I had always wanted to visit New York, and last year I visited San Francisco, gave me a feeling that I wanted to cross the Atlantic again. And also a longer visit than the 4 days that it was before.
And I also wanted to fly the 747, so SK (A-330), MH (B-777) and CO (B-757), was out of the question, even though they fly ARN-NYC on regularly basis. I looked at KLM first, they were the cheapest and I had to take in consideration that I flown them before and got upgraded to C-class. And also I liked their service in-flight. But for me it fell, that the 747-flight took of and landed during the dark hours, and I don’t really like that. So left for me now, were LH and BA. LH fell on the lack of PTV as well as KLM. So BA it became. And a win-win for me. I like BA, and I like LHR and all the traffic there. And also BA gave me a good price, around 4500 SEK, which is around 470 Euros, since I booked in late November. So now I just made my self a trip to the USA. After a told my parents about this, which wasn’t until a month or so until departure, my mom was eager to come with me, so the following day, she fixed a new passport, and booked same trip for her as for me, but she had to pay some 100 euros more than me, and we had to rebook the hotel also.
BA 771 G-EUOI ARN – LHR
My tickets on this trip
Boarding started at 06:30, boarding was kind of slow even though it wasn’t a full flight. Some available seat left. Filled to 90% in Y and I could only se one pax in C.
We pushed back from stand 67 on time but had to wait for de-icing in about 10 minutes or so. After de-icing the pilots started up the engines and we slowly taxied all the long way up to rwy 08. Since the pilot taxied so slow we didn’t have to make a full stop, to wait for other departing aircrafts, until we were fully lined up on the runway. After takeoff we made three large turns to the left and then headed down towards the Swedish city Jönköping. Then we flew over the northern parts of the Danish island Fyn, slightly over The Netherlands and before we entered British airspace. We made one lap in the holding area around Lambourne, and from there we flew to intercept the ILS for rwy 09L. Very hard landing since the bad weather. We were on blocks 20 minutes before schedule. Very good BA!!
The service onboard wasn’t the best. The F/A’s was in a bad mood and was in general very impolite. The pilots was the complete opposite. In a very good mood and the little I saw of them, they wanted to share all of us about the trip and the also maybe the aircraft. I didn’t ask for any cockpit shots, since I had a connecting flight, and was in a small hurry. Just said a thank you and good bye, to very smiling F/O.
Just above the clouds
Flaring over 09L
BA 175 G-BYGC LHR – JFK
Boarding started at 10:30 at gate 10. The group who already was at the gate came onboard relatively fast. I took my seat in the aft cabin, and on my way back there I was greeted by many flight attendants. It was a full house in Y, but in the others classes I don’t know how full they were.
We had some delays due to some passengers were stuck in the security in the terminal, so we had to wait for them. We also had some other ATC problems, probably with the Atlantic clearance.
Finally, after a long wait, we got pushed back. One thing I noticed during engine start up, was that it was so quiet and well-balanced and the same when the flaps were extended. I now compare to Airbus A-320 series, B-757, B737-series and the MD80-series which I flown the most. After that we slowly taxied to rwy 09R. Since I sat on the right side of the aircraft I could see all planes that took off from the rwy, and we had a lot of traffic in the queue in front of us, both that came from T4 and the other terminal complex. Finally it was our turn!!
Start to taxi
Some others that is going to fly as well, but a little bit further away than me
And we are airborne!
This is how the 09L Compton departure looks like from the aircraft, any spotters down there?
The takeoff was powerful, but I didn’t hear as much engine sound that I hoped for. Shortly after takeoff we made a right turn 180 degrees, to join the Compton departure. After that we came over the clouds ad climbed up to FL340, and so it was for a long time. We entered the Atlantic, and it was cloudy over the whole Atlantic almost. But after a while the movies started so I watched that a long time. Also the meals were handed out at that time. The movie I looked at was “The 40 Year Old Virgin”. I laughed very much to it.
