airxliban
Posts: 4285
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2003 12:14 pm

Back To Oxford From Cali, BA 282 W/pix

Thu Jan 12, 2006 9:32 pm

Well since this is the third time I’m writing a report on what has basically been the exact same flight, I’ve got to work extra hard to make it interesting enough to get you all to read it!

I had spent just about a month in Los Angeles on “holiday” from Oxford between Michaelmas and Hilary terms and now it was time to head back. I booked my ticket to London back in November and selected the 5:35pm departure from Los Angeles on BA 282 as opposed to the later BA 268 because of a massive fare difference! I usually prefer the later flight, but in this case the extra couple of hours wasn’t work it.

I woke up on the morning of 9 January 2006 having had a nightmare about the very situation which had been giving me nightmares for the last few months! What a fantastic start to the day. I ended up getting out of bed just around 8am or so and logged onto MSN messenger. FOMEA greeted me with the following message:

“Shou, you’re up early today Mr. Sassine”

Indeed I was up early. The 5:35pm departure from LAX was going to make it tough for me to get much sleep on the flight, so I wanted to get up early so that I would be as tired as possible in the evening.

I checked my email and was surprised to find a message from British Airways telling me that my flight was going to be delayed. I checked it out online and found out that we’d be departing at 8:35pm instead of 5:35pm – a delay of three hours for those of you incapable of doing the maths.

I was actually quite pleased about this – I originally wanted to fly on the later flight and with the three hour delay, I basically was flying on the late flight! BA 268 is scheduled to leave at 8:45pm, so it was basically going to be the same thing.

After checking my email I screwed around on MSN a bit and then called my friend up in San Francisco to wish him a happy birthday. I then had a manouche for breakfast with a cup of tea and my hair loss pill.

At about 10:20am, I headed down to the local Supercuts to have my hair cut. While waiting, I popped into the Albertson’s supermarket next door. I had originally intended on buying a couple of things from the US to take back to Oxford with me, but looking around the store, I realised that there wasn’t much of anything – save for Cheetos – that I would want that I couldn’t get there. On top of it, produce is in my opinion better there anyway. And anyway, I’ve sort of gone off Cheetos recently, so I left Albertsons emptyhanded.

Unfortunately, there was one major change at home between the time that I arrived and the time that I left. I ended up selling the sparkle in my eye – my 2000 Volkswagen Jetta GLS VR6. We were together for 55,430 miles and 5 years, 9 months, 10 days and approximately 23 hours. I loved that car like nothing else. So many memories in it. Almost everyone I know has been in that car. Now it’s gone, just like that. I had originally intended on keeping it all my life and had taken care of it in such a manner. Oh well – I just hope that the French guy that I ended up selling it to will take good care of it.

On my last day with the Jetta, I really felt as though the car wanted me and me alone. The smile on the front fascia sort of dwindled to a melancholy grimace as I parked her on the kerb for the last time, waiting for Monsieur Christophe.

Heres a random pic:

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b174/airliban/DSC00940.jpg

When he eventually arrived and took the car away, I almost felt tears coming to my eyes as I saw my car being driven away, the CH sticker and green domelights fading into the distance. At that moment – I joined my grandmother in being the only two people in my family that didn’t have cars.

Anyway, here are some photos from the last night with my Jetta and some friends:

Me and my roommate from uni:

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b174/airliban/DSC00035.jpg

Here I am with the car:

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b174/airliban/DSC00011.jpg

Anyway...now I have to move on  Sad

From that point on I had to drive one of my parents’ cars. And the choice wasn’t particularly appealing – between a 1995 Chevrolet Lumina Minivan (APV) and a 2004 Toyota Camry (on stilts) RX330 Special Edition. Sadly, the good old van has more endearing qualities than the Lexus.

When I got back from the haircut, I changed cars and took a spin in the van for one last time. It was a lovely day outside – light breeze, sun shining, 80 degrees Fahrenheit. I got back and finished the final stages of my packing.

Lunch today was going to be garlic chicken. I had my mother grill chicken on the barbecue outside…

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b174/airliban/DSC00108.jpg

and then I literally poured garlic…

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b174/airliban/DSC00116.jpg

Over the rest of it. Not very light for sure, but it did the trick:

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b174/airliban/DSC00118.jpg

Here are a couple of pix…mmm…I can still taste the garlic in my mouth! I love garlic, even though it has a pretty strong odour. Here is a picture of my dog – I think she caught a wisp of it:

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b174/airliban/DSC00099.jpg

After lunch I went upstairs and packed my laptop and my carry on bag and went on the house computer to take an online mathematical assessment for a job with Citigroup. I checked sigalert.com and found out that the 405 Freeway was, as usual, congested, and that the new departure time was going to be 20:05.

I said goodbye to the dog:



…and then headed out in the RX330 to the airport, leaving the area at about 4:15pm. There was an accident on the 101 Freeway in Calabasas, so I got off on Las Virgenes Road and took Malibu Canyon down to the coast. The Southern California landscape really is quite beautiful. It’s always nice to drive through the canyons, especially on a day like this. And of course it was lovely to reach the sea. I live on the west coast, but never see the Pacific!

It took me about 38 minutes to reach the I-10 / PCH junction, a distance of 33 miles. And then it took me about another 40 minutes to travel the remaining 10 miles to LAX. Traffic was really something awful. I should have stayed on PCH and taken Lincoln to LAX.

I had checked in online beforehand, so I wasn’t worried about getting a good seat. I took 19J, an aisle seat on the right hand side of the aircraft.

