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.
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:
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
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.
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...
Photo © Gordon Roxburgh
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.
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.
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!