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LHR-Providenciales On BA In Club (with Pics)  
User currently offlineCambrian From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 619 posts, RR: 5
Posted (8 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 23957 times:

In October I started to plan a pre-Christmas holiday somewhere hot and sunny. I like to go away before Christmas as I like to be home for the festive season, and early December is a good time to travel as hotels are often quiet before the peak Christmas season begins in earnest.

I was planning to go to the Bahamas, but my favourite hotel there was booked up. So I grabbed a pile of brochures and decided to try the Turks and Caicos Islands instead. When I booked with my travel agent, I discovered that BA does not have First on this route (gulp!)  sarcastic  Things got worse when my travel agent told me that this route would not even offer the Club World flat seat, but the Cradle Seat.  vomit  I hadn’t travelled in the Cradle Seat since the mid 90’s when BA still had 742’s. but by then I was sold on going anyway and I had always thought that the Cradle Seat was quite comfy anyway.

I later found out after posting a question on airliners.net that dusking was now complete on the BA long haul 767 fleet and that I would in fact get a chance to sample the by now no longer new Club World flat bed.

I was quite curious to try it as I have often seen the Club World cabin (from the right side of the curtain!) but I was often put off, particularly by the Club World layout on the 777. I was also curious to see what the difference would be between First and Club.

Needless to add, I was also curious to experience the Turks and Caicos. I had heard good things about the islands, but most of my colleagues, family and friends seemed not to have heard of them, never mind about even knowing where they were and the fact that they remain a dependency of the U.K.  scratchchin 

As the flight was due to leave at 09.50 on a Sunday morning, I decided to begin my holiday the night before with a stay at the Heathrow Hilton. Although this hotel is often slagged off on forums such as Flyertalk, I had always enjoyed staying at this hotel and it offers unparalleled convenience when flying out of T4. I booked an Executive Room with parking for the duration of my trip which meant that I could drive to and from the airport.

On the day before the flight I had a lot of last-minute things to do, which meant that I didn’t arrive at the hotel until around 7.30pm.

Executive Room at the Heathrow Hilton
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I am not really sure what makes this room “executive”. This hotel is not known for the size of the rooms, but access to the Executive Lounge is worthwhile for drinks and snacks. After a few drinks and then dinner, it was time for bed before an early start in the morning- or at least it was an early start compared to my normal Sunday morning!

I woke before the alarm call- as usual excited at the thought of taking another flight. I am not sure if I am alone in this, but when I take a long flight, I am usually just excited about the flight, and I don’t really think too much about the holiday until I am getting near my destination.  hyper  After a cursory breakfast in the Executive Lounge, it was soon time to head off to check in.

It was a short walk to T4 and I relished the cold along the walkway, knowing that I was leaving it behind. We soon emerged into the gloom (well. I think that it is gloomy!) of the departure area of T4. It was not too busy. I had checked in online the day before to confim our seat allocations of 3 A and 3B. I was debating about whether to use the self service machine, but 2 of them were being dismantled so I allowed ourselves to be gently herded into the Club World queue. There were only 2 or 3 people ahead of us, so we were soon being checked in. My experience of BA check in is variable. Today it was the automaton approach that seems increasingly prevalent amongst BA staff these days. But we were checked in quickly and efficiently, so I suppose that there is nothing to complain about.

Despite going through the Fast Track queue, it seemed to take longer than the normal queue, particularly with the crazy amount of carry ons that people had, not to mention the fact that, although passengers were being asked to remove their outer coats, those waiting in the queue neglected to do so in advance, perhaps thinking that they were exempt?!

The flight would be departing from Gate 10, so we headed to the lounge nearest to the Gate. When we checked in at the lounge, the lady at the desk told us that the Turks and Caicos was her favourite place to visit, and knowing very little about the place, this was heartening to say the least.

The lounge was very busy and had all the ambience of a bus station/ A&E department. We had not left too much time to wait, so I was glad when our flight was announced. It was a short walk to the gate, and I was excited to sample Club World for the first time.

Sunday, 4th December 2005
BA 253 London Heathrow to Providenciales (Via Nassau)

Scheduled Dep LHR Terminal 4: 09.50 (Actual :10.20)
Scheduled Arr PLS: 17.20 (Actual : 17.25)

Boeing 767-300 G-BNWM
Club World
Stops: 1 (Nassau)

Seat Allocation: 3A/3B


As we walked down the jetway, we were followed by the (obligatory) gaggle of noisy children and doting parents. I prayed that they would be turning right upon boarding. They did, but we were joined by a family in Club with a baby and a toddler- both of whom behave impeccably {relieved).

I have travelled on BA767’s a lot in Europe and I am not a huge fan of the rather worn cabins. Thankfully the “dusked” 767’s are a different kettle of fish, and my first impression was that the Club cabin worked very well in a 2x2x2 layout on the 767, and was much nicer that on the 777.

