Sun Air | Dornier 328Jet | BLL-AAL-HUY | Euro Traveller

This Trip

Hilton Garden Inn, Heathrow
British Airways | Airbus A320 | LHR-BLL | Euro Traveller
Sun Air | Dornier 328Jet | BLL-AAL-HUY | Euro Traveller
Holiday Inn Marina, Hull

Airline: Sun Air
Aircraft: Dornier 328 Jet
Route: Billund – Aalborg – Humberside
Flight number: BA
Seat number: 3A
Cabin: Euro Traveller
Flight date: June 2016

Check In / Security

Check in for this flight was a little difficult to say the least. I attempted online 24 hours before departure but that was a no go. I tried again at a self serve kiosk, but again this failed. So off to a desk I went, where the agent seemed unaware of any other flights from Billund except to Heathrow – therefore insisting I couldnt possibly be flying with them and refusing to help. It was all sorted in the end (I wont bore you with the details) but better training was needed…There was a fast track security lane, although it was the type where you jumped the queue rather than a separate lane. Leading to a few comments from the people in the queue.

Lounge

There is just one lounge in Billund, catering for all airlines that use the airport. Its pretty big and comfortable but the food options are a little limited. There are options to purchase food however.

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Boarding / Onboard

Due to there being just the two of us on the first sector up to Aalborg, boarding was very relaxed. The second sector filled up considerably however, and even the jump seat was taken.

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Service

On the initial sector, just water bottles were handed out due to the fifteen minute flying time. Once the main part of the flight got underway, the main service began with a bar service.

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Followed by the main meal of salmon, bread and cheese & biscuits.

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Next up was dessert in the form of ice cream,

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And finally digestifs.

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Arrival
Arrival was more or less on schedule and as Humberside airport is pretty small, it was just a few moments to make it out of the front door.

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Conclusions

Once again, a solid flight with British Airways subsidiary. The check in issue was a little annoying, especially as the staff didn’t seem all that interested in helping. Once on board however the service lived up to expectation and was consistent with the other times I have used the airline.

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British Airways | Airbus A320 | LHR-BLL | Euro Traveller

This Trip

Hilton Garden Inn, Heathrow
British Airways | Airbus A320 | LHR-BLL | Euro Traveller
Sun Air | Dornier 328Jet | BLL-AAL-HUY | Euro Traveller
Holiday Inn Marina, Hull

Airline: British Airways
Aircraft: Airbus A320
Route: London Heathrow – Billund
Flight number: BA804
Seat number: 25A
Cabin: Euro Traveller
Flight date: June 2016

Check In / Security

As usual with most of my flights, I had checked in previously for this one online. As a matter of routine, the previous evening I was checking to see which particular aircraft I would be on and noticed the flight was now scheduled to be operated by an A320 as opposed to the original A321. I must admit, I thought it was a little ambitious all along for a relatively new route to be operated by the largest of the short haul Airbus fleet, but even stranger for the type to be subbed after check in had opened. As such, my originally assigned seat no longer existed, and was therefore moved forward a few rows.

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Once again, I used the North security and it was a little busier than I’d previously experienced. However it still only took a matter of minutes. Have Heathrow finally sorted the long waits at Fast Track security? Or have the changed BA made to their Executive Club a year or so back finally filtered through and now less people are entitled to use it?

Lounge

On the subject of things filtering through the Executive Club at BA, I was also one of them. My Gold card had expired a few days previously, therefore I’d be using the Galleries Club lounge on this occasion due to dropping to Silver. This was my first time in here in a good couple of years, and much like the Galleries First lounge, it has had a bit of a refurbishment recently. This lounge also featured new seating and had been given a deep clean.

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The breakfast options were much the same as before however, with bacon rolls, cheese and egg rolls and a host of pastries on offer.

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Boarding / Onboard

When it came to boarding, once again there was a slightly different (and incorrect) procedure carried out. It started with Club Europe and Gold, as it should be, but then it was followed by “everybody else”. Luckily the flight wasn’t too busy, so it was hassle free.

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Once on board, the boarding procedure was completed fairly quickly and the middle seat of my row remained free.

