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London To Orlando In BA's WTP  
User currently offlinebaldwin471 From UK - England, joined Mar 2012, 306 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 1 month 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 8690 times:

Introduction

Hi all. First off I’ll get introductions out of the way. I’m Alex. I live in High Wycombe, England. I love to travel and in particular, fly (Obviously).

Right that is that out of the way.

This will be my first ever trip report, so don’t be expecting brilliance, in fact quite the opposite. I apologise for poor writing etc. in advance.

So, in January 2012 I turned 18. I had been working since I left school at 16 and accumulated enough dosh to give myself some time away. I was deliberating which exotic, far-flung corner of the world to visit when I received some fantastic news; my cousin was getting married.

Now, a bit of back story here. My Uncle, his wife and two kids moved to Jacksonville, Florida in 2005 and I hadn’t seen any of them since due to time and financial constraints (As you can imagine).

So, back to the report. I gave my uncle a ring to see how they all were and to pass on my congratulations to my cousin. I then spoke to aforementioned cousin and she said it’s a shame the rest of her family who live in England can’t be there for her wedding day. That’s when I put two and two together.

I asked if it would be okay to come over for a couple of weeks and was welcomed with open arms. I then started planning for flights and dates.

I decided early on that I wanted direct flights, as this would be my first time flying solo so to speak, so I didn’t want the extra hassle of connecting flights. That meant flying to MCO direct as JAX doesn’t support transatlantic crossings.

Many of you will know there are only two options from London direct to MCO, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, both from LGW, which happens to be my preferred London airport (Even though it is furthest from me, it’s always been efficient with hardly any lines at security when I’ve flown from there, maybe I’ve just been lucky)

So, BA or VS. A choice I’m sure many, many people have to make every day. Having never flown either airline previously, I was open to both. Prices were within £1 of each other, so I was going to have to decide on times and cabins. I had already decided I was going to fly WTP with BA of PE with VS.

I chose BA for pretty much one reason. The 777. I had never flown the 777 before and have always admired it as an airframe. The only viable Virgin offering on the day was the A330 service, as it arrived at 15:30 local time and I had to be there before 17:00 otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to get a lift from my Uncles friend. The 747 service didn’t touchdown until after 17:30 so it wasn’t an option unfortunately.

Having flown the A330 a couple of times previously, a chance at a 777 with those glorious GE90’s was impossible to pass up.

Here are the details for the flight
Airline : British Airways
Flight : 2037
Route : LGWMCO
Departs : 21 Feb 2012 11:40
Arrives : 21 Feb 2012 16:30
Equipment : Boeing 777-200ER
Registration : G-VIIP
Seat : 13K

Report

I woke up bright and early at 6:30AM. I took the dog out for a walk and then got myself ready to leave. I know from experience what the traffic is like on the motorway going down to Gatwick is like in the morning, so I wanted to leave early to avoid getting stuck. Luckily I had a private taxi to get me there, he’s more commonly known as granddad.

http://i1090.photobucket.com/albums/i361/alexblfc/USA%20part%201/file.jpg?t=1347997112

*Apologies if you are mentally scarred by the above image, I just wanted you to know what I had to put up with for two hours on a motorway ☺

I stuck my bags in the boot of the car and said my goodbyes and was off.

http://i1090.photobucket.com/albums/i361/alexblfc/USA%20part%201/file-1.jpg?t=1347997118

How much is that doggy in the window?

On the way to the airport

http://i1090.photobucket.com/albums/i361/alexblfc/USA%20part%201/file-3.jpg?t=1347997126

At the airport

I checked into the self check-in machine (A first for me) and all went smooth as I dropped my bag off and headed towards security. I said goodbye to my granddad and headed through security. It was practically empty. By this time it was 10:00AM and I expected the North terminal to be busier, but luckily it was pretty quiet.

I got through security in under a couple of minutes and headed to my normal spot in the North terminal (In the coffee shop overlooking the last few gates) and sat down for a coffee. It wasn’t great.

http://i1090.photobucket.com/albums/i361/alexblfc/USA%20part%201/file-8.jpg?t=1347997154

Second from the end would be my steed for the day.

http://i1090.photobucket.com/albums/i361/alexblfc/USA%20part%201/file-6.jpg?t=1347997140

G-YMMB readying for departure to Bridgetown.

