Here's my first ever trip report, so here goes.
I live not far from LHR, so decided to fly out of there rather than travel down to LGW and travel on a direct service, really for the way back so i can get home quicker when I land, also it was cheaper! No pictures for this one, sorry! i hope it's not too long and appreciate any comments on content/length etc.
LHR-JFK 29 July VS003
Off Stand 0932
Take Off 0954
On Stand 1203
Aircraft G-VFAR Airbus A340-300 "Diana"
I had checked in on line the day before. From when I had my reservation made, I had seat 45A reserved, specifically for a window seat and also near the front of the cabin to be off earlier for immigration etc. in case the flight was late. When I checked in on-line, I noticed that my seat had been changed to 47K. I looked this up on seatguru.com and saw that this was classed as "yellow", may not have recline and lavatories may be bothersome, so was not too happy about this. I checked the on-line seat map and the only other seat available was 65C, back row! So I thought I'd see at check in at LHR if they could change my seat.
I arrived at LHR at 0740 and proceeded to the DIY bag drop desk, there was no queue at this time as the VS3 is the first VS flight out of the day. I asked if there was any other window seats available, but the check in agent said there wasn't, so I was prepared for an uncomforatable flight. My bag was checked through to ATL and the agent gave me my boarding pass for the DL flight down to ATL which I was surprised at.
I proceeded through security which took about 20 minutes and then went to the IRIS registration office to be registered for this service. The service takes about 5 minutes to register, they take a scan of your eyes and a mug-shot as well, so now every time I fly into LHR i can proceed straight through the IRIS lane rather than queue for immigration with the hoi-polloi...
After this I changed some money up and had a look around the shops in departures, buying a couple of papers to read on the plane, the flight gate was announced as 27, so i started the walk down there.
At the gate, I heard one of the gate agents saying that the flight was completely full, even in Upper and Premium. Boarding started just after 0900, and I thought we'd be lucky to get away on time. Announcements were made that boarding would take place by row number and surprisingly, everyone seemed to take notice!
I got to my seat and saw that there was quite a lot of space behind it, so no problem with the recline, although under the K seats space is slightly restricted by the IFE box (IFE is Odessy on G-VFAR).
Push back started at 0932 and we taxied round to 27L for a westerly departure.
Afterdeparture the route took us over Ireland, heading towards Canada, reaching land around Labrador (according to the Captain).
The breakfast meal was a choice of either English Breakfast or vegetarian omelette. I chose the full English which consisted of sausage, mushrooms, has browns and scrambled egg with tomato. Also served was a Bio-Pot rumblers, a PJ smoothie, fruit salad, scone, muffin and coffee. The crew also asked each row to put their seats up so the person behind could eat more easily.
After breakfast had been cleared away, I started to fill in my landing card and managed to make a mistake, so I pressed the call bell and after minute or so, the F/A came along. I asked for a new one, and he came back almost immediately with one. I think I was quite lucky with my seat change as one of the crew serving the other side seemed a bit "offish" later on in the flight, but my side they were great. I was also surprised at the number of male F/A's on the flight.
I didn't watch any movies or listen to the IFE, just played a couple of games, read, listed to my iPod and had a nap.
A drinks service took place and later on in the flight the crew came round with orange juice/water.
About an hour and a half before landing, an "afternoon tea" was served, which was a choice of either tea/coffee and shortbread/chuglit. I had coffee and shortbread. Had a great view of Boston as we flew overhead.
The toilets were clean although when I visited toward the end of the flight, they seemed to have run out of hand towels. Also, the toilet onthe other side was out of service, so everyone was having to use the one on my side.
We landed on 31R at JFK. It was a firm landing but still have all my teeth intact. Taxied over to Terminal 4 at JFK, but can't remember the gate number, sorry.
Immigration was quick and quite pleasant, and the bags came off quickly. I exited through customs and went over to the connecting lfights area to drop my case off again, but no VS personnel there. i was told it was best just to go straight over to the DL terminal and drop my case there for the onward, so took the AirTrain to terminals 2/3 (1 stop). I dropped my case off with the TSA and decided it was time to have look around JFK rather than go thorugh security just now, so I took a mixture of the train and shanks's pony to have a look around JFK airport, also have another bite to eat.
Off Stand 1544
Take Off 1643
On Stand 1832
Aircraft N973DL McDonnell Douglas MD-88
Push back started at 1544 and then abruptly stopped. the captain came on and said thepin had broken on the tug and it would be a couple of minutes to wait for a new one. This was fitted and pushback started again, and stopped again, the Captain came on again and said there was traffic on the apron behind us and would have to wait for that to clear before we could proceed, sure enough, another MD88 came in on gate 1, then pushback started for the 3rd time.
We taxied over to 31L, saw G-VFAR parked on a remote stand now being replinished, parked near 2 LY planes, saw G-VBIG arriving with the VS045 and were 7 in line for take off. Had a nice view of Manhattan as we departed with a left turn.
Again, an uneventful flight, drinks service came round, I had coffee and peanut butter and honey crackers. The F/A in my section was quite friendly, we had a chat about the book I had just finished and she told me she liked my accent!
Arrived at ATL, not sure of the runway though and taxied to the A gates, coming in on 21 I think, pretty much on time which I was surprised at again considering the delay to the flight at JFK.
To summarise, it's my first time on VS since 2002. I was expecting an uncomfortable flight due to the seat change, but was pleased to say that it wasn't. Could do with another inch of leg-room, but not the worst I've experienced. This was also my first DL flight since about 1999, again a US domestic service. The leg room was fantastic, although the leather seats can leave you a little sweaty after a while. Return is on a Shuttle America E-175 and VS 744, so looking forward to the comparison.