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Destination Washington - BA World Traveller Plus  
User currently offlineClassicLover From Ireland, joined Mar 2004, 4656 posts, RR: 23
Posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 13340 times:

It was time to head off to Washington DC to visit some friends and to enjoy the city for a while, so I made a booking with British Airways - and decided to pay the extra €200 or so to fly in World Traveller Plus. This is the first part of the trip.

British Airways
BA5952 - DUB-LHR (Operated by Aer Lingus)
4 October 2012
Airbus A320 - EI-DEN - St. Kieran
Seat: Economy 6A
Departure: 06:40
Arrival: 08:05


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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Mats Salder



When I woke at 3:45am, I snoozed my phone and it didn't even cross my mind that I was going to be travelling that day - I was that tired! When it went off again minutes later, I remembered why it was still dark and got myself up and ready to go. I finished my last minute packing and wandered down the road to the cab rank and took a taxi to the airport. I always enjoy the drive at that time of the morning, as most of the city was asleep.

On arrival at Dublin Airport about 5:15am, I took note of the large queues of passengers at the Aer Lingus area waiting to check-in for their flights. I hold a Gold Circle card (Aer Lingus' Frequent Flyer programme) so I took myself to the Gold Circle/Business Class desk. After a 30 second wait, I was seen by a very friendly agent who gave me boarding passes for both this flight and my flight to Washington, and tagged my bag all the way through. I was also advised that upon arrival at Heathrow, I should stay on board as the transfer passengers would leave through the rear door to the transfer bus. I already knew this, but it was great to see that it was communicated effectively.

Another benefit of holding a Gold Circle card is Fast-Track Security in Dublin, so I was straight through and immediately took myself to the Gold Circle Lounge. It was completely packed full of people, but I found a seat and got myself some fruit salad to snack on while I waited. Right next to me out the window was the gorgeous Aer Lingus retro jet, which I hoped to be on.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d55/ClassicLover/P1060068.jpg

Alas, it wasn't to be, unfortunately! Beside me was the selection of food and drink.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d55/ClassicLover/P1060067.jpg

Upstairs, there is a smaller version of the same thing.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d55/ClassicLover/P1060071.jpg

I always notice that the lounge toilets have a large aiming space  http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d55/ClassicLover/P1060072.jpg

After a short while, it was time to go to gate 409.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d55/ClassicLover/P1060073.jpg

You can see from the next shot that this is the area where you go downstairs for US pre-clearance if you're flying directly from Dublin. Unfortunately, I wouldn't get to do this as I was going via Heathrow.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d55/ClassicLover/P1060074.jpg

Boarding was called and I was first on the aircraft. Throughout boarding there were many announcements advising people stowing their cabin baggage to step in from the aisles, and that it was a busy flight this morning so please stow coats and small bags under the seat in front.

The view from 6A where I was seated...

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d55/ClassicLover/P1060075.jpg

Okay, so how about some proper views then?

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d55/ClassicLover/P1060076.jpg



Of course, as anyone who has read my Trip Reports before would know, I never fly Aer Lingus in the morning without having the breakfast. This time I noted the potato portion had morphed into something new. Quite fine though!

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d55/ClassicLover/P1060080.jpg

We arrived on time. After waiting for all the Heathrow passengers to disembark, it was down the back stairs and over to the bus. Not without a photo though!

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d55/ClassicLover/P1060081.jpg

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d55/ClassicLover/P1060083.jpg

... and what's this?

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d55/ClassicLover/P1060082.jpg

Anyway, we arrived at Flight Connections central, and onto another bus to Terminal 5. Through Passport control (where the agent was surprised I had an Australian passport and a mostly Irish accent!) and through security again into Terminal 5.

