British Airways A320 Euro Traveller04/10/2012
CHECK IN I arrived at Toulouse airport at 1645 for my 1805 flight to LHR. I had downloaded my boarding pass to my phone and was only carrying hand luggage so I did not have to go to the British Airways check in desk, located in hall C of the terminal. However, the BA desks were deserted an hour before the flight so any delay would have been minimal. From here it is a short walk to hall D where the nearest security gate was located.
Here my mobile boarding pass was scanned using a remote device, which is certainly preferable to handing over your phone. At security the queue moved quickly enough (laptops out shoes on) allowing me to be airside with 50 minutes until my flight.
Airside at Toulouse airport is fairly uninspiring, with the only dining option being a fast food style bar where hot and cold drinks, alcohol and a modest selection of sandwiches and pastries are available.
The bonus, however, is that the seating for the snack bar stretches out along the giant bay windows allowing a view of the runway and, in the near distance, the blue topped Airbus A330 and A340 assembly line building.
There is the usual selection of duty free as well as gourmet goods such as wine and foie gras, Toulouse rugby inscribed souvenirs and Airbus models.
BOARDING My flight was boarding at gate 41, a 15-minute walk reached by turning right once through security. Gates 1-39 are located nearer to the shops on the left hand side and are a shorter walk from my chosen security gate.
There was only one security guard present but the queue was short. Gates 40-43 are located in their own area where there is a small duty free shop, toilets and lots of comfortable leather sofa seating. British Airways provided complimentary copies of the FT, Daily Mail and Independent just before boarding.
The flight was called to board at 1745 and I was one of the last to board at 1805 and had to wait 10 minutes in a sweltering air bridge which had been in the baking sun all day without any air conditioning. We eventually took off at 1820, 15 minutes late.
SEAT My seat was 11C, an aisle seat located adjacent to the emergency exit therefore offering a little added leg room. The plane was configured with four rows of Club Europe (business) so row 11 was not too far back to slow disembarkation drastically.
To see a seat plan of this aircraft click here.
FLIGHT A full drinks service with alcohol and hot drinks was rolled out once the seat belt sign was turned off, and there was no meal service despite receiving a ham and cheese roll on the way out, with a bag of mixed savouries given out with drinks to tide me over until dinner. Due to it being a short flight the overhead IFE was not engaged.
ARRIVAL The captain said that he was hopeful of a 1905 landing time at London Heathrow, and duly delivered to the minute. Following a short walk to security at T5 there were two large queues for UK passports. However four new staff appeared quickly to ease the congestion and I was ground side by 1830 as I did not have to wait at baggage reclaim.
VERDICT All in all both flights were quick, comfortable and uneventful. BA staff were friendly and courteous and my two seat selections were very comfortable. I found Heathrow T5 to be extremely efficient both outbound and on my return flight. For a review of the outbound leg, click here.
Seat pitch 31”
Price Fares through the BA website for a midweek flight in August prices start at around £204 return.