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RIC-IAD-LHR:UA/BA Club World Sleeper Service (Pics)  
User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3713 posts, RR: 28
Posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 19375 times:

Route: Richmond (Byrd Field) – Washington Dulles
Airline: United Express Operated by Trans States Airlines
Flight number: UA7994
Aircraft: Embraer ERJ-145
Registration: N842HK
Seat: 1A (Domestic Single Class)
Distance: 100 miles
Duration: 23mins
Date: Friday 24th December



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Photo © Kyle Donagher
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Photo © Daniel J. Evans



Following my 84 day stay in the US it was time to go back to the UK for Xmas and New Year, a good opportunity to see my friends and family following my 3 month stay in Richmond. This trip was initially booked in August and my girlfriend was expected to join me on the trip although following an unfortunate incident during my stay it was decided wise I made the trip alone. The RIC-IAD legs were booked in late November for convenience and to avoid the combined hassles of I-95, Manassas and general Christmas Eve traffic concerns. However it also offered the opportunity for me to take my shortest commercial flight to date and a trip from my new local airport.

The trip as a whole began, as it always does when a BA sector is involved, the night before on a computer somewhere. I checked in for my BA flight from IAD to LHR and despite numerous Mac, printer, OLCI software and Internet woes I was able to print my boarding pass off to ease my transit at Dulles.

Due to the fact my luggage was due to be checked right through from Richmond to Heathrow I took a little caution and followed the United website which said I needed to check-in two hours before an international flight if I had checked bags. Although my short connecting flight was domestic I was interlining with an international flight so went with this. Erring on the side of caution maybe but it allowed some quality time for me to spend with my girlfriend and I couldn’t afford for my case not to make it!

It was my first time at Richmond airport and the construction of the new parking garages looked complete although the curbside area was still behind high wooden boards. A number of people were checking in curbside although I saw no UA desks so went down the temporary path to the old terminal building. Glances to my left and upward about 100ft gave me a great view of the steel frame making up the new departure area that reminded me of a small version of Dulles main terminal!

The UA check-in desks were about halfway down the line of desks and were manned by two agents. I’d picked a good time to arrive as there was nobody in line, even so I made use of the priority check-in line!  Embarrassment Formalities completed, boarding pass checked for presence of LH FF number, the unlocking of luggage (Thank you TSA  Angry ) I was handed back gold boarding pass wallet and shiny boarding pass. My girlfriend and I then made our way to the Smokehouse restaurant that offered great views of the apron and runways. We enjoyed a couple of beers over the space of an hour or so and made upcoming plans for our February vacation. The weather was beautiful and it was nice to have such a good view of the runway. A Delta MD-80 (I think) landed and taxied right to the gate in front of us, dwarfing the other regional jets that populated most of the airport.

Around 30mins before the stated boarding time I said my goodbyes and went through the empty security point towards Concourse B, some very jolly TSA folks this Xmas Eve which was nice to see! I subsequently walked down to Gate B11 where my flight to Washington awaited me. The new concourse was very airy and spacious and pleasant to spend 30 or so minutes waiting for the flight. Some flight crew came in and out of the locked doors for some time and a couple non-revving were sat beside me worrying about not making this flight or their 37 minute connection at Dulles (some serious MCT issues there!). Alas the gate agent put their fears to rest as it was apparent the flight would only be 50% full there or thereabouts.


Our Embraer 145 waiting at Gate B11 for the short flight to Dulles

A boarding announcement was made for Star Gold, UA 1K and UA Premier Exec members (I thought the aforementioned tiers were Star Gold but there you go  Wink) and embarrassingly I was the only person to stand up and board. Felt a bit of a fool as everyone watched me go down the jet way, and as I left general boarding was announced. Our FA for the flight Bobbie, was very cheery and welcomed me aboard and showed me to 1A, a rather nice seat in the 1-2 configured aircraft as I was across the aisle from the galley, although had no overhead space. As a positive I must have had about an extra four inches of legroom if not more! My bags were parked for a few minutes and she said that maybe as I was in ‘First Class’ I’d get an extra snack or peanuts  Wow! I was rather taken aback to be honest as I knew this flight was short so expected nothing in terms of service beyond a smile! Bobbie then asked if I wanted my large Xmas present bag put in the closet (which I accepted) and said she’d try and accommodate me in a double seat close to the front of the aircraft to get a little more room for me. Everyone else boarded past me sat right by the door, this included a number of deadheading crew and as it happened 4B & 4C were vacant. I moved back there and put on my noise cancelling headphones to prepare for the short flight. The views promised to be spectacular as there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and we were informed we’d climb to no more than 14,000 ft. I spotted a Delta Connection CRJ out of the window and took a picture.