Soon my gate opened and I headed down and boarded. Boarding was quick and efficient. My first impressions of the WTP cabin were: clean, tidy, dated. In that order. The seats were comfortable and leg room was ample. The biggest disappointment was the screen, which is way too small in my opinion, especially for something double the price of economy.

The captain came over the PA to announce flight time was estimated to be around 8 hours 30 minutes. It was 9 hours 25 minutes in the end but we’ll get to that.

We soon enough lifted off into the gloomy skies above Crawley and headed up to our cruising height of 38,000 feet.

Take off video here (Filmed on my Galaxy Nexus so apologies for quality)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUd0QosmNBY

Soon enough the seatbelt sign was turned off and the drinks cart came around, I opted for a Heineken.

http://i1090.photobucket.com/albums/i361/alexblfc/USA%20part%201/file-23.jpg?t=1347997231

http://i1090.photobucket.com/albums/i361/alexblfc/USA%20part%201/file-21.jpg?t=1347997221
The WTP cabin was very empty. With the entirety of row 13th being vacant apart from me. The cabin felt very open and airy, maybe this is the 777, maybe this is due to the fact that it was empty.

Here are some shots I took over the Atlantic and Greenland.

http://i1090.photobucket.com/albums/i361/alexblfc/USA%20part%201/file-22.jpg?t=1347997226

http://i1090.photobucket.com/albums/i361/alexblfc/USA%20part%201/file-19.jpg?t=1347997211

http://i1090.photobucket.com/albums/i361/alexblfc/USA%20part%201/file-28.jpg?t=1347997254

Unfortunately I cannot report on the quality of the food as I opted against it as I was far too busy watching The Office and Extras on my tablet.

We experienced some pretty rough turbulence passing through 12,000 feet. I’m not scared of little bumps by any means, but it does get a little unnerving when you feel like the aircraft is being caught in downdrafts then updrafts over and over again, but I digress. The air smoothed out under 10,000 feet and we made two turns to line up with runway 17L.

As we made our first turn to the right towards SFO I could hear passengers doing the classic “Look there is the airport, we’ll have to go down pretty fast to make that” as we passed over the airport at 6,000 feet ☺
Anyway, here is a video of the landing, again sorry for the quality.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53uhKeH6KJY

Immigration

I was expecting bad things from US immigration, as I’ve heard all of the horror stories and what have you. I was actually pleasantly surprised. Immigration went fairly quickly, about as quickly as anywhere else I’ve been anyway. Baggage reclaim didn’t take long, about 30 minutes after leaving the aircraft and I had my bag and was out of the airport.

I was welcomed by my uncle’s friend who had kindly offered to drive me up to Jacksonville. At 11:00pm I arrived at my Uncle’s house and was relieved to have somewhere to have a shower and a sleep.

The wedding

Two days after I arrived was the day of the wedding. Here are some pictures

http://i1090.photobucket.com/albums/i361/alexblfc/USA%20part%201/file-82.jpg?t=1347997556

http://i1090.photobucket.com/albums/i361/alexblfc/USA%20part%201/file-83.jpg?t=1347997566

http://i1090.photobucket.com/albums/i361/alexblfc/USA%20part%201/file-92.jpg?t=1347997625

http://i1090.photobucket.com/albums/i361/alexblfc/USA%20part%201/file-94.jpg?t=1347997638



It was a fantastic day, and I was very happy to have been there.

