ba319-131
Topic Author
Posts: 8301
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

Part I - Oneworld To Mexico

Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:23 pm

Dear readers, welcome to the first TR of my 2011 adventure, Mexico and beyond into South America, new territory for me.

It's 5am, the alarm awakes me from a decent sleep, the best for days actually, the day had arrived, after months of planning it was time to go on my 2011 spotting jolly!

Today sees the start of a 10 day 12 flight trip, LHR-MAD-MEX-BOG-SCL-EZE-GRU with side trips of CGH-RIO-CGH-SDU-CGH before heading home GRU-LIS-LHR.



Today's flights were BA to MAD and then Iberia to MEX.

There are very few long haul IB TR's posted here on A.NET, those posted in the past have generally not been kind so I really kept my expectations low, at least that way if things were bad at least I'd not be too disappointed.

I'd packed most of the stuff the night before so we were cleaned up, said goodbye to Fred our 2 year old basset hound, miss that dog already, and were were out of the the house at 6am.

Given the time we took the M25, the earlier hour meant missing the traffic which frequently turns the place into one of the largest car parks on the planet.

Mrs BA319131 had agreed to drop me off at T3 for this adventure, she would then head north to Stansted Airport for her meeting, she is not really a morning person so it's best not to be too cheerful first thing.........

Traffic was fine all the way to Heathrow's Terminal 3, a good bye to the wife and the adventure was starting.

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070268.jpg



25.02.2011
BA456
LHR-MAD
A320-232 G-EUUE Built 2002
Seat 3A Club Europe
3rd Flight on this aircraft, 98th A320 flight
Sch Dep 08:15 Sch Arr 11:35
Act Dep 08:20 Act Arr 11:20


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Tommy Desmet



Heading towards Terminal 3 I took a couple of pictures, whilst not the best of terminals, I quite like the exterior, at least in the dark, nicely lit up with hints of purples and blues, quite refreshing.

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070271.jpg

A quick glance at the flight monitor outside reveals BA use check-in area F.

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070275.jpg

Entering area F, the manned check-in desks are off to the right, self service machines which can be used by BA, IB, AY and AA customers are straight ahead, with just hand luggage I used the machine.

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070277.jpg

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070278.jpg

The machine worked fine apart from it not showing my onward connection to MEX with IB, odd given it was booked on the same ticket.

With my sole boarding pass in hand I headed over to a couple of BA staff deep in conversation about 'stuff', apologising for interrupting them, I enquired about the lack of onward boarding pass, they suggested checking with Iberia, and pointed behind me before continuing their important conversation about 'stuff'.

Thanking them for their assistance I headed to the Iberia ticket desk, upon arrival I stood, whilst the two ladies finished their conversation, appears one was telling the other off for some reason.

The issue over and the lady composed, I was called forward only to be directed to the check-in desks, I thanked her for her assistance and wished her a pleasant day.

Ten meters later I stood at the front of the Business Class line, explained the problem and handed over the BA boarding pass and passport as requested. The tapping of keys on the keyboard, a couple of sighs and then the words, 'there is a problem with your booking'.

These are not the kind of works you take well at any time, even more so when you have not even managed to fly the first leg, with another 11 to go!

More tapping of the keys follows, more sighs and then, ok, it is fixed, as if by magic my Iberia stock boarding pass for the MAD-MEX sector is handed over.

With much relief I thank the agent, wish her a nice day and head upstairs to pick up my pre-received money and clear security.

The security screenings was pretty quick this morning, I was airside by 7 am.

Clearing security releases you airside or should I say in a shopping mall?

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070279.jpg

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070281.jpg

I made a couple of purchases in various shops then hit the BA Terraces lounge.

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070284.jpg

As much as I love the lounges in T5, I quite like the T3 lounge, there never seem to be too may people here, I imagine it's different in the evenings when the long haul flights take place, but my previous am flights have found this place to be nice and relaxing due to the lack of people.

I took a stool by the window, P this this for you.

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070286.jpg

I took in a bit of fruit and a coffee and just relaxed thinking of the long haul ahead of me, hardly relaxing , I seemed to be cramming in quite a lot into the 10 days ahead, oh well, too late to change it!

Here are a few lounge shots

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070288.jpg

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070291.jpg

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070292.jpg

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070289.jpg

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http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070294.jpg

Light pre-flight brekky

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070295.jpg

View outside

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070297.jpg

Minimal luggage for the 10 days ahead

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070298.jpg

I'm not sure exactly what time boarding appeared for the flight but I noticed it at 07:40, so I grabbed my stuff and headed out of the lounge. By the time I passed the next monitor it was stating gate closing, at tad of a worry since I was a good 5 minutes away, I quickened my pace, I noted other passengers pass me at a jog, I guess they were more concerned than me with gate closing on the monitors.

