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BA BRU-LHR-JFK-EWR-LHR-BRU (Pics/Vids/go-around)  
User currently offlineBrusselsSouth From Belgium, joined Aug 2001, 628 posts, RR: 5
Posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 14436 times:

Speedbird over the pond

Saturday April 4th, 2008, late night. While browsing the web, I found out a too-good-to-be-missed offer on Travelocity. Consider : spending the next week-end in New York, flying in and out on BA, all that for a mere 500 euros. Weak dollar, low season, a BA 747, it would be my first time in New York. Where's my credit card ? Booking complete, Big Apple here I come !

I spent the next few days surfing the Internet looking for things to do, bought some guide books, and as it was quite a busy time at work, I barely realized we were now April 10th, the day before my departure. I just needed a few minutes to pack some vital stuff in a small bag and went to bed as I had to wake up quite early the next morning.

Leg 1 : Brussels, Belgium, to London-Heathrow, England, on a British Airways Airbus A319

  • Date : 11 April 2008

  • Flight : BA389, departs BRU 07.25, arrives LHR 07.45

  • Aircraft : Airbus A319-131, G-EUOF, MSN 1590, first flight 10-SEP-2001

  • This particular aircraft made its maiden flight the day before the September 11th attacks, which was also my very first day at work ever, after finishing school.


  • It would be my 17th flight of the year, but I just felt excited like every time I'm on my way to a place I'll discover for the first time. A shower and some much needed coffee and I was in the car driving to Brussels Airport. No sign of the morning yet, low traffic on the highway, radio volume just enough to keep me awake, my foot was sleeping on the right pedal, no speed cameras, I just needed 35 minutes to reach the airport.

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/00-01.jpg
    Parking the car in Front Park 3 at BRU.

    I can't remember the last time I used a manual check-in counter (actually I can but I prefer not to, it was at a VERY crowded Bergamo airport), I checked-in online the day (no, the night) before, secured window seats on the BRU-LHR as well as on the LHR-JFK flights, and passing security was easy and fast. I entered the B concourse of BRU airport, that's where non-Schengen flights depart from, I was a bit early but didn't feel like having breakfast now. A parked A319 could be seen through the windows : G-EUOF was still sleeping at gate B07 but it wouldn't be long before it takes me to London. As I was waiting for the flight, an airport agent came to me and asked me whether I'd like to be called in a few days to give my opinion about the airport. I said no problem, but it was the last time we talked to each other... they never called me.

    We boarded on time (at 7.00 am), but had to wait for a while before being pushed back... We sat in the plane for 50 minutes before something happened, but the friendly captain explained that because of congestion near London, we had to wait for the next available ATC slot. In the meantime, our neighbour, a BMI A319, departed to LHR... While taxiing, I watched the Brussels morning traffic : some Brussels Airlines departures, Jet Airways arrivals (I spotted a 777 and 332), along with the usual suspects...

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/00-02.jpg
    Our neighbour, a BD A319, about to leave to LHR ahead of us.

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/00-03.jpg
    On the apron as we are pushed-back : Brussels Airlines Avros, Martinair 767, SN A330 arriving from Africa and in the background, AA 763 arriving from either ORD or JFK.

    We made a *very* short take-off roll on runway 25R before disappearing into the clouds. The flight between Brussels and London is not (supposed to be) long, so it's amazing to watch how efficiently the cabin crew tries to complete the beverage and breakfast service (sandwich filled with bacon and salsa sauce). Thumbs up for the BA crew as they ran to deliver every tray as soon as practically possible while trying to look friendly and relaxed. I like BA, and I like them more everytme I fly them.

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/00-05.jpg
    Leaving Belgium behind...

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/00-06.jpg
    Reaching FL150, and it's about as high as it will get today. The breakfast service has begun.

