A few weeks ago I flew to Montego Bay on British Airways. Here’s a trip report from what I can remember. Apologies in advance if it doesn’t meet your high standards… its my first one!
I was slightly apprehensive as the flight is operated by AML as a franchise for BA and they haven’t always had the best press. I also heard that the flight was on one of British Airways’ high density 777’s which are configured 3-4-3, so decided to book in the Club World cabin for a bit more room.
So the day of my trip dawned, and I drove from my home in Oxfordshire to London Gatwick. I parked in the long term car park, and took the shuttle bus to the North Terminal. I located the dedicated Club World check in (which is for all flights, not just the Jamaica flight) and was quite surprised to see a very long queue. The airport was packed to the rafters with pax. The queue moved quickly and check in was fine, and I wasn’t worried about my seat as I had pre booked it a week earlier. I decided breakfast was in order, so I went to a café and had a croissant and some coffee. I still had an hour to kill, so I went to the Terrace lounge and enjoyed watching a few takeoffs from the top floor of the lounge, until it was time for me to board the plane. Those new terrace lounges are great, so if you get the opportunity, go and check them out.
There was no priority boarding for Club, so it was a bit of a free for all, but I was soon on board the aircraft, enjoying a pre flight drink in my cradle seat, which was 3A. BA if you’re reading this, roll out your new Club World quick! The old Club looks dated and the seats on this 777 looked older than me! The buttons for seat adjustment were so worn you couldn’t read what each one did. Push back was delayed as a pax who had checked in failed to turn up, and couldn’t be found in the airport, so their bags had to be found and removed. These people should be listed as nuisance pax on airline black lists and fined for causing delay. So unnecessary and inconvenient to everyone else. So, 45 minutes late, we push back.
After a short taxi to the runway, we start the take off roll. I have flown on many 777 flights before, and its acceleration on the runway and take off speed still amaze me. We were soon airborne and the crew were dishing out the drinks a short time later. I enjoyed a champagne cocktail and a dish of mixed nuts whilst perusing the lunch menu. Sorry for the detail merchants out there who are wondering what was on the menu… I should have nicked it and recited it… I chose asparagus to start, followed by steak, whilst checking out the flight details on the ptv. Lunch was perfectly edible, served with nice china and glassware, with a table cloth and lots of attention to small detail. I noted we were at FL 340 heading out over the Atlantic. The inflight entertainment was typically BA. Lots of the usual tv shows, comedy, news, sports etc on 11 channels. I watched 2 movies during the flight, starting with Blow, and my second movie was Shrek (v. funny). Throughout the flight the crew were always there, offering drinks, bottled water, anything you wanted really. 4 crew for club was great (2 doing each aisle) as there were only 20 pax in the cabin, which is laid out 2-3-2 over 4 rows. Also you could “raid the larder” in the galley, so there were crisps, chocolate, fruit etc always available.
Soon we were descending into Kingston. The most irritating aspect of this flight was the one hour stop in Kingston. About 3 people got off and on, the majority going to Mo Bay. So we had a smooth touch down in Kingston, where we sat for an hour on the plane. Soon we were off again, down the runway and over to Mo Bay, a flight of about 15 minutes. We flew at FL10 for the whole flight, and the seatbelt sign never came off, and the crew didn’t get up either. We finally landed at Mo Bay on time. I think the pilot must have landed half way down the runway as reverse thrust was applied full blast as were the brakes, and the spoilers, and the force of the slowdown was the most I’ve ever felt on a 777. We were soon at the terminal and on our way.
On the way out of the plane I looked at the World Traveller cabin. I hope BA either rename it “World Sardine Can Cabin”, or start reconfiguring with something more humane. I’ve seen cattle being transported in trucks across the channel with more room than the people in this high density Traveller. Sort it out, BA. It’s just not on.
I note with interest that BA have decided to stop the Montego Bay route as of April 02. I guess its not making any money as I believe about 90% of the seats are sold at bargain basement level to charter companies for holidays to the caribbean, hence the high density seating and 24 business class seats, with no first class. The flight was full in traveller, and 8 free seats in Club World.
Anyway, if you’re still with me, hope you got something out of this, and feel free to comment or ask me anything… T.
Ps on the return I slept the whole way back so I don’t remember much, but was very uneventful and we were on time.