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 Travelling BA Sofia UK return

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oldun
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PostSubject: Travelling BA Sofia UK return   Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:16 pm

Has anyone experience of checking in at terminal 5 London Heathrow for Sofia on the return flight with BA? Do you find terminal 5 easy to get around? Did you have any questions asked about when you were returning to Britain before being allowed to fly back to Sofia?
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Scunnered
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PostSubject: Re: Travelling BA Sofia UK return   Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:35 pm

We usually travel with BA from terminal 5. It's never been a problem for us,
in fact we find it easier to get around than anywhere else!
Departures are on the top floor and everything is well signed, with plenty of
departure boards. We haven't had to queue for long at baggage drop either, and
security is usually okay, although I always seem to be asked to remove my shoes!
Never been asked any questions!
Our next flight is via Paris as we are flying into Birmingham. Apparently Charles de Gaulle
airport is a nightmare. Can't wait! g
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starlite
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PostSubject: Re: Travelling BA Sofia UK return   Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:44 pm

arhhh dont say that, im going to that airport next week :Hair:
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Scunnered
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PostSubject: Re: Travelling BA Sofia UK return   Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:56 pm

Oh no, hope you've got plenty of time if you need to change terminals!
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tonyb60
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PostSubject: Re: Travelling BA Sofia UK return   Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:57 pm

We used to fly Gatwick to Varna with BA. Shame they stopped it . But must say that compared to other airlines BA planes have become very tatty with age and although the food and drinks are in the price they are not at a very good standard.

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Scunnered
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PostSubject: Re: Travelling BA Sofia UK return   Wed Mar 21, 2012 5:04 pm

At least with BA the price you see is the price you pay.
No hidden extras!
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varnagirl
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PostSubject: Re: Travelling BA Sofia UK return   Wed Mar 21, 2012 5:33 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:

Our next flight is via Paris as we are flying into Birmingham. :

i dont expect for one minute thats from varna ,via paris , to b,ham ??
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mike&tanya
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PostSubject: Re: Travelling BA Sofia UK return   Wed Mar 21, 2012 6:03 pm

Up until this summer, (going Ryanair to Plovdiv this year) I have always flown BA from terminal 5, (but this is return flights from and back to Heathrow) I think terminal 5 is great, especially if you have checked in on line, and as mentioned at least what you see is the end price.
I hate ticking all of the stupid boxes and having all of the extras added at the end all of these so called cheap airlines.

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Scunnered
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PostSubject: Re: Travelling BA Sofia UK return   Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:21 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:

Our next flight is via Paris as we are flying into Birmingham. :

i dont expect for one minute thats from varna ,via paris , to b,ham ??


No, it's from Sofia, with AirFrance.
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oldun
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PostSubject: Re: Travelling BA Sofia UK return   Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:56 am

Well I must have been unlucky then. The flight from Sofia with BA was great. A tunnel to enter the plane instead of steps. Nice meal for airtravel and pleasant crew plus a free drink if I had wanted. Aircraft not new but fine.
Return flight a nightmare. I am coming up 72 and the first time using terminal 5 which is probably okay when you are familiar. However, I am used to Gatwick where the flight boards face you directly you enter the building. In terminal 5 you have to search as they all face sideways. Fine when you know they are there!!! I wasn't familiar with the term 'Bag Drop' and thought it another name for 'check-in'. Although I booked my seat (extra £12) I was not aware that you could or should check-in at the machines. I didn't find this on the internet booking except that it said I could check-in online 24 hours previous to flight. As I had no internet available 24hrs previously I decided to do it the normal way.
I finally got to the head of the queue at a 'Bag Drop' and was told I should have used the machines by a rather 'jobsworth' lady. However, she agreed to give me my boarding pass and then asked 'when are you returning to Britain?' What??? Well, I have been educated to do as I am told and fortunately I had booked a return flight in May for a quick visit with Easyjet. 'Where is the ticket?' she asked. 'In my computer' I replied as I had not yet printed it out. 'Well, you could tell me anything couldn't you?' she said. After a telephone call she confirmed that I must print it out mentioning something about 90 days and Visa and that BA had to ask this for Government guidelines.
You may now be thinking, 'why didn't I mention that Bulgaria is in the EU' but all I wanted was to get on my flight as time was ticking by.
I was then directed to a print-out machine at the airport internet by Cafe Nero. After several attempts to print out the said ticket and enlisting the help of a fellow traveller I finally got it. It cost me £5 cash and use of my debit card as I made mistakes. Cafe Nero no help at all because it isn't their machine.
I returned to the Bag Drop lady who agreed to let me go to the head of the queue. By this time 'final call for boarding' as I passed through 'security'' was being broadcast. I ran breathless to probably the last bay (A10a) only to find it was a bus to the aircraft and stairs to board. I made it but I paid over £100 extra to supposedly travel in more comfort without having to climb up steps with heavy handbaggage as on Easyjet. Plane this time very elderly, not worth the extra £12 for the seat.
Now all this may have been a one off and partly my fault not being used to terminal 5 or the online check-in machines at the airport although I have used them for train tickets. However, it is a complete mystery to me why I was asked about a return flight to Britain and what would have happened if I hadn't already booked? This is why I asked my question and it appears no-one else has.
I have contacted BA about this but so far have no had a reply.
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tonyb60
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PostSubject: Re: Travelling BA Sofia UK return   Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:13 am