    There was actually no reason to hurry up, as we were put in the infamous Lambourne holding stack for quite some time upon reaching the London area. On the row behind me was a non-reving BA captain working on his laptop. Looking out the window, I watched a VLM Fokker 50 entering final approach for London City airport. I had already seen it a few minutes earlier above North Sea, the lucky guy did not have to wait for the privilege to land at Heathrow. Anyway, I didn't regret the hold, as I enjoyed an *amazing* view of Stansted airport, eastern London (including the Dartford bridge where I spent some time the year before at the Holiday Inn Express), and, most of all, central London , with the Tower Bridge, the so-called "Gherkin" and Westminster.

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/00-11.jpg
    The Thames, the town of Dartford, and the Dartford crossing, while holding around the Lambourne VOR.

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/00-12.jpg
    Third loop in the Lambourne holding stack.

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/00-14.jpg
    North Weald airfield

    Everytime I come here, I realize how London is my favorite city in the world. The approach over central London was in the same vein, with a gorgeous April light, simply amazing (I got a clear view of famous landmarks such as the Tower Bridge, the London Eye, the houses of parliament...). We landed on LHR runway 27L somewhat behind schedule, but I still had plenty of time to connect to my flight to New York. Taxiing to our gate was like a tourist tour for aviation enthousiasts : an SQ A380, VS A346, well, plenty of aircraft, before we reached the brand new terminal 5 where we parked on stand 517, beside G-EUUA.

    Some pictures of the final approach over central London for you to enjoy :

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/00-16.jpg

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/00-20.jpg

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/00-22.jpg

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/00-23.jpg

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/00-24.jpg

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/00-25.jpg

    Upon entering Terminal 5, the words that came to my mind were the likes of : huge, shiny, new, clean, modern. I had already used LHR in the past (terminals 3 and 4) and wow, T5 is so nice it does not seem like Heathrow anymore. Anyway, I knew I would have some time to explore the place during my return trip, so I decided to immediately transfer to T4. Transferring is not complicated as the signage is good (although some people, including on this forum, complain about it being the real downside of T5), and airport staff are everywhere to help you, but the bus ride between T5 and T4 is quite long (something like 25 minutes). Long but certainly interesting as we drove past (and very close to) the SQ A380 and an incredible variety of widebodies that remind you you're at Heathrow and nowhere else !

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/00-26.jpg
    Picture quality is far from good, but here are an EK 773, VS 346 and SQ 380 parked at the central terminal area.

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/00-27.jpg
    Terminal 5B with a bunch of BA widebodies.

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/00-28.jpg

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/00-29.jpg
    Parking at Terminal 5.

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/00-31.jpg
    Entering into T5 after arrival.

    Leg 2 : London-Heathrow, England, to New York (JFK), USA, on a British Airways Boeing 747-400

  • Date : 11 April 2008

  • Flight : BA175, departs LHR 10.25, arrives JFK 12.55

  • Aircraft : Boeing 747-436, G-CIVX, CN 28852, first flight 23-AUG-1998


  • In terminal 4, I had to pass through a security check then took a vacant seat facing towards terminal 5 and the runway to watch the action,a nd again, in Heathrow there's no lack of it. After a good bit of spotting, I went to gate 10 where G-CIVX, a shiny 747, was being prepared for flight BA175 to New York. Soon enough, boarding was called, and crossing business class and the economy + cabin, I made my way to my seat 48K at the back of the aircraft. The World Traveller (economy) seats are certainly not bad, I found them quite comfortable, and with the complimentary pillow and blanket, I was ready for the hop across the pond.

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/00-32.jpg
    Terminal 5 as seen from Terminal 4.

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/00-33.jpg
    G-CIVX, the 747 that would take me to New York.

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/00-34.jpg
    Inside G-CIVX during boarding.

