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BA First & Club Europe: IAD-JER-IAD (pics + Vids)  
User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3701 posts, RR: 28
Posted (8 years 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Since I was about to enter the world of work and be shackled to 6 days or thereabouts of ‘vacation’ a year I thought it was a good idea to go and see my parents and brother for about 10 days or so. My brother was in Jersey with his girlfriend so it felt like a nice little tour, flying into London and spending some time with my parents, then a little overnight jaunt to Jersey. Having recently married an American I’d been marooned in the US until my papers arrived allowing me to travel freely in and out of the country. I knew approximately when they were due to arrive, but with no guarantees, so I booked a pretty unrestrictive ticket and prayed they were going to arrive in time.
 
I’d been in Seattle the week before ( AA/AS First Class & US Express: RIC-SEA (pics+vid) (by Fbgdavidson Jul 13 2006 in Trip Reports) & AS/AA First Class & US Airways: SEA-RIC (pics) (by Fbgdavidson Jul 13 2006 in Trip Reports) ) and my wife picked me up from the airport at Richmond three days before I was due to leave for London with my papers in hand  Smile I was good to go…
 
Route: Washington – Dulles Int. – London Heathrow
Airline: British Airways
Flight Number: BA224
Aircraft: Boeing 777-236/ER
Registration: G-YMMG
Seat: 02A (First)
Distance: 3677 miles
Duration: 6hrs 25mins
Date: Friday 14th July

 

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Photo © Martin Aves
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Photo © Ryan Hemmings


 
Having flown the United dayflight a few months ago I thought it was a good idea to try the British Airways ( UA Business Class: IAD-LHR-IAD (w/pics) (by Fbgdavidson Feb 22 2006 in Trip Reports) ) equivalent. I’d pretty much used the evening 292 service every time previous to this and so I felt a bit like a fish out of water arriving at BA check-in during daylight hours!  Smile I’d investigated hotels but booking at short notice midweek was going to be fairly pricey. Even Hampton Inns close to Dulles were in the $200 range and I hate being ripped off so decided we’d make an early start and I’d drive up from Richmond since I’d have little else to do all day!
 
We arrived at Dulles a little earlier than expected, just around 6.15am and check-in was heaving. The Club World check-in had over a dozen people waiting and I couldn’t even see where the main cabin line stretched to, but fortunately First was well, empty  Smile The check-in chap joked that he had a spare boarding pass for my wife but based on my online check-in experience the morning before the only room for her would have been in the overhead!
 
I said goodbye to Kirstin and put my bag through the luggage scanner and locked it, waving it off to Heathrow, hopefully arriving eight hours or so later, intact and unmolested. Speaking of unmolested I got in the line for security  Wink Surprisingly for early morning the line wasn’t very long at all, although I have heard that MWAA have, in the past week, introduced a premium security line  bigthumbsup  As I walked over to the shuttle to the D concourse the incoming mobile lounge arrived and so I sat for a few minutes as it filled up. An elderly couple were amongst the last to arrive so I gave up my seat for them to sit together.  
 
Unfortunately it turned out the BA First Lounge isn’t open for the early flight, a minor disappointment but for the sake of completeness here are some pictures from a previous visit. Thumbnailed so not to confuse it from this report  Wink
 




British Airways First Lounge at Washington Dulles
 
Instead I made the short walk to the Terraces Lounge, a relatively new addition to the lounges at Dulles following it’s refurbishment last year.
 
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British Airways Terraces Lounge at Washington Dulles
 
I sat with a glass of water reading a few magazines from those on offer as the lounge filled up slowly and boarding time approached. With an 8.05am departure I made my way, slightly ahead of the crowd, up to Gate D32 at 7.30am. A rather loud alarm could be heard echoing around the concourse and ahead of me the small food court area and surrounding gates were in darkness. It was a slight reminder of my rather treacherous passage through Cape Town Airport in February! The non-Fast Track line snaked a fair bit out of the line but as ever the Fast Track line itself was rather empty, if static and in darkness  biggrin . I put my bag down and stepped out of the boarding line and sat on the adjacent seats. The crew, plus captain’s wife arrived and were taken aboard and after about ten minutes or so boarding commenced.
 
Unusually we boarded through 1L and I removed my little things for the initial stages of the flight, then proceeded to put my bags in the overhead. I do like the fact in First you have plenty of room in your own overhead locker  Smile My first impressions of this seat weren’t too good as the shelf between the seat and the window seemed unclean! I brushed a few stale crumbs and other bits into the gap between the window and the shelf. I was offered a pre-flight drink of champagne, orange juice or water to which I accepted the former however strangely there were no macademia nuts as per usual.  Confused  The usual ‘serenity’ of the First cabin was somewhat disrupted by everyone heading to the rear cabins, don’t BA know this wears out the carpet!  biggrin  This did make the pre-flight service a little tough for the flight attendants who were being knocked and interrupted by the near constant flow of traffic.
 
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Seat 1E in First. Note the useful little shelf and locker on the left hand side, a useful something that none of the other middle seats offer (1F being the exception)
 
I was offered a sleeper suit and went to the forward bathroom to change into it, was quite amusing to find all the crew bags stored in there  Smile After returning to my seat I noticed the captain’s wife was sitting in 1A  biggrin , one of the perks I guess but I’m still a little against non-revs in First on a three cabin aircraft to be honest!
 
I was offered a newspaper and accepted the travel friendly version of The Times, having not been home for a few months I certainly wasn’t going to read a copy of The Daily Mail  Wink As I glanced around the cabin I noticed the Highlife Shop magazine and remembered my mother had a little shopping list for me so scoped that out. As we were waiting the captain came round and said hello to everyone, a nice touch whilst the First Officer prepared for pushback I presume. A few minutes later and ensconed in seat 0A our friendly captain introduced himself to us, apologised for the delay in pushback and said that we were still expecting to arrive early at Heathrow thanks to strong tailwinds, a flight time of just 6hrs 25mins!
 
As I’d had a few drinks in the lounge I was about ready to visit the bathroom (no excrement test results here I’m afraid  Wink) but was chuckling a little when I went to the stall in front of 1F this time and again found it full of crew bags  biggrin . As the crew were sorting things out in the First galley I went back through the Club World galley and was given ‘permission to pass through my kitchen’ by the Club World purser  biggrin .
 
Soon we were off, and taxiing around to runway 1L…

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Takeoff video – BA224 from runway 1L at Washington Dulles
 
Menus were handed out soon after takeoff and I found out it was just brunch on the flight, no second meal service closer to arriving in London which was rather disappointing, I mean even United managed a couple of decent sized multi-course meals on my dayflight with them in and that was in Business Class!
 
I perused the menu which is as follows:
 
____________________
 
BRUNCH

Welcome to the FIRST dining experience, where you are in control of when and what you eat. Please create your own menu combination, from a light meal to a complete meal.

STARTERS

Chilled fruit juice
 
A selection of yoghurts
 
Fresh seasonal fruit
 
Smoked salmon and cream cheese
 
Roast vegetable bisque
 
Fresh salad leaves with your choice of balsamic vinaigrette or garlic and sour cream dressing

MAIN

Full English brunch of scrambled eggs, grilled fillet steak, bcaon, mushrooms, tomatoes and hash-brown potatoes
 
Cheese omelette
 
Coconut chicken curry, cauliflower sagaloo and basmati rice with Indian bread.
 