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Service
As this was a pre 9am departure, the breakfast offering were a little more substantial than what is served during the day. In general, filled croissants are handed out, but today they had run out by the time they had reached my row, so I was given the vegetarian option instead. This consisted of a small pastry, a yogurt and a cup of juice.

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Arrival

Arrival was made nicely ahead of schedule and as Billund isn’t the busiest airport in the world, it didn’t take too long to pass through.

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Conclusions

Not much to be said about the flight itself, as it was your standard BA flight. I will comment on the lounge however, as this was the first time using this particular one in a good couple of years.

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Hilton Garden Inn, Heathrow

This Trip

Hilton Garden Inn, Heathrow
British Airways | Airbus A320 | LHR-BLL | Euro Traveller
Sun Air | Dornier 328 Jet | BLL-AAL-HUY | Euro Traveller
Holiday Inn Marina, Hull

Stayed in: June 2016

Introduction

More often than not, when I have a flight leaving Heathrow before 8am, I tend to stay at the airport. A tried and tested favourite for me is the Hilton Garden Inn, mainly due to the fact that its within walking distance of Hatton Cross Tube station (therefore avoiding the need to use the rip off Hotel Hoppa buses), its generally one of the cheaper priced hotels at the airport and it all counts towards my Hhonors status.

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I had checked in online once ore for this stay, and unlike my previous experience of using this feature in Paris, it worked a little better. There was still some paperwork to complete on arrival, but at least this time I actually got the rood I’d selected.

Main Room

As I’d selected a corner room, the layout was a little different to the standard. It still featured all the usual furniture however but overall I’d say the floor space was a little less than normal.

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Bathroom

Again, the bathroom was smaller than the standard – as evidenced by the fact there wasn’t a bath, but a large shower.

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Amenities

The usual Hilton bathroom amenities were present, as well as tea/coffee making facilities. There was also a fridge in place of a minibar. HGI’s concept is that they have an on site pantry, and you buy things from there instead – and stock your own fridge.

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In Conclusion

As mentioned, I’ve stayed here quite a few times over the years – so it can’t be too bad! Having said that, every time I have stayed here, it has been a reasonable price. I have rooms go for well over £100/night before and to be honest I’m not sure I’d pay that price for it. Anything under and its fine however.

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British Airways | Boeing 767 | ARN-LHR | Club Europe

This Trip

British Airways | Airbus A321 | LHR-CDG | Club Europe
Hilton, Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport
Air France | Airbus A320 | CDG-ARN | Economy
Radisson Blu Waterfront, Stockholm
British Airways | Boeing 767 | ARN-LHR | Club Europe

Airline: British Airways
Aircraft: Boeing 767-300ER
Route: Stockholm Arlanda – London Heathrow
Flight number: BA781
Seat number: 6A
Cabin: Club Europe
Flight date: May 2016

Check In / Security

As I had arrived at Arlanda over two hours before departure, the check in area was a little quiet.

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Security seemed a little busy, however as there was a fast track I was able to be processed within a minute or two.

Lounge

The Menzies Aurora lounge in Terminal 2 has always struck me as a bit of an odd one. You have to pass through a bar/restaurant in order to access it. Despite it being reasonably well signposted, you’d be forgiven for missing it.

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Once inside, the familiar garden theme remained, however the rear section of the long looked a little different to what I remembered. Also of note was that the wifi offered some very good speeds.

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The food options remained somewhat basic though.

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Boarding / Onboard

Boarding was a disaster. I had found out from the BA app earlier in the afternoon that the flight was delayed by 45 minutes. No mention of this was made at the airport however, and deciding to play it safe, I left the lounge in accordance with the times being shown on the information displays in the terminal. Only to be left sat in the gate area for a good 45 minutes or so. When boarding did begin, not only was it done to the older standard – Club Europe, Gold, Silver, Bronze etc. it wasn’t enforced in the slightest. I even had an Executive Club Blue member traveling in Euro Traveller barge past me in the process (I caught a glimpse of the blue mobile boarding pass with a seat in the 20’s as she came past me).

