Setjet
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EWR-LHR (First) LHR-JFK (Concorde)

Wed Jul 24, 2002 11:56 am

June 28, EWR-LHR, British Airways B777, flight #188

After a tough working week I headed from Manhattan to Newark, taking the new Airlink Train. Good thing is: For the first time there is a train connection to any New York airport, bad thing: You have to get to Penn Station first and then transfer at "Newark Airport" to, yes, Newark Airport (taking another train!). Travel time Manhattan-EWR = 1 hour.

Once there I checked in at the deserted First Class Check In and was told to expect a two hour delay for the evening flight at 9pm. So I headed to the lounge and received a voucher there for a dinner in there lounge. It's a great invention because you can go to sleep right after take off and they serve two different menus from the First Class menu. Great service!

Our plane must have been one of the last B777's in the old Landor color, which doesn't look too bad.


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Photo © Ben Pritchard



I took my seat 2A which was one of the best First Class seats I've ever seen. It's electrically adjustable, you have a PTV with a video collection of about 30 videos, you get a pyjama, some pillows, blankets, a nice flight kit and a champagne to get you settled. Here's what the seat looks like:


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Photo © Chris Barrow



As the First Class was almost full and it was already past 11pm I didn't want to bother the FA's too much and just ordered a burger (don't know how they make that in the air). They served me the burger some fifteen minutes later and it was one of the most delicious burgers I've ever had! I like the fact that BA puts "burgers" on their menus next to caviar and salmon treats!

I slept most of the flight and woke up only twenty minutes before landing at Heathrow. Time to get dressed! In their bathrooms they even have a little foldable bench to help you change your clothes. And yes, there are also flowers next to the sink!


June 29, LHR-FRA, British Airways A319, flight #904


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Photo © Florian Kondziela



I had very little time to catch my connecting flight to Frankfurt from Terminal 1, but still enough time to take a shower in the Business Lounge there. Ready to go I was amazed to find out that there was only one other fellow flying in Business Class that morning. My seat was 1A this time.
Strangely they put the movable class divider somewhere at row 10 or 11. Was it to give the 40+ people in Economy a hard time?

The A319 is a very nice aircraft and I like it in the British Airways colors!
The flight was short and uneventful, we landed after about 70 minutes at FRA.


July 10, FRA-LHR, British Airways B737, flight #901

I expected the A319 for that flight again, but they switched the plane and it was the good old B737-400.


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Photo © Andrew Hutchings



The early morning flight was very full, I don't understand why they use such small aircraft on one of their premier European routes (they use even the B767 to fly to Munich!). Anyway, the flight was again very uneventful, we circled for about 25 minutes over London City, before we got clearance to land at LHR.
From there I again had to catch the bus to Terminal 4 for my connection to JFK.


July 10, LHR-JFK, British Airways Concorde, flight #001

As my flight wasn't leaving before 10:30am I had a lot of time to kill. The Concorde Lounge is definitely the place to do that!
Unfortunately an appointment for a facial massage (!) wasn't available, so I had some drinks and some snacks before departure. The people in the lounge? Very strange...


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Photo © Gordon Roxburgh
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Photo © Joe Pries



Boarding started about twenty minutes before departure, the plane was about 50% full, and almost everybody was sitting in the first third of the cabin. Mt original seat was 7D, but I decided to reseat myself in the second cabin to get a little more space. Later one of the FA's told me that most of the people think that the first half of the cabin is First Class and the rear one is Economy.
The Concorde Cabin Crew flies Concorde and B757, so it's almost only "short-haul" for them.

The cabin isn't really big, but the new leather seats are really great! Also the Sennheiser earphones are a big improvement if you're used to Economy plastic earphones! For the first time you actually hear the music in a plane!

Take off was just before 11am, the take off roll was pretty impressive, the noise of the afterburners isn't that bad after all. What is really amazing is the steep angle just after take off. We climbed for more than an hour until we reached our final cruising altitude of 56,000 feet and our cruising speed of Mach 2.


