This is the first time that I’ve flown from London City Airport, an accessible and easy to reach airport in east London with its own DLR stop. And I’ve liked the DLR ever since I lived next to one of the network’s stops a few years ago.
One of the advantages of London City is that it’s relatively small and compact, so it’s possible to roll up around 45 minutes before a flight and still board in time. I can’t be taking those sort of chances though, but I didn’t go through security until two hours before my flight, which is cutting it very fine for me. The airport was comfortable and clean throughout, with an almost endless supply of power points and places to work from for those who needed that.
There’s an extensive views of the airfield from the departures building.
The walk to the aircraft went by the side of a building, with the nature of London City Airport meaning that there aren’t air bridges routinely used.
Approaching the aircraft.
I started off on an aisle seat on the seventh row, but there were some empty seats ahead, so a crew member said that I could move to a window seat on the fifth row. The aircraft was clean and comfortable, feeling slightly tired though, with this aircraft being G-LCYI which is an Embraer 170 which BA have owned since new in 2010.
This flight left at 15:50, so there were some spectacular skies visible from the other side of the aircraft, they almost looked photoshopped in on this photo. But they’re not, I can’t use Photoshop….
The CityFlyer service still comes with free food and drink, although I was unsure exactly what the choices were before boarding. They actually seemed to be generous, with Speedbird available which pleased me. I think there was Heineken as well, but the Brewdog/BA partnership that has led to Speedbird is IMO much better. And BA are releasing a new beer soon in partnership with Brewdog again, so hopefully this venture has been a useful one for both parties.
The food was much better than I had expected, it was salmon on rice, along with a side salad, roll, cheese & crackers and a chocolate dessert. There was also a water thing served with it, although it was easy to get extra drinks from the bar from passing crew members.
The crew were friendly throughout and their announcements, as well as those from the pilots, were professional and appropriate. The aircraft landed into Florence slightly early, with the whole process being seamless and well managed. It was a reminder of how BA used to be across their short-haul fleet though with the free food and drink, as it allowed an engagement between the crew and customers. Now, that engagement has been nearly entirely lost, and on most flights there’s nearly no connection between customers who don’t buy anything and the crew. It’s a shame, the crew are one of the best assets that BA have in my view, but I’m sure that Alex Cruz knows what he’s doing…..
This, incidentally, is my 2,000th post on this blog. How lovely….