Well, the time eventually came for Capt.Picard to leave America after 6 fabulous days in New York and Boston.
Before the trip report, I’d like to very briefly mention my thoughts on Boston.
For those of you that have not yet been, I strongly recommend a visit to Boston, especially for those of you that prefer quieter cities with interesting histories.
Two places of particular interest to me were the “Old State House” as it is called, right in the center of Boston; it was the seat of the British colonial administration in the period when a number of states were still British colonies. It was also the site of the Boston “Massacre” of the 16th December, 1773; it is believed that this was the event which kick-started the great American Revolution.
The famous Declaration of Independence was announced from the Western balcony of this historic building.
Another very interesting exhibit is the replica of the “Beaver”, which was involved in the infamous Boston Tea Party-if you are familiar with the saying “Dump the tea……into the sea!!!”, you will know what I mean!
The city’s Irish, Italian and to a lesser extent, British links are clearly visible, and we had a very pleasant evening in The Black Rock, an Irish pub near Quincy Market.
ANYWAY, time to get on with the flight details I suppose!
I have decided to incorporate a few stats to avoid repetition:
Scheduled departure: 1920
A/c: Classic 747
Livery: To Fly To Serve (old c/s)
Name: City of Stoke-on-Trent
New World Traveller: No
Wind conditions: Favourable
Delays: Yes (Departing BOS and approach into London)
Initial cruising level:FL340
We travelled as a group of 4 from downtown Boston to Logan Apt via the Subway. A friend and myself would be travelling, whilst my other two friends were accompanying us to the airport.
At the airport stop, we walked-off the train into glorious afternoon sun, and made our way to the MASSPORT shuttle bus; we got off at Terminal E, which serves a variety of airlines including BA.
Construction work was evidently in progress just outside the entrance, and from the plan diagram, it appears the façade is being extended outwards.
As we were rather early for check-in (we arrived at 1645), we were ushered over to the Club World check-in, as the premium pax still had not arrived. The BA check-in is adjacent that of Aer Lingus, which looked quite busy.
My friend was assigned seat 49B, I was assigned 49A. After getting rid of the luggage and formalities, we took the escalators up to the departure level.
I was immediately greeted with the sight of non other than a BA Classic 747 parked at our Gate 7. It was in old c/s and named City of Manchester. I thought this was our a/c, but as it started pushing back, I assumed it was just another earlier service. I took some shots which I should be able to post on this thread soon.
A/c on the right was an SN 330, to the left were two Aer Lingus 330’s.
The Sabena later pushed back and was replaced by an Icelandair 757, and then our a/c arrived in at 1742. Again, photos will be shown later.
Our boarding time was set to be 1830, but I noticed a fire truck and two emergency vehicles arrive under our a/c’s port wing, and a rather large puddle in between. I assumed there’d been a fuel spillage, although when I went to ask the BA ground staff at the gate what the delay was for, they claimed “some people had checked-in too late”. I presume they lied as they did not want to unduly worry the pax, but I was not particularly happy with their response, as the Captain later confirmed the real reason for the delay, which had nothing to do with late check-ins.
Anyhow, I wondered over to the other side of the Terminal. The following a/c were present: an LH 340, an AF 763, an OA 340, an SR 330, and a NW DC-10.
Boarding appears to have commenced at 1930, although there was no boarding announcement made, and the gate area was a little chaotic. Overall, I think BA needs to organize ground ops at BOS a little bit better really.
We finally began pushing back at approx 2010, and began a rather long taxi to BOS’s South-Westerly r/w (anyone have the bearings??), closely followed by an Aer Lingus 330. I noticed another BA 747 in Chelsea Rose c/s, presumably inbound from LHR.
Obviously plans must have changed, as the Captain announced we would be taking off in a Northerly direction.
We finally rotated at 2026, 1hr6mins late, and shortly thereafter began a series of staggered left turns until we attained a North Easterly heading.
For the next 2-3hours we had a delightful trip along the North Atlantic coast, the twinkling lights of coastal communities off to a distance on the left.
The Captain’s predictions of rough weather shortly after take-off did not materialise, and in fact, the flight went relatively smoothly, apart from a few random patches of very rough air, which included some rather alarming “freefalls”, as I like to call them (air pockets)
Unfortunately, without the PTV’s I can’t give you our exact route
The crew were rather friendly which was nice, apart from an old FA which looked rather old and bored
Dinner, frankly, was disappointing. Choice was the usual Chicken or beef, and the chicken was horrible, and accompanied by an unidentifiable orange sludge; additionally, the coffee tasted absolutely disgusting.
Once that horrible meal was cleared away, it was off to the flightdeck to see the Capt., Engineer etc. who were all very welcoming, and we talked about their favourite routes, how they got into the profession bla bla. Very enjoyable, but I decided to go back as I was literally falling asleep.
Dawn was soon on the way, as the sky turned from black to purple, and the silhouette of the wing began to appear. Again, I have some photos, I hope they come out!!
The cabin lights came on just as the first rays of sunlight began to appear; breakfast was continental, and MUCH better than the horrible dinner, although I refused the coffee this time
Well, Southern England was completely covered in a blanket of cloud (what a surprise that was
Captain came on once the whole plane had woken up, and announced a delay of 20minutes due to congestion at LHR.
So we began going round in circles for a while, the only other a/c I saw was a BA777 in Union Flag c/s, although he looked as if he was a departure, not in the stack.
We eventually straightened up, and started our approach through cloud into LHR, eventually arriving at 0826 on R/W 09L.
We parked up by G-ZZZA, a 777 in old c/s (named Sir Frank Whittle), an a/c which is used on Middle Eastern services. Next to that was that earlier 747 flight from BOS.
Well, that concludes the trip! Inflight service was good, a/c interior in excellent condition, and not drastically late!
BA service at BOS needs improvement though. Ground staff there were not very polite.
Photos will follow soon.