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JFK-LHR-ZRH-LHR-JFK On BA Part 1 Long  
User currently offlineN864DA From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 259 posts, RR: 4
Posted (9 years 10 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 12344 times:

This is part 1 of a lengthy trip I took a year ago roundtrip from New York to Zurich via Heathrow. This is a long and detailed report so hope you enjoy it.

Date: June 10, 2003
Leaving: New York JFK
Arriving: London LHR
Airline: British Airways
Flight: 182
Scheduled Departure: 23:00
Actual Departure: 23:08, takeoff at 23:20
Scheduled Arrival: 11:00
Actual Arrival: 10:35, landing at 10:20
Departure Gate: 5
Arrival Gate: 5
Departure Runway: 13L
Arrival Runway: 27L
Seat: 44A
Aircraft: Boeing 747-400
Registration: G-BNLE


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Photo © Konstantin von Wedelstaedt



Arrived at Kennedy airport at 20:38 anticipating heavy delays at check in. Boy was I right. It was almost frightening. I joined the longest line – the one for World Traveler/World Traveler Plus, with flights 1502 (to MAN), 114, and 182 (both to LHR). At the beginning, the line progressed at a snail’s pace (actually slower). However, as the line progressed, things got quicker. I wanted to see if I could use the electronic check in machines. However, I decided it was best to stay on line. It took 1 hour 5 minutes before a nice lady called me over to her check in desk. First, she asked the usual questions about the bags, such as “has this bag been with you at all times?” It sure has. I handed over my passport and she asked whether I had an e-ticket, to which I replied “yes”. I asked whether the flight was full. With a laugh, she pointed to the line I’d just gotten out of. Just making sure. Then, she asked if I had a seat preference. I told her window. Miraculously, she was able to get me some window seats on both flights. I booked the flights a week before this date, so I was willing to take whatever seat they gave me.

My bag was tagged to the final destination, ZRH and I was given two boarding passes. THANK GOD no baggage screening! I proceeded to security. It was 9:50. There was no line, but the detector beeped on me. This time, it was only my jeans and my watch.

Terminal 7 at JFK is very nice, actually much nicer than I’d anticipated. It is modern, clean, and the atmosphere is friendly (a bit like the new T4, but without the “grandness” of it). In front of me was a short escalator to take me to the boarding area. I arrived at the currency exchange place to see if I could get some pounds but the place had just closed. So, I got a magazine over at the newsstand and went over to my gate.

I spotted a UA 767-200 spending the night (N603UA) and in the distance was a Concorde. I took out my binoculars to check the registration, which turned out to be G-BOAG. Unfortunately, this was the only BA Concorde registration I’d previously recorded – I saw this plane back in JFK in May 2002. Also, I saw N603UA on that very day.

The departure area is quite colorful. All the seats are aircraft-style with colored leather padding. I walked over to find a spot where I could see the registration of my aircraft. I couldn’t find it. Boarding at gate 3 was another BA 744, the earlier flight to Heathrow. It was G-BNLA, the first one delivered (Chelsea Rose). So, I went back to the departure area and waited boarding call. Ten minutes later, I saw a line form, so I disconnected/shut off my laptop and joined the end of this line (which had gotten to be pretty long).

About ten minutes of waiting later, I was finally at the front of the line handing over my boarding pass and passport to an agent.

I entered the air-bridge. It is the longest air-bridge I’ve ever been on. Finally, I saw the plane and, upon reaching it, touched the fuselage. Two flight attendants (one male, one female), greeted passengers at the gate. I handed the female one my boarding card and asked for the registration. She asked the FA working the galley to look at the door. She came back stating “BNLE”. That was all I needed to know, so I thanked her and was on my way.

I proceeded to my seat on this very crowded flight. I arrived at seat 44A. This is the same aircraft as some recent airliners.net cabin shots, showing the new interior.

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Photo © Steve Hall


This would be my third time in a row on the 744 (my previous two were with Air France). Seat pitch is, apparently, 31 inches, which would make them more crowded than Swiss’s Airbus A330s, but they seemed about the same. I was able to stow my laptop case under the seat (and it’s a big case) and my camcorder case next to me. The seats are among the most comfortable coach seats I’ve sat in - far and away better than Air France's new interiors.

Each seat has its own PTV. Passengers were just pouring into the last cabin of the 747, as it was where the majority of World Traveler passengers would be seated. I was very happy with my seat. I checked out the IFE system. There were 12 radio channels, a few quite interesting. All the video channels were blank, with the exception of the map channel. A “welcome” message, such as that used on Swiss would be nice.

The flight attendants were helpful in guiding passengers to their seats. While leafing through the “High Life” magazine (BA’s in-light magazine), I found a "planespotting" section. Imagine my surprise! There were details about every aircraft in BA’s fleet with the exception of… The Airbus A319, which was featured as the planespotting plane of the month. I would be flying the A319 the following day, so that was pretty cool.

Pushback was at 23:08. I noticed on my screen that this flight was supposed to get into Heathrow at 10:00, an hour early. That was good news for me connecting, but it would also mean less sleep. When pushback was over, the safety demonstration showed, with a small bit on the bottom left corner of the screen showing a lady doing the demonstration in sign language.

Shortly after, the plane started moving and proceeded over to runway 13L. There was no line for takeoff; we were number 1 (rare at JFK). The plane lined up with the runway and the engines spooled up to full throttle. It took a while to lift off. Immediately after leaving the ground, the plane made a left turn over Long Island. I could see the city lights on this clear New York evening.

The flight path took us over Bridgeport and New Haven, then up towards Boston. It was pretty similar to the Swiss flights from JFK-ZRH. We were climbing pretty fast at a speed of 1000 km/h (50-90 mph tailwinds). When we reached cruising altitude of 35,000 feet, I took out my laptop until the snacks were served. The snacks were some sort of vinegar-flavored peanuts. It sounds a bit weird, but they were good. We were flying over the Gulf of Maine and on to Nova Scotia. The beautiful female flight attendant, in her late 20s/early 30s was very polite, I found and relaxed attitude.

A short time after, dinner was served. The choice was chicken or pasta. The usual choices lingered in my head. “Chicken” I said. I had pasta for dinner back home, so chicken it was. The chicken was served in some sauce, along with string-beans and something; with a salad and some sort of cake on the side. The chicken was quite good and moist. After dinner was cleared, it was a choice of coffee or tea. I took the tea. As I waited for my drink to cool off, I monitored the flight’s progress. As I tasted the drink, it didn’t taste anything like tea. In fact, it tasted like coffee. So, I wanted to return it to the flight attendant in the galley. Trying really hard not to spill the full cup of coffee on my way up above my two seat mates, I made my way over to the galley. Unfortunately, I did spill a bit of the coffee. The flight attendant, upon my handing the coffee to her and saying I ordered the tea (in a polite way), immediately offered me some tea, to which I accepted. Apparently, she’d understood coffee.