I arrived at Bradley and queued in the “World Traveller Plus / Online Check-in” queue. There was an Englishman with a nice big dark stain at the seat of his pants ahead of me, muttering insults under his breath. I was wondering what was going on, and then noticed that the check-in lady wasn’t at the desk. “This is f*cking ridiculous, where the devil is that b!tch? For God’s Sake!” Then about 30 seconds a child started screaming and he snapped “Oh will you shut up!” Only thing was, he said it to himself and the baby was about 5 metres to his left. He turned around and starting talking to my dad about how ridiculous it was that he hadn’t been served yet and that the service was so slow.

Anyway, the check-in chick eventually came back and checked him in before moving on to me. As I had already checked it online, the process was pretty simple and I took the boarding pass, took my bags and moved on to the x-ray machine.

I really hate how they can’t just take the bags at check-in at LAX. You have to take the luggage to yet another queue where they scan them and x-ray them. It’s really a misery and I wish there was some other way around it.

Luckily it didn’t take too long on this occasion and I said goodbye to my parents and went through security. Another thing I really hate is having to completely disrobe for the stupid security machines. Shoes, belt, watch…its gets pretty annoying and it makes it really easy to lose things. Especially shoes. Damn that shoe-bomber…does he have any idea what sort of misery he has imposed on us???

Once I got through into the main terminal I decided to go get something for my Zambian friend who wanted me to bring her typically American. Since I couldn’t be arsed to think of something before hand, I figured that I would go to gate 120 (which the check-in lady had written on my boarding card) and have a look in some of the stores.

I reached gate 120 and saw that G-CIVN was sitting there – but the sign above the desks said “BA 268 – LONDON HEATHROW” and I was meant to be traveling on BA 282. What had happened? I had a look at the Departure screens and did not see BA 282 listed anywhere. Slightly panicking, I walked up and down the aisles to figure out where my flight was. At that side of the Bradley complex, there was a China Airlines flight to Taiwan and a Swiss A340 (HB-JMH) headed to Zurich (by the way…I had never seen an LX aircraft parked at the north side of Bradley). But no BA 282!

So I headed to the south side of the Bradley and saw literally 800 people just sitting in front of the 5 bus-accessible gates. Gate 115 was for BA 282. Great I thought…we’re going to be bussed over to one of the remote gates. This place was literally packed with people – here is a shot:



There was another flight (Qantas 26 to Auckland) awaiting boarding right next to us, so my estimate of 800 people was probably not too far off. Eventually, they called boarding for us at about 8:10pm and I went through and got onto the bus.

Just as I was getting aboard, the security agent told me to stop boarding because he wanted to have a word with the gate agent. He complained to the gate agent about some guy with a 6’ long beard wanting to go on his own premium bus for First and Business Class passengers. The gate agent soon told that passenger that he needed to get on this bus, so he did, and I got on it too and we pushed back and drove over to the remote gate. As were driving over I noticed an-ex AA DC-10 (registered N131AA) parked with all labels and titles removed. Any idea what it was doing there?

Here is a picture of it in better days:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Frank C. Duarte Jr.




There were a bunch of other 747s belonging to Air China, Korean Air, Eva Air and Qantas parked with our British Airways jet. As we got off the bus, I really wanted to take some pictures with my camera that I had gotten out for that very purpose but there were a bunch of security people around so I decided not to risk it. A shame really – it was obviously dark outside, but it was a clear night and I had an excellent view of the QF 744 (VH-OJJ).

It would have come out something like this:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Bjoern Schmitt - world-of-aviation



While boarding I had a good look at the nose gear door and saw that it had the initials “LB” written on it, telling me that this aircraft was G-BNLB.

Boarding seemed to take forever. We were literally waiting at the stairs for 10 minutes before we started moving – and we were on the first bus mindyou! It gave me a chance to take a picture of the plane:

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b174/airliban/DSC00145.jpg

9th January 2006
BA 282
LAX-LHR
Departure time: 17:35 scheduled, 21:10 actual
Arrival time: 12:00 scheduled, 14:45 actual
Aircraft: Boeing 747-436, G-BNLB
Seat: 19H, later 19B (in WTP)

We boarded from door 1L and received a very warm greeting from the BA crew at the door. I have always thought that their greetings are the best. I soon found my way to seat 19J. No sooner had I sat down than some woman and her husband came up to me and told that that I was in their seat. I pulled out my boarding card and showed them 19J. He pulled out his boarding card which had 19B with a crossmark through it and then 19J written by hand next to it. The husband explained that the gate agent had changed their seats so that they could sit together and would I mind switching to 19B. I stealthily had a glance over to the other side of the cabin and saw some lady wearing black sitting in 19A, so I figured it would be alright and told them that it would be no problem.

Here is a shot of the original seats:

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b174/airliban/DSC00146.jpg

I moved over to 19B, said “good evening” to my seatmate and got a very dry ‘hi’ back from her. She was probably about 40 years old and looked like a chipmunk. Not sure exactly where she was from.

Eventually they completed boarding and we were ready to go. I was absolutely shocked to hear an American voice announcing to us that he was pilot. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got nothing against having an American pilot, but in 15 years traveling back and forth on BA 282/268 I’ve never once had a non-British crew, so it was a bit weird. In any event, he apologised for the delay and told us a little bit about the flight.

Immediately afterwards, the Cabin Service Director, Mark Matthews, came on to apologise about the delay once again, telling us that the original aircraft assigned to operate BA 283 from London had a hydraulic leak, so they had to substitute another aircraft. Ironically, G-BNLB had just arrived from LAX when it was sent back operating 283.

We eventually taxied out to the runway and lined up on 24L. Funnily enough, as we passed Bradley, G-CIVN had just been pushed back and the later LHR departure was going to be right behind our tail the whole way!

Unfortunately, the pilot decided not to use full thrust on takeoff. We soon turned left over the Pacific Ocean and were treated to a fantastic view of the Los Angeles area. I started watching the BBC World News as the F/As soon came around with drinks.