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Photo © Collins L. Cochran



The menu on Concorde is exceptional, they served a fresh Greek yoghurt with berries, toasted muesli and honeycomb.
After that I had sea bass with a leek and saffron reduction and a chocolate and banana mousse on hazelnut crust. To wash that down they had a selection of ten (!) different champagnes and a wine list of more than twenty different wines.

If you asked for you received the famous first flight certificate together with the stationary and a nice silver pen.

About an hour before our landing we slowed down and started our descent into JFK. Touch down was shortly after nine in the morning, about two hours before we took off from LHR! At the gate I could also get a quick look into the cockpit and talk to the four men crew.


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Photo © Collins L. Cochran



I still think the Concorde is one of the greatest (and most beautiful) achievements of aviation and I hope you enjoyed my little trip report!


 
YoungDon
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RE: EWR-LHR (First) LHR-JFK (Concorde)

Wed Jul 24, 2002 12:42 pm

Very nice trip report!! It's not often that an A.net member gets a ride on a Concorde.

Don
 
chepos
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RE: EWR-LHR (First) LHR-JFK (Concorde)

Wed Jul 24, 2002 1:41 pm

Flying on the concorde must be an out of this world experience.
Some people say they prefer BA's First class product on the 777 or 747 over the concorde to JFK because they feel too crammped and sort of uncomfortable onboard the Concorde. Which one would you say was better The concorde flight or the 777's first.
Chepos
Fly the Flag!!!!
 
CMK10
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RE: EWR-LHR (First) LHR-JFK (Concorde)

Wed Jul 24, 2002 2:37 pm

Very very nice report. What is the difference between a Greek Yoghurt and a normal yoghurt and did you prefer the Concorde or the First Class?
DC-10's Forever
"Traveling light is the only way to fly" - Eric Clapton
 
VH-OJO
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RE: EWR-LHR (First) LHR-JFK (Concorde)

Wed Jul 24, 2002 4:42 pm

Looks like we both took a Concorde flight on the same day. But I was on AF 002 on July 10th, F-BVFB. I actually saw your aircraft at the BA terminal when leaving JFK. It was G-BOAE right ? What a coincidence ! Nice report.

VH-OJO
 
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skippy777
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RE: EWR-LHR (First) LHR-JFK (Concorde)

Wed Jul 24, 2002 6:21 pm

Cool setjet, please send me i mail I have some private questions for you.
 
Setjet
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RE: EWR-LHR (First) LHR-JFK (Concorde)

Wed Jul 24, 2002 9:38 pm

Thanks for your coments.
I have to admit that I enjoyed the First Class flight a little more. It is very cool to lie with your pyjama in front of a TV and get a burger served with some champagne. And all in the middle of a transatlantic flight!

But still the Concorde flight was really great (and probably a once in the lifetime experience). Nothing beats the view at 56,000 feet. And yes, the windows really get warm! Here is a link to some pictures of the flight:
http://www.pixum.de/members/plauer/?act=a_view&album=425195&ktw=c48e09edad79668eb178b918808b17e0

VH-OJO, yes, it was G-BOAE, the very same aircraft that had to return to London last week due to an engine failure. Nice coincidence! How was your flight?
 
Stretch 8
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RE: EWR-LHR (First) LHR-JFK (Concorde)

Wed Jul 24, 2002 10:25 pm

Great report. And thanks for the photo link. The last picture, of the ground crew guy covering his ears, is priceless. BTW, did your company pay for your expensive trip?
Maggs swings, it's a drive deep to left! The Tigers are going to the World Series!!!
 
CactusCMH
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RE: EWR-LHR (First) LHR-JFK (Concorde)

Thu Jul 25, 2002 11:18 pm

Setjet, thanks for the great trip report and photo album! From the pictures you took, you are absolutely correct that you paid first class ticket price for an economy class seat in the Concorde. The seats in the Concorde are very small and narrow. The seat pitch is not much better than the UA Economy Plus. Also, I am suprised to see that they served your meal with plastic flatware.
 
