Sponsor Message:
Aviation Trip Reports Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Dreaming Of Being 7 Years Old At Heathrow: LHR-ARN  
User currently offlinePumaknight From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (5 years 6 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 5289 times:

Date: 15 February 2009
Route: LHR - ARN
Airline: British Airways
Flight: BA 0780
Aircraft: Boeing 767-200
Departure Time: 1415 (GMT)


Arrival at the Airport
It was a typical British Sunday morning, with my standing in the business car park waiting for the shuttle to take me to Terminal 5. A BA 744 crawled into the air, taking what seemed like an eternity to find enough height to pull the gear up, its engines screaming and pushing it skyward. For a split second, I was 7 years old again, standing next to my dad, watching all the aircraft of unimaginable size crawling into the sky to fly to destinations that I could only dream about. I used to spend days here with my dad, watching those silver birds, smiling with a youthful delight as only a seven year old boy can. Of course those days, terminal 5 was not even a thought…to be honest, back then, even Terminal 4 wasn’t an inkling in Heathrow’s eye. But the Heathrow spectacle was just as exciting as it was today.

Enough of the dreaming, it was time for me to lock the car and make my way to Terminal 5 to catch my flight. The shuttle driver gave me a knowing smile as I boarded the bus…I wondered if he had the same dreams as me sitting there watching the planes depart? The shuttle was fairly quiet, not much demand for transport at 11am to the terminal…still too early for the East bound flight departures. I grabbed a seat and stared out of the window trying to capture that dreamy state again. Virgin, Lufthansa and a whole host of BA flights passed above my head as the shuttle found its way t Terminal 5. A few more carriers than I remember when I was 7 years old…those days it was TWA, BAE, Air Lingus, Pan Am and the like.

Check in
My flight was scheduled to depart at 14.15 UK time, and having never been to Terminal 5 as a passenger before, I was relishing the opportunity to see this newest architectural addition to Heathrow. Would it live up to the billing, would the passenger management process work as concisely as the adverts would have me believe? Time would tell. Of course, I had made the passenger experience a little bit easier by availing myself of BA’s wonderful online checking facilities. A few clicks and I had selected seat 14A, printed my boarding card and answered some security questions…easy really…you have got to love the modern age. The shuttle pulled up outside Terminal doors. I stepped out, thanking the driver.

The sky was still overcast, the wind blowing mildly from the North West, my first sight of Terminal 5 up close. The attention to detail was astounding. Cars, buses and taxis streamed endlessly into the parking bays and deposited passengers out onto the welcome mat. The canopies curved like a dove’s wings above our heads. The pavements and crossing were clearly laid out, still glistening with that new paint feeling. I walked across and into the cavernous building, admiring the impossibly high glass wall as I did.

Despite a large number of visible people, the inside of the Terminal felt unnaturally spacious and quiet…building design at its best. I worked my way over to Zone C and to the Baggage Drop point for BA. 1 minute later, no queuing, no problems, my bag was tagged and disappearing down the conveyer belt…its journey mirroring mine I hoped. The BA desk clerk wished me well and off I went to find security and my gate.

Security
Count to 100 in your head….go on, using the old “one one thousand, two one thousand” technique…..done it?? Well I got through security faster than it you took to count to 100. No delays, no queues, just polished efficiency.

Airside
The doors slid open, and a cacophony of noises and smells assaulted my nose. Airside, with its perfumes, coffee houses, restaurants and a not to distinct taste of aviation fuel…I was here.

Starbucks beckoned. A Cheese and Marmite Panini and large decaf Latte in hand, I found a seat looking out across the airfield. Remember the impressive glass wall at the front, well; it was exactly the same at the back….stories high and offering unrestricted view across the remote stands and each of the runways. 27R was the current active and I sat there sipping my latte and munching my Panini, watching as Heathrow once again demonstrated why it holds the worlds’ busiest international airport award…heavy after heavy departed. I counted 11 BA 744s on stand…impressive brand identity having that many heavies lined up next to each other. I drifted back again to my youth, my pocket book, used to identify which aircraft was which, my little radio chirping in to ATC…I could not have imagined this many aircraft sitting at the airport…not when I was 7 years old.

