull evening, still the sights of Northumberlands countryside are still just visible in the fading light as we make our approach to land on Newcastles runway 07.
Touchdown follows and I’m eventually back home a good 15 minutes ahead of schedule, leaving the aircraft for home impressed at what BAs crews are achieving on such a short flight, especially when there’s just the one member of crew for club as the rest of the crew have to go down the back and flog BAs new Marks and Spencer BoB catering.