This trip began as so many -- with being asked to attend a fuction somewhere. My boss invited me to represent the company in Eluru India (more about that later). In this TR, I will relate only part 1, getting from Nashville to Mumbai.
I began by taking AA 4290 a CRJ from BNA to ORD. I was in seat 5A. At this time, I didnot yet have silver status with BA, so no chance for lounge access at the Admirals club in BNA, which is on the second floor near their gates. Instead, I went to the Delta Crown Room Lounge. This is quite a small lounge, but cleverly split up to seem larger. In fact, it is a bit larger than the NWA World Club in MKE (which is about 1/3 to 1/2 the size). After getting breakfast at the club, I wandered the airport. The BNA airport is undergoing construction, but what else is new?
The security this AM was quite slow in BNA, and no special line for premium pax was open. If I had printed my BA boarding pass, I probably could have used it as I was connecting to Club World.
The security people themselves were very effiecient, reminding people to take out laptops and electronics, gels, shoes, etc. They were also very quick and effiecient to get the little bins to pax, moving a large number on a trolley every few miniutes.
American leaves out of the C terminal (I think) which had some TN related shops and a variety of places to eat -- inlcuding mexican and fast food. The majority of what I saw was some sort of chain, such as : Baja Burrito, Quizno's subs, and an Italian (whose name I didn't write down).
The public announcements within the airport were clear, and kept to a minimum. I didn't realize how nice this was until I was out of the country. Another ncie thing about the BNA AIRPORT is the fact that occasionally they have live music concerts. They didn't the day I was there, but a schedule was posted.
The gates AA uses have a good view not only of the construction at the airport, but also of the active runways. I think my fav take off was a 747-4400 with China Airways Cargo painted on it.
By 10 AM, the boarding announcements started. On the monitor it showed that all 7 standby's would make the flight when the 30 min close of checkin came. The flight was 1 hr 30 min, snacks for purchase only. This apparently includes no mixed nuts for free anymore.
Side RANT: This and the fact AA has gone to 18 months to expire miles makes me wonder.....why bother with this ariline? I'd rather fly CO anyway, and they don't cancell miles (although they can on paper they say) and NWA which doesn't expire miles at all.
Anyway, back to the trip. C10 A was the boarding gate. In addition to our CRJ, c10B accepts ERJ craft and 10A also accepts DC-10, A 300, MD 80, 757, 727, and L-1011 according the the lines for the jetway. Now honestly........and L1011 or a DC10 at BNA? I doubt it..... not even when AA had them as a mini hub do I remember anything that big coming in.
The flight to Ohare was uneventful. We landed on time. I was glad about that as I had to change terminals to the international terminal which means going back through security. As I had bought the AA ticket and BA ticket seperately, I also had to reclaim and check luggage. The luggage arrival was quick and painless (everything arrived) and I took the tram to the international terminal.
I arrive a few min after 1 pm, just as BA was opening their counter space. I went to the Club World check in, and was through security in about 15 min. This was the fastest | have ever gotten through Ohare.
BA has both a FIRST and Terraces lounge in ORD. JAL also has a lounge if you are one world elite.
I was sheduled to leave out of M8. Next door was a KLM ASIA combi 747 on the way to AMS. It seemed odd to see the 1/2 freight section open and being loaded. And ORD isn't exactly ASIA. Could this be the norm? or Equipment change?
The Terraces lounge was SMALL. Basically only 2 rooms -- only one TV, golf channell, in the smaller room. No newpapers available until the flights from Europe began to arrive. This seems odd -- certainly they could have the local papers? What was odder was that cell phones don't work in the lounge (at all) and neither is the laptop reception good.
One nice service offered was the pre flight dinner. This service is for the 815 pm flight (according to BA website) but they offered it to me and said service began a 3 pm. I didn't use it, but the menu was posted and looked nice. Probably a stardard Club menu.
The preflight menu included:
sea food pasta
cheeseburger and egg tart
a third entree (I forget what it was).
I walked about the terminal a bit. Watched the 777 leave as the 440 PM flight to LHR.
My flight (BA 296) was a 747-400 with the NEW new club world. Quite nice it looked as well. I was able to score a seat on the upper deck -- even better the exit row -- 62A. I like this seat as it gives both window and aisle access w/o hhaving to pass the frong facing pax in 61. This flight would be 100% full in upper deck.