I decided to have an apple juice this time as I didn’t feel like my usual whiskey.



I took some time to peruse the inflight magazine and was pleased to see that my favourite Boeing 747-400 was plane of the month. Here is something weird – I thought that BA had converted all of the “lite” aircraft back to the standard configuration, but apparently I am mistaken? Have a look at this:



Another funny thing – BA were advertising some new air circulation system they have and featured a picture of an A340 as the photo!! What a disgrace!

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b174/airliban/DSC00149.jpg

Anyway, by the dinner was ready, my seatmate had already leaned over to the left, tilted her ass in my face and dozed off without having anything to eat. I was given the choice of Chicken and Rice or Beet Lasagna. I wasn’t sure if I had heard correctly, so I asked again: “Beef lasagna or beet lasagna?” The F/A said beet lasagna, so on that I decided to go with the Chicken. Lo and behold, it was the EXACT same meal I had had on BA 268 back in September.

Here is a shot:



And a closeup of the chicken and salad:





It was fairly good however, at least for airplane food. I got up, brushed my teeth, pulled out my earplugs and my noise-canceling British Airways Concorde headphones and went straight to sleep. By the time I woke up, we had just about 3 hours to go, so I decided to continue on with my book. I was reading “The Trouble with Modern Islam” by Irshad Manji, a Pakistani lesbian. I reached page 160 before the lights were turned on and a light snack was served.

By this time, my seatmate was already awake and she also indulged in the snack. I was considering starting a conversation with her, but she seemed so uninterested, so I decided not to bother.

Again, the snack was the exact same snack I had had on the previous flight: a ham and cheese sandwich with “natural” provolone (as opposed to artificial?) with a strawberry crumble bar, raspberry yoghurt and a piece of chocolate.



Of course I also had a cup of tea – which had literally no taste whatsoever. It was just like hot water with some colour. I went back to the lav and brushed my teeth again, put some cologne on and splashed some water on my face to look good for the immigration officer. All this time – my seat mate did not get up!

Anyway, at about 2:10pm the captain came back online to tell us that we had just finished passing over Ireland and would be on the ground at Heathrow in 45 minutes. Without any circling over London, we came in for a very shaky and off centred landing on what I think was 27R (the one on the north side parallel to that road). No thrust reversers – guess its not allowed. We parked at Terminal 1 and I was out and off to customs. Luckily, the line was short and to my great surprise, I got an English immigration officer!

I collected by two cases and made it over to the Heathrow Central Bus station *JUST* in time to catch the 4pm bus to Oxford. By this time it was getting dark and the temperature outside was probably no more than 5°C. I took a seat at the back of the bus and I must say, a smile came onto my face when we turned on the M40 and I realised I was back in the UK.

That smile widened as I got off the bus at Gloucester Green and walked back to my hospital room. Oxford is really a lovely city, even in the winter. It may have been cold, but at least you can feel the seasons. The ground was covered in a bit of frost and the trees were absolutely naked.

Unfortunately the bulb hanging from the ceiling in my room had burnt out by the time I arrived (about 6:15pm) so I had to do with the light from my desk lamp.

It wasn’t the greatest feeling being back to be honest. My living space had been cut by 80%, there was no one to help me unpack, cook, do the laundry, ironing, etc. At least some of my buddies were around. I spent a little while with them and eventually went to bed around 10pm. Woke up at 2am, went back on the computer until 3:30 and then slept until noon!

Naught week (week 0) had started on Monday, so I do have some catching up to do. Anyway, I hope that you have enjoyed this report and if you’ve bothered to read this far down, please leave some feedback. You’ll notice that I took some past advice and reduced the quality of some of my pictures to make it easier to read!

Overall, BA was, as it always is, pretty good. Service was good, fast, friendly and this airline is my choice for transatlantic travel.

Here are a couple of nonav photos I took just for the hell of it.

The good news is that I brought some stuff from home to decorate my room. Here it is in its new look:

Notice the wine that I brought from onboard BA in this shot:

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b174/airliban/DSC00180.jpg

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b174/airliban/DSC00179.jpg

Notice the Word document open in the shot, it is this trip report!

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b174/airliban/DSC00183.jpg

And here I am writing the report:



Well thats it. Next few trips to come:

Back to Los Angeles in March, back to Oxford in April

Possible trip to Frankfurt at the end of April on a British Airways 767-300

Potential trip to India in May. My friend’s cousin is getting married Jabalpur and has invited me for the wedding, so I am trying to figure out if I can go or not. If so, that would be flying into any of Bombay, Calcutta or Delhi, as apparently Jabalpur is equidistant from all of those cities.

Hope you’ve enjoyed reading!
PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
 
atco2b
Posts: 1099
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2005 5:20 pm

RE: Back To Oxford From Cali, BA 282 W/pix

Thu Jan 12, 2006 9:52 pm

Quoting AirxLiban (Thread starter):
Anyway...now I have to move on



Quoting AirxLiban (Thread starter):
I said goodbye to the dog:

A very sentimental approach  Sad

Quoting AirxLiban (Thread starter):
Another funny thing – BA were advertising some new air circulation system they have and featured a picture of an A340 as the photo!! What a disgrace!

Thing is, the average passenger wont know the difference. Its only us a.net members who might  Wink

Quoting AirxLiban (Thread starter):
Back to Los Angeles in March, back to Oxford in April

Cant wait! Big grin

Quoting AirxLiban (Thread starter):
I’ve got to work extra hard to make it interesting enough to get you all to read it!

Always a pleasure reading your BA journeys  Smile

Thanks for sharing, great read.
Hey, you want to go out for pizza and some sex? What, you don't like pizza?
 
