Tier Point Run to Grand Cayman in Dec 2013: Day 1 – London Heathrow (LHR) to Dublin (DUB)
Well having left about 10 mins late from Manchester, and arriving 10 mins early at Heathrow it was disappointing to have to sit on the apron for 15 mins whilst an aircraft got ready to leave the gate we were arriving at. Never mind.
Navigating through T5 to the flight connection bus at T1 was relatively straightforward – I nearly walked down a bridge to a gate, but a security guy managed to attract my attention and push me down the right corridor.
The ride on the bus was interesting since I’ve not seen any other terminals at Heathrow (actually I have been to T1 which I realised later on), and the ride gives you a feel as to how big a place it really is.
Once off the bus it rapidly turned into a bit of a nightmare. Up escalators, down escalators, getting confused with flight connections signs.
Once you have connected, why do you still have to follow signs for Flight Connections? Surely we should be following signs to T1?
I was close to ending up in a never ending circle of flight connection buses!
I finally ended up in a Border Control queue (queue is a strong word since there was only me and the guy in front who was being dealt with).
Once through there I had to go through another boarding pass check, then another boarding pass check, then I hit a huge queue to get through security, and no fast track unfortunately.
They clearly hope that people will throw in the towel and go home with all the checks. What I did think was a little odd was that some of the foreigners I had got off the plane/bus with (Middle Eastern etc), appeared in front of me in the final security queue, so they had clearly gone a different way to me, and had been subjected to less stringent checks than I had.
Anyway finally in the BA UK & Ireland Lounge, which is the old BMI lounge which I did spend some time a few years ago (hence reminding me that I had indeed been to T1).
Good selection of sandwiches – typical of the old BMI food offering.
Flight to Dublin was a little late in boarding, and it was another very full flight. I had booked into row 5 but when my boarding card was checked at the gate I was moved into row 10 because Club had been expanded by one row. Later I realised that it had been expanded by 1 row to fit in 4 BA staff! Wasn’t amused I have to say.
Flight: BA0826 Equip: n/a
Sched Depart: 15:35 Actual: n/a
Sched Arrival: 16:50 Actual: n/a
Takeoff: n/a Landing: n/a
Flight was fine – got a nice cup of tea and a pack of chocolate cookies. Fairly tired so dozed a fair bit of the flight. Arrived a touch late but it didn’t take long to make my way through the airport. Asked the Info desk about the location of the Hilton Airport Hotel, and headed through to look for the shuttle bus in zone 14.
When I got there, there was a Hilton mini bus waiting for me – wow – what good service. Unfortunately when I spoke to the driver he was picking up a flight crew (the flight crew on my flight), and I had just missed the standard shuttle. I needed to wait 30 mins.
Anyway finally got to the hotel and it was a slow check in – only one person dealing with a queue of 6. Room was fine when I got there, and I grabbed a shower and chilled out.
Spoke to Vick in the evening and tried out the Burnell restaurant and bar. Got my pint of Guiness and tried the fish and chunky chips. Decent quality but relatively expensive.
Expecting to hit the sack early – aiming to wake at 6am in time to pick up the 06:30 shuttle back to the airport. Have verified that I should be able to use the Security Fast Track, and the Aer Lingus Gold Circle lounge is supposed to have a good continental breakfast. So should be a decent start to the day.
Follow the whole story here: Tier Point Run to Grand Cayman in Dec 2013