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LHR-JFK-LHR In Club World Backwards  
User currently offlineLoungeLover From Germany, joined Aug 2004, 148 posts, RR: 0
Posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 7453 times:

Hi all,

warning, this is quite a long trip report of a recent less than 24hour trip to New York. It was fun though!
Enjoy!

Flight: BA113
Aircraft: 772
Reg: G-ZZZC
Seat: 11A
Scheduled departure: 5.30pm
Actual departure: 5.40pm
Scheduled arrival: 8.15pm
Actual arrival: 8.45pm
Warning: no pictures on the outward journey (because of night flight of course), some pictures on the way back though.


Here goes my second trip report, yet again on the LHR-JFK and back route.
However this time around it wasn’t on a private trip, but on a business trip and we all know what that means: here I come business class, bring on the bubbly.

This trip was quite a tiring one. I was originally scheduled to leave on Wed, January 5th to be in NY for an important meeting the next day and fly back on Thursday night!

But as things happen in the crazy business world, the meeting got pushed back and I ended up leaving on Thursday night instead.
I was quite scared when I heard about the re-schedules meeting because I was so looking forward to testing both the 772 on the way out and then the 744 on the way back.
I had experiences the 744 in Club World before, but never the 777.


The good news was that my flight the next day would be same time, same a/c! Yes!

I spent the day at the office and left at 3pm to catch the wonderful (even if overpriced – expenses!) Heathrow Express to Terminal 4.
At this time of the day the Heathrow Express is nice and empty, just as the check-in counters.

I went straight up to lovely Jacqueline and we had a look at what was available.
Unfortunately, there weren’t going to be any upgrades to First today, as the flight wasn’t full.
I had checked seatguru.com of course but all the real good seats were already taken.
I was so excited to be on the 777 again, as my last flight was in business class with CX from Kuala Lumpur to Hong Kong back in April.
Man, was I looking forward to those GE90s!!
And that’s why I opted for seat 11A, looking backwards but also right at the wing and on the GE90s!

I then went for the lounge, which was dull as usual. I had a quick smoke in the general smoking area to look at some departures and movement on the tarmac.

Boarding was quick and easy at gate 25 (loooong walk, which I find a bit of a disgrace) on our beautiful 772.
I settled down in my seat and immediately stared at those engines.
Those backward seats are quite interesting, because they are stuck to the windows and you sort of feel that you might have less space than the forward-facing people. I might be wrong here, but that is the impression I got.

I was immediately offered a drink (OJ), an evening paper and my essential BA kit for the flight. Is it me or did the socks get smaller since I last flew Club World??

We then taxied to take off (27L I think) which is just around the corner and took of immediately.

Now I consciously took a backwards-facing seat because I had never experiences it and oh my god! It messes with your brain as you take off but it’s quite a sensational feeling.

We climbed very quickly to our flight level at 40,000ft and we pretty much stayed there all the way.
It was dark night outside and the only thing I could see was the red light lighting up every two seconds that made the GE90 decal appear for a split second, Beautiful.

I am always amazed at how silent these wide-bodies are. There I was sitting with head next to the window just outside the biggest passenger a/c engine ever built and yet there was less noise than in an A320. Not only a cruise level, but also on take off. On the A320 you keep thinking the engine is about to blow off the wing and half the fuselage with it when it accelerates,
This 777 was smooth and nice.
The interior was immaculate.

The other pax were mostly business people who kept their ties on for the entire flight, which I somehow found weird.

Shortly after take off I was greeted with my full name (an easy but very nice touch) to take my main course order (bangers and mash!).

The drinks (I took a Buck’s Fizz cocktail as suggested on the menu and then a red 2002 Graves) were good and so was the food.

We then all settled in, even though the F/O had warned us that because of the strong headwinds we would probably have to fight with a little turbulence for the first 2-3 hours.

After an hour the F/O came back on and told us that the headwinds were so strong, we were practically losing 5mn per hours and our arrival would be delayed by about half an hour(which turned out to be exactly accurate).

Turbulence wasn’t bad so I prepared to watch my first movie.
The programming is rather poor this January and I decided to go for The Village.
Quite boring and also very frustrating, as the LCDs in Club World were pathetic.
As I had read in other threads, it is very small screen inside a massive plastic casing. I even saw that things weren’t that much better in First.
Whoever has flown in business on EK or SQ will be absolutely outraged by this.
The chief service director told me that they were having massive problems with IFE on this particular a/c and that it would soon be going in the shop for major repairs and refurbishment.
It’s true that the crew had to do the safety instructions manually because the video wasn’t working.

