Flight Report LHR-MAD-VGO ( Vigo) on BA and IBBack to Forum
Following my first report on a LH flight to FRA, which was well received, thanks, I thought i would write a report on my flight yesterday from LHR T5 to Vigo, in Spain. I am currently in Vigo airport with a 2 hour wait to check in, and no lounge to wait in.
I drove to LHR T5 in an Avis hire car. Dropping it off was quite straightforward and quick. A one floor lift ride to departures and away we go, or so I thought. Having just given up BA Gold, i could not check in at 1st Class. I was perplexed at the number of self serve check ins and bag drops. Maybe we will have DIY security, and DIY service on board at this rate. Anyway, as i had to get a boarding card, i eventually found a desk, and checked in my bag. I was issued a boarding card for both flights, to Madrid and then on to Vigo, though neither had gates listed.
I entered security approx 65 minutes before my scheduled departure. Passed through OK, however a colleague had his bag pulled, an errant item over 100ml. This is where the issues began, no one at the end to re check etc. Because they swap after 20 minutes on the screen, during changeover the belt stops, the end stops, and the whole process stops.Customers are left waiting. I complained and was told this was an acceptable wait, as they had to swap staff. It may be acceptable to them to save a few £, but as a paying customer, not to me. They should have a slip person so the line is operating non stop.
Anyway this was eating into my time airside. We wanted a quick visit to the lounge to have a drink and something to eat, and as no gate was listed we went South. After entering and having found a table, some food etc, our gate was announced. C gates. This was 20 past one, our departure was 14.05, with a gate close at 13.45.We rushed to the transit, missed one then arrived at C53 to find boarding had started.
Usual scrum of priority boarding, too many and too many large cabin bags with no controls, meant boarding was slow. The flight was an A321. CE was as far as and included the first exit. I was in 23A, the seat by the second exit, with no seat in front, great legroom, but no window. Not a big issue though. I only had a laptop bag, so used the space restricted locker above the door that contained oxygen cylinder. The flight was full, so it took a lot of time to find space for all bags.
By scheduled take off, or push off 14.05 we were ready, but did not push off for a further 20 minutes, and were airborne 45 minutes after 2pm. There were several babies near by, which i thought would cry all flight long, as they were crying during boarding. However their parents were able to calm and amuse them, so they were unheard all flight. Never easy to do that as i remember many years ago with my son.
The seat was comfortable, plenty of leg room, and easy access and egress. The flight was a bit bumpy due to poor weather over the Bay of Biscay, and we had belts on for much of the flight as a precaution.
I did not have time for a coffee before departure so i thought i would try BOB. A coffee and chocolate caramel flat thing. My first cup was luke warm, and was replaced by a steaming hot cup. Clearly the water had cooled considerably from the start of service to my position. The crew were fine about replacing it. The chocolate thing was nice, and the whole cost about £3.50.
Back to crying Children, my neighbour told a story of a recent Ryanair flight to Majorca. I think from Stansted. She was taking her 2 grandchildren. One was so unruly, and screaming they off loaded her and the 2 children, and her bags, delaying the flight. The captain apologised and stated that it could not be allowed to upset other customers. However they said if she wanted to leave the one unruly child ( his father came to collect) they would re book them the following morning, which they did. Asking how much, the airline said Free of Charge. Not expected from Ryanair, so she was all positive about them.
Back to my flight, it arrived into Madrid, about 20 minutes late, and parked at the remote terminal. My next flight was from K 62, I found on a screen, so we had to clear immigration, very quickly, and transfer by underground train to the main terminal, via security again. All done very quickly and without drama.
I went into the Iberia lounge, and was able to enjoy a small meal of salad, sandwiches and Hagen Dass ice cream, washed down with decent coffee.Before very long, time to walk to K62, about a 10 minutes walk.
Boarding was via 3 tranches. Lane 1 was priority, to which my boarding card had assigned me.
The aircraft was a rather old looking A319.The business class area, had to my surprise a 2 x 2 layout of comfortable looking, spacious grey leather seats. I was in economy seat 17D. The seat was OK, but leg room a bit tight. Boarding was done quickly and we departed on time at 19.45, despite a thunder storm overhead. There was a trolley service, but I declined, as i hoped to catch dinner in my hotel. the flight was under an hour and arrived on time. As domestic, I went direct to baggage reclaim and the bags were all out in 5 minutes. Mine had a priority label, but came out with all the rest.
This was where i noticed it was damaged. It was the first time i had used my new IT luggage roller bag, and the bottom section had been torn. A scuff would have been Ok, but not a tear.This was the only flight in, Vigo is small, but had 4 passenger making baggage claims for damage.It took 15 minutes and i was give a reference to contact Iberia for a claim.( will advise how this goes) The assistant was pleasant, and even helped call the car park to arrange a pick up for us as they did not speak English.