Warm crab cakes on fresh salad leaves with your choice of Thai chilli dressing or garlic mayonnaise

DESSERT

New York cheesecake

SNACKS

Bacon roll served with tomato ketchup

Penne pasta with your choice of pomodoro sauce or wild mushroom sauce with freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Duchy of Cornwall biscuits

A selection of cheese and fruit

CHEESE PLATE

Aged Cheddar –  A full falvour and buttery texture are hallmarks of this classic cheese
 
Fleur de Maquis – Also known as Brindamour, this cheese is encrusted with dried herbs
 
Danish Blue – A rindless, semi-soft cheese with deep blue marbling, Danish Blue is prized for its creaminess
 
A basket of fresh fruit
 
BEVERAGES
 
We offer you a choice of
 
English Breakfast, Darjeeling or Earl Grey tea
 
A selection of fruit and herbal teas – peppermint, apple and blackcurrant or camomile and honey
 
Fresh roast and ground coffee or decaffeinated coffee, espresso or cappuccino
 
REFRESHMENTS
 
Snacks

 
Selection of reception sandwiches
 
Steak and ale pie with garden peas
 
Patisserie
 
Fresh pastries
 
Beverages
  
Espresso, cappuccino, fresh roast and ground coffee or decaffeinated coffee
 
Tea or a selection of fruit and herb teas
 
________________________

 The wine list was as follows:
________________________

CHAMPAGNE

Pommery Cuvée Louise 1997

Pommery’s top wine, Cuvée Louise, is made only in the finest years and only from grapes in their finest vineyards in the Montagne de Reims and the Côte de Blancs – a stunning wine.


WHITE WINES

Chablis Premier Cru Mont de Milieu 2004,
Domaine Billaud-Simon, France

After the blistering heat of 2003, it’s nice to get back to a classic, steely dry Chablis! The family –run Domaine Billaud-Simon can always be relied upon to make elegant, polished wines.

d’Arenberg “The Hermit Crab” Viognier Marsanne 2004, McLaren Vale, Australia
Eccentric Australian winemaker Chester Osborn grows these two Rhône Valley varieties in his McLaren Vale vineyards. The wine is soft, rounded and peachy with a delicately floral finish

Wente Riva Ranch Reserve Chardonnay 2003, Arroyo Seco, USA
This is a high quality, archetypal Californian Chardonnay – rounded with well-integrated, toasty oak with a thrilling array of citrus and tropical fruit flavours.

RED WINES

Château Talbot 1995, Grand Cru Classé, Saint-Julien, France

Talbot is such a consistent performer and shows all the silky texture and suppleness one has come to expect from the great Saint-Julien château.

Saint Joseph 2001, Guigal, France
2001 was a simply wonderful vintage in the northern Rhône Valley. This wine is made solely from the Syrah grape variety and by an acknowledged master, Marcel Guigal.  

Rodney Strong Symmetry 2001, Meritage, Alexander Valley, USA
Meritage wines must contain the classic Bordeaux blend of Cabernet and Merlot. This is predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon and is rich, harmonious and powerful.


DESSERT WINES

Close Labère 1999, Sauternes, France

A brilliant mid-gold colour and a bouquet of honey and beeswax precede a delicious mouthful of apricot and dried figs, sweet and rich but fresh and clean
 
Warre's 1988 Colheita Port
Complex, sweet, nutty flavours offer and admirable after-dinner glass.


SPIRITS, DIGESTIFS AND LIQUERS

We offer a complete range of classic and timeless spirits, digestifs and liquers including Gonzalez Byass Sherries, Johnnie Walker Blue Label Scotch Whisky, Tanqueray No. Ten Gin, Smirnoff Black Label Vodka, The Glenlivet 18-year-old Single Malt Whisky, Woodford Reserve Kentucky Whiskey and Camus XO Cognac.


SOFT DRINKS

A selection of traditional and modern drinks including Coca Cola, Highland Spring still or sparkling mineral water.

 
_________________________
 
We banked round almost due east from Washington across Annapolis and just south of Atlantic City then out into the North Atlantic for a rather southerly routing.
 
The entertainment began with the ‘Well Being’ video and the audio was played throughout the cabin, something I thought was a bit odd…after this my menu order was taken and my champagne was topped up.
 
By this stage I’d noticed that the ‘First View’ options had not been handed out. Usually this is one of the first things done on the ground so I requested the little slip hoping to get ahead of the game.
 
A tray was also brought around with a selection of drinks on it including orange juice, the smoothie (I presume the energizing smoothie from Club World) and some cranberry juice. Not being much of a fan of the other two I took an orange juice.
 
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Climbing out over the North Atlantic with a glass of Pommery Louise and orange juice for company
 
I handed back my First View choices to the FA and within a minute my first two choices, ’Fun With Dick & Jane’ and ’Syriana’ were in my possession. So I put the former on, this of course required winding back to the beginning so I waited a few minutes supping on my champagane.
 
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’Fun with Dick and Jane’ in rewind and the ever present glass of Pommery Cuvee Louise…
 
Several minutes later my champagne was once again topped up without asking, the danger of flying First Class with the table out! By this time I’d already drunk the majority of a bottle and I’d been onboard not much more than an hour!!!
 
I noticed for the chocoholics amongst us that a tray of the famed Lily O’Briens had been put out on the magazine shelf in front of seat 1K. Something definitely worth remembering for later in the flight, and since I hadn’t eaten much and with food on the way I didn’t want to ruin my appetite with chocolates!
 
An hour after takeoff my smoked salmon had arrived, I must have been one of the last to receive my food as I saw fruit plates and various menu items go to the seats behind me for the previous few minutes. The bread basket also did the rounds and I attained a glass of water somewhere in all the goings on!
 
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Smoked salmon and cream cheese
 
I LOVE smoked salmon and cream cheese and this wasn’t going to disappoint. I’d had some a few months ago on United and it was fabulous and this was a touch better, my only complaint was I could have done with a tad more cream cheese.
 
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Coconut chicken curry, cauliflower sagaloo and basmati rice with Indian bread.
 
I’d been away for a few months and not managed to get to an Indian restaurant since Christmas this seemed a good way to start off my trip back to Blighty. To be quite honest I was really disappointed in this dish. The rice was very dry, the sauce was a bit of a slick and the bread brought back painful memories of eating some cardboard as a dare when I was at prep school!  Sad I left the cauliflower sagaloo completely!
 
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New York cheesecake
 
With the sole cheesecake option for dessert I went for yep the cheesecake  Wink This was nicely presented and coffee was served at the same time. Would be nice to have a little sugar bowl instead of the little paper sachets that get drenched as they lay in the saucer during the slightest bit of turbulence….in international First Class all these rather trivial little touches do make a difference!
 
The coffee itself was quite strong but delicious, certainly didn’t taste like your average four buck chuck from Starbucks!
 
I carried on watching 'Fun With Dick and Jane', quite a good little movie, certainly helped to pass an otherwise boring transatlantic flight…When this finished I swapped it over for 'Syriana' and watched some of that through. I was starting to tire a little so arranged the pillows just so and laid back for an hour tuned into Bose QC2s and GU #013, Sasha at his very best  Smile
 
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Another victim of the great service aboard BA224 today…fortunately I made it off at Heathrow with my face intact  Wink
 

MyAviation.net photo:
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Photo © Fraser Davidson


The 13 seat First cabin aboard G-YMMG

After waking up I requested the extra pouches for the BAg that was handed out earlier in the flight and these were brought round rather fast. Sometimes the crew look funnily at you when asking for these, sometimes they don't know what you are talking about and the other times you get a smile and a thumbs up, today was that day  Smile Upon their delivery I asked if I could get a small dish so I could head around to 1K to snack on the Lily O'Briens chocolates laid out for us, however, a minute later they were brought round to my seat and left with me for a good twenty minutes  biggrin 

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Lily O'Briens....delicious!

