So here it is my second trip report on here. I hope everyone enjoys it, it’s a bit overdue because I’ve been doing my A-Level Exams in the UK, so it’s certainly a nice break to do this! I hope it’s a good one; I’ve tried to make it as informative as possible.
BRITISH AIRWAYS 287
Thursday 30th March 2006
London Heathrow – San Francisco
LHR – SFO
Club World seat 62K
Distance: - 5369 miles
ATD: 14:28:15 to be exact
ATA: 15:56:15 Local to be exact lol
Photo © Mike Moores
Photo © Sergio Domingos
Map of the route:
So, I checked online 24 hours before my flight departed and managed to nab the famous 62K seat, the seat where you don’t have to climb over someone to get out to the aisle. This would be the third time I would have been to SF, I just love it, a really amazing place and its even better my uncle lives there, so I can visit him a lot!! I was all packed and the next day my parents dropped me off at the airport and went to the visitors centre to watch me go.
I went to the fast bag drop section in Zone R. I checked in and I was fully waiting for the big queue though security. BA actually sent me an e-mail that said there would be big queues, so I went to the Zone R security, and they're all sitting there twiddling their thumbs?! I couldn’t believe it, it was chaos in the main airport, but they had to basically start work when I walked up?!
I went to the lounge after that, it’s a lot nicer with food! I last went there when the catering strike was on!! I tucked into a bowel of cereal and a couple of croissants, VERY nice.
Here are a few shots of the BA Lounge taken on my phone.
Being a linguist and hoping to go to uni to study languages this year, I picked up one or two French and Spanish papers for a quick read! I erm..borrowed them..and they're in my bedroom draw at the moment!
By this time I had a rest and read the paper for about 10 minutes, got bored and looked around the ridiculously overpriced shops…and bought nothing. I knew the flight would leave from the Europier, so I slowly had a stroll down there. Turned out the flight would leave from gate 54, so that wasn’t too bad. I sat at gate 54 for about 30 mins just watching the airport and seeing a few movements. It was good just to sit there and look forward to the flight.
BA flight 287 G-BNLZ sitting at LHR before going to SFO.
So the BA staff called the flight only for the young families or solo fliers, and Brits being Brits we ALL went up there like a herd of sheep. TOTAL chaos but the staff didn’t care and just boarded us!! My home printed boarding card was scanned and there was no problem. No first class upgrade this time though..unlike my other trip report!! BA Club/First LHR-SFO (Pics, Long) (by BA0284 Jan 24 2006 in Trip Reports)
I walked down the air bridge and onto the plane where one of the cabin crew inspected my boarding card. She was staring at it for about 30 seconds, I didn’t know what she was looking for as she was whizzing along with the normal boarding cards, and I wondered why mine was different. I had no problems with it before I got on so I was just a bit stumped. Anyway, after she got out of her strange trance, I got my boarding card back and then walked upstairs to the upper deck and was greeted by Gwendel, one of the upper deck crew. He was a character…kept winking and smiling at me, VERY creepy.
I got in my favourite CW seat, 62K and placed all my bags in the little compartments next to my seat. They're really useful actually; you can get quite a lot in there. They're great just to store your iPod, book, or something.
Creepy Gwendel came round and offered me a glass of champagne, water or orange juice, I took a glass of orange juice and made sure I didn’t make much eye contact, I could feel a wink coming on. lol!!
By this time I looked out the window and took a pic. This was the flight from LA or the 286 from SFO.
The other member of the upper deck cabin crew came round with the menus. There was quite a lot to read in there, I didn’t care, but I thought it’d just have the list of what there is to eat, not a description of the drinks and snacks available! Nice touch though.
Here is the main page of the menu with the choice for lunch. I saw that on the bottom of the page that this was the menu for the LA, SFO flights and I think the Houston flight, though I couldn’t swear to it.
So we pushed back from stand and then went to the holding point for 27R. We sat there for about 10 minutes when the captain came on and said we were number 10 in the queue so we will be here for about 15 mins. So after 15 minutes the loud chime buzzer thing went off to tell the crew we’re taking off now and that was it..we were away. We took off at 14:28.
So this is a picture of my plane taking off with me at 62K. This was taken by my dad who was in the visitors centre just at the edge of 27R. It’s weird to think that I was actually on that plane! lol
Shortly after take-off we were in a right turn heading up to Manchester and Scotland, then Greenland etc… lol
The next thing that came round were hot towels. I don’t know why they call them hot “towels” as they are as big as your hand. They’ll probably be towels for mice, but this thing was just tiny.
The hot ‘towel’
I chose the ballottine of salmon with herb crème fraiche, the beef, and tiramisu for my meal. I gave my order to the normal CW upper deck cabin member and after he got the rest of the deck’s choices, he went out the back and put them all on.
