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Posts: 549
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 1999 12:51 am


Sun Jul 09, 2000 11:26 pm

I went to go visit my sister city in Greifswald, Germany and stay with a family for 2 weeks. Here are the details and reccollections of my flights there:

14 June BA2024 IAH-LGW
I got to the airport at around 1330, even thought the plane left at 1605. I had decided that I wanted to look at the many planes around the Houston airport before I left. I saw a KLM Asia 744, Air France A340, and Lufthansa A340, and numerious Continental aircraft. THe BA flight arriving from LGW was about 20 minutes late, but, luckily, that did not effect our departure. It was a BA old colours plane, named the "City of Coventry". If there is one thing that I really noticed about airlines in general, it is that whenever they call for the back rows of the aircraft to board, EVERYONE gets up and starts waiting in line. I just sat down, because I was in no hurry to wait. I boarded the aircraft with about 10 minutes to spare and sat down in my window seat, 30A. It had a nice view and the window was clean. The planes air conditioner was running at full force, but I guess since the plane was in Houston(heat, and crap capitol of the United States) it wasn't doing that much to help. Needless to say, we wanted to get up in the air fast. It was really nice once we got up in the air. I was afraid, after reading some posts on here, that BA was going to be a Nazi-type service airline. But, they were top! The meals were actually good, and the people were really nice! I've flown from IAH-LON before, but this time I felt different about it. I made a note to myself towards the end of that flight: "I don't know how people can go on the 14-hour LAX-SYD route and not kill themselves through insanity" this flight was only 8 hours long, but it was 8 hours too much. I can take dinky 4-5hour flights, but once you're in any coach seat for longer than that, it starts to suck donkey balls. Anyhow, we landed at LGW uneventfully, and proceded through customs in the north Terminal.

15 June BA984 LHR-TXL
Wow, a 6-hour layover in LHR. That would have been pretty cool if I hadn't been so worn out from sitting on my arse the whole night without any sleep. I took the speedlink bus from LGW to LHR and I was amazed at what I saw. I'd only been to LGW the last few times i've been through London, and I couldn't believe how many airliners and airlines that I saw there. We drove by the matienence base for BA at LHR, and I saw all these CX and Quantas planes that I'd only seen in pictures up until now. I was the happiest 18-year old in the world at that moment. Then I got into Terminal 1. I've failed to mention the fact that i've been travelling with 3 other kids this whole time. Let's just say that they thought their nationality was "white"(no, that's not a typo). The second they got to Terminal 1 they were having almost panic attacks asking me where to go. I sat them down, and asked them a few questions: 1. Where are we going. "Berlin" 2. Where are we right now? "London Heathrow". 3. Then where do you think we should go. silence. INTERNATIONAL DEPARTURES!! Needless to say, the fact that I was the only one in the group that had set foot in an airport before was quite stressful. Then we got on the plane to Berlin(where I rubbed in the fact that, yes, I was correct, and it was International Departures) The flight to TXL(757) was ineventful. I did notice a few things, thought. 1. BA served a real meal on the 1.25 hour flight(something, I had never even thought of on American). 2. The seats were a lot more comfortable than on the IAh-LGW pplane(744). I don't really see the logic behind this, but i'll go for it. We landed at TXL and I saw many intra-germany airlines that looked really neat. I then saw what people meant by German efficiency: We went through customs at the gate, and our bags arrived at the gate. I was amazed beyond belief that our bags were that close to us and the aircraft!

Germany: East Germany has recovered amazingly from what I thought it was going to be. The cities were clean, everything was beautiful, and Berlin is one of the most interesting cities that i've been to! Germany rocks!

28 June BA987 TXL-LHR
We arrived at the airport about an hour before the flight was supposed to leave(it left at 1940). We had to overnight in London because our moron travel agent told us to(she also put us in a hippy, 14 storey hotel with no lifts and 2 weeks worth of clothes). BA, on the telephone, had told us that we could not check our baggage all the way thru to IAH. That pretty much destroyed the morale of our party of 4. I made us reservations at the heathrow Hilton(which, if you have been there, does NOT take 6 minutes from terminal 4 to walk). So, the agent at TXL told us that we could check our bags all the way through. Well, pop the champagne and call it a party, we were extremely happy. The flight was nice, and, once again, we recieved full meals and nice seats(I CAN'T FIND THE LOGIC!!!!!!) We landed at LHR(passing over Windsor Castle in the process), and walked, and took the heathrow express to T4 to our hotel. It was very relaxing to take a shower.

29 June BA2025 LGW-IAH
In the morning, we took the speedlink coach to LGW. It was very nice, as we were all rested up fro the 9.5 hour flight home. I talked with a really cool guy on the coach who talked about how crappy LHR was in comparison to LGW, very humourous. The flight to IAH was uneventful...for 1 hour. At about that time a little child in the seat behind me began throwing a temper tantrum. He began kicking my seat, which, in turn, kicked me in the ass. I was trying to sleep, and it wasn't working. I heard the mother trying frantically to shut the kid up, so I didn't say anything to the kid or the mother. About 3 hours later, the same thing was going on, so I got up and asked to flight attendant if there was another seat available. She said there was and showed it to me. The seat looked fine, however, there was a group of about 15 10-year-olds sitting around this seat(i'm assuning the person who formerly occupied this seat was annoyed to death, and put in the baggage hold). I told the flight attendant that I would take my chances at my assigned seat. Well, take my chances I did, and they were not in my favour. The kid kicked and screamed the entire flight. I was hoping that the customs officials would arrest him, but no luck. I got off the plane, and into US customs. I hate US customs because they look at your passport like a monkey doing a math problem. Then they act like it's a huge inconvience to give you your passport back("Damn kids, trying to travel, why, back in my day.....).

That was my airline travel expirience for the month of June. Hope yer find it interesting.
"[He] knew everything about literature, except how to enjoy it." - Yossarian, Catch 22


Sun Jul 09, 2000 11:41 pm

Thanks for that!
I don't know who said BA had crap service, but I've certainly never experienced anything less than excellent service from BA.

It is strange that when you transfer from a shorthaul to longhaul BA economy flight, or VV, the seat on the shorthaul aircraft is more comfortable. But there is a reason! Around 70% of seats on each of BA's shorthaul fleet are convertible between 5 abreast "Club Europe" and 6 abreast "Euro Traveller/Shuttle" Because of this many econonmy travellers actually sit in a converted business class seat with more legroom and comfort than normal economy.

Meal service on a 1h 25min flight is noting unusual in Europe. Last month I flew BA MAN-LGW on the Shuttle. B737-400, all leater seating in line with BA's new shorthaul product and a hot breakfast of bacon, sausge, omlette and tomatoes, plus fruit salad, fres bread, tea and coffee. Total flight time 35 minutes Can't really ask for any more than that!

Sorry, you had a bad flight home, I think everyone has experienced the "kid kicking seat" problem.

Incidentally Airtours a couple of years ago tried to introduce a special "Family" area on flights to Florida, where you could book to sit (for a fee!) at the back of the aircraft with other families with kids! I couldn't think of anything worse than sitting at the back of a charter 767/DC-10 for 9 hours, dealing with your own kids and surrounded by other peoples kids!!! Surprisingly   the scheme wasn't popular and Airtours never tried to repeat it...


Mon Jul 10, 2000 12:01 am

All together now:


I have to applaud BA or at least their franchise pilots at BMED for flying to such backwaters as are present in places like Bishkek, Ashkhabad. Central Asia. Man, what a place.

Oh, the trip report was excellent BTW, thanks.

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