I had a great time in the US and I’m sorry this is such a poor TR but I’m sure in the future I’ll improve. I’ll leave you with some pictures of the lovely people and animals I stayed with for a month.

http://i1090.photobucket.com/albums/i361/alexblfc/USA%20part%201/file-176.jpg?t=1347998141

http://i1090.photobucket.com/albums/i361/alexblfc/USA%20part%201/file-177.jpg?t=1347998147

http://i1090.photobucket.com/albums/i361/alexblfc/USA%20part%201/file-184.jpg?t=1347998185

http://i1090.photobucket.com/albums/i361/alexblfc/USA%20part%201/file-40.jpg?t=1347997324

http://i1090.photobucket.com/albums/i361/alexblfc/USA%20part%201/file-39.jpg?t=1347997318

RIP Timbo x
http://i1090.photobucket.com/albums/i361/alexblfc/USA%20part%201/file-38.jpg?t=1347997313

Thanks all for reading, Alex.

13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineadamspotter From Netherlands, joined Feb 2011, 1168 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (2 years 1 month 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 8543 times:
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Hi baldwin471,

Nice trip report for being the first one, I would have added more photos myself, but it is everybodys own choice.

Quoting baldwin471 (Thread starter):
This will be my first ever trip report, so don’t be expecting brilliance, in fact quite the opposite. I apologise for poor writing etc. in advance.

Welcome to the forum  
Quoting baldwin471 (Thread starter):
I chose BA for pretty much one reason. The 777. I had never flown the 777 before and have always admired it as an airframe. The only viable Virgin offering on the day was the A330 service, as it arrived at 15:30 local time and I had to be there before 17:00 otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to get a lift from my Uncles friend

Hmm that is a difficult choice. Good choice if you haven't flown the 777 before. I would've chosen Virgin as their A330s are fairly new

Quoting baldwin471 (Thread starter):
Soon my gate opened and I headed down and boarded. Boarding was quick and efficient.

Didn;t you have extra screening before boarding? With the ussual extra questions when traveling to the USA

Quoting baldwin471 (Thread starter):
Soon enough the seatbelt sign was turned off and the drinks cart came around, I opted for a Heineken.

Good choice

Quoting baldwin471 (Thread starter):
Unfortunately I cannot report on the quality of the food as I opted against it as I was far too busy watching The Office and Extras on my tablet.

You mean you didn't eat anything through the whole flight?

cheers,

Brendan


User currently offlinebaldwin471 From UK - England, joined Mar 2012, 306 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (2 years 1 month 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 8493 times:

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 1):
Nice trip report for being the first one, I would have added more photos myself, but it is everybodys own choice.

Thanks. I didn't want to overdo it with pictures, maybe i went a little too far the opposite way :P

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 1):
Hmm that is a difficult choice. Good choice if you haven't flown the 777 before. I would've chosen Virgin as their A330s are fairly new

Yeah it was a tough decision, but i just love the rush you get on T/O with the GE90. You don't get that from the hairdryers on the 330  
Quoting adamspotter (Reply 1):
Didn;t you have extra screening before boarding? With the ussual extra questions when traveling to the USA

I did, forgot to mention that. Just a couple of questions like "Why aren't you at college" and "Who are you staying with" etc.

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 1):
Good choice

Indeed, very tasty.

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 1):
You mean you didn't eat anything through the whole flight?

I didn't no. I had a full english before i left the house. I normally don't eat much during the day anyway, just a big meal in the morning and evening.

Alex.


User currently offlineFlyingFan18 From United States of America, joined Apr 2012, 88 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (2 years 1 month 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 8364 times:

Hello and thanks for the trip report! I am a little confused on your report though… in your title it says you are heading to MCO or Orlando which I assume is Florida but on approach you say SFO… HUH? Anyway I am impressed with BA’s WTP… looks awesome and quite nice. Sorry about the small screens. Hope you enjoyed your time!
- Justin


User currently offlinebaldwin471 From UK - England, joined Mar 2012, 306 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (2 years 1 month 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 8310 times:

Quoting FlyingFan18 (Reply 3):
Hello and thanks for the trip report! I am a little confused on your report though… in your title it says you are heading to MCO or Orlando which I assume is Florida but on approach you say SFO… HUH? Anyway I am impressed with BA’s WTP… looks awesome and quite nice. Sorry about the small screens. Hope you enjoyed your time!
- Justin

Thanks Justin. I meant SFB  


User currently offlineFlyingFan18 From United States of America, joined Apr 2012, 88 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (2 years 1 month 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 8169 times:

Quoting baldwin471 (Reply 4):

I wasn’t aware BA flew into SFB. I know for a fact MCO but who knows since BA is confusing sometimes. In your opinion was WTP worth the price? Did you happen to see how Economy was compared to it?