The FA came over to my seat with the tea a minute later. That was a definite plus point. I watched the flight slowly progress over Nova Scotia and on towards Newfoundland. At that point, I decided it would be best to sleep, as there were only four hours remaining in the flight. The seats were both comfortable enough and had winged headrests but lacked sufficient legroom for my long legs. Still, the first two were enough for me to fall asleep. I woke up with less than two hours left. Breakfast was served. I believe I had some eggs with some kind of fruit on the side. It was good.

Descent into Heathrow was smooth and I noticed a Singapore Airlines 744 below us on the same flight path. We circled what was presumably the Ockham VOR once and then exited the holding pattern to the approach to 27L. The landing was very good.

During the taxi to Terminal 4, I couldn't help but notice the variety of airlines at this airport. We docked at gate 5 at 10:35, 25 minutes early.

As I was exiting the aircraft, I took some time to check out the Club World seats (it is pretty cool that one seat faces forward while the other faces backward). The flight attendants were saluting every person and off I was to the Flight Connections Centre (FCC). I snapped a shot of the aircraft and a look at the nose gear which confirmed the registration as G-BNLE.

Heathrow airport:
Turns out, gate 5 is at the other end of the terminal. Still, it wasn’t that long of a walk to the area to the bus. The signs were clearly marked. From what I could see, the terminal was very clean. Outside were various 744s and 777s. The line was pretty long, so I didn’t make the first bus to arrive. However, the second one arrived less than a minute later. The bus ride was shorter than I expected. Spotting from there was fine, saw a couple of 767-300s. Arrived at Terminal 1/2 Flight Connections Centre 11 minutes after departing T4. I spotted a LH A300 D-AIAU.

There was a long escalator, which I took up to the customs area. Past there were two long security lines. This took about 15 minutes. At 11:35, I was all done, with no problems. First thing I did was check out the flight displays to see which gate I was due out of. Flight 716 to Zurich didn’t have a gate listed. In fact, none of the flights before did except for those leaving within an hour of the particular time. So, I decided to exchange some currency. I asked one of the airport employees where I could find one. He said there was one at the end of the concourse, which was far, or one right around the corner, but he didn’t know if that one existed. Right around the corner, I found one. There, I found out since I was connecting, I didn’t need any local currency. In fact, every place U.S. dollars would be accepted.

At the time, I was in desperate need of a pen, since I had to write down different registrations. Picked one up for about $4 and was off to do some spotting. The central shopping area at Heathrow is very nice, with lots of shops and places to eat (though there could be more in my opinion). After spending a bit of time resting on the comfortable chairs in this central shopping area (near a flight information screen), it was time to do some spotting.

I found an excellent point, located just right outside of the Europort. There were these very comfortable lounge chairs where one can almost lie down and sleep. Almost as soon as I’d arrived there, someone vacated one of these chairs, so I sat down. First thing to note was that my chair and the ones around it were located in a very quiet area where nobody passes in front, as there is some sort of plants blocking the way. Therefore, the only traffic is those from the chair directly to the left of me. I could almost fall asleep there, but I had an excellent view of planes lining up for takeoff on 27R.

One of the first planes I spotted was the Singapore Airlines 747 I’d seen up in the air. When I zoomed in on its registration, I found out it was 9V-SPL, the plane I’d spent two months trying to catch in ZRH in 2002. I would have loved to see it in the tropical livery it once was in. Other planes of note included several AA and UA 777s, BA 777s and 747s, BMI A320s, a Qantas 744 VH-OJP, and an Aer Lingus A321. The Europort consisted of several BA A319s and A320s and an Icelandair 757 TF-FIV. It was about 12:20 when I arrived there and I was there until almost 1:00. For about five minutes, I waited underneath the flight information screen near where I was spotting to wait for a gate until it finally appeared, which turns out was 17. So, I made my way over to the middle concourse (the longest one), which had gate number 17.

This concourse, located near the central shopping area, looked very dark and ugly. It was also divided into two – odd numbered gates (left side) and even numbered gates (right side) by some sort of wall. As I entered, I saw the ceiling was not covered – a number of pipes and fans covered there. At that point, I was glad they didn’t put the gate number on earlier. It was very depressing just sitting down there. Luckily, my gate was the first one.

Date: June 11, 2003
Leaving: London LHR
Arriving: Zurich
Airline: British Airways
Flight Number: 716
Scheduled Departure: 13:45
Actual Departure: 13:55, takeoff at 14:10
Scheduled Arrival: 16:30
Actual Arrival: 16:17, landing at 16:13
Departure Gate: 17
Arrival Gate: A72
Departure Runway: 27R
Arrival Runway: 14
Seat: 7F
Aircraft: Airbus A319
Registration: G-EUOG


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Photo © William Ronciere



The departure area was very small and was virtually empty. I checked out the registration of the beautiful Airbus standing outside, which turns out to be G-EUOG. This plane was delivered Oct 01. I was anxious to try out BA’s Club Europe product since I’d heard some good things about it. As it was 1:10, boarding would be starting pretty soon. The gate filled up quite quickly and the familiarity of Swiss-German accents filled the hall.

Boarding commenced at around 1:20, whole plane at once. As I entered the aircraft following the customary touch of the fuselage, I was surprised to see the aircraft in an entirely Coach class layout. I found this a bit odd in a premium airline like BA. Still, the seats were in black leather, very classy. They seemed wide enough and were ergonomic. The cabin was in perfect condition.

I took seat 7F, near the beautiful IAE starboard engine. This way I could enjoy the sounds while having a perfect view out the window with no obstruction of the wing. The seat was very comfortable. In-flight entertainment consisted of small LCD screens, similar to the ones on SWISS but no audio channels. This came as a disappointment since I was under the impression the Airbus fleet offered music as part of the entertainment package. Of particular interest were the armrests. They were rounded outwards where the arm reaches its widest points. They look pretty cool, too.


Being parked at the closest gate to the terminal, I couldn’t see any planes from the parked position. Shortly before departure, the purser came on the PA announcing a voluntary survey. As he walked around, I noticed an unusually large number of people actually wanting to take it. That was definitely a good sign, especially as he said we didn’t have to take it. Pushback was at 1:50, the engines started and we started rolling to the runway. I spotted a variety of BA planes, including an A320-100, G-BUSC.