After the movies were over the cabin crew had collected the food trays a long time ago, so I decide to explore a little bit in the cabin. Made some personal business as well . After that the second movie started. Tried to see “The Wedding Singer”, but I’ve seen it before, so I found my Ipod, Map view on my IFE and engine no 4 more interesting. Suddenly while watching the map I noticed that we had climbed to FL 370. I didn’t know that it was allowed to climb to higher altitude while following the NATS-track, because I noticed when we were south of the tip of Greenland.
This is how we crossed the atlantic!
We entered Canada and New Foundland a bit north of gander, even tough I saw some roads and scatted villages; it looked so remote and deserted. But when the OAT is -80°F, which is quite understandable I think.
A while after we entered Canadian airspace and I was watching my private IFE, we hit some severe turbulence. That was very cool I thought. Watching engine nr 4 and the right wing flexing and shaking, like it will fall of any second at all. Kinda scary, bur very impressive and cool. My mom didn’t like it all. And I just love when stuff like that happened.
And suddenly we flew on FL400, and that altitude we maintained all the way until we started our descend into JFK. We flew almost straight south a bit west of Boston, and out over Long Island. In very windy and rainy conditions we landed very hard on rwy 04R and the breaking was hard as well, reversing engine was a minimum and used the wheel brakes completely. After that we taxied to stand 6 at Terminal 7, and this fun trip was over.
Pictures from the landing:
More flaps, and some of the ground in Queens
Landed! And the wing is exposing everything for me!
The immigration queue went very well, queue was moving all the time, and I had my papers in order, so I got a new nice stamp in my passport and was welcomed to United States.
The Service: I think in general it was so-so. The most of the Cabin crew wasn’t to very service-minded. But my side of the aircraft was serviced by ha man, Louis. He was absolutely great. Always kept a smile to everyone and was very polite. I asked for ONE can of coke, and he returned with TWO cans of coke to me. That’s the kind of service I would like to have on every trip.
The isle-seat beside my mom, was taken by a man in the 30-35 years. He didn’t speak to anyone during the whole trip, the only thing he did was to read various newspapers and watch some of the programs on the IFE, or just maybe listening to the radio. After landing he started to talk to a woman who sat behind me, and it seemed like they had know each other for the whole life. They talked during the whole time in the queue to the immigration as well.
Day of Departure 11 February 2006
The day of departure was very slow. Woke up around 8.30 am. And shortly after went to the restaurant to eat some breakfast. After that we spend the whole day in the hotel room. Packed our bags and watched the Olympics on the TV. And also the weather forecasts, about the snowstorm that was predicted. So therefore we left early. Took the airport-hotel shuttle bus from the hotel at 2.00 pm, to terminal 7. We checked in and it went perfectly at the self check-in kiosk, at least for me. My mom had some problems, but was sorted out by the ground staff. It was a lot of other people that should check-in as well, but probably to other flights. Since BA has a few daily flights to JFK.
After we had checked in, we went thru the security. Since I’ve been thru a bunch of security checks during this week in various places in NY. Belt, watch, jacket and winter boots went of and I didn’t ask for it. And it didn’t beep of me. Felt nice, first time this week it didn’t do that. Other places it beeped of me, was the USS Intrepid, Empire State building and the Statue of Liberty. After we passed the security we went to the small eating area and eat some food, and then we waited for our flight, and also made some tax-free shopping, and waited….
BA 114 G-BYGA JFK – LHR
Golf Alpha came into stand at 6:40 pm. Just after it started to snow. Then the waiting hall was always full and all of a sudden empty as aircrafts departed, one after each other. At 8:15 pm the ground staff let us board the aircraft. I entered via door 2L and followed the isle down to my seat 50A, and my mom took seat 50C. When the doors were closed, the Y cabin couldn’t be more than half full, maybe below that. Very little passengers. From what I heard some passengers rebooked their tickets to earlier flights. That’s good for us = more space.