FOMEA
Posts: 838
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2005 8:10 pm

RE: Back To Oxford From Cali, BA 282 W/pix

Thu Jan 12, 2006 10:08 pm

Mr. Sassine,
As usual, Cool report and Nice Pics.  Wink

Glad i encouraged you to write the report.



On a side note, Dont use Persil, Use Ariel . Big grin



Regards
F-OMEA
On the internet you can be anything you want..its strange so many choose to be Stupid.
 
Tifoso
Posts: 432
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 9:15 pm

RE: Back To Oxford From Cali, BA 282 W/pix

Fri Jan 13, 2006 3:24 am

Quoting AirxLiban (Thread starter):
He pulled out his boarding card which had 19B with a crossmark through it and then 19J written by hand next to it. The husband explained that the gate agent had changed their seats so that they could sit together and would I mind switching to 19B.

I somehow don't buy what the gentleman's explanation

Nice report.

[Edited 2006-01-12 19:24:35]
 
semsem
Posts: 1621
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 1:06 am

RE: Back To Oxford From Cali, BA 282 W/pix

Fri Jan 13, 2006 4:10 am

Thank you for the great pictures. Interesting that BA are now serving lettuce as a starter like the US airlines. A good way to cut costs. Many years ago I rented a Jetta and I loved driving it.
 
beowulf
Posts: 743
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2003 3:22 am

RE: Back To Oxford From Cali, BA 282 W/pix

Fri Jan 13, 2006 4:36 am

Quoting AirxLiban (Thread starter):
I then had a manouche for breakfast with a cup of tea and my hair loss pill.

What's a manouche? Google came up with a French band, and, please, don't tell me you ate the band for breakfast.  eyebrow 

Quoting AirxLiban (Thread starter):
We were together for 55,430 miles and 5 years, 9 months, 10 days and approximately 23 hours. I loved that car like nothing else. So many memories in it. Almost everyone I know has been in that car.

You need some ... well ... interaction with humanoids.  wink  Before you know, you'll grow attached to them as well.

Quoting AirxLiban (Thread starter):
and then I literally poured garlic…

That's one mean way of having the seat next to you for yourself. About as mean as the guy checking in infront you had been planning. You know, who I am talking of.  duck  Maybe that's why the lady wasn't so keen on conversation.

Nice report nevetheless.  smile 
 
panam330
Posts: 1964
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2004 11:58 am

RE: Back To Oxford From Cali, BA 282 W/pix

Fri Jan 13, 2006 5:09 am

Fantastic report! I hope to visit the UK someday!
 
abrelosojos
Posts: 4050
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 6:48 am

RE: Back To Oxford From Cali, BA 282 W/pix

Fri Jan 13, 2006 6:48 am

The food looks bad  Sad -

A.
Live, and let live.
 
Door5Right
Posts: 691
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 9:29 pm

RE: Back To Oxford From Cali, BA 282 W/pix

Fri Jan 13, 2006 9:16 am

Most enjoyable, Mr. Airxliban. I shall never think of "poor" students again as you loll around in WT, zooming back and forth across the Atlantic! Hope you are enjoying Oxford. Does the Randolph Hotel still do a good afternoon tea?
My soul is in the sky...
 
jafa39
Posts: 4320
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 2:14 pm

RE: Back To Oxford From Cali, BA 282 W/pix

Sat Jan 14, 2006 5:31 am

Quoting AirxLiban (Thread starter):
I ended up getting out of bed just around 8am



Quoting AirxLiban (Thread starter):
Indeed I was up early.

Ha! Students eh? Early indeed  Wink

Quoting AirxLiban (Thread starter):
and my hair loss pill.



Quoting AirxLiban (Thread starter):
I headed down to the local Supercuts to have my hair cut.

These two statements appear to at odds with each other mate, you either want hair or you don't!  Smile

Quoting AirxLiban (Thread starter):
I said goodbye to the dog

By the look on the dog's face I would recommend you use more lube next time!

Quoting AirxLiban (Thread starter):
I stealthily had a glance over to the other side of the cabin and saw some lady wearing black sitting in 19A, so I figured it would be alright

And what if she'd been wearing blue????  Wink

Quoting AirxLiban (Thread starter):
a smile came onto my face when we turned on the M40 and I realised I was back in the UK.

In those circumstances Mrs Jafa would have started screaming and wailing!

Another interesting insight into your life, look forward to the next one.
We, the undersigned, do hereby consent.....
 
airxliban
Posts: 4285
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2003 12:14 pm

RE: Back To Oxford From Cali, BA 282 W/pix

Sat Jan 14, 2006 6:14 am

Quoting Atco2b (Reply 1):
Thanks for sharing, great read.

Y'all keep on responding, I'll keep on writing!

Quoting FOMEA (Reply 2):
On a side note, Dont use Persil, Use Ariel .

LOL....

Quoting Tifoso (Reply 3):
I somehow don't buy what the gentleman's explanation

I thought about too - they scanned my boarding card at the checkin desk and didn't say anything. Oh well.

Quoting Semsem (Reply 4):
Thank you for the great pictures. Interesting that BA are now serving lettuce as a starter like the US airlines. A good way to cut costs.

Yeah indeed - I remember when the salad used to have salmon in it.

Quoting Beowulf (Reply 5):
What's a manouche?

Something like this.



Quoting Beowulf (Reply 5):
That's one mean way of having the seat next to you for yourself.

Lol...didn't even notice that.

Quoting PanAm330 (Reply 6):
Fantastic report! I hope to visit the UK someday!

Don't come in the winter, its enough to freeze your balls off Sad

Quoting Door5Right (Reply 8):
Does the Randolph Hotel still do a good afternoon tea?

Yeah, but more importantly the Eagle and Child does a lovely pint of Guiness...