Making way to the runway, I spotted a Cathay Pacific 744 B-HOW and several South African 747s (two 300s and one 400), registrations ZS-SAZ, ZS-SAT, and ZS-SKB. The lattermost plane I flew on many times with Swissair as HB-IGE. I was glad to see S/N 22995 again. Also of note was an SAS MD-90 as well as a Swiss A320 HB-IJS. The LX aircraft was directly behind us and I presumed it was also going to Zurich. The race had just started...

It was a moderate line up for takeoff on 27R, but at 2:10, we were ready to go. The engines spooled up and the aircraft accelerated hard for 40 seconds before lifting off. We were going very fast (maybe the pilot wasn’t using flaps – I couldn’t see from my position) definitely over 180 mph. At that moment, the LCD screens were showing the map program. We turned around southeast bound towards the English Channel and on to France. Climb was very quick and we leveled off at a cruising altitude of 33,000 feet.

The Air-show map program would remain switched on for the entire flight. At this time, I took the time to check out the seatback pocket, which seemed rather empty. There was the in-flight magazine High Life, an airsickness bag, and the safety card. The A319 was featured as the planespotting plane of the month in BA’s in-flight magazine, as I found out on my previous flight from JFK. Anyway, the lunch service (Bistro) would be served. There would be a choice between two sandwiches: egg and turkey. The egg sandwich seemed to be a good idea. When the cart was passed around, I ordered the egg option, very tasty.

I like the A319 a lot – it is both comfortable and quiet. Our flight path took us near Paris, eastern France, and northern Switzerland. The descent was started 15 minutes before landing, or about 90 nm. The descent was indeed rapid with a lot of turns before final for runway 14. It was a clear day, so I could see the beautiful Swiss countryside, little towns, and the many hills that dot the landscape. I found the plane to be very quiet during this point, with just a small buzz from the IAE engines very close to my ears. We made a good touchdown on 14 a bit down the runway and slowed down to the exit point. I spotted an all-white MD-80 at the Midfield terminal (?) a few Jumbolinos and just two minutes after landing, a Swiss A320. Checked out its registration, and it was HB-IJS. We had won the race.

BA had always used Terminal B (or 2 as it is now called) as did every other airline except for SWISS. So, I told my dad to meet me over at Terminal 2. However, a few days before, I saw on the Unique airport website that a BA flight was using Terminal 1, which confused me a bit. Indeed we did park at Terminal 1 at gate A72. The A320 from LHR, HB-IJS parked a minute later at A71, right next to us.

Deplaning was quick and, just on the JFK-LHR leg, the flight attendants standing at the door saluted each passenger. Making my way towards passport control and baggage claim, I reflected a bit about BA and that their in-cabin atmosphere is very relaxed and pleasant, which was a very big plus. Service was very good as was the food. Concourse 1 at Heathrow needs to be renovated as it has a dumpy look to it and is poorly lit. Anyway, there was a bit of a line at passport control and I got the bags rather quickly at baggage claim. My dad, luckily, had found out that BA was using Terminal 1, so he was waiting outside. The Europe leg of my vacation had started with my return trip in 1 ½ months.

Stay tuned for Part 2 which is even longer and more detailed than this one.
Cheers


16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineCOAB767 From Guam, joined Nov 2003, 1377 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (9 years 10 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 12244 times:

Great report

COAB767



Continental Micronesia: "Fly With The Warmth Of Paradise"
User currently offlineN864DA From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 259 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (9 years 10 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 11594 times:

Thanks for the comments. Now on to Part 2...

Date: August 21, 2003
Leaving: Zurich
Arriving: London – LHR
Airline: British Airways
Flight Number: 713
Scheduled Departure: 12:55 pm
Actual Departure: 1:00 pm, takeoff at 1:16
Scheduled Arrival: 2:05 pm
Actual Arrival: 1:53 pm
Departure Gate: A66
Arrival Gate: 146
Departure Runway: 28
Arrival Runway: 27L
Seat: 15A
Aircraft: Boeing 767-300ER
Registration: G-BNWW


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Photo © Michael Catchpole



The end of my vacation in Switzerland was upon me. Actually, I had originally booked to return on July 28th, but I elected to stay an extra three weeks. This required a $200 (272 CHF) change fee. I called BA’s Swiss number and they changed the dates to what I thought was August 21st. However, when I checked my reservation on BA’s website, I found I was down for August 31st! This was a huge misunderstanding that might cost me an additional $200 on top of the original $200. Also, the 31st was too late. My dad and I headed over to the Zurich airport one Saturday to fix this up. The lady at the BA desk at ZRH Terminal 1 was very helpful and friendly. She saw the problem and, despite technically requiring another change fee, she could do it for us as a part of the first change. We paid the 272 CHF right then at the desk (as a part of the first change) and I would be set to go on the day of my departure. The flights: BA713 departing at 12:55 on a Boeing 767-300 and BA115 departing at 16:05 on a Boeing 747-400. Lucky us. Actually, lucky me…

I arrived at Zurich airport with my dad at 11:00, which would give me plenty of time to check in. Lines seemed to be quite long at the SWISS counters, so I figured it was going to be a wait at the BA counters, too. Arrived at the BA counters to find no queue! There were a few passengers already at the desks checking in. The lady behind the Euro Traveler/Business desk summoned us to her desk and I handed over my passport. Asked for my final destination point, to which I responded JFK. I asked if there were any window seats available and she said I was down for window seats on both flights. She handed me my boarding cards for seats 15A and 39A respectively. My two bags were affixed with red “Rapid Transfer LHR” tags.

With about an hour to spare before I needed to go through passport control, I decided spend a bit of time with my dad. We headed up to the closest restaurant, Asia buffet, located above the check in area Terminal 1. Unfortunately, that’s all the view is from up there. I know there’s a restaurant over at Terminal 2 with an excellent view of the planes, but that is a bit far. Anyway, my dad and I spent our final half hour over chicken and rice. It was quite good.

I was hoping to get a World Tails 767 for this flight, since I was unable to on the way coming over. When I checked www.lhr-lgw.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk, I found the planes I would have been on had I chosen to depart as originally scheduled, would have been G-EUOA (ZRH-LHR) and G-CIVZ (LHR-JFK). Neither plane featured a World Tail, though CIVZ was formerly in the Benyhone Tartan scheme. Anyway, my dad and I said our goodbyes at passport control and I joined the (very short) line.

