Weekend to Rome in Jun 2016

The last time we went to Rome was, well ages ago. It’s such an amazing place, it was time to head back.

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The BA aircraft waiting to take me back to Heathrow
The BA aircraft waiting to take me back to Heathrow
The BA aircraft waiting to take me back to Heathrow
The BA aircraft waiting to take me back to Heathrow

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

By Nige on Sat 10 Jun 2023 at 22:10
Type: Post
Story: Tier Point Run to Sofia in Jun 2023
Tags: British Airways | Bulgaria | LHR | London | SOF | Sofia | Trips

Sofia is one of the easiest places to do a B2B at. Arriving passengers are decanted into the departures area, so departing and arriving passengers mix.

Arriving into Sofia at Gate B7
Arriving into Sofia at Gate B7
Arriving into Sofia at Gate B7
Arriving into Sofia at Gate B7

Sofia is not alone in this attribute. It’s the same at a number of other airports including Amsterdam.

No need to head through passport control or security. Let’s hope that doesn’t change anytime soon!

Odd to see book covers in a foreign language!
Odd to see book covers in a foreign language!
Odd to see book covers in a foreign language!
Odd to see book covers in a foreign language!

Sofia airport looked nice enough. It’s quite a large terminal building and a number of attractive shops and food outlets.

There are apparently two lounges available for BA passengers but according to one of the other B2B passengers I spoke to, at least one of these was closed.

I might look up details of the lounges for my next trip.

Directly opposite Gate C1 was a small book shop which had a number of popular books with very unusual looking titles since they were in Bulgarian (surprisingly enough)!

Sofia airport
Sofia airport
Sofia airport
Sofia airport

By the time I had wandered up the terminal building and back again, the gate had started accepting Group 1-3 passengers into the holding area.

I was one of the last ones through and I waited patiently at the entrance to the jet bridge. It’s surprising how tired I get after an extended period at Heathrow followed by a single 3 hour flight. Perhaps it’s an age-related thing.

The ground crew did a really good job at turning the aircraft around and it wasn’t long after our scheduled departure time when we were fully boarded and ready to go.

Take off from Sofia on the way back to Heathrow
Take off from Sofia on the way back to Heathrow
Take off from Sofia on the way back to Heathrow
Take off from Sofia on the way back to Heathrow

Flight: BA0893 Equip: A320
Sched Depart: 20:10 Actual: 20:52
Sched Arrival: 21:35 Actual: 22:33
Takeoff: 21:04 Landing: 21:57

As on the way out, the captain advised that there was an ATC slot restriction due to weather over Europe, so that meant we would see about a 50 min delay before we could be in the air.

Take off was nice and smooth and I got a decent view of the countryside and the city of Sofia in the background.

The BA meal served on the way back to Heathrow
The BA meal served on the way back to Heathrow
The BA meal served on the way back to Heathrow
The BA meal served on the way back to Heathrow

Service followed the same approach as on the way out. Drinks service started fairly quickly and the meal service must have started about an hour after leaving Sofia.

This time the meal wasn’t as interesting as on the outbound. This time I went for the chicken breast which was only ok. The starter was the same so I didn’t bother even trying that. The highlight was again the cheesecake. The cheese I managed keeping the knife on my tray!

The sunset on the way home to Blighty
The sunset on the way home to Blighty
The sunset on the way home to Blighty
The sunset on the way home to Blighty

There was a lovely sunset on the way home. Not a lot else to report on to be honest.

I dozed most of the way home; I had forgotten to bring my ear buds, so I couldn’t listen to any music. However, I did find power socket under my seat – the last short haul BA flight I was on, the sign was there to suggest there should be power available under the seats, but I couldn’t find any socket! How frustrating!

Anyway, it was good to be able to charge my phone up.

We landed at Heathrow about 20 mins behind our scheduled arrival, but when we arrived at our gate, we had to wait for the stand guidance to be turned on. The captain made a reference to Gate 332, although we didn’t end up there! The wait extended to about 30 mins and that included a need for us to do a 360 cycle around the taxiways to allow an aircraft to push back.

We ended up taxiing to T5 remote stand – this time 589, and even then when we got there, we had to wait a few more mins for the ground crew to turn on stand guidance. Bizarre how poor the BA ground service was.

The remote stand meant we had to deal with buses to take us back to T3 as well!


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