My flight today was the 10:05 BA886 service operating from London Heathrow T5 to Bucharest in Romania. I haven’t been to Bucharest before, although I’ve been to Romania when I visited Oradea a couple of years ago. The aircraft being used today was G-TTNC, an Airbus A320 which was acquired new by British Airways in June 2018. The aircraft had come from Toulouse this morning and after it had returned from Bucharest, it then flew to Brussels.
The boarding process was well managed and the boarding by group was enforced. One of the staff was quite forthright in dealing with customers who tried to board before they were meant to, but if there’s going to be a policy on things like this, it may as well be enforced. I was surprised how many customers tried to ignore the instructions that the staff members were making and although some might have been lost in translation, there were a few customers with headphones who seemed just a little oblivious to everything going on around them and they just wanted to board.
I had an emergency exit row seat, so there was plenty of space, and no-one was seated next to me either. I felt sorry for the crew, playing Jenga with bags to try and fit them all in the overheads. They had to put some bags in storage elsewhere on the aircraft and so they were perhaps fortunate that there were twenty or so seats which were unused. As I’ve posted about before, the amount of bags that are brought on board is going to have to be reduced at some point.
The emergency exit row.
This is the first short-haul BA aircraft that I’ve been on which has wi-fi availability. I can cope, well – just about, without Internet for a couple of hours, so I wasn’t tempted, but it’s a useful service.
For those who do want to use it, the wi-fi service costs £2.99 per flight, which seems reasonable enough.
The descent was quite bumpy, with one customer walking down the aisles stumbling somewhat, but the crew were on hand. The crew were always pro-active and helpful, offering a really friendly service which always felt efficient but unhurried. The flight arrived in around ten minutes before its scheduled time and the pilots offered useful and timely announcements. The flight wasn’t the cheapest at £66 return and it would have likely been cheaper with a budget airline, but the cost wasn’t unreasonable and I felt that £33 for each journey was entirely acceptable.
Incidentally, the border process at Bucharest Airport was efficient, although the staff took quite some time with every incoming individual and so I’m not sure what they were checking. There were lots of signs about the coronavirus as well, with a fair few passengers wearing face masks. Anyway, what I was going to mention was just as I was being called forwards, a customer came from the back of the queue to ask the member of border staff to hurry up. He was ushered away by another staff member in what was a polite manner, but I have to say that any customer who is rude to border or customs staff is taking a huge risk….. I suspect that his request for a swift route through the border wasn’t granted.