Tier Point Run to Sofia in Jun 2023: Day 1 – London LHR to Sofia SOF
Having checked in online, I headed up to Fast Track Security where there was a minimal queue. The 3D scanners had not arrived at T3 as yet, so it was the normal “everything out” approach and the slow move of trays through the scanner.
I dumped my stuff in the Cathay First Lounge – none of the throne seats in the window were initially available, although I moved into one later on. It tends to be my go-to lounge when I am departing from T3.
My first stop was to pop out to Case where I had a new larger backpack waiting for me (a Tumi Alpha Bravo Expedition Backpack). My thinking was that my standard small Tumi backpack which I normally take with me on TP runs to the US, is just a tad on the small side. There’s no reason why I shouldn’t take a larger backpack with me on these trips, so that I have plenty of space for a change of clothes and for bringing presents back with me for the missus!
I received so much help from the ladies in the store. They showed me a newer backpack (the Alpha Bravo Nomadic Backpack) which had slightly better pockets and was expandable. In the end I thought the slightly taller backpack was worth the punt. It would be delivered to my home address within 10 days. And I saved a good amount by buying it at the airport!
Flight: BA0892 Equip: A320
Sched Depart: 14:00 Actual: 14:25
Sched Arrival: 19:10 Actual: 19:30
Takeoff: 14:47 Landing: 19:27
Having popped back to the Cathay lounge to drop some stuff, I embarked on a lounge hop. First stop (after the Cathay First Lounge) was the Qantas Lounge which is normally good for brunch. I was well hungry having not had any breakfast.
The Qantas Lounge was busy – much busier than the last time I was in just after it opened. I headed upstairs and tried the help-yourself-brunch.
Sausage, bacon, beans, some tasty mushrooms and some horrendous scambled egg. I made a bacon sarnie which went down well. A cappuccino washed it all down. The mushrooms were the highlight.
After spending 15 mins in the Quantas Lounge I headed up to the BA Lounge.
Not a great deal going on in there, but they have added in a bar area close to the buffet counter.
I also learned that there is now a First Area here as well. An area for Premiers and First Class passengers.
GGL members not invited, but AA’s CK members have access – that can’t be right!
I didn’t spend a lot of time in the BA Lounge. Been there; done it plenty of times now.
Off a little further up the lounge concourse to the AA Lounge and the lounge agent advised the lounge was full of BA members!
Not many seats free and the buffet looked the same as all of the others.
Back to the Cathay Lounge to chill a bit. Held off from putting an order in at the noodle bar in the Business Lounge. But eventually ordered the Korean Chicken Fried Rice and the mixed dim sum.
Tasty but nothing that stood out as fabulous.
I headed down to Gate 24C (a bus gate) about 50 mins ahead of departure time.
I expected there to be a load of TP runners on the flight and there were certainly a number of geeky-looking nerds in the waiting area. 5 mins later, we were boarding the bus.
The bus drove all the way back to T5 to board an aircraft parked at stand 591.
On board into 1F and the other passengers in row 1 all made themselves known to cabin crew as doing B2Bs. It all sounded a bit noisy for me so I dozed as the remaining passengers found their seats.
The captain announced there was a 20 min ATC delay due to weather issues on our route, but would try and fly as fast as he could to make up some time! Comments like that always make me laugh.
Finally pushed back and about 15 mins later we were up in the air.
A drinks service started promptly. Water and tea for me. The meal service started about 60 mins or so in to the flight. A menu was provided and it turned out to be pretty decent.
I started off eating the lamb shoulder with sweet potato mash, peas and jus. Very nice indeed. The lamb fell off the bone.
Next up was the starter: some sort of corn dish which was horrible.
Then came the blueberry meringue cheesecake which was absolutely gorgeous.
Finally the cheese course and that’s when my knife took a nose dive off my tray! I managed somehow!
I enjoyed some nice views on the way into Sofia. I’ll be seeing this view at least another 5 times in the next 9 months or so.
Perhaps we might take a weekend trip to Sofia at some point. Might make a change from just seeing the inside of the airport!
We arrived into Gate C1 in Terminal 2 about 20 mins late, so the captain probably made up a few mins on the flight over.
The cabin crew asked whether I was also getting back onboard, so I said I would see them in 20 mins time. “Another one getting back on board” came the reply.
Follow the whole story here: Tier Point Run to Sofia in Jun 2023