Tier Point Run to Hawaii in Dec 2022: Day 2 – Budapest (BUD) to London (LHR)
I set the alarm for 6am expecting to wake up well before that. It’s my norm. Amazingly, I was rudely awoken by my alarm going off, having slept really well. A welcome surprise.
I was showered and heading down to reception in about 15 mins. Walking over to the terminal I could feel the bracing chill of the Budapest air. It was 4 degrees below freezing. Ouch!
Airport security was very calm. There were only about 5 passengers ahead of me in the fast track queue and once through, Budapest Airport was nicely decorated for the festive season. I headed straight down through passport control and into the lounge near the B Gates. The lounge was nice and relaxing as it normally is.
We left from Gate B6 and I noticed that the crew arrived at the gate about 45 mins before departure. That was better than the last time when they arrived 30 mins before and blamed the time it took for pax to board as the reason for the delay in leaving.
Boarding was a bit disorganised and all 3 “priority” groups were called together. On into seat 01F and even though FlightAware suggested we would be on stand 20 mins early at Heathrow, somehow BA managed to delay things.
I was offered a menu of breakfast options and as soon as I saw that, I immediately felt hungry!
We were 20 mins beyond our scheduled departure when the captain indicated there was a central Europe ATC restriction which meant we couldn’t take off for another 40 mins. More likely cause was due to us missing our slot because it took BA so long to complete boarding! Whinging now over.
Flight: BA0865 Equip: A320
Sched Depart: 08:15 Actual: 08:58
Sched Arrival: 10:15 Actual: 10:37
Takeoff: 09:11 Landing: 10:22
We finally pushed back at around 9am, so about 45 mins late but it was only about 10 mins later that we were in the air. So half a chance of getting back at a reasonable time. I was surprised that no de-icing was required considering it was -4 deg c earlier on. As normal, I had planned almost 4 hours between flights at Heathrow just in case, so any delay wasn’t of any real concern to me.
Service was a tad sluggish, but breakfast was eventually served. This included a Hungarian sounding dish and the full English. No guesses as to which I went for. I didn’t really want too much, so just picked at the food and had a cup of tea to wash things down. I was half thinking about getting a CCR breakfast when I got back to Heathrow.
The rest of the flight comprised a series of dozes, which was probably a good thing considering the long day ahead of me. The flight seemed to go on forever for some reason. The one notable exception was when I briefly roused from my slumber, looked out of the window and saw a plane heading our way really fast and quite close with a long dark trail behind it. I quickly grasped my camera, stuck it on max zoom and captured this of a Ryanair flight heading somewhere east.
We landed very smoothly on the southern runway (27L) and although there was a bit of delay before we could make our final taxi moves on to Gate A21. I spotted an A380 parking up at a B gate, so I was likely going to hit Arrivals at the same time as the 300+ passengers coming off an A380! So I didn’t hang around after leaving the aircraft. I wanted to try eGates again. I was hoping something had come of my complaint to Border Force. They had finally responded rejecting my complaint with some boilerplate nonsense about security being the key consideration etc…
Bottom line: I tried about 4 eGates and I gave up in the end. There was no queue for the Seek Assistance queue and the young lady who dealt with me was less than friendly. Such a stark contrast with the two lovely ladies I met the last time I came through the UK border back in Nov.
Follow the whole story here: Tier Point Run to Hawaii in Dec 2022