From my Archives Project
Working as an EMT this summer I have a lot of down time in between calls. Because of that, I have decided to turn some of my old notes on past trips into trip reports. These reports will mainly focus around trips where things went wrong, or airlines where there are not a lot of reports on them. Because of how long ago these trips were, I would like to apologize if these are slightly less detailed than my other trip reports. I would also like to apologize if the photos are not of a high quality/the normal orientation for airliners.net, mainly because they were not originally meant to be posted.Background
As a high school graduation present, my family decided to to take a trip to Spain, traveling to Madrid, Tangier, Gibraltar, and Malaga. We crammed this trip into the span of a week because I had to get back to begin a camp job before going off to college. As always feedback is appreciatedBooking
Originally we had booked the none stop IB 6166 BOS-MAD flight on June 5, 2016, and we booked the return on June 12, 2016 going AGP-MAD on I2 3865 and MAD-BOS on IB 6165. Soon after booking, we got a message from IB that our AGP-MAD flight had been rescheduled to leave 10 minutes earlier. Repeatedly this flight was rescheduled to be later and later, until on June 8th (while we were in MAD), it got to the point where we no longer had a legal connection. After a long and expensive call to IB, where we had to negotiate very hard with the agent, we were able to find an itinerary with the following routing: VY 2112 AGP-BCN, BA 475 BCN-LHR, and what I believe is BA 237 LHR-BOS (my reason for uncertainty is below). IB 6166 At the Airport
After being dropped off at the BOS E terminal by the Preflight shuttle bus, my family proceeded to the IB check in desk, where we were quickly check in by the agent. After this, we immediately proceeded to the security checkpoint where after a wait, we went through the full TSA security screening (IB was not participating in precheck back then). Once through security I began to planespot.
EC-LCJ my IB A333 for the ride to MAD.
Boarding was called in a somewhat chaotic fashion, and after a quick passport check, we were in the jetway. In the jetway, IB had an assortment of English and Spanish newspapers available for those who wanted them. Onboard
The seat itself was not the most comfortable that I have experienced, but it was also not uncomfortable. The leg room, while tight was still not so tight that my legs were hitting the seat in front of me. Once I settled in, I began to plane spot.
S4 and LX
EI and B6
At 17:43 we proceeded to execute a quick takeoff. Once in the air and above 10,000 feet I began to browse the entertainment system, which had a good but not industry leading selection of options. In keeping with my tradition of selecting a kids movie on Eastbound TATL crossings, I selected Zootopia. Before the flight attendants began coming around with dinner, I believe their was a hot towel service, but I do not remember for sure. Shortly after reaching cruising altitude, the flight attendants began coming through the cabin with a combined meal and beverage service. When asked about what the two dishes were, they were a little confused by my request. To keep things simple I ordered the beef dish and had a water with it.
The beef entree
Being that I'm not a big fan of chick peas I skipped the cold salad. While the beef dish might not have been the most artistically presented, it was very tasty, with a nice mild spicy flavor. The rice was properly cooked, and the carrots were soft. The roll was a nice bread roll, and the apple-cinnamon tart was a nice touch. Once the flight attendants had finished with the meal service, they came back through the cabin with tea, coffee, and left over rolls, which I gladly helped myself to. Once the trays had been collected, I watched the last few minutes of my movie, took a melatonin, leaned my seat back and slept for about 2.5 hours.
After waking up I proceeded to select a tv show on the entertainment system. Shortly after I woke up the flight attendants came through with a prearrival breakfast and beverage service.
The breakfast included a turkey and cheese croissant, a chocolate chip muffin, fruit snacks, and a mini three musketeers bar. This served as a good breakfast for such a short flight.
Soon the flight attendants began preparing the cabin for arrival, and we proceeded to execute a smooth arrival into MAD. At 5:57 local time, we pulled into terminal 4S at MAD. Once off the plane we entered a long line for immigration due to multiple simultaneous arrivals from all across the Americas. Once through, we hailed a taxi and went to our hotel.Overall Weighted Score
3.85/5VY 2112At the Airport
Due to the last minute changes that were made to our itinerary, and due to how unlucky we had been during our trip (4 hour train delay going to Algeciras, almost missing our ferry home from Tangier), we made sure to get to the airport extra early for our 11:10 flight to BCN. At check in, we were told by the agent that they could check our bags through to BOS, but that they could only issue our boarding passes through to BCN- the first (and not the last) thing to go wrong with today. Once done with check in, we went through a quick security check. Once through this check point I ate the breakfast that my hotel packed and began to walk around and planespot.
