So....as it’s my first trip report please bear with me for this.
My day started off on Sunday morning as getting up at 0545...getting in the shower...missing breakfast and leaving home at 0615. So....we left home and headed for the airport. Great news as there was hardly any traffic at this time making the journey to LHR only 20 minutes. My mum went through the small tunnel and then I was dropped off at T1 with the entire luggage while my mum went to her office, parked her car and then came back on the bus. She only works over at cardinal point next to the WBC so it’s not too bad.
We then headed for the Heathrow Express. Boarded the train for the 4 minute journey from T1 to T4.
Not knowing T4 very well...we made our way through the maze when you get off the Heathrow Express and caught an elevator up to check-in area.
Many thanks BA! You put Club world and First check-in right there as soon as you get out of the elevator from the Heathrow Express. Great!
Queue wasn’t that long meaning that we only had to wait 5 minutes to check in.
"Good morning sir/madam" "travelling on BA73 today....very full flight today sir/madam....I'm afraid your upgrade to First will not be available however I will be giving you a window seat...looks like every seat will be full today sir/madam."
"Ok then...don’t worry about that"
"Here you go sir...seat 15A for you and 15B for you madam...we'll write you an invite for the Concorde lounge so that you can get in, just follow the signs for the BA lounge located just opposite gate 10, boarding time today for you is 0910 so if you leave the lounge at around 0900 you should be fine...have a nice flight now"
"Thanks very much...bye now"
Once we'd got checked in we only had 2 bags to take on board...in mine there was as follows:
And lord knows what was in my mums :P
We headed for the Concorde lounge as we still had 2 hours to go...since I hadn't had any breakfast yet...first on my agenda was to EAT!!! Everyone who knows me will know I eat like there's no tomorrow.
Got to the Concorde lounge...showed the tickets and then the special written invitation...great having a member of your family have a BA Gold Card
They scanned the tickets and then showed us where everything was. Once I'd left my bag with my mum...I headed straight for the food area. Lovely!
Got myself some cereal, toast, muffins and a cup of hot chocolate.
....Enough of my eating....
When it came to 0900 my mum and I decided we'd head to the gate slowly to allow plenty of time as we didn’t know the distance involved.
It did take around 10 minutes as the signs said...for the first time at LHR they were right! Usually you only need 5 minutes if it says 20!
Got to the gate at around 0910 or thereabouts.
Showed our tickets and passports at the gate and then went straight on board. Having descended 6 miles we finally reached the aircraft which was a 777-200...first time on a 777 for me!! YAY!!
Aircraft registration: G-VIIV
Greeted onboard by a lovely crew and we were directed to our seats. Not only is this first time on a 777 but first time in Club World. Usually it’s my dad travelling BA Long-Haul and the last time I travelled BA Long-Haul was back in '99. Meaning I was 10 :P
Once I'd taken my seat and got to grips with the 'interesting' arrangement I started my usual peering out of the window.
I'd asked if I could chat with the cockpit crew and the CSD said that there was a check captain aboard but he'd ask the captain if he would kindly come out and talk to me for a bit.
Take-off was at 0953 and we climbed sharply to first part of our cruise at FL300.
The CSD came by and said to me:
"I can’t get a solid time out of him for when he'll see you I'm afraid....captains! They think they're gods!"
He walked off and continued to what he was doing.
So....enough of that for the minute and a review of the food and the IFE:
Food: Food was fantastic! That’s all I can say to describe it really...just fantastic! I can’t remember what was on the menu...and I don’t think I took it with me...but I can only say it was fantastic.
IFE: IFE was great as well...great choice of games, no movies on demand which I would have expected but 12 audio channels and 18 visual channels. Best channel for me was 4 as far as audio went. I watched "The Terminal" which was a great film! Hadn't seen it before and so was quite amusing.
As the flight progressed I was still comfortable and the next time I’d looked at my watch after Take-Off we were 4 hours 23 into the flight.
