Tier Point Run to Hawaii in Jan 2023: Day 6 – London (LHR) to Budapest (BUD)
After another disappointment at the automated passport kiosks at Heathrow T5, I headed up to The First Wing (TFW) to head through to the CCR ahead of my flight to Budapest this afternoon. I stopped off at the showers and expected there to be a bit of a wait, but I was assigned a shower immediately.
It was nice to clean up and feel refreshed. It’s going to be another long day, with about 5 hours or so in the lounge, followed by two flights (to Budapest and back) and an hour’s drive back home this evening.
Once I was done in the shower, I settled into a chair in the CCR, spoke with The Vickster and then headed out for a Starbucks. Wow – did I need my caffeine! Note: I read an interesting BBC article about the levels of caffeine in coffees served by UK stores (including Starbucks) – you can find out more here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-64472214.
Flight: BA0866 Equip: A321
Sched Depart: 14:10 Actual: 14:12
Sched Arrival: 17:45 Actual: 17:22
Takeoff: 14:33 Landing: 17:21
Whilst I was in the CCR, I also decided to get a late breakfast. The CCR serves breakfast until 11:30 and it looked and tasted fab. The only negative point was they were out of hash browns and they gave me some overly-crispy thing which didn’t really taste of anything. My standard measure of quality: the mushrooms were lovely and well seasoned.
My flight to Budapest left from Gate A9. I headed out there when I could see the gate via flightaware.com, even though it wasn’t being displayed around the terminal via the departure screens. No problems re queueing and no announcement about being a full flight etc, so loads were obviously not heavy on this flight.
I had forgotten to charge up my phone in the CCR, so my battery was down to 50%. I was going to spend most of the flight listening to music, but Bluetooth is a bit of a battery guzzler. When I got into seat 01F, I noticed that there was a sign to indicate there was power below the seat, but I couldn’t find one and the cabin crew couldn’t find one either. I’d have to conserve my power on these flights.
As with previous not-full flights, I had the front row side to myself. The woman in a similar position on the other side of the aircraft boarded late and I had to work with her to squeeze her bags into the available space. One of her bags ended up in the emergency equipment locker.
As we were waiting to push back, I noticed four vehicles arrive to wait for the aircraft that had arrived at Gate A8 (gate arrival approx 14:15). I wondered who that’s for and where they have come from. From the arrivals info I could gather, arrivals around that time came from either Edinburgh or Glasgow. Unfortunately, we moved away before the celeb had chance to deplane and get in the convoy of vehicles.
We taxied the length of the runway, using 27L to take off heading westward. As we joined the runway a second BA short-haul aircraft joined just ahead of us. I believe this is referred to as “line up and wait”. I was aware that stacking on the same runway was possible, but I think it’s the first time I’ve seen it happen. The other aircraft obviously took off first, and after the safe spacing gap, we were off next.
Normal in-flight service started soon after take off. Started with water and nuts, followed by a choice of three dishes: a salmon salad, a mushroom pasta and the beef cheek with cauliflower cheese. I went for the latter, since I had enjoyed that same dish last Thu evening.
Based on the expected flight time, I was expecting to arrive almost 90 mins prior to the return flight departing, so I had concerns over successfully making my Back-2-Back. In fact, to be honest, I had enough time to leave the airport, pop down to the hotel to say hello to reception, and then come back and work my way through security and passport control!
As we approach Budapest, the sun started to go down (as it does every day), and I got to see another nice sunset.
We arrived into our normal gate, Gate B6 (Gate 31 in old money) and I helped the lady on the other side of row 1 with her bags. Primarily because it would release of my own rucksack!
There was a bit of a delay before we could deplane, probably because we were early. I headed into flight connections and enjoyed a bizarre interaction with staff members there.
There was a lady looking after flight connections, and she checked my boarding pass and asked me to put my stuff in trays ready to be scanned. She clearly was waiting for someone else, which is why it became a bit bizarre.
We waited for a min or so, and she then wheeled out a comfy chair and invited me to sit down. We proceeded to have a basic chat in English about nothing in particular. Me on one side of the body scanner and she on the other side. I told her it was the first time I had ever been invited to sit comfortably at security. That’s normally reserved for naughty people smuggling stuff in, isn’t it?
Her colleague finally arrived and normal service resumed. I was on my way a few moments later.
Follow the whole story here: Tier Point Run to Hawaii in Jan 2023