TB and U2
My original I2 A320
Boarding was called using a bus gate, and I continued to spot as we drove out to the aircraft.
VY A320 similar to what I was on.
VY, TP, DYOnboard
Once onboard I made my way to my seat. The seat itself was neither comfortable nor uncomfortable- it was just a seat. The leg room was very tight, to the point where my legs were hitting the seat in front of me (and I am only 5 foot 6 inches).
Once settled in I began to planespot. Right on time at 11:10 we pulled out of the gate and began to taxi for takeoff.
View of the terminal during takeoff.
Once we reached our cruising altitude, the flight attendants came through offering the BOB service in a robotic manner. Seeing as I was not hungry I passed on it and just spent the whole flight looking out the window.
The Mediterranean coast.
After a short flight, we made a bumpy landing into BCN.
BA A320 with RV B763 in the background.
We pulled into the gate at BCN at 12:59, 19 minutes late. After a quick disembarkation we were in the terminal.Overall Weighted Score
2.67/5Connecting at BCN
After getting off the plane, we immediately made our way to the transfer desk, where there was a very long line. After waiting close to an hour, we reached the agent only to be told that we had to go to the check in desk. Seeing as we had already used up half of our layover, we knew that we would not have time to do that. We were unable to go to the gate because we needed a valid ticket out of the schengen area in order to go through exit immigration. At that point we went to the empty immigration desks and plead our case to the immigration agent. After showing him our reservation he stamped our passports and we made our way to the gate. Once at the gate, I went to the gate agents and explained our situation and showed them our reservation. They then proceeded to try to issue our boarding passes with no avail. They then got on the phone and called the BA corporate headquarters and were finally able to issue our passes. Once issued, they explained to us that the agent who rebooked us had made a reservation for the flight but had not actually ticketed us on the flight- something that they had never seen before. We then found out that between us going to the transfer desk and reaching the gate the flight was delayed by 2 hours- seriously reducing our chances of making the flight to BOS. To compensate for our difficulties with the delay they offered us each meal vouchers, which I used to get a very tasty Spanish omelette sandwich.
After lunch I walked around and plane spotted.
BA A320 (not mine) and a CV B744
QS B752 and LY B744
My BA A320 for the flight to LHRBA 475
After a good wait, boarding was called and I made my way onboard, to the window seat that I had lucked out to get. The new BA economy seats were comfortable for this length of flight, and they provided a good amount of leg room. Once I had settled in, I proceeded to do some plane spotting. At 17:23 we pushed back and began to taxi.
SU A330 and VY B738
After a quick takeoff, we were off to LHR.
TK, UX, and OU
The view of Barcelona from the air.
After reaching cruising altittude the flight attendants came through the cabin offering a snack box and beverages. I got a water, and took one of the snack boxes.
The snack box
The sandwich itself was very nice: it had a strong cheddar cheese that was accompanied by a mild pastrami. While small, I felt like the sandwich was sufficient for a late afternoon flight. The apple cinnamon muffin was perfect- not too sweet but also not bland.
For the rest of the flight I looked out the window and enjoyed the scenery. Somewhere near the English channel we began our descent into LHR.
Heathrow during our Descent
After a smooth landing we proceeded to taxi to terminal 3.
MH A388 + others
Eventually we arrived at our gate at LHR T3 at 18:25- exactly 2 hours late. Due to my extremely tight connection I ran off the plane to begin the connection process.Overall Weighted Score
4/5Connecting at LHR
First, we caught the T3-T5 shuttle. Despite my stress about making the flight, I still managed to fit in some planespotting during the ride.
Jet Time B737
After the shuttle ride I arrived at T5 and waited in line for what I like to call the "desk that makes sure that you can make your flight". Personally, I find that a mandatory desk such as this just slows down the connection process, and could easily be replaced by having a transfer desk. As the minutes ticked by while we sat in line I was becoming less and less hopeful that we would make our flight home and I would be back in time to begin my camp job.
