Here is the link to my outbound trip, showing what all I did when I got there
I was actually flying LHR-DFW, but picked the LAX flight so that I could get First Class. The 3 DFW flights were pretty full and there was an insane number of non-revs traveling standby to DFW that day. There were over 70 people listed in total trying to go standby LHR-DFW. The LAX flight had about 4-5 seats open in F and 10 open in J and only about 4 people listed for standby. The connection to DFW was a 738 with about 60 open in Y, so I knew I would make that.
After leaving Oxford, I spent a couple days in London that I planned to spend with a friend, but who couldn't make it at the last minute (he's done that to me before, but I keep hoping he'll show up on one of these trips eventually). I used a Starwood award to book my hotel in central London which I couldn't cancel, so I kept the reservation and just did around London for a couple days.
On the day before I was to head home, I moved to the LHR Renaissance and made it out to The Green Man pub, which is my new favorite pub in the UK! Wow, I can't believe how low the planes are over the pub!! It's great.
This is the sunset view from my room at the Renaissance LHR
Oneworld 744 from the window in my room.
Exterior of the hotel from the Nene Rd. bus stop. (you can take the bus from LHR to Nene Rd for free)
A book shop I try to get to every year to get my annual book of registrations. It's next door to the Renaissance.
An airplane spotting contraption in the parking lot near the Aviation shop and next to the Renaissance.
The view from the platform looking to the left down Bath Rd. I count 3 heavy jets, but I thought there were 4 when I took the pic.
Looking straight ahead from the spotting area. It's not reallly good for photography, but is great for plane spotting.
Eventually I get on the bus to T3 at LHR to check in for my flight and maybe hook up with my friend who no-showed. As it turned out he was going through customs while I was in the building going into the gate area. As you can see, and it's not new news, the old Concorde model is replaced with the EK A380.
I didn't check in here! (As an employee I need to use the self-service in the normal people area). This is AA's check in area for Business and First Class customers. It's outside T3 and is really nice. Sorry for the glare. For once the sun came out in Britain! Haha just kidding. It was a beautiful weekend while I was there.
A peek inside.
So I checked in exactly 4 hours early, which is the best I could do to get the best spot on the standby list. Then, I checked in, checked a bag to DFW via LAX, and took the bus to the spotting area again by the Renaissance to burn a couple hours. It only takes 20 minutes to get there via the free public transport.
Eventually I returned and got through security, which took about 30-45 minutes. Once going through I realized it has been like 2 years at least since I have departed LHR on AA. My last times were BA to IAH and DFW via T 4 and also LHR-BRU on BA from T5. I hadn't been inside the departures area of T3 since they refurbished it. It looked nice. At least the shopping was up to par.
I also had to stop by the Servisair lounge to see how it was. I didn't have long, but was there long enough to use the computer and see that it looked for sure that I was getting first class!
Kuwait at the gate.
The 767 that flew me DFW-LHR on the outward portion of this trip!
I didn't take many pics from the airside part of LHR because I have heard stories of the police not taking kindly to people taking pics from the secure area of the airport. So I only shot those two. I didn't take one of my plane or the 777 that was boarding with a 45 minute delay to DFW.
Photo © Andreas Mueller - Spotterteam Graz
Here's my plane. N783AN or Ship 7AP to DFW. First time on it and I think my 13th AA 777.
At the gate I was issued seat 4D, which was an aisle seat. AA's first class is 4 across. One seat faces the window. Two middle seats face each other. Then there's the window seat on the other side. Each seat has free access to the aisle. I much prefer the window unless I'm with somebody. Even then I think I prefer the window.
AA 137 LHR-LAX September 29th
First had 9 or 10 booked and the rest filled with nonrevs.
Business was over 30 booked, but had a few seats still.
Coach was rather full too. I don't have exact numbers, but it was a full flight.
Crew was very friendly
Food was good
The view from my seat.
We left the gate about 15 minutes late and then took off shortly after.
Here we are just airborne using the moving map (I'll use that a lot here as I didn't have an actual window!)
Once airborne, I was greeted by a friendly, cheerful flight attendant who was energetic and friendly through the duration of the flight.
Here was my appetizer of mozzarella with sun dried tomatoes and marinated in olive oil.
Climbing over the UK heading north, I made myself comfortable. As you can see, I'm wearing the travel socks from the amenity kit. The amenity kit has some new items like Burt's Bees chapstick and other items. It's a bit better than it was. The socks and eyeshades were grey.
Here's the starter of shrimp and salmon. The flight attendant (remember the energetic and friendly one?) insisted that I have champagne to accompany it.
I chose a fish entree for my main. I forgot what kind of fish it was, but it was good! Notice how AA now has full sized wine glasses in J and F on international flights now. They have had them most of the year, but I've forgotten to mention them on previous trip reports. If I have mentioned it, maybe I'm just getting forgetful!
Dessert! Yes, I went with the ice cream. Mainly I go with the ice cream so I can see how many negative comments it generates in my trip reports. Just kidding. It's hard to turn it down. And you see the Bailey's on the rocks of course.
I think I was watching some version of Harry Potter when they took away my plates and I stretched out in my duvet blanket and folded the seat down into lie-flat. I fell asleep shortly afterwards (thanks to the champagne, red wine, and Bailey's!)
I woke up and saw that we went south of Greenland. I was hoping to be far enough north on this crossing to see Greenland, but it didn't work out. I didn't have a window anyway.
I was still dozing off and waking up, because I didn't want to miss anything! We made landfall in northern Labrador.
I think I was actually awake for the day at this point, over where the Hudson and James Bays meet.
Some crusing info over Canada well into our flight.
Somewhere along here, they came through the cabin with snacks. It was sort of an upgraded AirTran first class experience with a basket of goodies to choose from. They then placed this "snack attack" basket in the front of the F cabin for people to take what they wanted. I think I got a bag of cookies (Pepperidge Farm Milanos, yum!). They also passed around bottles of water to everyone and some Lindt Chocolates.
This picture is somewhat funny, considering how far off course I was for a final destination of DFW!
I knew we were in the United States when we were in the Great White North near Thief River Falls and Grand Forks. Mesaba territory!
Somewhere near Colorado/Wyoming we were served a choice of someting and the pizza. I chose the pizza, which is better than it looks!
Here come the Rockies! If I could only look outside.
Tea and sweets for my final meal of this 11:26 flight.
Getting close! We overflew Las Vegas (so the screen told me. I couldn't see out!) I always wish the flight would keep going when I'm in F on a 777. Maybe I should try a longer route over the Pacific.
Over Skywest's home of St George, UT.
Look! I missed DFW by 1200 miles!
Into our descent the screens started showing arrival information.
Here is a sample of the connections. Two different groups of people were connecting to Hawaii! That would be a long way in coach!
That ends my trip report. I'll just mention that I had to check a bag because I bought some liquid items. My bag was in a container that they forgot about or otherwise delayed 45 minutes and then my bag started falling apart on me. It's a TUMI and is supposed to handle travel, but maybe I've worn it out. It was stressful not knowing if I was going to get my bag and I was trying to make one of the last connections of the day to DFW. It eventually all worked out and I swore I would never check a bag again!!
I don't have any pics or anything from my LAX-DFW. I was in a Coach Window (first window seat of the whole trip) and there was an empty middle seat.
Thanks for reading my trip report. Comments always welcome!
[Edited 2009-12-14 19:39:08]