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As the standard configuration of the 767 is 2x3x2, only the very middle seat is blocked off on this convertible European configured plane. As such, if you choose a window seat, you run the risk of having somebody sat right next to you. Luckily, nine times out of ten on BA Club flights on the 767, the seat next to me stays free, and this occasion was no exception. British Airways only refurbished their 767 fleet four or five years ago, therefore they retained the previous generation of seating – and are a little bigger than what is found on the Airbus fleet, plus have the increased legroom too.

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Service

The service got under way whilst still on stand, with the hot towels being distributed. Although you’d be hard pushed to call them towels. I have read recently that they are due to be replaced with something a little more substantial in the coming weeks, but from what I understand it is only due to be in the airlines First class cabins. No idea whether this will stretch to Club Europe.

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Once underway, the bar service started around fifteen minutes after departure. Doubles were handed out without prompting. And the drinks were very freely flowing…

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The sunlight ruined this one slightly…

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Arrival

Due to some decent schedule padding, despite the late start we made it on to stand more or less on schedule at T5A.

Conclusions

Despite the slightly questionable procedures from the ground staff in Stockholm (this wasn’t a one off – its been the same every time I have flown out of here on BA) the flight itself was great. The European crew were enthusiastic, well polished, friendly and professional. The older generation seating on the 767 was a welcome change to the much criticised Airbus seating (and crucially for business travellers, you’re still able to comfortably use a laptop) and having a quieter cabin always makes things more comfortable.

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Radisson Blu Waterfront, Stockholm

This Trip

British Airways | Airbus A321 | LHR-CDG | Club Europe
Hilton, Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport
Air France | Airbus A320 | CDG-ARN | Economy
Radisson Blu Waterfront, Stockholm
British Airways | Boeing 767 | ARN-LHR | Club Europe

Stayed in: May 2016

Introduction

After staying at the airport for my last two visits to Stockholm, I figured I’d stay in the city for this visit. The down side of this was that the prices were a lot higher, but the fact I was more than familiar with the city meant I would at least know where I would be going and the areas to stay in. I had initially wanted to stay in the Radisson Blu Royal, but that was sold out for my dates. Second choice was the brand new Scandic opposite the central station – although when I went to book, the prices had shot up and I figured if I was going to be paying a higher rate, I may as well stay at the Radisson Blue Waterside – at least that way I’d get some status perks and some Club Carlson points.

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When I arrived, check in was a little slow due to the one and only check in agent being on the phone – but to be honest, as it was 11:30pm, I wouldn’t expect a full compliment of check in staff anyway. It was confirmed I’d been upgraded to a superior room, my status was acknowledged and I was sent on my way within a couple of minutes.

Main Room

The main room was of average size, with a decent sized bed and what I would call a Scandinavian style – lots of wood. It appeared to have been recently refurbished as everything seemed very clean and new. Towards the far end was a work desk and an arm chair.

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Bathroom

The bathroom was a little small, but again, seemed like it had been recently refurbished. It featured a bath/shower combo, single sink and a toilet.

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Amenities

Tea/coffee making facilities were present in the room, along with the standard Radisson amenities in the bathroom.

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Also present was a welcome gift of a fruit plate. One thing I do like about these welcome plates is that its different in every Radisson hotel.

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In Conclusion

A handy hotel for the Central Station in Stockholm, which worked well for me after a late arrival. The room I stayed in at least was clean, modern and had a large comfortable bed – with is just what I needed after a long day. The WiFi worked extremely well and was very fast – better speeds than I have at home actually.

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Air France | Airbus A320 | CDG-ARN | Economy

This Trip

British Airways | Airbus A321 | LHR-CDG | Club Europe
Hilton, Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport
Air France | Airbus A320 | CDG-ARN | Economy
Radisson Blu Waterfront, Stockholm
British Airways | Boeing 767 | ARN-LHR | Club Europe

Airline: Air France
Aircraft: Airbus A320
Route: Paris de Gaulle – Stockholm Arlanda
Flight number: AF1462
Seat number: 11F
Cabin: Economy
Flight date: May 2016

Check In / Security

Check in here was a little confusing – there was a huge SkyPriority area, although it had a disclaimer saying it was for South American and African flights only – and the area was a little deserted. So instead, I went to the European check in area and there was no Sky Priority area as far as I could see, and only self serve check in machines. So I reluctantly used one of those instead. I tend to avoid them where possible due to the fact they spit out receipt style barding passes. I much prefer a proper card one!

