buck3y3nut
Posts: 824
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2006 1:38 am

Trip To India (LHR-BOM) Part 2 (pics)

Thu Dec 14, 2006 5:59 am

Here is part 2 of the trip report I wrote earlier. Part 1 can be found here:
Trip to India (CMH-JFK-LHR) Part 1 (pics)

After I landed at LHR, I headed to the T3 Flight Connections Center. This is what I was told since my connecting flight was also on VS. Also, I had a 14hr layover at London so this was an opportunity for me to go into the city and meet up with a childhood friend that I haven't met in 9 years. He works at London Bridge for Ernst & Young. So, I went through security at the Flight Connections Center, which took about 40 minutes. Then I asked where to exit so I could go out into the city and I was told to go back and go to Arrivals. I guess it was my mistake and I should have known better. So up I went again and exited through arrivals. No real questions asked. There was an Indian immigration officer and he was surprised to know that I was only going to be in the city for about 8 hours. But he let me go. Since my flights were rescheduled due to BD cancellations, I had to go to the BD desk to revalidate my tickets. So I walked to T1 and went to the BD desk. Had no problems and tickets were revalidated.

At around 10 am, I was on the Tube going towards Paddington Station. It was packed so I couldn't get a seat. Some 40 minutes later, I arrived at Knightsbridge Station and found my way to Starbucks. After having a $8 coffee, I walked into Harrods to buy some souvinears. It was a bad decision since a) the store was humungous and b) i couldn't find anything better except chocolates. So I decided not to buy anything and just walk and see the city until my friend met up with me. I ended up going to this museum and just sat there resting. I was dead tired since I hadn't gotten any sleep. So finally at around noon, my friend met up with me and we headed and got some lunch. After that he just showed me around and we ended up at a Sheesha Place before I was to head over to LHR. I had already purchased a ticket for the heathrow express so it would save me time. Off I went to Paddington Station to catch the HEX.

The ride to LHR was a quick 15 minutes. I arrived at the T1, 2, 3 station and made my way over to T3. Since I already had the boarding pass, I just ended up in the security line. The line was insanely long and there were more people in the security line to drop off their loved ones than the travellers. 40 minutes later, I made it to the security area and then another 20 minutes to go through security. The gate for the VS 350 flight still was not announced so I made my way over to the duty free shop and purchased a bottle of cologne. Then I purchased a couple of souvinears and by the time I came back, they had announced the gate for departure.

Flight 3
December 7, 2006
LHR - BOM
VS 350 Airbus 340-300
Reg: G-VAIR "Maiden Tokyo"
STD: 09:45 pm ATD: 10:35 pm
STA: 12:10 pm ATA: 01:30 pm
Seat: 21A (Premium Economy)
Load: 50% UC, 100% PE, 100% Y

After the gate of departure was announced, most indians present at the general meeting area started making their way to the departure gate. It was 9:45 pm and still no sign of a boarding call. People still kept making their way to the waiting area right before the boarding jet way. At around 10:00, they finally announced boarding for the UC and PE passengers. I made my way and boarded the plane and took my seat. The difference was already noticeable. Better leg room, comfy seats. This was gonna turn out to be a nice flight I thought, and boy was I right. Soon after I got comfortable in my surroundings, the FA came and offered a pre-departure beverage that included: Orange Juice, Apple Juice, Champagne, and Water. I chose to have Champagne and Water. The champagne was decent and I wasn't going to complain. Five minutes later, the same FA came about and started distributing bottled water to the UC and PE passengers. Was this the same airline I travelled on to LHR? It already exceeded my expectations from the previous segment. We were informed that due to weather, our departure would be delayed.

At around 10:35 though, we made our pushback and soon were taking off from the same runway I had landed on in the morning. Right after takeoff, the FA's came with our amenity kits. The kits included: socks, toothbrush, toothpaste, an eye mask and nice bag to put everything in. After about 20 mins from the takeoff, the first drink service came. I chose to have a gin & tonic and the guy brought back a nice strong shot of gin with a can of tonic water. I enjoyed my drink with some pretzels that they gave out. About 40 minutes later, the dinner service began. The options were: Indian non-veg, indian veg, Western non-veg, western veg. I chose the Indian non-veg and to along with it, I chose to have a Stella Artois beer. The FA gave me Tiger beer my mistake though  Smile But I wanted a Stella and he gave that as well w/o any questions asked. He said, oops... The indian non-veg dinner had chicen tikka masala, along with lentils and basmati rice along with a nan. It was really good and before I remembered to take a picture of it, I had finished it. The desert was delicisious as well.

After the dinner, they offered baileys or brandy. I chose Baileys with ice and later ordered another gin & tonic. I drank those and then passed out while I was watching the hindi movie Krissh. The entertainment system was better than the V:Port I thought because it was constantly working and it didn't need any rebooting of some sorts. I must have slept alot because when I woke up, we had about another hr left before landing and they were serving breakfast. Breakfast included orange juice, some sort of granola with yogurt and a Turkey Pannini. The Pannini was horrible but I did enjoy the granola. it was tasty.