British Airways
BA217 - LHR-IAD
4 October 2012
Boeing 747-438 - G-BNLN
Seat: World Traveller Plus seat 29A
Departure: 10:45
Arrival: 13:30


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Andrew Hunt - AirTeamImages



Once through security, I basically waited near the lifts at a departure board waiting for my gate to come up. As soon as gate B35 popped up onto the board, it was into the lift for me and onto the transfer train, up another lift and I sat near the gate.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d55/ClassicLover/P1060086.jpg

Of course, Terminal 5 has great viewing so I was able to eyeball my aircraft prior to boarding.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d55/ClassicLover/P1060085.jpg

Boarding was a bit strange. They pre-boarded people with children and while they were doing so, they advised all First Class passengers to go back to the lounge on an individual basis. Club World passengers were also told they would be boarding after Economy on this flight.

Anyway, general boarding was announced and as it was a flight to the USA, there was additional security provided by G4S. They looked over the boarding pass and Passport after the agent had scanned it. Myself and the gate agent had a bit of banter about the strangeness of the World Traveller and World Traveller Plus cabins boarding first.

Down I went towards the aircraft and I was selected for additional security. It didn't take long for the guy to go through my very lightly loaded cabin bag, and then frisk me and wish me a pleasant flight. Straight on board to seat 29A which is hands down one of the best two seats in World Traveller Plus (the other is 29K). It is the window seat here, and apologies for the blur as I was rushing the picture not to look too geeky!  http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d55/ClassicLover/P1060089.jpg

You will note I am standing directly in front of the seat as there is no seat in front (there is in front of the B seat). The view from the seat looks like this.



That blue shelf part is the B seat in front extending sideways. I have sat in that seat before (it's a single) and it's not great due to the fact that you can't see out as there is no window next to it. The seat pockets are in the wall like this.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d55/ClassicLover/P1060090.jpg

A view of the cabin from my seat.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d55/ClassicLover/P1060095.jpg

The view out of my window at the gate.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d55/ClassicLover/P1060087.jpg

The drink holder, though I didn't need it for reasons which I will explain later.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d55/ClassicLover/P1060094.jpg

The cabin crew were very friendly and chatty, which was a delight. While I was sitting down I was offered a newspaper which was quite welcome since I was first on board and it promised to be a while until we were in the air.

There had been a configuation swap on this flight, so everyone's seats were reassigned a week or two before the flight. I got the e-mail, logged in and of course selected the vacant exit row seat, which was another €20 or so on top of what I had already paid for seating. The guy sitting next to me was upset that his friend wasn't sitting next to him, and he was chatting to the poor guy in the seat behind him saying that was his friends original seat and generally moaning about the fact they weren't sitting together.

He was quite nice though and got chatting to me - his friend had the seat next to him free, so I said the crew wouldn't have a problem with him moving, as I'd done this before. He got confirmation from the cabin crew that this was okay, but as he didn't do this until we were on the move, he had to wait until after takeoff. That didn't bother me - I had extra space and could use the seat and tray next to me for my stuff! Happy days!

US Customers and Immigration Cards were handed out prior to take off, then we had the safety demonstration (the crew took out my PTV for me). While waiting for take off, we found out why the First Class passengers had boarded last and why we were delayed about 20-30 minutes - the system that moves the seats in First had broken and they were fixing it. It was successful it seems, and we eventually took off after a small 5 aircraft queue to depart.

World Traveller Plus has been enhanced and now includes a choice of main which comes from the Club World cabin, probably to match the Qantas Premium Economy service which BA and QF codeshare on to Australia.

Menus are distributed and look like this.



In flight of course, the lighting changes...



Plus the wing flexes upwards to cut off some of the view through the somewhat scratched window  

Noise cancelling headphones are found on each seat when you board. I was to find out that yet again I had a pair of headphones where only one side worked. Luckily, I got to use my former seatmates pair which were working perfectly.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d55/ClassicLover/P1060100.jpg

You also get an amenity kit! Which seems to contain a pen! Something everyone is always running around looking for to fill in the immigration cards and never seems to have.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d55/ClassicLover/P1060101.jpg

Drinks service commenced and I chose red wine as I planned to have the beef dish later. There was a choice of two red wines and I chose the Cabernet Sauvignon as I always do.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d55/ClassicLover/P1060097.jpg

Of course, the inflight entertainment had been switched on by this time, so I was able to pick a movie.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d55/ClassicLover/P1060098.jpg

I thought the selection was pretty poor to be quite blunt. However, once I looked more closely there were things I didn't mind seeing. In the end I watched American Pie Reunion which was okay, Magic Mike which had lots of eye candy, an episode of Gordon Ramsay Behind Bars, and then an episode of Modern Family. Clearly I don't sleep on board!