I settled myself into my rear-facing seat (another first for me) and started to get acquainted with the Club World seat. My first impressions were very positive- there was a lot of room and although I was worried about a lack of privacy, I found that I was not going to spend the next 12 hours staring at complete strangers.


I also found that travelling with someone else in Club is very nice- and in a way, even better than First, where there is normally a fight about who is going to sit in the companion “seat” at mealtime.

One immediate drawback that came to mind in comparison with First is the relative lack of personal storage space for books, shoes, magazines etc- especially when the cabin crew are (rightly) zealous about ensuring that nothing is left lying around for take off and landing.

Soon champagne was being offered- Charles Heidsieck Mis En Cave 2001- which we gratefully accepted, followed by washbags, sans comb…

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There was the usual pre-flight activity- today we were going to be looked after by 2 female crew in the Club Cabin. I was surprised that there were only 2 crew to look after a full cabin, but they both worked very hard and gave a lot of personal attention to all of the passengers- a contrast to the often stressed-out service that seems to be the norm in VS Upper Class these days. I was told that BA had recently removed the 3rd crew member from Club on the 767.

The captain gave some info on our routing- out over the Atlantic, north of Bermuda and into Nassau.

As usual at Heathrow, we pushed back late, but had only had a short taxi to the runway, and a short queue of 4 aircraft ahead of us.

I got to see the new safety video- I think that it is an improvement, but they really could dispense with the pre-safety stuff with people travelling in taxis and sipping cappuccinos in T5. People have a short enough attention span when it comes to safety videos. Adding all of this superfluous stuff at the beginning surely encourages people to tune out?


It did feel a bit strange at first to be going backwards, but I soon got used to it. Given the full load, there was a long take off roll and a seemingly gentle lift off- so I was not thrown forward in my seat as I had anticipated. In fact, I enjoyed watching the ground recede and the view of the surrounding area.

It was a sunny day with scattered cloud, so there was some light chop during the climb.
I come from Cardiff, and I was really hoping that we would fly over my home town today. I was to be in luck, and the following photos are dedicated to fellow Cardiffian a.netters, Christa and Trintocan…

After about 15 minutes, my partner pointed out that the Severn Bridge could be seen.

Second Severn Crossing and M49/M4 junction
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Flying over Cardiff to the North of the City
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Here the Millenium Stadium, Millenium Centre and the Bay are all clearly visible.
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I was so excited to fly over my hometown. On a sunny day in Cardiff, the sky is littered with the contrails of aircraft beginning or ending the Atlantic crossing, so I was very happy to finally see Cardiff from the air. I could even make out the road where my parents live in Rhiwbina!

Our routing then took us over West Wales and some great views of Gower beaches, before beginning our crossing of the Atlantic, later passing just south of Cork.

By now we were in holiday mode, helped by more champagne. I was beginning to realise that flying Club was not such a hardship after all!

Soon orders were taken for lunch.

Starters

Crayfish tails and pink grapefruit

Or

Red Onion, Rocket and Feta Salad

Fresh seasonal salad with vinaigrette

Main Course

Grilled Fillet Steak

Poached Salmon with Asparagus Veloute

Penne with Tomato and Basil sauce

Spicy Chicken, Coriander and Mango Salad

Dessert

Baked Rhubarb and Vanilla Cheesecake

Cheese

Chocolates

One area where BA distinguishes itself from the competition (VS especially!) is the presentation and quality of the food, which I thought was easily comparable to First.

Crayfish and Pink Grapefruit
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Fillet Steak yummy 
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Cheesecake

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This was a very enjoyable lunch, well-presented and accompanied by excellent wines. I finished my lunch with coffee and chocolates before settling down to watch a film.

At this point most of the blinds were closed and people settled down to snooze. Entertainment is one of my pet peeves about BA. Thankfully this is being addressed, but as usual I had difficulty finding a film that I really wanted to see. Some of the films on offer were already out on DVD! I began to long for my personal player in First at this point. I ended up watching “Mrs. Henderson Presents”. It was ok- just what I expected really.

Crossing the Atlantic
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I decided to recline my seat and get some zzz’s. I thought that the bed was quite good, but not as comfy as the Upper Class Suite. It is also somewhat awkward for passengers in window seats to step over their neighbour to get to the loo.

Getting Nearer to the Bahamas
img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/DSC02050.jpg">

Throughout the flight the crew never really disappeared but kept an eye on the passengers to make sure that they had everything they need. When BA gets the service right, they really get it right. It is just a shame that such service is not consistent.

Soon it was time for tea- one of my favourite times on a transatlantic flight, as it means that we are nearing our destination.

Afternoon Tea
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The sandwiches were very good. I skipped the Dundee cake and opted from some scrummy scones with lashings of clotted cream. (No ginger beer though!)

