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LHR-LAX Rtn British Airways 747-400  
User currently offlineCambridgeFlyer1 From UK - England, joined Jun 2012, 39 posts, RR: 1
Posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 18117 times:

So after seeing some fantastic TR's on the site, I thought it would be about time that I made a contribution.

I thought it were about time that I made the most of the families air miles, so in 2010 I decided to book a trip to LA to visit family. I would be flying out on BA279 from T5, which would be a new experience for me and returning on BA278 10 days later.

I was very keen on flying BA long haul again as I hadn’t flown BA long haul since 2006, in the gap I had experienced airlines such as EVA, AA, Qantas and Virgin Atlantic.

Date: 19/07/10
Flight: BA279
Aircraft: 747-436
Reg no: G-BNLW
Seat no: 31A

After failing to get an upgrade at check-in I made do with my pre-booked seat 31A, I always try to be near the front of the cabin, especially in Y as the meals tend to run out towards the end of the service!

The trip through security was uneventful and only took around 10 minutes which was very nice and made a change. I got a bite to eat and then thought I would make the journey over to T5 B as the row of 747's looked amazing and I wanted to get some photos. When I got off the train and went up the escalator I could not believe the views I saw. Seeing a 747 from ground level was incredible!




Boarding commenced about 45 minutes before our scheduled departure time. I got taken for additional searches which is abnormal for me as I usually get through with just the mandatory searches.




I went to my seat and sat down, as I was one of the first on (silver executive club) I didn't have to ask anyone to move to allow me to get to my seat. I think I got the short straw as I was sitting next to a man who would barely talk the whole journey, even after I tried to make conversation about the Airliners World magazine he was reading, shame.

After queuing for quite a while, we took off from runway 27L slightly later than scheduled but the captain said she would be able to get us there on time, so it wasn't a big deal.



Take off video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-v4P5Jt9JU4

As we neared our cruising altitude the cabin crew started to serve drinks, afterwards they came round for the meal service. I chose to have what appeared to be a British Airways classic, chicken tikka. I had chicken tikka on a long haul BA flight to BKK in 2006. I found this slightly strange, a morning take off with an evening meal but I guessed they were trying to get us into to the West Coast time zone. The food was lovely and set me up for the rest of the flight!

It wasn't until we were over the top of Scotland till the IFE came on after a few attempts of restarting the system. It's strange how some airlines turn the IFE on as soon as the safety briefing is done and others wait until the cruise. I closed my window shade and decided to watch 'About A Boy' but couldn't get into it, so decided to relax listening to my iPod. I was looking on the tracker map and saw we were flying over the edge of Greenland, so I opened my window shade to have a look. The view was incredible, a clear day and some spectacular views which really made the trip that bit more enjoyable.




I went for a walk around the cabin and a toilet stop shortly after we reached Canadian land, I got chatting to one of the female FA's and thought I may as well ask if there was any chance of looking in the cockpit after we had landed. She said that it would be fine and said come and find me at the front galley when everyone disembarks. This was a dream come true, the 747 is the plane of my childhood and to get to have a look in the cockpit would be an amazing experience!

We must have been around 2 hours from LAX when the FA's came round with a snack of a sandwich and more drinks, the sandwich wasn't to my liking but never mind! The crew collected the rubbish and as we were cruising over LAS a voice from the isle said to me 'could you get your stuff and come with me please'. She took me upstairs and sat me in the jump seat at the back of the 747's bump! Incredible! Going upstairs of a 747 in flight was just amazing, the 2 friendly crew members upstairs let me walk around and take some photos and we had a long chat about flying and my future ambitions to become a pilot. They also mentioned that actor William Shatner was on board along with various famous Hollywood movie directors.