    We were pushed back on time (10:28) but because of the long taxi to runway 27R and multiple holds, we only took off at 10:53. For my first time onboard a 747, I did not find the acceleration so impressive, but the sound of the 4 Rolls Royce engines was simply beautiful. As soon as we got airborne, we hit some turbulent air, and being at the back of the aircraft, I was a bit shaken (by a strong lateral oscillation, a feeling I'd never felt onboard smaller planes). While we were still in the initial climb, my IFE screen displayed the welcome page and got blocked on it. Whatever button I pushed, there was no reaction (even the overhead reading lights couldn't be controlled). As I like to watch the flight map to know where I am, I called a flight attendant to ask him to fix it, but after trying, he told me he was unable to understand what was happening. He then kindly proposed me to take any vacant seat I'd like, but I declined (and thanked him) as there were no window seats left. Apart from the flight map, I'm not a great fan of IFE, so I took a book and read instead, randomly looking out the windows when there were no clouds. As we were leaving Europe above Shannon, Ireland, I ordered an orange juice at the drink trolley, then a few minutes later, I received the lunch tray : I could chose between fish and chicken and took the latter, which was very tasty (with carrots and peas, plus a good smoked salmon salad and dessert). All in all, a very decent meal. The flight went on uneventful, my seat was somewhat broken and had a tendency to recline by itself, but it was not so annoying. As we were above eastern Canada, the crew came for another small meal service (drink + sandwich and fruits), then they distributed immigration and customs forms just as we began our descent towards JFK.

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/00-35.jpg
    The stange mockup used for fire training, near the runway 27R threshold.

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/00-37.jpg
    Just airborne ! The Windsor castle and Eton college are visible.

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/00-38.jpg
    Still above England.

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/00-39.jpg
    Bye bye Europe (above Shannon, Ireland).

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/00-42.jpg
    Above North Atlantic.

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/00-44.jpg

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/00-45.jpg
    Lots of ice down there !

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/00-46.jpg
    Finally ! Leaving the iced land above Sydney, Nova Scotia.

    Judging by the view outside, it was clear that it was going to be cloudy in New York, but I did not expect so much fog ! As we were coming in from the north-east, we passed east of the airport and made a large right turn to line up with runway 04R. We touched down at 13:05, almost on time (10 minutes late) in a very foggy JFK. We vacated the runway using taxiway fox-bravo, then made a long taxi to terminal seven via echo-alpha, bravo and whiskey-alpha (we had to wait a bit before crossing 04L which was active for departures). There was no queue at all for immigration (I was among the first there as I only had a handbag), but I had to use the restrooms, and by the time I left those, a big queue had formed... Fortunately, it was progressing fast, and after the usual questions (how many days am I going to stay, where, why, what's my job in Belgium, ...), fingerprinting and photography, I was out of the terminal for my first time in New York. As I realized, JFK airport is well linked to New York public transportation system by the AirTrain (an automated train linking all terminals with the subway).

    Although I was alone, I had a great time in New York, visiting a lot of places in Manhattan (and a small bit of Brooklyn where my hotel was located), including Central Park, Midtown, Chelsea, Greewich Village, the East Side, Chinatown, the financial district, ground zero, and some other less-known areas... I also took the ferry to Staten Island to watch the Statue of Liberty, and the Roosevelt Island tramway which is a very different and pleasant experience. Another highlight of the trip was the view from the top (well, almost...) of the Empire State Building. The day of my arrival, the weather was cloudy and foggy, but the next two days were reasonably sunny and allowed me to walk a lot in the city. I took A LOT of photos and couldn't find one that summarizes my trip as it was so varied, anyway here is a couple of them (again, not representative of a very varied trip).

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/11-18.jpg

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/12-16.jpg

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/20-07.jpg

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/30-038.jpg

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/40-21.jpg

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/40-28.jpg

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/42-15.jpg

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/44-14.jpg

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/52-071.jpg

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/54-02.jpg

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/54-06.jpg

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/60-09.jpg

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/62-14.jpg

    When Sunday came, I was happy but very tired, so I decided to go to Newark airport (by train) well in advance and to relax at some bar there. The New Jersey Transit train from NY Penn Station to Newark Liberty Airport station took only 25 minutes, and there I took the AirTrain (small automated airport train) to terminal B (from inside the AirTrain, I had great views of the continental and CO Express aprons (I think it's terminal C)).