Even closer to the Bahamas…
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Soon the outlying islands of the Bahamas came into view- and looked stunning.
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Final Approach into NAS
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We made a smooth touchdown into Nassau, and it soon became clear just how close to the US we were, with a variety of US Airways, JetBlue, Delta and Continental aircraft arriving and departing. There was also the usual assortment of Bahamasair 732’s, many of which were sporting the new livery.

We pulled up to an airbridge, adjacent to the Spirit A319, “Spirit of Detroit”.
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At this point, passengers continuing to Provo were asked to remain seated. Interestingly, most of the Economy and Traveller Plus passengers disembarked at NAS, but only 3 people disembarked from the (full) Club cabin. Turks and Caicos is obviously a high-end destination for UK tourists.

At this point there was a crew change, and we said farewell to those who had looked after us so well. There was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing as the old crew handed over to the new crew and lots of us took an opportunity to stretch our legs inside the aircraft.

Our old crew would spend a few days in NAS before working the NAS-GCM flight, then returning to London. The new crew would only be working the NAS-PLS-NAS flight that day, and then another crew would be working the NAS-LHR return flight.

I have to say that the new crew were in holiday mode, and that our flight was an obvious interruption to their sunbathing schedule- and it showed! When I asked the purser for a bottle of water, she gave me a blank look and told me that she only had large bottles left. As she turned to busy herself with something else, one of the departing crew noticed this and told me that he would bring me a glass of water straight away.

We were on the ground for over an hour, and by this point tiredness began to kick in. We had already been travelling for 10 hours and we were eager to get to Providenciales. Whilst waiting to push back, I caught a glimpse of this DC3 cargo plane- does anyone have any info on this aircraft?

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Hopefully it was not performing a forced rendition in the Bahamas!  sarcastic 

I got so bored waiting to continue our journey, so I took this photo.
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A handful passengers did join us in NAS. The crew then prepared the cabin in a very half-hearted way, and wished us a pleasant onward journey to “Plaisance”- wherever that is…At this point most of the passengers erupted in laughter.

We pushed back as the captain of the Spirit A319 was doing his walk around.

The light load resulted in a very short take of roll- the fastest that I have ever experienced in a 767. We took off at a steep angle, and this time I was thrown forwards in my seat.

The flight time to Providenciales would be around an hour, and provided amazing views of the various islands of the Bahamas.

We were offered drinks and canapés on this flight, and I suddenly felt like a beer.
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On final approach into PLS, the Captain gave a roll call of the honeymooning couples on the flight- it seemed that most of the passengers were either getting married in the Turks and Caicos, or on honeymoon. Aaaah!

We arrived at dusk, marginally behind schedule, and even in the oncoming darkness, the brilliant turquoise waters of the Turks and Caicos were clearly visible, and offered us a foretaste of our holiday.

The airport at PLS is very small but well laid out. It seems to have been built or refurbished quite recently. As we landed an AA757 to MIA was waiting to leave. There is only 1 runway at PLS, and the largest aircraft that can land there is a 767.

After a smooth landing we backtracked down the runway and taxied onto stand, directly outside the entrance to the terminal. There are no airbridges at PLS and no long distances to walk.

Immigration took a long time, despite being at the head of the queue, and then, most annoyingly, the bags took forever to be unloaded- around 50 minutes- and the Club bags came off last. After a 12 hour journey, this was the last thing that we needed, especially as there were no other flights arriving.

Soon we were on our way to the Point Grace Hotel where we spent two idyllic weeks. Here are some photos of the beautiful island of Providenciales.

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The island was very laid back and quiet in the pre-Christmas lull. At one point, there were only 5 people staying in our hotel.

I would definitely recommend the Turks and Caicos for a relaxing holiday. Although it is a British dependency, there are few traces of this on Providenciales, except for the road signs, which are exactly the same as we have in the UK.

After 2 weeks of sun and relaxation, it was time to head back to the airport. We arrived 2 hours before the flight just after 5pm to find a lengthy queue had already formed. As BA only have 1 flight per week, this would be the last flight back to the UK before Christmas.

Sunday, 18th December 2005
BA 252 British Airways

Scheduled Dep PLS: 19.20 (Actual : 21.00)
Arr LHR Terminal 4: 11.20 (Actual : 12.20)

Boeing 767-300 G-BNWU
Club World
Stops: 1 (Nassau)

Seat Allocation: 3J/K


As I mentioned, PLS airport is small, but quite modern. We tried to identify the Club World check in desk. We pushed our way through the throng, and it seemed that no one was being checked in. I managed to catch the attention of an agent, and when I told her that we were in Club, she beckoned us to her desk. At this point a near-riot erupted as other Club passengers were queuing in the Economy line.