Regular checkups were made on water and wine and with a few hours left to fly I enquired about the possibility of getting a bacon roll off the snack menu anytime between now and landing. This was delivered as we were passing just over Southern Ireland, perfect timing  thumbsup 

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Bacon roll, sans ketchup and HP sauce

The CSD who was particularly excellent on this flight apologised profusely for the lack of ketchup and brown sauce as it appeared they'd run out. She'd checked Club World too and it was lacking there too and being one of those resourceful types even offered me some of her personal stash of Marmite! I politely turned her down on that offer being one of those 50% of people that hates the stuff  Wink

At this point I am going to end my extended commentary on the flight and let my pictures do the talking, the views coming in over South Wales and down the Thames Valley were pretty breathtaking, especially since I flew right over my house. Sadly my pictures didn't quite do it justice (the full size versions can be found on the linked photo album at the end of this flight) but here we go:

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South Wales

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South Wales again. The airfield visible is Templeton in Pembrokeshire, now disused

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Newbury, Berkshire - The controversial bypass is clearly visible on the left hand side running north to south. The racecourse can also be seen on the right hand side of the shot

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The former USAF base at Greenham Common. The six former cruise missile silos can be seen just south of the west end of the runway. My old golf club is visible just north of the runway  Wink

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Reading, Berkshire - The Reading to Basingstoke railway line is clearly visible along with the A33. Looking closely the Madjeski Stadium, home of Reading Football Club can just be made out.

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Making a turn just south of Heathrow to head back towards Maidenhead this large fire at Thursley became visible

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Farnborough - The airfield can clearly be seen along with many of the stands going up for the airshow the following week

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Blackbushe - Where is the B52 doing a flypast?  Wink

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Henley-on-Thames - The straight piece of the River Thames is home to the annual Henley Royal Regatta. The white stands of the Stewards and Regatta Enclosures can just be made out.

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The airfield at White Waltham near Maidenhead

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Dorney Lake - Close to Windsor and owned by Eton College this was venue to many a regatta that my younger brother competed in.

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Eton, Berkshire - The buildings of the famous college clearly visible. The west end of Windsor Castle can just be made out in the bottom right hand corner too.

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Windsor Castle - By now it was pretty clear we were on a 9L approach as opposed to 9R signifying a rather long taxi over to Terminal 4.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiVjTWoNJgU
Landing on runway 9R at London Heathrow

After landing on 9L we taxied around the back end of the airfield across runway 23/05, with Concorde just visible around the corner and got in the queue to cross runway 27L/09R for entry into Terminal 4.

A few minutes later and the engines spooled up a touch, enough to get us moving and over to Terminal 4, right on stand at the end of the main concourse, at least I was spared walking the length of the Victor Pier! As we pulled up at the gate from my window it was clear there was a load of guys in suits with a Chrysler minivan and a fleet of other cars waiting to take someone important off the aircraft. In the rush to get off I couldn't tell who was awaiting VIP treatment and I was left wondering if I'd flown with a VIP and not even realised who they were  Smile

Immigration line was empty at this time of the evening and so it was just the almost predictable wait for baggage. Heathrow can be hit and miss when it comes to this and today was a definite miss. One 'memorable' occasion I'd walked from the Victor gates pretty quick, had no wait at immigration arrived at baggage reclaim to find my bag already on the belt awaiting me  Smile Well that day certainly wasn't today, 15mins to get the thing moving and then another fifteen minutes whilst the baggage guys no doubt held back all the First and Club World bags  Angry

A number of customs officers were out in the baggage hall clearly visible awaiting to catch someone, probably following a tip off of some kind. I saw one poor chap get the treatment but then he did have the stereotype weed smuggler look about him  Wink He even looked pretty stoned as he came past me  biggrin 

Finally my luggage arrived and off it was back to where I'd just flown over an hour ago...if BA could arrange ejector seats for those living in the Thames Valley I'd be the first to give it a go  Wink

More pictures from this flight can be found on my Imagestation site here

Route: London Gatwick - Jersey
Airline: British Airways
Flight Number: BA8033
Aircraft: Boeing 737-528
Registration: G-GFFE
Seat: 01C (Club Europe)
Distance: 161 miles
Duration: 31mins
Date: Monday 17th July



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Photo © Michael Kominik
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Photo © Jid Webb



Was an early start for me this Monday, across the backroads of Hampshire dodging countless pigeons and down to Gatwick and into the NCP Flightpath car park. I'd arrived in good time, expecting it to take two hours and accounting for traffic it looked like I'd misjudged by about an hour  Embarrassment

Having checked-in online to 01C the previous day I decided to use the self service check-in machine. Had another look at the seatmap to see if any window seats were available, alas no, even in the 11 rows of Club Europe on this flight it looked like 1C was the best available.

At this time Fast Track was closed for some unknown reason and the lines looked enormous, the whole area in front of the security checkpoint was full so I just joined along with everyone else. A guy with a bag covered in BA Gold and First tags started having a go at the BAA woman asking why fast Track wasn't open, she claimed it wouldn't open until 6am yet it was 6.45am  Confused As it happened the line moved fairly fast and once my boarding pass was checked and photo taken I was through very quickly. The Fast Track bag scanner had been opened and the chap called over 'weary travellers'  Smile

I headed straight to the First Lounge to get a bite to eat, it was pretty empty and I didn't struggle to get a table. I poured myself a glass of Charles Heidsieck champagne and ordered a couple of bacon rolls from the kitchen.

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BA First Lounge at Gatwick

The lounge slowly filled up a little more and I grabbed a copy of the paper to pass the time. Amongst those filling up the lounge was BBC Business Editor, Jeff Randall, off somewhere with a companion.

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Bacon rolls and champagne

There was certainly a Special Services presence, going around and speaking with the high value Gold cardholders making sure everything was ok, unsurprisingly I was passed by  biggrin  I poured myself another glass of champagne to console myself that I wasn't special enough for special services  Wink and then a familiar face came across to see me. A Flyertalker was in the house! I'd met the chap a couple of times before including at a so called 'Do' in my honour last year when I was moving to the US.  Smile We chatted for a good fifteen minutes or so and then my flight went to last call so it was off to the gate.

There was a line of a dozen or so passengers and when I made it aboard I'd realised I'd cut things a bit tight. The nearest overhead available was back at about row 7. This wasn't looking good for getting off at Jersey  Sad

Either way I took my seat and leafed through the pages of Highlife and Business Life until the necessaries had been completed by the crew. Looking about I was the only person not in investment banker, suit and tie mode. Certainly appears as if the Jersey route is raking in the money, maybe on Mondays at least  Wink Hot towels did the rounds, with such a short flight time I guess it makes sense to do such things at this time.

Pushback was a little late although we were assured of a quick crossing to Jersey this morning, taxied out to runway 8R and off we went. As soon as the wheels were off the ground a member of the crew walked past me in the aisle, must be like mountaineering!! We turned round and passed the north side of the airfield and with Gatwick still visible I was handed a hot breakfast  Wow! I'd flown this route before in Club Europe but it was a fairly lightly loaded Saturday and there were only three rows of front cabin service. However to have breakfast in hand about three minutes after takeoff and still climbing was something else  thumbsup 

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Club Europe breakfast

Hot breakfast, bread, coffee and tea for fifty five people and even time for a second drinks round on a 31 min flight is quite astounding and a real credit goes to FA Louise Griffiths who was running around like a mad thing to keep everyone fed and watered.

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Second drinks round - Heidsieck & Co. Monopole Blue Top champagne

We passed over Guernsey and looped around for an approach into Jersey from the west and over St Ouens. As we descended my glass of champagne was poured into a plastic one. Somehow we avoided crashing off the end of the runway, lots of noise after touchdown and we still took the last turning off to head back to the terminal!