Creepy Gwendel came back round offering drinks for lunch. I decided that I’d like another orange juice and a champagne. Naturally Gwendel was more than happy to give me two drinks, so that was quite good!
Some nuts came with it as well, hard as stone so I didn’t eat them. I didn’t check the sell by date but I bet it was last year!
So here’s the TV with the map currently shown.
Sorry about the reflection of me taking a photo!!
Before I knew it, the starter was starting to be brought around. I saw on other trip reports that you get a table cloth, but was surprised and laughed a bit when I realised it was just a bit of rag on a normal airline tray!! I suppose it was another nice touch! I chose one of the bread rolls and tucked into my salmon thingy.
There wasn’t much of a starter, just a little bit of salmon and some stringy bits but it was alright. I was looking forward to my beef!!
So the main meal came round about 15-20 mins later. It was actually quite nice. the steak was a bit tough…bit shoe leathery but there was plenty and I mean PLENTY of gravy to soften it up!!
Anyway I thought the main was very nice, it was quite wet..with all the gravy but for an airline meal it was good!
The Dessert soon came round with a cup of tea. it was nice to have a tea in a proper cup! I didn’t have a proper cup last time, just a paper one when the catering strike was on!
I was hoping that when we were over Greenland, that there wouldn’t be any cloud. I’ve always wanted to see the ice and glaciers. Luckily the cloud wasn’t to be seen at all!
More Greenland shots
even more Greenland shots,
One of the amazing RR engines
So I then decided that I’d have a little sleep. I wasn’t tired but there is no way on earth that you fly in BA club world and not use the lay flat bed!! It’s a must do thing!
Here is the bed with the pillow. Being 6”2 in a 6”0 bed is interesting. I made sure that I always have the seats where you don’t have to step over someone to get out, because then I can stick my feet in that gap, and be reasonably comfortable.
Here is the bed
It’s actually quite comfortable. I didn’t get to test out the old style club world flat bed, but apparently this one is more comfortable. I agree, it is very comfortable.
With about an hour to go until I arrived in SFO, the cabin crew came round again to serve the afternoon snack.
I chose the Mediterranean vegetables with cream cheese and ham with tomato sandwiches, only because I didn’t want to have the salmon and horseradish crème fraiche.
They weren't bad but a bit too cold.
This was served with more warm flavoured water..what they called “Tea”..i didn’t think it was tea-ish..but it was warm and wet and it went down nicely.
This was served with moist ginger cake. This was the best part of the snack. I really did enjoy this.
So as you can see the map showed us coming into SFO
Just descending into SFO.
The weather in SFO was awful, really bumpy. Suddenly the captain virtually applied full throttle just about 5-7 mins from landing to gain some height pretty quickly. This was really impressive and showed the full power of the RR’s. It was like a short ‘Go Around’ in the air! lol. Someone had placed a water bottle on the top of the cupboards next to the seats and when we really speeded up, the water bottle shot to my seat. It frit the life out of me. Pretty random, but I wasn’t expecting it!
We eventually landed on 19L, wasn’t expecting that either. I realised this when I could see the Golden gate bridge on approach. it was an impressive landing as normally we land on the 27’s.
I had a great time in California. I have relations who live there so it’s always a great break. We drove down to LA and San Diego, did all the tourist-y things, San Diego Zoo, Animal Park, USS Midway, Universal Studios..brilliant time!
So here’s the flight back.
BRITISH AIRWAYS 284
9th April 2006
San Francisco - London Heathrow
SFO - LHR
Club World seat 62A
Distance: - 5045 miles
ATA: 11:06:17 Local to be exact lol
Photo © Danny Fritsche - Airplanespotters
Photo © Manas Barooah
Map of the route again:
So once again I also checked in online the day before, this time 23 hours before departure instead of 24 when I’m in the UK. I wanted to make sure I go the seat I wanted upstairs, particularly 62A where once again, I don’t have to climb over someone to get out to the aisle. The flight was scheduled to depart at 16:45 so at 17:45 the day before I was exactly on the computer waiting for the flight to open. I knew I was the first one to check in, I was sequence 001…sad I know but hey I don’t care! I managed to get 62A so I couldn’t care less if I was sad enough to check in as 001 or 212 in sequence!
I really do love SFO. It’s probably one of the nicest airports I’ve been to. I knew where to go to check in from remembering last year. World Traveller was still closed for check-in, but I walked up to the Fast bag drop and dropped off my bags…well actually I went to the Club World standard check-in desk, but the staff didn’t care.