At PLS the baggage tags, checks and boarding passes were pre-printed. This meant that when we checked in, instead of tapping away at the computer, the agent rummaged through an envelope to find our boarding cards. This took quite a while as it transpired that there were quite a few of these envelopes ciculating around the check in area. We eventually said goodbye to our bags, reminding the agent to attach “Priority” tags.

We then proceeded to Security- which was not open. It seems that at PLS the facilities open for individual flights. We waited for about 10 minutes as a queue formed behind us. When Security did open, we passed through quickly and then Duty Free shops then began to open.

For such a small airport, there is a fairly good selection of shops, including a really tacky souvenir shop.

The flight from London had already arrived. There is, of course, no lounge at Provo,

After about 40 minutes pre-boarding was called for First Class(!) passengers and those travelling with children.

We were the first to board via stairs and found the crew lounging around in the Club section. They looked shocked to see us and told us that we should not have boarded, as pre-flight security checks hadn’t been made. Apparently the announcement for boarding was somewhat premature.

The crew asked us to disembark the aircraft, so we congregated at the top of the stairs. This was an inconvenience for passengers with children as they had to perch on the stairs for a few minutes.

We were then allowed to board and the crew apologised profusely for the confusion. The Club cabin was about 80% full and more passengers would board in NAS, leaving 1 seat free in Club.

Once more, the usual pre-flight activity unfolded, including a most welcome glass of champagne. We sat there, anticipating the flight ahead and our return home in time for Christmas, and what would be waiting for me on my return to work.

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Then things got interesting. An announcement was made to the effect that the headcount would not tally, and all passengers were asked to be seated in their allocated seats. Much to-ing and fro-ing ensued, and the Captain came on once again to let us know that the revised figures had to be communicated to the BA control centre in New York before we could leave.

I took the opportunity to change into my BA First pyjamas [stirthepot}, as did some of my fellow passengers.

By now we had already been on the plane for over an hour. Our departure time came and went, but we were assured that, due to a favourable flight time from NAS, we would still arrive at Heathrow on time.

We pushed back and waited at the holding point. Despite repeated announcements that we would be on our way shortly, this proved not to be the case and after what seemed like an interminable wait, it was announced that we would have to return to the terminal, as there were 2 bags in the hold that could not be accounted for.

In the meantime an AA737 arrived from Miami.

It took quite a while to reconcile the bags, and after the offending bags were offloaded, we eventually left just under 2 hours late. Considering that we had already been on the plane for almost 3 hours, had an hour’s flight to NAS, then over an hour on the ground there, followed by the flight back to London, it seemed that we would be in for a long night. It also meant that we would not be having our dinner until around midnight.

After take off drinks and canapés were served and I suddenly felt like and gin and tonic.

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The PLS-NAS sector gave us beautiful views of the moonlit sea and various islands of the Bahamas and soon we were directly overflying Nassau. The profusion of lights was almost a shock after the laid back backwater of the Turks and Caicos. I am not sure if we landed, or if we were shot down  bouncy , but a quick turnaround was the priority.

Catering was loaded at NAS and we said goodbye to our crew who had their dinner plans ruined by our delay…The new crew came on board along with a relief Captain. A few Club passengers joined at NAS leaving 2 spare seats in Club, one of which was occupied by the relief crew at various times during the flight.

One of the passengers joining at NAS had an insane amount of enormous carry ons, and he seemed relatively unconcerned with the need to stow them, leaving them in the aisle and chatting on his mobile. This guy was so obnoxious and I really admired the tactful but firm way that the crew dealt with him.

The turnaround took around an hour, and by the time we left NAS everyone was ready to have dinner and go straight to bed. The crew made sure that everyone was served quickly, but even so, it did not feel rushed.

There was still time for pre-flight drinks and menus were given out.

Starter

Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese

Chargrilled Asparagus

Seasonal Salad

Main Course

Fillet Steak with Peppercorn Sauce

Teryaki Salmon

Penne with Mushroom Sauce

Chicken Caesar Salad

Dessert

Caramelised Banana Tart
Cheese



By this time I had had enough alcohol, so I decided to have an orange juice. I was somewhat bemused to be served it in a KLM glass. Has there been another airline merger during my holiday?
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Chargrilled Asparagus With Feta and Tomato Salad
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This was really nothing special and did not really taste of anything, except for the feta.

Steak with Peppercorn Sauce
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Caramelised Banana Tart
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I thought that this was very poor- it was small and should have at least had some ice cream alongside. There was no other dessert on offer- just cheese.

I followed this with coffee and had to ask for some chocolates.

Then it was time to sleep. Unfortunately as I was on the aisle, I was repeatedly disturbed by the crew walking past me. Every time someone passed my seat, their footsteps vibrated right through my seat. Has anyone else experienced this? I know that planes don’t have floorboards, but it was almost like the floor was loose around my seat. It didn’t really make for a good night’s sleep, and on top of this, the skymap was not activated for the duration of the flight, so it was hard to have an idea of our progress homewards.