Views en-route

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070301.jpg

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070300.jpg

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070299.jpg

Down to gate 24 area

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070302.jpg

The gate 24 area is all bussing, P knows this area quite well from his regular jaunts home to HEL on BA. This was the first time I've been here, all in all it's a quite tidy set up.

Upon arrival my boarding pass and passport were checked, proceeded into the holding pen and boarding was announced for our flight, great timing!

The only drawback to this whole set up is it is bussing, hardly a very premium service being packed like sardines in a bus then being unloaded on the tarmac whilst your turn to get on the stairs to climb unto the plane, I but it's miserable in the wet, thankfully today was dry.

There is one good side to boarding by stairs, a few close up shots of the plane.

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070305.jpg

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070303.jpg

Eventually I manage get onto the stairs and started the slow climb towards the door, touching her skin as I got close enough, then through the door to be greeted by the crew, a quick check of the BP and I'm free to head into the cabin to claim my seat and locker space.

Today I am in 3A, club seating goes back to row 11 today.

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070309.jpg

Still boarding

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070307.jpg

Over the previous week, I had changed seats on numerous occasions when the seat next to be became occupied, it looked a pretty healthy load, however when the doors were closed club's load was less than 50%, the seat plan was looking more like 80%, odd!

Lighting showing signs of age

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070351.jpg

The skipper said a few words over the Intercom, he advised some ATC delays would affect us but he still expected us to arrive at least on time in Madrid, as a result our push off of the remote stand was 5 minutes behind schedule.

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070311.jpg

The new terminal is really taking shape

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070314.jpg

Task out took us to a 27R departure, a short hold to allow 3 aircraft ahead of us to depart, we followed a company 319 chasing it down the runway when cleared to depart

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070316.jpg

whees up @ 08:32.

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070322.jpg

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070323.jpg

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070324.jpg

Our climb soon took us into the cloud, though we soon emerged above them, it's always nice to breakthrough the cloud and see the sun, a left and turn as EUUE headed south to warmer climes.

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070326.jpg

Crew released and the customary hot breakfast was offered, a few in front declined, as I would normally do, the calories in these meals are off the scale, however today I was on holiday and decided to treat myself and wash it down with some champagne, did I feel bad, nope! - not even after the second bottle!

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070331.jpg

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070330.jpg

I might be working, but it looks like BA has tweaked the meal, visually it looked better , perhaps the chives sprinkled over the meal?

The food was tasty as usual and for a change the butter was not frozen solid, extra breads were offered, I declined.

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070332.jpg

Trays cleared away I relaxed, reading the paper, glancing out of the window, sipping on my champagne, this is the life, no worries, no work phone ringing, no e-mails pinging, just you and tranquility, well that's how these moments feel to me, I cherish these moments, even more so with the seat open next to me!

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070333.jpg

That said I did start work on this report

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070336.jpg

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070334.jpg

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070335.jpg

All to soon it was to come to an end, descent started

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070338.jpg

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070352.jpg

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http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070356.jpg

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070358.jpg

wheels are dropped and the pilots have MAD in their sights, flight 1 of 12 over 10 days is almost at an end, and what a fine flight it has been.

We touched the ground @ MAD at 11:20, some 15 minutes ahead of schedule and that with an ATC delay, just shows the padding put into schedules these days to keep the on-time figures looking good.

A good taxi around T4S garnered me a few new planes

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070362.jpg

and seeing some stored ones

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070361.jpg

Oneworld!

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070433.jpg

before we settled in next to a sexy Iberia A340-600, we were somewhat dwarfed as you would expect!

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070371.jpg

Front doors open and were were off, a goodbye to the crew.

All in all another solid flight from BA, northing to get excited about but more important, you get what you expect with noting to complain about.

Here is a last shot of EUUE

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070374.jpg

Continued below
111 732 733 734 735 736 73G 738 739,7M8 BBJ 741 742 743 744 752 753 762 763 764 772 77L 773 77W L15 D10 D30 D40 AB3 AB6 312 313 318 319 320 20N 321 21N 332 333 342 343 345 346 359 351 388 CS1 CS3 I86 154 SSJ CRJ CR7 CR9 CRK 145 170 175 220
 
ba319-131
Topic Author
Posts: 8301
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

RE: Part I - Oneworld To Mexico

Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:15 pm


25.02.2011
IB6403
MAD-MEX
A340-313X EC-HDQ Built 1999
Seat 3A Business Plus
1st Flight on this aircraft, 3rd A340-300 flight, 13 overall A340 flight
Sch Dep 13:00 Sch Arr 18:15
Act Dep 13:11 Act Arr 18:11


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © J.L. Balcells


I do love Madrid's T4 and T4S, such an open and clean feel to them, stunning!

however it is some time since I connected thorough them, I forgotten how few flight display monitors there were, in fact it took me some time to actually find one, being distracted by an Avianca A330 sitting on a remote stand did not help,
I love the colours of AV, I have the pleasure of a couple of flights with them in my itinerary, let's hope the onboard hospitality lives up to the visual impact of their aircraft.

