Sponsor Message:
Aviation Trip Reports Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
BA First: Dubai - London Heathrow (w/pics + Vid)  
User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3706 posts, RR: 28
Posted (6 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 25900 times:

Route: Dubai International - London Heathrow Int. (Terminal 4)
Airline: British Airways
Flight Number: BA108
Aircraft: Boeing 777-236/ER
Registration: G-YMML
Seat: 04A (First)
Distance: 3421 miles
Duration: 6hrs 55mins
Date: Monday 19th May



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Krzysztof Skowronski
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Mike Moores



We opted to take the dayflight back to London as the night flights left at some rather ungodly hour of the morning. The trip back started in one of Dubai's unbelievably cheap taxis, 11 Dirhams (about $3) was all it took for the ten minute or so trip from hotel to curbside.

Unlike most European or North American airports check-in for our flight was after a security check. Our checked bags had to go through a scanner and were then searched by hand. The check-in desks, even at 'rush hour' for our flight, were empty and we were passed over to a Club World agent as the one dealing with First was busy.

Following check-in were more formalities; boarding pass check, then passport control which was followed by security. Then it was down into the tunnel under the apron, and up into the famed Dubai airport shopping mall. The place was absolutely heaving and I had zero interest in buying anything (unlike the wife!  biggrin  ) so went to the British Airways lounge near gate 26.

http://img294.imageshack.us/img294/7929/dsc05523ir1.jpg
British Airways Terraces lounge at DXB

The lounge was quite busy and had a little breakfast offering. I asked about wireless internet and was told it was provided by the airport free of charge. Alas I was unable to get onto it... Sad The wife returned from shopping to find me eating a bowl of Coco Pops! It was like being nine years old again!  Smile

As time ticked on until departure I kept trying the internet but it wasn't going to budge. There was a brief distraction for many passengers as Sir Cliff Richard and a little gaggle of people entered the lounge. I thought the service on this flight would be top notch as usually when someone well known joins you in the cabin you suddenly find it gets all ramped up  Smile

Around 8.45am the call was made that our flight was ready to board from gate 18 and we all got up en masse and headed down there. There was another security checkpoint and we were reunited with the World Traveller and Traveller Plus passengers. The flight was delayed quite a bit and with no seats the lounge based passengers were standing up in the gate area. You could see Sir Cliff and his group were drawing quite a few stares and fingerpointing. Alas the restrained public didn't come up and ask for any autographs. I did notice that he had a grey/silver Concorde luggage tag on his roller bag though  Wink

Bizarrely the call was initially made for World Traveller and World Traveller Plus passengers to board which didn't make sense for a number of reasons. Firstly because there were separate jetbridges for F/J and the rest, plus all the First and Club World passengers were standing up in the gate area, also it means the pre-flight service for premium cabins is rushed! Madness!

About ten minutes after the first passengers boarded it was time for the remainder of us. Kirstin and I follow Sir Cliff and his group down the First/Club World jetbridge into door 1L and I see the flight attendant direct them to their seats. When I enter the First cabin I notice that the cabin is almost empty and Sir Cliff is noticeably absent...because he's in Club World  bigthumbsup  I joked with the flight attendant who escorted me to my seat that it isn't often I fly in a cabin ahead of someone who has been knighted! She said she was surprised to see him in Club World too!

As expected with us being the last onboard the pyjamas, coffee + date, pre-flight drink, and washbag delivery were all horribly rushed and newspapers were forgotten. I only had time to change into pyjamas before pushback at 9.30am, although we were told to be delayed a little as DXB was once again operating on only one runway.

http://img172.imageshack.us/img172/1928/dsc05524cx8.jpg
For you fans of 1970s trijets

The First cabin did feel very empty on this flight as all the centre seats on my side of the cabin were unoccupied. Menus and wine lists were handed out and subsequently followed by orders taken for post-takeoff drinks. Looking out the window we felt a bit alone. With the exception of the Biman DC-10 we were pretty much the only non-Emirates aircraft heading out to 30R!



http://img516.imageshack.us/img516/2287/dsc05526pq1.jpg
Departing DXB from runway 30R

On departure we had a great view of the Khor Dubai area and also out towards the Burj Dubai which you really can't escape when in the emirate. Once off the coast 'The World' was visible through the haze. Being several kilometres off the coast it is quite hard to gauge how enormous the complex is, fortunately we had a container ship to help give some perspective.

http://img172.imageshack.us/img172/4948/dsc05529dp6.jpg
Through the haze you can just make out the eastern part of 'The World' and in the foreground the container ship

The seatbelt sign was turned off very quickly and canapes and post takeoff glass of water were delivered rapidly.


