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BA / GB Airways LGW-HER and return...

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  • BA / GB Airways LGW-HER and return...

    Just back from a week in Crete flying British Airways / GB Airways.

    My faith in BA shorthaul has been restored following an irritating trip to Malta earlier in the year when the inflight bar didn't operate....on my birthday of all days !!

    Anyway, back to this trip. We booked the flights only two days prior to travel and were surprised to get a fare of 44 each outbound and 130 inbound. Not bad pricing considering that BA stop their direct Crete flights for the winter in a week or so.

    Checked in online 24 hrs beforehand and got 3A and 3C outbound. On an A321 these are immediately behind Club Class and are a pair of seats with a gap between them where the 3B seat would be. Excellent if you are a couple and want a window seat without having someone between you. Lots of space to spread out. Having checked in online all we had to do was go to the fast bag drop which took about ten minutes. Security queues weren't too horrendous for once and after a bit of shopping and a meal we went to the Aviance lounge almost 4 hours before the flight time of 1900 hours, prebooked, 17.50 each and well worth it for some peace and quiet and complimentary snacks, drinks and newspapers. The lounge in the North Terminal is being revamped and will be even bigger than it currently is.

    The flight departed about 35 minutes late due to the late arrival of the aircraft but time was mostly made up en route with a tailwind. The main reasons we fly BA in Europe is the scheduled service standards with no requirement to pay for drinks or food, which was a well presented chicken dinner given the economy class seat booked. The only payment is 3 for a headset to watch the inflight movie which we didn't bother with. There's no point in 3A and 3C anyway as the curtain drawn to separate economy from Club means you can't see the screen. Service was excellent with an obviously experienced crew.

    Inbound. I went online 24 hours before to check in. The flight time was 0155 hours so it meant staying up late with friends but with the alcohol flowing following a meal out that was no great problem....until I found that the online check in wasn't working ! I'm 6 feet tall and a little on the, shall we say, plump side ! so I really like to get a decent seat. We were resigned to getting the dregs of the seats available at the airport but I tried again about 12 hours before flight time and found that the online check in was working. The seat plan showed a different seat layout with no pair of seats at 3A and 3C but to my surprise 23B and 23C were available. These are without doubt the best on the A321 aircraft, along with 23D and 23E as they are exit seats that recline and have about 48 inches seat pitch to the seat in front. There is no A or F seat as these have been left out to allow access to the escape doors. The only down side is that there is no window but on a night flight, who cares ?

    Service was every bit as good with drinks through the flight and a standard BA sausage, egg, hash brown and bacon breakfast served about an hour before landing. The flight was bang on time and we got in about 5 minutes early to Gatwick.

    All in all, a very good pair of flights which can often be bought for less than the cost of a flight-only on a charter airline and with decent legroom.

    Well done BA.
    If it 'ain't broken........ Don't try to mend it !