Quoting Jafa39 (Reply 9):
Ha! Students eh? Early indeed

Haha...all throughout the vacation I had been waking up between 11am and 1pm.

Quoting Jafa39 (Reply 9):
These two statements appear to at odds with each other mate, you either want hair or you don't!

Well when it is long you can see how sparsely scattered my hair is because its so thin!

Quoting Jafa39 (Reply 9):
And what if she'd been wearing blue????

For dark blue I would have categorically refused his request...light blue I would have been nice  Wink
PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
 
BA
Posts: 10133
Joined: Fri May 19, 2000 11:06 am

RE: Back To Oxford From Cali, BA 282 W/pix

Sat Jan 14, 2006 7:05 am

Nice trip report and nice room Michel.

I have that same picture of Jounieh bay plus a bunch of others of that same series. They're really wonderful photographs.

I don't have any of them put up though. Maybe I should...

Regards
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
ANITIX87
Posts: 2953
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2005 4:52 am

RE: Back To Oxford From Cali, BA 282 W/pix

Sat Jan 14, 2006 7:18 am

Awesome report, pal. All of you that sleep on planes are very lucky people, haha. I always arrive in Europe the next morning tired, sick, nauseous, and lazy, haha. And I hate every minute of my first day there for that reson.

AirxLiban, you're confusing me. Your profile says from Austria, you go to school in England, you live in California, and you have a CH sticker on your car?! WHAT?!?! Haha, just kidding. Have a good semester...or whatever the system is in the UK.

TIS
www.stellaryear.com: Canon EOS 50D, Canon EOS 5DMkII, Sigma 50mm 1.4, Canon 24-70 2.8L II, Canon 100mm 2.8L, Canon 100-4
 
airxliban
Posts: 4285
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2003 12:14 pm

RE: Back To Oxford From Cali, BA 282 W/pix

Sat Jan 14, 2006 7:50 am

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 12):
Awesome report, pal. All of you that sleep on planes are very lucky people, haha. I always arrive in Europe the next morning tired, sick, nauseous, and lazy, haha. And I hate every minute of my first day there for that reson.

Haha...on my flight LAX-HKG which was something like 14 hours I slept for almost 12 of them, and that was in an economy seat in the very last cabin with restricted legroom.

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 12):
AirxLiban, you're confusing me. Your profile says from Austria, you go to school in England, you live in California, and you have a CH sticker on your car?! WHAT?!?! Haha, just kidding. Have a good semester...or whatever the system is in the UK.

My profile should say from Lebanon, I go to school in England yeah thats true, my family is in California (been there since 1999) and yeah I bought a CH sticker from Geneva in order to convince people that my Jetta was imported from Europe as opposed to being built in Puebla, Mexico  Smile
PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
 
Summa767
Posts: 1753
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 1:30 am

RE: Back To Oxford From Cali, BA 282 W/pix

Sat Jan 14, 2006 8:00 am

Thank you for a nice report.
It must have been a shock to get of from the X70 in Gloucester Green at 5 am, after been in california for the vacation!
All the best for Hilary!
 
jafa39
Posts: 4320
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 2:14 pm

RE: Back To Oxford From Cali, BA 282 W/pix

Sat Jan 14, 2006 10:43 am

Forgot to say...don't let QFF see your choice of pics on the wall, he may start foaming at the mouth!
We, the undersigned, do hereby consent.....
 
BA
Posts: 10133
Joined: Fri May 19, 2000 11:06 am

RE: Back To Oxford From Cali, BA 282 W/pix

Sat Jan 14, 2006 1:24 pm

Quoting AirxLiban (Reply 13):
bought a CH sticker from Geneva in order to convince people that my Jetta was imported from Europe as opposed to being built in Puebla, Mexico

I gotta get me one of those.

And Michel, is that a Dell 600m on your desk? That's the laptop I have.  Smile

Regards
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
panam330
Posts: 1964
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2004 11:58 am

RE: Back To Oxford From Cali, BA 282 W/pix

Sat Jan 14, 2006 1:29 pm

Quoting AirxLiban (Reply 10):
Don't come in the winter, its enough to freeze your balls off

Try me  Wink. I live in Upstate NY, where last winter it was more often than not, below zero degrees (Fahrenheit).
 
airxliban
Posts: 4285
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2003 12:14 pm

RE: Back To Oxford From Cali, BA 282 W/pix

Sat Jan 14, 2006 2:24 pm

Quoting BA (Reply 16):
is that a Dell 600m on your desk?

Inspiron 8500...but they look the same from that sort of angle, just the 8500 is

Quoting Jafa39 (Reply 15):
don't let QFF see your choice of pics on the wall, he may start foaming at the mouth!

That's right, I forgot that he doesn't like Lizzie, but I haven't seen QFF lurking around in this forum so it should be OK.

Quoting PanAm330 (Reply 17):
Try me . I live in Upstate NY, where last winter it was more often than not, below zero degrees (Fahrenheit).

Ouch...how do you guys do it?
PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
 
Zone1
Posts: 894
Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2005 4:47 am

RE: Back To Oxford From Cali, BA 282 W/pix

Sat Jan 14, 2006 3:47 pm

Nice trip report! What are you studying at Oxford, AirxLiban? One of my friends got the Marshall Scholarship last year and is up there now. I hope to go visit this summer during Farnborough!
/// U N I T E D
 
Boeing744
Posts: 1735
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 1:27 pm

RE: Back To Oxford From Cali, BA 282 W/pix

Sat Jan 14, 2006 4:44 pm

Quoting AirxLiban (Thread starter):
Another funny thing – BA were advertising some new air circulation system they have and featured a picture of an A340 as the photo!! What a disgrace!

Hmm, BA seems to have numerous discrepancies in their in flight magazines. This, and also the picture of the 757 with PW engines you showed us in your last report.

