I just arrived at LAX and can now post my trip report.
BA 947, 07:35-08:50
A320-232, G-EUUF (msn 1814)
Security checks for UK flights seem to be almost as strict as on US flights and I had to wait more than 20 minutes before getting into the gate area. Traffic was low this morning, so I boarded early. I was surprised about the aircraft, A320-232 G-EUUF since it is one of BA’s newest planes, only delivered on July 29th. I can tell everything smelled new inside the cabin, especially the leather seats. After being delayed 30 minutes we took off from the northern runway. Take off was nice and the IAE engines appear to be more powerful and quieter than CFMs. Seat pitch was ok but BA doesn’t have the little moving TV screens (such as Iberia). Breakfast was served in little bags, they had quite good ham sandwiches (Parma style) and fresh fruit. However, they offered more in former times.
We arrived at LHR on time and I immediately went to the spectators gallery on T2. I got some nice regs such as BWIA A340 and Qatar A330. Two hours later I made my way towards T3.
B777-223ER, N776AN (msn 215, built in 99)
Before getting into my departure gate I was checked carefully, everything in my bag and my shoes were searched for explosives or other dangerous items. The aircraft was one of the planes in Pacific configuration with the larger C-class. Economy seats were in dark blue tone with even darker headrests which looked quite boring. Unfortunately I was seated in row 42 (the last window row) and the fuselage is tighter there which means I couldn’t feel much about MRTC. I additionally had the box for IFE under the seat, so space was not good. But all the other rows seemed to offer a nice pitch.
The plane was full and we left the gate almost on time. Taxi was fast and soon the two RR Trents kicked our great machine into the sky and gave us a fast climb. As usual, the B777 take off was very loud, and regular cabin noise in flight was also quite loud (compared to the extremely quiet A340). However, I would always prefer the B777, more power is more entertaining…
The PTV system was started and they offered a good movie selection, however most of the time I watched the flight map. Audio programming was very disappointing, no really international radio hits, only American, Latin American and Asian music channels.
FAs were not too friendly but still ok. Salmon or Chicken were served for lunch, the fish was very tasty. Best of all was a chocolate cream cake. Drinks were served frequently during the first half of the flight but not so often towards the end. Before landing they served a pizza snack which was not the best example for airline food.
During the flight the captain made his round through Economy and he seemed to be a very friendly person. So far, I have only seen captains on Cathay walking around in the cabin and asking the pax if anything was ok. Nice move.
After turning near O’Hare a bit we landed exactly on time (15:00) and I was deeply impressed the very smooth touchdown, I almost couldn’t feel touching the ground. Well done, captain!
I came through immigration and customs fast (most international flights had arrived earlier) and took the train to AA’s Terminal 3. I found a nice place to spot three runways (two of them close) and was extremely busy two hours with writing down regs. Great traffic at ORD, such as bmi A332, KLM B743, two SAS B763 (new cls), Kalitta B742F, AF A340, Spirit new cls, most American carriers and so many commuter planes.
B737-823, N913AN (msn 293, built in 99)
I entered a B737NG for the first time and was positively surprised about the spacious cabin. Walls and bins seemed to have that B777 style and combined with AA’s MRTC program I had much space and leg room.
The plane was well booked and we left the gate almost on time, soon followed by take off. Take off was powerful (compared to B737 classics) but very very loud, it roared and the whole plane seemed to vibrate. Though the question of space is not so much an issue when comparing B737NGs and A320s, the question of noise is. The B738 was also loud in flight and therefore I see a clear victory for the quiet A320 here. However, the NG was comfortable to fly.
Food wasn’t served but every coach passengers could take a small snack bag at the entry. It contained a tasty sandwich, carrots, chips and cookies, not bad. Drinks were only served two times in 4 hours, I felt a bit dry…I also didn’t pay one Dollar for the headset since music was the same as on the B777.
We reached California early and I could enjoy a great view of the millions of lights at night. Touchdown was hard and reverse thrust stopped us quite fast. I must admit, the B737NG is better than I expected, though my preference for the A320 remains firm.
Now I’m looking forward to my JetBlue flights LGB-OAK-LGB next Tuesday, I will also post a report as soon as possible.
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