Flight 7 of 13! – Homeward bound

  • British Airways BA1324
  • London Heathrow to Newcastle
  • Airbus A320 G-EUUR
  • Friday 9th August 2019

As my alarm went off at 0445 this morning I really struggled to get up… but I had to get my case packed and head back to Heathrow for my flight home. Checked out of the hotel and headed across the road for the 0520 423 to Terminal 5 for the last time on this trip, and it was nicely mild again!

Getting to Terminal 5 slightly later you could tell it was Friday as it was much busier than I’d seen previously so I made use of my Fast Track Security privilege to ensure a smooth transit, and sure enough I was in the lounge in no time.

It’s always a warm welcome at T5, in fact I’ve never seen it display anything else…

It was lovely to sit and relax in the Galleries North lounge for one last time, music on and enjoy a bit of breakfast before heading downstairs. It really is a lovely little oasis of calm away from the hustle & bustle of the shops and restaurants – though there is a great selection of both at T5.

What a wonderful view from T5’s Galleries North lounge

The staff on the desks as you go into the lounge must have access to all of the internal systems as the girl on reception helpfully told me ‘gate A5 this morning’. That was useful information as it meant it was only a 2 minute walk so I could leave as late as possible before boarding – though I always like to be there for when it starts just in case! No sooner had we started boarding that I got a notification from the BA app to say boarding had started.

It was just a short hop ‘home’ (it’s not really but it’s the nearest BA served airport!) to Newcastle this morning. The first flight north departs at 0705 and it was rather busy today. Having said that I did have the middle seat free which is always useful for a bit extra space – and when this happens it nullifies the advantages of travelling Club even more, hence why I don’t bother on short flights unless it is really cheap! Or on a long haul aircraft as explained in my last blog…

Gate A5 is about as close to the North lounge as you can get

Everyone boarded on time and we were closed up and ready go well in advance of the scheduled 0705 departure time, indeed we pushed back and headed to the runway departing at 0717. It was a rather bumpy flight north with the seatbelt signs even going on at one point, what with the storms due to be around today it wasn’t surprising. It had just started raining as we left Heathrow and we descended into a murky, thoroughly miserable day at Newcastle. The rain was so torrential even the lads working on the apron had their coats on and hoods up… in fact there was just water everywhere.

Our A320 after landing into a very wet Newcastle this morning

We landed at 0759, just 42 minutes flying time this morning which is only 2 minutes slower than the quickest I’ve ever had at 40 minutes. We pulled on stand about five minutes later making an 11 minutes early arrival. Unfortunately there was a bit of a farce with baggage last night it seemed as what seemed like hundreds of cases came off with tags from various long haul flights… how strange I thought given we were quite early out at 7am. A closer inspection revealed the flight number 1336, one of yesterday’s which had obviously missed a container full of cases judging by the amount coming up. This meant the other bags were delayed thanks to the way the baggage belt works at Newcastle until me and a few other passengers made some space for more to be delivered whilst the delayed bags just kept going round and round with obviously nobody to collect them.

What a wet and thoroughly miserable morning!

That meant I missed my planned Metro at 0828, instead having to catch the next one at 0840 which just made the connection onto my X10 bus home even more awkward. It got to Gateshead at 0905 which I figured was good enough and ran upstairs to catch the X10 coming in at 0909. Bonus was I also managed to stay dry, and the weather steadily improved all the way home and it was dry by the time I got to Stockton. As I write this now it’s glorious blue skies. What a day… what a trip! It’s been wonderful, tiring but amazing.

Looking forward to the next one starting on Sunday which promises to be just as interesting and I can’t wait to get started! I’m off to Vienna, in Austria, one of the places on my long list of cities to visit, but not in a conventional way. Stay tuned to find out!

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