As the plane came to a halt my mission to retrieve my bag began. I shuffled down the aisle and one chap just beside where it was saw my plight and took it out of the bin and passed it down to me  Smile

I left the plane by the front stairs, Louise again managed a smile and a thankyou as she awaited the next rabble to board and then head back to the mainland. My brother and his girlfriend were right outside waiting for me, and so was the Jersey sunshine  Smile


"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
38 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3701 posts, RR: 28
Reply 1, posted (8 years 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Route: Jersey - London Gatwick
Airline: British Airways
Flight Number: BA8048
Aircraft: Boeing 737-505
Registration: G-GFFB
Seat: 02A (Club Europe)
Distance: 161 miles
Duration: 35mins
Date: Tuesday 18th July



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Photo © Steve Morris
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Photo © Mark McEwan



I'd only been on Jersey a day and a bit but I felt like I'd spent most of it at the airport! My brother had to go to Guernsey for a few hours just after I arrived and his girlfriend had gone there the following day to take some tests to be an air traffic controller!

I'd checked in online the day of the flight and moved from seat 2F to 2A which was free. It appeared this flight back to Gatwick wasn't as busy as the outbound with only four rows of Club Europe.

I arrived at the airport an hour before the flight and oddly enough there was only one guy checking in this flight, and he was serving nobody at this time! He printed off my boarding pass and gave me a couple of invitations to the Terraces lounge, something that was required at Jersey since usually you can only pass through security to the gates once your flight has been called.

A few passengers were already in the BA Terraces lounge and since it was a nice evening I poured myself a glass of beer and had a glass of water to match it.

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British Airways Terraces Lounge at Jersey - Brian Cox is the 'Star in a Reasonably Priced Car'

Top Gear was turned on by popular demand and a small crowd gathered in the corner to watch the infamous caravan burning episode!

About fifteen minutes before our scheduled departure a roar could be heard outside and our 737 had just landed. Immediately the first boarding call was made and the inexperienced left the lounge to go and wait outside. The craft taxied up to the gate not far from the window and from where I was sitting I could see everyone disembark.

At about 8.05pm the door from the lounge to the British Airways gate was opened and everyone filed through it. With boarding passes checked off it was time to head across the tarmac and board via the front stairs.

After the pre-flight bits were all sorted we pushed back and taxied out to the west end of the runway.

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The elevated position of the airport offers nice views done to St Ouens

Without any fuss we were airborne and heading Gatwick bound...

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The middle of the island just after takeoff

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Nice reflection off the engine. Horrible reflection off the window  Wink

The service was less rushed than the outbound and the smoked salmon salad was delivered with a smile and bread roll of my choice. Strangely my seat mate didn't accept his meal, nor was he offered one! Seemed an odd thing to do in Club Europe since it is about the only thing differentiating it from Euro Traveller!

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Smoked salmon salad

A second drinks round was conducted to which I took, well, champagne...no surprises there. I watched as the South Coast approached and we overtook a flybe Dash 8 several thousand feet below and several hundred knots slower!

The rest of the flight passed without incident and we touched down on runway 8R, a few planes were in line waiting for us to vacate and head to the terminal building. I was amongst the first off the plane and so headed back to the car park via courtesy coach.

More pictures from my flights and the trip to Jersey can be seen on my Imagestation site here

Route: London Heathrow - Washington - Dulles Int.
Airline: British Airways
Flight number: BA225
Aircraft: Boeing 777-236/ER
Registration: G-YMMM
Seat: 02A (First)
Distance: 3677 miles
Duration: 8hrs 5mins
Date: Tuesday 25th July



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Photo © Hongyin Huo
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Photo © Grant Feggi - t.dot photography



When I booked this flight a month before it appeared as though I was the only person in the cabin of 13 seats, alas by the time online check-in opened 24 hours prior to departure all but two seats were occupied. I kept my selection of 2K, due to the distance from both the First & Club World galleys.

My mother was busy the evening of my flight and my father was out of the country so I decided to chance my arm at getting on the 5pm flight since it appeared as though there were a few seats available, if I didn't get on then I could always pass the time in the variety of lounges available.

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Entrance to the secluded BA First check-in area at Heathrow's Terminal 4

I was greeted by a chap asking if I was BA Gold or flying First Class today, I replied fortunately both and joined the back of the line. Three desks were open however all were busy at this time. Just as put my bag on the ground and got my documents out of my bag a large group of Chinese arrived with no less than half a dozen trolleys stacked high baggage between the six of them. Joan Collins would be proud  Wink I was waiting behind a father with his young daughter and so the Chinese guys stood waiting for one of the other agents. The welcomer I'd seen a few minutes earlier informed me it was first come first served and they had no right to jump the queue!! To be honest I wasn't too bothered and just as he freed up the space for me the father and daughter ahead of me headed off to security! I was impressed by the guy's diligence though.

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BA First Check-In at Terminal 4

The check-in process was a bit more long winded than for the usual folks travelling under the Visa Waiver scheme and so the agent did her best to make sure all the right bits were in the system so as not to cause any problems on my arrival at Washington. After several phone calls, a trip round the back office, a chat about how I'd attended the same University as her daughter, the line of work I was in, my inside leg measurement and about ten minutes I was on my way, boarding pass in hand.  Wink

Off I headed in the direction of Fast Track security, I showed my boarding pass to one guy who pointed me in the direction of the end of the line so there I went, only to be stopped by some other BAA employee and accused of jumping the line  Yeah sure The line itself was pretty lengthy, all the way back to the entrance and moved probably slower than continental drift, this was going to lengthen my flight time damn it!

As per usual with long waits at Heathrow I headed for the Molton Brown Spa and was surprised to be told I could choose pretty much whatever time I wanted for the usual back massage. 5.30pm it was and then it was up to Concorde Room. First stop was the bar to check out the champagnes on offer, disappointingly it was the Heidsieck & Co Monopole Blue Top (as served in Club Europe) and the Charles Heidsieck Mis En Cave (as served in Club World) a bit of a thumbs down on this  thumbsdown  especially since my previous visit in February had yielded the delicious Alfred Gratien Cuvée Paradis  Sad I also ordered a bacon roll and went and sat down not far from the entrance and with a good view over the apron. A few minutes later and my bacon roll was by my side.

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Bacon roll and a glass of Charles Heidsieck Mis En Cave

I settled in enjoying the quite atmosphere of the Concorde Room, despite being not much different from the First Lounge in terms of facilities it is much quieter by virtue of First Class passengers only, whereas the First Lounge is really the oneworld Emerald lounge  Wink

My seat was quite a good place for people spotting, Andrew Neil, former editor of The Sunday Times and broadcaster was on his way to New York aboard BA115. Funny to watch is the people who think they have lounge entitlement, one family came in and I saw a BA Silver card handed across the desk and then directed upstairs to the Terraces Lounge  biggrin  I guess for some people it may be worth a try, even if they have no hope!

From where I was sitting I could see the aircraft departing from runway 9R, indeed I'd seen them departing from there on the drive in. In particular a Virgin Atlantic 747 and A340-600 looked quite magnificent with their extended take-off rolls and banking round to the south and then west.

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British Airways Concorde Room at Terminal 4. The last picture shows the smoking room where the boarding for Concorde flights used to commence. Sad not to see those famous frosted glass doors any more  Sad (for more picture look at my other trip reports or the linked photo album at the end of this report)

I went back to the bar to get a top up on the champagne and was offered a bowl of Kettle Chips, please  Smile I took this time to fill out my I-94 and customs forms for arrival into the US.

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Kettle Chips and champagne.....living the high life  Wink

At around 5.25pm I headed down to the Molton Brown Spa in preparation for my treatment.

