KQ787 From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 59 posts, RR: 0 Posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 10463 times:
Background (this is my first trip report)
The reason for this trip is that i planned to take a week off back in December because i wanted to see Trooping the Colour ceremony upfront( i am a royal watcher). so i booked a week off in mid June to coincide with this. the problem is that I am a notorious procrastinator because i waited until early June to book my trip. perhaps i had doubts b/c this was my first trip overseas on my own. i have been quite a browsing on on this site for a while and and read stories from fellow posters about avoiding LHR at all costs. since i never have been to LHR, i wanted to check it out myself. because it was a last minute trip, it would be quite pricey but i did not mind. i decided to book with BA as i wanted to go through LHR and go non stop
Thursday June 14th
British Airways Flight 92
depart YYZ 6:25pm
arrive LHR 6:43pm
i went online to at midday on BA.com to print my boarding pass and pre select my seat. i always love window seats. iI chose a seat away from the wings of the plane as window seats on the airline wing i find distracting and they obscure the views i enjoy from the plane. I left home at about 3:30 from Markham and took the 407 ETR express to the airport. Everyone in the family advises that if you are taking an evening flight from Pearson International Airport in Toronto , take the 407 highway to avoid the 401 highway rush hour. I got to the airport at 4: 05pm at terminal 3 and dropped my bags at the drop in baggage desk. I went to to the Travelex booth at T3 to buy UK pounds and browsed the terminal before going to security and heading for the gate.
We were for immediate boarding at about 5:55 pm and i proceeded to the gate at T3. i was somewhat disappointed to be flying the 763 as i wanted to that the later flight at 8:01pm which would have been on a 744. I contacted BA and they advised me that specific flight was overbooked and if I had wanted to take the chance and be on that flight, I would be on stand by. I did not want to take the risk so i swallowed my pride. i was quite surprised how " squeezed" the 763 felt inside very narrow as though i was flying on an airbus 319.
I took my seat and for the 6 hour trip, sat next to a man headed for Turkey who during, taxiing , safety presentations would talk endlessly on the his cellphone. one member of the BA crew noted this but did nothing. maybe it is fine to speak on the cell during taxing and security presentations . I do not know. He asked me questions like someone who was flying for the first time
" when shall we land in London?"
" How far is London?"
" How long does it take to fly to London?'
' How far is it from London to Istanbul?"
" How long does it take to fly from London to Istanbul?"
I am not a seasoned traveller nor with an experienced knowledge of geography so I just took guesses and gave him answers off the top of my head
As we were airborne, drinks were served first , then dinner ( choice b/w beef or chicken. i took the chicken), and before landing in London a morning breakfast. the IFE system, for some passengers, was not working and the pilot had to reset it twice, which annoyed me as i was one of those not affected.I watched : "Children of Men" and the " Last king of Scotland", the latter i did not see in its entirety as i dozed off and went to sleep. the flight was uneventful and the flight crew was quite attentive
pics during the flight
we landed at LHR and we were taken not to the terminal but the offramp where we were put on buses to be taken to the terminal. my first impressions of LHR were that of a very old airport ,somewhat dark, and depressing( mostly of T4) . One of course looks forward to the opening of T5. What surprised me was how fast i passed through immigration. they were no long lines and the immigration officer spent about 20 seconds looking at my paasport, stamping it, asking "business or pleasure" and then proceede to tell me to be on my way. Perhaps i was lucky that day. I picked up my luggage at proceeded to the train station downstairs to take Heathrow express to Paddington station, where my hotel was near by.
view of my hotel room view. i am not the type to complain, but come on
here are some pics of my trip in London.
Trooping the Colour
Wednesday June 20
British airways flight 93
Depart LHR 11:55am
Arrive YYZ 2:46pm
I apologize for not having alot of pics for my return trip as my battery went dead on the camera at the airport and i was taking pics for the return trip. I left my hotel early in the morning to take the Paddington express at 7:45 am. i got to Heathrow at about 8:00am and printed my boarding pass at the kiosk .when i went to the ticket to leave my luggage and the ticketing agent said I was too early to accept the luggage and I should come back at 9am ( my flight was at 11: 55am) to leave my luggage. so here i was already checked in and carrying my luggage around the terminal area. i had breakfast at the italian cafe near Zone A of the British Airways/ Sri Lankan checkin desk ( forgot the name). when 9am came I dropped my bag off and passed thru security. Because i had plenty of time I browsed around the terminal where nearly all the duty free shops sold almost the same thing
I realized that I had left 100 pounds in my wallet and did not want to bring it back with me to Canada so I proceeded to buy as much as i can from the duty free shop located near gated 22/23/24. I bought a vodka , chocolates and Bailey's. the cashier asked me;
Her :" Are you traveling to Lagos or Accra?"
