19th October 2014 at 20:21 #571990
Anonymous19th October 2014 at 20:21 #571991
Myself, wife and 6 month old baby recently travelled to Gibraltar to visit friends who llive there. Journeys both ways were trouble free, smooth and had impeccable service from BA. As a Silver card holder and someone who travels with BA long haul for work I am well aware of the start to finish process when travelling with them through LHR and have had good trips, excellent trips and a couple of bad trips with them. This was excellent as I mention above and scored even more points as it was our baby’s first flight so could have been mega stressful, the trip report is below;
Check in and Airport – we checked in online the day before the flight opting to pick up boarding passes at the airport. On the day of departure we made the hour long car journey from our home to LHR T3 and headed for the offsite car park we had chosen weeks before. A quick and simple transfer from the car park to T3 has us at the landslide doors by 9am ready for the Midday departure. There was some confusion from the check in girl informing me that I couldn’t drop my bags till 10am although she soon realised her mistake when we see we were travelling in CE. We were thankful to get rid of 3 suitcases and a car seat we needed for the week in GIB (travelling with an infant will never be lightly loaded).
We were through fastback security within 5 minutes which was impressive given the added checks to baby formula etc and the drama of collapsing pushchair and trying to arrange our own hand luggage for screening whilst holding an active 6 month old.
After clearing security we headed to boots to pick up formula milk pre-ordered in and then headed straight for the BA lounge.
Lounge – the loung was quiet this time in the morning and we found some seats away from other travellers, just in case our little one did decide to make a noise, at 9.30am in the morning and in the business lounge I’m sure it’s the last thing other people want to hear and although he is a baby we are respectful of our surroundings, I grabbed my wife a coffee and I treated myself to a rather crisp dry Sav Blanc, I also grabbed some bacon rolls, pastries and cookies which were welcome as we left the house at 7am without having nothing to etc, we passed the time by relaxing and letting the little man watch the departing aircraft, most of which were rotating without our window view point.
Boarding – the gate was announced at 11.10 and we decided to leave mimed as we didn’t know how difficult it would be to board with a buggy, baby and our hand luggage, the gate was actually a short walk from the lounge and and as we arrived a couple of mins later there was a queue that had already formed, as we had the baby, were travelling in CE and my BA status we were not worried as we new we would be first on board
OnBoard – we boarded with easy and took our seats at the very front of the plane, this was one of BA’s newly refurb end short haul aircraft and I know I’ve seen a couple of complaints around leg room etc, as we had the bulkhead in front we had more than enough room and found the chairs very comfortable for this 2.50hr flight. Hot towels were handed out and boarding was completed quickly with the doors closed and pushback at midday. Our baby had fallen asleep which we couldn’t believe but were happy about as we did get a few looks from people when sitting down, probably worried he would cry a lot of the flight and in actually fact he slept the whole way which was excellent for his first flight.
Flight – we taxied quickly to the active runway and unusually for LHR there was no queue for departure and we left mimed, this has to be a first for me and I couldn’t believe it was all running so smoothly. The crew came round with the drinks service and then started the lunch service. No menus were handed out, the choices were a hot chicken kebab salad which the wife went for or a fish curry which I choose, my wife said her chicken kebab salad was lovely with the chicken not being dry and also very generous portion, my fish curry was served hot and was tasty although on the smaller side, i could have eaten double but all in all was very nice. The crew were helpful and friendly but without being too in your face, when we boarded the CSM quickly bought my wife a blanket and pillow and extension seatbelt for the baby without us even asking. The flight passed without any incident and we landed in to a sunny GIB on time……with the pilot then telling us it was his first ever landing there which got a cheer and laugh from the passengers on board.
Verdict – Very smooth journey from start to finish, excellent service at every turn and was very happy it all went so well.19th October 2014 at 21:11 #571992
Great review, CityRiskBoy.
What a great little traveller you have! Hope he enjoys his return flight.
Your choice of bulkhead seats was wise, they have lots of space, and no seatback in one’s face. Other rows are not so good though.
When BA get it right, their service is top notch. If only they could manage to achieve consistency….too many times, the service is dire. When paying a premium price for CE, service should be nothing less than excellent every time.
Looking forward to reading about your return trip.20th October 2014 at 14:22 #571993
Hello CityRiskBoy, good to see you & your family were well looked after and your baby had a great first flight.
Did the cabin crew offer a Skyflyers Log Book for the little one? BA carry them on longer short haul (and long haul) flight and are a lovely memento to keep for a future frequent traveller.
If you didn’t get one you could ask the crew on your next flight if they have them loaded and try to get details such as Flight number, Date, Aircraft & Registration and Statute Miles to fill in for your GIB flights.20th October 2014 at 14:27 #571994
If all travel on all carriers could be so smooth that would be nice. Having travelled the first time on a flight to TFS earlier this year with a 20 month old it is a relief when they do behave themselves and there is no drama or racket!20th October 2014 at 21:23 #571995
@AviationGeek – no I didn’t know they were available, thanks for pointing out though, I’m actually travelling on business to NYC in a few weeks and he is coming with me (his first business trip at 6 months old! Haha) so I will be sure to ask for one when boarding.
In response to the other replies – I’ve had many excellent flights with BA in all classes and when they get it right it’s fantastic, but in answer to a comment above, it is annoying because sometimes the consistency level is just not there on the ground and in the air. I suppose it really does depend on what crew you get on the day and also what aircraft you are put on for the flight.
I remember a club world flight I took to SFO last year and the service onboard was just dire from start to finish, like the crew were totally checked out and had no interest in what they were doing and were just miserable, that made me mad as my company had spent a lot of money on my ticket so to get that sort of services….it does sort of p!ss you off……and then I had an excellent flight back from LAX in WTP last December on the A380 and the service in WTP was superb……..if only they could be consistent!
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