Getting to the Airport
Today I’m on my way to Luxembourg. Getting to London City airport by public transport is usually quite easy, but I’m also carting around with me a heavy suitcase. Which is why I’ve decided to take a taxi today from my hotel near Victoria to the airport. On a Sunday afternoon, the traffic is fairly light, by London standards at least. The journey takes forty minutes to complete and costs GBP50. Taking a taxi also has the added benefit that the trip will take you past some of London’s best landmarks!
There are two check-in counters open for the Luxair flight, one of them is for Business Class passengers. The queue for Economy is short, and there are only four parties ahead of me, which are quickly processed.
Security is one floor up. The airport is currently upgrading its infrastructure, so that soon passengers will not need to take all their personal belongings out of their bags at security.
It’s been several years since I last passed through London City airport, and sadly, it hasn’t changed much. The place is crowded, and there is hardly any place to sit.
In addition, the’ve also put up a building on the apron, right in front of the main waiting area, which makes the place look very dark and gloomy.
Eventually though, I find a place to sit in relative peace and quiet in the passage that connects the main terminal to the seating area for the gates reserved for some of the larger aircraft operating into City, such as the A 220.
Because space on the ramp is so tight, arriving aircraft are marshalled in using two marshaller. The first one guides the aircraft onto the stand to the point where it has to make a tight right turn. A second marshaller indicates to the crew when to straighten the nosewheel and stop.
My flight is boarding from gate 9. Judging by the amount of passengers in the line, I don’t think it’s going to be a very full flight.
Passengers queue in the stairwell until the doors are opened for them to cross the apron. So I figure I might as well wait upstairs.
There are five rows of Business Class on this flight, but I’m the only one that seems to have been favoured by the upgrade fairy. Initially, I’m seated on 2D by the emergency exit. Once boarding is completed though, I move over to 1A, which has a better view.
For a turboprop, the acceleration on the Dash 8 is crazy. Because of the very short runway here in City, the crew first spool the engines before they eventually release the brakes, catapulting us forward and into the air.
The Crew & Service
There are two cabin crew on this flight, although my interaction is only with one of them. There is no service in the cabin while we’re on the ground, which I’m guessing is probably because the taxi time from our stand to the threshold is about two minutes if you’re counting slowly. Once we’re airborne, I am brought a refreshing towel and the menu.
Considering the flight time to Luxembourg is only one hour, the meal service is extensive and varied. The meal is served very traditionally, on a large laquer tray.
For the starter, there is a small pokebowl of smoked salmon with sesame rice, pickles and fruit.
I’m not sure what everything on the plate with the main course is. The meat is stuffed pork medaillons.
Two bread rolls are served with the meal, together with a small dish of butter that has been shaped to look like a flower. The small jar in the picture below is the honey sauce for the pork.
For dessert, there is a small dish of some mango and passion fruit cream and a small box of pralines made locally in Luxembourg.
To finish off the meal, I have a cup of mint tea.
Just before the landing, the crew pass through the cabin with candy.
We land in Luxembourg at 17:00. The ramp is quite busy, but the terminal building seems rather quiet. My suitcase arrives quickly. I then head upstairs to catch the bus line 16 to Kircherberg, where I change to the tram.
Flying Luxair is an interesting experience, in that it feels like taking several steps back in time to a bygone era when flying was still something special. And admittedly, getting upgraded is always nice. I rather enjoyed this short flight!