Delta CRJ on stand next to us

We pushed back and taxied to runway 16, the longest of RIC’s at just over 9000ft. The takeoff, thanks to Bose, was pretty silent and as we banked I saw a number of helicopters at the National Air Guard base. The climb was spectacular and although I didn’t get to see my apartment I wasn’t disappointed. I noticed a few places I’ve visited or passed through during my numerous stays in the area. Getting an aerial view of your local area is always fascinating and I took a few pictures.


Central Virginia from ca. 8000ft

During the climb Bobbie came over on the PA system to inform there was a drinks service done from the galley for anyone who wanted it on a case by case basis. I wasn’t thirsty but the guy across from me was ordering two Canada Drys during the 15mins or so of cruise! In between serving Mr Thirsty in 4A, Bobbie made a real fuss of the baby behind me in 5C and I have to say I was very impressed with how personable she was throughout the whole flight  thumbsup . It appeared the flight plan was following I-95 for most of the flight and it was visible just below us at times. Although it was hard to gauge whether I’d avoided any traffic by taking this flight!


I-95 at the bottom of the photo going from left to right

Out of the window I saw the Rappahannock, a large river I’ve sailed a few times and also the Potomac and the Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge I’ve driven on Route 301 up to Annapolis.


The Potomac River. For those trying to gauge where they are the Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge (You’ll know it if you’ve driven it is beside the red and white chimney at the back of the photo…don’t strain too hard  Wink)

A few minutes later Bobbie made an announcement for connecting passengers who I presume made up the majority of those onboard. She also informed us we were to arrive at Concourse C, not the usual Concourse G which saved me taking a shuttle bus  Smile You could then feel we were dropping in altitude and plane banked round a touch before coming straight in for landing on 1L. The Udvar-Hazy Museum, still on the ‘to go’ list was seen out of the window. Irritatingly despite my almost 6hr layover the museum closed early and wasn’t sure I’d get it all in so have chosen to make a special visit later next year.


Udvar-Hazy Museum

The super-fast flight was already over and in fact it worked out that the 100 miles took about 23mins in the air, some way ahead of the 1hr scheduled departure time!

As we landed we taxied round right behind a 777 visible to the right, from an ERJ-145 view it looked truly enormous! I noticed a BA 777 on the usual BA stand which suggested an equipment change from the 747-400 I was expecting. Usually I could presume it was operating the early evening departure but this particular day the only BA flight was my 9.55pm departure.

We parked up at the gate and stopped for a few minutes, little happened except I chose this opportunity to get up and move to 1A to retrieve my bags. Quite why when I had a six hour layover I don’t know! However I did get the opportunity to get a picture of the cabin.


Cabin view of this ERJ-145 (Apologies to Mr seat 2A!  Wink )

The pilots then announced that we had pulled up short and needed to be pulled forward a few feet so we could get the stairs to deplane. All in all it took about 5mins but I was swiftly off and headed off in search of free booze at the British Airways lounge somewhere down in Concourse D. I knew the lounge would usually be open for the BA216 although was sure my flight BA292, was the only BA flight departing Dulles that day, however the 777 outside and the fact the BA216 was listed on the departure board suggested it was sold out.

I arrived at the BA lounge to find the door locked, with newspapers outside although a sign read it was open at 3.30pm, which happened to be 20mins ago. I knocked and there was no answer, went to the First Lounge and tried the same. Nothing. The AA website that I checked the day before suggested their Admirals Club across the way was only open until noon but headed over there to see whether that information was correct. It was and a piece of paper on the door confirmed this. I headed back some way to one of the three United Red Carpet Clubs at IAD in this concourse; the one at C17 seemed closest so went through the frosted doors and down the stairs. I showed my Lufthansa Senator card and after some tapping and swiping, the chap said the card was expired. He said it seemed strange based on the Feb 2007 validity date on the front so did some more tapping and let me in.

I like this lounge as it is on the lower floor and has views of the apron on both sides of the concourse with the club extending underneath the walkway. I helped myself to some Oreos and a Pepsi and sat watching some guys outside in fluorescent jackets walking around the UA Express CRJ beside my window.


United Express / Air Wisconsin CRJ

For some reason I get itchy feet in airport lounges so went and sat beside the large TV watching Indianapolis Colts at Seattle Seahawks. Quite a few people were glued to the screen including a rather annoying woman who appeared to know even less about football than I do (that is saying a lot  Wink) and shouted something daft whenever anything happened or anyone tackled/missed pass/ran/breathed etc…




United Red Carpet Club at Gate C17

I got so fed up with this I went to the bar with a view over the other side of the Concourse. Picked up a copy of National Geographic Traveller on the way and sat with a pint of Pyramid ($4 damn it! I hate having to pay for alcohol in airline lounges) looking out the window watching what I think was an A319 being prepared for pushback. I find it hard to tell at ground level what half these aircraft are, they all look big! As I watched the baggage handlers load the aircraft I had these visions of my suitcase being kept in some small room and being furtled through and jumped on by some mischievous baggage handler… I believe at times I can get a little paranoid!


