I realized I had not written a trip report on my trip back from the Philippines. I went there halfway during my RTW for work. I like the Philippines and I love the people. They are so nice, industrious, clever and always ready to party. I am sure I will be back there and I am already looking forward to it. After the Philippines I went back to NL. I will continue my RTW on May 14th. This is the report on my way back to NL from Manila.
This trip was some time ago and my recollection is sometimes flawed. I will limit myself to the highlights and let the pictures do most of the talking.
January 24th 2009
Class: Y but upgraded to J
Flight Time: 1:40 hrs
When I left for the airport in Manila it was raining cats and dogs. The moment I entered the departure hall I heard a loud thunder and all the lights went out. When the lights are out, so are the computers I feared and that turned out to be true. I went to the First class check in desk and hoped it would not take too long. I had turned BAEC Gold during the trip and this immediately paid off. “Ah, Mr Henkybaby, we have your boarding pass already. You have been upgraded.” Such a good start to this trip. Even if it was only to regional business class. “No sir, this 747 has the new long haul product”. That was a nice surprise. I had to check in a bag due to over-shopping in HKG the week before so I waited for the computer system to come back online. After 10 minutes I decided to take the gamble and let the very friendly and seemingly knowledgeable check-in agent check in my bag without me. They would bring my tags to the lounge.
The lounge was nothing special. It has a separate First class area but that is pretty much the same as the Business class one. It had 3 pc’s and it took about 30 minutes to get them online and ready to print. There was nothing much in the area of food but still much better than most KLM lounges.
One of the worst aspects is they have no toilets of their own. You have to go down the hall to these lovely facilities.
After 40 minutes or so in the lounge we had our boarding call. I waited for the last one to get to the plane. Here it is.
I quickly walked to my seat (can’t remember which one, but on starboard on the main deck. When I saw the seat I was slightly worried I would not fit in. It looks (and is) very cramped and I would not like to spend 12 hours in one. For the 100 minute flight it would do nicely.
I already had been upgraded but why not go for broke? I eased my way into the First cabin and started chatting to the FA. I explained that I was on a First Class RTW but probably would not have the chance to experience CX F unless… Well, they were nice enough to let me take some pictures but nothing more. Luckily I will be flying this cabin twice next month. Already looking forward to it!
I went back to my prison cell and tried to get comfortable. I can tell you that I did not succeed. I am a tall bloke (1,97m) and I just could not settle. It is too cramped at the shoulders and the whole herringbone thing is not my style. Travelling with a partner must be a complete crime.
The view if you twist your neck
It does feel like one of the Japanese coffin hotel rooms. It has all the goodies.
I have heard the seats on the upper deck are on a lesser angle and longer. No idea if it is true but in these seats I felt I constantly had to pay attention to prevent people tripping over me.
Even though it was only a short flight they served a very nice dinner.
Main course. Can’t remember for certain, but I believe it was rather tasty.
There is therefore no causal link between the meal and the next picture.
At KHG I decided to check out the BA/QF lounge. I must say… I like it better than the Wing or the Pier. The food was nicer (yes!) and the setting much more cozy. I am sure people will think I am crazy but I really loved it. A good place to prepare for my first trip in WT+. An experiment…
January 24th 2009
After a while I left for the plane with a little trepidation I must admit. It has been a while since I did long haul in anything but J or F. I figured I needed some grounding and that is why I picked this 12 hour flight to test it. That was 11 hours more than I needed. I hate it. I want to sleep when I travel and there is just no way.
The cabin was very full.
I was in 11K which has a basinet table you can use for drinks and pc’s.
I have blocked out most of this experience. I hated it that the seats have so little pitch. If only that was 20 degrees more it would not be so bad. I managed some sleep due to heavy duty sleeping pills but when we arrived in London I felt like some serious excrement.
January 25th 2009
I was only one more short flight away from my bed. No way I was going to work. Impossible for me after a night flight in WT+. I took a shower in the Elemis Spa and relaxed a bit in the First Lounge. I like the Galleries lounge better by the way. More character.
Here are some picture of the flight LHR-AMS
Beautiful sunrise/morning skies
I must say that this trip was a mixed bag of nuts. The upgrade on CX was nice to get even if the seat was a disappointment. Glad to find that out without paying for it though. The long flight in WT+ was a nightmare but that only convinces me that I have become a spoiled traveler. I accept that.
I wanted to MFU my return to HKG but supposedly that is impossible. Paying is also no option since that is more expensive than a new AMS-HKG return in J. I called BAEC and begged for an exception. I was baffled that they decided to upgrade me free of charge. I am so glad I will fly back in J next month.
As always: feedback appreciated.
[Edited 2009-04-05 13:06:04]