➔ BEA, Club Europe, Airbus A319, LHR-MUC
➔ Courtyard by Marriott, Munich
➔ British Airways, Club Europe, Airbus A319, MUC-LHR
With the ever increasing number of countries being taken off the UK’s travel corridor list, finding somewhere to go for a weekend away in Europe was becoming increasingly difficult.
One of the few places that was left which was looking somewhat safe was Germany. Although in the days leading up to departure, even that looked a bit shaky. Thursday evening came, which was generally when any changes are made to the travel corridors in the UK, and only Italy was added. So my trip to Munich would be going ahead.
When it came to booking the flights, my preferred option was Lufthansa. Purely because they offer a full service on board. Where as British Airways don’t. However, the Lufthansa flights were £350. British Airways was £161. For the sake of nearly £200, I’d quite happily forgo a meal that’s worth around £5.
The Day Of Departure
As passenger numbers are still well down, the main two car parks I would normally use are still closed. But at least the general long stay parking was open this time, unlike on my previous flight out of Terminal 5. Within a few minutes, I had arrived at Terminal 5.
The First Wing security channel was virtually deserted, but the lounge itself was a little busier than expected. Not completely full however, just reasonably busy.
I grabbed a bite to eat, a glass of wine and chatted with a friend who I just happened to bump into, who was on his way to Stockholm.
Around 45 minutes prior to departure, gate A8 appeared on the screen and I made my way down.
BEA / British Airways
London Heathrow – Munich
Airbus A319 G-EUPJ
Upon reaching the gate, I was pleased to see that I was on the BEA retrojet. I had suspected this anyway after looking at Flightradar24.com previously, although its always good when no last minute substitutions take place!
The boarding procedure at BA these days is from rear to front. And in theory, this is how it was today. However in reality, those who gate checked their bag were given group 0 boarding. So they were able to board first. Which rendered the whole rear to front thing completely pointless in my opinion, as there were quite a few takers.
When boarding proper got underway, it was a total mess. They called row 20-25. Then row 15-20. And finally everyone else. Either do rear to front or don’t. Not some sort of halfway house.
The flight was completely full, as (at the time at least) Germany was one of the last countries in Europe to still have a travel corridor within Europe.
As has been standard on all my flights post lockdown, a pack with a sanitising wipe and some hand sanitiser was passed to me upon boarding.
Despite the special paint scheme on the outside, everything was standard BA on the inside.
Pushback from the gate came a few minutes ahead of schedule. However we then held on the taxiway for a few minutes longer than what is usual. Although we did pull away at 2pm, so nothing was really lost.
The captain gave a flying time of 1h30 minutes. It was a nonstop taxi over to runway 09R and we were into the air shortly after leaving the terminal area.
The first order of service was the German passenger locator forms.
This was followed by the now infamous BA lunch bags. My own opinion is that these are generally fine on these shorter sectors. However on an upcoming long haul sector, I’m fairly convinced that a similar style service wont really cut it.
Whilst a number of British Airways short haul aircraft offer wifi these days, this particular aircraft didn’t. So it was very much bring your own!
Although much like the catering, this isn’t so much of an issue on the shorter sectors throughout Europe.
The captain gave an update to the arrival weather and our landing time around 40 minutes prior to arrival. I carried on watching something on my iPad until the seat belt sign came on with around 10 minutes left to run.
Touchdown came into an unsurprisingly quiet Munich around 20 minutes ahead of schedule.
Disembarkation was done strictly by row number and there were at least a couple of announcements asking people to stay seated until their row had been called. Of course, there was one person further back that felt that this didn’t apply to them…
The arrival procedure into Munich was much the same as normal. The locator forms were taken by the crew on board, the ePassport gates were in use, meaning that there was no grilling as to where you had come from.
As such it was a quick walk through an eerily quiet terminal to the station, for the 40 minute journey into the city.
A fairly standard BA flight. Apart from the fact I was on the BEA retrojet. The crew seemed to be fairly pro active – offering another round of drinks to the two of us that were sat in row 1.
The catering on board, whilst not the same as previously, is tasty enough. Far more appealing than what was found on my previous LOT flight, that’s for sure! Although I’m not too sure the reasoning behind it really holds much water. In theory, it reduces interaction between the crew and the passengers. In reality, I had about as much interaction as I normally would.
Maybe it’s time to bring a few previous features back…