In addition to the Safety Card there is a folder about World Traveller Plus and how to work the seat. This is similar to the other classes above World Traveller Plus.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d55/ClassicLover/P1060112.jpg

Soon, the trolley came around for our lunch service.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d55/ClassicLover/P1060104.jpg

The starter was a Greek gemelli herb salad. The main was a choice of Hereford fillet of beef with chestnut mushroom sauce, potatoes au gratin, roasted squash, fine beans and sugar snap peas or Seabass with lemon butter sauce, saffron turned potatoes, mint pea puree and roasted cherry tomato. I chose the beef of course. Dessert was Pear belle Helene - basically a chocolate mousse with some pear in it.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d55/ClassicLover/P1060107.jpg

Once I took off the cover, I saw this.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d55/ClassicLover/P1060108.jpg

Of course, I wondered why the chestnut mushroom sauce was presented in a little foil pot and guessed that some people probably don't like mushrooms so it let them choose whether to have it or not. As I eat virtually everything, it was poured over the meat quick smart!

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d55/ClassicLover/P1060109.jpg

The cutlery was all metal which is great. I found the knife very unsuited to cutting through such a thick portion of meat, but eventually got more adept at it and demolished the entire meal. British Airways food has improved so much over the past year or two, so it's always delicious.

During the flight (or, during my movie viewing), I went back to the galley several times. They had trays of orange juice, cranberry juice, apple juice and water for people to take as they wished. I had about 8 glasses through the flight, probably annoying people no end with my getting up and down. That said, I was taking two at a time and once three!

Afternoon tea was served about an hour before landing and I chose the chicken salad sandwich and some tea.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d55/ClassicLover/P1060111.jpg

We landed at Dulles and proceeded to our gate.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d55/ClassicLover/P1060114.jpg

These views are kind of iconic as I had never been to Dulles before, and the airport was featured pretty prominently in Airport 1975, Airport 79: The Concorde and to a lesser extent in Airport '77.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d55/ClassicLover/P1060116.jpg

I was disappointed we were hooked up to a gate as I had heard international arrivals were supposed to get in the "plane mates" / mobile lounges to the International Arrivals Building. Happily, we went off the aircraft, into the terminal, down some stairs and we were on one! Happy days! These machines were also featured in the aforementioned movies so I was kinda thrilled to be on one. On the way, we passed an Air France A380 and, happily, an Ethiopian 787.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d55/ClassicLover/P1060117.jpg

I was one of the first off the plane mate, and only one person had arrived at each customs and immigration agent before me so I only had to wait a minute before I was seen and got to do (once more) my four fingers right hand, thumb right hand, four fingers left hand, thumb left hand on the scanner before being let through to baggage claim.

Dulles airport is retro to the max! I absolutely love how all the signage is consistant and in an old 1970s style font. I thought it was gorgeous that it hadn't been modernised to death (there were FIDS of course). I got the bus and off I went to Washington DC.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d55/ClassicLover/P1060118.jpg

I have no complaints with World Traveller Plus at all. The service from the Cabin Crew was very good, the food was quite delicious as I've come to expect from BA lately, and everything was as it should have been. I am looking forward to doing it all again when I go home in a few days time. That will be from Miami though!

I hope you enjoyed the report! Keep an eye out - there should be a few more from me in the next couple of weeks, including some on American Airlines. Please feel free to comment  


I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
8 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinejwhite9185 From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 1371 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 13095 times:

Great report there. I was especially interested as I'm doing the same flight to IAD in WTP next April. Also looking forward to your following reports from AA as I've got a few flights with them booked too!


A300,A319,A320,A321,A333,A343,A346,A388,732,733,734,735,738,741,742,744,752,763,772,77W,788,Q400,DC10,E145,E170,E175,E19
User currently offlineba319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8578 posts, RR: 54
Reply 2, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 12527 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Nice report and pictures, thanks for sharing.

