Friday, 29 July 2011

Trip Report 7 - Part 1 - OS - LHR-VIE

2C, 15:35 (16:20)-19:05 (19:40)
Airbus 321

The journey to the Great Wen was not without it's horrors, the Pendolino was a Voyager, the crew were sullen and stroppy, the power didn't work. There was the curious logic that it was not breakfast for food, but it was breakfast for beverages. I really must remember to book on Chiltern next time.

Anyway, with my pre-meeting over, it was off to Heathrow, which was done via the usual painless but pricey route of the Heathrow Express. A final fag in whatever gangrenous corner we addicts are allowed in now and then on to check in. Check in was reasonably painless in Zone K (which will be familiar to old BA flyers), although the business class check-in desks are not well signposted. Security was even more painless even if there wasn't a fast track and no nude-o-scopes were noted.

We went into the Star Alliance Lounge, which is on the site of the old BA Terraces lounge in Terminal 1 but has been substiantially changed. It was fairly full and it took a while to find a table with a spare plug. Actually, there wasn't a spare plug, but there was an unneeded light :-)

There were snacky bits - mainly of the "goujon" and diet coke, this made up slightly for the bag of crisps on the train.

Eventually, boarding was called, but knowing what it's like, I popped to WH Smug and bought a copy of *wallpaper so I could avoid anything praised in it. Needless to say, despite boarding being called, the gate staff from whatever British Midland are calling themselves this week were not in evidence.

However, eventually they turned up and eventually we all boarded the A321, although there was a bit of bag grabbing as a full 321 means no room in the bins. Especially for some of the odder items, such as the tyre someone tried to board with. Perish the thought that I checked my boarding pass said VIE not LOS.

We then had a comedy moment, one of the BD gate crew stood at the front of business and said "Whose the upgrade" very loudly. Very Penny from "Great British Airways" (hint, love, it was the Unaccompianied Minor in 1A) and really rather rude. I do not want to know that the person sat next to be has been upgraded, mind you, they usually tell in whilst in the process of drinking the bar dry. Anyway, we had about two minutes of gate agent/Purser discussion with the purser speaking very quietly and the gate agent booming over the cabin. Basically, the gate agent wanted the purser to know who the Upgrade was and the Purser didn't think it was important. In my view, the purser was correct.

However, after the usual fun and games with bags having to be removed, we missed our slot, but we didn't have to wait too long for another one and then joined the usual Heathrow takeoff queue. Once up in the air, the crew sprung to life and fired up the ovens and started rattling the bars and quickly came around with drinks, I had a Weißwein and my seat opponent had a full sized can of Coke Light. The Weißwein turned out to be a very good Chardonnay. So thumbs up on the drinks for OS.

A nice dinner tray was then presented, it was rather full to the gunnels

The starter was a thick piece of white lightly smoked fish on a bed of cream cheese with a bit of smoked salmon and some salad. The white fish was very enjoyable. The main was chicken with potatoes and veg, the chicken was a bit dry, but it was a decent portion size. The pudding was some baked apple with custard. Several passes were made with a bread basket with a fine selection of breads and top-ups were offered on drinks. Sadly, the coffee was poor, coolish, thin and watery, the only downside to the F+B experience on this flight.

Arrival at Vienna was further delayed by a go round at VIE, obviously I should be ringing up the Daily Hate and claiming "Flight of Terror", but as usual with go-rounds, it was absolutely nothing. We landed at a wet and cloudy VIE a few minutes later, immigration was a doddle and I used the Raucherhütte which they have kindly put in arrivals before Shiny Case came off the belt. All in all, a pretty positive and pleasant experience.

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