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Entrance and reception to Molton Brown Spa

Nicola came and introduced herself to me and escorted me to the treatment room. I signed the disclaimer and settled in for twenty minutes of relaxation of the highest order  Smile

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Molton Brown Spa treatment room

After getting dressed again I took the opportunity to look for some perfume my wife had requested. I'd had the leaflet from some magazine and showed it to the girl who appeared to be running the store instead of foraging around the acres of duty free looking for something they didn't have. Indeed they did stock the Viktor & Rolf perfume she was after and it was about 30% cheaper than in the US. Cue American Express card bursting into flames  Wink

I checked back into the Concorde Room and it appeared a new shift was on so I waited patiently whilst one of BA's rarest breeds, the Premier cardholder, one of only 1200 worldwide checked in. The deep black tag on his bag with silver writing only visible in certain angles of light was rather cool  Wink

I popped back to the bar again and it appeared the evening service was out, some chocolate canapes were out which were quite delicious and I got another glass of champagne and decided to check some stuff out on the internet. Since there are only two PCs in the Concorde Room itself I thought it was a tad selfish that one guy had been on them for at least two hours! However the second one was free so I took a seat. After fifteen minutes or so I was done and headed back to the bar and noticed the usual Johnnie Walker Blue Label had been replaced by Red Label. I enquired out of pure intrigue and it turned out that they'd run out!  thumbsdown  I helped myself to a couple of smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels and asked about a glass of the Charles Heidsieck, apparently that had run out too but the girl said to take a seat and they'd bring some over to me. After a couple of minutes a glass of Monopole Blue Top arrived since it could take a few mins to get my preferred glass. Then the other chap came by five minutes later with an ice bucket on a stand and a bottle of Charles Heidsieck  thumbsup  and the Glass of Monopole Blue was taken away with apologies for the delay. I felt a bit bad because I was alone and was heading to the gate in about twenty mins or so and there wasn't much hope of me fininishing it off!

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Smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels with glass of water and Monopole & Co Blue Top. The ice bucket and bottle of Charles Heidsieck arrived just a few minutes later  Smile

Keeping an eye on the screens it appeared my original boarding gate of 14 had been changed to 4 not long before departure so went to check at the front desk which prompted a lounge wide announcement.

A quick sit down and despite my flight showing as 'Will Board Gate 4' it was called and then a further announcement was made that flights will only be called once! So much for the multiple announcements of each flight since I'd been there!

Since my flight was departing from Gate 4 I decided to try out the slightly remodelled Terraces Lounge at Gate 1 with so called Chef's Theatre. Was given short shrift at the desk on the way in, 'You'll have five minutes if you're lucky'  Yeah sure but went upstairs regardless and got myself a small salad.

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Chef's Theatre in the British Airways Gate 1 Lounge

After about ten minutes I decided to chance my arm and head for the gate, utilizing the fast track line did save me a couple of minutes and I was down the jetway and welcomed aboard. With boarding pass for 2K in hand an apology was offered as some First passengers had boarded just ahead of me and got the escort to the seat and the door couldn't be left unguarded!

As usual I placed my bag on my seat and removed all the bits I'd like for the first hour or so of the flight, tossing them as so into the useful gap between the shelf and the window. Unlike the outbound the 'First View' options list were already out and ready for me. Flight attendant, Pat introduced herself and offered me a sleeper suit and washbag.


BA First sleeper suit and washbag

I went and changed in the bathroom beside seat 1F. As I took my seat again I was offered a pre-flight drink, I asked for a champagne as per usual and then when it came back with macadamia nuts I said I particularly enjoyed the Pommery Cuvée Louise as described on the menu to which I was let in on a secret....it wasn't Pommery in the galley! The bottle was brought back and it was the dreaded Charles de Cazenove stuff I'd had back in September and at about £15 a bottle something that shouldn't be in international Business Class let alone First Class!

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Glass of Charles de Cazenove champagne and macademia nuts

I supped on it rather slowly, even I could tell it was different from the Pommery on the outbound. It tasted rather acidic and left the mouth rather dry, almost warranting a sip of water with every taste  Sad I handed Pat back my First View options with 'The Godfather' as my first choice. Looking around it appeared as though 11 of the 13 seats were occupied, the empty ones being 2F and 1F just close to where I was.

The captain introduced himself, apologised for the delay and explained our route over Southern Ireland and within a few minutes the safety video was played and we pushed back ten minutes after our departure time. As we taxied westwards towards the threshold for runway 9R we were informed that the CAA requires all headphones to be removed for takeoff in case an announcement needs to be made! Something I'd never heard before!

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bmi A320 tailing an Air France A318 rather closely

With only the Terminal 4 departures on our side of the runway we had a bit of a head start against the aircraft departing from Terminals 1, 2 and 3.

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Quite a line for takeoff this evening at Heathrow

Despite the queue for takeoff ATC still had time to land a few BA narrowbodies between departures. I sat by and watched SAS MD-80s, an AA 777 and a whole host of other aircraft depart.

We were treated to a rather good view of an Air China 747-400 departing just ahead of us and we were moving onto the runway within just a few seconds or so of it leaving the tarmac, the bright lights of 9R glittering just below for several thousand feet ahead of us.

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Takeoff video – BA225 from runway 9R at London Heathrow

I'm fairly used to departing Heathrow to the west so heading east and being on the starboard side offered a great view of the airfield as we headed Washington bound about forty minutes after our scheduled departure time.

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Heathrow - as seen from the south east corner of the field

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From near to Far: The Queen Mary, The Staines, King George VI, Wraysbury and Queen Mother Reservoirs.

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Staines

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The M25 visible running north to south and Heathrow visible just on the far side of the reservoir on the right hand side of the photo

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Windsor Great Park - The strip of water reflecting the sunlight in the back left corner is Dorney Lake

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Climbing out over the Thames Valley between Maidenhead and Reading - The M4 is clearly visible with the Great Western Railway running parallel to it (the black strip in the back of the photo)

I ordered a glass of Chablis which arrived about twenty minutes later, a little unfortunate since the seatbelt sign was switched on again soon after departure. This was brought round with my four First View tapes and bottles of Highland Spring. At this time Pat took my orders from the menu which was as follows;

____________________
 
MENU

Welcome to the FIRST dining experience, where you are in control of when and what you eat. Please create your own menu combination, from a light meal to a complete meal.

STARTERS

Loch Fyne kinglas smoked salmon and crème fraiche

Richard Corrigan's wild mushroom and truffle oil risotto with croûte

Carrot and red lentil soup with orange crème fraiche

Fresh salad leaves with your choice of tomato and basil oil dressing or mustard mayonnaise.

MAIN

Fillet steak with freshly seared foie gras, glazed shallots and Madeira jus

Garlic and herb-crusted roast cod with watercress sauce

Duchy of Cornwall free-range sausages, red onion jus and mashed potatoes

Salad of spicy chicken with warm tomato and cumin dressing

DESSERT

Banana tarte Tatin with vanilla ice cream

Shaun Hill's white chocolate and strawberry terrine with shortbread biscuits and chunky strawberry coulis

SNACKS

Bacon roll served with tomato ketchup

Penne pasta with your choice of cherry tomato and basil sauce or quattro formaggio sauce

Duchy of Cornwall biscuits

A selection of cheese and fruit

CHEESE PLATE

Quickes Cheddar –  This full bodied cheese is made of cow's milk by one of the famous cheesemakers in England.
 
Oxford Blue – Soft and creamy with a mild flavour, this cheese is made from cow's milk.
 
Tornegus - This semi-hard unpasteurised cheese is made from cow's milk and herbs
 
A basket of fresh fruit
 
BEVERAGES
 
We offer you a choice of
 
Espresso, cappuccino, fresh roast and ground coffee or decaffeinated coffee

Tea or a selection of fruit and herb teas

 
REFRESHMENTS
 
Sandwiches

 
Prawn and dill
Free-range egg salad
Honey mustard chicken with spinach
Mature Cheddar cheese and tomato with red onion marmalade
 
Patisserie
 
Dundee cake, chocolate and orange victoria sponge and coconut macaroon
 
Beverages
 
Espresso, cappuccino, fresh roast and ground coffee or decaffeinated coffee
 
Tea or a selection of fruit and herb teas
 
________________________

 The wine list was as follows:
________________________

CHAMPAGNE

Pommery Cuvée Louise 1997
*
Pommery’s top wine, Cuvée Louise, is made only in the finest years and only from grapes in their finest vineyards in the Montagne de Reims and the Côte de Blancs – a stunning wine.