Checked the departure screens and found I’d be leaving from gate A66. These new plasma departure/arrival screens are now all over the place in Terminal 1, which comes in handy as one need not travel far to check out their flight information. I joined the security queue which was, once again, very short. Here in ZRH, the security is thorough and machines are used to their maximum potential. Needless to say, I didn’t need to be checked. The only Swiss MD-11 in the Asia scheme HB-IWN was right in front of me. Next to it was another MD-11, bound for Narita. Next to that, I observed the wavy blue, red, and white scheme that defines British Airway’s new color scheme. No world tail for me. Anyway, the MD-11 for AA), Japan">NRT, as I found out, was HB-IWO. This plane had taken me to ORD in December 2000, one of my best flights ever. Then it dawned to me that these MD-11s wouldn’t be around for long. I bid farewell to one of my favorite planes (MD-11) in the colors of my favorite airline, Swiss.

There were numerous A330s including two I’d flown on before (IQH and IQO) and an Iberia MD-87 bound for Spain. I walked around to do some spotting. At Terminal 2, an Air Canada 767-300 was pushing back and there was a KLM 733 in the new colors. There isn’t much in the way of stores beyond security in Terminal 1 or Terminal 2. There was only a Swiss souvenir shop. All the good shops (duty free, etc) are located after passport control but before security. For some strange reason, access to the latter gates (A81 through A86) was cut off for passengers in the lower gates, meaning that those wanting to connect had to walk all the way to the main part of terminal, take the people movers on the lower level and then clear security for that area there.

I headed back for gate A66 where I noticed a rather long line. The flight had already started boarding. I joined the back of the line and in a surprisingly short period of time (maybe four minutes), I handed over my boarding pass to the agent. As I stepped inside G-BNWW, I touched the fuselage. A flight attendant directed me straight to the right. On the 767-300, there are leather seats in the front part of World Traveler and regular seats in the back. It is all the same class, so I didn’t really understand this. Luckily, I was in 15A, so the seat was leather. I took my seat which was both roomy and comfortable.

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Photo © Christian Waser - Aviapix Zurich/Worldwide


The windows felt cheap and were dirty. Still, I had an excellent view of HB-IWO through the window. I admired this beauty for the entire pre-push back period. The pilot introduced himself, the FO and the cabin crew and said we’d make an on-time departure but the flight to London would take longer than usual. Usually when flights leave on time, they arrive early. We would be arriving on time. At 12:56, HB-IWO began pushback. At 12:59, we pushed back.

The taxi to runway 28 was longish in part due to the fact we were number four for takeoff. The pilot did things a bit differently than what I’m used to (maybe it’s the aircraft procedure). Instead of moving forward at, say, 10 knots and then stopping, he moved along very slowly, at around 1 or 2 knots but without ever stopping. At 1:15, we lined up and began our 25-second takeoff roll. Everything was very smooth and we lifted off into the blue Swiss sky. Tiny Swiss villages dotted the beautiful landscape. We would be cruising at 36,000 feet, an altitude reached rather quickly. The in-flight entertainment system on BA’s 767s consists of the standard music channels and main screen TVs. Both were switched off throughout the flight, only to be used for the safety demo. Then there are these tiny, tiny LCD displays at the bulkheads. They are too small to be of any good use.

The flight attendants got busy right away serving us first a drink. Here I got served a small can of coke, 150 ml to be exact, or, less than half that of a regular can of coke. Meal service would be served shortly. About five minutes later, the flight attendant came by and asked whether I wanted a chicken sandwich or a roasted vegetables sandwich. Having had chicken for lunch back at the airport, I chose the roasted vegetable option. The vegetables tasted very good but the bread was quite hard. The sandwich came with a Toblerone bar. Finished it up and relaxed in my seat for a while.

Once all the plastic wrapping, cups, and napkins were cleared and the cabin was clear of the trays, I got up to explore the cabin. As I mentioned, the rear section of WT, for some strange reason, does not have leather seats. The flight seemed to be quite full – the seat next to mine was the only unoccupied one in the middle cabin and there were about five empty seats in the rear cabin. Passengers consisted of young people and business travelers. I noticed part of the rear doors were covered in this plastic. The bathrooms were roomy. I made my way back to my seat thinking about how much better the new 767 cabins (such as those on the -400s) look over these older ones. The descent to Heathrow would be starting shortly, as we were already over the English Channel.

Shortly after landfall, the descent was announced but the fasten seatbelt sign remained switched off. This seemed odd as we were descending quickly from FL360. Numerous times, the spoilers were deployed. It was a beautiful day in southern England. I had no idea of what direction we were going in nor exactly what our altitude was. The English countryside gave way to London and the river Thames. The flaps were deployed, landing gear dropped, and we were on final approach to runway 27L. The descent was a bit bumpy and we made a hard landing at 13:34.

We turned off the runway and right in front of us was an Egypt Air 777 SU-GBR. During the very brief taxi to the terminal, I noticed many interesting planes. There was a Royal Brunei 763 in the mix (V8-RBL), several AA and UA 767s and 777s, a VS 744, and, most interesting of all (this one made me jump) an Aeroflot IL-96 RA96005. God I love this airport!

Taxiing over by Terminal 2, there were mostly narrowbodies. I spotted a Swiss A319 I’d seen earlier in Zurich, HB-IPR. There was also an A320, probably from Geneva or Basel. I then spotted an empty gate with two other Europe-configured BA 767s, so I knew the empty gate was for us. Sure enough, we docked into gate 146 in the Euro-pier at 13:37 local time. Deplaning was to be done through door 1L, so I’d get to pass through the front cabin. At 13:39, passengers started moving towards the door. By 13:42, I was off the plane. An excellent flight had come to an end with BA and I was looking forward to my connecting one.

Heathrow airport: One thing I wasn’t really looking forward to was the security line about to greet me in the Flight Connections Centre. As I exited the air-bridge into the bright Euro-pier, I noticed it was a far nicer place than the middle concourse I’d left out of before. Several people around me were talking about how they weren’t sure about whether they would be making their connection which would be at 16:00. They’d have plenty of time. The signs are very well marked here and I entered the infamous security line at the Flight Connections Centre. This time, I tried the one on the right at 13:48. Usually, I always end up choosing the wrong line. This was not the case. The line moved at a rapid pace despite being as long as it could be, snaking around each post. That could not be said about the other line.

At 14:00, I put my computer and camcorder bags through the machine. This time, there was no laptop check. The personnel were far less friendly than the ones I had here on the way over. After that, I was hoping to do some spotting over at T1 just downstairs. I descended down the escalator just off to my right and headed off for those comfortable lounge chairs.

