We started off the trip in the usual fashion by getting on the Heathrow Express from Paddington. As a Gold member, I was able to take Mum through the First Wing and we were soon in the lounge for some breakfast and a glass of fizz.
I had already upgraded the flights for me as they were positioning for my big trip and I want to the tier points. Mum was meant to be flying in economy as the Business flights were very expensive.
After we had eaten I left her to read the paper and went to enquire about an upgrade. I was able to do this at the desk in the First Lounge near the Champagne Bar and it cost me about £150. Whilst it was slightly more than the POUG I had taken myself, I felt it was reasonable given the length of the flight.
It was pretty dismal weather in London so I was glad when the gate was called and we could go to the gate and onto aircraft. We were lucky that the seat next to me had been free so we can sit together. Unfortunately there was a delay in us leaving Heathrow but I was able to let BlackLane know so that our transfer could be adjusted. This is all done via their Facebook page which was very efficient.
The flight was a typical ‘shorthaul plus’ route in terms of the service and the catering. I really enjoy these flights as they are long enough to have a decent meal service.
They started with a drinks run and we both had a gin and tonic. The tray was given with starter, dessert, cheese and other bits.
I really liked the salmon started, and followed this with roast cod, mashed potatoes and Mediterranean vegetables.
Mum had the chicken.
The dessert was a sort of coffee creme caramel and the cheese was served with mango chutney – a bit odd but pleasant enough. Coffee and tea followed and with about an hour to go I settled down to read a book.
We were quickly off the plane and I made sure to look out for the transfer security channel I would need on the way back when doing a back to back. Having found it and got through passport control, we were soon heading into Bucharest in our BlackLane car.
Roll forward 36 hours and we were doing the same in reverse. The car picked us up at an ungodly hour and took us to the airport which was heaving – I didn’t expect it to be so busy! I needed my boarding passes so went to the BA desk to collect them before heading through security. It was relatively quick and we made it through to the lounge – nothing to write home about and not worth getting to the airport early for. Unfortunately, the Romanian traffic can be so unpredictable that you don’t really want to be cutting it too fine.
The early departure is a night stopper, so despite there being an air bridge we were bussed to the gate.
On this flight, Mum was down the back and I was in 1A, where I was as going to be for the rest of my journey.
Breakfast on the plane is never usually amazing and this was no exception. I had pre-ordered the vegetarian option, which comes with a very anemic looking omelette.
As I was going to be able to get into the Concorde Room before my flight to New York, I wasn’t worried about going hungry.
At the time we flew, British Airways had closed the door to the Concorde Room at the southern end of the security balcony as the First Wing has just opened; we had to go the long way round via the duty free. This has subsequently been reversed and the door is back in use for those with access.