Hats off to the genius at British Airways who decided to go with Brewdog. It’s rare that such a delicious beer is served up and it’s very important to take full advantage of it. And I did. I particularly took advantage in the Business Lounge.
We don’t normally fly Business in Europe but BA sent me an email with a very good price for an upgrade. Given the opportunity to indulge in a bit of luxury and in order to assuage my wife, I figured it was a brilliant idea. I upgraded.
So, after a day spent packing very, very slowly and taking the girls to their holiday villa in the next street (poor Sue had returned from a yoga retreat in the early hours of this morning and had only managed four hours sleep), we climbed aboard Carol’s Cab and headed for Gatwick.
Everything runs so smoothly when you pay more. The woman at the check-in desk (yes, I didn’t have to do it myself) was very pleasant. Through security the very pleasant woman perched high on her stool grinned broadly after she’d inspected our tickets to make sure we were ‘in the club’ rather than drifting about. Then the security people were pleasant (this NEVER happens) as we were pushed in front of other, less fortunate passengers.
I have to say, I was asked a few times if I needed assistance and at security, for the first time ever, I was asked if I had a metal hip but, other than these observations of my clearly decrepit condition, everything was smooth sailing and we swirled into the lounge like well seasoned Rockafellers.
Eventually, of course, we had to leave the luxury of the lounge and walk to Gate 1 via the ladies then Boots for water. While I waited, I almost witnessed an accident as one of those extended golf carts for the incapable of walking people was stuck behind a young woman with ear plugs who appeared to be humming to herself in some sort of oblivious fug.
The extended golf cart driver started going all Neapolitan on his hooter, bashing out a timpani of honks but she didn’t take a blind bit of notice; she just continued walking as slowly as she possibly could, absorbed as she was in her euphoria.
Eventually she ducked behind a pillar and the extended golf cart, with an impatient and wholly unnecessary, squeal of it’s tyres, sped off down the passage to whatever gate the inactive passengers were destined for. It was a close shave but the young woman just shuffled off without a care in the world.
Having reached Gate 1, meanwhile, we sat and waited for most of the plane to board before joining the remaining few for the first rows. Again, pleasant ground staff wished us various happy things before we met our cabin crew who were, unsurprisingly, pleasant.
Having taken off and joined the world above the clouds we were offered a drink. I asked for a Brewdog while Mirinda requested a gin and tonic. We were both given two drinks each. While I had no problem with downing two small beers during our 2.5 hour flight, Mirinda decided against the second G&T.
We even had a meal. All very nice and completely unnecessary, though all very pleasant just the same. Mind you, I did wonder about the advertising genius who decided to stamp the crackers with a four year old award.
The flight was uneventful (apart from the copious amounts of food and double drinks) and we soon started our descent into Bari, flying in from the sea.
The taxi ride from the airport was long but eventually we turned up outside our hotel and checked in. At first the desk clerk told us our room was on level 5. Mirinda blanched, thinking about the very long walk up ten flights of stairs this would entail.
We had requested rooms as low as possible and knew that the rooms started on level 2. He seemed to think we were mad wanting something so low but happily changed our room down three floors.
As we walked into the room, Mirinda pronounced the room had no soul. I was preparing to leave when she said it would be fine for one night but it was a good job I found an apartment for the last few days when we return to Bari.
Unfortunately, a soul was not all the room lacked. It was also rather lacking in towels. I called down to reception for some extras and a rather jolly chap knocked at the door and handed me towels and a Ross load of toiletries (which we didn’t need) and a pair of slippers. At least things were now okay and Mirinda could wash her hair.