User currently offlinebaldwin471 From UK - England, joined Mar 2012, 306 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (2 years 1 month 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 8151 times:

Quoting FlyingFan18 (Reply 5):
I wasn’t aware BA flew into SFB. I know for a fact MCO but who knows since BA is confusing sometimes. In your opinion was WTP worth the price? Did you happen to see how Economy was compared to it?

No no i meant we flew over SFB into MCO. Sorry for the confusion. I don't think it is in all honesty. I might be going back to Florida in a couple of months and will fly Virgin's PE offering and see how they stack up. I think Etihad Economy > BA WTP. And that says it all.


User currently offlineFlyingFan18 From United States of America, joined Apr 2012, 88 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 1 month 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 8136 times:

Quoting baldwin471 (Reply 6):

Whoop my bad I didn’t get you there… haha! I think it says a lot when Eithad Economy is over BA’s premium economy cabin. I feel as if BA’s Business cabin is some other airlines premium economy cabins minus the lie flat seats. I would love to see BA with there current upgraded First Class, 2-2-2 BusinessClass or 2-3-2 JAL style, 2-4-2 improved Premium Economy cabin and a 3-3-3 updated Economy cabin with bigger TVs in all classes. I think BA started just needs to finish updating there fleet.


User currently offlinebaldwin471 From UK - England, joined Mar 2012, 306 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (2 years 1 month 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 8015 times:

Quoting FlyingFan18 (Reply 7):

Indeed. The cabin feels very dated. And this is an updated WTP cabin we are talking about. BA tell me they have no plans to upgrade their 4 class 777's WTP cabins and i think this is a mistake. I know they've lost my money on the next trip to Virgin. Even upgrading the IFE would be enough. The screen is like 5 inches which isn't good enough. Etihad and other Gulf carriers are all 10.1 inch in economy!


User currently offlinebastew From Australia, joined Sep 2006, 1028 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (2 years 1 month 6 days ago) and read 7515 times:

Hey Alex,

Cool trip report!

18 of the current 4 class 777-200's are being refitted with the new WTP cabin and updated Thales IFE. You'll be happy to know the screens are much bigger...in both WT and WTP  

Unfortunately you will unlikely see these birds ex LGW though. LGW also seems to get the latest products last.


User currently offlinePatagon From Chile, joined Aug 2011, 32 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (2 years 1 month 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 7033 times:

Hi Alex,
Thanks for your trip report, specially for sharing the pictures of the wedding and the pets.


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6824 posts, RR: 77
Reply 11, posted (2 years 1 month 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 6522 times:

Hi Alex,

interesting first report, good decision to join us here! It was about time to try the 777 which is a class of its own.

Don't forget to incluce meal pictures next time.  


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinebaldwin471 From UK - England, joined Mar 2012, 306 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (2 years 1 month 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 6285 times:

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 11):

Don't forget to incluce meal pictures next time.  

Like i said, i didn't have any of the meals  


User currently offlineEIRules From Ireland, joined Aug 2007, 797 posts, RR: 10
Reply 13, posted (2 years 1 month 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 5344 times:

Hey

Nice trip report. You experience mirrors my recent flights in WT+ with BA to SFO and LAS. The IFE was very dated with a tiny screen and a rather limited choice. The main meal was pretty good, the entree is from Club World, but on both flights the second "meal" was very poor. Both of these flights were in excess of 9 hours and on one we got a muffin and a yoghurt for breakfast and another it was a chicken mayo sandwich while the drink runs on both were poor. I was pretty disappointed and overall (when I exclude the extra legroom which was very nice), the experience was below economy with SQ or LX



Next Flights: EI DUB-LHR A320, BA LHR-SFO B744, UA SFO-LAS A320, BA LAS-LHR B744, EI LHR-DUB A320
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