Anyways, great report (as always)! I look forward to you next ones. Thanks for sharing!
 
QANTASforever
Posts: 5794
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2001 6:03 am

RE: Back To Oxford From Cali, BA 282 W/pix

Sun Jan 15, 2006 12:50 pm

Great trip report.

But...your room. Why Prince Charles and the Queen?

QFF
Fighting for the glory of the Australian Republic.
 
ANITIX87
Posts: 2953
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2005 4:52 am

RE: Back To Oxford From Cali, BA 282 W/pix

Mon Jan 16, 2006 1:31 am

Quoting AirxLiban (Reply 13):
My profile should say from Lebanon, I go to school in England yeah thats true, my family is in California (been there since 1999) and yeah I bought a CH sticker from Geneva in order to convince people that my Jetta was imported from Europe as opposed to being built in Puebla, Mexico

Haha that's hilarious. A Swiss Jetta...definitely better than a Mexican one. I'm no longer confused! yay.

Great report, once again.

TIS
www.stellaryear.com: Canon EOS 50D, Canon EOS 5DMkII, Sigma 50mm 1.4, Canon 24-70 2.8L II, Canon 100mm 2.8L, Canon 100-4
 
TUNisia
Posts: 1515
Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2004 3:24 am

RE: Back To Oxford From Cali, BA 282 W/pix

Mon Jan 16, 2006 3:32 am

Lovely trip report  Smile

Thanks for the unique pics!
Someday the sun will shine down on me in some faraway place - Mahalia Jackson
 
airxliban
Posts: 4285
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2003 12:14 pm

RE: Back To Oxford From Cali, BA 282 W/pix

Mon Jan 16, 2006 3:02 pm

Quoting Zone1 (Reply 19):
Nice trip report! What are you studying at Oxford, AirxLiban?

I'm supposed to be studying Financial Economics at the masters level, but what am I really studiyng? I dunno, I"m just trying to survive!!

Quoting Boeing744 (Reply 20):
Hmm, BA seems to have numerous discrepancies in their in flight magazines. This, and also the picture of the 757 with PW engines you showed us in your last report.

Appalling isn't it  Wink. Do we know for sure about the lite/regular? I was under the impression that they had all the same spec nowadays but I'm not 100% sure.

Quoting QANTASforever (Reply 21):
But...your room. Why Prince Charles and the Queen?

Well, for one thing they just look absolutely hilarious. Secondly, I'm a major fan of the British Isles and who better to represent the British Isles than the Queen and the Prince?

Quoting TUNisia (Reply 23):
Lovely trip report

Thanks - if you all keep on responding I'll keep on writing!
PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
 
ZKSUJ
Posts: 6808
Joined: Tue May 18, 2004 5:15 pm

RE: Back To Oxford From Cali, BA 282 W/pix

Mon Jan 16, 2006 8:26 pm

Hey, nice report. Would you happen to know how far behind the other BA plane relative to your aircraft when youn landed?

Would be interesting if they beat your aircraft!!!
 
airxliban
Posts: 4285
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2003 12:14 pm

RE: Back To Oxford From Cali, BA 282 W/pix

Tue Jan 17, 2006 12:31 pm

Quoting ZKSUJ (Reply 25):
Would you happen to know how far behind the other BA plane relative to your aircraft when youn landed?

Well when we got to baggage collection area, there was only one flight in between "BA 282" and "BA 268" on the screen so I'm guessing they were pretty close on our tail, but we still arrived first!  Smile
PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
 
cambrian
Posts: 566
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2003 1:45 am

RE: Back To Oxford From Cali, BA 282 W/pix

Thu Jan 19, 2006 7:22 am

Another great report! Although you make the same trip quite often, you always make your reports sound interesting and give some nice details!

I hope that you are over your sad loss (the car!). My first car was a VW- they are great cars. Do you have a car in England? I suppose that you don't really need one in Oxford.

Quoting AirxLiban (Thread starter):
I can still taste the garlic in my mouth! I love garlic, even though it has a pretty strong odour

Are you surprised that your seatmate was not over-friendly?  sarcastic 

Sounds like BA were consistent as usual on your flight.

Have you ever considered taking LX via Zurich to London? They are always my airline of choice on any route!

Thanks again for the report and good luck with the new term.
 
brightcedars
Posts: 751
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2004 6:18 pm

RE: Back To Oxford From Cali, BA 282 W/pix

Thu Jan 19, 2006 8:16 pm

Nice report!

As for the Jetta, an expert would know that the blinkers and the shape of the license plate provision on the boot make it an American model.

And don't be sad, have you come to see the new Jetta? I find it beautiful! I would buy that very car if I didn't have a company car.

Have you ever thought of crossing the Channel (above or below) to visit small friendly Belgium?
I want the European Union flag on airliners.net!
 
airxliban
Posts: 4285
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2003 12:14 pm

RE: Back To Oxford From Cali, BA 282 W/pix

Fri Jan 20, 2006 3:01 am

Quoting Cambrian (Reply 27):
Another great report! Although you make the same trip quite often, you always make your reports sound interesting and give some nice details!

Cheers Cambrian...I was hoping that people wouldn't start getting bored of these, so I suppose thats where some of the extra details come in.

Quoting Cambrian (Reply 27):
I hope that you are over your sad loss (the car!). My first car was a VW- they are great cars. Do you have a car in England? I suppose that you don't really need one in Oxford.

I've got my two legs and that's just about it, not even a bicycle. My walk to class is about 15 minutes, which I suppose isn't too bad, even when you consider that I would have very well taken the car out for a walk of half that length in Los Angeles.

As far as getting over it, I suppose I am. I got a good price for it (I bloody well deserved it, I took car of that care like nothing else in this world).