United A319? you decide

I had a quick look to see if there were any internet terminals in the business centre now, but no…all phones!


"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
22 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3713 posts, RR: 28
Reply 1, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 19362 times:

Route: Washington Dulles – London Heathrow
Airline: British Airways
Flight number: BA292
Aircraft: Boeing 747-400
Registration: G-CIVX
Seat: 13K (Club World – Business Class
Distance: 3674 miles
Duration: 7hrs
Date: Friday 24th December



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Photo © K Chilton
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Photo © Christopher Hammarborg



At about 5.30pm I decided to drink up and make my way down the Concourse to the BA lounge, thinking at this stage the lounge would be open for those on BA216. Once again the lounge door was locked, although the newspapers were gone so somebody was at home! I was about to head back to the RCC when I noticed the First Lounge door was ajar. Nobody was at the front desk although I noticed the attendants were stocking the fridge. Although they probably thought I was a fool I explained the situation, showed my boarding pass and they invited me to make myself at home. The last time I was in this lounge ( BA293/292 Club World - LHR-IAD-LHR (with Pictures) (by Fbgdavidson Apr 4 2005 in Trip Reports) ) it was rather different, over the summer it had a makeover which allowed British Airways to offer the Sleeper Service on BA292. This was to be my first Sleeper Service flight so was intrigued to see what it was like to experience first hand.

It started off well with half size Veuve Clicquot bottles in the fridge  thumbsup  which if you are one to judge champagne based on the price is about twice as good as the Monopole Blue Top and Charles de Cazenove offerings I’d had in the LHR Concorde Room on my flight over to Washington  Wink ( BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics) (by Fbgdavidson Oct 4 2005 in Trip Reports) ) . Naturally I helped myself to a bottle, looked at the snacks on offer and settled down somewhere near the corner.


Veuve Clicquot champagne offering in the BA First lounge

Not a few minutes later a family of five from the Indian sub-continent joined me in the lounge and settled in the corner opposite me, I still presumed these folks were on the BA216. Thought there was a fair bit of cash thrown at that trip, or a lot of BA miles  Wink A couple more businessmen followed, all of whom were drinking water and making me feel positively alcoholic! I then decided it was time to take a few pictures, including my trademark bear shot before I got too sub conscious about looking like a complete fool. Although to be frank after a few beers and champagnes I couldn’t have cared either way!





BA First Lounge

After a couple of bottles of the Veuve and my consumption in the UA lounge it was time for the bathroom. Stupidly BA didn’t put one in the lounge, but catering for a fairly small market this was almost understandable! I left all my stuff behind and nipped down the Concourse and returned. Was about to explain to the guy on the front desk the situation when after three words he waved me in! Although I quickly shot back to put a note in the guestbook!  Wink

I then listened to some music but the guys decided to switch the TV on….to Fox News  Wow! The noise drowned out my music so I moved to the VIP area that was open, although a screen could be pulled over to keep out the ruffians! Seating was for about 8 in here, so celebrity entourages and hangers-on could come in too  Wink, however the furnishings were all identical, because of course at BA everyone gets the VIP treatment  Silly This was in comparison of the seating for perhaps 15 in the rest of the lounge. So enough room for a full First cabin and a few BA Golds, although it’d probably feel a little cramped!


More Veuve Clicquot in the VIP section


I listened to some music for about 30mins or so and unfortunately had to leave the lounge briefly again. This was becoming rather annoying now  Wink Upon my return the lounge was empty and I stepped into the VIP bit to find a BA suit looking confused standing beside my unattended bags! He informed me since BA had one flight that evening they were closing the First lounge and moving everyone to the Terraces next door where ‘as a First passenger they would accommodate me in the First dining room’. I embarrassingly had to explain the situation and say I was only eligible for the Terraces! He didn’t seem bothered and we walked to the Terraces. I asked to swap out my printed boarding pass for a real one, he gave me some strange looks upon where it was swapped out for a seat on the main deck, 13K. Usually I’d request upper deck though having not tried main deck for some time was contented with window seat and I’d be in the small cabin. He gave me a voucher for pre-flight dining and I took a seat in the corner of the lounge with a copy of Business Traveller magazine. Coincidentally the magazine fell open with an article on my small home town and final destination of this journey!