It was going very quick which is unusual. I didn’t want to sleep on this leg of the journey because then it would be harder for me to adjust to the time difference in the middle east…however I knew I’d be making full use of the fully flat seats on the way back due to the timing of the flight.
I thought that I’d listen to my minidisc player but before I could turn it on the captain came out to see me.
We walked up to the forward galley and started chatting for a bit. Once we’d finished our chat which has lasted a little more than an hour I went back to my seat and prepared for the next batch of food to come….goody!
It wasn’t much…a few biscuits and coffee etc so I decided to take matters into my own hands…I went and got more
Before I knew it then…it was almost time to land…I prepared myself and sat back in my seat and watched the world come closer and closer.
It was already dark meaning I couldn’t really get any good shots of the terminal building when we landed but I decided to try my best with my crappy camera (Sony DSC-U20).
Now with only 5 minutes to run…I was getting excited….after another 4 months without seeing my dad I was finally going to see him again.
Now we were coming down quickly…I couldn’t figure out until the last moment which runway we were going to land on… I eventually worked out we were landing on runway 13.
I started estimating the heights like I usually do and then my 3…2…1 and touchdown.
Reversing along the runway we didn’t reverse as hard as I’d expected and we were slowing and then took a high speed exit.
It took us around 3 minutes to get to the terminal building and then an announcement was made:
“All passengers continuing to Muscat please do not disembark as this is not allowed in Abu Dhabi…so we kindly ask all the passengers travelling on to Muscat to remain on the aircraft, thank you very much for your understanding and patience”
As I was going to de-board…the CSD was waiting and remembered that I wanted to visit the F/D and so he took up to the F/D and asked if I could have a quick look in.
They said yes and so I started chatting to them for a bit…however I couldn’t chat for to long as the new cockpit crew would be coming on-board and my mum was getting impatient :P
As we got through customs my holiday had just begun despite us still being in Abu Dhabi and not Dubai.
…The week had gone too quickly and it was now time to return home…
At around 2200 we left our lovely hotel (Sheraton Jumeirah) and headed for the airport. Getting to the airport at around 2230 we said our farewells to my dad and he headed back to the Sheraton for some business meetings he had.
Once we’d said our farewells we headed inside the terminal to Check-In zone 2. This is where we found the BA Check-In…once again she said that the upgrade to First wasn’t available and again but as expected all the seats were full up.
However this time there were no extra perks…the First and Business lounges are jumbled into one area meaning that there is no distinction. Oh well!
We made our way through security etc and then made it to the duty free zone. I decided to get myself a few CD’s, a few gifts, some food and drink and other general stuff.
Once we’d bought all that we needed to buy we made our way to the lounge….and still made our way to the lounge 8 minutes after commencing the walk :P
The lounge was one hell of a journey from the main duty free area and so we were glad after that walk.
But lo-behold I forgot to get myself a Lost Prophets CD…so…I commenced the walk again back to the duty free area to pick myself a Lost Prophets CD up.
Then I had to walk back again! Certainly helped get rid of all the calories I must have gained during my stay because of all I ate.
Anyways…enough of all that and to the good stuff…the aircraft!!!
Aircraft Registration: G-VIIM
We got on-board the aircraft and the crew looked pretty tired and my first plan was to sleep as soon as we’d taken-off.
As the captain made the announcement everyone was settling into their seats and starting to get ready for take-off.
We pushed back at 0203 because of some late passengers!! Then the bit I was waiting for…the starting of those HUGE GE90’s. Fantastic…however I was a little disappointed because the sound from the inside is not as impressive as the sound from the outside but never mind.
The engines started and we began our taxi to runway 30R, then at 0213 he threw in the power and we started to roll along runway 30R.
I love the sound of those engines….they are fantastic. Now powering down 30R gaining speed rapidly we started to rotate into the air and then the usual sounds began to let you know your in the air…the gear was retracted and then in slow succession the flaps started to come in.
