Airline: British Airways Flight #: BA769 Route: OSL – LHR Class: Euro Traveller Seat: 29A Date: Tuesday 19th November 2019
After a soggy but interesting day exploring Oslo (read about that here), I headed back to the Oslo S to catch the train north to the airport. As previously mentioned, I had purchased an all zones 24hr ticket for public transport and so caught a regional train to the airport that was included in this. It is worth noting that these 24hr tickets are truly that as opposed to 1-day tickets, meaning if you’re in Oslo from lunchtime to lunchtime you can still use one of these.
As with my journey out I had checked in on the British Airways (BA) app and had no luggage so headed straight for security. Unfortunately, despite Oslo airport being generally a nice airport, it failed miserably at this point with 10 boarding pass gates ‘filtering’ together into one queue which was so chaotic I had to queue to get through the boarding pass gates. After five minutes of feeling like I was in a rugby scrum, another queue was opened, however the experience was probably the worst I’ve had through security.
Having successfully passed through security, I headed for the OSL Lounge, which is the only non-SAS lounge at the airport and caters for both premium customers from non-Star Alliance carriers and the various pass holders. Flying with BA in Euro Traveller today, I fell into the latter category with my Dragonpass, and so was directed into the larger, but more open, part of the lounge. Passengers that don’t fall into either category can purchase access to the lounge for 350NOK (about £30).
I was able to find a quiet corner to settle down in, charge my phone and grab some food. There was a small selection of cold food as well as the Norwegian classic, Fish Soup, available within the lounge and everything I sampled (including the soup) was excellent. Drinks wise there was the standard choice of hot and cold drinks, with a local beer being available on tap.
About 40 minutes before departure I headed for the gate and cleared passport control, passing from Oslo airport’s Schengen area to its non-Schengen international pier. I made use of the EU Passport queue for possibly one of the last times and was quickly through and heading for my gate. Unlike some airports (I’m looking at you Cologne), there are a reasonable number of facilities in the non-Schengen area and so if you pass through early, you’ll still be able to get some food and drink.
Boarding, as with at Heathrow, was done in groups and as with the journey out I was in group 5 due to my low fare, hand luggage only ticket. The flight was quite quiet though and boarding was finished early with me once again finding I had a row to myself! Despite the bleak weather there were no delays and we pushed back on time for the flight south-west towards London.
With the flight back being on a larger A320 (G-EUYU for those interested), there was a larger compliment of cabin crew meaning two trolleys and a therefore a quicker service. Being in the penultimate row, I was served almost immediately and, with the long day starting to take its toll, purchased a ‘brew your own’ coffee for £2.50. It’s worth noting that for inflight purchases, BA don’t accept cash and so you’ll need to either pay by card or using Avios points (although the rate isn’t great for the latter!)
The flight was non-eventful and truthfully, after finishing my coffee, I had a snooze until we were over Essex. Since my departure from Heathrow in the morning, the winds had clearly changes, meaning arrivals were approaching from the west. Westerly approaches for flights arriving from the north-east mean an approach over north London before making a 180° turn over Maidenhead. Not only does this provide stunning views of night-time London, the final approach passes close to Windsor Castle with the illuminated Round Tower looking amazing as we passed.
After touching down on runway 09R we taxied back down past most of the airport (I was on the correct side this time) before turning onto a taxiway and coming to a stand. Unfortunately, the system used for parking the aircraft on stand hadn’t been switched on and so after a five to ten minute wait we finally pulled onto a stand at Terminal 5C. Thankfully the flight had been quite quick, with us landing 25 minutes early and so even with the delay in parking and trek from T5C to T5A, I was still at passport control before we should have arrived.
All in all, my journey back to London with BA pretty much matched my expectations. The flight was comfortable, on-time and un-eventful and the crew were friendly and helpful. Oslo airport is generally a nice airport to fly from, with plenty of seating in the main departure lounge, however the security experience certainly let it down. Arriving through Heathrow was as painless as usual with a short queue for passport control and with no baggage I was through into Arrivals just a few minutes later.
Lounge 0* Seat/Facilities 3* Food 3* Service 5* Punctuality 5* Overall Rating 16/25 (read about my rating system here!)