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Air India ~ 744 ~ LHR-JFK-LHR +Spotting (Pics)  
User currently offlineB742 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 3767 posts, RR: 19
Posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 27493 times:

London Heathrow, Terminal 3 (LHR) - New York JFK, Terminal 4 (JFK)

Flight: AI111
Operator: Air India
Aircraft: Boeing 747-437
Reg: VT-EVB
Aircraft Name: Velhagoa
Seat: 43A
Boarding Time: 12:15
Scheduled Depature Time: 13:15
Actual Departure Time: 13:20
Scheduled Arrival Time: 15:40
Actual Arrival Time: 15:19


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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Chris Sheldon



Check-in & Departure:
We arrived at Heathrow's Terminal 3 at 10AM and decided to make our way to check-in. The flight was being prepared to open for passengers to check in, we were third in the que so we had great seats! We then decided to pre-book our return seats at the Air India ticket office (free of charge)! We then made our way to the shops above the check-in hall, the shops were pretty boring so we qued up to get into the departure hall. We went through LHR's immigration with no trouble, there was about 4 or 5 lines and the ques were quite short, espically good for the early morning rush! The shops were fairly busy, but there was lots of varieties of shops in the departure area. Spotting was not that good from the departure area so we walked down toward the gates hoping for some good spotting! I walked to the end of the pier, there was a Star Alliance Thai Airways 747-4D7 pushing back for the flight to BKK. There was also a BWIA A340 in plain blue colours pushing back to the Carrabean! As I walked back to see the VS 747's a big crowd of people were comming towards me, it was Peter Andre at the gate boarding a Virgin 747 bound for the US! Big grin Two AI 744's were parked up together being prepared for their flights to JFK and ORD! The flight was called and we decided to board the a/c before the rush. We boarded the flight and made our way to our seats. The flight was only about 50% full so pretty much everyone had a window seat Big grin! The flight pushed back just 10mins late, as we pushed back a Varig MD-11 taxiied to T3! We followed the UAL 772 also bound for JFK to the runway. We passed the construction site fot T5 and entered the runway for take-off. Take-off was pretty smooth and we passed over Twickenham before heading to the US!

In-flight:
The flight was only half-full so the service was great. We were served with a snack and a lunch which was very nice. The cabin crew were very efficent and qucik with your requests!


Landing:
The pilot annouced landing into JFK and then the crew made their final checks for landing.We approached over long island and made our way to JFK! We passed the Empire state building (on the right of the A/C) before lining up to the Runway. We landed and taxiied towards terminal 5. We could see; Emirates 345, NWA 744, Swiss 332, Aer Lingus 332,333, UAL 772 and many DL aircraft. The landing was very smooth and the short trip to the terminal was very quick.

Arrival:
Immigration was very quick and were very polite. Only problem we had was the man was a Mets fan and I was wearing a Yankies hat!  Wink We collected our lugguge and made our way to the taxi's!

-----------------------------------

New York JFK, Terminal 4 (JFK) - London Heathrow, Terminal 3 (LHR)

Flight: AI112
Operater: Air India
Aircraft: Boeing 747-412
Reg: VT-AIE (Ex. SQ 9V-SMG)
Aircraft Name: Mamallapuram
Seat:  Confused
Boarding Time: 18:20
Scheduled Depature Time: 19:10
Actual Departure Time: 19:30
Scheduled Arrival Time: 06:50
Actual Arrival Time: 07:05


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Photo © Carsten Blümel



Check-in & Departure:
Check-in at JFK's Terminal 4 was very quick so we decided to some spotting at JFK! After check-in at the AI first class desk we hopped on the AirTrain and went round the terminals. (see below for pics!) We then looked round the shops in T4. I also went to look at the new VS lounge, but they would'nt let me in!  Angry The flight was called and we decided to "try" and get through to the gates. We had to go past about 3 scanning areas before we could boad the aircraft! But best to safe though! Big grin We boarded the aircraft and sat in our seats which were near the back of the aircraft. Our plane was next to a KU 772 bound for LHR and KWI! The aircraft pushed back, we could see the EK 345 being prepared for the flight to DXB! The aircraft was a ex SQ 744, you could still see the logos on the PTV's! We were 5th in line for take-off after a BA 744, IB 346, AA 772, EI 333 and a Swiss 343! We took off as it started to snow! The flight was full this time, which was not as fun!  Sad

