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Flying Long Haul With British Airways (With Video)  
User currently offlinecambridgeflyer1 From UK - England, joined Jun 2012, 40 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 9599 times:

Firstly, I'd like to apologise for the lack of photos! I know it's less interesting to read but my laptop has decided not to play ball! I have included some videos which hopefully makes up for it.

I wanted to get some more traveling in before I headed off to university so thought it would be a perfect idea to travel from Vancouver to San Diego, stopping at all the attractions and cities in between. As far as I was aware, I had 3 choices Virgin had just started their LHR-YVR route but using the A340-300 so the chances of AVOD would be very slim. I would have to fly back from LAX if I wanted a direct flight, the same went for the United/Air Canada option. So I decided to fly BA, flying out on BA87 which would be operated by a 744 and back on BA272 operated by the 77E, which would be my first BA T7!

I arrived with plenty of time to check in at the airport, my plan was to try and use my silver exec club card as a bribe to be upgraded as I wanted to keep my miles for future flights. Although the check in agent said the flight was relatively quiet he would not upgrade me to club for less than £600, not bad if you consider the price you’d pay for a ticket in the first place, but I couldn’t bring myself to spend it, especially with 3 and a half weeks in The States ahead.

The gate was called which was in T5b. After walking to the gate I noticed my plane was the furthest away on one of the really long air bridges, I could see that it was G-BNLX which didn’t have the new first class cabin in, which surprised me, I thought all the 744’s had the new cabin.

25th September 2012
BA87
G-BNLX
31A

Of course after my last long haul flight being on an Emirates A380 I wasn’t expecting much of the old bird, but I was horrified at what I did get. I took my seat and had a look around my area, this bird looked like she had just come out of long term storage, which I thought could be possible, but after checking air fleets I discovered that wasn’t the case. The seat was dirty, the PTV had grime all over it, the window shade was dirty and what disgusted me most was the dust and dirt all over the overhead lights and panel, it was horrible. I suppose its what you get from a plane that first flew in 1992 and was probably last updated in 2000.

We took off from 27L and immediately banked to the right just before flying over the M25.

Take off video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJ3zcs-OOkA

As we gained altitude the FA came on the mic and said she would be turning on the AVOD IFE, great I thought. I had already lined up some films I wanted to watch. But whilst everyone else on the plane was looking through the menu on the IFE seat 31 A, B & C had the old play through tape system, one of the reasons I chose not to fly Virgin to YVR! After the meal service I told the FA of our problem and she said she would reset it and not to touch the system for 10 minutes, 20 minutes passed and she came back and asked if it had worked, no was the answer. She went back to try again and it worked straight away this time, something tells me she forgot the first time. So I got my AVOD but by this time we were over Greenland and I was taking photos of the landscape.

About an hour before landing we got served a snack and another drink service before descending into Vancouver, the surrounding mountains looked beautiful as we approached and finished our 9 hour flight.

Landing video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGD7Keqcypw

It took us a good hour and a half to pass through security which added to a relatively annoying journey.

I thought I would include this video of the sea plane flight I took from Vancouver, it was such an incredible experience. Especially being able to sit in the cockpit!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-M0OLuoWWY

After a fantastic time on the west coast it was time to fly home from San Diego, a route which BA had only re-introduced quite recently. Check in was painless and quick and so was security where they had the full body scanners. Through security there was nothing, no duty free and barely any shops, which was quite funny and I had found the BA terminal at LAX had nothing as well, strange for large American airports!

I sat down and looked at what aircraft would be taking me home on flightradar24 and saw it would be G-YMMS, one of the newer BA 77E’s.

19th October 2012
BA272
G-YMMS
24K

Although unfortunately this plane didn’t have the new economy you could clearly tell she only first flew in 2009, the cabin was clean and the whole 777 looked really nice and fresh inside, a huge improvement from the flight out.

On this flight I noticed when the meal service started the cabin crew just started in the WT+ cabin and worked their way through, so nothing extra for the premium passengers. Also the ‘amenity kits’ have changed on BA now, you only get toothpaste and a toothbrush and have to ask for socks and eyeshades, I thought they’d do it the other way round? On both flights they had no eyeshades, which clearly didn’t affect me as I woke up as we had just flown over Iceland. Perfect timing for breakfast service! BA have taken one out of Emirates book by serving the the snack boxes from the same company which I found to be really good.

We approached Heathrow from over central London, so it was clear that we would be landing on one of the 27 runways. After seeing all the typical London sights we began our final approach to 27L and the pilot pulled off a nice landing.

Landing video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6E_rM28XGM

I did send BA a letter of complaint for the outbound flight and got an apology back, they assured me they are improving the cabins on the 747’s which I highly doubt since their days are numbered. I will still fly British Airways after my bad experience but less religiously as I have done in the past for the air miles. They have a lot to do to start thinking about being compared to airlines such as Emirates, Cathay & Qatar.

Thanks for reading,

Jamie

7 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinelychemsa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1273 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (2 years 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 8813 times:

Flying BA for Air Miles is really not worth it for me for trips to Europe.

BA charge $600 for a "Free Award" (joke joke) ticket from New York to Europe Y roundtrip. This compares to about $100 on a UNITED award or $300 on American.

Clearly UNITED have the best award program.


User currently offlineTurkishWings From United States of America, joined May 2006, 1453 posts, RR: 8
Reply 2, posted (2 years 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 7441 times:

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 1):
Flying BA for Air Miles is really not worth it for me for trips to Europe.

Same within Europe. I wanted to travel IST-LHR with my miles but they quote over EUR 150 in taxes. I can easily get a return Y ticket on the route for about EUR 200 during low season. So I booked a hotel room instead  



Coffee - Tea or Me?
User currently offlinejwhite9185 From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 1405 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (2 years 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 7314 times:

Quoting TurkishWings (Reply 2):
Same within Europe. I wanted to travel IST-LHR with my miles but they quote over EUR 150 in taxes. I can easily get a return Y ticket on the route for about EUR 200 during low season. So I booked a hotel room instead

Does IST not fall into the reward saver zone then?

I booked flights to Paris and Manchester with Avios for £13.50 each.



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User currently offlineTurkishWings From United States of America, joined May 2006, 1453 posts, RR: 8
Reply 4, posted (2 years 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 6743 times:

Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 3):
Does IST not fall into the reward saver zone then?

I booked flights to Paris and Manchester with Avios for £13.50 each.

I guess it doesn't as when I checked a few months ago, they quoted me around EUR 165 in taxes. I would have been on my way to London shortly if they did  

Free hotel room was quite nice too actually... I saved over EUR 180...



Coffee - Tea or Me?
User currently offlinecambridgeflyer1 From UK - England, joined Jun 2012, 40 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (2 years 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 5266 times:

Avios can be good for flights, depending on what you want though. Got to look out for the deals. I have also found them good for day trips in London.

User currently offlineEuan From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2008, 22 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (2 years 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 5233 times:

LHR-IST is within the Reward Saver flights and always has been. The cost is 10,000 miles and £15 per person one-way in economy.

[Edited 2012-12-18 08:09:43]

User currently offlineRatypus From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2004, 177 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 5173 times:

Avios are also a reasonably useful/cheap way of upgrading to higher fare cabin classes, or booking a reward flight (paying taxes/charges only) into a higher fare class than usual, rather than using them to book reward flights in Y...for example, using some extra Avois to then pay charges of 300-400 GBP to fly to JFK in business actually makes some sense, whereas using basic Avois and still paying 300 GBP to fly in economy is a bit of a waste....

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