British Airways (Heathrow T5 to Berlin)

Today’s expedition was to Berlin Tegel airport and, as usual, I arrived hopelessly early in the day to ensconce myself into the BA lounge. It was evident from the volume of rain hitting the roof of Heathrow T5 B Gates building that there were going to be some weather issues, although there were only a few cancellations and relatively minor delays.

Fortunately, my flight was only delayed by around an hour, although there’s always the fear of a creeping delay where that one hour turns into two or three.

Boarding was from gate A2 and I fail to understand why BA don’t make this process easier to understand. They did have separate queues for the different boarding groups, with groups 1 and 2 each having their own lane, and groups 3 to 5 were merged into one lane. But, in a piece of design brilliance, the lane for groups 3 to 5 was in front of groups 1 and 2 and so the others couldn’t be easily accessed. I’m not important enough for group 1, but I can sneak into group 2 and it took quite a determined staff member to get me, and some others, to the right place.

There’s the aircraft at the end of the airbridge, which was registration G-EUOE, an Airbus A319 which British Airways have been using since it was manufactured in 2001.

The aircraft was clean, although the crew had their usual challenge of trying to fit all the hand baggage into the overhead lockers. It’s the one disadvantage of exit row seats for me, having to engage in this whole overhead baggage game. This is a problem for me as my bag is relatively small, and usually there is someone with a ridiculously sized cabin bag who takes great exception to my small bag being in the lockers. So they try and shove it somewhere else. Always unsuccessfully I’d add.

Waiting on the tarmac for departure, with the captain sounding professional and fitting the British Airways brand perfectly. I was also pleased to note that there was silence during the safety demonstration, it makes things feel so much calmer. Indeed, the whole flight seemed calm and the crew were efficient and polite.

We landed around sixty minutes late, with the pilot being able to make up a few minutes of the delay en route. I flew to Berlin Tegel around five years ago and thought it’d likely be the last time there as operations are being moved to Berlin Brandenburg Airport. Unfortunately, this is currently one of the world’s most mocked projects, with an opening expected nearly one decade late. All of which means that Tegel is looking quite rickety and spending more money on it is pointless given that it will all be demolished soon.

Anyway, this flight was a Reward Flight Saver (RFS) so it cost £17.50 plus 4,000 Avios points.