The red eye to Heathrow got a bit more bleary recently with the introduction of an even earlier flight out of St George’s Belfast City Airport.
For waking dead there’s now a 06:30 BD79 flight which is scheduled to land at 07:40 … but this morning’s made it in at 08:15, the scheduled landing time of the old 06:50 flight that it replaced.
So you get up earlier, have to make it through security earlier, only to sit on the plane for an age before taking off. When all the other flights during the day are listed as 1 hours 25 minutes, someone was a bit optimistic thinking the first one would get across in an hour and ten minutes, beating the early morning Atlantic rush around London’s airspace!
The consolation is that an in-flight breakfast isn’t the sole privilege of Business Class passengers anymore. Other than some in the Civil Service and local politicians, there aren’t many allowed to travel up front any more.
No, the tide has changed and despite trying to make the Belfast–Heathrow route into a budget bmibaby route, bmi have decreed that anyone with a diamond club card BluePlus, Silver or Gold (and it doesn’t take many flights to get a BluePlus) can now get a free breakfast, no matter where they’re sitting. Just show your card, and a cheesy toastie and a cup of tea (or Pringles and a Coke) can be yours.
Tonight’s flight home is showing as a half hour delay. Just as well, as the Heathrow bar code scanners had broken and everyone with home-printed boarding passes were being turned back to get a proper boarding card issued at a bmi desk. More queues!
Update: Scheduled to take off at 17:25, the BD90 finally reached Heathrow's runway at 18:50, landing in Belfast at 19:50, a full hour late. Arghh.
But it’s always good to remember that somewhere, someone else is having a rougher time: