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CO SFO-CLE-LGW First/Bizfirst (long)  
User currently offlineLuv767s From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 271 posts, RR: 0
Posted (12 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 4800 times:

Date: 8/30/03
Airline: Continental
Flight number: CO 254
Departure: SFO 9:25am
Arrival: CLE 4:58pm
Flight time: 3:58
Equipment: 737-800 (N73270) Mid-cabin lavatory version
Cabin: First 2E/2F

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Photo © Joe Pries - A.T. TEAM

This was the first of three flights that we were taking to get to Nice, France for vacation. Only the first two were on CO however. We arrived at SFO about 1.5 hours prior to our flight time because of the international check-in, which took about the same amount of time as any ordinary check-in. After we got our boarding passes, we proceeded to the President’s Club, which at SFO is not within security…it’s practically next to the ticket counters. Anyway, it was quite empty and we watched the news and ate muffins and bagels. We left the President’s Club about 40 minutes before our flight time and the security line was outrageously long. In fact, I’ve never seen it so long at that terminal. Anyway, thankfully they had a First Class line which saved out butts because we would have been cutting it short had we had to wait in line with everyone else. Our 738 to CLE left out of gate 36 and we immediately boarded with the First/Elite boarding. We left the gate on time and took off towards the bay on rwy 1R. The flight was enjoyable and made a beeline across the country to CLE. The meal was not breakfast which I thought was weird since we left at 9:30am. Other CO flights I’ve had around the same time out of Houston were breakfast flights. Anyway, after the warm towels, drinks, and nuts, we were served beef soup with our choice of shrimp Caesar salad or turkey sandwich finished off with a Ghiradelli chocolate. I don’t remember what the movie was but I know it wasn’t that great…I didn’t watch it. About 1.5 left to go we had the usual chocolate chip cookie which I look forward to every time I fly CO domestic first. We landed early… 3 hours and 58 minutes later at 4:33pm on rwy 10. We parked at gate C 24 and that was the end of the first leg of our trip.

The President’s Club in CLE was really empty and is much nicer than most of the other President’s Clubs we’ve been to. Anyway we had 3 hours to kill until our flight to London Gatwick. So we made calls to friends and family and watched planes for a while and watched TV in the lounge. We left the President’s Club at about 6:30pm an hour before our flight was to leave out of gate C5

Date: 8/30/03
Airline: Continental
Flight number: CO 66
Departure: CLE 7:30pm
Arrival: LGW 7:45am
Flight time: 6:42
Equipment: 757-200 (N41135) International version
Cabin: BusinessFirst 3E/3F

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Photo © Garry Lewis

This flight was quite nice, but a little bumpy for the first half. This was the first time we had flown BusinessFirst on a 752, and it did not disappoint. We boarded with the other 7 people in BusinessFirst and they checked our names against a list along with our passports before entering the jetway. We found our seats in row 3 and were surprised at how empty the cabin was. There were only 9out of 16 people in the Bizfirst cabin. We had rows 3 and 4 to ourselves….it was great. Shortly after stowing our crap and getting seated we were welcomed and introduced to the concierge from CLE, and she made sure that we had all our affairs in order once we got to Gatwick. She offered us passes and made reservations for us at the Bizfirst shower lounge in Gatwick along with Fastpass passes to clear customs quickly. Then the service manager for the flight introduced himself and let us know the details of our flight, service, video monitors, menus, and amenity kits.

We left the gate on time at 7:30pm and proceeded to rwy 6R. Shortly after take off the overhead video monitors came down and showed the airshow the entire time. I assume that the coach cabin got movies, but ours only ever showed the airshow. The seats in this Bizfirst cabin were not the same as the ones on the 767s. I think they are similar to the ones on the DC-10s but I’m not sure. The PTVs popped out of the middle part instead of sliding/swinging out from the front of the section between the seats. Anyway, they served dinner for about the next the 1.25 hours. The shear amount of food was incredible. We were very impressed with the quality of the food. Since there were so few people in our cabin we were offered tons of food and seconds of most of the courses. Here’s the rundown of the menu:

To Begin: warm roasted nuts with beverage
Appetizer Cart: -smoked salmon with cream cheese and caviar
-fois gras with truffles with red grapes and oranges
Salad: Mesclun salad mix with English cucumbers, red onion rings, Roma tomatoes and a Kalamata olive
Main Course: -chef’s selection grilled rib-eye
-surf and turf – grilled shrimp and beef tenderloin
-herbed breast of chicken with basmati rice (this is what we had)
-pasta bowl – vegetable lasagna with goat cheese
Fruit and Cheese: various cheeses with fruit, crackers, bread, and Port wine
Dessert Cart: -Mark Alexander Country fresh vanilla ice cream
-warm blueberry cobbler with vanilla ice cream

The service manager let me know every time he was going to start the movies for Bizfirst and selections were not that great. Most of the stuff I never heard of. But during dinner we watched “Identity” which was good and grisly. The movies were not edited like airline movies usually are. They had bad language and gory scenes and everything. After the movie was done we tried to get some sleep, but I couldn’t sleep at all. I think my coffee was not decaf or something. So I just rested for a while until the next round of movies. I watched “Anger Management” which was good, and I was the only person awake in the front cabin besides the flight attendants. When that movie finished we still had a few hours to go and I still could not sleep. So I looked out the window to see if I could see other planes crossing the pond, but didn’t see any. I finally saw Mars for the first time since it’s been so close to Earth. Living in the Bay Area we don’t see the sky from about 7pm until 10am the next morning. So that was a nice touch. Other than that I watched airshow and watched the sun rise on the same side of the plane that it rose, which was kind off odd. Once it was quite light out at about 6:00am we had breakfast before we landed. We had croissants, sticky cinnamon rolls, fruit, juice, coffee. After breakfast we had the immigration forms passed out to us, we landed on time at 7:26am on rwy 26L. We parked at gate 12 in the South Terminal at LGW and were the first people off the plane. The concierge for LGW met us in the jetway and made sure we knew what we were doing to get to the shower lounge and everything. Then we proceeded to the Fastpass immigration line which had no one in it. So the passes actually paid off. However, we waited for at least 45 minutes before our bags came out and it was mass confusion/anger because I guess Servisair who manages the baggage and stuff was under staffed or something. There were only about 10 other flights in at the same time and most of them were charter flights from all over Europe. Anyway, after we got our bags and went into the terminal we found the Businessfirst arrival lounge which is one floor down from the arrivals hall next to the US Airways lounge. This lounge had the look of a President’s Club with similar self serve food and beverages and very little seating (for maybe 10 people). There were about 10 shower rooms, which were quite large and look like very modern hotel bathrooms. They had suit press services, towels, American electrical outlets and everything. It was great since we hadn’t showered since 5:30am the day before in California. We left the lounge around 9:30am and went back upstairs to the terminal to check-in for our flight to Nice, which was a whole different ordeal and deserving of its own trip report. Overall, this pair of flights was very nice. The cabin and ground staffs were very nice and the flights themselves were very enjoyable.  Big thumbs up

-"...never have I been a blue calm sea, I have always been a storm"
9 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineN766UA From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 8733 posts, RR: 23
Reply 1, posted (12 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 4649 times:

I'm glad someone finally posted about the CLE-LGW flight. I'm glad it was a good one!

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User currently offlineFrequentFlyKid From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1206 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (12 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 4635 times:

Runway 10 at CLE is a very unusual runway to use. I've flown in and out of there dozens of times and have never seen or used that runway for departures or arrivals.

User currently offlineN766UA From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 8733 posts, RR: 23
Reply 3, posted (12 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 4633 times:

10/28 is used when there is adverse winds, 28 being used more often than 10. UPS uses 10 every night, though, because it's so close to their ramp.

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User currently offline9V-SVC From Singapore, joined Oct 2001, 1805 posts, RR: 9
Reply 4, posted (12 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 4530 times:

Flying a 757-200 across the alantic pond is definately not my cup of tea . I prefer to fly widebodies for flights longer then 4 hours . Anyway ,Good trip report .

Airliners is the wings of my life.
User currently offlineDoorsToManual From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (12 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 4515 times:

Nice report, thanks for writing it.

As I haven't flown 757s longhaul, I'm curious to know whether you thought it was different to flying a widebody aircraft, or whether you thought it was the same.

Looking forward to your trip report to NCE.


User currently offlineN766UA From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 8733 posts, RR: 23
Reply 6, posted (12 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 4415 times:

I prefer to fly widebodies for flights longer then 4 hours

Good thing you don't live in the US. All coast to coast flights are at least 5 hours and the majority are on 737s, 757s, and the like.

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User currently offlineSR 103 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1748 posts, RR: 37
Reply 7, posted (12 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4390 times:

Great Report. The movie from SFO to CLE was probably, "The Last Brick maker in America." At least that is what I had on my flight. I flew out of SFO on the same day as you, but flew AS to LAX and CO onwards to CO / KMCO), USA - Florida">MCO from there. Any comment on that Turkey/Swiss Cheese/Guacamole sandwich? I found it unusual to say the least, but tastey non-the less.

SR 103

User currently offlineLuv767s From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 271 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (12 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 4352 times:


I found the 757 to be very nice, but we were up front in an empty bizifrst cabin, so it felt very private...what I imagine the privatair BBJs to be like. Generally I don't like any aircraft for long haul that has 3 across seating. I prefer the widebodies that have 2 seats together. In the event we are on a 777 with 3-3-3, we sit in the very last row where it's 2-3-2. But would I fly a 757 across the pond in bizfirst again? yes. In coach? no.

SR 103

I had the shrimp caesar and didn't have the turkey sandwich. My partner had it and commented on how different but how good it was too. That movie doesn't sound familiar, and if you flew through IAH then it would've been a different one. It would've been the same as flights to EWR.

-"...never have I been a blue calm sea, I have always been a storm"
User currently offlineSean-SAN- From United States of America, joined Aug 2002, 801 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (12 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 4329 times:

The sandwich is the same one I had SAN-IAH.. it's tasty, but very heavy.

As for the 757 across the pond, I actually like it (for business class, coach is another story). You have a more intimate cabin, and less stressed out crew.

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