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- Tried & Tested
Checked in the evening before when I flew up from Split to Zagreb.
Spent a truly horrible night at the Doubletree Zagreb but that is another story.
Arrived by taxi at Zagreb Airport at 07.15 for an 08.30 scheduled departure and went straight to security.
The check-in area did not seem particularly busy although there were 4 early morning flights departing more or less at the same time.
Security lived up to its usual inconsistency. During the week I had flown from Heathrow/Frankfurt/Zagreb/Split/Zagreb carrying only hand luggage and every security check picked out something different that they said was illegal.
The fact that I have travelled consistently for the last 5 years with the same brands and sizes of toiletries proves my point. I am a great supporter of security but please please let's have some consistency?
I then proceeded through to the departure area where the flight was scheduled to board at 8 am at gate 8.
At 8am there were no operatives at the gate, no announcements and apart from a 'to London' sign at the gate, no activity at all. At 8.15, boarding commenced with one agent checking all id/boarding cards. We were then bussed to the aircraft which must have disappointed those who had pushed to the front of the queue. After approx10 minutes wait, the bus made its way to the waiting plane, an Airbus 319. We boarded by the front steps and were greeted by a smart but unsmiling female cabin attendant. No 'welcome aboard ' or anything like that.
I was seated in 9D – an aisle seat near the front. The seat was the new slim line seat but it was comfortable and I had the impression of having enough space. There was the usual scramble to get the luggage into the overhead lockers. We sat waiting while gate operative filled another bus and then it was time to go. We started moving about 25 minutes late. The pilot made a short announcement in which he blamed 'problems at checkin' – no apology for the delay was offered.
Take off was smooth and quick and when the seatbelt sign was switched off – the cabin attendants distributed paper bags with a ham and lettuce roll. The drinks service commenced about 20 minutes later. I asked for green tea and was assured they had it but was given a cup of ordinary tea. Economy passengers can't be choosers!
The seat belt signs were switched on twice for turbulence that didn't actually materialise but one never knows – it's better to be safe than sorry.
The landing into LHR was smooth and we only had to stack for 15 minutes. The arrival into the very impressive T2 was very quick., however by now we were 35 minutes late. There was no queue for the self service passport machines – 10 of which were in service and I was on the Heathrow Express within 15 minutes.
There is no way in which the Croatian crew could be described as friendly but once on the plane they were reasonably efficient and I was comfortable enough.
The flight was £120 cheaper than BA and based on my recent experiences with BA – their service would not warrant paying the extra.