Newly refurbished BA Terraces Lounge at Dulles

I read the magazine for about 10mins with a glass of white wine before deciding to up-sticks to start the Sleeper Service experience. For those who aren’t aware of this it is a service BA began on a number of overnight flights from the US East Coast and Middle East whereby Club World passengers eat in a restaurant type environment before boarding the aircraft where a much reduced overnight service is on offer. This combined with use of Arrivals Lounge is designed to allow the passenger to get more sleep on the shorter overnight flights.

I showed the girl at the entrance the voucher with my seat number, she took it off me and waved me through. I walked past a buffet and bar area and came to a seating area of about fifty. I took a seat in the corner and went and got myself a plate to start eating!


Entrance to dining area

Buffet service

Seating area

It appeared there were a couple of approaches, the first being a number of prepared dished on hotplates, these included a festive offering of turkey and cranberry, vegetarian friendly lasagne and something else! I took this back to my table and came back to fetch cutlery and a glass of Pinot Grigio.


Turkey with potatoes and salad

The turkey wasn’t too good, the cut itself reminded me too much of boarding school! But the rest was rather good. Tempted to see the other options I went back for more, this time it was prepared in front of me. I chose a meat (beef, shrimp or chicken) then a sauce (Szechwan, korma or something else!) and then a variety of vegetables to accompany rice or noodles. This was mixed right in front of me and pan fried to my liking  thumbsup 



Beef korma with mushrooms and rice

This was superb! Had I not got the turkey I’d have had another plate of this, and an elderly couple in suits about 30ft away from me were raving about it too! The dining area was rather empty, only another six people in there while I was there although in fairness it was a shade over 2hrs before departure! If it weren’t for my insane layover I wouldn’t have been there…Everyone was dining with a buddy, alas only the chill out music from the nearby stereo was keeping me company tonight but I wasn’t too fussed! I went back to the buffet to get some dessert, chocolate brownies…yum! Too full to enjoy more than a couple though!

On the way out I took a couple of pictures of the accompanying First Dining Room, fortunately for me it was empty! First passengers are not required to dine before the flight as they get a full onboard service, however one can dine before and onboard if one fancies!



First Dining Room

I took a seat back in the lounge and read papers and magazines before an announcement was made for boarding. I went up to the gate and got myself in the Fast Track lane for Club World and First boarding, alas I ended up behind some slow coach with a baby who couldn’t find her boarding pass  Angry She was there mucking about for over a minute (despite the PA that asked to have passport and BP ready) and eventually a BA agent did a scan of the boarding line to check others using the fast lane were in the forward two cabins. As it turned out all but two of the nine were ineligible and were booted out! I was called forward and I managed to glimpse at the woman in front as she retrieved her boarding pass….for 42B  Angry OK, so I’m not going to get to London any faster by making a fuss or jumping in front but it annoys me immensely that people are so ignorant to priority lanes and things of the ilk despite numerous announcements and signs!

I headed down the jetway and was welcomed aboard and directed to 13K. Put my bags away and retrieved my First pyjamas to change into. I hadn’t been on the main deck in Club World for about three years, usually the upper so I mistakenly ended up in the burr walnut decorated lavatory  Embarrassment I wasn’t going to be a minute so got on with changing and emerged from the bathroom and went back to my seat. The purser asked if I wanted a newspaper, I accepted her invitation and took a copy of the Times which I leafed through as the economy folk drooled their way through Club World on their way back to 31” pitch and tray based food  Wink I was then passed a menu and light blue amenity kit, another new colour for my collection, although the contents were identical to previous colours! I took the pursers third invitation, this for champagne and settled in, making sure I didn’t come across as a Club World newbie material by clearing my floor space and putting the seat in takeoff position.


Glass of Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve champagne in 13K

I leafed through the menu for this flight not expecting to see much on offer so I was surprised when I came across the following:


NIGHTCAP
Settle down with a NightCap to help you sleep

Green salad with olive oil dressing

Warm olive oil bread filled with minted shaved lamb, courgette and Gruyere cheese

Or

Warm olive oil bread filled with creamed spinach, leeks and cheese

Or

Hot chocolate with warm chocolate chip cookies

*

Your choice of hot chocolate, coffee, tea or herbal teas (peppermint, blackcurrant, apple or camomile and honey)

MIDNIGHT MUNCHIES

Should you wake and feel hungry we invite you to the galley are to choose from a variety of snacks from Midnight Munchies, which is available at any time throughout the flight.

BREAKFAST IN BED

Chilled fruit juice

An energising smoothie

*

Fresh seasonal fruit

Or

Cereals with chilled milk

Or

Warm bacon roll

Or

Warm croissants and muffins

*

Your choice of coffee or tea



ARRIVALS LOUNGE

Feel revived, refreshed and ready for the day by completing your journey with a visit to the Arrivals Lounge. There you can enjoy a full English or Continental breakfast, take a power shower, catch up on work – even get your suit pressed.