It seemed flight 6403 would operate from gate R2, it's quite a hike from my arrival gate, I forgot how long the terminal was.

Gate located I headed for the lounge, its located opposite Starbucks in the shopping area,

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070396.jpg

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070379.jpg

The lounge warden welcomed me and advised the gate had not been allocated yet but not to worry as calls were made in the lounge. She must be looking at a different system, the monitors all said gate R2.

The lounge was pretty nice, offering reasonable view of the ramp and better catering than the last time I used an IB lounge @ MAD.

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070393.jpg

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070381.jpg

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070382.jpg

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http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070387.jpghttp://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070388.jpghttp://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070390.jpghttp://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070401.jpghttp://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070402.jpghttp://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070403.jpghttp://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070404.jpghttp://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070405.jpghttp://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070408.jpghttp://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070411.jpghttp://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070406.jpghttp://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070419.jpghttp://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070417.jpghttp://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070416.jpghttp://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070415.jpghttp://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070426.jpg

Eventually, pre departure drinks were served, OJ, water and Cava, I took the latter. I am used to BA staff rocking up after you board with drinks, rather than the IB style of waiting, until I guess everybody has boarded, before breaking out the drinks trolly.

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070421.jpg

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070420.jpg

The cava was ok, i relaxed in a world of my own, the seat open next to me, a big journey ahead and feeling knackered, not a great start feeling knackered.

The safety demo came on, unlike BA where the crew stand and watch whilst it's on, the IB crew just appeared as the pointing out of the exits bit appeared, did their bit and disappeared again, I'm sure it's fine, just not what I'm used to.

On to the crew, they all seemed in their 40's to 50's with the women being old, the were 2 guy's service in Business Plus today along with what I presume was the CSD who seemed to do very little as far as i could see.

Push back occurred @ 13:11, no explanation for the sight delay, we taxied around the terminal to end up opposite where or gate had been, quite amusing really but enjoyed the extra spotting time, never made anything but I could have and that's the point.

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070428.jpg

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http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070436.jpg


After an Easyjet 319 & TAP 319 it was our turn, the takeoff roll seemed to take longer than usual, wheels finally left Iberian soil at 13:37 - that said, we had a long flight ahead of us.

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070448.jpg

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070452.jpg

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http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070456.jpg

The usual slow climb allowed some lovely views of the Madrid area, at one point I did wonder if we were actually climbing, the fields of green below us seemed very close, however we gradually started to distance ourselves from terra firma - we were climbing with the sun on my side so the pictures are not so great.

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070459.jpg

Once released the crew passed out the menu's along with amenity packs and a duty free thing, followed quickly by the presumed CSD taking dinner orders.

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070422.jpg

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070460.jpg

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070461.jpg

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070465.jpg

I found this a bit too quick for my liking, I'd not even had a post departure drink, let alone time to look at the menu, I chose the chicken stew, can't go wrong, right?

The amenity pack had the usual bits in it you expect to find, however it had a shoe bag too, I love these, always useful. The odd item for me was the shoe horn, who has a need for these?

BTW, I could still hear those crying children up here, moving forward had been a wise move.

Drinks followed shortly, I chose the Rjoca and too water with it, snacks were a choice of nuts or olives, I took the latter, good choice, another top up followed before the meal service began.

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070472.jpg

IFE, yes they have it and it's avoid, I got a far as the map, that was all I needed, I'm just happy with a good book and music on my Apple product if I need it.

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070471.jpg

Linens were offered for the tray tables, followed by the starter, it was a smoked tuna with grapefruit and salad, along with a beef broth and some cheese with grapes, all in all pretty nice, though the grapes had pips in them.

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070469.jpg

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http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070476.jpg

The main arrive, however it was the pasta,I advised I'd ordered the chicken and it was promptly removed, when the chicken arrived I wish I'd stuck with the pasta, the dish was tiny, tasted fine but was a bit on the small side, plus is lack any real presentation, not a great looking dish visually.