Our routing took us north of Bermuda and we would make landfall over Land’s End, following the South Coast towards Southampton before heading north eastwards to the Thames Estuary before an approach over Central London.

Breakfast was offered about an hour and a half before landing.

Bacon Roll and Pastries
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The bacon roll was really grim, and I couldn’t eat it. The fruit was very tasty and fresh.
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As usual on BA, the high point of the brekkie was the energising smoothie, but I was only given half a glass.

Soon we were following the Dorset coast and as it was a sunny day there were great views of Southampton, Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight. We turned inland and Gatwick appeared to the south. We then turned westards over the Thames estuary for the now-familiar approach over the centre of London. As it was such a clear day, the purser pointed out many familiar sights such as Canary Wharf, London Eye etc. I caught a glimpse of my neighbourhood, bordering Green Park in the middle of London.

You always know that you are home when you see the rooftops of Hounslow, and we made a smooth touch down, an hour late. Insult was added to injury when we parked at a remote stand. The cold was something of a shock as we were bussed to the terminal. Even though we were bussed in, we still had a long walk to immigration, with the usual BAA welcome, punctuated by dark corridors, lights hanging down from the ceiling, travelators not working, and the BAA signature-duct tape, liberally applied for the festive season. Welcome to London…

The icing on the cake was a long queue at immigration, but at least our bags came off relatively quickly.

It was a short schlep to the Hilton, where we retrieved the car and drove home.


All in all, it was a great holiday and although I have been a BA basher in the past, both flights offered good and relatively consistent service. I think that Club World is an excellent product, and that catering is one area where BA stands out over Virgin Upper Class. Having said that, the catering out of Nassau was very average, but the presentation is always good at least.

Given the high Club loads to PLS on both flights, I am wondering if BA will increase flights to the Turks and Caicos, or even fly direct to Provo at some point in the future?

I particularly liked the intimacy of the cabin on the 767 and would look forward to flying 767's long haul in future. I am not sure why the 777 receives such acclaim on this site. Flame time, I guess...

I will be interested to see what future refinements are in the pipeline for the forthcoming revamp of Club World.

Thanks for reading my report. My next trip is in BA First LGW-BGI on Jan 11th. I will try to do a report in due course.

Please let me know if you have any comments or questions.

30 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineTrekster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (8 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 23918 times:

Great trip report Smile

Very funny to read about u being served a drink in a KLM glass lol, wonder what happened there lol

Good report and cant wait to read ur first flt

Dan


User currently offlineSA006 From South Africa, joined Sep 2003, 1883 posts, RR: 54
Reply 2, posted (8 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 23867 times:

Great report , enjoyed reading.

-SA006  wave 



Proudly South African
User currently offlineMhodgson From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2002, 5047 posts, RR: 25
Reply 3, posted (8 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 23848 times:

Nice report. I'm incredibly jealous!

The Turks and Caicos Islands sound like a nice place to visit. I'll have to add them to my (non existant!) list of places to visit!



No trees were harmed by this message. However, several million electrons were terribly inconvenienced
User currently offlineAirxLiban From Lebanon, joined Oct 2003, 4513 posts, RR: 53
Reply 4, posted (8 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 23758 times:

Fantastic report - my sister lives in NAS and flies back to GVA with BA quite often, but I've never been able to get as many details out of her as I'd have liked!

Funny about that KLM glass.

Incidentally I thought that the NAS flight continued to GCM, not Providenciales...has that changed recently?

Good that you got one of the updated 763s.

Looking forward to the next report.



PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
User currently offlineCambrian From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 619 posts, RR: 5
Reply 5, posted (8 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 23703 times:

Thanks for the comments, guys.

Quoting Trekster (Reply 1):
Very funny to read about u being served a drink in a KLM glass lol, wonder what happened there lol

I thought that it was hilarious! I am wondering how it came to be onboard. As KL don't serve NAS, I am assuming that it was loaded at Heathrow?

Quoting Mhodgson (Reply 3):
The Turks and Caicos Islands sound like a nice place to visit. I'll have to add them to my (non existant!) list of places to visit!

Yes, they are amazing and I had a great time. Just a few comments on the Turks and Caicos-it seems that each island has it's own flavour. Provo has some of the best beaches in the world (Grace Bay was recently voted the best beach in the world in Conde Nast Traveller) but apart from the beach and watersports, there is very little else to do on Provo. There is not even a town to speak of. But it is a great place to chill for a couple of weeks.

Quoting AirxLiban (Reply 4):
Fantastic report - my sister lives in NAS and flies back to GVA

Hi AirxLiban- thanks for your comments. Wow! Your sister is lucky to spend time between the Bahamas and Geneva- 2 of my all time favourite places!

Quoting AirxLiban (Reply 4):
Incidentally I thought that the NAS flight continued to GCM, not Providenciales...has that changed recently?