    Leg 3 : Newark, USA, to London-Heathrow, England, on a British Airways Boeing 777-200ER

  • Date : 13 April 2008

  • Flight : BA188, departs EWR 21.00, arrives LHR 09.15

  • Aircraft : Boeing 777-236ER, G-VIIL, CN 27493, first flight 28-FEB-1998


  • Once inside the airport, I went to the BA check-in counters, which are separated from other airlines check-in counters as they are alone at the lowest floor. I politely asked for a window seat, but there weren't any left, too bad I did not check in online at the hotel ! Anyway, the agent gave me a window seat for the LHR-BRU leg.

    I then found a quiet bar and sat there for a while, watching golf on TV while converting part of my remaining dollars into Chardonnay. After two glasses of it, I quickly ate some hot dog then proceeded through security. As I had some electronic items in my hand luggage (I had bought them for some friends in Belgium as it's much cheaper in the USA thanks to the weak dollar), the TSA agents took me in a separate place to throughly inspect my bag. I had some fears due to the worldwide spread bad reputation of TSA agents (and due to my not-so-good level of spoken English), but to my surprise they were extremely friendly (also, it probably helps to be friendly with them too). Entering the gates area, I took a seat at an empty gate and made some spotting. I had generally good views of the runways as well as taxiing aircraft, but a double layer of windows prevented me from taking good photos, anyway the beautifully lit Manhattan skyline made for a great background. I watched an Air India 747 pulling into its gate, then some european arrivals (including G-VIIL that was to take me back to Europe, and a LH A340), a lot of CO departures, and went to another bar near gate 67 (where my flight was scheduled to depart from). After eating and drinking a bit (I liked the atmosphere of this bar near the gates, as it was quiet and relaxed, with lights dimmed, while I could watch the planes departing), I decided that it would not be reasonable to convert all my dollars into wine, so I went to a shop and bought some perfumes for my wife and me. Again, the low exchange rate of the US dollar made the prices very interesting for us Europeans.

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/70-01.jpg
    "My" plane, G-VIIL, arriving from LHR in front of the Manhattan skyline.

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/70-02.jpg

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/70-03.jpg

    Boarding time approached so I sat near the gate (I was in a remote part of the gate area, but had to change as a seemingly *very* loving couple found it sufficiently remote to began kissing and... hmmm... a bit more, totally ignoring my presence). Boarding began at 20:30 and push-back occured 40 minutes later. I went to my seat 32C, with a young woman occupying 32A (32B remained empty). She slept during litterally the whole flight, too bad I couldn't have her window seat... The taxi to runway 04L was the longest I ever experienced (52 minutes !), then we took-off towards the North-East (those looking through the windows must have had a great view of NYC at night !). Immediately after departure, the cabin crew came to offer a drink (I took a beer), then the dinner (choice of salmon or chicken, I took the chicken, with red wine). I have to say that once again, the whole meal tasted pretty good, and this time the IFE worked perfectly fine. After dinner, I tried to get some sleep, but as always when I travel during the night, I couldn't get much of it. Our routing was something like EWR, Trumbull, Hartford, south of Boston, Atlantic crossing, Cork, Bristol, some holding in the stack at Biggin Hill, then approach to LHR runway 27L. Upon reaching Europe, we were served a breakfast which was correct but nothing special. The captain announced some turbulence during the approach, but we didn't encounter any, and made a perfect landing on runway 27L, followed by a short taxi (for a change !) to terminal 4 where we arrived right on schedule.

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/70-06.jpg

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/70-07.jpg
    Boarding G-VIIL for BA 188 EWR to LHR.

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/70-08.jpg
    My seatmate, already sleeping during taxi.

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/70-09.jpg
    Still a long way to go...