I found quite a few in an area with an excellent view of landing aircraft. Sat down and they were even more comfortable than I’d remembered them to be. Snatched up my binoculars and notepad and started spotting. I found difficult to pick up some plane’s registrations (BA’s 319s in particular) as for most of the time, the wing was blocking them. Anyway, I was right near Terminal 2, where all the Lufthansa aircraft are parked. During the 40 minutes I was there, I logged close to 50 aircraft. The most interesting one I spotted was an Iran Air 747-100 EP-IAM. Talk about exotic birds! I also checked out the aircraft parked at T4 wondering whether mine would be there. Only one 747-400 seemed to be a World Tail aircraft, G-BNLJ. With these World Tails becoming scarcer, I was sure I’d never be on one. At 14:45 (1 hr 30 mins to departure), I headed up the stairs then down the long escalator to ground level to catch the bus.

The line for the bus was short. Actually, the bus was already there and people were already moving onto it. I was able to make that bus (though I didn’t get a seat). Actually, it’s better this way, as I can turn in any direction to spot different aircraft and not look strange doing it. I didn’t see anything interesting, just several European A319s/A320s (God those things are everywhere) over at the T1/T2 area and lots of 777s and 744s at the T4 area. I noticed some 767s still featuring their World Tails. The bus ride lasted eight minutes and at 14:57, I was off the bus.

I ascended up the rather longish escalator direct to the departures area. This makes me wonder how easy it is for just anyone to have access to this escalator and be able to bypass security on their way to Terminal 4. At the top, I was greeted by one heck of a mass of people in what looked more like a shopping mall than airport terminal. I knew Heathrow had lots of shops, but this was just incredible. The ways to the different gates were marked in huge numbers. I checked the boards, but my gate wasn’t yet listed.

I headed off to the right to check out the different aircraft. At this point, there were only shops off to both my left and right, no departure lounges. At a certain point, there are even shops in the middle. At the next departures screen, I checked for any updates on my gate. This time, my flight was listed as leaving from gate 6. By then it was 15:05, so I still had a bit of time left. I headed towards the upper-numbered gates. Finally, I spotted a departure lounge, window, and aircraft. The first two aircraft were a BA 747-400 going to JFK and a QF 747-400 going to Australia. The BA 744 happened to be G-BNLE, the exact plane I was on from JFK to LHR. The QF bird was VH-OJQ. At this time, there were many departures, and did I mention the terminal was flooded with passengers? My observation before about there being very few World Tail 747s was confirmed by walking around the terminal.

Among all the wide-bodies, there was a KLM 737 for AMS and a BA A320 for CDG. After spending some time checking out the planes, including an Air Kenya 767-300, it was time to head to my gate at around 15:25. Picked up a magazine at one of the many newsstands and started a brisk walk to the other end of the terminal. One neat feature of this terminal is the approximate walking times. However, these times are geared more to senior citizens than to business travelers (or they factor in time taken in shops) as, according to them, it takes 15 minutes to walk from the higher-numbered gates to the lower-numbered gates. It took me about 9 minutes including three minutes at the newsstand.

There were many good restaurants (lots of grill places), but I was not particularly hungry nor did I have a ton of time. I passed by the security area and noticed the long lines. Right near the point where I entered, the place was so full that I was having trouble passing by. The anticipation for the registration was really getting to me. I knew the first thing I’d see would be a traditional Union Jack tail. Finally, I was able to see the departure area for gates 5 and 6. What would my plane be? I noticed a very long line for boarding at my very own gate for this flight to New York. It was looking to be quite full, too. I looked towards the window, hesitating slightly.

In that moment, I was thinking how it would be fine even if I didn’t get a World Tail. I would be a bit bummed but still glad to be going back to New York.

The very next moment, I was unable to move, my mouth half-open. The next thing was a shock in the form of my heart flying through my throat, butterflies in my stomach…

The tail of my aircraft, as you probably guessed was very colorful. More specifically, I could tell the registration of this aircraft before I even checked it. The tail was painted in the Animals and Trees colors (among my favorites, now that G-BNLS - Wunala Dreaming has been painted back). The registration going through my head was G-BNLZ. I ran over to check the nose gear as the line was progressively getting longer. The nose gear, sure enough, read “LZ”. The plane parked next to ours was, ironically, another World Tail, as G-CIVN in the Deftblue Daybreak scheme.

I joined the line and at 15:40, an agent put my boarding card through the machine and walked down the air-bridge. Actually, it wasn’t the air-bridge quite yet. It is this structure that juts out from the terminal and, at the bottom of it, there were a few security guards and wheelchairs. From there, I made my way into the real air-bridge onto G-BNLZ – Animals and Trees.

Date: August 21, 2003
Leaving: London LHR
Arriving: New York JFK
Airline: British Airways
Flight Number: 115
Scheduled Departure: 16:05
Actual Departure: 16:09, takeoff at 16:31
Scheduled Arrival: 18:45
Actual Arrival: 18:53, landing at 18:35
Departure Gate: 6
Arrival Gate: 3
Departure Runway: 27L
Arrival Runway: 13L
Seat: 36A
Aircraft: Boeing 747-400
Registration: G-BNLZ (Animals and Trees)


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Photo © Sam Chui



I touched the fuselage and entered the well-furnished cabin of this jumbo. A flight attendant directed me towards the right and down a little. I was hoping seat 36A actually had a window. I made my way through the Club World cabin with its combination of forward/rearward-facing seats and noticed a cute girl in a window seat facing the rear of the plane. Lucky her. Then came the several roomy rows of World Traveler Plus followed by the front part of the World Traveler cabin. Economy at last. I scanned for row 36 which, as it turns out, was the last row in the front part of the WT cabin. The seats seemed narrower than the ones on the 767 and legroom seemed less.

I took seat 36A and relaxed in the seat. I found a pillow, a heavy blanket, and toiletry bag. In the bag was a toothbrush, toothpaste, and eye shades. The pillows were either blue or pink, matching the headrests. The plane next to me: A British Airways 777 G-VIIX. The seat I was seated in was comfortable but, as I said, room was limited. It featured the winged headrests, which I find useful. A Spanish-speaking couple took the two seats next to me. I picked up the High Life to check out the different in-flight entertainment options. I was impressed with the movie selection on the 12 channels. Then, I turned to the music options. There was one channel of interest. Unlike the IFE on SWISS, you can’t listen to music and watch the map program at the same time. This is a pity, as I often like to have both on.

The captain announced we were waiting for a slot and would depart very shortly. Pushback was at 16:09. It is a short way to runway 27L from T4 but with traffic it would take a while. I had a great view of the airliners parked at Terminal 3. I spotted an Olympic A340 and Royal Jordanian A310. Slowly rolling our way towards the runway, I spotted an Emirates Triple-Seven. If I was guessing right, this would be the first 777-300 I would have seen. I grabbed my binoculars and zoomed in. Sure enough, this was a -300, more specifically A6-EMU. This is one heck of a long bird (though the A346 still looks longer). Speaking of the A340-600, G-VMEG was also getting ready for takeoff from our runway, but approaching it from the other side of it) I also spotted B-HOY, a Cathay Pacific special scheme.