The NAS flight continues to Provo on Sundays only. All other NAS flights continue on to Grand Cayman.

I also enjoyed your recent reports. Are you still in LA, or is Oxford beckoning for the start of the new term?


User currently offlineSemsem From Israel, joined Jul 2005, 1779 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (8 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 23696 times:

You mention you had a favourite hotel in the Bahamas? Which one is it?

In May we spent 1 week at the Ocean Club East which was great. It is less fancy than the Pointe Grace but very nice.

Great pictures. thanks.


User currently offlineCambrian From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 619 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (8 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 23671 times:

Quoting Semsem (Reply 6):
You mention you had a favourite hotel in the Bahamas? Which one is it?

Hi Semsem,

Coincidentally, my favourite hotel in the Bahamas is the One & Only Ocean Club.

Quoting Semsem (Reply 6):
It is less fancy than the Pointe Grace

I thought that the Ocean Club was better than Point Grace. To me, Point Grace did not seem too fancy at all! It is a nice place, on the best stretch of beach. The accommodation is well-appointed, as is the pool area.

The best thing about Point Grace apart from the beach is the restaurant- it is simply outstanding. However, I found the front desk staff at the hotel to be unfriendly, bordering on rude and even hostile. They certainly did not have a "can do" attitude, and requests for information about the island were often met with blank stares.

I also found the spa to be rather basic, although the spa staff were great.

Point Grace is certainly not a budget hotel- we managed to run up a bill of over US$3,000 in 2 weeks on incidentals, having already paid nearly £5,000 per person for the trip! But it was worth it for a truly relaxing holiday.

If I ever go back to the Turks and Caicos, I would probably try another hotel- maybe Parrot Cay perhaps.


User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16885 posts, RR: 51
Reply 8, posted (8 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 23564 times:

Great report, I hear great things about the Turks and Caicos beaches. I too have heard it's otherwise very boring, fantastic if you want to lay on the beach for a couple days but there's no night life or shopping you get in the Bahamas, BVI, USVI etc..


Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlineWrighbrothers From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 1875 posts, RR: 9
Reply 9, posted (8 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 23300 times:

First off, great trip report, nice to see you enjoyed your BA flight.

Quoting Cambrian (Thread starter):
Unfortunately as I was on the aisle, I was repeatedly disturbed by the crew walking past me. Every time someone passed my seat, their footsteps vibrated right through my seat. Has anyone else experienced this? I

Yes, I seem to experience it alot, but I don't sleep on aircrafts, so no problem for me atleast  Smile.

You asked about more PLS flights, well, it's one of those destinations which is busy during the holidays, but not during the off season.
Adding GCM and PLS to the NAS flights, seem to suit BA well, as it increases aircraft and crew utalisation, so instead of having the crew sunning themselves for 4 days before flying back to LHR, why not make them work by doing a NAS-GCM/PLS-NAS flight, stay a night or 2, then fly back.

The reason why there isn't a non stop LHR-PLS service is ...
BA don't see the need to add another flight to NAS, and PLS wouldn't ( in BA's eyes) be able to support a flight of its own, and perhaps having 1 flight a week means that the PLS flight is full, rather than being slightly full if there were more flights.
also, why waste 3 aircrafts flying to NAS,PLS & CMS separately, when you can use 1 to fly all 3 of them, so unless BA add another flight to NAS,
so I wouldn't THINK that more flights to PLS will be seen for a while.

Wrighbrothers



Always stand up for what is right, even if it means standing alone..
User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3713 posts, RR: 28
Reply 10, posted (8 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 23162 times:

Nice report!

I flew LHR-IAD in Club World yesterday, had the same menu, ate the same as you and even left the Dundee cake too  

Never had the problems you experienced with the crew walking past, though in fairness I tend to block most of the noise out with noise cancelling headphones and earplugs underneath.

Next trip on Jan 11th? You seem to go on holiday a lot! With all those F trips I'd have thought you'd be checking in at F for those times you schlep it in CW  Wink

[Edited 2006-01-02 18:23:45]


"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
User currently offlineSemsem From Israel, joined Jul 2005, 1779 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (8 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 23045 times:

I stayed at the Ocean Club twice; over 20 years ago when the rates were "high but still reasonable." Now that they are part of One and Only the rates are outrageously expensive. I agree with you. It is one of the nicest places I have ever stayed at.

As to Point Grace which we visited, it was very deserted. Not one person on the beach.

We did not find the Turks and Caicos boring. True, if you want to sightsee or shop it is very limited.

Everybody seems to like Parrot Cay. A great web site for hotel feedback is "tripadvisor."


User currently offlineCambrian From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 619 posts, RR: 5
Reply 12, posted (8 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 23015 times:

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 10):
flew LHR-IAD in Club World yesterday, had the same menu, ate the same as you and even left the Dundee cake too

Hi Fraser. The Dundee cake did look rather daunting, but the scones were smashing!