A couple of minutes after we passed our time of departure, the captain came out on the PA and explained that we were put on hold in the queue for de-icing, and that should be in about an hour or so.
At 9.20pm we got pushback, and the engines were started, and then we slowly taxied to the de-icing platform. The captain parked the aircraft, and engines were shut down, and the de-icing commenced. It took about 30-45 minutes to spray the whole aircraft. When we was all de-iced the captain started the engines again, and we slowly taxied to rwy 04L. The airport crew had to plow a lot of snow of the runway before we could takeoff, so we had to wait a bit. It felt like a long wait, and probably it was a little to long wait, as the captain came out on the PA again, and explained that it had accumulated a lot of snow and ice on the wings and the stabilizers, so we had to go back for another de-icing. At this point a large sigh went thru the whole cabin, and the captain apologised very much for this. And we then high-speed taxied on the runway, back to the de-icing platform, were we had to wait again. We had the luck to be squeezed between two aircrafts, and they were soon finished with the first. A 767 from Lan Chile. Under the meantime the captain had shut down the engines on our 747 to save some fuel. And I noticed that the movies had started on the IFE, so I watched Dumb & Dumber, just because I really needed a laugh at this point, and I sure got it. I don’t know how much time that elapsed, but finally we got de-iced and it took about 30-45 minutes or so to let it be done. After that the captain started the engines once again, and taxied down to 04L for departure. One thing that worried me, was that he didn’t set the flaps until we were lining up on the rwy, and the first time, the flaps wasn’t deployed at all. Why? On my trip to the US, the flaps were set as we started to taxi at the gate.
Anyway, we finally lined up, and there was a special procedure, now when it was winter-conditions. In order to check the engines anti-icing the aircraft was held on its brakes, against its power, not full power though, for about 10-15 sec. The captain releases the brakes and set to full power, and we finally took off. Never felt so good to be airborne, as we now were slightly 4.15 hours late. After takeoff we headed dead-straight east, cross Long Island, and out over the Atlantic. It was cloudy from 500 feet AGL or less up to 15000 feet, and it was very turbulent, in the snowstorm. Shortly after we came up on FL 370, the dinner begun serving. I choosed the pasta with tomato saus. Very good actually. What the other was, I don’t remember. Didn’t sound to very healthy for me. When the cabin crew collected the food trays, I wanted to throw away a water bottle, and the steward asks me if I wanted him to fill it up with water. I couldn’t say no to that, and shortly after he returned with my bottle, filled with fresh cold water.
The flight it self went pretty eventless after we were airborne, and I couldn’t sleep as well. Tried to se The Wedding Crashers, but something wrong happened with my PTV, I couldn’t change the sound level; it was stuck on max volume, very annoying. So I, once again, watched the map, and listening to my ipod, and see the new day rise to me. Around halfway across the Atlantic we met the rising sun. Since the whole cabin was a sleep, and I didn’t want to bother anyone, with my sunblind up, I just watched the map, and made some small peaks outside the window. And as a wrote in the beginning, the cabin was half full, so mom moved some rows back, so I got 3 seats for my own. I sat very good and more comfortable now, in this aircraft, than I did on the flight to New York. And also the flight felt like it was going faster. I did do some sleeping, but it can’t be more than 1 hour in total that night.
First picture I could take on this trip, the sun is rising for us, to let a new day be wasted for us!
Some 10 minutes after the first, the sun is rising fast when you travel against it
Finally we started our descend into LHR. We hade to hold in Ockham, for about 15-20 minutes, so about 2 laps. The turned of the IFE. Just before we entered the holding pattern, so I couldn’t see which direction we flew, bummer..
