I flew to Vienna on 1st July 2013 for a short visit to my research collaborators. It was my 3rd visit, so I knew such details as how to get to my hotel on arrival, etc. But every one trip is different. I’ve flown a lot, and this certainly doesn’t count as long-haul, in comparison with Brazil for example. But it was nevertheless trying and stressful in its own way.
British Airways Vienna flights leave from Heathrow terminal 3, which has always seemed a bit odd, considering the other destinations from there. I arrived early as usual and spent a couple of hours in the Servisair Lounge (using Priority Pass to get in). I left the lounge shortly before the time indicated for the gate to open. But then it didn’t open on time, so there was nothing to do but wait! Finally it opened, about 20 minutes later than originally indicated, so I headed to gate 24, which Foursquare informed me was the same gate as last year. It’s one of those gates where you have to take a bus, but there fortunately wasn’t long to wait before we got on the bus and it took us to the plane.
So far so good. So far so too good, as it happened. I found my seat on the plane, but then the fun started. People started getting on with large bags, and soon the overhead lockers were full. It’s quite clear that people are not taking note of the maximum hand baggage guidelines! The result was that the flight departure was delayed while the poor cabin crew tried to find space for the bags, which is a new experience for me. We eventually started moving about 10 minutes late. Of course, I had two screaming babies in the seats behind me, one having a great time kicking my seat.
Arrival at Vienna was simple. I went through passport control without incident, and took the CAT train to Wien-Mitte which is close to my hotel. Vienna is warm and sunny, and the forecast is good for the next few days. So if things work out research-wise, it should be a good worthwhile trip. I’ll post more on that later.