The 2 crew members got strapped in, in the middle of the cabin for landing. It was a very strange landing as I didn't have any windows to look out, but it was defiantly worth it. As soon as the breaks were on at the gate I was taken forward to the cockpit and sat down in the jump seat and had a long chat with the pilot's. I asked to take a couple of photos, but my request wasn't accepted as apparently it could be seen as a security threat, I was disappointed after seeing so many photos online of BA 747 cockpits but accepted her decision. I thanked the whole crew and went and got my baggage still on a high from going in the cockpit!

I collected my bags with no problems and queued up to wait for the final security, and guess what. For the second time I was pulled to one side to have my whole baggage checked, wonderful. But I was pleased to see how serious to security was taken at both ends of the flight, good job guys!

Date: 28/7/10
Flight: BA278
Aircraft: 747-436
Reg no: G-CIVL (One World)
Seat no: 30A

So after a wonderful 10 days in Los Angeles it was time to go home. I checked in without any hassle and once again failed to get an upgrade, although the kind lady at check in did say that she would do what she could to make sure 30B was kept spare, a nice touch!

I must say the Tom Bradley terminal was one of the worst I have ever been to! Very few shops and once you were through security there were only 2 or 3 tiny stores! I always imagined LAX to be this palace considering its location, I was certainly wrong! I wondered around the terminal for a short while and sent a few texts home saying I should be home on time. My disappointed mood soon changed as I saw G-CIVL would be taking me back to LHR, she is one of the few BA 744's with the One World livery, so I was sure to take lots of photos!





While boarding I noticed a significant amount of people on the flight were Danish, and not all seemed to know each other. Maybe this is the easiest way to get to LA via LHR? I was very lucky as the kind check-in member had managed to keep 30B free which gave me much more room and potential to get a good night sleep. After boarding we got away rather quickly, we waited around for a long while on the runway before finally getting going.

Take off video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQb0IJ-GISs

After take off we made a left turn and went all the way round, there were some good views of Long Beach and Downtown LA which was a nice goodbye to California! As we got into our cruise the meal service began, I had a Chinese chicken dish which was very nice. When the meal trays had been taken in I tried to have a sleep and must have only got about half an hour.



As we were cruising there were some fantastic views on show from the sun and the clouds, who needs the IFE?




The flight seemed to go on for ever, so I went to have a chat with a crew member who had been cabin crew on the 747 since 1986, impressive! We flew over British soil and the breakfast service began, there was a muffin and a yogurt which I had both of as I was quite hungry.



We started our decent into LHR, we were coming into land on one of the 27 runways so I thought there would be a chance of good London views, no such luck with typical overcast skies! I could tell we were coming onto 27L with clear views of Twickenham rugby ground and the building with 'Air Canada' on the roof.

Landing video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdZhRgIZhOs

It was a very smooth touchdown, and we then made the short taxi to our gate at T5B. The transit was very short and our bags took no time at all to come. I then went out to meet my family and get a lift home!

In conclusion, I would say that British Airways are still right up there with their service and all the crew seemed to be very friendly. I must say though, however wonderful the 747 is, it was ageing dramatically and compared to the Virgin 747's it looked a lot older in the cabin. The economy product was exactly the same as when I tried it in 2006, including the same blankets and meals, the only difference was that the IFE had been upgraded to on demand. For me, I will always choose British Airways when I can for the air miles, although I will look to try Virgin's new economy product in the coming years.

I hope you have enjoyed my first ever trip report, I hope I have included enough detail because I know the detailed one's are my favourite! Any questions or comments are always welcomed.

Jamie.

11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinelychemsa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1070 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 16107 times:

Legroom on BA long haul Y sucks. Otherwise it's great.

User currently offlinecomeflywithme From Argentina, joined Sep 2006, 265 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 15508 times:

Great first report with some splendid photographs.

Shame you couldn't get some pictures from your cockpit visit but at least you'll always have some good memories of it. Very nice gesture from the crew to take you to the upper deck for the landing.


User currently onlineba319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8430 posts, RR: 55
Reply 3, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 15085 times:
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Hi Jamie,

Nice report and pictures,thanks for sharing - one comment, perhaps some pictures of the meals next time?

