IberiaA319 From Spain, joined Sep 2005, 578 posts, RR: 35 Posted (9 years 5 months 1 day ago) and read 26800 times:
My first trip report here on airliners.net!!!
I took a few days off as I wanted to visit my cousins and relatives who live in Nicaragua. I had already visited them in the past, and flew IB long-haul (DC10, 747 and 343) to Miami and then onwards on a IB A319 (when IB's mini-hub at Miami was still working). I also flew on AA's 763 (MAD-MIA) and AA's 727 (before they where retired on MIA-MGA). I also visited the country by flying first into SJO (Costa Rica) and then onwards to Nicaragua with Tica Bus.
This time I decided to travel on a different airline and found a good deal on BA. Last time I flew on BA's long-haul was back in 1998 (LHR-BOS on a 777 and 742) and therefore I booked this route (Economy class).
-tBA455 MAD-LHR (B757)
-tBA207 LHR-MIA on World Traveler (B744)
-tAA985 MIA-MGA (B738)
I would also experience PTVs once again (last time I experienced PTVs was on a CDG-DXB flight (AF) and on a CO's MAD-EWR flight more than 4 years ago, both 777).
So this trip stars very early at Barajas airport, at the new Terminal 4 on June 15, at about 5.30 am. There was a long line on BA's ticket counters, but self check-in machines could be used (and that's what I did).
Flight is displayed here, it departs at 7 AM:
View of the departure hall (empty as it's still very early):
And straight to the gates S, which are located in the satellite building:
Glassed doors between platform and Automated People Mover:
View of one of the halls of the satellite building:
The plane on this MAD-LHR flight was a B757, registration G-BPEJ:
We all boarded the plane through one of the new glassed jetways while it was still dark outside. Seat was 19A.
Flight took off with a little delay. Passengers got a breakfast (mushroom and cheese baguette, a fruit cocktail and a coffee). Cabin crew was very friendly. No IFE on this plane and no TV screens. Seat pitch was ok (think it was 32 or even 33 inches, not sure about this).
As the plane was arriving London Heathrow, the cockpit crew had to circle around for a long while due to traffic congestion. And surprisingly another plane, a UA's B777 (registration N778UA), was flying very close to our plane (and circling around as well)!!
Finally, with a delay of almost 40 minutes the plane landed at Heathrow.
While taxiing to the gate we passed along the UA's B777 which probably landed almost at the same time (and was taxiing as well).
I arrived at Terminal 1 and there was not much time left for the flight connection. The next flight would leave from Terminal 3. So first I had to go through security screening and then take a bus to terminal 3. There were lots of planes at the parking positions of this terminal: Virgin Atlantic, Emirates, Gulf Air, AA,...
Next plane was a B744, registration G-BNLZ
No empty seats on this flight, at least in the Economy cabin. My seat was 34F.
The map channel on the PTVs showed this information.
The amenity kit is excellent as it offers socks, eye shades, headsets and a little tooth brush. But the seat pitch is worse on this plane (31 inches)
Our flight took off on time and soon we were leaving Britain:
A snack was offered 45 minutes after takeoff: Breadsticks and a drink.
Prior to the beginning of the movies, BBC news were offered on channel 2, info about the IFE and movies on channel 3 and news and summary of the FIFA World Cup on Channel 4. British Airways offers 18 video channels and 16 audio channels.
We were flying at 34,000 feet, ground speed of 559 mph (901 km/h).
View of the cabin:
Meal was served a while later, chose salmon. It looks good!
First film I watched was "Rumor has it", with Jenifer Aniston. Some hours later we were flying at 36,000 feet. Plane was heading towards Bermuda, and later to the Bahamas.
Before landing this meal was offered:
Later I watched the TV Comedy: Joey. And finally we arrived at Miami:
We arrived almost on time, at 2 pm. The B744 parked at gate A18. Taxiing didn't take long.
Proceeded then to immigration and customs and afterwards to terminal D, where the next flight (to Managua) would depart.
Gate was D48, almost at the very end of the terminal:
Departure time was at 4.54 pm:
And this is the aircraft, a B737-800, registration N908AN
Seat was 25A and the departure was on time.
View of Miami's Bayside and AA's Arena after departure:
The cabin of AA's 738 has only some TV screens over the aisle. We got a drink and some pretzels.
And after 2 hours there we are finally in Managua, view of the Carretera Norte and a bridge:
This is Managua airport, a small terminal.
I spent 10 days visiting cousins, relatives, visiting the old colonial cities. Also went to some parties and did some cycling.
On June 26 I flew back. Managua's terminal has been renovated but some works are still going on.
Check-in counters in Managua:
Duty free shops:
Managua has not much traffic, airlines that operate into Managua are American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Continental Airlines, Taca and Copa, as well as some local companies for domestic flights. The terminal will have very soon six jetways, currently only three of them are operational.
Aircraft on the MGA-MIA leg was N70073:
Here it is at MGA:
Seat was 32J. Only a few seats empty. We took off on time.
The cabin of the AA's A300s was updated not long ago, new seat covers and LCD screens:
We got a drink and some pretzels again. Finally after two hours we were approaching MIA:
While taxiing saw 2 LAB's 727, a plane that you see less and less, almost non existing in many countries.