The second film I watched was Wimbledon – sort of funny but too close to landing and missed the very last 5minutes! Dammit!

Landing took a while, because we had to go all the way around JFK to land from the south. Clouds were hanging extremely low but landing was as smooth as ever in the 777.
I was sad to de-plane but I was the first at immigration, first out of the door and first in the cab. Took me less than 45 minutes from the moment I stepped off the plane to the moment I stepped in my hotel room in Manhattan. And that is quite a surprise by NY standards!

My meeting was on Friday and I was scheduled to leave on BA114 at 8.50pm the same day. Quite a trip.

JFK-LHR
Flight: BA114
Aircraft: 744
Reg: G-BNLJ
Seat: 62K
Scheduled departure: 8.50pm
Actual departure: 9.05pm
Scheduled arrival: 8.50am
Actual arrival: 8.40am

This was going to be a 744 and I was looking forward to comparing it to the 777.
It had to be upper deck of course! I had booked 63B (thanks seatguru) before leaving LHR.
But now that I had done the outward journey facing backwards, I was thinking I should really do it on the way back as well!
So as I checked in at Terminal 7 I asked for a different seat, either 62A or 62K.
Nothing was available but I was told to ask again in the lounge.
In the lounge they said they were going to see what could be done.
I went to check out the pre-flight supper and the buffer was quite nice that evening, a lot of asian dishes and some pasta varieties.
I have to admit it is nice to eat something comfortably before boarding.

Boarding started on time and I settled in my backwards-facing seat.
I had checked out the movie programme on-line and the movies really are terrible this month. I was going to try out Shark tale, but that turned out to be very boring.

We pushed back, got the safety video and took off to the south.
Now this is where the backward seats on the 747 are really weird: you are so high up on the upper deck that it feels like you are doing a barrel roll each time the time a/c turns. Quite disturbing, but not necessarily in a bad way.
The rest of the flight was uneventful. The Captain told us that tail winds were quite important and that the flight was going to be under 6 hours!
One thing that did surprise me is that the average age of the pax on the upper deck must have been around 30 (so am I, so it makes sense) but it was just weird, as business travellers tends to be older than that usually.
During the night I actually managed to get some sleep, but also went for the walk of shame around the cabin. And even though I have flown hundreds of times in economy on widebodies, it is always a shock: when you come from the upper deck in business class and pass the curtain to World Traveller…it is simply shocking – it really does look like cattle back there. Poor guys..I felt lucky not to be back there for once!
The sun was coming up slowly in front of us and before it was too late I got some breakfast and decided to rush down again to take some pictures of the wing.








The Captain then came on to announce that we would have to go into a holding pattern south of London, which is so much more impressive on a 747 than on the regular A320 or 737s I take on my European travel.
He also warned us that landing would be a little bumpy due to heavy winds.
During the holding I saw a couple of other heavies doing the same and, again, it is always an impressive sight, even though I didn’t manage to get a decent picture.
Here are some pictures coming into London:














Landing was actually quite smooth and I managed to get some relatively good pictures of London.
And there I was on the ground again. Unfortunately we didn’t get an apron and hat to de-plane using busses, which I always find disturbing after a long-haul flight.

Overall, I would have to say that BA did an outstanding job again. The FAs might not be the sexiest around, but they know what they are doing, are extremely professional, smiling and fun. They’re British…what can you say..it’s all good.
The cabin interiors are always in good condition, the Club World seats are excellent.
It’s all less funky than VS for instance and the food is far from being up to CX or EK standards, but everything works perfectly well, fits together. It’s a great product. I just like BA, what can I say?

Hope you enjoyed this looong report....feedback welcome!

-LoungeLover

11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineSDLSimme From Sweden, joined Feb 2005, 436 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 7278 times:

Really nice report!
I love the pictures. When you are sitting the way you did, do you face someone else? I don't know about you guys but I would feel a little awkward if I had to sit right across from another person and to sit and look at that person for a long-haul flight. But that's just IMHO.  Smile
May you get to go on more business trips so that you can write more good trip reports!



A319, A320, A321, A332, A333, Avro RJ85, B733, B734, B735, B736, B73G, B738, B743, B744, B752, B763, B764, B772, CRJ200,
User currently offlineLauda 777 From Sweden, joined May 1999, 501 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 7270 times:

"It’s all less funky than VS for instance and the food is far from being up to CX or EK standards, but everything works perfectly well, fits together. It’s a great product. I just like BA, what can I say?"

Great way to describe the British Airways and a great trip report!


Cheers!