Post departure water and canapes

The Cabin Services Director came and introduced herself and this time it seemed like she was actually human (read my LHR-DXB report for the polar opposite!) and rather friendly!

Lunch orders were taken by the First purser and I was asked when I wanted to eat. It seems BA are getting better at offering the dine when you like option  thumbsup  I chose to have mine at about 11.30am Dubai time. My wife was more keen to get going so we didn't dine together on this occassion. There wasn't much to see out of the window as there was blanket cloud cover so I took the opportunity to catch up on the news and flicked through the 'First Life' magazine until the movies rolled. Being in a light hearted mood I was happy to watch 'Mad Money' but the tape seemed to be shot. The sound was completely buggered and so I told one of the flight attendants about it and she joked about the poor quality of the tapes and said she'd try and fix it. As a substitute I watched a quite interesting, though not too recent, biography on Bill Gates.

Towards the end of the documentary the meal service began.

http://img214.imageshack.us/img214/6333/dsc05535rl2.jpg
Lobster salad with a light lemon mayonnaise

http://img158.imageshack.us/img158/5721/dsc05536ja5.jpg
Caramelised onion and parsnip soup

http://img158.imageshack.us/img158/8858/dsc05538yc0.jpg
Fresh salad with creamy herb dressing

http://img158.imageshack.us/img158/8871/dsc05541kt6.jpg
Poached king prawns on a light pea, fennel and herb salad with creme fraiche dressing


Strawberry trifle with amaretti biscuits, light custard and fresh cream with toasted almonds and pistachios. The dessert wine is the 2002 Willi Opitz Trockenbeerenauslese that has made a re-appearance

The food was once again pretty good although I didn't do myself any favours with the two salads which turned out to be very similar.

http://img294.imageshack.us/img294/8162/dsc05547xm4.jpg
En-route, heading back into European airspace

Flying over Turkey was pretty spectacular and I was enjoying the view from the window but decided to get some shuteye as we crossed over the Black Sea coast. Instead of getting the crew over as per the CSD's advice I opted to make the bed myself.

I got a good few hours nap and woke up just over Berlin with my wife tapping me on the shoulder asking about the lunch option. I chose to sleep for a bit more and awoke around forty five minutes out of Heathrow. With only a short amount of time I left I changed out of my pyjamas and freshened up. It looked a really nice day over the Thames Estuary but London was shrouded by cloud. Once under it I enjoyed a nice view of the western part of the city, with Heathrow looming over to port as we headed out west of the field, cutting back over Maidenhead and Windsor.


And yes, the bear slept well too  Wink

For first timers to London this would have been a nice introduction to the area and we got the tourist view of Windsor Castle inbound to 09L touching down at 1.55pm. As with all landings on the north side of the airport we had a long taxi to Terminal 4, something I won't miss too much in the move to T5. We came pretty close to G-YMMM and the tracks left by her last few moments as a passenger aircraft on our way into remote stand 431. Yes, remote stand!  Sad

It took about fifteen minutes for a dispatcher to arrive, without whom we were not allowed to alight. This did give time for the buses to arrive though. Sir Cliff, however, was met by some high-visibility jacket clad fellows and driven off in a Renault Espace never to be seen again! The drive through the bowels of Terminal 4 was actually quite interesting with views of the baggage handling facility, though it didn't make up for the fifteen minutes I was stood in the Club World galley next to Mr Blackberry talking shop...

The walk from the bus stop to immigration was fairly short, better than Victor that's for sure and I even chalked up my second 'celebrity' spot of the day. Peter Luck, who was featured on BBC's 'Airport' as an El Al employee appears to now have been downgraded to the BAA yellow polo shirt brigade. He was working at the entrance to T4 Flight Connections checking liquids...some people have the world in the palm of their hands and just get Munsoned.  Wink

Immigration was fairly quick though my wife was held up for some time as the immigration officer was questioning her second entry into the UK in less than a week. I was through much faster and surprisingly for Terminal 4 our checked bag was already enjoying the perpetual journey around claim belt number 4.

