Friday : Back to Prague Airport, the Mastercard Lounge and the Plasterers in Norwich

Our flight from Prague back to London Heathrow T3 was scheduled to take off at 07:55, but since we still had the hire car, that meant that we could leave the hotel at 05:00 and still be there at a reasonable time to pop into the lounge for breakfast. We had paid the city tax on our rooms when we had arrived at the hotel, which was fortunate as the poor member of staff at reception was standing there with mountains of paper as their IT system had failed.

It took me a while to understand that this meant do not cross under the barrier as a pedestrian, although I preferred Richard’s guess of don’t drink from your mobile phone.

It’s a quick walk from the hire car terminal to back where we started the week before, in front of Prague Airport.

It’s a busy airport and there are as many flights also departing from Terminal 2. It wouldn’t have been worth getting to the airport any earlier as the check-in desk only opened two hours before the flight, but that only meant a five minute wait for us. Normally this doesn’t concern me, as I don’t have any bags to check-in, but Richard had his suite of luggage to put in the hold of the aircraft and I selflessly agreed to wait with him rather than rushing off to the lounge.

The security process was quick and easy, and after some getting lost trying to find the lounge, a problem shared by some other travellers who were asking for help, we arrived at the Mastercard lounge. I didn’t need to guest Richard in this time since he had rather decadently decided to upgrade himself to business class, as he says that’s where he belongs. I belong in economy, which was handy, since that’s where I was.

It wasn’t a busy lounge at just gone 06:00 in the morning.

The lounge was clean and spacious, everything was self-service and there were a variety of seating types available, although not a huge number of power sockets. It was far too early for alcohol, but they had a few local beers available, but I didn’t investigate them very thoroughly in case I accidentally got one.

The selection of pre-filled rolls in the fridges and there were also cheeses, cold meats and cereals.

There was also popcorn, which greatly pleased me.

And there we go, my little breakfast arrangement. I was quite tired at this time, so the espresso was helpful, as was the second espresso shortly afterwards.

Our aircraft had been at the airport overnight, aircraft G-EUYJ, which was coincidentally the same one I had flown back from Jersey on the week before.

Richard had taken plenty of wires on board in case the pilot needed any help with the wiring of the aircraft during the flight.

It was a comfortable flight back, I had an emergency exit row seat with no-one next to me, so I could merrily get away with typing up my blog on the way back. Richard was busy eating his full English breakfast a couple of rows ahead, whilst I was peering at my rather less decadent Nutri-Grain bar. The crew on board were typical British Airways in terms of being friendly and efficient, with the announcements made by the pilot being timely and informative.

And safely back on time. There was a bit of a delay getting to the gate, which the pilot announced was due to the Air France flight being late to push back. I’m not sure why he needed to add the airline’s name, but they’re not part of OneWorld, so that’s fair game.

I’ve always been fortunate at border control at Heathrow, never having any real delay, but it was busy on our return. It took around 35 minutes to get from the aircraft to the landside area, which was a little longer than ideal, but not too excessive in the end.

Back outside Heathrow Terminal 3.

I was going to get a bus back to where the car was parked at the Mercure Hotel, but Richard was very keen to get a taxi to show his decadence, and also because he had about 72 suitcases. He used Bolt for the first time, and I’m not sure that Richard was impressed as it wasn’t entirely clear where to go and wait, apparently something that Uber manage better. Not that I know, taxis still scare me. With that, it was time to return to Norwich.

And I thought I’d better pop out to the pub, where Nathan also came for a quick drink. Although he seems to have spent the entirety of last week in the pub, but I didn’t say anything of course. I perhaps shouldn’t write these things, but yet here we are   🙂  Norwich did feel really quite busy judging by some of the crowded pubs that I walked by, perhaps the economic resurgence is here, or just the need to get out of the house. Fortunately, the Plasterers pub wasn’t too busy, with their usual friendly service and decent selection of keg and cask beers.

The end of another travel adventure, with Richard being marvellous entertainment as usual, and I think we managed to at least see a decent selection of things in Prague. I’m also pleased to report that all of his luggage arrived back in the UK undamaged, although BA are still likely confused as to why their fuel bill for this flight was so high.