Me: " What makes you think i am traveling to Lagos or Accra"
Her: "Passengers for those destinations buy alot of goods at the duty free shops before flying."
me: " No, i am going to Toronto"
obviously when you buy something at the duty free you have to show your boarding pass.she asked this question because I am black and presumed i would be going to Africa and bringing alot of goods with me. But i was not offended because she was partly right. I saw passengers bound for the gate for the Lagos flight carrying bags and bags of duty free goods containing alot of alcohol.
I proceeded to gate 10 for the flight to Toronto carrying 4 bags plus my bag sack.It was at this time that the battery on my camera went off and so no further pics. we taxied at 12:30pm as no reason was given for the delay and stayed on the taxiway for eternity as I presume some flights had priority on the runway before us. the flight was uneventful but like the inbound flight the IFE broke down and was rest this time 3 times. all in all, the flight was pleasant. like my inbound flight, the flight crew was productive and and quite resilient for a full 744 flight . For this flight I chose to chicken curry and tried to finish watching " the Last King of Scotland" as i had tried to do on the inbound flight. I found the film did not spark my interest and again I dozed off. At Toronto, we landed on runway 33L due to some strong northerly winds. The plane flew over lake Ontario and we got an amazing view of downtown GTA ( I was annoyed for not having taken pics at this time). This was my first time with BA and i would definitely fly them again and go through LHR again
Boeing743 From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 406 posts, RR: 0 Reply 2, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 10040 times:
very good report of your frist trip aboard BA to LHR. It is very good and interesting and good pics. I always want to go to LHR. My sister and her husband went there on their honeymoon. They went to England and Scotland for about 1 1/2 weeks. My dad's mom went there while back. After I looked their pics from their vacation that make me want to go to Europe BADLY!! I know how you feeling about want to fly aboard 747. I would love to fly on it soon.
AY104 From Canada, joined Nov 2005, 505 posts, RR: 7 Reply 6, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 9709 times:
Excellent report, and thanks!
I noted particularly your comment: "After we were airborne, drinks were served first." I wish that AC would take lessons from this. A flight is a special occasion for me, especially overseas, and I like to celebrate with a cocktail before dinner. Evidently, this is no longer possible on Air Canada. I flew with them both ways across the Atlantic last year, flights of very similar duration to yours, on neither flight were drinks offered before the meal. On that length of flight, there is no excuse. When the cocktail comes with dinner, I am no longer interested. I don't give a damn whether they charge for it or not, I find it extremely tacky that there is no pre-dinners drink service. BA will likely be my next choice for transatlantic.
The only thing a customer should expect for his/her loyalty is good service
AY104 From Canada, joined Nov 2005, 505 posts, RR: 7 Reply 8, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 9700 times:
Forgot to mention, glad you had a good experience at LHR. Last time I was there, I arrived on AC and had to take a shuttle to STN for a flight to Finland. I agree the Customs and Immigration was a breeze, matter of fact I have never had to wait very long on arrival. Very efficient and always friendly, I found. I would say that Heathrow is not my favourite airport, but not the nightmare that people claim it to be at least IMHO. However, I have never had to hang around there with security threats, strikes, bad weather etc. I have also not had to leave or arrive there during peak times, ie August, Xmas, Bank Holidays etc.
I have used BA's Terminal as well, and find it quite pleasant. All the flights I have ever had on BA have been excellent, but the last one was over 10 years ago, so I am glad they seem to not have changed.
The only thing a customer should expect for his/her loyalty is good service
Ryanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4706 posts, RR: 26 Reply 16, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 8878 times:
Great trip report and my... my... Love those photos of London. Glad to see that is is not grey and wet for a change! Anyway, I saw a snapshot of Picadilly Circus and saw the brand TDK... I remember that neon sign back from the days of American Werewolf In London... Is TDK still alive I wonder?
Anyway the 767 is not as bad as you make it out to be. An A319 would have you in a 3x3 configuration. The 2x3x2 arrangement on a 767 is actually the most ideal for a widebody because no one is more that one seat away from the aisle!
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
Acey From Canada, joined Jun 2007, 993 posts, RR: 0 Reply 20, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 8196 times:
If the BA 767's with PTV/AVOD are used on the YYZ route, it makes for some good competition with AC when they can consistently get XM'd planes on the route. Too bad the latter only has one 77W flight right now, and that's the only plane that is guaranteed to have PTVs.
If a man hasn't discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live. -- Martin Luther King, Jr.