Then it was off to the Sheraton Skyline for the night....

Verdict: Just like the LHR-DXB flight the service on this flight was right in the middle of the park. Dependable; not mindblowing and not particularly disapponting either. At least the CSD on this flight was a bit more friendly.  Smile

The IFE issues were bothersome and with the AVOD system still being somewhat problematic (see my SFO-LHR report) I'm severely lowering my expectations on IFE being watchable. Not good for BA, or a premium product.


"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
9 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8539 posts, RR: 54
Reply 1, posted (6 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 25583 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Thanks, another great report, enjoyed the read, pix and video.

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):
There was a brief distraction for many passengers as Sir Cliff Richard and a little gaggle of people entered the lounge. I thought the service on this flight would be top notch as usually when someone well known joins you in the cabin you suddenly find it gets all ramped up

- True, he was on a LGW-FAO flight a few years back, service was good. I had 1F, Cliff was in 2A.

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):
Bizarrely the call was initially made for World Traveller and World Traveller Plus passengers to board which didn't make sense for a number of reasons. Firstly because there were separate jetbridges for F/J and the rest, plus all the First and Club World passengers were standing up in the gate area, also it means the pre-flight service for premium cabins is rushed! Madness!

- Yes, why the delay, surely better to sort out premium pax and keep them happy!

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):
And yes, the bear slept well too

- Good, I do worry about the bear  Smile

Kind 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 offlineSketty222 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2006, 1778 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (6 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 25455 times:

Just read all three reports SFO-LHR-DXB-LHR and they're all up to your normal, brilliant, standards. BA First is a great cabin and Im looking forward to the upgrade thats happening in the future.
Some great pics and a great take-off video from DXB

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):
I even chalked up my second 'celebrity' spot of the day. Peter Luck, who was featured on BBC's 'Airport' as an El Al employee

I bumped into him on a cold November day in LHR many moons ago when he was in his celebrity prime  Wink

Lee



There's flying and then there's flying
User currently offlineBAViscount From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 2338 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (6 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 25413 times:

I've enjoyed both of your DXB reports very much, both very interesting reads. Maybe one day I'll get to try out First Class for myself!

Although I've been to Dubai, I've yet to experience DXB, so it's always nice to see pictures and vids of the place. When I went in January I flew with BA to AUH, then took a taxi to my cousin's house. At the time it was the cheapest option. Maybe next time!

I couldn't help noticing how loud those engines sounded in your vid though. They certainly sounded a lot louder than they did on my LHR-AUH-LHR flights on the 777, and I was sat behind the wing!

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):
The trip back started in one of Dubai's unbelievably cheap taxis, 11 Dirhams (about $3)

They are incredibly cheap aren't they? The taxi I took from my cousin's place in Umm Suqeim cost the equivalent of about £24 for a one hour journey! Although it appears that Abu Dhabi's taxis are more expensive, as my journey from AUH to Dubai was just over £40.

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):
Peter Luck, who was featured on BBC's 'Airport' as an El Al employee appears to now have been downgraded to the BAA yellow polo shirt brigade.

I've seen him a couple of times at T4 too. The last time was in March this year when he was helping KLM passengers use the self check-in machines. Gone are his days of meeting the likes of Caprice as she steps off an El Al flight!

Thanks for the reports!

Andy.



Ladies & gentlemen this is Captain Tobias Wilcock welcoming you aboard Coconut Airways flight 372 to Bridgetown Barb
User currently offlineB747-4U3 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2002, 990 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (6 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 23848 times:



Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):
When I enter the First cabin I notice that the cabin is almost empty and Sir Cliff is noticeably absent...because he's in Club World  

You should count yourself lucky, he could have sat next to you and started singing "Saviour's Day", or even worse, " Millennium Prayer".

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):
And yes, the bear slept well too  

Really? He looked a bit grizzly in the photo.

Do BA provide honey for Bears?