Apart from the delay, at LHR, it was not too bad an experience. I am now waiting to fly to Orly, via Madrid. This time both sectors on Iberia, and both up front. I will write these up later.
Best wishes and safe travels.12 May 2017
Update on Trip.
I have now taken the next two flights from Vigo to Paris Orly, via Madrid.
As I was early check in was empty. Security was a breeze, and up I went to the gate. No lounge at Vigo, just a small cafe. I sat overlooking the apron, watching the clouds on nearby hills, and reading a book, quite relaxing
My flight was at 17.45, and boarding began approx 20 minutes before scheduled departure time. I was allocated seat 1A. Upon boarding the A319, I was disappointed to see 3 x 3 seating in Business, not the 2 x 2, i saw on the way out the previous day. The cabin had 2 rows on one side and one row the other. The middle seat empty. There were 6 passengers up front.
The usual boarding delays due to excess hand baggage, and we left late by 10 minutes. Vigo is not a busy airport, so a short taxi, and up we went. The flight lasted about 50 minutes and landed ahead of schedule, at an H gate, in Terminal 4.
On board service was minimal, though i was offered a drink, I took a small bottle of Cava, and a simple sandwich. Cheese with a fruit chutney. ( similar to old BA Euro Traveller). For a short hop, it was fine.
The aircraft was clean, and I had no complaints. During the flight they announced the gate for arrival, and then the gates for connecting passengers. My gate was 3 away from arrival gate, so no long route march this time.
I did not go to the lounge this time for 2 reasons. It would have been time to return to the gate as soon as i arrived, and I knew i would be fed and watered on the flight anyway.
Pre boarding commenced late, at 19.30 for a 19.45 take off. It was controlled with priority passengers allowed on first. I did see one lady turned away, and re join the line. Also walking to the aircraft via the bridge I saw an Iberia ground crew with a handful of baggage labels to police the hand baggage going on board.
The aircraft was an A321. Business was in a 3 x 3 layout, centre seat fee.It was 3 rows deep for this totally full flight.Usual scrum in the back for locker space. The Captain came on later to apologise for late departure and lack of space. It appears many had bags put in the hold at the gate.( flight 100% full) He also apologised for tardy timekeeping. The plane was late arriving and had a technical issue which had been fixed. Due to delay, and a busy airport, we pushed back at 20.30, 45 minutes late. He did make up some time so arrived 20 minutes behind schedule.
Service, commenced and menus, or a small slip were given to passengers to choose their dinner. It was a small salad starter, I had a chicken mains, served with creamy barley, and stuffed with mango and rocket, in a saffron sauce. Very nice, and it was hot. Followed by chocolate dessert and cheese, with warm bread rolls. All in all very good and cut above what BA serve on such a sector.
I asked for Cava again, but was surprised to be told, it was not served in business, but may be available from the buy on board economy trolley. The steward then went to see if he could get some, and returned a few minutes later with a glass and bottle of Cava. I was surprised , in a pleasant way. I know BA crew are forbidden to get anything from BOB trolley for CE passengers unless they pay. After eating, I had a very agreeable Spanish Brandy, and 2 cups of coffee. Once again presentation was superior to BA.The coffee was served on a small tray, with a napkin, sugar stick, spoon and a 70% Lindt dark chocolate, and a creamer. I had a second cup, same again.
Upon arrival, and whilst waiting to deplane, I complimented and thanked the stewardess on the service and quality of the food etc. She was very happy, I was happy. She quickly looked my seat number up, on the ipad, saying we know all about our customers. Whether she marked me down for the compliment , i shall never know.
Overall, I was impressed with Iberia, a better product than BA, in the front at least. In the back not much to compare, they are very similar now. Just goes to show, how if customers are given good service and attention how much better they feel about the supplier. Would i use Iberia Business over BA CE, Yes, yes yes.
On Tuesday I return to LHR from CDG on CE, let us see what that will be like.
That is it for now.
Safe Travels13 May 2017
C M K TravellerParticipant
I flew this week from LHR to CMN on IB via MAD and the 4 flights were pretty much on time and the service on board was correct. Having said that I was in Business in all 4 sectors. On the way back from MAD to LHR, I had the opportunity to be on the A346 which had plenty of space and a wifi service (complimentary up to 4MB) on this relatively short flight. The flight was packed but the staff was attentive as usual. Being a Gold Member on BA, I tend to use BA on most of my travels especially with being based in London. However, it is worthwhile using IB when routes not served by BA are convenient through them confirming my satisfaction with IB.14 May 2017