They said, when upset, inhale, exhale a dozen times and zip your mouth until you’re finally calm. So I’ve put off writing about our flying experience with BA until I finish the series on our recent Eid holiday trip to Qatar.
British Airways (BA) is the British-Spanish owned flag carrier airline of the United Kingdom, based in Waterside, near its main hub at London Heathrow (LHR) Airport. It is the largest airline in the UK based on fleet size, international flights and international destinations and second largest measured by passengers carried, behind easyJet. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Airways)
First of all, I am not an expert on airliners nor technical stuff on aircrafts. I am basically a regular passenger who wants a safe, smooth journey and arrive at my destination on time. In short, hindi ako choosy. I just want to share my experience and maybe something to review prior to booking a subsequent flight.🙂
For direct flights to Doha, the travel website showed Qatar Airways, Gulf Air and British Airways.
Qatar Airways (QR) is the flag carrier of Qatar and currently on the top spot as Best Airline, as per Skytrax World Airline Awards 2012. Haven’t flown with them yet, but looking forward to try sometime soon.
Gulf Air (GF) is the flag carrier of Bahrain and some way related to British Airways, i.e. when GF was still starting operations, BOAC was a major shareholder for Gulf Aviation..this story I’ll expound better on my review for GF later.
I chose BA over QR and GF, for the following reasons:
1) Lowest rate – BA was way cheaper than QR & GF that time. Only BHD 58 (USD 154) for RTN tkt /pax.
2) Flight times – ETD BAH is after work & ETD DOH late night = maximized stay in Qatar
3) The BA experience – curious as I only know them prior being related to GF, for comparison lah, hehe
4) Likelihood of flying with BA vs QR & GF – justified that I’m more likely to fly QR & GF to MNL than flying BA to / via LHR anytime soon🙂
So with all these, BA it is!
Even though it’s only a short flight (I’ve flown short flights prior via Emirates, Etihad Airways, Cathay Pacific, Gulf Air and Bahrain Air), I believe you can already get to “experience” the airline somehow, pak!
Now, the BA Experience.
Our flights were booked during June end, along with other flights (to MCT via TK in Oct & to MNL via EY in Dec) thru Dnata Travel, to avail a current offer. Yes, ako na ang Early Bird.🙂
Verified the booking online, and found out the fare was for flight only and choosing seats in advance require a fee (minimal lang naman). But I’m on “stingy mode” that time haha, so I didn’t. Or maybe I’m just used to EK & EY who don’t have these charges.
Bahrain to Doha (16.08.12) The Flash Journey!
Within 24hours before ETD, did web check-in, with seat selection (now FOC). Op kors, chose an exit row = more legroom lah.🙂
Dropped our small trolley at the check-in counter about an hour before the flight, roamed Bahrain Duty Free a little and proceeded to boarding gates. Btw, the aircraft was a Boeing 777 Jet.
Early Boarding. Plus point.
Early take off. Another plus point.
Overhead bins & passenger service units – seemed “same same” like the other airlines we’ve flown.
Seats. We were on coach, row 26 (exit row) and had our expected ultra mega legroom but found the seat “width” a little cramped. Buboy was actually the one who pointed this out. Or maybe we just both gained weight since our last flight. Pak!
Seatbacks had the usual LCDs, while ours were folded on the armrest. No “Highlife” entertainment though. Didn’t ask the cabin crew in front of us why.
Cabin crew. Were mostly men. British I suppose. My first time to see more of them in one flight as we usually see ladies. They looked friendly naman.
Journey = Smooth. Fast. Short. Felt like only 5 minutes in the air and the pilot announced to commence our “descent.” Landing na, Agad agad?
So passengers had to fasten seatbelts, stow stuff, vacate lavatories, et al.
Only then I remembered we weren’t served any refreshments other than water when we were seated after boarding. Maybe not included in the flight? Didn’t ask anyone though “Meals Served” was indicated in our e-tkts. (Btw, sandwich meals, with takeaway bags were served on prior short flights with EK, EY, CX and GF)
How can you ask when things have happened so fast? We’ve landed already.🙂
Early arrival. We arrived so early, this must be a good thing! We’ve all lined up to exit door with our backpacks.
However, our receiver was not ready so we waited for about 15 minutes inside the aircraft. Spent the time sitting in “Club World” (business class?) section, actually parang mas matagal stay ko dito kesa dun sa una kong upuan. Pak!
Finally, our receiver came. Marhaba Doha!
Baggage carousel. Fast. Luggage and bags were already there.🙂
Doha to Bahrain (20.08.12) The Crying Flight
Did web check in within 24hours before ETD (printed boarding pass at hotel’s concierge, Shukran!) this time exit row seats already taken, so chose other seats but still near to the exit
Drop luggage at Doha airport counter desk around 1.5 hours prior to flight, roamed Doha Duty Free a little and went to waiting area (already sleepy @10:30 pm)
Aircraft: Boeing 777 Jet, route was DOH-BAH-LHR
11:00pm boarded aircraft, hoping for an early departure like last time. Some kids started crying. Didn’t really mind as my brain’s half sleep by this time.
Prior to boarding, already noticed that most of the passengers in our flight are in groups / families with small kids. Eid holiday lah.
11:20pm didn’t take off as per sked. So sleepy, didn’t mind the delay. Kids were still crying, wondered what their guardians were doing but too sleepy to check. Tried to sleep.
11:30pm aircraft finally took off. More kids crying (dahil nagtake off?). SCREAMING. LOUDLY.
They were actually crying the entire flight.
I didn’t know if it was a nightmare or what.
12:10am arrived Bahrain like a zombie.
The morning after, with batteries charged, realized the kids were crying for (more or less) an hour during the flight. Poor kids. =’ (
I do not blame them for crying as they are KIDS lah. What I’m just pissed at and so bothered was that the parents / guardians / even the cabin crew (because they were guys? Hope not.) seemed to not have done their best to soothe the children.
Hurried exiting the aircraft that I didn’t notice if they disembarked in Bahrain too or flew up to London. Imagine if until London! Goodness…
Now I see the advantage of Gulf Air having Sky Nannies. I saw they did great during prior flights.
As for BA, I don’t know. I’m still in shock (just kidding). A trip to the UK is in my bucket list but haven’t set a schedule so no rush to book air tickets, be it BA or otherwise.
Bahala na si Batman. Que sera, sera. 🙂