I’ve had a number of aircraft changes on BA flights out of London City in the past few months. Seems that BA expanded its flights without the right number of planes to operate them.
When this happens you can usually tell in two ways, I have found:
- You cannot check in online as normal, 24 hours before departure
- BA often send an email saying that the service is operated by another carrier
I managed to check-in online a few hours before the flight and my seat had been retained although the layout was slightly different to that of the BA plane that should have been operating the service.
The plane, as the Dublin flights often do, went from Gate 1 at London City which has a small holding room. The gate agent was going around and tagging every single wheelie case.
They were all give Priority tags, regardless of status or class of service. She claimed that this was because it was a smaller plane than normal.
The plane parked right opposite the gate and we were able to walk to the steps, at back and front. There was no priority boarding and tagged bags were left on a cart by the wing.
It was a BAe 146 and actually the overhead bins would have accommodated a number of bags but of course by then it was too late. There was a good deal of confusion as the cabin layout had not been changed since the inbound, leaving people trying to sit in the blocked middle seat in some of the front rows.
It turned out that there were only two rows of Club Europe, with one passenger in each.
JOTA has different rules about electronic devices, requiring them to be shut off during take off, taxi and landing.
JOTA’s flight attendants were pretty nice, bringing round drinks much more frequently than the BA staff normally do on this service. The meal was the same as normal and served on BA trays.
The piece of chicken was huge, and the meal was fairly tasty.
We arrived on time in to Dublin and I was at the luggage belt fairly quickly.
Truly an unusual experience for me as I cannot recall the last time I checked a bag. About 30 minutes later the first of the ‘Priority Bags’ appeared and mine was amongst them. The annoying decision by BA to force everyone to check bags wasted time that I could helpfully have used asleep, but the wait could have been much longer.