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Well I must have been unlucky then. The flight from Sofia with BA was great. A tunnel to enter the plane instead of steps. Nice meal for airtravel and pleasant crew plus a free drink if I had wanted. Aircraft not new but fine.
Return flight a nightmare. I am coming up 72 and the first time using terminal 5 which is probably okay when you are familiar. However, I am used to Gatwick where the flight boards face you directly you enter the building. In terminal 5 you have to search as they all face sideways. Fine when you know they are there!!! I wasn't familiar with the term 'Bag Drop' and thought it another name for 'check-in'. Although I booked my seat (extra £12) I was not aware that you could or should check-in at the machines. I didn't find this on the internet booking except that it said I could check-in online 24 hours previous to flight. As I had no internet available 24hrs previously I decided to do it the normal way.
I finally got to the head of the queue at a 'Bag Drop' and was told I should have used the machines by a rather 'jobsworth' lady. However, she agreed to give me my boarding pass and then asked 'when are you returning to Britain?' What??? Well, I have been educated to do as I am told and fortunately I had booked a return flight in May for a quick visit with Easyjet. 'Where is the ticket?' she asked. 'In my computer' I replied as I had not yet printed it out. 'Well, you could tell me anything couldn't you?' she said. After a telephone call she confirmed that I must print it out mentioning something about 90 days and Visa and that BA had to ask this for Government guidelines.
You may now be thinking, 'why didn't I mention that Bulgaria is in the EU' but all I wanted was to get on my flight as time was ticking by.
I was then directed to a print-out machine at the airport internet by Cafe Nero. After several attempts to print out the said ticket and enlisting the help of a fellow traveller I finally got it. It cost me £5 cash and use of my debit card as I made mistakes. Cafe Nero no help at all because it isn't their machine.
I returned to the Bag Drop lady who agreed to let me go to the head of the queue. By this time 'final call for boarding' as I passed through 'security'' was being broadcast. I ran breathless to probably the last bay (A10a) only to find it was a bus to the aircraft and stairs to board. I made it but I paid over £100 extra to supposedly travel in more comfort without having to climb up steps with heavy handbaggage as on Easyjet. Plane this time very elderly, not worth the extra £12 for the seat.
Now all this may have been a one off and partly my fault not being used to terminal 5 or the online check-in machines at the airport although I have used them for train tickets. However, it is a complete mystery to me why I was asked about a return flight to Britain and what would have happened if I hadn't already booked? This is why I asked my question and it appears no-one else has.
I have contacted BA about this but so far have no had a reply.

Oh poor you. Although we have not suffered the same fate, we have come across Mr &
Mrs Jobsworth but I love em. Once they start I let them go on for a moment or 2 then I say ' Do you realize that I pay your wages'. Then I say everyone has a boss and I would like to see yours now. But you must say these things in a calm non aggressive way. Then when the boss does arrive and they do. Say to them Do you supply your customer facing people with a course on how to miss manage your customers. Plus if this person was being paid on how to improve poor customer relations then he/she deserves a pay rise. Another nice one is 'Apart from sacking this rude individual what are you going to do to keep my custom' You also need to write to BA or Easyjet or whoever and complain they do respond. I wrote to Easy Jet to say thank you once and do you know that at that time there was no mechanism to give praise :Very funny 2:In fact when we got a reply it came on a Complaints reply service heading What we must all remember is to praise as well as complain. Even as most of us oldies do say 'It cost nothing to say thank you'. That is why it was nice to see on another topic someone saying thank you to admin and the team

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varnagirl
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PostSubject: Re: Travelling BA Sofia UK return   Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:06 pm

why did you not just show your Bg L/C the 90days does not apply to you ..you are resident of Bg
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oldun
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PostSubject: Re: Travelling BA Sofia UK return   Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:04 pm

On reflection Tony and Varnagirl - I did wonder this myself as I always carry my passport and Bulgarian resident's card. I think that I was under stress and just wanted to get on the plane. It wasn't the time to argue or get a boss intervening because there was no way of knowing how long that would all take. I was very polite - in fact I am amazed at how calm and polite I was, but I just wanted to get home!!!!
I hope that this episode might help others should they have the same 'jobsworth' lady who gave no concession to my age whatsoever and I know my wrinkles don't lie!
One other thing to note. If you use the Heathrow Express from Paddington to all terminals at Heathrow, be aware that the service is much less than every 15 minutes on a Sunday! This did not flag up when I bought my ticket online and I only found this out while waiting on the train from 6.09 to 6.25am listening to another passenger talking to an employee. He happened to be very helpful and a credit to National Rail. [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
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oldun
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PostSubject: Re: Travelling BA Sofia UK return   Sat Mar 24, 2012 5:10 pm

I seem to be alone then with this problem. Could it be because I bought the ticket Sofia to London return and not the other way round? This is what I particularly asked. Its always the same isn't it - anything in Britain is entirely different in Bulgaria. I should have said I was resident in Bulgaria but she didn't ask where I lived and why did she need to know? Check-in isn't Border Control is it and she said it was for 'Government Guidelines!' Still no reply from BA so I've given up.
Yes, like everything else, terminal 5 is probably super when you know how!!!! I wasn't near a computer to book in online 24 hours before departure and maybe there are more desks for ordinary check-in and I went to the wrong place. Too late now but I will never travel with any airline that promotes this kind of check-in. Give me Easyjet every time. Its definitely 'no frills' and with no luggage or speedy boarding there aren't any extras except they seem to have added an 'admin' charge of 11Euros. Wonder if this replaces the card charge and if so, it is a price increase by 'stealth'. Booking way in advance is so much cheaper than BA and I have no qualms about being part of the cattle truck brigade. Flying is so boring however much you pay.
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