WHITE WINES

Chablis Premier Cru Mont de Milieu 2004,
Domaine Billaud-Simon, France

After the blistering heat of 2003, it’s nice to get back to a classic, steely dry Chablis! The family –run Domaine Billaud-Simon can always be relied upon to make elegant, polished wines.

d’Arenberg “The Hermit Crab” Viognier Marsanne 2004, McLaren Vale, Australia
Eccentric Australian winemaker Chester Osborn grows these two Rhône Valley varieties in his McLaren Vale vineyards. The wine is soft, rounded and peachy with a delicately floral finish

Wente Riva Ranch Reserve Chardonnay 2003, Arroyo Seco, USA
This is a high quality, archetypal Californian Chardonnay – rounded with well-integrated, toasty oak with a thrilling array of citrus and tropical fruit flavours.

RED WINES

Château Talbot 1995, Grand Cru Classé, Saint-Julien, France

Talbot is such a consistent performer and shows all the silky texture and suppleness one has come to expect from the great Saint-Julien château.

Saint Joseph 2001, Guigal, France
2001 was a simply wonderful vintage in the northern Rhône Valley. This wine is made solely from the Syrah grape variety and by an acknowledged master, Marcel Guigal.  

Rodney Strong Symmetry 2001, Meritage, Alexander Valley, USA
Meritage wines must contain the classic Bordeaux blend of Cabernet and Merlot. This is predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon and is rich, harmonious and powerful.


DESSERT WINES

Close Labère 1999, Sauternes, France

A brilliant mid-gold colour and a bouquet of honey and beeswax precede a delicious mouthful of apricot and dried figs, sweet and rich but fresh and clean
 
Warre's 1988 Colheita Port
Complex, sweet, nutty flavours offer and admirable after-dinner glass.


SPIRITS, DIGESTIFS AND LIQUERS

We offer a complete range of classic and timeless spirits, digestifs and liquers including Gonzalez Byass Sherries, Johnnie Walker Blue Label Scotch Whisky, Tanqueray No. Ten Gin, Smirnoff Black Label Vodka, The Glenlivet 18-year-old Single Malt Whisky, Woodford Reserve Kentucky Whiskey and Camus XO Cognac.


SOFT DRINKS

A selection of traditional and modern drinks including Coca Cola, Highland Spring still or sparkling mineral water.

 
*Although labelled as Pommery Cuvée Louise it was actually Charles de Cazenove Grand Apparat Brut Champagne.
_____________________


After the seatbelt sign was switched off I sat in the buddy seat to get some good photos and also managed this quite good one that shows how the middle seats work in First.

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Seats 2E & 2F in First aboard G-YMMM

I then opted for comfort and went back to the usual forward facing arrangement and started on 'The Godfather', to be honest I gave it about thirty minutes but just didn't work for me so fired up my music player and some new Global Underground material I'd acquired whilst back in the UK. About forty minutes after takeoff canapes were brought round with the mozzarella, sundried tomato and balsamic variety being a real hit  bigthumbsup 

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Canapes delivered some forty minutes after takeoff

The canapes had really got my tastes buds going and as is always the case with smoked salmon I was really looking forward to this coming round. The table was set and bread came around. It was about fifteen minutes after the canapes had been cleared before it got to me but first impressions were really good.  thumbsup 

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Loch Fyne kinglas smoked salmon and crème fraiche

This was sooo good  bigthumbsup , don't let the photo deceive you the portion was much bigger than it looked but regardless of this I asked if I could squeeze in another since it was so good. Not a problem at all and it was immediately brought to me  Smile For those novices of international First Class don't be afraid to ask for as much as you like in the weirdest possible combination, First Class tends to be so horribly overcatered that you are only in danger of the crew having one less meal to choose from their selection of a dozen or so  Wink

As I had ordered the steak (the menu description sounded far too good to pass up) Pat asked me if I'd like a glass of red wine as my main was on it's way. I requested the Rodney Strong Symmetry but was recommended the Château Talbot. She gave me a little taste before pouring I gave the nod and the whole glass was subsequently filled.

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Fillet steak with freshly seared foie gras, glazed shallots and Madeira jus plus glasses of Chablis Premier Cru Mont de Milieu 2004 and Château Talbot 1995, Grand Cru Classé

This was the first time in a while I ordered a steak in First, I've usually found other things better on the First menu and the times I've had it in Club World are only because I'd been hoping it was better than the previous attempt. However that said this was quite excellent, the shallots and the fillet went perfectly together, it was the best main I'd had on board an aircraft for some time in any class of travel  bigthumbsup  The jar of Colman's mustard was a nice touch, although with the madeira jus and shallots being so good it was used rather sparingly.

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Shaun Hill's white chocolate and strawberry terrine with shortbread biscuits and chunky strawberry coulis now with the addition of a glass of the dessert wine, Close Labère 1999. Grooving along to DJ MP - Progressive Elements 011

Usually I'm not too bad with dessert wine, the Willi Opitz British Airways served a few times was just about right but this was unbelievably rich and sweet it was almost undrinkable! Either way the dessert was excellent, the coulis was just perfect, nice and fruity almost felt like biting into a strawberry!

With the majority of the meal service over I sat back and listened to some more of my music with my head buried in one of Jeremy Clarkson's books, 'You Know You Got Soul', it certainly struck a chord with me! Most of the shades in the cabin had been pulled down by this stage. I left the middle of my three open, shutting it a little as the sun broke though almost blinding me!

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At 36,000 feet somewhere over the North Atlantic

After about one hundred pages and two hours of the Clarkson book I ordered a bacon roll, deciding to try and sleep the last few hours of the flight and therefore missing the final meal service.

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Bacon roll with mini pot of Heinz ketchup

I got a good few hours sleep, after all it was getting on a bit based on British time. It felt like something out of a British Airways advert when I awoke some two and half hours later with the Cabin Services Director beside my seat asking if everything was ok! By this time we were over Boston and with about an hour till we landed. My clothes had been hung on the hanger beside the seat. I had a bottle of water and retrieved my washbags from my bag in the overhead. Unfortunately something had leaked a little but luckily hadn't stained the lining of my carry-on.

Both the bathrooms were occupied so I sat in the buddy seat of 1F awaiting the nearby one to become free. Pat could tell what I was doing and showed me to the Club World bathroom which was free at this time.  thumbsup 

I cleared away must of my stuff, feeling a little groggy as one would at 4am having slept for two and bit hours. As were descended slightly the crew placed all their bags and coats around 01F. The lights were dimmed for landing as soon as those on the ground below were visible. I tried to gauge whereabouts we were, my first thoughts being an alternating green and white beacon were Dulles and we were to loop around land from the south. However we continued our descent, coming straight in on runway 19R pulling up very close to the end of Concourse D we were destined for.

The mobile lounges came to meet us as I retrieved my passport, plus various forms and documents for the upcoming meeting with the ever friendly folks at immigration  Wink The flight attendants held back those in Club World allowing for those in First to select prime spots on the lounges. As ever the Dulles newbies showed themselves up by going right to the back of the lounge  biggrin 

The mobile lounge made the short uninterrupted journey to the immigration point where amongst the crowds messing about I made it first off. The immigration area was empty and so I went under a barrier to avoid an unnecessary 100ft walk to the end of the line and back. The first American I'd encountered was extremely friendly, yelling at me to not go under the barrier but to walk the length of the directed path...welcome to America  Yeah sure . She then sent me in the direction of an immigration officer who did the business with my papers and informed me I'd have to go to checkpoint B when I reached customs. I waited for my bags to come through and British Airways really excelled themselves this time, priority baggage was a non-existent term today, despite it being well done at Dulles about three months back. My sole bag arrived quite wet and after about three hundred thousand other bags  Angry The customs affair wasn't particularly exciting, just had to wait whilst some other chap got grilled before my documents and passport were given a bright red stamp.

