Just got back from a nice short trip to Italy. Took a week off work and met up with friends.
- Sunday, March 25th. -
Drove down to my parents house in Queens. To make sure I was at the airport 2 hrs before take off we left at 2pm for a 5pm flight. Well, the Van Wyck Expressway, where they are building the Airtrain was empty and we were in the airport 15 minutes after leaving the house. Finding a decent parking space is another matter, JFK is a mess.
Walked into BA terminal at JFK. This was my first time flying BA and decided to, after hearing many positive comments from this message board.
Check-in took between 2 and 3 minutes!, for coach! I'm serious, there was NO line what so ever. There are BA employees all over helping and directing you. Asked for an aisle seat on BA112, got 48C. The BA terminal is shaping up very nicely at JFK. Nothing to do but have lunch with the parents and do a bit of spotting. The BA terminal overlook 31R (i think) so I was able to see lots of "heavy" jets landing.
While I was in JFK waiting for the first leg, I walked up to the customer service counter and asked to get a window seat on the LHR-FCO leg. Since it was day-time, there's no point in missing out. The rep happily fulfilled my request.
My plane was G-BNLA a 747-400, "rose" tail, complete with New World Traveller cabin, PTVs and all. Pushed back from the gate at exactly 5pm. Captain informs us that there are very fast tailwinds and we need to take it slow taxiing, otherwise Heathrow won't be open if we arrive so early. I loved watching the "map" channel on the PTV. Give you altitude and speed as well as position and flight track. At some points the tail wind was over 100 MPH and our ground speed reached 1015kph. Needless to say, we arrived about 1 hour early. Service on the flight was awesome. We were kept well fed, drinks all the time, snacks, and overall extremely pleasant cabin crew. What's interesting is that most of the plain is NOT coach, but first, club world and , world traveller plus. With all the food and PTVs, we seemed to arrive in no time.
- Monday, April 26 -
Now that I landed in London, I just waited about an hour for my connecting flight to Rome. Plane was a 757, "union flag" tail. We were bused out to the plane and walked up the steps. Apparently, Heathrow is very busy Monday mornings and there are not enough gates. Plane was a bit delayed taking off because shortage of pushback trucks.
*** HERE IS A BIG TIP FOR EUROPEAN BA FLIGHTS ***
Before I mentioned I asked for a window seat on the LHR-FCO leg. Well, I was assigned 13A. This is the first row,on the left, behind Club World (aka Business). Many of these planes have Club World seats, on the left side only, in the first row of coach. So, if you can, get this row. It's 13A & C on a 757.
- Sunday, April 1 -
Had a 7:20am flight out of Rome for LGW. So I stayed the night at the Hilton Rome Airport. Public xport doesn't run that early on Sunday to FCO so I would have had to get up real early and take an epensive cab ride anyway. Plane was a 737-4S3. Smooth and univentful ride into LGW. LGW was very foggy and captain announced full ILS landing.
Connecting flight 2173 from LGW-JFK. Plane was a 767-300, painted in old grey colors but with New World Traveller interior (without PTVs yet, but had placeholders for them.) Boarded plane ontime for 10:30 departure. Notice BA engineers inside the plane. All passengers onboard. Still sitting. Pilot comes on and annouces there is a problem with the Emergency floor lighting, that's why the engineers are onboard. The pilot kept us updated the whole time telling us exactly what was going on (would this happen on a US airline?) Basically, they kept replacing parts until the system worked again. We took off about an hour late. Strong head winds made the flight last 8 hours. In the middle of the flight I made my move and asked a cabin crew if I could visit the flight deck. 1/2 hour later, the first officer came to my seat and asked me to come up to the flight deck!
This was my first time on a flight deck during flight. It was SOOOO awesome!!!! We were cruising at 35,000 ft at Mach .805, heading 252 degrees, a couple of hundred miles south of Greenland. The pilot had his feet up on the dashboard, it was pretty relaxed in there. Talked with them for about 10 minutes and then returned to my seat.
The service on this transatlantic flight was also just as awesome as the first. I really must say that BA is great! The service, food, everything! They try and make it as pleasant as possible to fly.
Sorry for typos. I'm freaking tired and have been up for who knows how many hours after flying.