British Airways flight 2226
Scheduled Departure: 18:20
Actual Departure: 18:55
Date: June 4, 2002
The teacher running the trip for our group (it was a small group) asked us to be at the ATL airport 3 hours early. I arrived about 3 hours and 20 minutes early, but most of the people were already there! The teacher wasn’t though. She got there about 2 hours and 30 minutes early. Anyway, for a while we just stood around and talked by the British Airways counter in the North Terminal of the airport. With about 2 hours until flight time, we made our way to the counter to check in. The line wasn’t very long, so it didn’t take long to get to the front. The people working at the counters were very efficient. When it has normally taken me 15 to 20 minutes for a group of 4, it just took 2 minutes for me (one person obviously) to get totally checked in. There, I got my boarding pass. The seat was seat 27K in economy. I then went and waited for the rest of the group.
Once everyone was checked in, we said all of our good-byes to parents. We then prepared to go through security. The normal security in ATL is a really big area with lots of metal detectors. Well, right by the British Airways counter, which is right at the end of the north terminal check in area, there is a small security area leading to the T gates. There are maybe 3 metal detectors. We went through there, which took about 4 minutes for the whole group of 15. From there we walked to the underground train between terminals and got onto to it to ride it to the E gates. The E gates are the international gates in ATL. The ride took about 5 minutes and then we went to our gate. Unfortunately I don’t remember which one it was. Our plane was waiting.
Here is a picture of the exact plane:
Photo © Martin O'Connell
We didn’t have a lot of time before boarding because the teacher had wanted to wait around. That was a bit of a disappointment because I always like to look around the terminal, but it didn’t bother me much. The boarding call was made and we boarded. Upon finding my seat, I discovered that it was a window on the right side of the aircraft. Yay! A window! The seating configuration was 3-3-3 in Y. We walked through business class on the way to Y and it wasn’t the new one yet. I sat down and got ready for the flight.
The plane began taxiing at a little after the scheduled departure time. It taxied for a while and then finally took off. I could feel the immense power that the GE-90 engines had! What a wonderful ride this was going to be!
Very shortly after takeoff, the dinner service was begun. Unfortunately, for those of us in coach, there was no choice for dinner. They handed you a beef dinner and that was that. It was awful. It was too salty and seemed to be compressed. There were some good potatoes on the tray though. There was also a salad and a roll. The steak will just stick in my mind forever though. It was nasty. The beef didn’t agree with one of our group members and he had to make a visit to the bathroom about twenty minutes after eating it. I don’t think I need to explain any more. Movies came onto the PTVs during dinner. There was Hart’s War, High Crimes, and some others. I watched 30 minutes of Hart’s War, but I had started watching it after the beginning and couldn’t figure it out, so turned it off. The Airshow was good to watch for 20 minutes or so. By that point I was getting tired because I had taken a lot of sleeping medicine in the airport, so I got comfortable as possible and closed my eyes. I shouldn’t use comfortable in the same sentence as airplane, but you know what I mean.
Well, I laid there for 3 hours with my eyes closed trying to fall asleep and nothing happened. I just couldn’t fall asleep. Eventually I just gave and looked out the window. The sun slowly came up and eventually I could see the ocean below. Getting close to landing, we made landfall over Great Britain. That was neat to see the white from the waves crashing on the beach and house and farms below. At that point, a small breakfast was served, consisting of a yogurt, fruit, cereal, and water. Coffee and tea were offered. After not too long, the trash was taken up. Descent had already begun. Landing came shortly in a cloudy and cool LGW. It at least felt cool because there had been 2 one hundred degree Fahrenheit days in a row in Atlanta. It was 13 degrees Celsius in LGW. When the plane came to the gate, we got off, followed the signs for connections, went through security, and were back in the terminal area, waiting for our next flight to BCN.
Some of the planes I saw were Virgin Atlantic 744s, BA 744s and 772s, Delta planes, Continental, US Airways, one Emirates (I think 773; what was it?), and several others. LGW was smaller than I imagined.
British Airways Cityflyer ? (I lost the flight #)
Aircraft: Avro RJ100
Scheduled Departure: 9:35
Actual Departure: on time-ish (I was really tired, so don’t know for sure, and had not watch)
After a short layover in LGW, we went to our gate. It was down some steps into this lower area where we waited. When we gave our tickets to this lady, we could get onto a bus, which drove us to the plane. It was neat because the bus drove amongst all of the planes to get there. Planes look so big up close from the ground! The bus drove up to our plane, we deboarded, and went up the steps to get on board the plane.
Here is a picture of the actual plane:
Photo © Dylan Crawley-Lyons
I got in and found my seat, seat 14F, and discovered that again, it was a window seat on the right side of the plane. What luck! That plane was the most cramped plane I have ever seen though. I had to push my carryon really hard to get it to fit between my seat and the one in front of me so that I could get it under the seat in front of me. I managed it, but the seats were still very narrow and the legroom was very low.
The plane began to taxi. It waited for a minute with a good view of landing planes. I saw several 747s land. Then we got onto the runway and took off. I was so tired that I fell asleep 5 minutes into the flight. Unfortunately when I woke up, there were only 20 left. Those 20 were a neat approach over Barcelona and the Mediterranean Sea. The plane then landed and we parked. I saw a TAP A319, Iberia planes, a Lufthansa A300-600, a CSA 737, a Futura 737, and several other planes. We got onto a bus and went to customs, cleared it and left the airport.
I later found out that there was lunch on the plane. We walking through Barcelona and I stopped to buy a sandwich. Our teacher said, “Did you not eat lunch on the plane?”
I replied, “What lunch?”
She then explained that they had served a sandwich. I’d have rather slept though. Anyway, they were great flights! Thank you for reading and leave any feedback that you want. Suggestions are appreciated!