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070481.jpg

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070482.jpg

For desert I took the strawberrys and cream, most likely full of calories but it tasted good, can't be good every day!

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070483.jpg

After dinner drinks we offered along with coffee, I gave in and had a Chivers, I think the measures are more generous than I allow myself at home! The coffee was dire, worse than normal Nescafe if you know what that is or how bad it is.

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070484.jpg

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070485.jpg

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070487.jpg

Anyway, all in all the main meal service was ok though the main could have been a bigger portion, it was nice to have the cheese in the starter but it could have been served as an after desert offering with suitable wine offerings.

Far below!

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070488.jpg

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070490.jpg

Post meal Mexican immigration and customs forms were distributed, guess I better fill these in, that's where I am at the moment, my wine and water have been topped up, crew seem pretty good with that, though they don't put enough wine in so they have to fill the glass up more often.

Time now is 15:55, Madrid time, I read a few pages of my book then put the seat in bed mode to get a bit of sleep.

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070498.jpg

It's 20:45, Madrid time, I just woke up, not a bad sleep!

Trip to the bathroom time!

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070492.jpg

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070493.jpg

I grabbed a few snacks, pickings were sparse as others had raided the stocks, so just dried fruit and nuts along with some chocolates, all washed down with red wine and some water.

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070495.jpg

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070496.jpg

I spent the rest if the time listening to the new Duran Duran album and looking out of the window, great views out there, let me share some with you.

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070507.jpg

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070508.jpg

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070509.jpg

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070510.jpg

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070512.jpg

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070513.jpg

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070517.jpg

I've not been keeping track of time but I noted the cabin light come on and activity in the galley, hmm, the pre arrival snack would be served soon.

The crew came through, linens placed on extended tray tables and the snack tray laid out, on the tray was a a plate of fruit, a little cheese and some dry cured meats, nothing exciting but it makes a change from sandwiches.

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070521.jpg

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070522.jpg

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070523.jpg

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070524.jpg

I took wine with the meal and avoided offered coffee, suspecting it would be as vile as the stuff offered earlier in the flight.

All in all it was nice enough and just right portion size given the time.

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070527.jpg

Once the trays had been cleared we were about 45 minutes out of Mexico City, like others around me I got myself organised, you know the drill, shoes back on, trip to the bathroom etc etc.

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070536.jpg

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070539.jpg

It has been some years since my last trip to Mexico City, that time with America West from PHX, however something I have never forgotten is the seemingly endless carpet of housing and industry which seems to stretch forever around the city, the sheer mass of humanity crammed into seemingly every spare piece of land, it's really quite breathtaking.

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070541.jpg

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070542.jpg

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070543.jpg

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070544.jpg

Wheels down and locked, you know it's almost over as your destination is calling, home for the last 11+ hours is almost over, in some ways a shame, it's been a comfortable ride.

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070547.jpg

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070548.jpg

Our beautiful bird touched down @ 18:11 local time, we had arrived.

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070550.jpg

Light fading fast!

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070551.jpg

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070555.jpg

Taxi to the gate was short and door L2 opened to offload the passengers, I have to say the crew we pretty good at holding back economy passengers to allow Business Plus passengers to deplane, something I always appreciate as I think it the right thing to do, other carriers, BA, cough cough should take note.

It's a bit of a walk to immigration, along a corridor, up an escalator, along another corridor, down an escalator, along a corridor and then into the immigration area. Queues were minimal and was through in no time.

Next stop if to have your baggage screened before proceeding to the lady manning the button.

If you don't know what the button is, let me tell you. It is just a button, you press it, if it buzzes your luggage gets a thorough inspection, if not, you are free to enter the country, it's completely random, today was my lucky day, no buzzer went off, I smiled at the girl manning the button, I was free to enter the country.

Welcome to Mexico!

To sum up, BA were just what you expect, solid and dependable though I'm not keen on the T3 bussing for the European flights, if IB and AY who now operate out of T3 use gates, why can't BA? - they don't have that many daily departures.

Iberia long haul? I enjoyed it, the seat was good, both as a seat and as a bed, the wines were excellent, though they should be! Food was ok, mains could be better portioned based on my experience, all in all, a bit if work and IB could be a really good long haul choice.

I hope you enjoyed this report, apologies for lack of text in areas, it was there when I wrote it up and added the pictures, seems the text vanished when I posted. This was the second attempt, the first one had no text at all! - another A.NET gremlin I suspect, most annoying.

As you may have noted I moved from the rear cabin to the forward one due to the light load and the fact babies were located in row 8, the first row of economy behind the small J cabin.

Feel free to drop any comments or questions.

Thanks for taking the time to read.

