Flying My First Inaugural – London to Ljubljana Part 1: The Flight

I’m not sure what time we woke up, but my Grandma was right, the builders would do it. If you ever wanted to know what it might be like to live on a building site, or perhaps a coal mine you most likely have something wrong with you! We attempted to sleep for another half hour but gave up right at the point where we thought they’d made the breakthrough. Not wanting to wait and see if we’d be receiving a Jack Nicholson, Shining style good morning, some trapped Chilean minors, or perhaps even discover the real reason why Crossrail had yet to open.

We enjoyed breakfast with my Grandma and after I got ready I headed out to pick up a few bits for her. On my return I changed the broken bulb in her lamp and fixed her TV issues (again) as for some unknown reason she had both a faulty HDMI cable and a faulty SCART cable both connected from her Freeview box to her TV. This wonderful combination had managed to significantly degrade her TV picture and sound as well as causing all sorts of interference.

We were then able to enjoy the remainder of Rip Off Britain before saying our good-byes and getting the Piccadilly line to Heathrow, thankfully dodging a large school group on route.

I don’t know how but by the time we had checked in it was already 13:39. How did it take so long to get to T5! The Club check-in queue was reasonably long but fast moving considering every 2nd person had enough luggage to fit a family inside! Service was friendly, with an apologies for waiting and an attempt to make conversation. Both were appreciated.

Maybe Next Time We Can Do The First Wing?

Whilst waiting in line in dawned upon me that I couldn’t recall the last visit we’d made to Galleries Club. Our last visit to Terminal 5 was on an economy flight to CDG with no status. Prior to that was in First to India. So in all it was probably more than 6 years ago. No wonder that whilst the terminal felt familiar I was struggling with a few wrong turns and forgotten moments.

Security was cramped but fast and after a quick stop at Boots to replace Anne-So’s leaking make up remover we headed off to the lounge.

British Airways Galleries Club South
Access: Oneworld First Class, Business Class and Emerald or Sapphire Status

Finding the lounge was still relatively easy, though again I forgot about the extra run of escalators to the Club lounge and felt confused at seeing only the Concorde Room and Galleries First.  We were soon in the lounge and at first we were taken aback at quite how busy it was. It made us realise how lucky we’d been with so many of our flights departing Terminal 3 which allowed us to spend so much time in the quite wonderful (and my official happy place) Cathay Lounge and most recently the beautiful cocktails on offer at the Qantas Lounge.

We turned right and found a dining table and chairs by the side of the cinema and hunted for food. The furniture had definitely been changed since our last visit and the food had definitely seen an improvement:  curries, sandwiches, soups, bread, drinks hard and soft or hot and cold.  The choice and brands felt more varied and of higher quality than I recalled from our last visit.

I started with some curries and a soup accompanied by a glass of white wine before moving on to a sweet and delicious aged rum and coke. I also drank my usual black Americano alongside some quite tasty cappuccino cake.

We then moved to the opposite side of the lounge to enjoy some sunlight, minor plane spotting and to charge our devices where for once my phone worked on the wireless charger! Oh and I kept hydrated with some rather delicious fruit infused water.

With around 45 mins to go, gate A6 was shown on our phones and the departures screen so we headed down in the hope of some inaugural flight related fun and festivities…

We were left somewhat disappointed by the grand total of absolutely nothing, but at least the automatic boarding gates worked!

Flight: BA690 
Class: Club Europe (Business) 
Depart: LHR T5 17:20 
Arrive LJU T1 20:35
Aircraft: A321-200 
G-EUXI Delivered 05/08/2005
Seats 3A and 3C
Depart 09R

Our plane looked nice and clean and we departed about 10 minutes late.

Our flight commenced with a beautiful route along the Thames and we were treated to exceptional views of Central London, Canary Wharf and so forth before hitting a soft blanket of cloud as we crossed the channel which stayed with us for the majority of the flight.

Food was served and I chose Beef and chicken salad with chimichurri sauce with a little bottle of Cote du Rhone.

As we passed over the Austrian Alps we enjoyed some majestic mountain views and beautiful alpine forests, this continued on the approach and right onto the runway which was surrounded by forest.

We arrived around 5 mins late to a media frenzy, with this being the inaugural flight, we received the full paparazzi treatment on arrival, though personally I was hoping for the water cannon salute. On arrival we finally got some goodies! OK, that is an exaggeration. We received a little BA lollipop each, of the two colours on offer one was sponge cake, the other a brownie. There was the usual wait at baggage so I called our hotel as per the instructions and as promised a nice shiny BMW 5 Series came to pick us up! Despite it being basic accommodation we got a very nice transfer vehicle. Our host who managed Rooms and Apartments Jana where we would spend the night was friendly and spoke good English. It was a short drive to the nearby village and we were there.

Rooms And Apartments Jana
Room: Classic Double
Status: N/A

Our room was basic but comfortable with everything we needed for a cool nights sleep. We also had a balcony with what we expected would be a beautiful views in the morning. We set about unpacking our things and I planned to read the guide book to plan out our day at Lake Bled. Only it turns out I’d left our guidebook in the seat back pocket on the plane. With the excitement of the paparazzi party on arrival I’d just plain old forgotten it.

We enjoyed a decent night of sleep with the only complaint being a slightly musty smell from the drains in the bathroom. But seeing as we did not spend much time in there it was not an issue. Oh, and on a recurring theme of disaster Anne-So’s Asprey shampoo all the way from Ritz Carlton Kyoto had exploded in her washbag. Thankfully all the plastic bags she wraps everything in came in handy with no additional mess or fuss caused.

It was really time to call it a night as we knew we had a busy day of sightseeing tomorrow.

Flying My First Inaugural – London to Ljubljana

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