Our approach started and the pilot informed us that we were on an holding pattern since the airport was busy. I guess an Iran Air flight and a Jet Airways flight were to land before us. So after about 50 mins of circling around, we finally landed at BOM. The landing was smooth and I was glad to have reached my home land after 6 long yrs. The immigration went smoothly and the airport was now farily deserted since I guess the passengers had already left the airport. It took about 40 minutes to retreive my bags and I made it outside and my friend was waiting to pick me up. The temperature was about 85 degrees and I couldn't be happier to be here  Smile

Ratings:
Check-in: 10/10 (Boarding pass at JFK; no problems)
Crew: 10/10 (Friendly, good looking, attentive)
Service: 10/10 (Really nice service, glass was never empty)
Bag Handling: 7/10 (Slow and messy)
Overall: 47/50

Comments:
It definitely didn't feel like I was on the same airline. The service was outstanding and much much better than the JFK-LHR sector. It put some of my faith back into VS. Now when I go back from LHR-JFK, I'll see how the service is.

Pictures:

London Cabs
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London Bridge
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Hilton Hotel near London Bridge
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Stella on Tap (one of the best)
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London Underground (The Tube)
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James Bond allover London
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Heathrow Express Station at Paddington
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The Heathrow Express
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Security Line at LHR T3
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My Ride to BOM
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The IFE Screen
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The PE Cabin
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Somewhere past Prague
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Somewhere over Iran
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Somewhere over Pakistan
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Somewhere over Pakistan
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Touchdown at BOM
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BOM Domestic Terminal (Go Air and Kingfisher Jets)
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Air India and SQ heavies
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Air India Heavy
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Shanghai Airlines Cargo
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UPS
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Indian Airlines Jet
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Iran Air A300-600
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Jet Airways A343 from LHR
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BA 744 Departing to LHR
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BA 744 Departing to LHR
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Indian Rickshaw on our way home
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Hope you enjoyed part 2 of this trip report. Part 3 (BOM-BLR or 9W) coming soon.

As always, feedback welcomed and appreciated.
 
767747
Posts: 2130
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2005 10:08 am

RE: Trip To India (LHR-BOM) Part 2 (pics)

Thu Dec 14, 2006 6:32 am

Great report! It sounds like you had a nice flight with VS. I flew them back in 2001 from JFK-LHR-JFK on a 747-400 both ways in Economy and found them to be pretty good.

Looking forward to part 3!

767747
I love to fly!
 
Sketty222
Posts: 904
Joined: Sat Mar 04, 2006 6:36 am

RE: Trip To India (LHR-BOM) Part 2 (pics)

Thu Dec 14, 2006 8:22 am

I commented on your last trip report that VS looked and sounded bad. From what you say, they look to have turned the situation around. Cant wait to hear about your reports on your return journey

Lee
There's flying and then there's flying
 
luv2fly
Posts: 11056
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 2:57 am

RE: Trip To India (LHR-BOM) Part 2 (pics)

Thu Dec 14, 2006 8:30 am

What a good read thanks for sharing.
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
detroitflyer
Posts: 369
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 11:01 am

RE: Trip To India (LHR-BOM) Part 2 (pics)

Thu Dec 14, 2006 1:20 pm

Quoting Buck3y3nut (Thread starter):
There was an Indian immigration officer and he was surprised to know that I was only going to be in the city for about 8 hours

a foreigner letting ppl. into the country.... talk about national security  Yeah sure
Boiler Up!!!
 
blrsea
Posts: 1437
Joined: Fri May 20, 2005 2:22 am

RE: Trip To India (LHR-BOM) Part 2 (pics)

Thu Dec 14, 2006 1:25 pm

Quoting Detroitflyer (Reply 4):
a foreigner letting ppl. into the country.... talk about national security

Nope, a British of Indian descent. No country hires non-citizens into their immigration service. In case you don't know, there are a large number of people of Indian descent in UK.
 
Nimish
Posts: 2891
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2005 6:46 pm

RE: Trip To India (LHR-BOM) Part 2 (pics)

Thu Dec 14, 2006 9:25 pm

Great report - I'm glad you had a good flight into India. Y+ seems like a great option - were the meals the same as economy? Or were these J class meals/service?
Latest Trip Report - GoAir BLR-BOM-BLR
 
karan69
Posts: 2699
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 7:57 pm

RE: Trip To India (LHR-BOM) Part 2 (pics)

Fri Dec 15, 2006 2:33 am

Real good report --it was nice to read about the premium economy product competitiveness of VS and how nice it really is.

Karan
 
ba319-131
Posts: 8151
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

RE: Trip To India (LHR-BOM) Part 2 (pics)

Sun Dec 17, 2006 5:17 am

Great part II, thanks.

Quoting Buck3y3nut (Thread starter):
Was this the same airline I travelled on to LHR? It already exceeded my expectations from the previous segment

- I'm not suprised, as per my comments in the previous report, VS seem to provide better service on non US services.

Look forward to the next report.

Rgds

Mark
111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
 
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HAWK21M
Posts: 29867
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2001 10:05 pm

RE: Trip To India (LHR-BOM) Part 2 (pics)

Thu Dec 28, 2006 4:40 am

Nice TR.
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
buck3y3nut
Posts: 824
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2006 1:38 am

RE: Trip To India (LHR-BOM) Part 2 (pics)

Mon Jan 08, 2007 12:21 pm

Quoting Nimish (Reply 6):

Nimish,
I'm sorry but I don't know the menu of the Upper Class from that flight. anyways, i'm back in the US and in the process of uploading the pictures. I will finish writing my trip reports soon...

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