Tier Point Run to Hawaii in Nov 2022 – Day 1 – London (LHR) to Budapest (BUD)
First thing I had to do when I reached The First Wing was to check my booking with a BA colleague. Something was stopping me from checking in for my BA flight tomorrow (LHR to JFK). I had managed to check in to my BUD to LHR flight but I couldn’t get any further. I regularly have boarding pass problems with BA, but this looked a bit different.
Flight: BA0870 Equip: A320Neo
Sched Depart: 19:35 Actual: 20:03
Sched Arrival: 23:05 Actual: 23:39
Takeoff: 20:20 Landing: 23:26
The check in agent had to ring back office who confirmed my ticket had not been issued properly. In fact there were issues all through my booking. This was likely due to me upgrading into First Class using Avios a few months back.
The Ticketing team had to email me a new ticket. Apparently when that came through, everything would be fine and I’d be able to check in. As I found out later, I still couldn’t check in online.
I headed through security and joined the back of the longest queue I have ever seen at TFW. There were a lot of disgruntled passengers, but we all got through eventually. It took about 15 mins which included my liquids being caught for a secondary check.
Into the CCR, then a terminal walk, then into the First Lounge for an early tea. There’s always something to do around T5!
I realised from flightaware.com quite early on that my flight would be leaving from Gate B42, so I decided I may as well lounge hop for a change. The B lounge wasn’t that busy when I got there but it certainly filled up soon after.
Unfortunately, I found my favourite pies in the Club Lounge at the B Gates. This is why I put so much weight on when I am away from home.
Queuing at Gate B42 was classically BA. Its one of the gates in the corner which firstly means the jet bridge is really long and “loitering” around the gate area tends to be quite tricky due to limited space being available. I arrived at the perfect time: everyone sat down so I got a good spot with my back to the wall. Others started filling the space alongside me but eventually you get some passengers who can’t find a space against the wall out of the way, so they stand, blocking the walkway.
A little delayed before boarding commenced but soon into seat 01F and looking forward to a glass of bubbly. Unfortunately as with recent flights up to Inverness, there was a 30 min delay in pushing back. A vague ref to a push back team was assigned the blame, so I assume that means lack of Heathrow staff. There was no suggestion that it had anything to do with ATC restrictions.
The seat next to me was empty again, which is always nice. BA do try to leave a seat free next to a GGL member (if the flight isn’t too busy).
In the air and I was encouraged to have a few glasses of champers. I was now very much looking forward to saying hello to my bed at the ibis Hotel!
There were three options for dinner on board, but no menu. It turned out to be a bit of a pie eating evening since I went for the chicken and leak pie which was very tasty. It looked larger than it actually was since there was no real depth to it. Nice none the less.
Arrived into BUD Gate 33 (or B6 as I realised the following day) around 30 mins later than scheduled, all due to the delay pushing back at Heathrow. Off the aircraft first, another longish jet bridge. No signs at the end, so turned left which proved to be the wrong way. The guy behind me either knew or guessed I was heading the wrong way. All glass doors. Headed through one double set of glass doors and then it was an immediate left through another set of glass doors and then down some stairs. The memories of our last time we were here came flooding back.
Past the transfer desk on the right hand side and eventually into passport control which was empty (after all it was after 11:30pm). The guy in front went to a Euro passport desk and I was the first at the “everyone else” passport desk. The official couldn’t pronounce London well enough for me to understand to start with. I worked it out in the end – he was obviously checking which flight had just arrived.
Quick walk through customs and I found it fairly busy in arrivals. Walked straight through and into the slightly chilly fresh air of Budapest. Walked down the road to the Ibis Styles hotel, although I am sure there’s a nice walkway, which I guessed must have been to the left. By this stage, I just wanted to get to the hotel and settle in.
The last time we were here, there was a long wait to check in, which is exactly what you don’t want when it’s late and all you want is to get into bed. Luckily there was no one in reception when I arrived, so that was a good start. Considering I had filled in everything online as part of a check-in process, it was disappointingly a timely process to get my key.
Into room 324 which must have been a 1 bed suite. Quite snazzy/minimalist/understated. Looking forward to 5 hours in bed. I set the alarm for 6am.
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