The British Airways Arrivals Lounge is open from 5am to 2pm


WINE

CHAMPAGNE COCKTAILS

Kir Royale

Bucks Fizz

*
CHAMPAGNE

Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve

*

WHITE

Estancia Pinnacles Ranches Chardonnay 2003, Monterey

Sancerre La Porte du Caillou, 2004, Henri Bourgeois

*

RED

Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2000

Rioja Urbina Reserva Especial 1996

A selection of traditional and modern drinks to suit all tastes including Coca Cola.

There will be a complimentary bar available serving alcoholic beverages and soft drinks.


__________________________________________________________________


I pulled up the privacy screen and settled down into my seat, looking out the window listening to some music and after a while it appeared the continuously passing crowds of the last few minutes had ended. The aircraft was prepared for pushback and from where I was sitting I got a good view into the galley. A non-rev passenger was talking to an FA in the galley who had all her bags with her and was then directed to a seat just across the aisle from me. Nice little upgrade for her that flight  thumbsup 

The new BA safety video was shown on this flight, I had an inkling it would be as I noticed the safety cards on the underside of the ottoman were a new and different design. To be honest this was a long time coming and it was refreshing not to see 8 inch thick laptops, mobile phones with pull out aerials and stonewash jeans!

As always at Dulles in the dark I seem to get confused with where we are but I believe we took off to the north banked round the northern side of the city and then headed almost due east. I ordered some cookies and hot chocolate from the menu which were delicious  thumbsup So warm and nice and soft  Smile


Hot chocolate and chocolate chip cookies

I didn’t bother with starting a movie as I was quite eager to get some sleep so swung out my PTV and switched to Skymap. I was treated to a rather nice view of the bright lights of Atlantic City, NJ as we headed up coastline, the line of lights marking the border between sea and land edged ever closer and unfortunately for me I just missed out on what would have been a superb view of New York City to the port side of the aircraft  Sad Long Island extended out below me and our track showed us passing over Boston with the lights of Cape Cod jutting out into the Atlantic. At this point I got some duty free shopping out the way, a bottle of gin for free was a nice touch courtesy of a BA Shopping the World coupon  Smile

I then got up to find the cabin of 18 seats around half full and so took a couple of new thicker spare blankets from close by to make my seat more comfortable. A trick learnt a few years back to ease the pain of the harder old style bed. Although this was a new dark blue upholstered version (compare below) and allegedly a softer bed I couldn’t tell much of a difference!


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Photo © Peter Duckworth
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Photo © WingFlex



I placed the first blanket on the seat sandwiching myself between the two and put the bed into the flat position, pulled a pair of eyeshades over me and proceeded to sleep for a number of hours.

When I woke we were still in darkness off the coast of Ireland and as I peered out of the window I could see the spectacular and approaching sunrise just behind me. Most of the cabin was in darkness although I proceeded to climb over the person in 14J and got a bottle of water from the galley. Took a walk down to the back of the aircraft to stretch my legs and to witness the carnage in the rear cabins  Wink I always find it amazing the ways some people find to sleep in the back; legs on top of seat in front  yuck , feet on the bulkhead  yuck , feet out in the aisle to the extent where I was almost being tripped up! The cabins were very full in the back, barely a spare seat in the house whereas Club World (this configuration had 70 seats) was lightly loaded. I then went back to my seat to relax and wake up. According to the skymap I had about 1hr 30mins left so decided to get up, go and get changed and freshen up.


Thick cloud over the eastern Atlantic and Ireland

The cloud was rather thick over Ireland and only began to clear up when we were over the Irish Sea. Breakfast service began in earnest, the Indian guy next to me mistakenly ordered a bacon roll and so got that swapped out for croissants while the Japanese couple in 14J & 14K were tucking into to something larger! I opted for the energizing smoothie and looked out of the window as we overflew Anglesey. The sky so clear you could see the stream of smoke coming out of the ferry chimneys from the terminal at Holyhead! Snowdonia looked rather like a glacier from our altitude as the cloud has settled into all the valleys!


Snowdonia


Wing view of G-CIVX

Soon all the cloud cover became almost 100% again and we began our descent into Heathrow. As we came through the higher layers we were informed we’d be landing from the west and over Windsor Castle, hopefully on 09R to make good our arrival at Terminal 4. I was able to make out where we were during our descent thanks to a few landmarks, although lower cloud hindered this slightly!