    Leg 4 : London-Heathrow, England, to Brussels, Belgium on a British Airways Airbus A319

  • Date : 14 April 2008

  • Flight : BA394, departs LHR 12.40, arrives BRU 14.45

  • Aircraft : Airbus A319-131, G-EUOF, MSN 1590, first flight 10-SEP-2001

  • The very same aircraft as for leg 1...


  • I took the transfer bus to Terminal 5, feeling tired and not very fresh, but after passing security there (no one asked me anything about the electronic devices in my bag...) I thought it would be too bad to be in the brand new T5 and not exploring it. So I walked a bit through the shiny building and it left me a very good impression, it's huge, airy, modern, and beautifully designed. Some details make it somewhat different from your usual airport, from the shape of the seats in the waiting areas to the sinks in the toilets... After that I sat in a comfortable sofa-like seat and read until my flight was ready to board.

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/70-10.jpg

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/70-12.jpg
    Inside LHR Terminal 5.

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/70-14.jpg
    Terminal 5A.

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/70-15.jpg
    Terminal 5B.

    To my amazement, when I reached gate A21, I remarked that the A319 to Brussels was G-EUOF, the exact same aircraft than on my BRU-LHR flight 3 days ago... My seat was 16A, a window seat just after the wings, 16B remained vacant and a friendly woman took 16C. Everyone was travelling with voluminous hand luggage, and it took some time to the flight attendants to find a way to store everything in the overhead bins. We left the gate on time, but again the taxi to runway 27L was long, and so was the queue for take-off. Immediately after take-off, we made a long left turn that offered me a magnificent overview of the airport (the aircraft following us was already airborne, while the next one was lined up...). It was very sunny in London, but when we reached the North Sea, the sky became overcast and the captain warned us of probable turbulence during the descent and approach. The crew offered us a cold sandwich and a drink, again in a very efficient way given the short duration of the flight.

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/70-16.jpg
    An US A330 at LHR... Something has definitely changed...



    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/70-17.jpg
    Nice overview of Heathrow as we turn left after take-off.

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/70-22.jpg
    Cabin of G-EUOF as we leave London.

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/70-26.jpg
    An A319 wing saling abouve some nice clouds.

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/70-30.jpg
    Leaving England to cross North Sea towards continental Europe.

    When we approached Brussels, the weather under the clouds was not too good, with very dark skies, heavy rain and some light turbulence. We lined up with runway 25L and just as I recognized we were approaching the airport perimeter fence, the engines suddenly spooled up and wow ! It felt like we were taking-off, but from the air... I immediately understood that I was living the very first go-around in my life and as I knew what it was, I enjoyed the sensation, but I dare to say that a lot of passengers had a quite scared face ! During the initial climb, I noticed that the flaps were a bit more deployed than for a standard take-off. A few minutes later, the captain came on the PA and explained that because of the heavy rain, the runway was too wet to allow sufficient braking, so he opted to abort the landing. He said we would try again in a few minutes, and indeed, not too long after, we were landing on the wet runway 25L. When we parked at our gate on pier B, the captain again adressed to passengers, to say he was sorry for the discomfort of the aborted approach, that it was a not so frequent procedure but that they were perfectly trained for it. Anyway, I was back in rainy Belgium, safe and sound, ready to face the famous Brussels Ring traffic jams on my way to home.

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/70-32.jpg
    Not so good weather as we are established on final for runway 25L at BRU.

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/70-33.jpg
    Turning left during the go-around. Runway 25L is visible on the left.

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/70-35.jpg
    Above the city of Leuven, as we prepare for a second approach...

    http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn124/BrusselsSouth/2008-04-11%20New%20York/70-37.jpg
    Again on final for 25L with a bit of airbrakes... This time we'll make it safely to the ground.



    Now, my conclusions about the whole trip.

    Booking

    It's not the first time I find a good deal on travelocity.com, but I've also seen occasions where it was more expensive than the competition. It all depends on the destination and dates, but to me it seems that it always comes cheap when booking a flight + hotel package.

