Episode 1 – Afternoon tea over the Irish Sea

The first part of the trip was, for me, heading back to London. As usual, MummyAirmiles is writing in italics.

As readers will know, MummyAirmiles is joining up with MisterAirmiles on a few days’ jaunt round Europe, experiencing different planes and their various versions of business class travel.

Bring a retired lady of leisure and happy to enjoy the company of my middle son , and also rack up some tier and Avios into the bargain , I set off from Inverness earlier on a Flybe (operated by Loganair) propeller plane to Dublin.

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My boarding pass did mention the acceptable sizes for hand luggage, and I duly got out the tape measure before packing . Flybe planes allow much as many ‘normal planes’. Loganair, however, are quite specific – 40x30x18cm and 6 kgs. My bag was one we have always used, but it was 48x30x18 and 9 kgs! “So what?”, I thought. “Its only a little bigger!” At the gate, it was duly taken off me and slung into the hold! I must say, I was a bit peeved, but there were 9 other similarly afflicted passengers. However, we were told we could collect them at the bottom of the steps on landing.


Once on the plane, all became clear. The overhead lockers are tiny and only on one side of the cabin, as the seating was a single, then the aisle and double seat arrangement. I had a single seat, right beside the propeller. The fight was OK, but noisy, and I will need to plan my seat better, should I travel on this type of plane again

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The flight was only a little late leaving/ arriving and I had a lovely view as we descended over Dublin. The bag was, as promised, waiting at the foot of the steps.

MisterAirmiles had arrived in Dublin ahead of me and met me at the arrivals gate. We then proceeded through passport and security to reach the DAA lounge. It was cool and not very crowded .A nice selection of biscuits and cheese and a glass of Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon went down well for lunch.

Our next flight was a BA Airbus 319 to LHR. We were in row 2 Club Europe. Not much difference to usual seating, except middle seat had a fancy tray on top and we were served a very nice (and unexpected) afternoon tea with delicate sandwiches, warm scones, clotted cream and jam and a fancy cake thingy! Oh, and MisterAirmiles indulged in Champagne!

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A nice touch was the lady cabin attendant addressed us by name and we had a bit of a chat about traipsing around Europe with our children!

Heathrow loomed, but we did spend some time circling over London, and I must say, very good views and easy to spot landmarks .

We landed into Heathrow and had a smooth connection into International arrivals. This was my third time through security in the same day. Despite never having left ‘airside’ I still had to go through the rigmarole of getting my liquids out. It made me glad that I had chosen an outfit without a belt, wasn’t wearing a watch because it had broken and didn’t have pockets full of change.

We headed to the Galleries South lounge for half an hour and a cold drink. Whilst it was easy to find a seat, getting one that had been cleared of the previous occupier’s detritus was nigh on impossible. The situation did improve and we settled in.

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We had a hunch that the flight would be departing from one of the satellite terminals, and this was confirmed with a gate of C64. I persuaded Mum to try the walkway between the terminal buildings. She had tried to find it on a previous trip with Dad, but were unsure of which way to turn and opted for the train. We passed 2 people on the trip, and laughed that it took us only half the advertised 20 minutes.

We came up into C gates and straight onto the plane. There was an advertised early departure of 5 minutes at 1905, but this turned into a delay of 50. It was very hot on the plane and no offer of water was made. Turned out that there was a bag that needed to be off loaded and then, inevitably, we missed our slot.

More about this flight and the Crowne Plaza Madrid Airport next.

You can follow the whole journey here:

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