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Trip Reports Forum | MAN - LHR - BOM with British Airways
MAN - LHR: BA1399 13/06/09 d15-30 a16-30
LHR-BOM: BA199 13/06/09 d21-45 a11-15(+1)
Arriving at T3 at about 2pm, I went straight to bag drop having checked in online the day before. Again T3 security was excellent and managed to get to the seating at gates 50-51 by 2-12pm. G-ECOZ was on stand.
Stayed here watching the movements for a while.
BA A320 G-EUUO arrived on 23R at 2-47pm so presumed this would be my aircraft for flight BA1399. Just before 3pm I moved to the Costa coffee and awaiting the boarding call. Eventually at 3-15pm we were instructed to Gate 142 and Airbus A320-232 G-EUUO.
The back rows boarded 1st, but having flown the Gatwick shuttle previously I'd picked seat 4A to get the comfier seat. Finally settled into seat 4A at 3-26pm and the air bridge was promptly removed. Pushback was at 3-40pm, before we taxied to 23L, crossing 23R at Foxtrot.
C-FEAK was ahead of us in the queue.
This was the mound just before take off.
Take off was at 3-52pm, rotating at the river and into the skies above Cheshire.
Drinks and snacks arrived just after 4pm, which was a choice but I has orange juice and an apricot biscuit which was average. The flight itself was about 80-90% full. The in flight screens showed are progress to LHR and our speed/height etc. Flew at 19,000ft max over Birmingham, Coventry and London.
London including City Airport top left.
Landed on 27L at 4-25 and taxied to T5. With the terminals on the right, I did not see much until we taxied along T5 and on to stand 503 on the 27R side of the terminal.
Deplaned and passed through transfer to T5. Sat in the corner of T5 by gate A7 watching the take offs from 27R.
The usual LHR movements for the next few hours. Decided to have a walk and explore T5. Not much going on if you don't like shopping or eating. No viewing gallery on the terminal roof which is a shame. The mostly glass terminal is nice though and there is plenty of seating meaning if you don't want to shop, you can relax. Went to Giraffe for a meal with a view and at 8-15pm the gate was called for flight BA199 to Mumbai.
Signage to B Pier was adequate and the people movers (escalators, lifts, trains) were all working.
On gate B36 was Boeing 777-236(ER) G-VIIM.
Quite a coincidence I thought, as India Mike was very appropriate.
Boarding began at 9pm and again it was those needing assistance, F/CW and the back rows and finally everyone else at 9-15pm. I'd picked seat 21A, which is the front row of WT+ with the extra legroom. Got a free blanket and sleep kit etc and put my stuff in the overhead locker. Disappointingly, the WT+ was situated over the wing so I wouldn't get a decent view out of the window.
Pushback was at 9-41pm and we taxied parallel to the full length of 27R. Take off was at 10-04pm, so by now it was dark. The aircraft made a sharp left turn and this offered up an amazing view of LHR at night, lit up like a Christmas tree. Watched a BA747 take off and the arrivals over London.
The meal service began shortly after and it wasn't bad. Got a couple of alcoholic drinks to try and help me sleep and watched the IFE. The screen flickered a bit when moved and the film choice was crap, but I ended up watching what was more or less E4. Looking round the cabin, CW was packed, as was WT+ and WT only had a few empty seats. Virgin recently pulled out of the route due to lack of numbers but this flight was heaving.
Eventually I tried to sleep but couldn't. The seat was comfy enough and leg room adequate but without being able to lie down I didn't manage much.
Luckily time was on my side and soon it was light again as we hurtled towards the sunrise. Filled in yet another passenger details form (after my Indian visa and the online passenger information thing) plus a swine flu form. Breakfast was served about 8-30am Indian time and I could finally open the window blind.
Left the screen of the flight info channel and read for a bit.
Route from London
Approached the airport over the city and was amazed as we came in to land at just how close to the airport boundary people lived in the slums. Imagine the beer garden of the Airport Hotel being full of people right up to the fence. Landed at 10-53am local time and taxied for a while. Mumbai Airport not as busy as I'd thought but loads of smaller planes about including Jet Airways, AI, Kingfisher, IndiGo, JetLite and widebodies from TS, SQ, Kingfisher and Air India. Arrived at gate 50 at 11-04am and it was off into the terminal building. Took an age to clear customs, the swine flu check (or paper stamp without actually being checked if you're cynical) and collect the luggage but eventually made it outside into the warm summer air.
That's all for now. I'll do a return trip if I make it as this place is mental, particularly the roads.
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