Are you going to give us a trip report? I enjoyed reading your recent BD jaunt to sunny Brussels!

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 10):
Never had the problems you experienced with the crew walking past, though in fairness I tend to block most of the noise out with noise cancelling headphones and earplugs underneath.

I didn't have that problem on the outbound leg, but on the way back it really did stop me from sleeping. One of the crew in particular had the gait of a herd of elephants crossing the Serengeti...As this caused a vibration through my seat, I am not sure whether noise-cancelling headphones would have helped. Come to think of it, I do have a pair of Bose headphones, so I will pack them for my next trip.

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 10):
Next trip on Jan 11th? You seem to go on holiday a lot! With all those F trips I'd have thought you'd be checking in at F for those times you schlep it in CW

I am lucky in that I can pretty much work from anywhere in the world, providing that I get the timing right. I have a house in Barbados, so I tend to head down there at this time of year. I am going for 2 months, but I will be coming back to the UK during that time for a few meetings.

I have let my BA status lapse as I tend to fly Swiss or Virgin long haul wherever I can.


User currently offlineMhodgson From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2002, 5047 posts, RR: 25
Reply 13, posted (8 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 22955 times:

Quoting Cambrian (Reply 12):
I have a house in Barbados

Wouldn't be on Royal Westmoreland by any slim chance would it?



No trees were harmed by this message. However, several million electrons were terribly inconvenienced
User currently offlineCO7e7 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 2849 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (8 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 22881 times:

Quoting Cambrian (Thread starter):
I am not sure if I am alone in this, but when I take a long flight, I am usually just excited about the flight, and I don’t really think too much about the holiday until I am getting near my destination

You're not alone in this!!
Great trip report. Thanks for sharing !


User currently offlineDavid T From Canada, joined Nov 2001, 210 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (8 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 22823 times:

Excellent report, and nice pictures! Though my only critique must be reserved for your beer pouring skills. Lets fly together someday and share some hops over the clouds. We'll have a Stella without the big foam head!  yummy 

User currently offlineCambrian From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 619 posts, RR: 5
Reply 16, posted (8 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 22646 times:

Quoting Semsem (Reply 11):
As to Point Grace which we visited, it was very deserted. Not one person on the beach.

Yes, that was certainly the case during our stay. As I mentioned, at one point there were only 5 guests in the entire hotel. One strong point of the hotel is its location on the beach which is also deserted. I took a walk up to the Beaches resort one day, and it was very crowded up there.

Quoting Semsem (Reply 11):
We did not find the Turks and Caicos boring. True, if you want to sightsee or shop it is very limited.

Yes, there is very little else apart from the beach, but having said that, the beach is spectacular! I also agree that prices at the Ocean Club have gone through the roof. It would seem that the Turks and Caicos are not far behind!

Quoting Mhodgson (Reply 13):
Wouldn't be on Royal Westmoreland by any slim chance would it?

Well no actually, it is near Speightstown in St. Peter. Have you been to Speightstown? I really love it there, and it is still relatively unspoilt. Do you go to Barbados a lot?

Quoting David T (Reply 15):
Though my only critique must be reserved for your beer pouring skills. Lets fly together someday and share some hops over the clouds. We'll have a Stella without the big foam head!

LOL! I have to let the BA steward take the rap for that one!


User currently offlineMhodgson From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2002, 5047 posts, RR: 25
Reply 17, posted (8 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 22578 times:

Quoting Cambrian (Reply 16):
Well no actually, it is near Speightstown in St. Peter. Have you been to Speightstown? I really love it there, and it is still relatively unspoilt. Do you go to Barbados a lot?

No, I have only been once - the company my dad works for owns the place though, so I was just curious. I have been once, but it was only for a day trip to bring some legal documents during the acquisition, so not much time to get to know the island! I hope to go back eventually!



No trees were harmed by this message. However, several million electrons were terribly inconvenienced
User currently offlineSK601 From Belgium, joined Jun 2005, 976 posts, RR: 4
Reply 18, posted (8 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 22570 times:

For BA flights leaving from AMS, KLM Catering Services is supplying the BA planes. That might be the reason that a KL glass ended up between BA supplies. I don't know if KL is still doing the catering for BA ex AMS, but they did last year.

User currently offlineRyanair737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (8 years 9 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 22228 times:

Excellent report with some great pictures! It really looks like paradise there!  sun 

Nice to see a report on one of BA's newly dusked B767s! The new safety cards look pretty cool too.

Thanks for the report.  Smile

Ryanair737


User currently offlineAirxLiban From Lebanon, joined Oct 2003, 4513 posts, RR: 53
Reply 20, posted (8 years 9 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 22210 times:

Quoting Cambrian (Reply 5):

I also enjoyed your recent reports. Are you still in LA, or is Oxford beckoning for the start of the new term?