Soon enough the noise of the landing gear coming down could be heard and the ground was approaching. I was able to recognise from the position of a few places, mostly those in Windsor Great Park that we were coming in on 09R as I had hoped. We taxied off the runway and to my surprise saw a couple of aircraft takeoff from the same runway although could see the approach lights of inbound aircraft too! Answers on a postcard for that one  Wink

Then as is to be expected when making a timely arrival at Terminal 4…our stand was occupied so we sat on the tarmac for about 10mins waiting for an aircraft to vacate the stand. We taxied round and parked up at the Victor Zone…yay  Yeah sure Well at least the walk will hopefully do something to ease any DVT worries! Immigration was thankfully a breeze and I went to fetch a trolley in baggage claim for what I thought would be the long haul…the usual 30-45 min waits for luggage. I was utterly shocked being the first person to arrive at the belt to find my bag already going round! Straight through customs and back home for Xmas dinner!

Verdict:

United (RIC-IAD):

Very novel to have such a short flight  Smile Was most grateful to UA for being able to check my luggage right through to London, that saved me some stress at Dulles  thumbsup  Richmond is a great airport to fly from, very easy and the service onboard was all one could expect from such a short flight  thumbsup  to UA for this one.

British Airways (IAD-LHR):
I’ve flown Club World a number of times and reported those a few times on here so I’ll refer to specifically Sleeper Service and changes at Dulles in this verdict.

The newer lounges at Dulles are great with the exception of no bathrooms, seems daft as a brush to me to have a lounge that caters for around 100 people and have no bathroom! Sleeper Service works well for me, as a leisure traveller as I can arrive at the airport 90-120mins before the flight to eat, but speaking to my father who for many years travelled longhaul his remarks are, ‘Would be nice to have the luxury of arriving early enough to eat onboard!’. Makes sense to me, BA cater this as being advantageous to the business person but in reality they may spend £4000 if not more on a full fare J ticket and not eat much beyond cookies and hot chocolate on the flight.

However ignoring this I found the arrangements to be rather good. Unlimited food, cooked in front of me, to my liking was much than the usual food on board (Although in honesty I find BA’s onboard stuff to be good!). I think BA could get round this by offering the main deck as Sleeper Service and upper deck as full service. Thereby allowing those who couldn’t eat on the ground to eat something a little more substantial.

Next Flight: LHR-BRU-LHR on Friday 30th December with bmi



"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
User currently offlineB742 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 3768 posts, RR: 19
Reply 2, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 19320 times:

Great trip report, been waiting for another good once since your trip to IAD  Smile

Nice pics  Smile

What do you prefer; the UA ERJ or BA 744?  Wink

How do the ERJ's compare to the CRJ's at UA?

Rob!  wave 


User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16883 posts, RR: 51
Reply 3, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 19314 times:

Great report, the Buffet is a great idea. After a nice meal folks are probably looking foward to sleeping on the plane.


Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlineMhodgson From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2002, 5047 posts, RR: 25
Reply 4, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 19313 times:

Great report- lounge oragnisation seemed a bit of a mess in IAD!

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):
Answers on a postcard for that one

Simply, 09R is rarely used for landing unless ATC allow it, so usually it is for one-off aircraft who want the short taxi; so mainly BA for T4 use it, though it isn't guaranteed. This is why a number of aircraft lined up and departed after you.



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User currently offlineBA0284 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2005, 299 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 19225 times:

Another great report!! I love the CW product, seats a bit narrow at the top, and being 6"2, its just a bit small for me when fully flat.

Good to see BA's updated their safety video! The Landor 747-100 was...well....interesting but dated! Thank god they've changed it!

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 1):
legs on top of seat in front

How possibly could someone sleep like that?!?!?!?!?!  confused  laughing 

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 1):
Friday 24th December

(24th was Saturday!!)

Once again, great report!

BA0284  Smile


User currently offlineAir380 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 181 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 19191 times:

"took a copy of the Times which I leafed through as the economy folk drooled their way through Club World on their way back to 31” pitch and tray based food "

A little snobbish, are we?


User currently offlineGte439u From Canada, joined Nov 2003, 361 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 19108 times:

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 1):
The purser asked if I wanted a newspaper, I accepted her invitation and took a copy of the Times which I leafed through as the economy folk drooled their way through Club World on their way back to 31" pitch and tray based food

The above comment gives an excellent insight into the democratization of money today. Previously, F and J customers needn't even notice what the Y passengers thought of them since there were so many hotels, restaurants, and clubs reserved for richer people. Today, however, the first/business class cabin is one of the last remaining places to show one's higher perceived social status (or large SkyMiles account) to a captive audience of Y customers. Today, many can buy the traditional accoutrements of money such as the Patek watch or room at the Four Seasons, so only the front cabin is left to distinguish oneself from the masses. Even those making over US$500,000 per year find it absurd to spend almost 5% pre-tax pay to take the family to Europe in J for the weekend. I am convinced that NetJets would be even more successful if it were not so private and exclusive that the masses couldn't see the nouveau riches boarding their Hawkers.

