Work Trip to Houston in Jan 2014

This is Vick’s first work trip abroad with Risktec. She’s on her way to spend a week with her colleagues based in Houston. This is a follow-on story from our Holiday to Las Vegas in Dec 2013.

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An AA aircraft waiting to depart for the US at Heathrow T3
An AA aircraft waiting to depart for the US at Heathrow T3
An AA aircraft waiting to depart for the US at Heathrow T3
An AA aircraft waiting to depart for the US at Heathrow T3

Tier Point Run to Sofia in Jan 2024: Day 1 – London Heathrow LHR to Sofia SOF

By Nige on Sun 14 Jan 2024 at 16:55
Type: Post
Story: Tier Point Run to Sofia in Jan 2024
Tags: British Airways | LHR | London Heathrow | SOF | Sofia | Trips

The escalator in the BA check-in area was cordoned off for some reason, so a minor detour was required to get up to the first level and access to Fast Track Security.

Fast Track Security at T3 is amazing, now that they have the new 3D scanners installed. It’s quicker and easier, now that nothing needs to be taken out of your bags.

Heading out of the T3 tube station on my way for my flight to Sofia
Heading out of the T3 tube station on my way for my flight to Sofia
Heading out of the T3 tube station on my way for my flight to Sofia
Heading out of the T3 tube station on my way for my flight to Sofia

I understand that The First Wing (TFW) at T5 is currently closed, so that they can reinforce the floor ahead of the new scanners being installed in that terminal. That should improve things over there as well.

Quickly through into airside I decided to base myself in the Cathay Pacific Lounge – that made a bit of a change from previous trips. The main seats facing onto the apron were all busy, so I had to wait for passengers for the Hong Kong flight to leave, before being able to get the best seat in the house.

Whilst waiting, I built my steps up by wandering around the terminal. I am normally tempted by all of the food and drink available, so I have to keep up with my exercise, so I avoid the pounds piling on!

The best seat in the house in the Cathay Pacific First Lounge at Heathrow T3
The best seat in the house in the Cathay Pacific First Lounge at Heathrow T3
The best seat in the house in the Cathay Pacific First Lounge at Heathrow T3
The best seat in the house in the Cathay Pacific First Lounge at Heathrow T3

Dry January is also a good excuse to avoid unnecessary calories!

Flight: BA0890 Equip: A320
Sched Depart: 13:20 Actual: 13:21
Sched Arrival: 18:30 Actual: 18:24
Takeoff: 13:45 Landing: 18:20

By 11am, I was starting to struggle with hunger pains and it was still a while until my first flight to Sofia, so I gave in to a fritatta in the Cathay Lounge. It was very tasty and relatively small, so I convinced myself that was a good compromise on hunger vs weight!

My flight was due to leave from Gate 9, which is a gate I have never used before, so a new experience for me.

Interesting view of a Delta aircraft through the departures area
Interesting view of a Delta aircraft through the departures area
Interesting view of a Delta aircraft through the departures area
Interesting view of a Delta aircraft through the departures area

I headed down there about 50 mins before the target pushback time, 5 mins ahead of schedule, and the gate appeared on the boards just as I walked out of the lift.

Interestingly, the gate didn’t appear on flightaware.com, whereas in the past, it has appeared, well ahead of when the gate appears on the departure boards.

We started boarding about 10 mins later and it was all a bit of a rush as a result of an inbound flight parking on a shared jetty (or at least that’s what I picked up from Gate crew).

On into seat 01D, which is not my normal seat, but at least I was in row 1! Nice to see that there was power available at the seat. That would allow me to use and abuse my mobile and earbuds.

Drinks service on board the BA flight to Sofia
Drinks service on board the BA flight to Sofia
Drinks service on board the BA flight to Sofia
Drinks service on board the BA flight to Sofia

It was obvious that there were a number of TP runners on board, some of which I am sure will be doing B2Bs like me.

We ended up pushing back a few minutes behind schedule, which I guess for BA isn’t too bad.

Drinks service started fairly promptly. Just a tea, nuts and biscuits for me. Dry Jan and all that.

Meal service started about an hour into the flight. No menu was offered.

Lunch on board the BA flight to Sofia
Lunch on board the BA flight to Sofia
Lunch on board the BA flight to Sofia
Lunch on board the BA flight to Sofia

I went for the pork medallions, which had been overcooked. For a change the starter was quite edible: a simple salad with beetroot and feta.

Pudding was tasty as always. Cheese course was nice enough. I didn’t bother with the Stilton and it was a marmalade rather than chutney.

I listened to music for the rest of the flight. Nice and chilled.

Landing was smooth. In fact, the whole flight was nice and smooth, so no complaints on that score!

We arrived into Gate 3, the same as my first experience doing a B2B at Sofia. I was first off and it was hardly a challenge to walk the 50 yds back to the gate ready for getting back onboard


Follow the whole story here: Tier Point Run to Sofia in Jan 2024


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Author Bio: About Nige

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Nige is one of the co-founders of The Billingham Blog and works as a freelance management consultant. He loves to fly in his spare time!

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