Joystick for flightsim. Yokes for real planes.
User currently offlinePlaneMad From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2003, 533 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 7256 times:

Amazing trip report. One day I would like to fly business class. At the moment I am just one of the cattle back there!

Sam D  Smile


User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3697 posts, RR: 28
Reply 4, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 7169 times:

Great Report!

The IFE on BA is state of the ark and on my last few flights I just went to sleep instead of waiting for the CSD to reset followed by more reset. Which screens did you have? The ones below are the mini-ones, shockingly small

compared to ones in majority of Club World and First



Out of interest how did you compare the 777 experience to the upper deck experiecne? Personally I loathe the 777 in Club World, although rather enjoy the 62A/62K experience upstairs

When you are sitting the way you did, do you face someone else?

You don't have to, there is a privacy fan which means you can shut yourself off from the neighbour and in the window seats it really shuts you off from the rest of the folk.




"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
User currently offlineAirxLiban From Lebanon, joined Oct 2003, 4504 posts, RR: 54
Reply 5, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 6998 times:

I've flown Club World (the original club world delivered on the 744s, the cradle seat and the bed) on the 744s and only the bed on the 772 (BA 182, JFK-LHR) and found that I hated it on the 777 but loved it on the 747-400 Upper Deck.

For some reason (not exactly sure why) you have to climb over someone's legs to get to the aisle on the 777s, but this was not the case on the upper deck of the 747. Perhaps I always had the same seat?

Either way, the BA service is well polished. The only problem i have with the bed is that if you're facing backwards, your head ends up being a little higher than your feet.

I suppose its the opposite when facing forwards...



PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3697 posts, RR: 28
Reply 6, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 6941 times:

For some reason (not exactly sure why) you have to climb over someone's legs to get to the aisle on the 777s, but this was not the case on the upper deck of the 747. Perhaps I always had the same seat?

It is normal on 777, on the 747 upper deck seats 62A and 62K are exit rows so you don't need to climb out over someone else. Makes for the best of both worlds IMO



"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
User currently offlineBA380 From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 1466 posts, RR: 8
Reply 7, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 6919 times:

good report

the small screens on some of the 777s is ridiculous. A joke. I love the Club World seat, but they have got to do something about the small screens and upgrade them to the larger screen.



cabin crew: doors to automatic and cross-check...
User currently offlineLoungeLover From Germany, joined Aug 2004, 148 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 6908 times:

Hi all,

thanks for your great feedback. I really appreciate your comments.
Here are my answers to your questions:

SDLSimme: I was only facing someone else on the 777. But we had the blind uo between us, so I didn't see him a single time.

Lauda777: thanks!!!

Fbgdavidson: I had the small pathetic screen on the 777 (but the purser told me that the a/c would soon undergo refurbishment and get the new screens).
The big screens on the way back were great!
In terms of comparing the 777 experience to the upper deck, it is a difficult choice. Why? Because I really love the 777 and think it is one of the most exciting planes to fly. And, OK, this is going to sound weird: but it was a night flight and I just loved looking at that GE90 right in front of my window!
However, the upper deck experience is probably better overall: less people, less noise and the 62K seat gives you so much privacy. I've also found that being upstairs gives you a better relationship to the FA's - because they have less people to take care of, of course.

AirxLiban: I see what you mean but can't really say that I experienced the same. As I'm 6ft6 I hardly ever actually use the flat-bed completely. I always prefer staying in a slightly upright position anyway...  Wink/being sarcastic


User currently offlinePanAmerican From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 384 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 6853 times:

Hey,
great report. I didn't even know there were seats facing backwards. That would be kind of weird. Interesting fact to know though.
Thanks. Keep up the good work.

 Smile/happy/getting dizzy PA



Pan Am - The World's Most Experienced Airline.
User currently offlineSpeedbird2155 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 864 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 6708 times:

Hey LoungeLover

Glad you enjoyed the flights and the service. Enjoyed reading the report.

I do understand how you feel about having to take a bus to the terminal as I've had to do it myself, both as staff (departures and arrivals) and as a passenger. Unfortunately, given the volume of flights - arrivals and departures - each day, it is simply impossible to have each flight on a stand with a jetway, given the limited number of gates in T4.....around 22 gates. These gates are also shared by other airlines and it is indeed frustrating for both passengers and staff. I can say that the number of times I've had to go out on these remote stands on a shift can really be frustrating, especially when it is freezing or raining. We do hope that T5 improves this situation, but given what we've been hearing, there will still be a limited requirement to bus people to and from aircraft.


User currently offlineAirWales From UK - Wales, joined Oct 2004, 453 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 6650 times:

Really good report - enjoyed reading it. Thanks

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