Finaly. The Day has arrived. I am on my way to Buenos Aires. That will man 29 hours of traveling – thanks to an extremely Long overlay at Oslo Gardermoen Airport.
This time my flight departs at a humane time, 9:45 am from Molde. The whole Trip is on Norwegian Air Shuttle. An Airline I normally only use on domestic flight since they don’t give me any relevant bonus and because they are not member in any alliance. Which is a Nice safety net when shit hits the fan.
I got the ticket cheaper then normal. First I had 4000 Cashpoint (the Norwegian Bonus program) due to some transactions and orders online. I could have bought a return ticket from Oslo for this, but ås the flight from London is about 13,5 hours I opted for the Møre expensive Premium class. With a 30 % discount they gave last year on top of it. Still a price to pay.
Due to the late departure I can take the bus. Which saves a lot of money. First leg on this Tour is as usual from Molde to Oslo. Nice and fast trip of 45 minutes. I had to get my luggage in Oslo, since I had to book two different Tickets (the System didn’t want me to get to Buenos Aires directly). 8 hours to kill in Oslo. My first thought was to get into the city to get lunch, but that would have been 210 NOK just for the train and they have all sorts of troubles at the moment. So I spent my money on å lunch at Wagamama – a Japanese style place. Had some duck dumplings and Ramen. Very nice and tasty and very filling.
Then I checked in my luggage. Even 7 hours before departure – I like that Norwegian offers this at OSL. And Then Fast Track which is part of the Premium ticket. Not that it was needed – there was no cue since there werde not many flights at that time.
To the international departure area and finding a nice place to sit and watch some videos/read/work. 8 hours is a long time. I got at drink and a bun from a bakery and then, two hours before departure, I got through the passport controll. Next time, I go there earlier… they have a lot of tables with power outlets …
Gate F13 my flight to Gatwick. 18:45 is set departure time. The plane arrives on time and the new crew boards. Then I see a mechanic haning out of the cockpit window and checking the windscreen with a flashlight. Why did I get a bad feling. Only a few minuts after that, the cre returns to the gate, the captain takes then microphone and says the magic words: This plane will not leav the ground. The flight is cancelled.
F*** I had planned so well. 2,5 hours overlay in London should work out even with a delay, but a cancellation is a catastrophe. The ladies at the gate are very kind and helpful (to me, not the guy complaining that he has friends waiting. It is how you talk to people that makes the difference). There are no flights to Buenos Aires today and it will be difficult tomorrow. I will accept everything – send me through South Africa if that helps. Problem: I don’t have the money to buy another ticket. I would lose at least a day and maybe sitting in Economy class – which is as bad as the delay.
They start organizing food vouchers (and the English people like free stuff so they are happy), when suddenly the telephone rings and they got the good news – they found a plane that is coming to Oslo and can be turned around to take us to London Gatwick. That would be around 20:00 and the overlay is down to an hour. That might be very tight. But there is hope… Some Englishmen ask if they still can get the food voucher #face-palm.
Plane arrives, boarding starts as soon as they can and I change my seat on the plane (I had 8 A at the window) thanks to a kind Swedish woman to sit at the aisle. That might save some minutes to get out. The plane is full to the lat seat. The captain announces, that indeed this plan is fit to fly. And then we start our 1h 45 minutes trip – plus the long taxiing. I am the only person on board that has his own private IFE (in flight entertainment system). Bought some special clips to put in the table and mount my tablet – which is filled with episodes from a Netflix series. 😀
Normal, quiet flight. The purser announces that the Buenos Aires flight will leave from gate 13 at the same terminal where we arrive. I asked her and there are three people that need the connection.
Gatwick is a terrible and ugly airport. And they should learn to hand up sings that lead you where you want. Following the “International connections” signs I suddenly see signs for the north terminal. They didn’t put up sings that showed you the small door where you have to go through,
A fast security check (why? I just came from a flight which was controlled and there is no possibility to get something dangerous…) and then directly to the gate. Boarding has started, but I made it.
My first time on a Boeing 787-9. Nice plane. The premium class has a 2-3-2 configuration. I have a windows seat (of course) in row 5, seat A. A spacey seat that feels good. I am surprised in a positive way. I have been on Business class trips, were I had seats of the same quality.
The IFE is a touchscreen in the right arm rest that you can get out. Perfect system, just not enough films (at all). The system is nice. You can do everything from watching films to looking at the the map, calling the flight attendant, switching on your light and ordering food/drinks. The system is extremely responsive. Other airlines should copy that. A good amount of legroom (140 cm), big windows, USB etc. All you need. But not much amenities. Only a thin blanket, no pillow, no eye shades or ear props. That would not cost anything and would make it so much better.
We start as planned and an hour after takeoff is dinner time. The Premium tickets includes dinner and breakfast and all beverages except the hard alcoholic stuff. I for hot to mention the welcome drink – juice – served by friendly staff (I read the opposite – but think I got a good crew).
Dinner for me is a chicken breast with some potatoes, a salad and a small piece of cake as dessert. They offer bread rolls on the side and come around for fore bread twice. I would call this an economy meal in a paper box. Not really premium but you can eat it.
Then it is time to try to sleep. I have problems sleeping on planes, mostly because I need a big, fluffy pillow. 😀 The seat can recline quite a bit and the footrest goes up. The blanket is my pillow (why don’t you offer one???) on which I rest my head on the wall. An if you cut out some turbulence that wake you and a little bit of tossing, turning and rearranging – I slept for nearly 6 hours. Not very deep, but better than on other tours before. But there are 5 hours again of the 12 h 45 min flight.
The staff is going around, checking on who is awake and serving a small hummus roll and some water. Good service for a low cost carrier.
Time to watch some movies/series until more people wake up and we get served breakfast about 2 hours before landing. Flying over Brazil you can see thunderstorms from above with the flashing lightning. Great show. 🙂
Breakfast is standard omelette, sausage (which tasted good), roasted veggies, fruits and a small croissant. I hate savory breakfast. To rolls, some butter and jam and I would be happy… but the same on all airlines. I want to order my breakfast before the flight – please!!!!! 😀
Some more series before the crew announces that they have to use insecticide because of WHO rules. Smells a bit, but the it is time to land. We are a little bit ahead of time when the plane touches down on Argentinian ground. An OK trip with OK service. For a low cost carrier what you might expect, a few things could be improved to be premium. Not sure if this was worth the money. I will check how the flight back goes.
On the other hand – had I payed the full price they asked and had I had the luxury of waiting for an offer I could have gotten on a business class flight with another airline or for the price I paid a Eco Plus flight. Not so low cost after all.