It was such a sweet car. It was dark green on the outside, had beautiful black leather from the A4 2.8 on the inside. The leather was virtually untouched as I wouldn't let people sit in it too often. I had dark tint on the windows and I tilted the sunroof to my own perfect angle. I loved the alloy rims on that car as well...they looked so good.

The driving experience was phenomenal. It's rare to find a Jetta VR6 with a manual transmission in socal. The engine had this wonderful low tone purr when you'd start it up. Gobs of torque down low on the RPM scale, you could drive it along nicely without the tach needle pointing north. You could drive in the canyons and leave it in 4th gear throughout, not even needing to downshift to accelerate after a turn.

But when you did put the power on...wow. Alright, so I'm not talking about a Ferrari here, but power delivery was creamy and smooth and especially when you got up into the upper rev bands, it would purr like a kitten. Maybe a bit cat.

I had the three spoke wheel which was discontinued the year after my model and the VW upgraded sound system with 8 speakers. It was capable of blasting all of my favourite tunes really loud. Nothing like driving down the Calabasas grade on the 101 freeway at sunset, windows open, sunroof open, with Stairway to Heaven blasting out of the speakers.

Apart from that, there were just so many memories in that car. I grew up with it. I got it on March 17, 2000 when I was 15 years old and had it for almost 6 years and 55k miles. I went to prom in that car, I graduated from high school in that car, I went to university in that car, I had my first date in that car, I went to my cousin's wedding in that car, I went to my first job at Boeing in that car, I went to my uncle's funeral in that car, I went to my university graduation in that car...almost everyone I know has been in it and associates me with the car and the car with me. I taught 10 of my friends how to drive a manual car in that car.

I would deliberately not drive it if I was going somewhere were they had valet parking. I would park it at the end of the parking lot so that no one would come and ding the door. I washed it regularly - myself. I never left it outside overnight to be exposed to the harsh southern california climate. I took care of it like it was my baby and it took care of me. Granted I didn't have for that long, but it never broke down or left me on the side of the street.

To be honest, I feel as the car didn't want to be sold either. It was so difficult for me to stand there in front of my house and watch the guy who bought it drive it away. When it disappeared from sight, I literally didn't move for a few minutes before eventually going back inside my house.

Wow. Look what you started Cambrian!

Quoting Cambrian (Reply 27):
Are you surprised that your seatmate was not over-friendly?

Haha...well its not as though I sat down and breathed "HELLO" into her face at close range.

Quoting Cambrian (Reply 27):
Have you ever considered taking LX via Zurich to London? They are always my airline of choice on any route!

Well I value my time at £55 an hour, so taking LX would add what...another 4 hours onto my time, so unless it was £200 cheaper I wouldn't bother. Plus I can't be arsed to make a stop.

Add to that the facts that LX doesn't have economy plus, they're not a member of oneworld and I'd much rather fly my 744 with RB211s than a stale old 340.

Incidentally, on that note, how do you find LX in comparison to SR? I was flying SR on a number of occasions in the mid 90s and I always had a very good impression of them. Haven't been on LX longhaul though.

Quoting BrightCedars (Reply 28):
Nice report!

As for the Jetta, an expert would know that the blinkers and the shape of the license plate provision on the boot make it an American model.

And don't be sad, have you come to see the new Jetta? I find it beautiful! I would buy that very car if I didn't have a company car.

Haha, back on the Jetta! I have seen the new Jetta and I think its a bit too big and looks like a Corolla. Plus they're not offering a V6 on the Jetta in America (at least not just yet) and I'm not going to be downgraded to either of the two engine choices available now after having lived with the VR6 for 6 years. Although I must say that I like the interior very much - as well as the back. The rounded front, in my opinion, is more appropriate for a Golf.

Quoting BrightCedars (Reply 28):


Have you ever thought of crossing the Channel (above or below) to visit small friendly Belgium?

Would love to, although at the moment I need to concentrate on passing my courses in March. In April I'll have some free time though. Whereabouts in Belgium do you live and where do you recommend I visit?
PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
 
Emirates773ER
Posts: 1318
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 9:10 am

RE: Back To Oxford From Cali, BA 282 W/pix

Fri Jan 20, 2006 6:39 am

Quoting AirxLiban (Thread starter):
I was reading “The Trouble with Modern Islam” by Irshad Manji, a Pakistani lesbian.

 faint 
The Truth is Out There ---- Face It!!!!!
 
3201
Posts: 813
Joined: Sun Oct 10, 2004 4:16 pm

RE: Back To Oxford From Cali, BA 282 W/pix

Fri Jan 20, 2006 7:28 am

Quoting Beowulf (Reply 5):
What's a manouche? Google came up with a French band, and, please, don't tell me you ate the band for breakfast.

If you try googling

manouche breakfast

you get a few descriptions (but the top hit is this T/R!).

"manouche, an herb-filled, puffed and toasted bread"

"Usually for breakfast I have a 'manouche zatar' which is a freshly baked round flat bread with dried thyme, crushed sesame seeds, a little olive oil and salt. Fresh lemon juice if you want. They bake it while you wait and it is very delicious."

Quoting AirxLiban (Thread starter):
and my hair loss pill.

At about 10:20am, I headed down to the local Supercuts to have my hair cut.

Mowing the lawn after you fertilize, eh?  Smile
7 hours aint long-haul
 
MYT332
Posts: 7283
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2003 7:31 pm

RE: Back To Oxford From Cali, BA 282 W/pix

Fri Jan 20, 2006 9:26 pm

I always seem to read your trip reports and as ever I enjoyed reading this one too! It was a pleasant read indeed, good to see you had a good trip.

Nice car by the way, VW Bora's are fairly mint!

Hope all goes well back in Oxford!

