Sunday, 19 July 2009

"It's the little differences..." "Example?"

Isn't flying with British Airways to London just infinitely better than with the low-cost carriers?
  • You arrive at Heathrow, not Luton, Gatwick or (worst of all) Stansted a.k.a London Cambridge.

  • You take off at a civilised time (not a 04:00 check-in for a 06:00 take-off which means waking up before three, which remember is two am in the UK). By the end of a long working day in London, you will have been up for nearly 20 hours.

  • You arrive at a civilised time, when cheap day travel cards reduce the cost of reaching the centre of the Capital to £7.50 (compared to £22.50 for peak-time single from Luton plus peak time travel card when you arrive before 8am)

  • You are fed and watered without having to pull your wallet out of your pocket, which let's face it is difficult when you're strapped into a cramped seat
  • Baggage allowance is 23 kilo, not a piddling 15. Which means I can bring large amounts of brochures, magazines and other marketing materials on the way out en route to those business meetings, and a five-kilo sack of Tilda Basmati rice on the way home. And not pay £50 surcharge for the privilege.

  • You get a free newspaper or three on boarding. And two readable inflight mags.
  • Your eyes are not assaulted by garish orange or purple

  • Aircraft windows are not yellowed, crazed, grime-streaked or misted-over, allowing a higher quality of photograph to be taken through them
  • You usually get to fly in over Central London, which often yields spectacular views.
The slight extra cost of flying BA is clawed back by the lower cost of getting into Central London.
This time last year:
Interesting regular visitors to Okęcie
Take me right back to the track, Jack!
This time two years ago:
On The Road Again
Visit to Wrocław
Some family history
Poland's best pub?

9 comments:

Chris Oz said...

You are right about the low cost carriers. They serve the purpose of getting from A to B and that's it, nothing more. But to fly with a 'proper' airline is always a pleasure in my experience. More importantly they don't cancel flights and leave you in the lurch. I guess it's a perfect example of 'you get what you pay for'.

Nice view of City airport, I've been there many times. I took my camera with me last time I flew and the results weren't very good. Do you have some tips for photos from inside an aircraft?

Chris

Michael Dembinski said...

My point is that the little extra you pay for flying to Heathrow is compensated for by the lower cost of reaching Central London, so you're quids in plus it's much, much nicer!

Aerial photos - take a DSLR rather that a compact digital for real time through-the-lens composition and instantaneous shutter reaction. Don't be tempted to use a polarising filter - it tends to highlights distortions in the plexi windows. You are shooting through two layers of optically sub-optimal material, so you'll never get a perfect shot. Use Photoshop to enhance contrast and clarity. Click on the label 'AERIAL VIEWS OF THE GROUND' for more shots taken from planes.

DC said...

Cheaper local transport leaves money for a Royale with cheese.

Ewa said...

you lucky people! I can only dream of a flight to Heathrow from Krakow. Unfortunately from here it's the sleazyjets that have the most convenient schedules and prices...

Michael Dembinski said...

DC - it's still a quarter pounder with cheese in Britain!

DC said...

OK, I should have picked a more apt response. The movie's full of great lines.

And 100% yes: I'll also gladly pay a reasonable amount more to avoid extra stress and chaos of air travel, and better airports. BA is also one of the few who offer something between coach and business (which I can't afford) for long-haul.

pinolona said...

I'm not that keen on Heathrow - memories of waiting for transatlantic flights and getting lost trying to pick up my Dad from business trips in the 80s and 90s.

For me it's a clear decision: if I fly to Gatwick, I get picked up at the airport; if I fly to Stansted, I have to fork out 13GBP for the Stansted Express, plus Oyster card across London and then another train back to Sevenoaks. Financially, it usually makes more sense to fly BA, especially once you factor in extra luggage allowances (come on, the free packet of peanuts and a beer don't really save you anything cos you end up buying a sandwich at the airport anyway). Plus I'm a snob and I don't like Ryanair...

Anonymous said...

BA scraps the short-haul sandwich:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8174009.stm

Michael Dembinski said...

Thanks for that heads-up; the story says BA defines 'short-haul' as 'flights of less than two and half hours'. Warsaw to London's two hours 40 mins (by the timetable). So the sandwiches should stay!