I checked my watch…it was 1215….only 45 minutes since I had parked my car. Terminal 5 was exceeding my expectations.

Boarding
1350…our flight departure gate was announced on the screens…gate A18. A quick glance at the well-designed direction signs and I headed off for a long walk from Starbucks to Gate A18…A18 was not one of the satellite gates requiring a shuttle journey, but it was at the other end of the Terminal…no biggie, I had my walking boots on as I always do. A18 was already quite crowded. 1405 and the tannoy pinged into life…”Ladies and Gentlemen, we would like to apologise for the slight delay in boarding. The cleaning crews are still servicing the aircraft…..” 10 minutes the announced…a 10 minutes delay was never an issue for me…but for others given the level of groaning, it was. True to their word, we commenced boarding at 1415. Off I went down a very, very long jet bridge to our aircraft…a shiny white BA 767.

I found my seat, 14A, and to my absolute horror, it was one of the seats next to a blanked out window. No window views for me this flight. If I craned my neck I could see out of 13A’s window, but not with any real clarity. It is what I do on flights…my palms get sweaty, M push my face as far into the window frame as I can, and I excitedly absorb all the ballet that is Heathrow….just like any excited 7 year old at the airport. Oh well, serves me right for not checking seat-guru before pre-booking my seat. The seat is nice though, bit wider than I expected and a little more leg room…maybe courtesy o this being a 767 rather than the expected A320??? Who cares, as long as my 6ft 4” frame is comfortable?


The Delay
Seated and belted in seat 14A, staring at a large expanse of Boeing plastic, desperately trying to crane my neck to see out of the row 13 window yet again, I couldn’t help but wonder what the delay was. We were scheduled for pushback at 14.15, given the “cleaning delay” that would now be 14:30…the air-bridge had retracted, the captain had announced that all were on board and doors were shut – so what was the delay? ATC at Heathrow is infamous for delays; maybe we had missed out slot. Maybe it was a ground issue, with no tug available…nope none of these. After 30 minutes, the Captain comes back on the PA and informs us that one of the doors was reporting as being open so they needed to check – hmmm. There was about 180 people all of a sudden staring at their nearest door and wondering if it would hold for the scheduled 2hr 20min flight.


The Taxi
Apparently, the door was shut and the sensor reset, so at 1505 we pushed back off stand and began our taxi down the length of Taxiway A, alongside the now active runway, 27L. Yep, at 1500 every day, Heathrow switches the active…17R was now the landing.

We came to a halt about 500 yards short of the active hold. My head dropped. No window of any note and a huge amount of traffic in front of us. I could have been staring at loads of aircraft queuing ahead of us…not this flight unfortunately. 5 minutes and no movement, I glance a Canadian 767 crawling towards the front of the queue, shadowed by a KLM 737. We start to roll…and turn right onto link 43 which takes us across the active. My first thoughts were that we were given short clearance to takeoff using only 2/3rds of the runway (we were only going to Stockholm so power shouldn’t be an issue). Nope, we cross the active onto Taxiway S. My second thought…had the door alarmed again and we were on our way to stand for maintenance and checks? Nope, we made our way along Taxiway S to Hold SB1. A BA 744 droned off into the sky and we pulled onto the active 27L…hurray for LHR ATC….early clearance and we had jumped the hefty queue.


The flight
1515….a little wiggle of rudder to line us up, a thump as the nose wheel traversed a light…a gentle surge as the engines spooled up to 40% to check... then a stronger push as we go to takeoff thrust…conditions are calm…a mild cross wind…takeoff roll calm and we gracefully soar into the air, with only half the runway used…I feel a surge of adrenaline as we get airborne…a smile floods across my face…the gent sitting next to me looks at me in that knowing way…he is being 7 years old as well...gear up…a minor throttle back to keep us within the defined departure profile…the wing dips right as we begin our gentle turn around to the north…the cloud starts to caress the airframe…no turbulence…no movement…none of the usual thermal judder as the airframe slides through the air boundaries and clouds….the skies are quiet today… the chime announcing the crew are free to commence service…we continue a climb out over north London and onto the North Sea…the seat belt sign pings out…the cacophony of seatbelts buckles being undone fills the cabin…we continue to climb…no step changes to cruise today, just a smooth and graceful climb up to FL350…if it wasn’t for the clouds falling away below, or the ever so tiny pop of my ears, I would question whether we were climbing at all…the perfect climb out and departure.

