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British Airways-The Worlds favourite Airline(not!!!)

BAA are an absolute disgrace. They seem to have been diverted from running airports to manage shopping malls, with the minor inconvenience of having to manage flights in and out, oh and bottom of their list comes the passengers.

BA are OK, but i got used to Air France, and quite like them. For taller guys the seats are quite comfortable in cattle class. they also seem to handle flying in/out of sh*tholes well. Charles de Gaulle is a doddle compared to having to tranfer at heathrow, and I like the way the French leave ashtrays under the no smoking signs.

Pointe Noire (Congo)......now that's an airport you really don't want to get stuck in!
 
I started working back in UK last May, having been based in Holland for the past 8 years. This meant commuting from Amsterdam to London on a weekly basis until I could move to UK in January 2007.

It all started out pleasantly enough, there was a great ferry service running between the Hook and Harwich, with a 4 hour sea crossing, slightly expensive, but I could be in work by 11:00 on a Monday morning.

On weeks where I wanted to save money I commuted by air from Schiphol to Stansted and used Stansted Express to get to London.

Schiphol is a prince among airports - light and airy its a pleasure to use this airport, combined with the highly efficient railway system I could leave home at 07:00 for an 09:00 flight, checkin would be 20 minutes and I could sit in the Terminal building waiting for my flight.

Stansted (incidentally one of our newer airports) is a dirty and grim place, and our railway system (dirty trains, expensive tickets and not very timely service) is appaling.

All went reasonably well until last August when the "security" clampdown hit UK Airports. Queues to check in and security grew from 30 minutes to 3 or 4 hours, with many people missing their flight. Dubious searching techniques were employed which meant that the search was for nothing (I carried a leatherman in my laptop bag without realising it, for 6 weeks)!!!

Schiphol remained a pleasure to use, no such large queues, yes security was tightened, but I could carry any size hand luggage onto plane and extra security staff ensured that queues remained at a maximum of 20 minutes.

I dont recommend flying to anybody at the moment especially now, as the holiday season takes off. As far as London's airports goes - forget it you are losing to the likes of Schiphol, Frankfurt or Paris which are much more adapted to the needs of the modern traveller.
 
I flew into Southampton yesterday from Belfast City (George Best et al). No great worries at Security because they've got it down to a fine art over there. Likewise the previous day flying out. Unfortunately, I'm flying out of Gatwick next week to Italy so Mrs C and I are going up the previous night, meant to be staying in a hotel but more than likely queueing up at Security all frigging night!
 

TheIronDuke

ADC
Book Reviewer
bobthedog said:
Schiphol is a prince among airports -

Yeah, its my hub of choice because its the same flying time as Heathrow. Only problem is those rear engine Fokkers that Air Cloggie use. Sit near the back and its like being in a transit van while somebody belts it with a hammer for an hour. And their sandwiches are crap. Nice airport though.

Havana domestic departures anybody? Its an open air thatched bar with a sort of palm leaf fence separating you from the apron. You can grab a Cuba Libra then spark up a fag and lean on the fence watching them refuel a Tupelov 20 feet away. For a soundtrack you have the bloke hammering while up to his nuts in the engine compartment.
 
Me too, Schiphol everytime. And, and (never start a sentence with a conjuctive) a rail connection that is neither exhorbitant or 'broken-down'.

Like so much in dear old, poor old, Bliarized Britain nothing bloody well works anymore.
 
Agree with everything said about Schiphol. Once found myself sitting in the departure lounge there with what appeared to be the entire Derry Bde ASU (gone politicial) which was a bit disconcerting as one of them was trying to work out where he'd seen me before...

Thumbs down for Lagos (Murtala Mohammed). All the seating is steel, and shaped like no human back. The usual 6 hour delay just flies past.

Kilimanjaro was boycotted in the 90s by Air France and Lufthansa as the airport had no backup generator. It was a bit worrying to fly in utter darkness between Mt Meru and Mt Kilimanjaro and on to a runway with flickering lights; KLM were good at it, though. An Alliance (no longer in business) 747 once tried to land in the carpark there, but the pilot realised his error when he saw my Landrover. Twat.
 

Augustus

War Hero
TheIronDuke said:
Biped said:
Pakistan Airlines?

Was it PakAir that lost one coming into Mecca years ago, because some wag decided to cook up a curry on a Primus stove down the back? Torched the plane. I kid you not.

I was once asked to move seats on an airline from that part of the world. Someone had brought a car axle on as hand baggage and they wanted to strap it across the seats.

Aeroflot anyone?

Nah, BA aint perfect but "Good morning ladies and gentlemen and welcome to speedbird 457 inbound for London Heathrow. I'm Nigel your First officer and Cedric our pilot is just shooting his cuffs in preparation for a perfect take off" is up there with "Have you time for a quick blow job Signor?" in the all time great things you want to hear when exiting some fly blown dump.

Ah, completely agree, your Grace.

I once almost cried with relief as I saw a familiar-liveried 767 touch down to whisk me out of Luanda, Angola, after a god forsaken couple of weeks with a French oil company. I almost jumped the trout-faced old battleaxe of a stewardess as soon as I laid eyes on her when boarding.....
 

RABC

LE
Long haul - you cannot beat Singapore Airlines. If you book your meal online you get served first, before anyone else. And Singapore Airport is fantasic. The best airport in the world though, IMHO, is the new Hong Kong airport.
 
F

fozzy

Guest
bobthedog said:
ISchiphol is a prince among airports .

Yep agree 100%. Did the Stansted- Schiphol Milk run a fair bit a few years back (Mind you, Stansted was not chock full of Air Chav back then and was still quite bearable).

I understand that a fair few business folk are now flying trans-Atlantic from Schiphol rather than face the utter shambles that is BAA.

That said I flew from Heathrow to Baltimore back in May - Baltimore was a perfectly serviceable airport - and quite easy to get into DC from.
 
F

fozzy

Guest
RABC said:
Long haul - you cannot beat Singapore Airlines. If you book your meal online you get served first, before anyone else. And Singapore Airport is fantasic. The best airport in the world though, IMHO, is the new Hong Kong airport.

Singapore followed by Sydney are my two top contenders for best Airport.
 

RABC

LE
Digressing slightly - do they still run that Sopwith Camel shuttle service from BAOR into Northolt. The one where the pilot passed around a flask, and a notice to tell you what height you were flying at ??
 

Gunner82

War Hero
TheIronDuke said:
Biped said:
Pakistan Airlines?

Was it PakAir that lost one coming into Mecca years ago, because some wag decided to cook up a curry on a Primus stove down the back? Torched the plane. I kid you not.

I was once asked to move seats on an airline from that part of the world. Someone had brought a car axle on as hand baggage and they wanted to strap it across the seats.

Aeroflot anyone?

Nah, BA aint perfect but "Good morning ladies and gentlemen and welcome to speedbird 457 inbound for London Heathrow. I'm Nigel your First officer and Cedric our pilot is just shooting his cuffs in preparation for a perfect take off" is up there with "Have you time for a quick blow job Signor?" in the all time great things you want to hear when exiting some fly blown dump.

It was Saudia flight with hajj passengers from Karachi, would have got most of the pax’s off had the airport fire brigade not sat around wondering what to do while the passengers asphyxiated. Try Yemen Air for a truly exhilarating experience!
 

overpromoted

Old-Salt
I flew to the USA with BA and AA. The BA bits (Regional UK airport to Heathrow and Heathrow to Large US City) were fine - v. little waiting in line, baggage arrived where it should, comfortable planes and friendly staff. The AA legs (Large US City to Slightly Smaller US City, and the whole return journey) were pretty grim. All the flights were late, the aircraft were a bit knackered and the staff were surly.

However, I've heard all the horror stories about BA and I'm prepared to believe that they're as bad as any airline of that size. It just depends whether things are going smoothly when you happen to be flying. Air travel is so complex, and operates on such small profit margins, that small problems tend to snowball into BIG ones very quickly.
 
Most of the faults I have are with BAA - they forget to load my bag from start point, T1 baggage reclaim often seems to stink of sewage or something wrong (welcome to the UK!). The metal detectors seem to be pretty over sensitive too, can fly through pretty much any airport in EU and not set the damn thing off, go through LHR and a button in your jeans makes it go. It leads to a very pleasant pat down but I won't go there.. Later when going to the gate you may, or may not, have to go through another security checkpoint - always the same destination but it seems based on a toss of a coin on the morning. Appears to make no difference anyway, it was a backwater airport far of most routes that picked up the small canister of liquid in my carry on luggage (medicine), not any uk place.
 

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