I said goodbye to my uncle and went through security, I was standing in the line and a TSA officier came along. He pulled me out of the line and took my to one side. Brilliant…random check. I thought I’d be there for hours! Actually….he took me over to the new explosive detector machine and just explained what it did. To be honest I thought I was going to walk in the Tardis from Dr Who. He said that it’s very simple (which it was..how hard is it to walk into something, stand there and walk out when the doors open!?) and that I’d feel a light breeze across me. Well..the back doors opened, there were two massive foot shapes on the floor, I stood on them, the machine welcomed me (to be honest I thought we were going to have a nice chat) and before I knew it I was virtually swept off my feet. it was like a bloody hurricane! Nothing compared to the light breeze!! Pretty fun though! It mean that since I went through it, I missed the whole queue for security and walked straight up to the baggage scan. Quite good I thought.
My flight was delayed due to the late departure of the 285 from LHR. The crew thought that they could get it out on time, quick turn around, but in the end we were an hour late. lol .
Once I went through secureity I remember from last year the AMAZING pizza’s they do at the end of the International ‘A’ terminal. I went straight down there because I was starving! who cares if it was about 14:00!!
THE PIZZA!!!!!!!!!!! They make it there for you, so its really hot and fresh…wow its nice!
I sat right at the end of the terminal and say the QF 747, the second or third flight that had gone into SFO since they re-instated it at the end of March/Beginning of April.
About 16:30 I think, the inbound flight landed at SFO. I got my digital camera out, full zoom and caught it approaching and landing. This time on the 27’s and not on 19’s!
Taxiing around to gate A6.
Arriving at A6
So I then went down to the Lounge which is situated between gates A6 and A4, therefore making it possible for all Business, First, Gold and Silver Exec passengers to board the aircraft via the lounge and not with thousands of other people.
The lounge, taken on my phone again!
It’s quite nice actually; it was really busy this time. The last time that I came there were only a few people in there, but this year it was pandemonium!
We boarded and I walked up to the upper deck and then got to my seat. I was greeted by someone screaming at me “HELLO SIR”. apparently this cabin crew member thought we were all deaf..so she was virtually yelling at us! After this I made the point that I’d whisper to her all flight, I wasn’t having any of the shouting! When she came round with the drinks before take off, she came up, turned the champagne away from me and said “Orange juice or water?” Now, although I wasn’t going to have champagne at this point, I thought that she would at least of offered it to me. I thought that was a little bit rude, I look older than 18, so I don’t know why she did that.
It started to rain like mad and this was the time I thought I’d start to film the take off! This was the first time I had done, so sorry its rubbish, but I was quite pleased! I really like the sounds of the RR’s on take off! amazing!
Shortly after take off the other cabin crewmember, the nice quiet one brought around the menu.
So the ‘is everyone deaf’ cabin crew member came round taking orders and drinks for dinner. When she came around, she yelled to me “Drink Sir?” and I mouthed back, completely silently “Champagne”. I was determined to have one lol! Couldn’t care what she thought!!
I chose to have the Artichokes thing with the salad for a starter and the beef again for the main. The starter was alright. It was the first time I had artichokes and I enjoyed it. Once again it was a bit cold but quite nice.
The main came around about 10 mins later. This was covered in garlic and was quite overpowering. It was really nice though. Not like shoe leather.
I chose the Key Lime Pie for dessert. This has got to be on the of the most tastiest dessert’s I’ve had on a plane..really nice.
I went to get some sleep and woke up a couple of hours outside of LHR. I sat there for an hour, just for the rest and eventually the breakfast started to come around.
I chose the fruit, virtually frozen but it was nice. I chose to have a cup of tea as well which was nice.
Next came the bacon roll. This is what I was looking forward to! Unfortunately no sign of Tomato Ketchup as it said in the menu..still excellent and a great way to say ‘I’m back in the UK!’ Good oh bacon roll!
I remember reading in another trip report that someone had said ‘there was a small area beside the seat..great for your shoes” but there was no pic! so I thought I’d show you….
We were soon descending into LHR and Fast Track passes were handed out to miss the immigration queues.
We landed in LHR about 10 mins late..not bad since we took off an hour early. We landed on 09L that day, I’ve always landed on this runway when I’ve come back from the states!
The Visitors Centre
My Dad taking another photo of my plane whilst exiting from the runway!
We taxied off the runway and I knew from where we were taxiing that we’d be sitting there for some time. We were virtually at the BMi hanger when the captain said there was an aircraft on out stand. Well I couldn’t see anything on the Europier! we sat there for about 20 mins and then moved on to stand 153. There was no one to be seen! The aircraft was on stand for about 5-10 mins until I got off and still there were no baggage people around, no BA staff or anything, so I wasn’t going to rush to Baggage reclaim!
Immigration was a blast, quick with my pass. (was not intended to rhyme!!) Bag’s came about 20 mins after I arrived in the baggage reclaim area. I couldn’t care really, I had a nice flight. People were walking around thinking this was the worse thing in the world..over-reacting like mad but oh well.
Well that’s it. Hope you enjoyed it!! Sorry if you fell asleep halfway through!! Tell me what you think and ask whatever you like!!
Thanks very much for reading, hope it was ok!!