    British Airways and LHR airport

    For me, a great world-class airline with a great service. I like them more and more because of their extensive network, their attentive flight attendants, their comfortable aircraft, in fact, I like them because they are British Airways... Some people on this forum see LHR airport as their downside, but although the terminals need some refurbishing (except for T5 of course), I had no problems connecting there and switching terminals (it certainly isn't the "hell" some people describe). Terminal 5 is definitely a fantastic asset for BA, it had its high-profile teething problems (and I find some of them difficultly excusable), but during my trip it seemed to work just fine and I liked it very much. Also, all my flights with BA were on time. And last but not least, if you like airplanes, you'll find yourself at the very heart of the action at LHR...

    Comments welcome !

    Regards
    BrusselsSouth

    13 replies: All unread, jump to last
     
    User currently offlineMhodgson From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2002, 5047 posts, RR: 25
    Reply 1, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 14386 times:

    Great report; and some fantastic photos. New York looks amazing; I really need to go there one of these days!


    No trees were harmed by this message. However, several million electrons were terribly inconvenienced
    User currently offlineApuneger From Belgium, joined Sep 2000, 3032 posts, RR: 11
    Reply 2, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 14311 times:

    Hi,

    Thanks for the nice trip report and the cool photos. I liked reading it. Nice to see you enjoyed the go-around, as opposed to most of the other pax  Wink It's always fun to do something out of the ordinary.

    Best regards,
    Ivan



    Ivan Coninx - Brussels Aviation Photography
    User currently offlineTreeny From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2005, 319 posts, RR: 0
    Reply 3, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 14299 times:

    Hello There

    Nice report with good detail and your comments seem very favorable towards BA. They are bar far my favorite airline and have never done anything to me to make me want to change my allegiance.

    Quoting BrusselsSouth (Thread starter):
    had no problems connecting there and switching terminals (it certainly isn't the "hell" some people describe).

    Couldnt agree more. I have been through LHR numerous time going home and have never had a problem. In January it was the first time I connected through LHR and it couldnt have been smoother....I just dont see what peoples issues are connecting through LHR. I hear so much that LHR is loosing out or could loose out to AMS or FRA for example for connection preferences but hand on heart I have no idea why.......I cant comment on AMS but I dont know what FRA has that LHR doesnt.

    Take it easy mate

    Cheers


    User currently offlineSemsem From Israel, joined Jul 2005, 1779 posts, RR: 3
    Reply 4, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 14240 times:

    In the peak summer it is a lot different changing in London especially early morning. A lot more people. The meals on BA are excellent but I don't like the 31" legroom.
    There are so many nonstop flights from Brussels to New York. I assume the fares must have been a lot higher.


    User currently offlineBrusselsSouth From Belgium, joined Aug 2001, 628 posts, RR: 5
    Reply 5, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 14129 times:

    Quoting Mhodgson (Reply 1):
    Great report; and some fantastic photos. New York looks amazing; I really need to go there one of these days!



    Quoting Apuneger (Reply 2):
    Thanks for the nice trip report and the cool photos. I liked reading it

    Thanks ! Yes NY is a great place, definitely worth a visit... But I still prefer London

    Quoting Treeny (Reply 3):
    Nice report with good detail and your comments seem very favorable towards BA. They are bar far my favorite airline and have never done anything to me to make me want to change my allegiance.

    Quoting BrusselsSouth (Thread starter):
    had no problems connecting there and switching terminals (it certainly isn't the "hell" some people describe).

    Couldnt agree more. I have been through LHR numerous time going home and have never had a problem. In January it was the first time I connected through LHR and it couldnt have been smoother....I just dont see what peoples issues are connecting through LHR. I hear so much that LHR is loosing out or could loose out to AMS or FRA for example for connection preferences but hand on heart I have no idea why.......I cant comment on AMS but I dont know what FRA has that LHR doesnt.