The AA A300 parked at gate A22 and next to the BA's B744 I would take in a few hours!!!! The B744 was parked again at A18. Gate A20 is not used due to the wingspan of the Jumbo. Unfortunately, I had to go to immigration and customs again while transiting at MIA. A long walk, almost had to exit the terminal. Then I had to go through screening and walk to gate A18.
Here's the 744, registration G-BNLV:
Walking to gate A18
The 744 was full again, ready for departure. My seat was this time 47H.
We got the amenity kit again. Saw the movies "Frantic" and "Last Holiday"
Flying at 37,000 feet:
Plane was heading North Carolina and Virginia first, along the East Coast, then it flew straight towards to Halifax.
I chose lasagna for the first meal:
Gérard Dépardieu in "Last holiday":
1208 miles left:
Finally, 90 minutes prior to arrival, breakfast was served, slept also for some hours. View of the cabin:
We landed on time. Unfortunately, there was no empty gate at Terminal 3, so we had to wait for more than 20 minutes in front of this terminal until a AA 777 pushed back and left a gate. The captain was really annoyed!!!!
Nice flight on G-BNLV:
After deplaning, I walked to the connecting bus for Terminal 1 and 2. There I had to go through security screening again.
Next and last flight of this trip, LHR-MAD, was on an Airbus A-320, registration G-BUSE. My seat was 13F.
We departed at almost 2 pm, with a delay of 40 minutes as the departure time slot was missed (as some bags were loaded with delay).
Before takeoff the plane passed along the future Terminal 5:
During the flight we got a drink, a chicken & sweetcorn sandwich and a fruit cocktail. No IFE on this plane.
After two hours we arrived at Barajas:
On the back, La Muñoza, IB's maintenance area:
We arrived at Terminal 4 Satellite, a long walk to the People Mover station:
SDLSimme From Sweden, joined Feb 2005, 475 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (9 years 5 months 3 hours ago) and read 25584 times:
I flew BA in World Traveller LHR-ORD 2 weeks ago and had the exact same salmon and white wine on my way there
I also think that I was on G-BNLV, the same aircraft as you were on between MIA-LHR.
Fbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3786 posts, RR: 26
Reply 17, posted (9 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 24843 times:
Quoting SKY1 (Reply 14): Just curiosity, Eric ...did machine ask you the PNR's number (localizador) or just your passport number?
BA SSCI machines work by putting in either your FF card or credit card. If neither are recognised it then asks for the PNR number. Never got as far as passport number and I don't think the machine would ask for it because it is only relevant for USA and I think flights to China.
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
IberiaA319 From Spain, joined Sep 2005, 578 posts, RR: 35
Reply 19, posted (9 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 24702 times:
Thanks for your nice comments!!!
Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 2): You got lucky with G-BUSE, it's a -100 series, only 10 were made, pretty rare!
Yes, it's pretty rare, as BA only has 5 of them. BA operates 22 A320-200.
Just checked airfleets.net, 21 A320-100 were built, most of them are in AF's fleet.
Quoting Planecrazy2 (Reply 5): The MAD terminal and the food on the BA 747s both look good.
Quoting Tsaord (Reply 8): Great report! Barajas looks gorgeous!!!!
Yes, Barajas looks gorgeous, the new terminals (T4 and T4S) were necessary as the old ones were too congested. Many airlines still operate from the old terminals (including Sky Team and Star Alliance airlines).
Quoting Latinplane (Reply 7): Really appreciated seeing what Managua's new terminal looks like.
You are welcome. There are not so many trip reports here on a.net that include pictures of Central American airports...and Managua's new terminal looks really nice.
Quoting Door5Right (Reply 13): Do you know why there is a half height bulkhead in the AA A300? Seems very strange indeed.
Exit doors 3L and 3R are located there. Passengers seating in the row behind the bulkhead have much more space and legroom. Some passengers use this space to cross from one side of the airplane to the other.
There's a bulkhead next to the exit doors 2L and 2R as well.
Quoting SKY1 (Reply 14): It was found in the travel agency which I work for I still remember that call to confirm your flight attended by myself. What a surprise!!
That was a big surprise for me as well, as I didn't know that you were working for that travel agency.
B707Stu From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 918 posts, RR: 4
Reply 23, posted (9 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 24006 times:
Terrific trip report, thank you. I was shocked to see the people mover trains at Barajas are the identical ones to those used at ATL. Interesting. I guess they must prove themselves well as they';ve been at ATL for sometime and clearly work. I'm changing planes at Barajas in December so now I have a sense of what it looks like and what the letters mean, thank you. I couldn't figure it out from any maps I was reading.
IberiaA319 From Spain, joined Sep 2005, 578 posts, RR: 35
Reply 24, posted (9 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 23890 times:
Quoting B707Stu (Reply 23): I was shocked to see the people mover trains at Barajas are the identical ones to those used at ATL. Interesting. I guess they must prove themselves well as they';ve been at ATL for sometime and clearly work.
Yes, the APM trains are the same as in Atlanta. Bombardier built the APM for both airports.
Quoting from Bombardier's website:
Quote: In early 2006, the first driverless transit system in Spain, and the longest airport people mover (APM) in Europe, will begin transporting passengers between a new terminal and a new satellite terminal at Madrid's Barajas International Airport. Deploying the Bombardier CITYFLO 550 automatic train control technology, the system will be the only mode of transportation for passengers between the two terminals, which are spaced more than two kilometres apart.