This post refers to the service provided before the takeover of bmi by IAG, and is left here purely for historical interest. Flights to Berlin are no longer available through bmi.
The bmi Airbus A319 opens for boarding shortly before 9 and I make my way to my business class seat. We spend a while sitting on the tarmac while an engineer tends to what the pilot calls a "slight technical problem." It's hard to see what's going on behind the curtain between business class and the galley area, but it seems to involve a lot of prodding around in the toilet. I can't help thinking of pilot-blogger Patrick Smith's tale of toilet-disaster at 33,000 feet...
Once things are sorted, the captain promises he'll try and make up for the lost time. I'm not feeling in any rush anyway actually, with the taste of bacon rolls still fresh in my memory. Before too long, we're on the runway and, as the plane shoots into the air, it feels like the captain wasn't kidding about making up for lost time.
Down below, a gap in the clouds shows snow-covered fields, the icy white of the land seeming to blend seamlessly with the fluffy white of the clouds. Once I've finished staring out the window, the flight attendant comes round and asks if I'd like breakfast. Of course, I could say I've already had porridge and a bacon roll, but...well, I'm a sucker for hot breakfasts...
And here it is. A sausage, a half tomato, an omelette, a potato thingummy, some beans, a pot of yoghurt, a pot of jam, some butter, a little dairystix thing full of milk and a croissant and an English muffin from the bread basket. Not a bad spread, I'd say, and very pleasant to tuck into on at 37,000 feet. Perfectly timed, too - the pilots begin the descent into Berlin Tegel shortly after I've finished.
The view outside the windows whites out completely as the plane descends through the clouds and, even as we get closer to the ground, the air is thick with snow.
The snow-covered airport makes for a bleak, yet beautiful sight...which, I think, calls for a black and white moment:
With the combination of the priority handling of my suitcase and Tegel's compact design, I'm out of the airport and on the bus within 15 minutes. Time to hit the city!
Disclosure: this trip has been sponsored by bmi. Opinions remain my own, palms lightly greased with business class tickets and bacon fat.