Director hopped aboard a British Airways Airbus A319 for a flight to Frankfurt. Here’s our verdict
With questions raised over London’s position as the financial centre of Europe following the vote for Brexit, there is speculation about which city might replace it at the helm, with many pointing towards Frankfurt. The banking hub of the continental mainland, Germany’s fifth-largest city is home to the European Central Bank – as well as 218 other banks – and the third-busiest airport in the EU. Director took an early-morning flight with British Airways from London Heathrow to sample a journey that may soon become increasingly familiar to British business leaders.
Opened in 2008, Terminal 5 has, after a shaky start, won Skytrax’s World’s Best Terminal award five years in a row. The building cost £4bn and has five floors of shops, restaurants, car rental, business services and exchange bureaus. Having already checked in online, all we needed to do was drop off my bag and at 6.15am there were no queues at the BA desks, which meant the experience was a breeze.
The security gate is about two minutes’ walk from the check-in area and we cleared security in five minutes, leaving plenty of time to peruse the myriad retailers on offer there – including Hugo Boss, Bulgari, Dior and Fortnum & Mason – and grab a cup of tea from Starbucks before settling down with our book. The gate was announced at 7.15am and it was only a short walk via an escalator to gate A10. Boarding was on time but the flight, which was due to depart at 8.15am, was delayed by 15 minutes.
The almost-empty flight meant we had three seats to ourselves and plenty of room to spread out on seats that were already fairly wide (17in with a 30in pitch), with space beneath for storing hand luggage. There was an extra pocket at the top of the seat for magazines, which was a nice touch, and meant more room for my belongings in the pocket below the tray table.
No in-flight entertainment for this 90-minute hop – the drop-down screens, four on each side of the economy cabin, just showed the flight path and a health-and-safety video. We flew before BA made the controversial move to scrap free on-board snacks, and were served a hot drink and a ham and cream cheese croissant shortly after take-off. It was a little bland but staved off the hunger, and the staff were friendly and accommodating.
Despite departing late, we landed on time and we were through border control swiftly. Bags seemed to arrive almost immediately and we were out of the airport in less than 20 minutes.
Verdict One of the easiest flights we’ve ever taken – the whole journey was smooth, quick and hassle-free 45/50