LPL
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RE: EWR-LHR (First) LHR-JFK (Concorde)

Mon Jul 29, 2002 10:47 pm

Great report!

I have always wondered, how loud is the sonic boom when you are on the aircraft?
 
ryanair
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RE: EWR-LHR (First) LHR-JFK (Concorde)

Tue Jul 30, 2002 5:40 am

I get wry amusement from the fact Concorde was the first aircraft I ever set foot on. Alas I've never flown it  Sad but have managed to get onboard around 10 times.

I have to disagree with Cactuscmh about the seats. I have to say I've not seen the AF ones or the latest BA design, but have tried all the others. Apart from seeming lower slung they're pretty ordinary but definately not crampt by any standard. They remind me of "Club" aboard European Shorthaul, slightly better than economy. Leg room seems around 38-40 inch, which is what Business was for years and better than pretty much anything else shorthaul (that's what Concorde is after all).

Interested to hear a fairly high load factor, with 25% needed for break even (it's said) sounds like Concorde still makes business sence, when coupled to First on the Eastbound.

Nice report
 
Setjet
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RE: EWR-LHR (First) LHR-JFK (Concorde)

Fri Aug 02, 2002 10:03 am

LPL, there is no sonic boom on the aircraft. No shaking, no booming, nothing. You just see the Machmeter climb and climb...

Sidenote:

To "test" the FA I asked her why she could hear me talk to her while we were traveling twice the speed of sound (she was standing in front of me).
She couldn't answer it...

 
GDB
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RE: EWR-LHR (First) LHR-JFK (Concorde)

Fri Aug 02, 2002 11:58 pm

Nice report with great pics.
You may be interested to know that recently, (including your flight of course) we've really used OAE a lot-mostly due to operational considerations admittedly.
Alpha Echo has really performed exceptionally during this period, often the way with Concorde.
And yes, each aircraft does have it's 'quirks' from time to time maintenance-wise, they were all virtually handbuilt after all!
 
BA777
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RE: EWR-LHR (First) LHR-JFK (Concorde)

Sun Aug 04, 2002 6:51 am

Just in case u didnt get the reg's of the planes:

Date of the 188 is the 29th, cos thats the morning you arrived, only the date and time had changed, not the actual reg of the a/c!

June 29

BAW188 GVIID B772 KEWR 0858 S03 27L
BAW904 GEUOG A319 EDDF 1116 C24 27R

Jul 10

BAW901 GDOCB B734 EDDF 0721 C28 27L
BAW001 GBOAE CONC KJFK 0952 V14 27R

Heres a decoded version:

BAW188 GVIID B772 KEWR 0858 S03 27L

BAW188 - Flight Number
GVIID - Airplane's reg (G-VIID)
B772 - Aircraft type
KEWR - Origin (Inbound flights) Destination (Outbound flights)
0858 - Local time that you landed/departed
S03 - Stand you arrived/departed from
27L - Runway that you landed/departed from

Hope this is of help to you

BA777
 
flyboy36y
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RE: EWR-LHR (First) LHR-JFK (Concorde)

Sun Aug 04, 2002 4:03 pm

Great report!

I'd love to go on a Concorde, but I'm 19 and they may not be around by the time I can get the $$ to go.  Sad
 
Setjet
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RE: EWR-LHR (First) LHR-JFK (Concorde)

Sat Aug 10, 2002 11:02 am

BA777, thanks for the details. Where did you get this from?
I always wondered how to track down missing information from a past flight.

Flyboy36y, sometimes it only takes patience for the right moment. Don't give up on it and look out for special deals (usually in summer). Still, I believe that we will still see the Concorde in ten years which might give you enough time to save some money.
 
Ikarus
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RE: EWR-LHR (First) LHR-JFK (Concorde)

Wed Aug 14, 2002 2:03 am

(I suppose you already know the answer to your question to the FA, but anyway: You could hear her because the air inside the cabin is moving with the plane, independent of the air outside. So within the capsule, sound travels at its normal speed. Seen from outside, if she talked back to you, the sound was travelling at Mach 1 (backwards), and if you talked to her, it travelled at Mach 3, relative to the ground. But within the capsule of the cabin, the sound travelled at Mach 1 as usual.)