    Agree with you on much of the above... But it's true that it is easier to connect at AMS (and they still have room for expansion, as opposed to LHR). I don't know about FRA as I've never been there. As I wrote, the old terminals at LHR need some refurbishment, but as I understand, extensive works are scheduled. Again, writing about it as a "hell" is exagerated, as I only had good experiences there (granted, you need to allow quite some time to transfer by bus between terminals).

    Quoting Semsem (Reply 4):
    In the peak summer it is a lot different changing in London especially early morning. A lot more people. The meals on BA are excellent but I don't like the 31" legroom.
    There are so many nonstop flights from Brussels to New York. I assume the fares must have been a lot higher.

    This is possibly true, although I once connected and changed terminals in August (morning) without trouble). I considered going nonstop (I could get an affordable fare on the AA 767) but I had a preference for BA. The only other airline I would not have minded going nonstop with would have been Jet Airways, but they were a bit on the expansive side for my dates.

    Thanks for your comments so far.

    Regards
    BrusselsSouth

    [Edited 2008-05-07 04:48:07]

    User currently offlineLHRBFSTrident From UK - Northern Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 656 posts, RR: 0
    Reply 6, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 13262 times:



    Quoting BrusselsSouth (Thread starter):
    (and due to my not-so-good level of spoken English),

    you've got to be joking - the level of your written English is higher than most native speakers - it's impossible to tell English isn't your first language from this trip report: very impressive  goodvibes 

    This was an excellent TR - hope to read more from you soon!

    I know exactly what you mean about the well-orchestrated meal service on short sectors like BRU-LHR - I saw the same 'ballet' performed on LHR-MAN (46 mins) last year and was so impressed (hadn't flown on BA for 10 years: only US carriers  yuck  )

    Love the shot of the AI 747 coming on stand at JFK - I didn't know they use the BA terminal there?!



    Next up: LAX-LHR NZ002 Y SkyCouch! LHR-LAX NZ001 Y
    User currently offlineDALCE From Netherlands, joined Feb 2007, 1693 posts, RR: 7
    Reply 7, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 13186 times:

    Hi BrusselsSouth!

    Great report with some very nice pictures.
    You made somewhat the same trip to NYC as I did in 2003.
    I sure hope and think you loved it! It is an amazing city and a place in the world were everybody should go once in a lifetime!
    Also you selected some nice flights, with both JFK and EWR included in your trip!
    Nevertheless a pity you had the same bus on your LHR-BRU stretch again!

    Thanks for sharing!
    Cheers,
    Joost ( D-ALCE )



    flown on : F50,F70,CR1,CR2,CR9,E75,143,AR8,AR1,733,735,736,73G,738,753,744,319,320,321,333,AB6.
    User currently offlineBrusselsSouth From Belgium, joined Aug 2001, 628 posts, RR: 5
    Reply 8, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 12989 times:



    Quoting LHRBFSTrident (Reply 6):
    you've got to be joking - the level of your written English is higher than most native speakers - it's impossible to tell English isn't your first language from this trip report: very impressive

    Thank you very much ! For some reason, I've got a problem understanding spoken foreign languages (it's not limited to English), although I compensate by an ability to talk (so I can ask people to repeat and repeat again  Wink ), and most of all, to understand written languages (I can read fluently French, English, Dutch, German, Italian and Spanish, but I'm far from speaking them fluently). Anyway, thanks for your kind comment...

    Quoting LHRBFSTrident (Reply 6):
    I know exactly what you mean about the well-orchestrated meal service on short sectors like BRU-LHR - I saw the same 'ballet' performed on LHR-MAN (46 mins) last year and was so impressed

    Impressive indeed. Although on the LHR-BRU leg, the lady in front of me requested to buy a duty free item she had seen in the inflight magazine, but a member of the cabin crew (politely) told her there was no duty free sale on this flight as it was too short. Something that would never happen on Ryanair ! I remember when I used to fly them on the CRL-STN route (1 hour scheduled, but often 40 minutes or less in reality), they always found time to offer duty free items, food, drinks, scratch cards and bus tickets !

