Tier Point Run to Las Vegas in Jun 2018

Another top up of Tier Points is on the cards with this trip to Las Vegas.

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A threatening cloud formation behind this AA aircraft bound for the US
A threatening cloud formation behind this AA aircraft bound for the US
A threatening cloud formation behind this AA aircraft bound for the US
A threatening cloud formation behind this AA aircraft bound for the US

Tier Point Run to Sofia in Jul 2023: Day 1 – London LHR to Sofia SOF

By Nige on Sat 01 Jul 2023 at 18:46
Type: Post
Story: Tier Point Run to Sofia in Jul 2023
Tags: British Airways | Bulgaria | LHR | London | SOF | Sofia | Trips

I decided to base myself in the AA First Class Lounge today, so after heading through Fast Track Security at T3, I made my way through the departures lounge, avoiding passenger obstacles, into the AA lounge and found a quiet seat by the window.

The AA Lounge breakfast buffet - not much to write home about
The AA Lounge breakfast buffet – not much to write home about
The AA Lounge breakfast buffet - not much to write home about
The AA Lounge breakfast buffet – not much to write home about

I’ve heard that the AA buffet breakfast was supposed to be pretty good, but it wasn’t up to much this morning.

There was the normal selection of bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, mushrooms and tomatos, which was fine.

Unfortunately, most of it was lukewarm at best, so not a patch on the Qantas Lounge offering, or indeed the BA Lounge offering come to that.

The Qantas flight to Perth - that's a 16 hour flight!
The Qantas flight to Perth – that’s a 16 hour flight!
The Qantas flight to Perth - that's a 16 hour flight!
The Qantas flight to Perth – that’s a 16 hour flight!

The inbound flight (as reported by flightaware.com) was noted as coming from Gibralta. That’s been the case for the last two flights I have taken to Sofia over the past month.

As it has on previous occasions, it was showing almost an hour’s delay. Interestingly, the flight to Sofia was still showing as being on time.

I wondered how that was going to work out!

I hit the concourse and walked up to the far end towards Gate 40 and then down the Virgin pier, just as an opportunity to stretch my legs.

Nothing exciting going on to be honest, but it’s always nice to see people milling around, looking forward to catching their flights to somewhere exciting.

The Cathay Business Class Lounge lunch buffet
The Cathay Business Class Lounge lunch buffet
The Cathay Business Class Lounge lunch buffet
The Cathay Business Class Lounge lunch buffet

Back to the AA Lounge to check my stuff was still where I left it!

Then it was off on another walk in the other direction, towards Gate 1.

On the way back, I popped into the Cathay Business Lounge and tried some rice, a lentil curry and a kung pao chicken.

All very good, but I needed to leave some space for my onboard meals!

I also popped into the BA Lounge to check on the lunch options there. Nothing much to write home about, so I headed back to the AA Lounge and chilled out, awaiting my first flight over to Sofia.

Flight: BA0892 Equip: A320
Sched Depart: 14:00 Actual: 14:27
Sched Arrival: 19:10 Actual: 19:32
Takeoff: 14:44 Landing: 19:29

BA at London Heathrow
BA at London Heathrow
BA at London Heathrow
BA at London Heathrow

A gate was assigned quite early for my flight out to Sofia – Gate 11. The flight was still noted as being on-time, but as a result of the inbound aircraft changing.

This one looked like its latest flight was last Tuesday, arriving from Geneva. Still an A320 though.

Gate 11 (which is next to the entrance to the Cathay Lounge), was a bit chaotic when I got there. One wheelchair passenger, lots of older folk and lots of small kids. Everyone was hanging around the door to the air bridge.

The team at the gate announced there was a 10 min delay to the flight departure time.

Nice to see the old girl watching over things at Heathrow
Nice to see the old girl watching over things at Heathrow
Nice to see the old girl watching over things at Heathrow
Nice to see the old girl watching over things at Heathrow

The wheelchair passenger was allowed on first, then there was a call to allow boarding by families with small children.

But there was no invitation to those that might need more time to board, so the oldies didn’t get a look-in! We went straight into Group 1 boarding.

But it was nice to hear that only Group 1 passengers were invited to board initially – not this Group 1, 2, 3 … oh and 4, 5 and 6 might as well board at the same time!

Into seat 01F and I noticed one guy that had been on the previous flights I had been on. But the seat next to me was empty – fab!

Initial views of the M25 after taking off from Heathrow
Initial views of the M25 after taking off from Heathrow
Initial views of the M25 after taking off from Heathrow
Initial views of the M25 after taking off from Heathrow

We pushed back about 30 mins late. We were on the runway about 10 mins later. It was a nice and smooth take off.

I was pleased to find power sockets between the seats. Less impressed that they didn’t work…

Looked like a new menu – perhaps they change menus at the start of each month?

The Thai chicken curry sounded nice, but I decided I would try the lentil and spring onion pie, which sounded really good.

I was in the mood for a pie…

The drinks service started about 20 mins taking off – about the norm. The meal service started not far off an hour after we departed. I was looking forward to the pie since it sounded fab. I wasn’t disappointed.

The puff pastry pie served up by BA on the flight to Sofia
The puff pastry pie served up by BA on the flight to Sofia
The puff pastry pie served up by BA on the flight to Sofia
The puff pastry pie served up by BA on the flight to Sofia

The pie had a very light puff pastry top and a thin layer of vegetables is a tasty sauce. Very good indeed.

The pudding was a chocolate fudge which was nice. However, not as nice as the cheesecake last month!

The starter looked awful and tasted awful. I don’t get why or how Do&Co manages to come up with these horrible concoctions. I’d be happy with a prawn cocktail if it came to it!

I finished off with cheese and biscuits. The chutney was different – more like a marmalade and the camembert had been swapped with a Stilton, which I am no fan of.

Overall – a decent meal. Looking forward to reaching my destination now!

The captain was pleased to announce that he had made up some time on the flight over and we would be landing only 5 mins late. Within 10 mins, that all went to the wall when we ended up circling. The captain later explained, that due to thunderstorms, ATC advised we should change runways.

Thunderstorms over Sofia
Thunderstorms over Sofia
Thunderstorms over Sofia
Thunderstorms over Sofia

Consequently, we had to abort the original final approach, circle and line up to a different runway.

It was pretty bumpy on final approach, assume due to the inclement weather.

The captain still made up some of the time on the way and we arrived into Gate B7 only 20 mins late.

Note it wasn’t the normal gate, which is C3.


Follow the whole story here: Tier Point Run to Sofia in Jul 2023


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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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