For a long weekend away, I had initially planned on heading to Seville with Iberia, to bag myself a decent amount of British Airways Executive Club tier points. However, once I came to book, prices on the flights that worked best for me had gone up by a long way. I could have come back the next day, but I was running short on leave from work, so Seville will have to wait! Next on the list was Gothenburg, a city I’d not visited before. Rather than earning miles, I planned on burning a few and flights came in at a reasonable 15,500 Avios return in Club. So that was set until I saw hotel prices there. Ouch! The only other reasonable option I fancied with reward availability was Lisbon. This cost a little more, coming in at 25,500 Avios but its a longer flight so you get what you pay for.
The final itinerary was a rather straight forward:
Like nearly all my trips of late, this one started in the Business Car Park at Heathrow – although as BA’s Lisbon flights depart from Terminal 3, I’ll be using the one dedicated to T2/3 this morning.
The buses from here aren’t quite as regular as the T5, but more or less every time I’ve used the T5 Business Car Park there has been at least two ready and waiting, so it would be hard to beat that anyway.
Transfer to terminal 3 was made in around ten minutes despite stopping at terminal 2 along the way, then I was able to bypass check in as I’d already downloaded a mobile boarding pass and head straight up to the fast track security – although I use that term loosely as the last few times I’ve been through, it’s been anything but fast.
I had planned on visiting the Qantas lounge, however as it turned out, it didn’t open until 8am. I could have sworn I’d been in earlier before, so maybe it was a new thing? Or maybe I was a little later and didn’t realise?
Well anyway it wasn’t open but luckily there were three other lounges I could use, so I headed up to the BA lounge as it was next door.
I stayed for around half an hour, before heading up to the Cathay Pacific lounge – pretty quiet at this time of day, however if you’re there when a Cathay flight is about to depart, it can get a little difficult to find a seat.
Not too long later, gate 3 was announced for the flight to Lisbon, so I headed down.
Boarding was called after around ten minutes and I made my way onboard. It was announced that group 1 was boarding first, although it wasn’t exactly enforced – or even checked to be honest.
I settled into my seat as the cabin filled up and we pushed back from stand more or less on schedule.
There wasn’t too much of a wait to get going this morning – despite it being reasonably busy out, it appeared we got to jump the queue and took off from 27R just behind a Finnair A321.
Once we were off, there was a bit of a delay in getting the service started due to the crew having a few issues with the ovens. So they started with a round of drinks.
The delay with breakfast wasn’t too long though, and I enjoyed the full English breakfast – something that has been a pretty much permanent feature on the BA breakfast menu for many, many years. Although with the change to Do&Co catering late in 2018, the quality has been very much improved. One thing of note though, is that with the exception of a croissant, the bread basket handed out at breakfast time is identical to whats served during the rest of the day. Surely a slice of toast, or even bread would be more suitable than a dinner rolls?
The crew took quite a while to clear the trays away once I was finished – passing by a good few times before finally one of the crew working in Euro Traveller spotted that I was finished and took it from me. As we passed over the Bay of Biscay, the ride got a little rough and the seatbelt sign had to be switched on, although it seemed as if a lot of people thought that this was optional. The crew in the front galley did their best at sending people back to their seats, although one guy appeared to be a little annoyed by this. Of note is that this particular plane (G-EUYL) was one of the quickly growing members of the fleet fitted with WiFi. For £1.99 for the messaging option, it’s not too bad value – especially as you can load websites with it (albeit extremely slowly). I’m yet to splash out for the premium option though that lets you stream videos. I usually have my iPad loaded up with content anyway so I don’t really have the need for it, although it could be argued I don’t really have a great need to be sending any messages that cant wait for an hour or so either…
The remainder of the flight was spent watching various videos on my iPad (a recent acquisition from the the money saved from my failed Singapore trip) until descent started around 30 minutes prior to arrival.
From what I could see, the weather didn’t appear to be as good as it was in the UK and the first officer confirmed this in his pre arrival speech a few moments later.
We touched down more than a few minutes ahead of schedule and as is nearly always the case with BA flights in Lisbon, we were sent over to a remote stand in the maintenance area.
As per usual, the bus took more than a while to reach the terminal area although unlike the last time I passed through this airport, I wasn’t in any rush so it wasn’t too much of an issue. Lisbon Airport is linked to the city by both bus and the metro, so I headed on to the metro as I wanted to connect to the main train station in town.
This mornings flight with British Airways was more or less standard really. Tasty food, crew who got the job done with the minimum of fuss and as I was able to bag a seat in row 1, I had more than enough space to spread out. Not too much more to be said really! For those of you more into video reports, those will be out towards the end of August 2019.
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