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Security was much more straight forward though. A clear Sky Priority lane and I was the only person using it meant I was through in seconds.

Lounge

The Schengen lounge in the F gates area is located on the lower floor. I wasn’t expecting it to be overly brilliant, but I was pleasantly surprised. As I entered, I was met with an eating area where there was a small, but very decent buffet consisting of a pasta dish, cheeses, sandwiches, cold cuts as well as a couple of dessert options.

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Beyond this was a host of comfortable seats, another eating area and showers and another area with a reserved sign. But it wasnt overly clear what it was resereved for.

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Boarding / Onboard

Boarding was announced earlier than advertised and Sky Priority boarding was enforced quite well. With Just a couple of elites and a virtually empty Business cabin on this flight it was an orderly affair.

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Once on board, I found a clean and modern cabin. As I had been assigned a seat in the exit row, the legroom was more than generous.

Service

The service took a little while to get started – more than likely due to some turbulence on departure. When it did get going, I was very impressed with the offerings. There was a pack with a yogurt and some fruit in, as well as a warm cheese and tomato flat bread, plus a choice of drinks.

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Arrival

Arrival was made around fifteen minutes ahead of schedule and as this was a Schengen arrival, I made it from the plane to the bus into town in around five minutes – and that included stopping to buy a bus ticket too.

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Conclusions

This was my first time flying with Air France, and I was pleasantly surprised. I didn’t hold particularly high expectations, but I found CDG Terminal 2F a great terminal – much like one you would find in Asia due to the large open spaces. The Air France lounge I used was also impressive considering it is no doubt designed as a European lounge. There was a small but decent food offering on the buffet, with a good drinks selection and comfortable seating. On board, the seats were comfortable and the plane was clean – despite being six years old, if I didn’t know any better, I’d say it was brand new. The crew were friendly, and the onboard service was more than I’d had on an inter European hop in years.

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Hilton, Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport

This Trip

British Airways | Airbus A321 | LHR-CDG | Club Europe
Hilton, Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport
Air France | Airbus A320 | CDG-ARN | Economy
Radisson Blu Waterfront, Stockholm
British Airways | Boeing 767 | ARN-LHR | Club Europe

Stayed in: May 2016

Introduction

Having a late(ish) arrival into Charles de Gaulle airport, I stuck with what I knew – and booked a room at the Hilton. I’d stayed here a couple of years ago and was pretty impressed, so I had no hesitation booking a room once more.

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Impressive lobby area

Unusually, I checked in online on this occasion. I had done it a couple of times previously and didn’t really see all that much point in it. However, I decided to give it another go to see if things worked a little better this time around. When I arrived at the hotel, it was the same situation as before though – rather than “simply swinging by the front desk ad grabbing my key”, it was the usual case of swiping cards, checking ID, filling out forms… oh and I was given a completely different room to the one I selected, although this wasn’t an issue in the slightest as I was given a room identical to the one I had selected.

Main Room

The room itself wasn’t too much different from what I remembered – despite being upgraded to an executive room. So it would appear that in this hotel at least, an executive room gives you lounge access but not too much else. It featured a large bed and a sofa in the corner, along with a work desk.

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Bathroom

The bathroom was decently sized, featuring both a bath and a shower stall.

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Amenities

The usual amenities featured in the bathroom, but I do have to say the presentation was lacking somewhat.

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Also a generously stocked minibar was present and the standard tea/coffee tray.

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Lounge

The lounge was on the ground floor, opposite the reception area. It wasn’t that brilliant, featuring just a few drinks and snacks when I paid a visit. I did take a look at breakfast the following morning but the options were again a little limited – so instead I ate in the restaurant.

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In Conclusion

Again, a good enough stay in this hotel. The location is decent – just a few steps from the CDGVAL shuttle train that takes you to all the terminals and more importantly the train station that takes you to central Paris. The bed was very comfortable and I had a good nights sleep. One minor niggle was the presentation of the room – the bathroom amenities looked like they had just been thrown on the side and also there was a random coat hanger on the floor? But thats just me being a little on the picky side really.

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