(And, by the way, Fbgdavidson, I do the same thing, so I am not condemning you. I've just found that I can drink myself into a slight stupor before a transpacific flight so that I can pay/redeem miles for coach and not even realize that I am in Y for 27-hours. Look for a TR from Perth to Cleveland in which I cross the Pacific in KE coach slightly drunk taking poorly focused photos thinking that I am on the PrivatAir BBJ.)


User currently offlineZKSUJ From New Zealand, joined May 2004, 7108 posts, RR: 12
Reply 8, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 18757 times:

Great report with some nice pics. Hope you have a great time in the UK!!!

User currently offlineBeowulf From Singapore, joined Jul 2003, 734 posts, RR: 14
Reply 9, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 18753 times:

Very good report. Thanks! Interesting to see how C/Cl service is on BA. On my last travel in C/Cl on LH from PVG in May 2005, I found the service to be rather "basic."

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):
This trip was initially booked in August and my girlfriend was expected to join me on the trip although following an unfortunate incident during my stay it was decided wise I made the trip alone.

Gory details?  wink  Don't spare them out.  nosy 

Nick


User currently offlineMyt332 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 9112 posts, RR: 70
Reply 10, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 18623 times:

Quoting ZKSUJ (Reply 8):
Hope you have a great time in the UK!!!

He's not American, he was just in the states for 85 days. Pfft, keep up!

Nice trip report Fraser, CW again? Surely you are bored of it now. Try MyTravel or First Choce next time!  Wink

Alex



One Life, Live it.
User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3713 posts, RR: 28
Reply 11, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 18584 times:

Thanks for all the kind comments  thumbsup 

Quoting B742 (Reply 2):
How do the ERJ's compare to the CRJ's at UA?

Never flown a CRJ! Only managed a few trips on ERJs as it is!

Quoting Mhodgson (Reply 4):
Great report- lounge oragnisation seemed a bit of a mess in IAD!

Well all the lounges are next to each other. The First Lounge is a separate entity and if you want to dine you go next door to the Terraces where there is a door to the dining area.

Quoting Mhodgson (Reply 4):
Simply, 09R is rarely used for landing unless ATC allow it, so usually it is for one-off aircraft who want the short taxi; so mainly BA for T4 use it, though it isn't guaranteed. This is why a number of aircraft lined up and departed after you

Didn't realise that. I've waited to cross the active runway when leaving/arriving Terminal 4 a couple of times so didn't realise this was standard practice. I guess it just has to fit in with patterns of departing aircraft.

Quoting BA0284 (Reply 5):
Another great report!! I love the CW product, seats a bit narrow at the top, and being 6"2, its just a bit small for me when fully flat.

Have to say I've not flown many times in Club World with another seat in front of me and found it a little more claustrophobic than my usual bulkhead/exit row experiences. Also the bins on upper deck 747 give a nice amount of space beside the seat that this seat didn't offer.

Quoting BA0284 (Reply 5):
(24th was Saturday!!)

Oops.

Quoting Air380 (Reply 6):
"took a copy of the Times which I leafed through as the economy folk drooled their way through Club World on their way back to 31” pitch and tray based food "

A little snobbish, are we?

No, just living up to the stereotype of business class passengers being more snobby than those in First  Wink ....I always add a little controversy to my reports!

Quoting Beowulf (Reply 9):
Gory details? Don't spare them out.

Would rather not. I've mentioned the event very briefly in Non-Aviation so search there if you are interested. Personally I didn't think the reasons why she wasn't coming weren't important for this report

Quoting Myt332 (Reply 10):
Nice trip report Fraser, CW again? Surely you are bored of it now. Try MyTravel or First Choce next time!

So bored I'm flying UA Business IAD-LHR-IAD in February  Wow! ..... Wink

Don't have any CW travel booked for next year at the moment!  Sad Got the aforementioned trip on UA, then down to CPT in First. I'll probably start booking a few more trips for summer when I have a job and can start working around that plus family get togethers etc...



"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
User currently offlineA340600 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2003, 4105 posts, RR: 51
Reply 12, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 18269 times:

As usual, wonderful report Fraser! The 'Sleeper Service' doesn't seem to make sense to me and I agree that this is useless to those J pax who arrive soon before their departure time, which is many. But I don't think your idea of full service on top would work as it could end up being a nightmare seat arrangement wise.

Look forward to your next report,

Sam Smile



Despite the name I am a Boeing man through and through!
User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3713 posts, RR: 28
Reply 13, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 18261 times:

Quoting A340600 (Reply 12):
But I don't think your idea of full service on top would work as it could end up being a nightmare seat arrangement wise.

Well I was reading a thread on Flyertalk back when this was announced and a BA insider said they had even considered partitioning off the 48 seat CW cabin on the 4 class 777s to allow for separate full and Sleeper zones. The 747 is very easy to do; upper deck and lower, the same goes for the 3 class 777s.

