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Waiting at Gate A45 for my BA flight back to Heathrow Waiting at Gate A45 for my BA flight back to Heathrow

Tier Point Run to Hawaii in Nov 2021: Day 2 – Paris CDG to Heathrow

By Nige on Fri 12 Nov 2021 at 06:54
Story: Tier Point Run to Hawaii in Nov 2021
Tags: British Airways | CDG | France | Hawaii | LHR | London | Paris | Trips

When the sun rose, it became clear that the mist had stuck around overnight.  I wondered whether that might have an impact on flights.   As it happens it seemed to have absolutely no effect on flights into or out of CDG.  Perhaps partly due to having fewer scheduled flights just now?

I wandered back to the airport at around 8:45am giving me over two hours before my flight back to Heathrow was due to depart.  It was cold out – about freezing.  I was a tad chilled in my shorts, but that’s a calculated gamble based on where I am heading to.

Got back on the CDGVAL heading to T2 and then I walked through the numerous concourses until I noticed a boarding pass barrier to the left which would take me to Gate A45.  This led me to passport control, where I was directed down a channel which I was sure wasn’t there for UK passengers!  Anyway, after showing my vaccination certificate (which was scanned), the automated passport machine rejected my request to go airside, so I had to go via a manual check.  No big deal; no delay. 

Next challenge was to get through security and the queue was fairly big.  There were 5 or 6 machines working and a security lady was directing people to the back of the various queues.  I ended up behind a couple with a baby and a pushchair.  As you might imagine, it took forever for them to get everything out into trays.  Luckily, I wasn’t in a rush, so I bided my time and eventually I was through into the departures hall where I knew there was a Starbucks.

The disappointment of seeing a Starbucks store shut The disappointment of seeing a Starbucks store shut
The disappointment of seeing a Starbucks store shut

Oh, what a disappointment!  Starbucks was shut.  So, I wandered up and down the terminal and finally sat down at A45.  There didn’t seem to be too many passengers waiting, but a queue started to form well before boarding was due to start.

This flight was an unusual one for a short haul trip back to Heathrow in the fact that the aircraft was a 787.  It had been scheduled to be a wide body for quite some time and I had chosen seat 3K which was the back of the mini cabin at the front of the aircraft.  It was the old herringbone Club World configuration, so nothing special expected. 

The first class cabin onboard the BA 787 taking me back to Heathrow The first class cabin onboard the BA 787 taking me back to Heathrow
The first class cabin onboard the BA 787 taking me back to Heathrow

When I went through the gate, I got a beep and was advised that I had a change of seat – now I was in 6B.  I questioned why that was and I got an “ugh?” reply from the French gate agent, who clearly didn’t want to try to explain.  I also enquired on boarding the flight and the BA cabin crew member explained that the 787 had been switched from a 787-8 to a 787-9 which meant the front two rows were First Class and business started at row 6.  With no First Class being sold on this flight, this is what they call FLUB Class, but in this instance, they had decided not to open the first-class cabin, so I was dumped in an aisle herringbone Club World seat, which is probably the worst seat you can possibly get.  The flight was only going to be 40 mins so there was very little for me to complain about.

Flight: BA0307 Equip: 787-9
Sched Depart: 11:00 Actual: 10:59
Sched Arrival: 11:30 Actual: 11:28
Takeoff: 11:21 Landing: 11:07

We pushed back on time and I chose to have the early lunch meal offering of anti-pasti, which wasn’t much to write home about.

Breakfast onboard the BA flight back to Heathrow Breakfast onboard the BA flight back to Heathrow
Breakfast onboard the BA flight back to Heathrow

We arrived into Heathrow about 30 mins early, but yet again, Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) messed up again.  We had to wait close to stand 573 whilst someone turned on the aircraft navigation system.  There a bus waiting and a set of steps, but no one had bothered to get an expert to come and flick the switch so that the 787-9 could park up and get out of the way.

There were only about 45 or so passengers on board so we got one bus and it was packed.  I was first off and into T5.  Flight connections was easy to get through although there was a decent queue for security and no fast track available.

Enjoying my Starbucks in the CCR at Heathrow Enjoying my Starbucks in the CCR at Heathrow
Enjoying my Starbucks in the CCR at Heathrow

I was warmly welcomed through the Millionaire’s door by a very nice BA lady.  I settled down and then headed out for my Starbucks.

Follow the whole story here: Tier Point Run to Hawaii in Nov 2021

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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!

View all posts by Nige   |   Website

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