Best Wishes

Mark - BA319131
111 732 733 734 735 736 73G 738 739,7M8 BBJ 741 742 743 744 752 753 762 763 764 772 77L 773 77W L15 D10 D30 D40 AB3 AB6 312 313 318 319 320 20N 321 21N 332 333 342 343 345 346 359 351 388 CS1 CS3 I86 154 SSJ CRJ CR7 CR9 CRK 145 170 175 220
 
gabrielchew
Posts: 3811
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RE: Part I - Oneworld To Mexico

Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:53 pm

Great Report!

Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
!

Today sees the start of a 10 day 12 flight trip, LHR-MAD-MEX-BOG-SCL-EZE-GRU with side trips of CGH-RIO-CGH-SDU-CGH before heading home GRU-LIS-LHR.

Looks like a fun itinerary!

Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
The machine worked fine apart from it not showing my onward connection to MEX with IB, odd given it was booked on the same ticket.

With my sole boarding pass in hand I headed over to a couple of BA staff deep in conversation about 'stuff', apologising for interrupting them, I enquired about the lack of onward boarding pass, they suggested checking with Iberia, and pointed behind me before continuing their important conversation about 'stuff'.

Same thing happened to me in Feb when doing BA LHR-MAD and IB MAD-TFN. Had to go over to the IB desk where a surly man printed one out. Not terribly seamless.

Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):

Crew released and the customary hot breakfast was offered, a few in front declined, as I would normally do, the calories in these meals are off the scale, however today I was on holiday and decided to treat myself and wash it down with some champagne, did I feel bad, nope! - not even after the second bottle!

Never feel bad about having a 2nd bottle! On my last flight back from MAD I managed 4 bottles. Maybe that was overkill though!

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 1):

The lounge was pretty nice, offering reasonable view of the ramp and better catering than the last time I used an IB lounge @ MAD.

I love the IB lounge in T4S - great views, and pretty good catering. I like the mini bottles of cava too - got a couple stashed in my fridge!

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 1):
The main arrive, however it was the pasta,I advised I'd ordered the chicken and it was promptly removed, when the chicken arrived I wish I'd stuck with the pasta, the dish was tiny, tasted fine but was a bit on the small side, plus is lack any real presentation, not a great looking dish visually.

Doesn't look like the catering has improved since my trip to Cuba last summer.
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767747
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RE: Part I - Oneworld To Mexico

Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:55 pm

Great report, ba319-131!

Looks like a good first part of your trip. Nice to see how IB was in Business Plus. The seats look nice, but the catering seems a bit week for a flight of this length? The portions do seem a bit small, I had the feeling while reading it that I might have gotten hungry had it been me! Nice to catch a flight on the A340 .. definitely one of my favorite planes.

Thanks for sharing!

Matthew
I love to fly!
 
LX64A332
Posts: 245
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RE: Part I - Oneworld To Mexico

Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:17 am

Very nice TR!
Guess I will have to give IB a try in the future, albeit also in C, as Y I know doesn't even have PTVs.
BTW, just curious, the last leg, GRU-LIS-LHR, was that done with TP?
I am asking because I am flying them between EWR and LIS next month, so it would be nice to get an in depth account of their C product.

Cheers,

LX64A332
SWISS remains Swiss. With Lufthansa. :D
 
aflyingkiwi
Posts: 433
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RE: Part I - Oneworld To Mexico

Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:47 am

Hi Mark,

Great Report, interesting to see a positive IB report, don't usually see too many of these. The hard product on IB actually looks pretty good though I guess it's the soft product that usually needs improving.

Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
Today sees the start of a 10 day 12 flight trip, LHR-MAD-MEX-BOG-SCL-EZE-GRU with side trips of CGH-RIO-CGH-SDU-CGH before heading home GRU-LIS-LHR.

Very Exciting!

Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
whees up @ 08:32.

Nice pics, I have to say that I'm always impressed by the business and sheer diversity of LHR.

Looking forward to the next installment  

Regards,
aflyingkiwi
 
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RE: Part I - Oneworld To Mexico

Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:16 am

Hi Mark,

great first part of your latest series, you created a very exciting itinerary! IB's J Class product looks just okay in general. I'm really disappointed about the meals - IB should have a look at certain carriers' Y Class meals.

Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
I might be working, but it looks like BA has tweaked the meal, visually it looked better , perhaps the chives sprinkled over the meal?

The food was tasty as usual and for a change the butter was not frozen solid, extra breads were offered, I declined.

Good to hear it was tasty, but why can't BA improve that rather weak presentation?

Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
The cava was ok, i relaxed in a world of my own, the seat open next to me, a big journey ahead and feeling knackered, not a great start feeling knackered.