As soon as I couldn’t see much more….I fully reclined the seat and put my head down on the pillow…loosened my seatbelt and tried to sleep…and then about 5 minutes later for some unknown reason they turned all the cabin lights on!!!! I thought what the hell is going on…its quarter past 2 in the morning and they turn on all the cabin lights and start offering dinner. I didn’t see anyone in the Business Class cabin that acknowledged this food and everyone started to complain to the crew to turn the lights off again.
Thankfully when they’d found out that no-one wanted any food they dimmed the lights again and everyone could start to sleep.
The next I knew my mum had woken me up and asked me if I wanted some breakfast…and for the first time in months I declined breakfast which stunned my mum a little and in my usual fashion I put my head down and went back to sleep
Then a half hour later I was woken again because the cabin crew wanted to start the preparations for landing.
I kept my seat in the reclined position as long as I could and then put it into the upright position for landing.
As we started descending I slowly got a little more alert and a little more awake. I must have dozed off again though because the next thing I knew I heard the gear coming. Then peering over people as we were seated in 10F/10G the world came closer and I didn’t want it to…I wanted the aircraft to land…refuel and then turn back to Dubai! However…I knew no such luck would ever become true.
Then the final part….we were getting very close now and it was still pitch black outside so I couldn’t see very much.
Once we’d touched-down I think we landed on 09R and we started our taxi into the terminal area.
My trip had ended and I was unfortunately back in this dreary, wet and cold country again…but somehow…I knew it was home
….You think the report ends here? Well…you’re very much mistaken…you’ll need to bear with it just a little while longer….
We got off the plane…headed through customs to find no-one on duty at all! Got our luggage and headed for the arrivals lounge! Excellent…great work BA!
I’d done my homework on the arrivals lounge and I knew it would be a big aid for us.
As we showed our E-Tix receipt to the lady…we left the luggage in the dedicated area and went upstairs to have some breakfast. I had a lovely English breakfast, tea, muffins etc as I was rather hungry and then my mum decided to go get the car to go home. Whilst she was in the process of this I decided to take advantage of the showers, I must say I was impressed with the service and the cleanliness of the showers. I came out feeling refreshed and then made my way outside of the terminal to wait for my mum.
BA is fantastic airline, great service, awesome seats and friendly crews. Both times at the end of the flight willing to allow me onto the F/D and I couldn’t have asked for a better trip to be quite honest. My only downside to BA is that they turned the cabin lights on after take-off in Dubai which disappointed me a little however all of the outstanding customer service and friendliness and the lounges made all that go away.
I know I will fly BA again however this time I’ll make sure that my dad books the tickets with enough time in advance to make sure we get First! I was impressed with Business Class though and would not complain if I was forced to go Business.
Thank you very much for reading this long essay of a trip report and I hope that you have enjoyed it.
Please do drop any comments or suggestions to help me with my trip reports.
My next report will be my Singapore for New Year Trip.
MAN-FRA-SIN-FRA-LHR with LH and the great thing is…I’ll be getting my Nikon D70 down there…meaning great photos!
Bmi From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 321 posts, RR: 0 Reply 1, posted (9 years 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 5626 times:
great trip report glad you enjoyed your flight with British Airways. I love Dubai, have been twice in the past two years and plan on going again sometime soon. I fly EK as my nearest departure point is BHX and too have the (err) privalige of flying on the 772 this year. didnt like it as much as the A332 though. Anyway what i needed to ask was not about the flights at all but your hotel i havent been since June this year and obviously dubai's building works are constant as they build and ammend the city but some customers at work (im a travel agent) are commenting on close building work near to the location of this hotel? was any of it visible or anything? all i seem to get out of operators is that "dubai is a building site" which i knew anyway but one customer refused to stay there last week and i didnt think it affected that hotel much? i stayed in the burj al arab and the jumeriah beach hotel, so didnt experience anything but would be nice to know from someone who stayed further down the beach so i can pass it on to clients at work.