Off it was back to Richmond....arriving home at 2.30am, 7.30am British time, to say I was tired is a severe understatement!

More pictures from my flight can be seen on my Imagestation site here

Verdict:
IAD-LHR: The service was pretty good on this flight, especially the CSD offering her marmite for example, and opening the door to the bathroom whenever I approached it. My only disappointment with this flight was the food, the curry was pretty poor to be quite honest. Also the lack of a proper second meal service at the end of the flight is something that should be looked at, as I mentioned even United manage two proper meal services on this flight. The highlight of the flight was the views of the Thames Valley which, as a local, were pretty amazing, amongst the best I've seen whilst approaching Heathrow.

LGW-JER: Short flight but very competent crew and excellent service. Breakfast within 3mins of takeoff isn't something to be sniffed at!

JER-LGW: Service was a bit more leisurely than the outbound, pretty much due to the fact much less people were in Club Europe. Food wasn't bad at all  thumbsup 

LHR-IAD: Great crew, Pat in particular was excellent, witty and forward thinking. The food in all three courses was amongst the best I've had onboard for some time, couldn't fault any of them. My only gripes with this flight were the late departure which translated into an extremely long day (Easily resolved by booking BA293 which leaves a few hours earlier  Smile) and the truly rubbish excuse that is priority handling  thumbsdown 

All in all a rather good set of flights, BA crews continue to shine and certainly keep me loyal as a customer  Smile

For more pictures of the extras that BA offer including pyjamas the washbags and of the cabin have a look at my other recent reports on BA in First:
BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics) (by Fbgdavidson Oct 4 2005 in Trip Reports)
BA First: LHR-CPT-LHR (w/pics + Video) (by Fbgdavidson Feb 23 2006 in Trip Reports)



"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
User currently offlineSam1987 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 946 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (8 years 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Absolutely super report - a great read. Well done.

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):
Newbury, Berkshire

I can see my old house in that photo!

Ah, those were the days... watching all the heavies descending over my garden on their way to 09.

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):
My old golf club is visible just north of the runway

So you are/were local to the area too?



Next flights: LGW-LBA-LGW, LHR-SIN-SYD, SYD-BKK-LHR, LGW-GRO, GRO-CIA, CIA-MAD, MAD-LGW
User currently offlineLawrenceMck From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2005, 311 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (8 years 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Awesome report! Love the trip reports on here of first class experiences. I dream of the day when I get to travel first class Wink. A well written report, the pictures illustrate it perfectly!

Lawrence  Smile



Love It To Live It
User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3701 posts, RR: 28
Reply 4, posted (8 years 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting Sam1987 (Reply 2):
So you are/were local to the area too?

Indeed YGPM  Wink

We used to get BA002 (and before 2000 the BA004) right over the house, and from the bottom of the garden on a clear night you could see the lights of the planes coming down into LHR and then them spaced out as they departed for the transatlantic crossing.



"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1916 posts, RR: 24
Reply 5, posted (8 years 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Fbgdavidson,

Excellent report!!! BA F across the atlantic looks pretty good. However, I think the food on the flight from LGW to JER looks better!

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):
Hot breakfast, bread, coffee and tea for fifty five people and even time for a second drinks round on a 31 min flight is quite astounding and a real credit goes to FA Louise Griffiths who was running around like a mad thing to keep everyone fed and watered.

That's amazing! I really have to fly BA again. It's been a few years now since I've flown them.

Looking forward to the next report!

-767747


User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1916 posts, RR: 24
Reply 6, posted (8 years 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
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Fbgdavidson,

The food on your flight from LHR-IAD does look a whole lot better than what was served on the morning flight. I had written my first comment and posted it, before I read the second part. The BA lounges also look really nice.

-767747


User currently offlineN725RW From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 71 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (8 years 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 32767 times:

What an incredible report!

User currently offlineLucky727 From Canada, joined Sep 2003, 602 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (8 years 5 days ago) and read 32767 times:

Another Über-Report, Fbgd!  thumbsup  I really enjoy travelling vicariously with you...

I'm now speculating that you must be an investment banker or oil tycoon of some sort, what with all your travels in F...(don't worry, I don't expect you to reveal such details)

One question, though...isn't a bacon butty a somewhat chavvy snack to have with champagne? (Esp. a champagnoisseur comme vous!?)  duck 

Lucky727



··· [·] oooooooo [·] oooo oo ooooo [·] ooooooooooooooooooo [·]
User currently offlineArdian From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 542 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (8 years 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hey Fbgdavidson, what a marvellous tripreport! I've enjoyed everything in it: all the small details (GU#13 by Sasha  wink  ), the remarks, the pictures! Yeah an outstanding tripreport!

User currently offlineWrighbrothers From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 1875 posts, RR: 9
Reply 10, posted (8 years 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Wonderfull trip report as usual Mr Davidson, Great detail and good pictures. Glad to see you're still enjoying BA  Smile

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):
but I’m still a little against non-revs in First on a three cabin aircraft to be honest!

I'm affraid I have to differ from you there .

Wrighbrothers



Always stand up for what is right, even if it means standing alone..
User currently offlineBeowulf From Singapore, joined Jul 2003, 730 posts, RR: 14
Reply 11, posted (8 years 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):
After returning to my seat I noticed the captain’s wife was sitting in 1A , one of the perks I guess but I’m still a little against non-revs in First on a three cabin aircraft to be honest!

First, if non-revs in F would be a nuisance, BA would abolish this privilege. Second, few non-revs actually take that offer as it still is quite expensive. Moreover, I doubt the captain's wife took away a revenue passenger's seat. If you spin this further you could also say that passengers upgraded due to Mileage are annoying and occupy the seat of a (First Class) paying customer.

Hence, to be honest, your comment is quite dispensible.  wink 


User currently offlineHUYguy From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2006, 274 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (8 years 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

That really was great, seems like you had a great trip! The food looks amazing, especially on the LHR-IAD segment. I could just do with a bacon roll right now!
I'm glad to see you enjoyed the service from the cabin crew, I only hope that I can be like then if I end up being crew for BA.
Really great report though, the Pics and the Vids were really good too!


User currently offlineDimoko From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 307 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (8 years 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

so i take it you like the bacon rolls and smoked salmon?

every other picture was one of those!!!!

someday i hope to get the first class treatment...someday...



"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." -- Douglas Adams
User currently offlineBritPilot777 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2004, 1075 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (8 years 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Again great read and pictures buddy, good stuff!

BP777



Forever Flight
User currently offlineChrisH From Sweden, joined Jul 2004, 1136 posts, RR: 16
Reply 15, posted (8 years 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 32767 times:

nice report! I wish i had a rich daddy to pay for my flights too!


what seems to be the officer, problem?
User currently offlineBA747YYZ From Canada, joined Mar 2006, 377 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (8 years 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 32767 times:

Excellant TR, wish I could be more original

User currently offlineLH459 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 886 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (8 years 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Very nice report! Of course, it might have something to do with my reading it in between fielding phone calls, but by the end of the report I had the impression that you'd consumed enough bacon buttys, smoked salmon and champies to feed an army and get it drunk! Next time I'll try to keep count  Wink.
Seriously, I always enjoy your reports--you've a pleasantly irreverent but detail oriented style which makes for fun reading!



