With the British Airways 767's days numbered, I thought it would be a good idea to try and travel on one before the short haul options were a319, a320 or a321. Istanbul seemed like a perfect location to chose, cheap, the 767 and some great shopping at the famous 'Grand Bazaar'. So it was set, I was going to Istanbul.
Flight no: BA676
Reg no: G-BNWA
Seat no: 24K
Check in was simple as I had checked in online the night before and selected the seat I wanted. I chose 24K because I knew that the short-haul configured 767's only have the Club Europe seats up to row 25.
After being so impressed by the speed of T5 on my first visit I had high hopes again, I wasn't disappointed, I was through security in 5 minutes, which makes me wonder how there can be so much chaos sometimes. I always have a look at the shops but T5 has a very expensive taste, and considering I could probably pick up a replica 'designer' watch in Istanbul for a quarter of the price I thought there wasn't much point in taking my browsing any further.
I decided to do a little bit of spotting by the windows of T5, the famous line of 747's at T5B were looking good and preparing for the morning flights to The States. There were also many other long-haulers taking off on 09R. There were already a few short-haul 767's starting to leave, one of which was heading to Frankfurt.
At 9 the gate opened, and as expected it was at the main terminal which was a shame because T5B holds far more interest with all the 'heavy's'.
Boarding was uneventful, I managed to board first as usual with my Silver Exec card and stepping on the 767 was like stepping back into the past! The smell of the leather and the old tube style TV's with no LCD TV's, it was great! It felt like I was heading on a real adventure, not just 3 hours away to Istanbul. The safety video began before push-back, I imagine this was because of the short taxi we had to make to 09R. The old TV's lit up only to turn straight back off and the cabin crew to announce 'crew prepare for live safety briefing', its no wonder these old birds go tech so often, but the live safety briefing made it that bit more classic, just like the plane.
We taxied up to 09R and after a lengthy wait it was our turn to go. We took off and made a right turn over Hounslow before heading up into the clouds. I'm not sure what altitude we climbed to because the TV's had been fixed and the IFE was about to begin. I chose not to watch the film and just listened to music.
The meal service came around with the drinks just before, I stocked up on orange juice and had a bit of the breakfast, although the chicken sausages weren't particularly to my fancy. The flight went by like a flash and before I knew it the captain was making his announcement telling us we would be arriving slightly ahead of schedule.
We appeared to be in a hold for a little while before making what felt like a rather wobbly approach to the runway. We must have been right over the piano keys before the pilot throttled up and went back around. The cabin crew announced that we had a 'missed approach' and we would go back round for another go. I thought maybe we had some cross wind because of the wobbly approach? Its a shame because my video-camera had gone dead earlier in the flight so I wasn't filming the landing, always the way! Anyway the second approach was far more successful and we made a smooth landing slightly later than planned.
The taxi to the gate was relativity quick, the same can't be said about disembarking. I thought as I was waiting to get off I would ask the FA if I could possible go to the flight deck 'no sorry, they're busy' was the response in quite a blunt tone. This wasn't the polite attitude of the cabin crew I had seen before but maybe they were busy as they had to fly the return leg shortly after.
To conclude, I would defiantly fly the BA 767's before they are retired, they are fantastic planes to fly on even if they are ageing a bit. It would be nice to see what the refurbished one's look like and how long they will last. The BA service was OK, I have had better but there was nothing major to complain about, I was just disappointed at the blunt answer the FA gave me when leaving the flight.
I hope you have enjoyed my report, happy flying!