Club Seat 02F
The early flight to Geneva nearly always leaves from the “B” Gates and this morning was no exception. Boarding always starts early for this morning flight, they obviously want to get the day off to a good start and today was very efficient as normal.
Once onboard despite the obvious jet lag we were comfortable and left with a small 10-minute delay. As this one of the first flights out of Heathrow, there is very little waiting about for a place on the runway, and we were soon bowling down runway 27R and up into the sky.
The crew we very efficient and we were served the standard BA “full English” with choice of drinks, tea and coffee.
I often think that breakfast is the best meal on BA short-haul.
Soon we were starting to descend into Geneva with a very short approach over the lake, and landing on what was runway 23 and is now numbered 22. The a very short taxi to stand B32, arriving some 19 minutes early.
The usual jetty was fixed onto the front left door and we were off… and for me back to the office after a week away in the far east.
Club World Seat 53A
Boarding was from gate 15 just in front of the Qantas Lounge.
Unusually I waited until just before boarding started and headed straight down and onto the aircraft.
Quickly found my seat and arranged the new “White Bedding Company” bedding into one of the side bins on the upper deck of the A380. It was then time to sit back relax and enjoy the flight.
I was welcomed aboard with the customary glass of water, orange juice or Champagne. Needless to say, I took the Champagne and a refill.
Menus and amenity kits we distributed and eventually my travel companions boarded. They like the take more time in the lounge, whereas I like to get on the plane and get my nest sorted for the next 7-13 hours.
BA 27 LHR – HKG
Landing at Hong Kong airport we were quickly parked at gate E15 which was very close to immigration. It was a short walk with our temperatures being taken as we approached the entrance to the immigration queue. The queue seemed long but we were processes efficiently and were soon in the baggage hall. One member of the team managed to get separated from the rest of the group and found themselves next to baggage carousel 12 instead of carousel 3… but the mistake was eventually realised and we had all our baggage.
A quick walk through Customs and we had arrived in Hong Kong. Some of the group had some errands to do, get cash from an ATM, have a cigarette, while one stayed with the baggage, and I went to get the tickets for the Airport Express Train.
The Tickets allowed us a return trip on the train, 3 days travel on the subway and light railway, and also served as an Octopus Card, allowing us to use the Star Ferry and trams etc.
The train from the Airport to Kowloon station was busy but efficient, arriving on the arrivals level and allowing us to board with our baggage and then 20 minutes later we were at Kowloon station. Another advantage of using the Airport Express train is the free shuttle buses from Kowloon and Hong Kong stations to the major hotels.
The downside of this was we were not in Hong Kong rush hour traffic… The bus made slow progress, and we were the last hotel on the loop. If we had realised sooner we would have been quicker getting off at one of the other hotels and crossing the street to our hotel. But you live and learn.
Check in at the Shangri La Kowloon was efficient as you would expect for a luxury hotel, and we were soon on our way to our rooms, with a harbour view.
After checking out our rooms we decided it was time to go for a walk and try to find a restaurant for some dinner before bed.
It was time to head to the railway station and on to the airport. The slight difference this time we were travelling with friends who would be taking their first trip long haul on British Airways. Normally we would take that fast train to the airport, which stops only in Geneva and then Geneva Airport station, however, this time we would take the more local train, so our friends could join us on the train to the airport.
All worked well with buses and trains and we met up on the train as planned. and were soon at Geneva Airport in front of the British Airways check-in desk, checking in a piece of baggage each, and printed versions of our boarding passes.
It was a short walk to the escalators and then on to the priority security lane. Once through it was off to the BA lounge with one of our member making a stop in the Duty Free shop on the way. By the time we were all together again, we had a glass of champagne each and something to nibble on courtesy of BA.
A happy hour was spent in the lounge before it was time to head down to gate B32 for boarding.
A small queue had formed for the priority boarding to the right-hand side of the boarding gate, and 5 minutes after we arrived we were on board for our flight to London Heathrow.
BA 721 GVA – LHR
After deplaning we had a very short walk from the gate to Flight Connections at Heathrow Terminal 5. With passes scanned, we were equally quickly passed through security. As we were flying to Hong Kong on an A380 we knew in all likelihood this would leave from the C-Gates, so rather than using the Galleries Club lounges at the A-Gate we headed to the half-way house at the B-Gates and easily found seats for ourselves. The staff quickly served us with glasses of Champagne, and those that wanted could have a shower with no queues.
It was soon time to head on over to the C-Gates for boarding from Gate C63.
BA 27 LHR – HKG