Weekend at the Tennis ATP Finals in Nov 2017

Our regular trip to the O2 to see the ATP World Tour tennis finals. Another great weekend.

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The BA First Lounge at Heathrow T3
The BA First Lounge at Heathrow T3
The BA First Lounge at Heathrow T3
The BA First Lounge at Heathrow T3

Tier Point Run to Sofia in Jan 2024: Day 2 – London Heathrow LHR to Sofia SOF

By Nige on Mon 15 Jan 2024 at 15:42
Type: Post
Story: Tier Point Run to Sofia in Jan 2024
Tags: British Airways | LHR | London Heathrow | SOF | Sofia | Trips

I toyed with the idea of walking to a Starbucks first thing in the morning, but alas, I just couldn’t make it work.

There isn’t a Starbucks at Heathrow T3, which I think is a travesty, but there are plenty around Heathrow.

A very quiet tube train to Heathrow T3
A very quiet tube train to Heathrow T3
A very quiet tube train to Heathrow T3
A very quiet tube train to Heathrow T3

Most are airside in one of the other terminals, but there are a couple around the perimeter of Heathrow. The closest was going to be a 40 min walk up to Bath Road, but that (probably) wasn’t going to open until 6am.

I slept pretty well overnight, but I was awake by 5am. So after deciding there was no point in pursuing the Starbucks idea, I showered and headed into T3 via the tube at around 5:30am.

When I first arrived at Hattons Cross, it looked like the next train was in 12 mins time, but I headed down anyway. I found a train sat on the correct platform, so I jumped on board.

A very quiet Heathrow T3 on this Monday morning
A very quiet Heathrow T3 on this Monday morning
A very quiet Heathrow T3 on this Monday morning
A very quiet Heathrow T3 on this Monday morning

It could only go one way and the next stop was T2/T3. I was just surprised there was no announcement or anything.

T3 was fairly quiet and I popped into the BA check in area to get my boarding cards printed.

Flight: B0870 Equip: A320
Sched Depart: 11:20 Actual: 11:36
Sched Arrival: 16:35 Actual: 17:08
Takeoff: 12:36 Landing: 17:04

In through Fast Track Security – there was a queue of non-eligible passengers that were blocking the automated boarding pass scanners. But I was through in no time at all.

Qantas Dreamliner to head to Perth on the 4th longest scheduled passenger flight
Qantas Dreamliner to head to Perth on the 4th longest scheduled passenger flight
Qantas Dreamliner to head to Perth on the 4th longest scheduled passenger flight
Qantas Dreamliner to head to Perth on the 4th longest scheduled passenger flight

Decided to head through to the BA Lounge and asked for a First Dining invitation. I was hoping to avoid eating in the lounge if I could, but it’s nice to have it, just in case.

I took on a little challenge whilst I was in T3: go find the Qantas Dreamliner (787) which will serve QF10 heading to Perth. It arrived at 05:05 from Perth earlier today and I assumed it would be parked up at one of the premier gates at T3.

Unfortunately for those scheduled to fly on QF10 today, I found her parked up at T5 remote stand 594. That’s a shame considering it’s the fourth longest scheduled passenger flight in the world today at 9,009 miles (around 17 hours flight time).

The ATC tower at Heathrow
The ATC tower at Heathrow
The ATC tower at Heathrow
The ATC tower at Heathrow

It’s just behind two Singapore Airline flights to New York JFK and Newark, closely followed by a Qatar flight to Auckland. Obviously the westward and eastward durations differ.

I was tracking the aircraft that would be used on my flight to Sofia and it was in the air coming from Dublin to Heathrow T5, so that told me that we would be on a remote stand today.

That was confirmed not long after it arrived, with flightaware.com reporting that we would be using Gate 24C. I headed down there about 45 mins before departure time.

Onto the bus and I managed to get to the front, which is normally offers a first-off guarantee. The lady bus driver didn’t seem very confident in control of the bus and was driving very slowly.

The aircraft was parked at remote stand 590 and due to the positioning of vehicles around the aircraft (possibly not helped by the nervousness of the driver), we ended up the wrong way around to make use of the front door. So on this occasion everyone left the bus from the middle door.

Onto the aircraft into seat 01C. I spoke to one of the guys I saw yesterday. Another sad bugger like me!

It wasn’t long before the captain announced an ATC restriction due to lack of ATC resource. That meant we weren’t being allowed to take off for an hour later than scheduled. Bugger! So much for an early finish today.

We pushed back soon after and I had hopes that we may be getting off sooner than expected, but the crew were just clearing the gate for another aircraft.

The pasta dish served on board the BA flight to Sofia
The pasta dish served on board the BA flight to Sofia
The pasta dish served on board the BA flight to Sofia
The pasta dish served on board the BA flight to Sofia

Finally off and drinks service started, quickly followed by food. It seemed like we were in a bit of a rush.

The pork medallions were available, but I decided to go for the pasta this time, which was very nice.

The starter was OK. It was the one with feta and beetroot. The pudding was the orange and passionfruit goo. Nice.

Cheese course involved Stilton and a tiny amount of marmalade. But it was OK.

Kate, the Cabin Services Manager made a real mess of collecting trays, dropping food all over the floor – it was quite amusing – I had a great view from seat 01C!

We arrived into Gate B7 – one of the normal gates. Just a short walk off the aircraft and back round to wait to reboard.


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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