A Concorde was parked on the ramp and I was desperately trying to find out its registration. It was a bit far away and the window in front of me was quite dirty. At first, it looked like G-BOAF, but it actually turned out to be G-BOAC. I was hoping to see this bird again in JFK seven hours later (BA001 gets in to Kennedy about an hour before BA115, my flight). We turned onto the runway at 16:31 and paused for a tense few seconds. Then relief as the Rolls Royce engines spooled up and began our 30-second takeoff roll.

Once airborne, the in-flight entertainment started. The excitement of all the spotting and action at Heathrow now ended, I had no choice but to cool down. I switched on the Map program. It showed a metropolitan map of London switching with preliminary flight data, such as Ground Speed, Altitude, Time to Destination, Local Time, etc. The only difference between the map program when the plane was still parked at the gate and now, was that the speed and altitude were being indicated. One feature that, as an aviation enthusiast, I found very helpful was the headwind/tailwind factor. Using this figure, I could now know the plane’s true airspeed. The air-show program on Swiss lacks this feature.

For now, I just looked outside the window admiring the scenery below. We climbed very quickly, impressively so for such a full flight. I noticed this coming from JFK, too. The 744 has excellent climb performance. The majority of the climb was done somewhere around 1800 fpm and we cruised along at 270 knots until reaching 10,000 feet, after which, the aircraft began gaining some serious speed. The only subsonic heavy plane that can touch this performance is the 777. After having reached FL380, our final cruising altitude, the flight attendants got right to work serving the snack.

The snack, like the one coming over, was tomato spice-flavored breadsticks. For drink, I had a Coke. The flight attendant asked if I would like ice with that and I said yes. A nice touch there from the F/A’s. Again, it was one of those tiny 150 ml ones. One of those little glasses used for the drinks holds just under that much, so that isn’t very convenient. Hopefully, lunch would be more plentiful. Stowed the remains in the seatback pocket and continued checking out the IFE. This time, it was for the music channels. I selected the pop music one as it seemed very relaxing. There was a mix of songs from the US and UK. After about 20 minutes of this, I decided to check out what movies were playing. I started flipping through the channels. Shortly after, the flight attendants came by to take orders for lunch. The choices were one of the most dreaded for coach passengers. “Beef or chicken?” asked the flight attendant. I picked the beef. British Airways does not have menus in coach like Air France does but they do tell you exactly what the meal is on the aluminum wrapping.

Lunch consisted of Braised beef, a roll, garlic/herb salad croutons, salad with tomatoes, lettuce, and cheese, and those chocolate-filled pastries. Luckily, there was nothing there I didn’t like, so I ate the whole thing. I ordered wine with the meal, which was La Baume 2002 Chardonnay. The flight attendant also allowed me to have some water. The flight attendant was a female in her mid 30s – polite but not very talkative. Overall, it seemed, the flight attendants on this flight and the previous ones were a bit less warm/friendly than the ones coming over. However, they were all very professional and polite, so my “good” image of them remained.

Now, on to the meal. The beef was actually quite tender and had some good flavor. The salad was a bit dry and the pastries were delicious. Overall, I would rate this meal slightly better than the one on the JFK-LHR leg. The dessert did it for me and the meat was definitely better than expected.

With the meal tray cleaned up and the food in my stomach, I decided to watch one of the six or so movies while I digested. When it was over, I turned back to the map channel. I love that feeling of anticipation as I haven’t seen the flight’s position in a few hours and am anxious to know where I am. We were still cruising along at FL380. We must have been a bit before the middle of the Atlantic, somewhere in between Iceland and Greenland. The flight attendants collected the trays. After that, I waited for the aisles to clear to explore the cabin a bit.

British Airway’s 747s are configured to a mostly premium-class layout. In fact, only the rear two cabins are World Traveler, however the front part of the forward WT cabin is actually World Traveler Plus. I remember Swissair’s 747s, which were fully Economy behind the 2nd set of doors and that was also a world-class airline. Air France also has many more Economy seats in their 747s. As much as I like the Jumbos, I hate having to climb over two people to reach the aisle. Airbus has hit this issue right on, offering eight-abreast seating where a person is no more than one seat away from the aisle. Anyway, on BA’s 744s, each cabin is very attractive in its own way. The seats have interesting patterns and the alternating blue/pink headrest covers are a nice touch. I couldn’t help but thinking that the tail of this very aircraft was decorated in both pink and blue. The bathrooms were located at the very back of the plane. Strolling through the rear cabin, I saw that nearly every seat was occupied. I couldn’t see the other classes, but the captain did announce this was a full flight. As I was waiting for the nearest lav, I saw that right next to the rearmost door on the starboard side was a sticker. This sticker read “G-BNLZ”. All it needed was the serial number, line number, and delivery date. This is the first time I’ve seen the registration marked on the inside of the aircraft. So anyone flying on BA’s 744s wanting to know the registration but is unable to see it from the gate, can now take comfort in knowing it is located at the very back of the plane.

The bathrooms are nicer than the ones on Swiss and are bigger, too. However, there are only four lavatories in the back, and I think the 747 can fit six. People didn’t seem too anxious to use the bathrooms either and that prevented long lines from forming.

I arrived back at the seat and rested for a while. I had gone through a relatively stressful day connecting and constant activity, so I was getting tired. The seats do have limited seat pitch (31 inches) and that is the one thing that’s going to limit your falling asleep. The seats are comfortable and the winged headrests are useful. BA provides a wool blanket and pillow even on this daytime flight. If BA borrowed some more legroom, maybe something closer to World Traveler Plus, sleeping would be a breeze. It seems that would be very difficult due to the relatively limited number of WT seats available in comparison to the huge Club World cabin. If they are only going to use the rear cabin and a few rows of the second-to-last cabin in a 3-4-3 configuration, they’d better pack the seats as tightly as possible. I hear this is an even greater issue on the 777s, where only the rear-most cabin – a short cabin – is Y class. Despite most of BA’s long-haul planes being configured with mostly premium cabins, their European fleet is (even on the 767s) all Economy! A very good Economy, but still Economy. This is what I don’t get. BA does get a great deal of premium-cabin travelers and probably does a lot of upgrading, too, so why configure all-economy short-haul planes but cram the same Economy passengers into a small area of big planes?