It's been a few years since I've flown BA's WTP, looks like the catering has improved, your meal looked pretty darn good.

I've a few WTP flights in the months ahead, I'd planned to upgrade these to JCL but am now thinking it's not worth it, let's see.

Quoting ClassicLover (Thread starter):
Boarding was a bit strange. They pre-boarded people with children and while they were doing so, they advised all First Class passengers to go back to the lounge on an individual basis. Club World passengers were also told they would be boarding after Economy on this flight.

- Odd, not seen that before.

Good stuff!

Cheers

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 offlineCV990A From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 1425 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 12337 times:

Great report- thanks. I'm flying IAD-LHR in WTP in December- have done it before, and it has always been worth the extra money. And of course, now I can't wait for my trip!

Regards.



Kittens Give Morbo Gas
User currently offlineClassicLover From Ireland, joined Mar 2004, 4656 posts, RR: 23
Reply 4, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 12070 times:

Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 1):
Great report there. I was especially interested as I'm doing the same flight to IAD in WTP next April.

You'll have a ball! Just remember, when you get off the aircraft and into the plane mate, make sure you stay right up the front. I got on and stayed where I was - which means you're first off and straight through customs and immigration. You still have to wait for a bag, but I find that so much easier than waiting in the Passport line with all its extra stress.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 2):
It's been a few years since I've flown BA's WTP, looks like the catering has improved, your meal looked pretty darn good.

Catering is head and shoulders above where it was. It used to be a straight Economy meal - the Club main makes a massive difference really. It's also quite well presented.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 2):
I've a few WTP flights in the months ahead, I'd planned to upgrade these to JCL but am now thinking it's not worth it, let's see.

I'd give it a go, Mark. If you're on a 777-300ER with the new product, you'd be mad not to try it. If you have the old style Traveller Plus like I did, it's worth giving it a go and then seeing if you want to upgrade from there. To be honest, on a 7 or 8 hour flight in daylight, I'd probably not upgrade. On an overnight or longer flight, I probably would.

Quoting CV990A (Reply 3):
And of course, now I can't wait for my trip!

Awesome! You will have a ball - I expect a trip report of course!  

Thanks for the comments guys!



I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 16
Reply 5, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 10622 times:

Hello

Great TR from over the pond! BA WTP looks to be nice and comfy way to travel!

Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlinesteve6666 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 425 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 9335 times:

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 2):
Quoting ClassicLover (Thread starter):
Boarding was a bit strange. They pre-boarded people with children and while they were doing so, they advised all First Class passengers to go back to the lounge on an individual basis. Club World passengers were also told they would be boarding after Economy on this flight.

- Odd, not seen that before.

I have. Basically the aircraft was still being cleaned while they were boarding, and for whatever reason they cleaned WT and WTP before Club World and First. Which was almost as impressive as the day they unloaded all the WT and WTP bags but left the crates with the baggage of the F and J passengers on the plane until we went and moaned...
Both Delhi flights.



eu nasci ha dez mil anos atras, e nao tem nada nesse mundo que eu nao saiba demais
User currently offline817Dreamliiner From Montserrat, joined Jul 2008, 2556 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 9082 times:

Great trip report!

I had the opportunity to fly WTP on my recent trip to LGW from ANU because of an upgrade, but eventually got upgraded again to J class while boarding. But looking at the food options from your trip gives me a reason to look forward to WTP if I ever get upgraded again that is. Thanks for sharing your report.



Reality be Rent. Synapse, break! Vanishment, This World!
User currently onlineadamspotter From Netherlands, joined Feb 2011, 1169 posts, RR: 12
Reply 8, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 8484 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Nice report, thanks for sharing!
BA WTP looks quite nice, the food looks delicious!

Quoting ClassicLover (Thread starter):
Okay, so how about some proper views then?

Beautiful sunrise

Quoting ClassicLover (Thread starter):
Noise cancelling headphones are found on each seat when you board

Those are some nice headphones for Y+, well done BA!

cheers,

Brendan


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