Alex
One Life, Live it.
 
MEA310
Posts: 633
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2002 8:52 pm

RE: Back To Oxford From Cali, BA 282 W/pix

Fri Jan 20, 2006 9:46 pm

Fantastic trip report, I enjoyed reading about your preparations more than the trip itself!:D You should've shipped that Jetta to Beirut, have never seen a Jetta VR6 around, not even the Jetta itself, not very popular here.

MEA310
M5 Fastest Sedan On Earth
 
brightcedars
Posts: 751
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2004 6:18 pm

RE: Back To Oxford From Cali, BA 282 W/pix

Fri Jan 20, 2006 10:26 pm

Quoting MEA310 (Reply 33):
Fantastic trip report, I enjoyed reading about your preparations more than the trip itself!:D You should've shipped that Jetta to Beirut, have never seen a Jetta VR6 around, not even the Jetta itself, not very popular here.

I think I've spotted a few occasionally on my trips to Beirut. But most likely they will be of European origin and be branded as the Bora instead of the Jetta. The new model will be known as the Jetta in Europe too.
I want the European Union flag on airliners.net!
 
BCal Dc10
Posts: 695
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2001 9:47 pm

RE: Back To Oxford From Cali, BA 282 W/pix

Fri Jan 20, 2006 11:29 pm

Hey,
Great report - nice to hear it - I just did a similar flight last week - BA204 in 18A from MIA to LHR, and had the same chicken dinner you did! When I get round to it I should report it.

Anyway, I live and work in Oxford too - am pleased you are enjoying yourself here.

Cheers,
 
omoo
Posts: 650
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2005 12:35 am

RE: Back To Oxford From Cali, BA 282 W/pix

Sat Jan 21, 2006 1:23 am

great reports man. Always nice to read about your LAX-LHR runs.
Fly Air Popobawa
 
airxliban
Posts: 4285
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2003 12:14 pm

RE: Back To Oxford From Cali, BA 282 W/pix

Sun Jan 22, 2006 11:23 pm

Quoting Emirates773ER (Reply 30):

What?

Quoting Myt332 (Reply 32):
Hope all goes well back in Oxford!

Cheers m8...will need all the luck I can get.

Quoting MEA310 (Reply 33):
You should've shipped that Jetta to Beirut, have never seen a Jetta VR6 around,

Mm...should have, would have been nice to accelerate up and down the tari2 bickfaya with the VR6. Though if I was in Lebanon I would buy an Alfa 156.

Quoting BCal DC10 (Reply 35):
Great report - nice to hear it - I just did a similar flight last week - BA204 in 18A from MIA to LHR, and had the same chicken dinner you did! When I get round to it I should report it.

Anyway, I live and work in Oxford too - am pleased you are enjoying yourself here.

What did you think of the dinner? I thought it was alright though it was a bit oily. Perhaps they've got the same caterer?

Whereabouts in Oxford do you live? How do you like living here?

Quoting Omoo (Reply 36):
great reports man. Always nice to read about your LAX-LHR runs.

Thanks!
PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
 
brightcedars
Posts: 751
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2004 6:18 pm

RE: Back To Oxford From Cali, BA 282 W/pix

Tue Jan 24, 2006 10:52 pm

Quoting AirxLiban (Reply 37):
Though if I was in Lebanon I would buy an Alfa 156

You need to keep up  Wink It's the 159 nowadays!
I want the European Union flag on airliners.net!
 
BCal Dc10
Posts: 695
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2001 9:47 pm

RE: Back To Oxford From Cali, BA 282 W/pix

Tue Jan 24, 2006 11:10 pm

hey,
I know what you mean about the dinner - however it was a late flight and they didn't get round to serving it til about midnight local time by which time I wanted sleep so I just gobbled it down and got on with trying to sleep in those WTP seats - btw what the fcuk is that footrest thing? Did ANYONE from BA actually try and use it?

I live just on the outskirts of Oxford - do you know the Woodstock Road - out that way, over the A34 and then towards Woodstock itself. So not in the city, but pretty close - good fun place to live and work.
What about you?
 
Emirates773ER
Posts: 1318
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 9:10 am

RE: Back To Oxford From Cali, BA 282 W/pix

Tue Jan 24, 2006 11:41 pm

Quoting AirxLiban (Reply 37):
What?

I was just shocked to learn that we have a lesbian writer in our community, on further research I found out that she was actually Tanzanian but ethnically south asian.
The Truth is Out There ---- Face It!!!!!
 
airxliban
Posts: 4285
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2003 12:14 pm

RE: Back To Oxford From Cali, BA 282 W/pix

Wed Jan 25, 2006 2:49 am

Quoting BrightCedars (Reply 38):
You need to keep up It's the 159 nowadays!

You're right - lovely car, but didn't think that it was available yet let alone in Lebanon.

Quoting BCal DC10 (Reply 39):
btw what the fcuk is that footrest thing?

Yeah, its not bad actually - BA used to have them on the 767s in economy and I used to wish they'd had them on the 744s. It just folds down and you can put your feet on it. Unfortunately it's not particularly useful because you can't actually stop it anywhere but at the end point.

Yeah I do know Woodstock road. I actually live off of it. Do you know the intersection where St. Giles splits off to become the Banbury Road and Woodstock? I live up there near the Radcliffe Infirmary on the Woodstock side.

Quoting Emirates773ER (Reply 40):
I was just shocked to learn that we have a lesbian writer in our community, on further research I found out that she was actually Tanzanian but ethnically south asian.

She's Pakistani but was born in Tanzania and lived there for about four years before her family moved to Canada. You'll be surprised at how much in_the_closet-ism there is in the Arab world. Just because society doesn't really accept it in the same way that they do out here, doesn't mean that it doesn't exist.
PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.

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