User currently offlineFiatstilojtd From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (6 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 22844 times:



Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):
2002 Willi Opitz Trockenbeerenauslese

Nice, Ösi Wine in BA First Class...but not really a surprise Willi Opitz has good contacts worldwide now.


User currently offlineSankaps From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2255 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (6 years 3 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 22406 times:



Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):
When I enter the First cabin I notice that the cabin is almost empty and Sir Cliff is noticeably absent...because he's in Club World

Come on BA -- Sir Cliff is a legend. Surely he could have been given a comp up for First, especially given First was so empty? The BA CSD could have become a Living Doll in his eyes, rather than risk being viewed as a Devil Woman. Is it any wonder they They Don't Talk Anymore? Or did someone Suddenly tell him to Move On, saying comp upgrades were only for the Young Ones?  Smile

Plus I thought Bachelor Boys were popular with flight crew??? Big grin


(Perhaps you were only Dreamin' about the whole Celeb sighting, Fbgdavidson?)  Wink


User currently offlineB747-4U3 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2002, 990 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (6 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 21611 times:



Quoting Sankaps (Reply 6):
Come on BA -- Sir Cliff is a legend. Surely he could have been given a comp up for First, especially given First was so empty? The BA CSD could have become a Living Doll in his eyes, rather than risk being viewed as a Devil Woman. Is it any wonder they They Don't Talk Anymore? Or did someone Suddenly tell him to Move On, saying comp upgrades were only for the Young Ones?

Brilliant!

That's the funniest thing I've seen on a.net for ages.


User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3706 posts, RR: 28
Reply 8, posted (6 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 21086 times:



Quoting Sankaps (Reply 6):
Come on BA -- Sir Cliff is a legend. Surely he could have been given a comp up for First, especially given First was so empty? The BA CSD could have become a Living Doll in his eyes, rather than risk being viewed as a Devil Woman. Is it any wonder they They Don't Talk Anymore? Or did someone Suddenly tell him to Move On, saying comp upgrades were only for the Young Ones?

 rotfl  Post de jour!



"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
User currently offlineboeingfan08 From South Korea, joined Aug 2010, 13 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 7678 times:

Great Report! I really enjoyed reading it, never flew BA though, you got me hoping to fly it sooner or later!! THANKS!

Top Of Page
Forum Index

Reply To This Topic BA First: Dubai - London Heathrow (w/pics + Vid)
Username:
No username? Sign up now!
Password: 


Forgot Password? Be reminded.
Remember me on this computer (uses cookies)
  • Trip reports only! Other topics here
  • If criticizing an airline, express yourself in a dignified manner.
  • No adverts of any kind. This includes web pages.
  • No hostile language or criticizing of others.
  • Do not post copyright protected material.
  • Use relevant and describing topics.
  • Check if your post already been discussed.
  • Check your spelling!
  • DETAILED RULES
Add Images Add SmiliesPosting Help

Please check your spelling (press "Check Spelling" above)


Similar topics:More similar topics...
BA Club World: London Heathrow-Washington (w/pics) posted Wed Jan 5 2011 21:43:59 by fbgdavidson
BA New First: London-Washington (w/pics+vid) posted Thu Oct 14 2010 17:48:38 by fbgdavidson
BA First:Barbados- Gatwick (with Pics) posted Tue Oct 16 2007 03:30:49 by Cambrian
BA First: LHR-CPT-LHR (w/pics + Video) posted Thu Feb 23 2006 23:29:03 by Fbgdavidson
BA First: London Heathrow - Dubai (w/pics) posted Fri May 23 2008 19:25:18 by Fbgdavidson
BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics) posted Tue Oct 4 2005 18:25:19 by Fbgdavidson
BA First: London - Washington Dulles (w/pics) posted Sun Jan 17 2010 14:54:54 by Fbgdavidson
BA First: Washington Dulles - London (w/pics) posted Wed Jan 6 2010 20:04:14 by Fbgdavidson
BA Club Europe/New First: BUD-LHR-IAD (w/pics+vid) posted Fri Jul 22 2011 22:49:02 by fbgdavidson
Asia's World City - New & Old - BA First (w/pics) posted Sun Apr 10 2011 12:42:16 by Genius12

Sponsor Message:
Printer friendly format