In the end apparently the FFs BA asked were in the majority for voting in favour of complete sleeper service throughout the cabin.



"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
User currently offlineStretch 8 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 2568 posts, RR: 16
Reply 14, posted (8 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 18020 times:

Great report, as usual. Good to hear that the BA lounges at IAD have been refurbished; they have been lacking and I have not seen them since 10/04. And hey, you could'nt ring me up while you were in Va?  Wink


Maggs swings, it's a drive deep to left! The Tigers are going to the World Series!!!
User currently offlinePlanesarecool From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 4124 posts, RR: 11
Reply 15, posted (8 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 17839 times:

Very good report

Flew that exact same aircraft in pretty much exactly the same place in the aircraft back in 2000 from Heathrow-Vancouver. Was in the old club world seats back then.

Did manage to get in the new club world this summer, and it was very nice!


User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3713 posts, RR: 28
Reply 16, posted (8 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 17456 times:

Again, thanks for the kind comments  Smile

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):
United Red Carpet Club at Gate C17

One small correction, this is in fact the RCC at Gate D6.

Quoting Stretch 8 (Reply 14):
And hey, you could'nt ring me up while you were in Va?  

I still may well do, am back again until February 9th  Wink

_______


When I can access the 'My Images' section in Imageshack again I'll be posting the LHR-IAD-RIC return trip from Jan 1st.



"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
User currently offlineShamrock_747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (8 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 17447 times:

Fab report as always. Interesting to hear your views on the sleeper service.

Coincidentally, we've slept in the same bed! I had 13K on G-CIVX a few weeks ago.


User currently offlineTrekster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (8 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 17416 times:

Another great report.

Cant wait to try this service out sometime Smile


User currently offlineMohamed From Egypt, joined Jan 2006, 65 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (8 years 9 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 17213 times:

Great report . waiting for your next one .
I have only missed a small detail , at the end , did you fly upper or lower deck ?



Don't mistake me by my age.
User currently offlineCambrian From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 619 posts, RR: 5
Reply 20, posted (8 years 9 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 17209 times:

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 1):
OK, so I’m not going to get to London any faster by making a fuss or jumping in front but it annoys me immensely that people are so ignorant to priority lanes and things of the ilk despite numerous announcements and signs!

These people are not ignorant- they are just trying to beat the system. However, they feign ignorance when challenged. Sounds a bit like a CW passenger using the First loo... stirthepot 

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 1):
making sure I didn’t come across as a Club World newbie material by clearing my floor space and putting the seat in takeoff position.

Oh dear! The best thing to do is scatter things all around your seat and make sure that your red light is on for all to see. That way, when asked to move your seat to the take off position, you can say "Oh really? I normally fly First where these things don't seem to matter!"  snooty 


User currently offlineClassicLover From Ireland, joined Mar 2004, 4640 posts, RR: 23
Reply 21, posted (8 years 9 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 17118 times:

Quoting Cambrian (Reply 20):
Oh dear! The best thing to do is scatter things all around your seat and make sure that your red light is on for all to see. That way, when asked to move your seat to the take off position, you can say "Oh really? I normally fly First where these things don't seem to matter!"

hahahahaha! I like that! What Fraser said is true though, it is embarrassing when you're a newbie... I couldn't work out how to get my PTV out in QF J when I first flew. The F/A I asked didn't know how as she usually worked Economy. The guy sitting next to me was rolling his eyes the whole time and when I asked him how to do it I got a grunt as he showed me, as if to say, "You don't belong here!"  Smile

Great report as always!!

24 days to go until I finally get to try BA Club World!

Trent.



I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3713 posts, RR: 28
Reply 22, posted (8 years 9 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 17109 times:

Quoting Cambrian (Reply 20):
Sounds a bit like a CW passenger using the First loo...  

 Smile

Quoting Cambrian (Reply 20):
Oh dear! The best thing to do is scatter things all around your seat and make sure that your red light is on for all to see. That way, when asked to move your seat to the take off position, you can say "Oh really? I normally fly First where these things don't seem to matter!"   

I already had the F pyjamas on, carrying two F washbags, with F eyeshades. I think I already came across as arrogant!

I flew back on Sunday in 14J and the girl 'opposite me' in 13K and her mother in 14K went with the ignorant approach. They did it with smacks of Club World newbie plus 'I'm in Business Class and therefore that gives me a pass to ignore what the crew say'  Yeah sure Literally took the crew four attempts to ask them to stow their bags/shoes before they were forced to do it themselves. Later in the flight they then turned on me asking them to get things from the overhead for them!

Quoting Shamrock_747 (Reply 17):
Coincidentally, we've slept in the same bed! I had 13K on G-CIVX a few weeks ago.

Spooky!



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