The seats themselves remind me of those on Swiss’s A330s. They are comfortable with relation to fabric, but narrow and lack sufficient legroom. Given the several daily AA 777s that operate this route, Y class travelers wishing a comfortable flight should go with this option. This is where the dilemma begins – do I want superior service like that on BA or just a seat where I can relax and be comfortable for this 7-hour flight? Take your pick.

After a bit of resting and sleeping, I raised the window shade and switched the IFE back on. Wasn’t really in the mood for a movie, so I switched to the map channel. The route took us over southern England, Ireland south of Westport, and over to the Atlantic ocean. We took a rather northerly route coming not far away below the southern tip of Greenland. The flight proceeded and I switched off the map in favor of the music channel. I listened to a couple of songs and came across, oddly enough, to one that I listen to frequently at home. It wasn’t even a pop song. It was electronic music from a northern Norwegian group called Royksopp. Interesting to find that in the mix.

I decided to examine the contents inside the amenity kit given at the start of the flight. There was a blindfold, toothpaste tube, a pair of black socks, and toothbrush. The socks could come in handy if the cabin temperature is cold. I didn’t really need them on this flight (it was very warm when I boarded the aircraft, though it was definitely better now). When I did need them was on the ZRH-LHR flight. I could really feel a chill in there.

I switched off the music to check out our updated flight status. We had just passed the halfway point and were little over an hour from hitting Canada. Estimated arrival time would be about ten minutes late, a bit odd considering we left right on time. I was thinking about the arrival and, more importantly, whether or not I’d make it home in time to watch the finale of The Amazing Race. That show would start at 20:00, but we wouldn’t be at the gate before 18:40. It would be a tight one. Our home, BTW, is about 40 minutes in light to moderate traffic from JFK. I decided it would be a good time to get the day’s events in order so I could remember things properly later on, especially for this report. My laptop’s battery was practically run out after 30 minutes of use on the previous flight (no time, nor the proper equipment to recharge at LHR). This meant no time to type up the report, so I stowed the case in the overhead bin. Despite this being a relatively hectic day, I got my thoughts in order and was able to do rough times for the day’s events and run through all the little details and jot them down on my notepad.

With a good idea of the way things were and the way things were going to be upon my arrival in New York, I stared blankly at the screen, monitoring the flight progress. A bit later, I read a magazine. The people were very quiet and the atmosphere was very tranquil. We were cruising along at 550 mph with 90 mph headwinds, always at FL380. Since my computer battery had gone, I had no way of knowing whether or not I’d seen this plane before. I didn’t think I’d seen it, but I could have been wrong. Once I checked my registration log upon my arrival, I saw that G-BNLZ was listed. I indeed saw this plane back in JFK on July 1, 2002.

The weather was nice and clear and I could see the stunning scenery of Newfoundland. We were over the coast of the mainland, but the famous island wasn’t far off. Tiny towns dotted the mostly vast expanses of forests. With less than two hours to go, I watched the flight progress over Newfoundland and over towards Nova Scotia.

The final “small meal” or snack was served, with a choice of hot drinks. I chose the tea and this time, they gave me the right one. The meal consisted of egg mayo cress, chicken mayo, mature cheddar pickle, and pecan brownie. I found this to be a bit of a strange combination, but all was good. Even the brownie was surprisingly good. I found little to complain about their food. I have eaten even better on Air France but I’ve also eaten worse meals on them. Food-wise they are probably better than most US carriers.

Meal trays were soon collected and watched as we skimmed the coast of Maine and over the bay over to Boston. This was finally familiar territory! As usual, we flew over the BOS VOR and the city itself. I managed to see both the airport (and all those tiny planes parked at the tiny gates) and the skyscrapers dotting the downtown area. Less than five minutes later, I observed another airport, which happened to be PVD. Not much activity going on there; just one jet parked at its gate.

We started our descent somewhat late, over Long Island. The descent from FL380 was started at 160 miles. Various times the spoilers were deployed. It was really a nice day in the New York area and I enjoyed every bit of Long Island. We leveled off at 3000 feet as if poised to make a 31L landing, but instead, we flew past the airport, towards New Jersey, then made 180-degree right turn back towards Long Island. It was an extremely exciting approach. Finally, while turning onto final for 13L, I saw some nice houses with pools. I really wished I’d lived there – spectacular views of approaching wide-bodies. I could only imagine the view now with this beast with its Animals and Trees tail coming in low for landing.

We swung right for a short final to 13L. We made a hard landing on the runway followed by forceful reverse thrust. We turned right off the runway and headed for Terminal 7. I spotted a few aircraft taking off from 13R, including a few DL 767s and an Air France 777. Shortly after our 18:35 landing, we came to a full stop. The captain informed us we had to wait for an aircraft to vacate our gate. About ten minutes later, I observed another BA 744 G-CIVF pushing back. I also got a view of the Concorde I’d seen earlier – the legendary G-BOAC. I only later found out this was the oldest Concorde currently in service. Here it was, having landed two hours ago, while we took off two hours later from the same airport! That is an incredible difference. Spotted quite a share of B6 320s and UA 767s and 777. We docked at gate 3 at 18:53. This had definitely been a good flight. I deplaned with the crowd and headed down a long corridor to immigration and baggage claim.

The arrivals area is looking good with the renovation, but could use more light. Immigration was a breeze (only had to wait for a few people) and went over to baggage claim. It took a long while before I started noticing bags, let alone my own two. They came after a while, having endured the connection at LHR. I noticed most of the bags were tagged as BA144 (later found out it was from DEL). Got my bags and breezed through customs with nothing to declare. It was 19:35. My mom was waiting and we headed back home. While we didn’t get home in time to see the beginning of the finale of the Amazing Race, we did mange to catch it at half time and watch all the important bits. I was just glad not to be sitting in those cramped seats.

All said, BA will did a good job with these flights. The spotting possibilities at LHR are limitless, the service is good, their European product is first rate, and there is very good service (despite the cramped-ness) on the long-haul flights. I have read reports detailing some bad experiences with their service so maybe I was lucky to have service that was consistently good. Now the negatives. Heathrow airport is extremely stressful no matter how good the spotting is. The narrow seats with below average legroom are even worse than SWISS. AA offers a far better seat though BA excels with its service.

I would welcome any comments. Hope you enjoyed it.

Cheers


User currently offlineBhxforever From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2001, 564 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (9 years 10 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 11512 times:

Brilliant report, you really can't beat BA. I noticed on the 767s that I flew on they actually had the reg written on the doors in biro!

User currently offlineJBLUA320 From United States of America, joined May 2002, 3175 posts, RR: 19
Reply 4, posted (9 years 10 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 11384 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Amazing report! A great piece of writing- entertaining and informative. Well done!

