mirrodie
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Another Mirrodie TR, JFK-LHR-PRG Via AA And BA

Thu Dec 22, 2005 3:27 am

well, Highheels and I decided to go to London and Prague. Initially we were slated to go in November but wanted to experience the holidays abroad, so we waited til now.

Now, this is not going to be as in depth as the excelsior of my TR's, that being, http://www.airliners.net/discussions/trip_reports/read.main/31702. That was about THE trip of a lifetime.

But this trip you'll read about ran a pretty close second place  Wink

We awoke on Dec. 6 to find NY was bearing down on oncoming snowstorm. After a speedy escape ahead of the rush hour and snow, we checked in at JFK for:

AA 142
Lv 0820 JFK
Ar. LHR 2030
B777 in coach

As we were flying as low level standby's, we thought we had a decent chance of First or Business Class. But as fate would have it, we got seats 26, aisle and 2nd seat in. No problem.

This is AA's International Flagship service. Not bad. We'd gotten a standard meal, great AA service and a great and attentive crew. This was my FIRST time on the 777 and I was astounded at how roomy it was.

After de-icing, we took off on 22L and continued across Long Island and above the clouds. My wife and I watched a lot of CSI on the in seat monitors ahead of us. I love CSI. Great practical science, you know? Also, I think Polar Express and Everybody Loves Raymond were other things that we watched.

I did sleep a little bit here and there. We have those 'squish' pillows that are u-shaped and best on the neck. But to be honest, AA's coach seats usually make my butt uncomfortable after a few hours aso I end up sitting on hte pillow  Smile

The trip across was relatively fast. 5 hours and 38 minutes with a strong tail wind and some wicked turbulence. Not as fast as when on his trip, http://www.airliners.net/discussions/trip_reports/read.main/31702, but I think 5:38 is pretty fast, no?

As we descended on London, our pilot made anumber of hard banks to the right to line up. We landed on 27L I believe.

Now, a word about the landing. Phenomenal. We were sitting right above the wheels. As soon as we touched down, if felt as if we came down on one side and then the other set of bogies touched.

...and then the aircraft started to yaw left and right repeatedly as the pilot seemed to be dealing with some insane crosswind. I never felt that way in a plane. It was as if you were in a car and started to fishtail. But the entire settling down took about 6 seconds before it seemed that the piloht was solidly registering the centerline. It was such a cool sensation and great landing. I love a bit of excitement!

In the airport, once clear of customs, we met Gary, our great buddy and member of Concordesst.com and we were on our way to rest and relax at
The Greenman Pub, right outside Heathrow.

We were fortunate to stay at TGM. The planes on arrival to 27L were RIGHT OUTSIDE our bedroom window. It was amazing. In the morning, as Highheels was in the shower, I climbed to the roof patio and took photos of arrivals. What a great way to start a day of sightseeing In London!

On Saturday Dec. 10, I was put on doodie duty on Concorde Delta Bravo at Brooklands Museum. Meaning I had my hands on the supersonic bathroom. I was just so great to see what is being done at this museum. I encourage you all to check them out and see how they are putting today a Concorde.

On Dec. 11, we awoke to news that ther e was a fuel explosion in London. As our cab drove up, I sent a note to our parents that all was OK.

BA 854
lv 0755 LHR
Ar 0955 PRG
B 757 in coach/eurotraveler

This was my first time on BA's interEurope service. My first flights on BA were on an transatlantic runs on 747, return on Concorde. Those were exquisite.
But this time, we were on EuroTraveler and I was a bit taken back.

Don't get me wrong, but I found the seats and aircraft to be rather shoddy. And all I mean by this is that when a company provides service such as those foudn on Concorde and its 747s, you hold a higher standard to it.

These 757s had some leather seats but they were literally pulling apart at the seams. No exageration.

Other than that, the flight was cool. In fact, I sat on the port side and actually took a few photos of the Hampstead heath fires from the airplane. Pretty insane.

After a few great days in Prague, we flew back on Dec 15 on:

BA 857
Lv 1800
Ar 2030
B 757 in coach/eurotraveler

Our plane was 40 minutes late coming in from LHR so naturally we got back to LHR a bit late. The flight was booked pretty completely but was unremarkable.

But here was the cool part of the flight. Its dark out and we could see the outline of the Thames. As we got closer to touchdown, I realized we were coming down on 27L. And at the last second, I looked in extreme downgaze and coaught a glimpse of the Greenman Pub! We were home Smile

But here's the kicker....I didnt see that as I looked down (and was cruising over them at ~160 kts, who knows), Gary, Jules and Chris, our mates at the pub, were looking up at us and jumping in the car, headed for the airport to pick us up!

At LHR, we were met with our great friends again and thus began another adventure.... since we flew standby, we were at the mercy of the bookings. So originally we 'd have flown home on Dec 16 but we decided not to even bother trying and to try to fly out on Dec. 17.

You know what that means, right? Go back to The Greenman Pub, pack, drink a lot more and see more friends, laugh, take photos, drink, relax.
Woke up on the AM of 17 Dec. and now Jez(concordesst.com) and I climbed to the roof and took more photos from TGM. Finally a sunny day for some photos!

We checked to AA flights to JFK and they looked like crap. All oversold. (but yet BA had open seats, so AA must be doing something right???!)

We aimed for, on the afternoon of Dec. 17,

AA 131
Lv 1630 LHR
Ar 2030 JFK
B 777 in First.

And as Gary said, we nailed it.... we got seats 4 Dand G.

