Checked in in LHR First area for the 08:30 for Sofia, never used it before as usually only have carry on. Long queues in the WT and WT+ check ins and fairly decent queues in Club World, but directed straight to an empty desk and checked in within a minute. Went through Fast Track security and there was no one else there, so straight through and quickly walking to the lounge
Arrived at First Lounge (second time since getting to Gold), breakfast was great for me, loved the full cooked especially the black pudding, even stopped me missing the bacon sandwiches from upstairs. I thought I would miss the old Walker’s biscuits from before the catering change (strange soft spot for the fruit cake) but already have become addicted to the Ginger and Chocolate biscuits – not sure if they would have noticed me emptying the jar into my carry on…anyone tried yet??
Got to Gate A11 just before they started boarding, they boarded Club Europe, Gold and Silver first, so I was first on board and settled into 2F (tried Row 1 last time, really don’t see the attraction, leg room was much worse than row 2 and I didn’t want to put my feet up the wall). Traveller cabin was totally full, but only 8 of us in the 3 rows of Club Europe so had the three seats to myself. The drop down screen worked for the safety demonstration (thankfully, otherwise I’d miss the story of the teddy bear who gets picked up at the beginning by the stewardess then has a cameo at the end in a bag pushed under a seat – maybe I pay too much attention), but did not work for the rest of the flight.
Breakfast started soon after take off (I made sure not to eat too many biscuits in lounge so I could see how it went), served by very friendly crew member, menu was:
Chilled Fruit Juice
Fresh Fruit Appetiser
Cherry compote with Greek yoghurt and homemade granola then:
Cheese Omelette with pork sausage, grilled tomato, mushrooms and sweet-cured bacon
Pesto mozzarella omelette with sauteed mushrooms, frilled tomato and potato rosti
Gammon ham with bacon and cream cheese spread (i.e. otherwise known as ‘the cold plate)
with breakfast pastries and bread rolls (which she did a couple of rounds with)
I went with the cheese omelette, was all of a decent standard for on board food (although next time will indulge more eating breakfast in the lounge – it was a better standard as you’d expect and hope)
Seat was standard Club Europe, not as comfortable as normal (but this is more likely due to an express trip bouncing down the stairs at Holborn station while trying to get the last train during the week). I guess we all wish for better Club Europe seats, but no worse than the majority of the European competitors and I doubt it will change anytime soon (having fixed Business seats removing the airlines’ ability to better fill the plane with the Economy/Business mix, hopefully the current set up increases revenue and, possibly, reduces overall air fares)
Onboard service was very good, asked for a bottle of champagne towards the end of the flight (early I know, but was running to a wedding straight after landing and it was to catch up with the rest of the groomsmen), it was quickly replaced when empty. On disembarking the plane was wished ‘a great wedding in Bulgaria’ which I thought a nice touch
At bag retrieval mine was not off first, more in the first 1/3 of them, prefer if it was off first, but no longer expect it
Overall: A very enjoyable flight with an excellent crew – although I am easily pleased when flying on leisure, there were no major complaints and a number of positives