JBLUA320
Ben Kaufman


User currently offlineWidgetBoi From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 1432 posts, RR: 20
Reply 5, posted (9 years 10 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 11376 times:

Amazing report!

jeremy


User currently offlineCOAB767 From Guam, joined Nov 2003, 1377 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (9 years 10 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 11366 times:

great report again

coab767



Continental Micronesia: "Fly With The Warmth Of Paradise"
User currently offlineCx123 From Australia, joined May 2004, 695 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (9 years 10 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 11271 times:

N864DA FYI, those Leather Seats are actually Club Europe Seats ( J Class)

BA converts them to Y Class depending on the demand.

The ones on the left hand side (on 319) can be converted to 2 in Club Europe and 3 in Euro Traveller.

I find this is one weak point about BA. They should really follow CX and install proper J Class seats even for short Haul flights (even LHR-CDG).

It makes all the difference with the foot and leg rest and extra pitch.


User currently offlineN864DA From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 259 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (9 years 10 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 11188 times:

Again, I would like to thank you all for your comments. For an airline that prides itself in longhaul premium service it is odd to see Y-class pitch in seats that are sometimes designated as J.

I already have a few more reports that I should be posting here shortly...


User currently offlineRb211ltn From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 133 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (9 years 10 months 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 11051 times:

Those seats on the 767 are in C-class config down to door 3, that's why the last cabin features cloth seats and not leather. The centre 3 seats convert to 2 wider seats in Club Europe config and the two outer ones open up to a wider seat. Doing a flight with Club passengers all the way to door 3 is very hard work, especially if it is a shorter flight like LHR-AB) (FRA / FRF / EDDF), Germany">FRA.The pitch in these seats is 34 inches. That is why they felt more spacious than those on the 747.
The aircraft reg is written on the inside of the door so that the crew know which aircraft they are on. The bar paperwork requires the aircraft reg and some of the crew are too dippy to remember what they are told in the briefing. As someone else noted, sometimes the stickers fall off and it ends up being written in biro!
Glad you enjoyed flying 'the world's favourite'.



The customer is always right.....unless he is a passenger!
User currently offlineTaloush From United Arab Emirates, joined Jul 2001, 154 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 10679 times:

Great trip report--detailed and incredibly well-written. Your excitement to ride a World Tails plane was amusing to read, to say the least. I do like them, though, and am sad that it wasn't more well-received by the public. I'm lucky, though--I flew BA for the first time last February on a quick trip back home for spring break, and--lucky me!--my first ever BA flight was on a Delftblue 777! Not only that, but I got to ride the very same plane on the return trip a week later!

Incidentally, let me congratulate you on your BRILLIANT taste in music! Röyksopp is a fantastic group!  Big thumbs up Was it 'Eple' by any chance? That's my absolute favorite tune!!

Take care!
Talal



Your attention, please.
User currently offlineCambrian From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 619 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 10463 times:

Great report!

Interesting to hear your views about BA. I regularly fly Club Europe and I have to say that their product stinks- especially on those terrible 767's. I recently flew Club Europe ATH-LHR and it felt like a charter flight- so cramped and sloppy service.

I actively avoid using BA in Europe and much prefer AF, Olympic or Swiss. Swiss can really teach BA a thing or two about customer service. I took a Swiss flight LHR-GVA-LHR in June and the outgoing flight was operated by BA and the return by Swiss, and the difference was huge. Needless to say, next time I book I will make sure that both sectors are operated by Swiss.

BA's First Class is fantastic, but in Europe they leave a lot to be desired.



User currently offlineN864DA From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 259 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 10297 times:

@Taloush:
Yes, the song was indeed Eple. Too bad they never really caught on in the U.S. The entire CD is filled with good music - esp. A Higher Place and Remind Me, though So Easy is also a good tune. With so few World Tails in existance at the times of our flights, it must be exciting.

@Cambrian:
I cannot imagine what "extra" you would get in Club Europe for the extra cost. Seat pitch is very close to Y, making it very cramped. Maybe the service is a little bit better, but still I can't see how it can be an improvement over Economy. Having flown Air France (though can't say about SWISS) First within Europe, I can say the seats are way better than those in Y and they give you a full meal on a one-hour flight. That is what BA should be really trying to lbe looking at. Why not implement their stellar longhaul premium service within Europe?

I have found out that passengers traveling through LHR don't have to go through security again at the Flight Connections Centre. Apparently, right before you reach the security lines there, all you have to do is take an elevator to the ground level and wait for a bus. I hope this is actually the case and is not illegal in any way.

[Edited 2004-07-08 04:13:04]

User currently offlineCambrian From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 619 posts, RR: 5
Reply 13, posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 10203 times:

I cannot imagine what "extra" you would get in Club Europe for the extra cost.

You are right- there is really no difference! The breakfast that I recently had on a flight LHR-FCO was the same as the breakfast I had on a shuttle flight LHR-EDI a few weeks back- except for the china plate and extra croissant- not really worth the extra ticket price. I am mad to fly Club Europe at all really.

Maybe the service is a little bit better

Not at all! The usual BA harridans who really couldn't give a shit.

Why not implement their stellar longhaul premium service within Europe?

A flat bed to Rome or Athens would be nice!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
OK, so they can't have First or Club World in Europe, but they could at least offer the same service standards.
Fly BA, and then fly Swiss in Europe, and you soon realise what a second-rate airline BA is.



User currently offlineBa319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8430 posts, RR: 55
Reply 14, posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 10054 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Great report,really enjoyed it.

Cambrian,

You must be very unucky on those BA flights.All of my BA 'C' class european flights have been excellent,and better than a Swiss 'C' class flight.

BA in europe,can't beat them IMHO.

Rgds

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333,342
User currently offlineCPH-R From Denmark, joined May 2001, 5911 posts, RR: 3
Reply 15, posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks ago) and read 10019 times:

Great report!

I visited the same comfy chairs at LHR when I passed through back i 02 - they really are comfortable after a long flight (I fell asleep, and slept for a solid 3-4 hours Big grin - didn't miss my connection though)


User currently offlineBA380 From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 1466 posts, RR: 8
Reply 16, posted (9 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 9620 times:

I would agree that Club in Europe is not really worth much extra cash. Although if you have to purchase fully flex Y, then the upgrade to C is only a few pounds, and the extra miles pay for themselves. For a 35 minute flight to CDG, for example, I really couldn't care that much. BA's premium cabins on long-haul, as Cambrian says, are really good.

Great long, detailed report. Am impressed!



cabin crew: doors to automatic and cross-check...
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