    Quoting LHRBFSTrident (Reply 6):
    Love the shot of the AI 747 coming on stand at JFK - I didn't know they use the BA terminal there?!

    It was at EWR (Terminal B).

    Quoting DALCE (Reply 7):
    Great report with some very nice pictures.
    You made somewhat the same trip to NYC as I did in 2003.
    I sure hope and think you loved it! It is an amazing city and a place in the world were everybody should go once in a lifetime!
    Also you selected some nice flights, with both JFK and EWR included in your trip!
    Nevertheless a pity you had the same bus on your LHR-BRU stretch again!

    The selection of both JFK and EWR was purely intentional  Wink


    User currently offlineLHRBFSTrident From UK - Northern Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 656 posts, RR: 0
    Reply 9, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 12758 times:



    Quoting BrusselsSouth (Reply 8):
    member of the cabin crew (politely) told her there was no duty free sale on this flight as it was too short.

    yeah - it's been like that since the early 1990s on routes to CDG, AMS and BRU - and you're right FR would complete 3 passes on 'similar' sectors

    Quoting BrusselsSouth (Reply 8):
    EWR (Terminal B).


     embarrassed  ! I knew there had to be some detail I had missed!



    Next up: LAX-LHR NZ002 Y SkyCouch! LHR-LAX NZ001 Y
    User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8552 posts, RR: 55
    Reply 10, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 11687 times:
    Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

    Great report, really enjoyed the read and pictures, many thanks.

    Quoting BrusselsSouth (Thread starter):
    Transferring is not complicated as the signage is good (although some people, including on this forum, complain about it being the real downside of T5), and airport staff are everywhere to help you

    - I myself think some of the signage could be better, I am a seasoned traveller but did get confused a couple of times by T5 signage.

    Quoting BrusselsSouth (Thread starter):
    Apart from the flight map, I'm not a great fan of IFE

    - Me neither, I like looking at the maps, that's about it, give me a book and some wine, quite happy then!

    Quoting BrusselsSouth (Thread starter):
    converting part of my remaining dollars into Chardonnay

    - Like that, very funny!

    Quoting BrusselsSouth (Thread starter):
    An US A330 at LHR... Something has definitely changed...

    - Yes, quite odd seing CO, DL, NW & US @ LHR.

    Quoting BrusselsSouth (Thread starter):
    Some people on this forum see LHR airport as their downside, but although the terminals need some refurbishing (except for T5 of course), I had no problems connecting there and switching terminals (it certainly isn't the "hell" some people describe).

    - Good to hear, never had to transit at Heathrow but often wanted to too see what the big issue was.

    Quoting LHRBFSTrident (Reply 6):
    Quoting BrusselsSouth (Thread starter):
    (and due to my not-so-good level of spoken English),

    you've got to be joking - the level of your written English is higher than most native speakers - it's impossible to tell English isn't your first language from this trip report: very impressive

    - I'd second that.

    Regards

    Mark



    111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
    User currently offlineA340600 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2003, 4105 posts, RR: 51
    Reply 11, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 11219 times:

    Excellent report full of enthusiasm and a general sense of enjoyment, pleasure to read, thanks for sharing. Smile


    Despite the name I am a Boeing man through and through!
    User currently offlineInbarD From Israel, joined Jan 2007, 219 posts, RR: 0
    Reply 12, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 11204 times:

    Great trip report! The pictures are awesome! Happy to hear you enjoyed BA.

    User currently offlineComeflywithme From Argentina, joined Sep 2006, 265 posts, RR: 2
    Reply 13, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 10865 times:

    What a pleasant trip report,many thanks for posting it.

    Yeah BA are my favourite airline their crews are usually very professional and attentive. I flew them to JFK years ago from the UK on a short break like you, your pictures brought back many memories of the Big Apple I must make another visit soon.
    Glad you liked Terminal 5, my first visit will be at the end of July connecting from the EZE flight to a MAN one so it was interesting to read your views.  bigthumbsup 


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