I know we live in an electronic world, but there is still something faintly surreal about e-tickets for Concorde. I had to ask for actual cardboard ones, and technically they are e-ticket receipts rather than tickets.
The cardboard ones did come in a pretty ticket wallet and accompanied by a couple of tags.
add to the anticipation of the flight, I'd bought a model for
my desk. I have to confess to a tendency to grin every time I looked
at it. We'd booked several months in advance, and as is usually the
way with these things it jumped from seeming a long way off to 'Hey,
we'd better get organised!' in no time at all.
The VIP treatment begins at check-in. You don't have to go anywhere near the regular check-in desks, instead you are guided into a private hall containing check-in desks for Concorde and First Class travel. A friendly member of staff welcomes you and guides you to a free desk. If all the desks are occupied, there are some comfortable leather chairs and sofas to lounge in until a desk becomes free.
|The Concorde Room||
The Concorde Room is a very short walk from security. Inside, it makes the normal Club lounges look distinctly second-rate.
Instead of bowls of peanuts and a few plastic-wrapped cakes, there is a menu of everything from simple snacks to full meals. There is also a constantly-circulating dessert trolley with several cakes that have probably been outlawed in many nations.
As this was one flight we did not want to risk missing, we'd arrived three hours before departure. I decided that a bacon sandwich was in order. Have you ever seen one presented like this?
Of course, security restrictions did mean plastic cutlery as we were already security-checked and you walk straight onto Concorde from the lounge.
Getting there early was a top move as it enabled us to get the best seats in the house:
No, not because they're so comfy but because they are right in front of the stand ...
Concorde is towed to the stand about 45 minutes before departure. It's a fantastic feeling, watching her arrive:
There was a real buzz in the room when she arrived, and when we took our photos in front of the window, lots of people came over to do the same.
A friend who works for BA had shown us another great photo spot, in one of the gangways a couple of minutes from the lounge, so I nipped out there to take this shot:
We could see the aircraft being prepared, first fuelled, then the food arriving, then the baggage being loaded:
And then it was time to board ...