In-flight:
Shortly after takeoff we turned and flew towards BOS and Halifax. We then passed Ireland before sunrise over Wales! The flight was very comfortable, but the PTV's were old and had no camera's!  Sad

Landing:
We headed to LGW before lining up for the runway at LHR! We arrvied after a VS 343 and taxied to the terminal behind the 343! We parked up next to a GF 332. Shortly after the doors opened a EK 332 taxied in from DXB!

Arrival:
We de-planed the aircraft and the boarding cards were taxen of us to make sure we were LHR passengers not BOM passengers! We made our way to immigration and the ques were very slow! There was about 6 flights that had just arrived and most of the PAX were Britsh and all in one line! They checked our passports and we went to get our luggauge. My high ratings of LHR immigration had just sunk! We then made our way to Terminal 2 were we got picked up and transfered to parking!



My ratings:
London Heathrow: **** Very good but no way as nice as airports such as DXB,HKG!
New York JFK: ***** Suprised at how good JFK was, the terminal was almost brand new and very modern!
Air India Service: *** Good, but not as good as BA,VS...
London Heathrow Immigration: *** Not to slow but still not fast enough for me!
JFK Immirgation: Great, very polite and very quick!
London Heathrow Ground handling: **** Very quick and not a strach on the luggauge!
JFK Ground handling: **** Quite quick and very polite.
Aircraft: ***** 5 Stars for me, the 747's are great!
Pilot and Co Pilot: ***** Again 5 stars, the pilot was very polite and kept us updated!


Spotting at JFK:
JFK's spotting is very good and there's a large variety of aircraft. From Terminal 4 you can see two runways and the ramp at Terminal 4! If you hop on the AirTrain you can see much more and can catch some good photos!
Here's some pics:








Thanks,

Rob!

12 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineDALelite From Switzerland, joined Jun 2000, 1770 posts, RR: 25
Reply 1, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 27230 times:

a truely different report. nice pics. thanks

DALelite



They loved to fly and it showed..
User currently offlineCatatonic From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 1155 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 27181 times:

Nice report, what made you choose AI? I have seen a couple of deals from LHR-JFK with AI that were quite cheap but have usually paid more and stuck with UK or US carriers. Am flying EI to JFK next so that should be good. Dont know why I've not gone for AI, maybe something to consider again in the future. Apparently KU offer even cheaper fares than AI, would like to see a trip report on them.


Equally Cursed and Blessed.
User currently offlineB742 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 3767 posts, RR: 19
Reply 3, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 27145 times:

Thanks guys!

Catatonic, I simply choose AI over the other airlines as it was cheaper! I choose AI over KU due to departure times (AI leaving LHR earlier)! Plus AI overed the 744 rather than the 772 of KU!
EI is a great airline, they fly to the same terminal as AI and KU at JFK, the terminal is very modern and very smart!

Cheap fares for Air India can be found at www.lastminute.com !

I think there was a trip report for KU a while ago on here, have a search for it!

Rob!


User currently offlineKaran69 From India, joined Oct 2004, 2887 posts, RR: 18
Reply 4, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 26825 times:

Nice report Rob, good to see your experience on AI was pleasant.
Were the PTVs working and what were they telecasting on it.

What do you feel, barring IFE should AI make an improvement in to compete with the likes of BA and VS


User currently offlineB742 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 3767 posts, RR: 19
Reply 5, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 26821 times:

Karan69, AI are a great airline, I would defantly fly them again!

Yep the IFE's were working, there was a map and a couple channels that worked! On VT-AIE, the ex SQ bird had PTV's with the SQ logos still on it! Big grin

Yeh, AI should make an improvement to compete with other major airlines! I think they are?