BA are quite struck on upgrades, Gold you stand a better chance, my sister in law is Gold, she gets upgraded on about 50% of her flights.

Great you got taken upstairs prior to landing for your cockpit visit , that's quite cool of the staff.

Once of the best things about BA is you know what you are getting and the service is pretty much standard across the board so your unlikely to be dissapointed.

Cheers

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333,342
User currently offlineCambridgeFlyer1 From UK - England, joined Jun 2012, 39 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 14600 times:

Thanks for your responses guys, it is really appreciated.

@Mark I will take that into consideration, I am a huge fan of your reports and they inspired me to start writing. I am flying LHR-DXB-JNB rtn in July so I'll try and get some more pictures!  


User currently offlinetonystan From Ireland, joined Jan 2006, 1397 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 12554 times:

Quoting CambridgeFlyer1 (Thread starter):
a morning take off with an evening meal but I guessed they were trying to get us into to the West Coast time zone

Soz to be pedantic however going by that reasoning it would be about 2am when you departed LA time and therefore even Curry wouldnt be the best choice!!!! :-P lol



My views are my own and do not reflect any other person or organisation.
User currently offlineghifty From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 842 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 11734 times:
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In the first video there's a loud wham sound at 1:11.. and in the second the same sound at 1:06.. what is that?


Fly Delta Jets
User currently offlineCambridgeFlyer1 From UK - England, joined Jun 2012, 39 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 10961 times:

Quoting tonystan (Reply 5):

I know, but I thought that there had to be some reason for the breakfast curry. It was strange :p

Quoting ghifty (Reply 6):

That is the sound of the under carriage lifting off the runway, I am sure someone on the site could give you a more detailed explanation though. I think it has been discussed on the forum somewhere as well.

Thanks.


User currently offlinebastew From Australia, joined Sep 2006, 1024 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 10495 times:

Glad you enjoyed your flight!

Quoting CambridgeFlyer1 (Thread starter):
I had chicken tikka on a long haul BA flight to BKK in 2006. I found this slightly strange, a morning take off with an evening meal but I guessed they were trying to get us into to the West Coast time zone.

Breakfast as the first meal is only served on flights that have a scheduled departure time before 09:59.

I guess the thinking is that if a flight is due to 'depart' at 10:00 it will probably be airborne around 10:15-10:30. The crew will start setting up the service say ten minutes after take off. Then it's a bar/cocktail service first. So I guess it would be around 11:30 at the earliest before we start giving out the meals.

Quoting CambridgeFlyer1 (Thread starter):
I always try to be near the front of the cabin, especially in Y as the meals tend to run out towards the end of the service!

You are right, most airlines start the service from the front of economy and work towards the back. It's done a bit differently at BA. We do a 'four corner' service in Economy. Two crew on each side from the front of the cabin working towards the rear and two crew starting from the rear working towards the front. So it tends to be the poor buggers in the middle of Y that end up with 'take it or leave it'.  


User currently offlineCambridgeFlyer1 From UK - England, joined Jun 2012, 39 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 10323 times:

Quoting bastew (Reply 8):

Thanks for that. It's nice to hear the real reasons from a BA staff member. Appreciate it!  


User currently offlineadamspotter From Netherlands, joined Feb 2011, 1110 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 9321 times:
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Hi there,
Good first report, thanks for sharing.

cheers,
Brendan // adamspotter


User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 2985 posts, RR: 8
Reply 11, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 8626 times:

Hi CambridgeFlyer,

nice first report, thanks! I flew BA to LAX many years ago, a few times, as I have family there, in the High Desert. Nice you got to see the cockpit, a shame about the photos - I suspect "security" may be an excuse, rather that the pilot didn't want to be in the shot   Still it was nice to let you visit.

I found BA's food offerings to be quite good, the only complaint (as with most) is the portion size being too small!

Looking forward to many more reports!

signol



Flights booked: none :(
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