"I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is temporary; the evil it does is permanent" - Ghandi
User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3701 posts, RR: 28
Reply 18, posted (8 years 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Thanks for all the kind comments!  Smile

So far only three pictures have gone awry and I am trying to get that fixed and have PM'd the moderator to see if trip reports can be exempt from the 30min editting window. In the meantime the pics of Terraces Lounge at Dulles can be seen on this report here:
RIC-IAD-LHR:UA/BA Club World Sleeper Service (Pics) (by Fbgdavidson Dec 27 2005 in Trip Reports)

The picture of the fire at Thursley is viewable in the album linked at the end of the report for that sector.

Quoting 767747 (Reply 6):
The food on your flight from LHR-IAD does look a whole lot better than what was served on the morning flight.

It was much better, especially when it came to the main.

Quoting Lucky727 (Reply 8):
One question, though...isn't a bacon butty a somewhat chavvy snack to have with champagne? (Esp. a champagnoisseur comme vous!?)   

Indeed, and I'm not going to try and claim that bacon rolls is high class cuisine but they are pretty tasty  Embarrassment

Quoting Wrighbrothers (Reply 10):
I'm affraid I have to differ from you there .



Quoting Beowulf (Reply 11):
First, if non-revs in F would be a nuisance, BA would abolish this privilege. Second, few non-revs actually take that offer as it still is quite expensive.

Well to be honest I do have two trains of thought on this.

Firstly as long as the service I receive as a paying passenger (whether with cash or miles) isn't impeded by the presence of non-revs I shouldn't care either way. If I care that much I should pony up for a G-IV (which isn't happening  Wink).

The second is I am aware of how few people in BA are entitled to non-rev F travel and so those seated there are usually rather senior. Some friends of the family were entitled to F when non-revving but rarely received it unless the husband (who worked for BA) was travelling somewhere on business. They often said it wasn't particularly enjoyable as they had last pick of food, crew often were rather snotty to them as they were high up the company and often they could end up in the back row of Y if the plane went full.

One thing I am glad of is that it isn't prevalent to the extent that UA treat international F and J. On one flight out of IAD I could see three crew in F and they were rather obviously crew, no doubt being UA the others in F were there on the basis of SWUs etc  Wink

Quoting ChrisH (Reply 15):
I wish i had a rich daddy to pay for my flights too!

Count me in! I wish I did too  bigthumbsup 

Quoting LH459 (Reply 17):
Of course, it might have something to do with my reading it in between fielding phone calls, but by the end of the report I had the impression that you'd consumed enough bacon buttys, smoked salmon and champies to feed an army and get it drunk! Next time I'll try to keep count  .

That is a very good summary!  biggrin  In one of my previous BA F reports someone said I should contact Alfred Gratien (the champagne supplier for those flights) and request a free case for all the publicity I gave them!  Smile

Quoting LH459 (Reply 17):
Seriously, I always enjoy your reports--you've a pleasantly irreverent but detail oriented style which makes for fun reading!

Thanks!  Smile These reports do take quite a few hours to produce and so it spurs me on to write more when I receive positive feedback.



"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
User currently offlineJAGflyer From Canada, joined Aug 2004, 3501 posts, RR: 4
Reply 19, posted (8 years 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Very nice report Fraser. Where is that cute teddy bear you always travel with and show in your trip reports?


Support the beer and soda can industry, recycle old airplanes!
User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3701 posts, RR: 28
Reply 20, posted (8 years 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting JAGflyer (Reply 19):
Where is that cute teddy bear you always travel with and show in your trip reports?


Drinking all the champagne  Wink

http://img209.imageshack.us/img209/1971/dsc03070rq6.jpg

[Edited 2006-07-29 05:52:28]


"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
User currently offlineVega From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (8 years 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

As usual you have created a literary masterpiece of travel experiences. I especially thought the videos added a sense of being there. Humble suggestion - next time take the inside videos after level off. If this report accurately reflects your thoughts on the two U.S. flights - and I'm certain it does, my impression is that either BA's service is faultering - something others have reflected upon recently, or there is vast difference in service quality (on BA) out of U.S. gateways. I mean 1 or 2 (not really) mis-steps can be overlooked in First, but it seems on the IAD-LHR flight, you got only 1 or 2 right-steps. I have never taken a day flight since I only fly out of SFO or PHL, but I wonder if that has something to do with the less than glittering service. I'd love to read a trip report from you on VS in Upper (LHR-NYC) - but I guess that'll have to wait now that you obviously have a "real" job razz .

User currently offlineBNE From Australia, joined Mar 2000, 3174 posts, RR: 12
Reply 22, posted (8 years 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Nice trip report; that ticket must have cost a bit but I guess with all the drinking and eating you did you certainly got your monies worth.

Great pictures and so much detail; its amazing you remembered all the details with the amount of drinking.



Why fly non stop when you can connect
User currently offlineAlaskaqantas From New Zealand, joined Dec 2005, 905 posts, RR: 4
Reply 23, posted (8 years 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

wow-
you kept me spell bound through the report! Ace job! what are in BA's first class aminiti kits?

It seems a bit silly that BA has everyone entering through the forward left door.

http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e160/nickcoper/bafirstclass.jpg
one question about this picture... what is that little green light on the side of the chair, does it mean anything?

also I believe that ther are 14 seats in the cabin...


maybe its different on your aircraft.

anyways great report, can't wait for more... when's your next trip?
~Cheers-
~~Kyle H.



to some people the sky is the limit, to aviation enthusiasts, its home!
User currently offlineInfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1447 posts, RR: 33
Reply 24, posted (8 years 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Very interesting read. The food looked wonderful and has really made me hungry! Fascinating to get an insight into First Class travel.....it's nice for the rest of us to dream......  spin 


"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
25 Post contains images Wrighbrothers : Yes, it means that the seat is in an up right position, and is in a suitable position for take off and landing, ie-not too reclined Most of the 777's
26 Post contains links and images Fbgdavidson : Noted Did it sound that bad? The IAD-LHR flight had an extremely competent CSD I was just disappointed with the main course and the fact the second m
27 Alaskaqantas : ohh ok, well I guess thats a good idea! that way Flight attendants know whats good or not... although you are allowed to have it a bit reclined right
28 Post contains links and images Fbgdavidson : Nope, all must be bolt upright with PTVs stowed, table stowed etc Would be nice to have touch of recline. I believe VS Upper Class Suite can be fully
29 Rdwootty : It was interesting that you really enjoy Bacon rolls. I suspect this is because you cannot get them as good in the US??Also when you listed the menue
30 Delta732FF : Great report and pictures. Thanks for sharing.
31 Joeyby : damn.......u like your bacon rolls. great report, flying first lhr-lax december......should be interesting!!!
32 B707Stu : I just read the SQ First Class NRT-LAX report by another traveller so it was good to compare. Maybe because I'm 1/2 British and have had lousy rides w
33 Post contains images Fbgdavidson : This is quite true. Bacon on the whole in the US is horrible, not that the stuff on BA is gourmet by any means...as for the whole bacon roll thing, w
34 Trekster : Strange. When i flew club to YYZ, I moved my seat to full up postion, and was told to recline it till the light came on, i actually had to recline it
35 ARGinLON : You mentioned about not liking nonrevs in F. You would be surprised (I am sure you know) that not only BA employees travel as nonrevs in First. All ai
36 BA319-131 : Very good reading, excellent pictures, almost thought I was there too! Look forward to reading your future reports. Rgds Mark
37 Post contains images A340600 : Hey Fraser, Excellent report as I have come to expect from yourself. Good man How was 2A? I'm booked in Club on the Boeing 737-500 and was going to pi
38 Post contains images Fbgdavidson : OK, For those looking to see the pictures that got broken have a look here: BA Terraces Lounge at Washington Dulles BA224 - Takeoff from Washington Du
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