We then were cleared to go into final for rwy 27R, it was a long approach, in this cloudy, rainy and windy London. Not so very nice at all. Couldn’t see any spotters at the roundabout either. The landing was harder than I expected, but better than when I arrived in JFK. Reverse thrust, were deployed, but not used, the captain, put his confident in those carbonfiber wheel breaks instead. After that, we taxied around Terminal 3, waiting a few minutes to cross 27L, and then we had to wait for an aircraft to clear our gate, took a while, but finally we could park at gate 08. And with a block time of 9 hours and 42 minutes, this must be one of the longest JFK-LHR flight ever made in a Boeing 747-400
Pictures of the landing:
Spoilers and some flaps
Over the threshold for 27R in bad weather
Flaring a little bit more
And we’re on British soil after a long long flight!
BA 780 G-EUUO LHR – ARN
Due to the delay in JFK, we missed our first connecting flight that was due to leave at 10:40. We were rebooked to a later flight, which in this case became BA 780. We were booked on BA 778 first. Everything went smooth and very nice indeed, until we should depart. Shortly before our departure time came, the pilot came out on the PA, and said that is was a slightly problem with the aircrafts nose wheel. It was something with a pressure, either in the landing gears tyre pressure or the landing gear strut. Didn’t really hear what he said. In order to let this be fixed, a gentleman from BA engineering had to come out to the aircraft a look if is was correctly. But it wasn’t, so he had to bring the correct equipment, to fix this pressure. And that took a very long time. First to wait for this engineer, and another long wait, for the equipment. But when we got all this things to the aircraft, the problem got fixed very fast. And the captain came out on the PA every now and then to inform and update us about the problem.
Finally, after a long wait, the jet way moved away, and we got push-back. Engines were started up, and flaps were set to 2 and we then slowly taxied to rwy 27R. Lots of traffic ahead of us, that also should take off, so it went rather slow I thought. I just wanted to come home…
But finally it was our turn, and we took off. It felt so nice to be airborne again for our last time. We had the Brookmans Park departure, and from there we flew almost straight up towards Stockholm. The flight was good. No turbulence or something like that. Only thing that bother me, was a little child a few rows in front of me, that screamed the whole flight. At serving we got a sandwich. It was ‘ok’ to eat, I’ve gotten better and I gotten worse food on flights before, and a can of coke to drink, as usual..
Our descend into ARN begun, and we landed on rwy 19R, and after that we slowly taxied into stand 66 at terminal 2. After the pilot shut down the engines, and the passengers were allowed to disembark the aircraft, he came out in the cabin and greeted us all, and said sorry for the technical problem we had at LHR. I made it thru the passport check, and as usual I took the slower queue. When I got to the baggage belt, the first baggage had already arrived, and neither me or my mom had to wait long, for our bags to arrived, so we was among the first, at last, something that goes our way now!! And now I was home in a snowy Stockholm. And I must confess that I wasn’t homesick until our aircraft became so delayed in New York.
I didn’t bother to take photos on this flight, I assume you all have flown a A-320 before.
Because some friends whom going to read this aren’t so very interested in the trip, but instead how New York was, so here I going to let you see some random photos from there
This is the view from our hotel, you can se Elmhurst Hospital on the hill on picture 1 and 2, that enjoyed us with sirens from ambulances and stuff all night. Queens Blvd below. Behind the hospital somewhere, lies LaGuardia, to the north on picture 2 (straight up). I really liked that, when planes flew over at low altitude.
One of Donald Trumps building at the UN-house. Even though, I re-took this photo, I really think this looked cool with the birds and the reflecting clouds.
A picture from a building many people likes, and what do you think about the motiv?
Looking north! Nice view isn’t it?
Yup, I saw this too
I’m letting this one speak for it self
This one too
Chrysler building and Empire State building in their all glory, but I think this building is way cooler!!
A dinner with George Clooney, was what my mom got on this trip!
This I me, in front. She was very nice, but didn’t say much though.
Hey babe, I did see this one as well, but I am more impressed of the exterior than the interior of the Concorde. Should I mention that I also prefer to see it in the air, or moving by its own machinery.