After what felt like forever we reached the front of the cue and were directed to a desk. Upon scanning our boarding passes, the agent told us that we would not be able to make our flight to BOS and then immediately offered to book us onto the last BOS departure of the day: BA 239. We immediately accepted this and were quickly ticketed through onto this flight. After thanking the agent, we proceeded to the security checkpoint which also had a long line. After getting through this cue, we proceeded to enter terminal 5 and begin to travel to the correct satellite concourse (I forget which one).
This is the best image I could get of G-RAES, my B772 to BOS
Due to a delay, by the time we got to the gate boarding was just starting. After a short wait, we embarked on the aircraft. BA 239 LHR-BOS
Once onboard I made for the window seat that I had luckily been assigned to. These new BA slimline seats while thinner than the old BA seats were still quite comfortable for the whole trip. Additionally, the fixed wing headrest was a marked improvement over the neck pillow like headrest found on the B744 that I had taken 2 years previously. The seat also had a pillow, blanket, and amenity kit including headphones on it. The leg room was great- among the most spacious that I have experienced in economy on a TATL flight.
front view of the seat
Side view of the seat.
At 20:17 (22 minutes late), we began to push back as the flight attendants showed the safety video. During the long taxi and wait for the runway I did some spotting. We then began to take off, providing even more views of aircraft at LHR.
QR with AZ in the background
BA A319, AV A330, SQ
IB A340 taking off
Once we were above 10,000 feet, I switched on the entertainment system and began to explore its options. It contained more options than the last time I had flown on BA. I ultimately selected London Has Fallen
, in honor of my unexpected connection in London. Soon after reaching our cruising altitude the flight attendants came through with a full beverage service along with some sour cream and chive pretzels.
Sour cream and chive pretzels.
After a short wait the flight attendants came around with the dinner service. I selected the chicken.
The pasta salad was a nice starter. The chicken while slightly tacky, came in a rich cream sauce with some flavorful mashed potatoes and soft, sweet carrots. The bun was nice and soft, and the meal came with a nice English cheddar with some nice crackers. Being as I'm not a fan of chocolate, I skipped the desert. The flight attendants also came through the cabin with coffee and tea. Overall, it was a good dinner.
Soon after dinner I began to feel the effects of being up since 6AM Spanish time, so once the trays were collected I reclined my seat and took a 2 hour nap. Once I woke up I put something else on on the entertainment system (I forget what). Sometime before our approach the flight attendants came through the cabin with a prearrival snack and beverage service.
While the bread in the chicken salad sandwich was kind of generic, the sandwich itself was very good- somehow the bread was not soggy from the chicken salad. It was also accompanied by a Kit-Kat, which I did not have. I had a glass of water with it.
Shortly after the flight attendants collected the trash from the snack service, we began our descent and the flight attendants began to come through the cabin to prepare it for departure. Captain Clifford proceeded to make a firm landing into BOS, and we pulled into our gate at BOS at 22:09, exactly one minute early.
After disembarking and meeting up with my parents, we proceeded to utilize the ABC kiosks to quickly clear US CBP. Once we had our bags we made our way to the preflight shuttle bus stop. Overall Weighted Score
Throughout the service the flight attendants were polite, and did a good job of providing service during the flight.
IB: While their inflight service was good, they messed up with scheduling our flight and then they did an even worse job of fixing their mess once we brought it to their attention. Overall, I probably will not fly with them after that experience
VY: They got us from point A to B, but the flight was not comfortable. Most likely I will not fly with them again.
BA: Every time I fly them they do a consistently good job of getting me from point A to point B. On this trip, they were also able to clean up IB's mess, and when their flight was delayed and we were no longer able to make our connection they quickly and elegantly corrected that while also compensating us for our troubles. IB should take a page out of their big sister's playbook.
As always, I have attached a copy of my log book below. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... N-/pubhtml
WN, LX, AZ, BA, LH, KL, DL, OK, S5, US, UA, VY, IB, AF, LY, F9, CO, YX x2, PD, AC, AA, OO, PT, QK
A319, A320, A321, A332, A333, A343, B712, B733, B737, B738, B753, B744, B764, B772, B789, CRJ9, DH8D, E145, E190