Flights – Heathrow T5 to Warsaw (British Airways)

This was the clearest photo that I could get of today’s BA850 service from London Heathrow T5 to Warsaw Chopin Airport in Poland. The aircraft was G-EUPH, an Airbus A319, which British Airways have owned since April 2000 when it was new. These A319 aircraft are gradually being withdrawn from service, but they’ve served the airline well.

As I was at B Gates lounge I asked the staff member if she could see where the flight was departing from before it was announced, to save me walking back if the departure was at B Gates. It was at Gate A23 in the main terminal and I was the first to arrive there, primarily since the gate number hadn’t otherwise been announced.

And here’s the packed waiting area, although it soon got much busier. The staff were pro-active in trying to get customers with two bags to put one of them in the hold, as the flight was nearly full. Some people refused and so a different staff member, who was more forthright to say the least, went round and politely told customers that it wasn’t really an option. The amount of bags that customers are taking on board is becoming ridiculous, something will need to be done at some stage about them.

The boarding process was otherwise orderly and well managed, with groups called forwards carefully and customers were despatched back to the seating area if they tried to jump the queue. I like organisation.

I had an exit row aisle seat and there was no-one next to me, so it was a comfortable flight in terms of the space available.

We were delayed on take-off, partly as the inbound flight had been a few minutes late, but primarily as the crew had problems trying to fit all the bags on. Some customers, mostly those who were trying to bring on a bag the size of a small hippo couldn’t find anywhere to store them. At one stage there were eight customers standing in the aisle of the aircraft with bags not fitting in anywhere, but the crew did their usual jenga tactics of moving and restacking bags, with another going into storage elsewhere.

The flight eventually arrived into Warsaw twenty minutes late, so no real problem, with the crew members being conscientious with their announcements and updates. There was a buy on board service which went up and down the cabin, but I saw only a few customers buy anything from it. The fare was £55 return plus 2,500 Avios, although I get 1,350 Avios back with this flight.