MichaelJP From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 181 posts, RR: 0 Reply 3, posted (9 years 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 5441 times:
Yep...Dubai is still a building site :P
Down by the sheraton Jumeirah there is still a lot of building work going on there...if you look out over the sea...you can still turn your head and look at the building work which is quite an eye-saw.
We dont really go there for the sites and sounds anymore though...more to visit my dad.
I will be staying in the Burj sometime next year but havent as of yet had the privilege.
We were first booked on EK First but then my dad decided to change it to BA.
Anyways...thanks for the comments guys.
Fbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3691 posts, RR: 29 Reply 7, posted (9 years 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 5033 times:
Ah you need to read Mum's book on Executive Club rules regarding lounge access!
BA Golds have open door policy. This means that on any carrier BA will allow you into the Terraces / Business Class lounge. If you are on a British Airways ticket then you can access the First lounge if there is one. As a Gold flying in Club World you should have been directed access to the First lounge on the lower floor of the Lounge Pavilion, and not the Concorde Room. The Concorde Room is only for those ticketed in First and was before the retirement of Concorde. As it stands the First lounge is full of Golds flying Club World/Club Europe.
It is about retaining standards of a premium product. The Concorde Room is now merely a shadow of its former self. Downgraded champagne, downgraded food, downgraded service, downgrade in access requirements.
As for having loads of miles....well doesn't matter a jot. BA Golds are ranked on a scale of 1-100 depending on how good (for want of a better word) they are as a customer. A Gold scraping it each year will get a low score while one cruising over 10,000 Tier Point mark per year will be pretty high. BA staff can see this ranking but never your miles balance.
PS. Has anyone else who has flown BA recently been told their upgrade has not been made? I am not aware (nor fond) of this new American style approach to upgrading....if indeed that is the case
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
MichaelJP From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 181 posts, RR: 0 Reply 8, posted (9 years 2 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 4876 times:
I do understand your points believe me..I do...however a lot of airlines know as far as I'm aware do give First Class lounge access to members of FFP with a lot of miles on.
The main reason for my wanting the Concorde Room also was mainly for the shots sake.
However...I dont decide anything for BA...so...apoligies.
I'm merely telling how this happened.
And as for the upgrades...you can put in upgrade requests into the system...
MichaelJP From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 181 posts, RR: 0 Reply 10, posted (9 years 2 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 4809 times:
And yes...we do know people that work for BA if your wondering.
I'm sorry that I did this trip report now...seems like its only been under the grill.
Just because one persons experience and differential circumstances clash..does not mean that it does not happen which I'm sure your aware of.
As I explained before...I am only telling how this happened...be intrigued as to how or why or what reason its different from your experience..I am only telling how it happened.
Next time I'll make a video instead incase there are doubts.
LHR27C From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 1279 posts, RR: 17 Reply 11, posted (9 years 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 4767 times:
Well done Michael, an interesting report, glad you enjoyed the 777s with BA . Welcome to a.net.
I couldn't be sure, because strange things are happening with runway usage at LHR nowadays with construction work and testing mixed mode on early mornings, but it is much more likely that you landed on 09L than 09R.
Once you have tasted flight, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned forever skyward
Fbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3691 posts, RR: 29 Reply 12, posted (9 years 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 4769 times:
Michael, no need to feel sorry for posting this report. I appreciate you 'are telling it how it is' and I find this rather interesting! I am not doubting any of your story, it is just a number of things make it not add up to your usual Gold flying CW flight and I am trying to work out why and one of the avenues was that since you are not a regular longhaul flyer you may have got a few things mixed up.....this is one of the possibilities.
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
MichaelJP From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 181 posts, RR: 0 Reply 13, posted (9 years 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 4716 times:
I am a regular long haul flyer though...just not on BA.
We do know people in BA....like we know a lot of people through the airline business.
My parents all have some connection or another via aviation. My mum works for LH and my dad does EK Security.
It may not add up but a lot of things to me dont :P