But you had a lie-flat seat which makes a big difference...

Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
Once released the crew passed out the menu's along with amenity packs and a duty free thing, followed quickly by the presumed CSD taking dinner orders.

The amenity kits look nice - made of real leather?

Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):

The main arrive, however it was the pasta,I advised I'd ordered the chicken and it was promptly removed, when the chicken arrived I wish I'd stuck with the pasta, the dish was tiny, tasted fine but was a bit on the small side, plus is lack any real presentation, not a great looking dish visually.

That doesn't look appealing at all!

Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
For desert I took the strawberrys and cream, most likely full of calories but it tasted good, can't be good every day!

Oh come on, it's just a tiny dessert! Sometimes you simply have to enjoy life!  
Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
The coffee was dire, worse than normal Nescafe if you know what that is or how bad it is.

Wow, that's bad!



PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
robso2
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RE: Part I - Oneworld To Mexico

Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:42 am

Have been waiting for another of your reports!
I also agree that IB aren't all that terrible in BusinessPlus. Not the best, but not too dire from my experience.

Really looking forward to the next parts!
733/4/5/6/7/8/9, 319/20/21, 752, 744, 772/W, 332/3, 343/6, E70/90, AT43, AR85/1, D38, D10, M82
 
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NZ107
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RE: Part I - Oneworld To Mexico

Tue Apr 12, 2011 11:42 am

Hi Mark,

Fantastic report. Nice way to start what is looking to be an interesting series!

I must say I've been cracking up at some of the typos/spell corrections/predictive text in this report and some of your replies!  

The ground staff at LHR don't seem to be very helpful.. But good to know things were sorted out before you left.

Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):

The only drawback to this whole set up is it is bussing, hardly a very premium service being packed like sardines in a bus then being unloaded on the tarmac whilst your turn to get on the stairs to climb unto the plane, I but it's miserable in the wet, thankfully today was dry.

I can just imagine boarding by bus in the snow..

BA's meal looks rather nice

Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
some 15 minutes ahead of schedule and that with an ATC delay, just shows the padding put into schedules these days to keep the on-time figures looking good.

Anything to keep the lesser-informed passengers happy.

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070387.jpg
Haha, that Hennessy XO bottle is looking rather empty!

The lounge offerings don't look too bad.. And the view would definitely keep me happy for a while.


http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z287/BA319131/2011%20SOUTH%20AMERICA%20PART%201/P1070406.jpg

Woah, that's a lot of carry on luggage..

The flight seemed ok, I wouldn't be too disappointed with the food but the presentation of the lunch could have been much better. It's good when you only have to use the IFE for the airshow! How comfortable was the seat?

Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
Taxi to the gate was short and door L2 opened to offload the passengers, I have to say the crew we pretty good at holding back economy passengers to allow Business Plus passengers to deplane, something I always appreciate as I think it the right thing to do, other carriers, BA, cough cough should take note.

A nice touch to finish the journey.


I still sit and wonder whether this merger between BA and IB was a smart/correct move. Although they remain to operate as different entities, surely there must be some future standardisation to maximise benefits. But the service differences seem obvious from reading TRs on here and even though I've never flown on either airline.


Thanks for sharing, looking forward to reading the rest of this series!

Cheers,
Nicholas
It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
ba319-131
Topic Author
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RE: Part I - Oneworld To Mexico

Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:51 pm

Thanks for all the reads and comments so far, much appreciated and nice to know people do read what we write.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 2):
Looks like a fun itinerary!



- Thanks GC, sure was a good trip, if a tad tiring.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 2):
Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
The machine worked fine apart from it not showing my onward connection to MEX with IB, odd given it was booked on the same ticket.

With my sole boarding pass in hand I headed over to a couple of BA staff deep in conversation about 'stuff', apologising for interrupting them, I enquired about the lack of onward boarding pass, they suggested checking with Iberia, and pointed behind me before continuing their important conversation about 'stuff'.


Same thing happened to me in Feb when doing BA LHR-MAD and IB MAD-TFN. Had to go over to the IB desk where a surly man printed one out. Not terribly seamless.



- No, quite and disappointing something seemingly so simple did not work.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 2):
On my last flight back from MAD I managed 4 bottles. Maybe that was overkill though!



- Yes, too much even for me, well, depending upon time of day.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 2):
Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 1):

The lounge was pretty nice, offering reasonable view of the ramp and better catering than the last time I used an IB lounge @ MAD.

I love the IB lounge in T4S - great views, and pretty good catering. I like the mini bottles of cava too - got a couple stashed in my fridge!