The movies we saw were War of the Worlds and The Fantastic Four. We started with a salad served with mojito shrimp, then had the Chicken and Orzo Pasta with Eggplant. Of course we saved room for the ice cream sundae, with fruit topping and coffe to follow.

F on AA's 777 was very cool. The Bose head set was a great touch and marketing tool for Bose, as I may want one for Christmas. I loved the ottoman style seat...wifey came over and we had tea on my end of the plane. One one thing was we didnt have a guide that showed us how to work the seat features. So I'll never know what silver grasps were on either side of the seat. Unless someone here knows!

A second meal was pizza with vegetables and bacon and was a nice touch.

Now, to be honest, I was short with details. But for that I refer you to Matt Smith's in depth analysis on the AA 777 in F. He's got the photos to back up our experience.
LHR-JFK In AA First (With Pics) (by AA 777 Jun 18 2005 in Trip Reports)


In retrospect, the flights were great and I loved flying on the 777.
We'll see how I like it compared to the A 340 we are scheduled to take this summer.


Hope you like reading.
mirrodie
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mirrodie
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RE: Another Mirrodie TR, JFK-LHR-PRG Via AA And BA

Thu Dec 22, 2005 5:10 am

correction....the fires were Hemel Hempstead


thanks Ian!
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AA 777
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RE: Another Mirrodie TR, JFK-LHR-PRG Via AA And BA

Thu Dec 22, 2005 1:15 pm

Nice report mario! The silver handle things on the side of the seats are to lower the arm rests/sides of the seats when you sleep.

-Matt
CRJ-700 FO
 
mirrodie
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RE: Another Mirrodie TR, JFK-LHR-PRG Via AA And BA

Fri Dec 23, 2005 3:19 am

my proofreading mistake, the Concorde at Brooklands is Delta Golf. Lend a hand!

I had Alpha Bravo in mind because as we took off on AA131, Alpha Bravo was the last thing I saw outside my portside window.

Twas a fitting end to a great trip!

cheers! Mirrodie
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GDB
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RE: Another Mirrodie TR, JFK-LHR-PRG Via AA And BA

Fri Dec 23, 2005 4:29 am

Very nice report, with a result at the end.

Good to meet you again (twice), glad you enjoyed getting 'hands on' at Brooklands.
 
LGA777
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RE: Another Mirrodie TR, JFK-LHR-PRG Via AA And BA

Fri Dec 23, 2005 8:57 am

Mario, great report and I am glad you and highheels had such a great time. And after three legs in the back really glad you got First on the way home, one of the advantages (sometimes) of non-revving vs buying a confirmed cheap seat. The pub sounds really cool !

Cheers

Ron Peel
 
US AIRWAYS
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RE: Another Mirrodie TR, JFK-LHR-PRG Via AA And BA

Sat Dec 24, 2005 12:27 am

5 hours and 38 minutes really fast. It took me 5 1/2 just to get from PHL to LAS the other day because of 140 knot headwinds.
Go Eagles!
 
mirrodie
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RE: Another Mirrodie TR, JFK-LHR-PRG Via AA And BA

Sat Dec 24, 2005 2:13 am

Yes, I know! I was blown away but how fast it was.

I was wondering what the fastest JFK-LHR flight might be, BESIDES Concorde, of course. I think my flight was a close second!  Wink
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Stretch 8
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RE: Another Mirrodie TR, JFK-LHR-PRG Via AA And BA

Sat Dec 24, 2005 3:22 am

Well done report! A clarification; you got into AA First on the return trip just because you had a standby tiicket?

I have flown within Europe on BA, and found the product quite nice. How did you like Prague?
Maggs swings, it's a drive deep to left! The Tigers are going to the World Series!!!
 
mirrodie
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RE: Another Mirrodie TR, JFK-LHR-PRG Via AA And BA

Sat Dec 24, 2005 5:32 am

Hey Stretch!

Yeah, as Ron saw, I sometimes get to non-rev on some flights. When I do, I usually pick a good time of year. This time, we took a big chance, but was nice to get first on the way home!

Besides the major highlights:

-first time my wife was in London and Prague
-London Eye
-seeing STOMP and Mary Poppins in the West End
-Dinner and beer at Belgos
-spending our nights upstairs at the Greenman Pub
-walking all over Prague
-strolling through the jewish Quarter in Prague
-keeping company with an Irish diplomat in Prague

yep, so besides the major highlights, it was great to finally be able to fly the 777 and see the difference in economy vs first. And as I said, while First was great, economy was certainly nice and roomy and I'd recommend it as well!
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MidnightMike
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RE: Another Mirrodie TR, JFK-LHR-PRG Via AA And BA

Sun Dec 25, 2005 7:10 am

Quoting Mirrodie (Thread starter):
I did sleep a little bit here and there. We have those 'squish' pillows that are u-shaped and best on the neck. But to be honest, AA's coach seats usually make my butt uncomfortable after a few hours aso I end up sitting on hte pillow  

Just a friendly reminder of where those Airplane pillow could end up,  Smile

Where are you going in the summer?


Mike
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Shamrock_747
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RE: Another Mirrodie TR, JFK-LHR-PRG Via AA And BA

Sun Dec 25, 2005 9:04 am

Great report. I'm glad you enjoyed your trip. It was, of course, a pleasure to meet you!
 
mirrodie
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RE: Another Mirrodie TR, JFK-LHR-PRG Via AA And BA

Tue Dec 27, 2005 4:12 am

Australia and a 2 day layover in Tahiti

flying both ways, as of now, on Air Tahiti Nui
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