I begin to drift off to sleep, to find my dreams of being 7 years old at Heathrow again. The seatbelt chimes on, and the PIC announces that we are due to land in 20 minutes. I can just see that eh cloud here in Stockholm is as thick as it was at Heathrow. We begin our descent in earnest…flaps down…through the cloud…gear down….flaps at full….the airframe judders quite a bit….a small correction for cross wind….the city lights stream below….another correction…a pulse of power from the large RR engines…the threshold rushes underneath us…and down we are on 01L. The reverse thrust kicks in…spoilers deploy and we begin to slow to a more manageable txi speed. The aircraft turns right off the active….turning right again, we run along side the active down towards Terminal 2, gate 66…5 minutes after touchdown, the engines spool down, the air bridge connects, and we being to disembark.


The end
2 hours and 20 minutes of flight time, but 3 hours and 5 minutes on the actual aircraft…BA has done me proud…I may never be 7 years old again, but if a flight and an airport can make me imagine I am, then I have nothing but praise for the journey.

Thank you BA…thank you very much.

I hope you enjoyed the read. Thank you all for reading.

Michael H, not 7 years old anymore  Smile

10 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAirthanet From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2009, 95 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (5 years 6 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 4837 times:

Hello Pumaknight.

Thanks for the report, really interesting and well written. It must have been frustrating not to have a window seat! It sounds like you enjoyed the BA and the T5 experience....



Recently Flown Airlines: Air Malta (KM), My Travel (MYT), First Choice (FCA), Swiss (LX), Virgin Atlantic (VS), Monarch
User currently offlineFCA767 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2006, 1745 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (5 years 6 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 4779 times:

Yes definitly well written...I don't normally read alot due to the screen so i normally save my eyes...but I enjoyed it...you got me hooked from the first line...  Smile

User currently offlinePumaknight From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (5 years 6 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 4540 times:

Thanks both, glad you liked it. To be honest, a few photso would have made all the difference but I didn't think to bring my camera with me....silly I know, but hey, when working, you just think laptop and book, not camera and trip report  Smile

User currently offlineSQ325 From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 1451 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (5 years 6 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 4531 times:



Quoting Pumaknight (Thread starter):
It was a typical British Sunday morning, with my standing in the business car park waiting for the shuttle to take me to Terminal 5. A BA 744 crawled into the air, taking what seemed like an eternity to find enough height to pull the gear up, its engines screaming and pushing it skyward. For a split second, I was 7 years old again, standing next to my dad

A very nice read.
I like the way your report is written

Thank you


User currently offlineLHR380 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (5 years 6 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 4524 times:



Quoting Pumaknight (Thread starter):
a gentle surge as the engines spooled up to 40% to check

I love listening to aircraft do this, its a great sound. A little bit of power, then a roar, sends a shudder down my spine hearing it, best sound ever  Smile

Quoting Pumaknight (Thread starter):
A Cheese and Marmite Panini

Hmmm, disgusting combination  ill   ill 

Quoting Pumaknight (Thread starter):
those days it was TWA, BAE, Air Lingus, Pan Am and the like.

Im sure it was BEA  Wink

Glad you enjoyed your T5 Experience, it certainly is a nice place to work in. So much light, and of course being a netter, the views make it even better,

Very good TR. You have a very unique writing style that hooks the reader, Thank you

 Smile


User currently offlinePumaknight From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (5 years 6 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 4481 times:



Quoting LHR380 (Reply 5):
Quoting Pumaknight (Thread starter):
A Cheese and Marmite Panini

Hmmm, disgusting combination

Quoting Pumaknight (Thread starter):
those days it was TWA, BAE, Air Lingus, Pan Am and the like.

Im sure it was BEA

Opps, yep, BEA, that would be a typo...ahem!!