- Now that's a idea, I'm passing through MAD in July, given me an idea  
Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 2):
Doesn't look like the catering has improved since my trip to Cuba last summer.



- The salads/starters were fine, main course was very disappointing.

Quoting 767747 (Reply 3):
Great report, ba319-131!



- Thanks, glad you enjoyed.

Quoting 767747 (Reply 3):
Nice to see how IB was in Business Plus. The seats look nice, but the catering seems a bit week for a flight of this length? The portions do seem a bit small, I had the feeling while reading it that I might have gotten hungry had it been me!



- The catering is the weak part for sure, the seat and space with decent wines are the winning element.

Quoting 767747 (Reply 3):
Nice to catch a flight on the A340 .. definitely one of my favorite planes.



- Indeed, fantastic machine, well for passengers.

Quoting LX64A332 (Reply 4):
Very nice TR!
Guess I will have to give IB a try in the future, albeit also in C, as Y I know doesn't even have PTVs.



- Thanks, yes IB are not as bad as we seem to think.

Quoting LX64A332 (Reply 4):
BTW, just curious, the last leg, GRU-LIS-LHR, was that done with TP?
I am asking because I am flying them between EWR and LIS next month, so it would be nice to get an in depth account of their C product.



- Yes, TP A330 in J, when do you fly?

Quoting Aflyingkiwi (Reply 5):
interesting to see a positive IB report, don't usually see too many of these. The hard product on IB actually looks pretty good though I guess it's the soft product that usually needs improving.



- Correct, it's the soft side needing the work, something I hope is being looked at behind the scenes.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 6):
great first part of your latest series, you created a very exciting itinerary!



- Thanks PH, glad you enjoyed.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 6):
IB's J Class product looks just okay in general. I'm really disappointed about the meals - IB should have a look at certain carriers' Y Class meals.



- Indeed the food is the weak part, I'm sure I've had bigger Y mains than my J main on this flight.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 6):
Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
I might be working, but it looks like BA has tweaked the meal, visually it looked better , perhaps the chives sprinkled over the meal?

The food was tasty as usual and for a change the butter was not frozen solid, extra breads were offered, I declined.

Good to hear it was tasty, but why can't BA improve that rather weak presentation?



- This is an improvement......

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 6):
Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
Once released the crew passed out the menu's along with amenity packs and a duty free thing, followed quickly by the presumed CSD taking dinner orders.

The amenity kits look nice - made of real leather?



- Alas no, I think it looks more like a woman's clutch bag  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 6):
Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):

The main arrive, however it was the pasta,I advised I'd ordered the chicken and it was promptly removed, when the chicken arrived I wish I'd stuck with the pasta, the dish was tiny, tasted fine but was a bit on the small side, plus is lack any real presentation, not a great looking dish visually.

That doesn't look appealing at all!



- Thankfully the taste was better than the look, though it was also too small.

Quoting robso2 (Reply 7):
Have been waiting for another of your reports!



- Thanks, 1st of a series of 5.

Quoting robso2 (Reply 7):
I also agree that IB aren't all that terrible in BusinessPlus. Not the best, but not too dire from my experience



- No, the seat and personal space is great.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 8):
Fantastic report. Nice way to start what is looking to be an interesting series!



- Hi Nicholas, thanks for reading.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 8):
I must say I've been cracking up at some of the typos/spell corrections/predictive text in this report and some of your replies



- You know it was getting late. A.NET gremlins kept removing all the text, when I got most of it working I just posted before it played up again, took me hours last night.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 8):
I can just imagine boarding by bus in the snow..



- I'm fine with snow, hate the rain.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 8):
that Hennessy XO bottle is looking rather empty!



- Nothing to do with me mate, honest!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 8):
The lounge offerings don't look too bad.. And the view would definitely keep me happy for a while.



- The lounge is great, plenty of drinks and snacks, great views, perfect to chill in for a few hours.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 8):
The flight seemed ok, I wouldn't be too disappointed with the food but the presentation of the lunch could have been much better. It's good when you only have to use the IFE for the airshow! How comfortable was the seat?



- Seat was great, very comfortable, got a good few hours sleep during the flight.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 8):
I still sit and wonder whether this merger between BA and IB was a smart/correct move. Although they remain to operate as different entities, surely there must be some future standardisation to maximise benefits. But the service differences seem obvious from reading TRs on here and even though I've never flown on either airline.



- I'm hoping both sides can bring some of the best parts to the party and join them, still early days yet.