Rob!


User currently offlineMrniji From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 26822 times:

Rob, very nice report, and nice spotting pics! Congrats, and keep on going with these reports! If you have the time and feel like, could you give some more comments on the inflight experience and service (crew attitute - particularities ; pax profiles - Indians vs. Brits vs. Yanks vs. others; seat pitch, comfort; and everything else you find worth mentioning)

Well done!

Quoting B742 (Thread starter):
The aircraft was a ex SQ 744, you could still see the logos on the PTV's!

How was the PTV programme? Introduction with the Maharajah? My mom flew on the so-called "brandnew" T7 (the rustbucket) recently and said the programme was fine as long one likes Bollywood Big grin

If you want to have a look at my experiences with AI, have a look at

AI: DEL-FRA V.V. 74D: The Story Of A Combi (Pics/Vids) (by Mrniji Feb 19 2005 in Trip Reports)

Thanks again for the report, Rob! Nice pics from spotting! Any inflight ones?


User currently offlineHimmat01 From India, joined Dec 2004, 1047 posts, RR: 6
Reply 7, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 26778 times:

A great report Rob. Pictures are really cool.


An airplane might disappoint any pilot but it'll never surprise a good one.
User currently offlineBsmalls35 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 26724 times:

Nice report, just one question, who is Peter Andre?

User currently offlineKaran69 From India, joined Oct 2004, 2887 posts, RR: 18
Reply 9, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 26654 times:

Quoting Bsmalls35 (Reply 8):
who is Peter Andre?

Mate he is a famous singer--one of his famous songs are --"Mysterious Girl"

Quoting B742 (Reply 5):
Yeh, AI should make an improvement to compete with other major airlines! I think they are?

What According to you they need to do to bridge the gap between themselves and the likes of VS and BA


User currently offlineB742 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 3767 posts, RR: 19
Reply 10, posted (9 years 3 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 25833 times:

Quoting Karan69 (Reply 9):
What According to you they need to do to bridge the gap between themselves and the likes of VS and BA

Air India need to improve their in-flight entertainment, and maybe introducing new seats and cabins to their long haul fleet! VS and BA are extremly well rated airlines, I would love to see AI up there with VS and BA someday!

Quoting Mrniji (Reply 6):
How was the PTV programme? Introduction with the Maharajah?

The programmes were average, we watched Simpsons and and an Hollywood blockbuster, which I can't rememeber  Confused

Is the Maharajah the logo, not sure? lol

Mrniji, I will add some more pics and write some more info later today, I will post it soon!

Rob!


User currently offlineMrniji From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (9 years 3 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 25746 times:

Quoting B742 (Reply 10):
The programmes were average, we watched Simpsons and and an Hollywood blockbuster, which I can't rememeber

Simpsons on AI?? I am on board!  bigthumbsup  great! my favoite serial

they should show the episode where AI appears, when Apu's wife comes to Springfield for the arranged marriage - the slogan: "Air-India: we treat you like cattle" Big grin - and then Lisa asks Marge: "on which BOM-Springfield flight does she come: 1000h, 1015 or 1030h?" Big grin - and then SIgfried and Roy get to know that they lost their tiger and have to identify it with the chart, and it is tiger 6 Big grin


User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3706 posts, RR: 28
Reply 12, posted (9 years 3 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 25766 times:

Nice report. Have to say I can't see myself flying AI but nice to read about it!


Very nice picture!

Quoting B742 (Thread starter):
As I walked back to see the VS 747's a big crowd of people were comming towards me, it was Peter Andre at the gate boarding a Virgin 747 bound for the US!

I hate bottom feeding assholes like him with a passion.  Angry

Quoting B742 (Thread starter):
I also went to look at the new VS lounge, but they would'nt let me in!

Interesting. Did your ticket give you lounge access or do you have VS Flying Club benefits that get you in the lounge? Seems a bit harsh they didn't let you in if that was the case.



"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
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