Thanks for that...I'm in Los Angeles for just a couple more days now. I'm trying to decide whether or not to trip a trip report on the way back. It'll be the third time I write about what has basically been the same trip back and forth (BA 268/9 in WT+ on 744 on CIVA) and some might not be interested in hearing about the same things over and over again.

Quoting Cambrian (Reply 5):
Bahamas and Geneva- 2 of my all time favourite places!

Indeed. Though I must give the nod to Geneva. The Bahamas is a fantastic place to visit, but living there is another story. For one thing, produce is 1. non-existent and 2. ridiculously expensive. I've seen better supermarkets on the outskirts of Damascus than the ones in Nassau. They're filthy and badly organised and the groceries are of retch-inducing quality. I remember a single solitary yellow pepper cost $2.75...and it was in such bad shape that you could hardly even use it.

In addition, cost of living is fairly expensive, the schools available for my nephews are (apparently) awful, and shopping for the most basic household goods is a nightmare! My mum had to send her a crate of bed sheets, pillows, crockery, furnishings and some other things when they first arrived, then when we went to visit from Los Angeles we took even more things with us.

That said, I quite like the compound that they live in and the fact that they have a dock on the canal right at the end of their garden where they keep their boat. It's nice to be able to go down to the sea whenever one wants. It's nice that everything is so close. The weather is usually pleasant and there are plenty of water activities to do. And of course, there's the Atlantis!



PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
User currently offlineCambrian From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 619 posts, RR: 5
Reply 21, posted (8 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 22012 times:

Quoting Ryanair737 (Reply 19):
Excellent report with some great pictures! It really looks like paradise there!

Nice to see a report on one of BA's newly dusked B767s!

Thanks! Yes, it is paradise, but after 2 weeks, paradise got boring, so I was happy to come home. Having said that, I had a great holiday and the beaches are even better than those of other famous places like Anguilla.

I was really impressed with the dusked 767. I wasn't looking forward to the flight as my BA 767 experiences to date are in CE on European routes- dark and tatty cabins etc, but this was a different matter, and much better than the flying hospital ward that is Club World on the 777.

Quoting AirxLiban (Reply 20):
I'm trying to decide whether or not to trip a trip report on the way back.

Oh, go on! You know you want to!

Quoting AirxLiban (Reply 20):
The Bahamas is a fantastic place to visit, but living there is another story.

I know what you mean. I am going to Barbados for 2 months on Thursday. It sounds like a dream, but it gets boring after a while. The supermarkets are the same in Barbados. Some of the produce is excellent, but some is not good at all. There is also a wide selection of frozen food that looks like it defrosted en route...

So far there is nothing like Atlantis in Barbados- gambling is not allowed there yet, but it will surely come. Good luck with the new term.


User currently offlineBoeingfanyyz From Canada, joined Jul 2005, 991 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (8 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 21955 times:

Dave,

Great trip report! Loved the detail and amazing photos.

I went to the Turks and Caicos Islands (Provo) a few years ago during March. I stayed at the "Beaches" resort which I found to be very luxurious. I cant agree more when I hear people say how amazing the beaches are!

Cheers,
Boeingfanyyz  airplane 



"If it aint boeing, it aint going!", "Friends are like condoms...they protect you when things get hard!"
User currently offlineOmoo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (8 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 21773 times:

great report...good photos

User currently offlineMonkeyboi From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 457 posts, RR: 3
Reply 24, posted (8 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 21684 times:

Cambrian I agree. I am crew on the BA 747/767/777 and the 767 would be my aircraft of choice anyday as a passenger! Not as crew though! (No bunks!).

Im glad you enjoyed the in-flight service. I'm suprised you found the catering better than VS. Although I have never flown VS, I always read much hype in their media ads about their 'Freedom Menu' and thought it must have been quite good.


25 Post contains images VinnieWinnie : Lucky you!!! I'm bloody stuck in Brussels all the time at the moment hahaha Fantastic trip report mmmmmm sea planes and fun Vincent
26 Post contains images A340600 : Hey, Once again a wonderful report, and as you read this reply you are most likely back out that way! I eagerly await the F report to BGI ex LGW. I re
27 Trintocan : Well done Cambrian! I thoroughly enjoyed your report. Thank you for remembering me with those Cardiff pics - of course the truth is that by flying to
28 Travlinman : Thanks for a wonderful trip report. The photos were great! You must be really rich to afford 2 weeks in the Caribbean AND to fly in 1st class! What ki
29 Rmcf : Great report: good to read and excellent pictures. Hope you enjoy yourself in the Caribbean! I had the same problem on a LHR-CPT flight. Crew made a l
30 Cambrian : Thanks again for your comments, guys. Don't believe the hype! The one area where BA is consistently better than VS in CW (not to mention First) is the
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