And I see you are of the Hate Marmite side of the fence  Smile

You work in T5? Doing what? I was very impressed with the building, even more so after all the bad press it got at launch....now it rocks!!

p.s. thanks for nice comments, really glad you liked my TR.


User currently offlineLHR380 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (5 years 6 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 4430 times:



Quoting Pumaknight (Reply 6):
And I see you are of the Hate Marmite side of the fence  

100% on the hate side, disgusting stuff, bleugh. Does not help my mum loves veggie mite as well YUCK!!!

I work the Ticket desk for my sins, fab job though.


User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8527 posts, RR: 54
Reply 8, posted (5 years 6 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 3984 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Great stuff, really enjoyed the read, excellent stuff, thanks  Smile

Quoting Pumaknight (Thread starter):
Aircraft: Boeing 767-200

- Er, that would be a -300.

Quoting Pumaknight (Thread starter):
I found my seat, 14A, and to my absolute horror, it was one of the seats next to a blanked out window. No window views for me this flight

- Not good, had that problem on a flight on an EY A345!

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 offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8527 posts, RR: 54
Reply 9, posted (5 years 6 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 3974 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Great stuff, really enjoyed the read, excellent stuff, thanks  Smile

Quoting Pumaknight (Thread starter):
Aircraft: Boeing 767-200

- Er, that would be a -300.

Quoting Pumaknight (Thread starter):
I found my seat, 14A, and to my absolute horror, it was one of the seats next to a blanked out window. No window views for me this flight

- Not good, had that problem on a flight on an EY A345!

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 offlinePumaknight From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (5 years 6 months 2 days ago) and read 3697 times:



Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 8):
Er, that would be a -300.

Quoting Pumaknight (Thread starter):
I found my seat, 14A, and to my absolute horror, it was one of the seats next to a blanked out window. No window views for me this flight

- Not good, had that problem on a flight on an EY A345!

Regards

Mark

Ahem...Yeah I should really check my facts...or more to the point, my spelling and typing. I also put that LHR had a 17R runway....not that last time I looked, unless they've moevd it quite a bit  Smile But those eagle eyed will note that 1 is next to 2 on a keyboard (and 2 next to 3 as well!!) and my pudgy fingers and erratic typing skills are a ceratin recipie for disaster!!

I wish there was an edit button on Airliners.net....for silly people such as myself!!

The blanked window did surprise me a bit. I was very lost for a while, desperate to see, but unable to sustain the neck angle for longer than 10 seconds....mental note...check Seat Guru for all future flights  Smile

Thanks for the nice comments...am really glad you liked it. I always enjoy reading your TR as well...to be honst it was your recent reports that inspired me to write about this journey.


Top Of Page
Forum Index

Reply To This Topic Dreaming Of Being 7 Years Old At Heathrow: LHR-ARN
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...
Welcome To The World Of LH (guided Tour At FRA) posted Sun Jul 15 2007 15:41:44 by DALCE
ARN-LHR-CPT-LHR-ARN W. BA, VS And SK (long + Pics) posted Mon Jan 15 2007 20:33:14 by SK A340
Heaven, Out Of HEL And Back To Heathrow. Pics. posted Thu Aug 24 2006 13:10:54 by Summa767
Photo Report: ARN-LHR-JFK-LHR-ARN With BA posted Thu Aug 4 2005 15:39:40 by Mischadee
Dreaming Of A Dreamliner (W/Pics/Vids) posted Thu Nov 4 2004 01:10:50 by Pilot kaz
3 Years Old Trip Report: Mi-8 In Estonia posted Mon Aug 2 2004 06:41:05 by OV735
HEL-CPH-LHR-ARN-HEL On SAS posted Fri May 10 2002 00:59:41 by OH-LZA
SAS - LHR - ARN - SVO posted Thu Aug 23 2001 09:35:34 by Paulc
ARN-LHR-LAX With British Airways posted Sun Feb 15 2009 15:08:54 by B747forever
The Good Old Days Of Flying Revived: SQ Business posted Sat Nov 8 2008 14:58:28 by Globetraveller

Sponsor Message:
Printer friendly format