The wine list for this fligh was:
William Hill Estate Napa Chardonnay 2004
Rully (?) Clos des Mallepierre 2005
Avila Syrah 2004 Santa Barbara
Hess collection Mountan (sp?) Covee 2003
Chateau Jources Hosten 2003
Cru Burgeois Superior Listrae
Starter: oven roasted balsamic tomatoes
Grilled fillet steak, green peppercorn butter, vichy carrots, broccoli and potatoes
Vinect Bhatian's Chicken Makhantual
Porchini Mushroom agnolotti pasta
The goodnight express was Bread and Provolne cheese and shaved beef
Carmel apple tart (slice)
Guiness chedder and Truffle Cheese
The menu was quite good. I had the chef's chicken special. It was nice and spicy -- which I like. I opted for the French white Bourdeax (sp?). It was a nice wine and nice meal. As is typical of BA service, the service was fast and friendly without seeming rushed. The movies were AVOD as it was the newer entertainment system. oddly, no amenity kits were given out.
The flight lasted about 7 hours. I arrived LHR and went through fast track for security and went to BA Terraces in T4.
The lounge was constantly busy. I asked at the counter and said that it was normal for this level of actively. As we arrived in the AM, cereal, fruit and breakfast pastries were available. Having eaten a light breakfast on the flight, I stuck to water. I left, wandered the terminal, was amazed at the insanely high prices in the shops, and moved to gate 1 for the flight to Mumbai (BOM). This was LHR BOM also on a 747-400, BA flight 139. I was in 63 A. The flight was 8.5 hrs.
We began boarding quite late (like take off time) and the confusion was obvious. While the BA staff were quite good, clearly people didn't intend to board by row numbers. Rather than fight the crowd, the BA staff rolled with it.
This was the "old" (Blue) New Club world. The seat at full flat seemed smaller, but it isn't I think the difference is that the arm rests sink into the seat in the newer version. There are also few storage spaces in this older version, but still quite nice. This upper deck would be about 75% full.
Voyager Estate Sauvingnon Blanc 2006
Innocent Bystander Yarradaly Charrdonnay 2005
Chablis Champs Royal 2006
Yalumba Borosc Shiraz 2004
Chateau Arnauld 2004
Cru Bourgeois Haut Medoc
Lock Fyne smoked samon with Mustard Dressing
Roast Vegtable Torrin w/ basil cream truiche
I opted for the samon, which was GREAT. Very well prepared and plated.
French Trimmed lamb cutlet and crushed peas and mashed potatoes.
Vineet Bhatia's King Prawns masala with Spring onion Khidiria (sp?)
Chef's vegetable Biryani with Raita dressing (seasond yogurt).
Cajun Chicken w/ peppered pinapple and spicy tomatoe dressing.
Chef's chocolate silky torte with carmalized pine kernals, pistachio, and cashew nuts (YUM, but major drawback was it looked a great deal like store bought from the grocery store, the texture had that "I've sat a week in your fridge" feeling.
Cropwell Bp Stilton and French Blue Cheese
I opted for the lamb, which was fatty and not well prepared. The meat was very tough. The peas were dried and re constitued -- and whole, not crushed in anyway shape for form. The potatoes were good.
I opted for the medoc. I don't know if it was the wine (which I didn't care for) or the lamb, but I'd avoid this in the future.
I watched some of the entertainment on this flight. I was disappointed that the Map was not working at all.
Snacks sandwich selection of crayfish with lemon mayonnaise and rocket and chedder with pickle
Grilled marinated artichoke and asparagus salad.
Fruit scone with clotted cream and strawberry preserves.
Farmhouse Fruit cake
I opted for the later and it was a perfect cap to the meal.
The service was outstanding as usual. |t seemed that everyone got their first choice of meal and wine throughout the flight.
The entertainment on this leg was fine, but I mostly read and dozed. the seat didn't have quite as much room as 62A, which would always be my recommendation.
As part of this trip, I also flew domestically in India. I will post those reports later. Sorry if this is a bit disjoined, I am writing from th Terraces Lounge LHR and from notes made during the flight.
If any one has questions, I'll answer as best I can. Smooth flying to all!!