G-BOAD in NY last year, as well as OAC at MAN, where I was happy to do a cockpit tour.
G-BOAG, being at such a world class facility, located near a nice city with plenty of other attractions, was always going to get a visit, which in truth would be a heavily socially orientated event, hence the title of this TR, the name of this particular trip.
Members would be coming to Seattle from other parts of the US, as well as the UK, so a fair bit of planning was needed.
But once accommodation and a semblance of a plan was worked out, we were off!
Being BA staff, who now has an annual ID100 Bookable ticket to use, my ticket choice was easy, plus I'd almost certainly get Club.
All I paid for were the various airport/departure taxes.
Others were using their ID80's, non BA staff from the UK, including sst.com Webmaster Gordon Roxburgh, took advantage of the BA ticket sale a few weeks back.
BA49, LHR-SEA, 03 NOV 2005, G-CIVX
Photo © K Chilton
On checking in, I got seat 19k, in this respect I was lucky, others either got WT+ or WT.
19K is a rearward facing seat, on this flight, the Club cabin was not very full.
Boarding complete, Capt Bedford asked attention be paid to the safety video "Not a Hollywood blockbuster, no sex or violence, but the most important film you'll see". This was done in a good humored, not a hectoring fashion.
After pushing back, our taxi went past the LHR fire trainer during a training exercise on it, I'm not in any way a nervous flyer, but unfortunate for anyone who was looking out of the window and seeing that.
Take off roll began at 14.39, airborne on a westward course out of LHR, we soon settled into the flight.
Whilst there was a good selection of PTV options, nothing really to grab me, but I had reading material and some of the TV programmes, rather than the movies, looked to be worth checking out.
I skipped 1st course, having the salmon option, not being able to drink due to medication I take, my beverage choice was limited.
But it was all perfectly fine.
We had some nice views of Iceland, looking very wintry, later we'd get a peek at Greenland, though mostly obscured by cloud, as was most of the flight.
Our course took us 70 Deg N, a polar route.
Sleeping on planes, even in the comfort of Club, is not something that comes easy to me, at most, I might have dozed for 30-45 mins, not unusual for me at all, no reflection of the cabin either, rather my hyperactivity.
We touched down at SEA on schedule after a pleasant flight.
I had two items of hand baggage, being in Club I had been able to take the large holdall on board, for those in the other cabins it meant checking in holdalls, suitcases.
Which we found at SEA had not been loaded on to our flight.
They would arrive the following day, and would be delivered to our hotel, not to minimize this aspect of BA/LHR operations which is an on going running sore, but those with missing bags just shopped harder at the local Target store in Seattle, as they'd planned to do anyway!
Seattle seems a nice city, plenty of non aviation stuff to do, we had hired a vehicle and settled into our hotel awaiting the rest of our group, from places like Wisconsin and Ohio.
Apart from visiting OAG, (the heavy rain had closed the airpark, but we had pre-arranged so got on board Concorde as well as AF1), a fascinating afternoon at the restoration facility, where fantastic work is being done on the Comet 4C in particular, we took in the whole Museum Of Flight facility.
It was all well worth the trip, as was the tour of the Boeing plant, fascinating to see the 747 line, albeit running at a low rate at this time.
The flight line included Eithad and AF 777-300's, a Lan B767F.
We also took the Sprit Of Washington dining train one evening, went on a boat trip to (unsuccessfully) look for Whales in Puget Sound, up to the top of the Space Needle, exploring various parts of Seattle nightlife.
Our US members left before us, but we had a full day to kill before our flight.
So we drove up to the fast advancing winter weather at the Summit at Snoqalmie, then to Snoqalmie falls.
The long drive around also took in the Tacoma Bridge, as part of a very roundabout route towards SEA.
BA48, SEA-LHR, 07 NOV 2005, G-CIVR
Photo © PolishAir42 - Chicago Aviation Photography
Our group, well some of them anyway, were more lucky this time, Gary and Tracy (both BA staffers on ID80's) got Club, as did Mike whose sister is BA Cabin Crew, as well as myself (seat 17A).
Boarding, pushback, taxi and take off all happened smoothly enough, the crew, like on the outbound flight, was efficient, friendly, attentive.
I had a fish starter, a steak main course, the food on both flights was perfectly good.
I passed the time by watching the PTV, managing a doze with the seat fully down, of around an hour or two, good going for me, on a night flight like this you have to make the effort I feel!
On both my seats, on and outbound, all the facilities worked OK.
We made very good time, being an hour ahead of schedule, with only a short time holding.
Over London, I (for a change!) spotted a recognizable landmark quickly, (Crystal Palace Tower), viewable from a friends flat in Herne Hill (spotted that too), so enjoyed the view as we approached LHR, down to a smooth landing ahead of schedule, a fitting end to an interesting, enjoyable trip, my first trip to Seattle, a very nice city.
The crew again were cheerful and efficient, the flight crew provided less in commentary than outbound, but again perfectly OK, the Capt certainly sounded cheerful when he announced how ahead of schedule we were!
On this thread on sst.com, planning the trip, here are the later pages from during and after our time in Seattle, with pics, from page 10 onwards;
[Edited 2005-11-09 19:48:48]
[Edited 2005-11-09 20:10:03]