Great report. But what is the view like from the seats further back? Do you see anything apart from the wing?

Regards

Ikarus

PS: Feel free to invite me and pay me a ticket on Concorde.  Wink/being sarcastic Big grin
 
Sabena332
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RE: EWR-LHR (First) LHR-JFK (Concorde)

Wed Aug 14, 2002 2:33 am

Amazing trip report, Setjet! It must be a great experience to fly on the Concorde. I hope that I get the chance to fly also on the Concorde some day.

Patrick
NZ1's mother is a disgusting crack-whore and his father is a worthless alcoholic!
 
Islander
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RE: EWR-LHR (First) LHR-JFK (Concorde)

Wed Aug 14, 2002 3:30 am

'The people in the lounge? Very strange...'. What was very strange about the people in the lounge and were you one of the very strange people in the lounge?
 
Setjet
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RE: EWR-LHR (First) LHR-JFK (Concorde)

Wed Aug 14, 2002 9:48 am

I guess I was also one of the "strange" people in the eyes of the other people!

Well, I was expecting celebrities in the lounge, instead there were a lot of bored businessmen, a family with their three spoiled children (who again looked pretty bored..), an old man who looked like an artist (white suite, orange shirt, brown shoes and a nice brown hat!) and some African government officials with their wives who entertained the whole lounge with their loud "private" conversation! The rest was pretty "ordinary", just like myself.
Nobody seemed to be overly excited (maybe everybody just tried to look cool!).
 
Alaskaairlines
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RE: EWR-LHR (First) LHR-JFK (Concorde)

Thu Aug 15, 2002 5:34 pm

Nice report!

Was that concorde flight just on a normal ticket price schedule? Or how do you order a concorde flight ticket?
I just want to get an idea how much it cost.


-Dmitry
 
Ikarus
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RE: EWR-LHR (First) LHR-JFK (Concorde)

Fri Aug 16, 2002 1:34 am

Alaskaairlines:

Try the BA homepage.

At the moment, there is a special offer: Fly Concorde one way and back in Club World for $5000, or back in First for $7000, I think. Normal Concorde fares seem to be in the range of $8000 one way (i.e. $16000 return)

But I may be wrong

Regards

Ikarus
 
Setjet
Topic Author
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RE: EWR-LHR (First) LHR-JFK (Concorde)

Wed Aug 28, 2002 9:32 am

Well, as Ikarus said, there are specials between $4000 and $7000, usually in the sumer (= right now!) as sumer is low-season for Concorde.

Anyway, best bet would be to try using some Oneworld miles for it. Depending on the program you can get the flight for as little as 125.000 miles, and that is a return flight! There are also programs where you can buy "missing" miles to get nearer to your goal.

To sum it up: A Concorde flight is really doable if you are patient and carefully listen to rumors!
 
cschleic
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RE: EWR-LHR (First) LHR-JFK (Concorde)

Sun Sep 01, 2002 3:15 pm

Great report, and sounds like it was a good trip. Interesting that summer is the slow season for Concorde.

Supposedly you can see the curve of the earth from the plane. From your photos, it looks like it was cloudy over the Atlantic. Could you see much of a curve with the clouds? The color of the sky looks amazingly dark.

Thanks for the report.
 
RickB
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RE: EWR-LHR (First) LHR-JFK (Concorde)

Sat Sep 07, 2002 6:43 am

Setjet, you mentioned facial massages in the Concorde lounge - im flying on Concorde LHR > JFK in a few days time and I'm hoping it will be the trip of a lifetime - how do you book a facial massage in the lounge?

Glad you enjoyed it - im looking forward to my turn now - bless summer deals and BA miles (paid for one seat, got the other seat on BA miles !!)

Anything else I should look out for would be a big help !!!

Cheers

RickB

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