I used some of my Avios to travel from London to Cairo, which involved an overnight in Amman, Jordan. It’s a location I have never been to before, and as BA still fly the old bmi planes to some of it’s Middle East destinations, I got to try this also. (Two Firsts!).
Leaving the BA International Lounge in Terminal 1, I had about a 15 minute walk to the gate.
There is a European rule that requires the segregation of arriving and departing passengers, unless they are re-screened at the gate. My experience is that is totally enforced at Heathrow, but that the airport has spent as little as possible to achieve this, to the disadvantage of the passengers. Basically they have installed lots of gates which block corridors to allow arriving passengers to access their exit, and holds leaving passengers.
This was my experience with the hold lasting 20 minutes or so.
Lots of annoyed and confused passengers were finally let through to the gate. Boarding has just started and the staff allowed passengers with young children to board first. This appeared to be about 70% of the plane and they resolutely turned away Club passengers until they were ready. The plane was not connected to a jet bridge meaning that we had to walk down steps from the terminal and up steps to the A321.
The plane still uses the old bmi seats and these are distinctly different to the usual Club World sleeper seats. The seat layout is staggered 1-2 or 2-1 depending on row.
I had 1A, a single seat on the left side at the bulkhead. A clever cut away allowed lots of legroom and for the seat to flatten. (This is the view of the two seats across the aisle in Row 1).
There was plenty of legroom.
The seat controls were a little odd, with a range of pre-selected positions rather than being able to recline each part of the seat separately.
There was electrical power at each seat:
Menus were handed out as well as the standard BA amenity kit, headset and newspapers.
We were late leaving whilst more bags were loaded.
As we taxied around the airport there were some fairly typical view of Heathrow. Here we have passengers being bussed at Terminal 3:
Some Qantas big birds:
The service was strangely slow with it taking about an hour before we got our first part of the meal. This was the starter and salad:
The beef main course:
The highlight was the dessert which was really tasty. The beef was strangely bland.
The entertainment selection was excellent, although oddly still branded as bmi!
Even the moving map had an aircraft in the old bmi livery. (Bit nerdy I know!)
We made up no time on the way, and so landed late. The queue for immigration was short and I was fairly quickly in the car to the hotel.
A perfectly decent trip, although with slow service. BA did send a survey after the flight and I did report this as the only issue.