Rgds

Mark
111 732 733 734 735 736 73G 738 739,7M8 BBJ 741 742 743 744 752 753 762 763 764 772 77L 773 77W L15 D10 D30 D40 AB3 AB6 312 313 318 319 320 20N 321 21N 332 333 342 343 345 346 359 351 388 CS1 CS3 I86 154 SSJ CRJ CR7 CR9 CRK 145 170 175 220
 
LX64A332
Posts: 245
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RE: Part I - Oneworld To Mexico

Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:56 pm

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 9):
- Yes, TP A330 in J, when do you fly?

I am flying on the 22nd of May. Snagged a cheap fare on the CO website, MCO-EWR-LIS return in J for just under 2,000USD!

cheers...
SWISS remains Swiss. With Lufthansa. :D
 
stipica
Posts: 419
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 2:55 pm

RE: Part I - Oneworld To Mexico

Tue Apr 12, 2011 2:03 pm

Hi Mark!
I'm glad you're back on the road ...

Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
The new terminal is really taking shape

I appreciate this update ... thanks

Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
a few in front declined, as I would normally do, the calories in these meals are off the scale, however today I was on holiday and decided to treat myself

you're obsessed with calories LOL and I feel guilty just for watching images

Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
The odd item for me was the shoe horn, who has a need for these?

I do ... and I always have one with me

Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
I have never forgotten is the seemingly endless carpet of housing and industry which seems to stretch forever around the city, the sheer mass of humanity crammed into seemingly every spare piece of land, it's really quite breathtaking.

well described ... experienced a two landing on MEX but many years ago

Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
to the lady manning the button.

LOL ...famous button ... both times I got the full treatment but very respectful ... me and lottery

Did you noticed "Mobile Lounges" on airport or they are history ?

Good review ... Iberia has a more then decent product in business clase (for European standards) which often be destroyed by employees (in air and on the ground) ... but I still take them into account because they have good prices (from Italy) ...

...adore Latin America and impatiently waiting for the new reports ... Stipica
Open your eyes and think
 
ba319-131
Topic Author
Posts: 8301
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

RE: Part I - Oneworld To Mexico

Tue Apr 12, 2011 2:46 pm

Quoting LX64A332 (Reply 10):
I am flying on the 22nd of May

- Ok, will have that part up by then.

Quoting LX64A332 (Reply 10):
Snagged a cheap fare on the CO website, MCO-EWR-LIS return in J for just under 2,000USD!

- Nice price!

Quoting stipica (Reply 11):
Hi Mark!
I'm glad you're back on the road

- Thanks, me too  
Quoting stipica (Reply 11):
you're obsessed with calories LOL and I feel guilty just for watching images

- I'm not that bad, sounds like it though reading this!  
Quoting stipica (Reply 11):
Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
The odd item for me was the shoe horn, who has a need for these?

I do ... and I always have one with me

- Ok, I stand corrected.

Quoting stipica (Reply 11):
Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
to the lady manning the button.

LOL ...famous button ... both times I got the full treatment but very respectful ... me and lottery

- I got it on my first ever visit, got lucky this time  
Quoting stipica (Reply 11):
Did you noticed "Mobile Lounges" on airport or they are history ?

- I think these are gone, did not see any whilst there.

Quoting stipica (Reply 11):
...adore Latin America and impatiently waiting for the new reports

- More to follow in due course.

Cheers

Mark
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abdul777er
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RE: Part I - Oneworld To Mexico

Tue Apr 12, 2011 3:04 pm

very nice trip report i love the a320 and the a340!!   
 
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TR763
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RE: Part I - Oneworld To Mexico

Tue Apr 12, 2011 5:53 pm

Great TR!!
Nice to hear you had a good experience with IB. It's an airline I swore I'd never fly again (well, I only flew Y with them).
When I read the MAD-MEX leg would be op by a 343, I thought "old crap!", but it seems that I was thankfully wrong!
Looking forward for the next trip reports, as your itinerary seems very interesting down here!!!

Thanks for sharing!!
TR763
Image
Picture by Justin Cederholm at MCO.
 
FLIEGER67
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RE: Part I - Oneworld To Mexico

Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:02 pm

Hi, Mark,

great stuff, well done.

I feel sometimes to drop you an emergency mail to see the status of you´re story, after you´re notice
with the posting problems, but real good to see it now here online.

IB on the classic A343 looks like ok against that usual negative impressions here.

Looking for more, you know.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)
Tripreporter.net
 
CaptainRed
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RE: Part I - Oneworld To Mexico

Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:59 pm

Hi Mark,
excellent report with some great pictures. Really like it that you write your report onboard, feels a bit like being live with you on the trip  
I have also heard quite a few terrible stories about Iberia, so glad you had a nice flight with them.

Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):

Trays cleared away I relaxed, reading the paper, glancing out of the window, sipping on my champagne, this is the life, no worries, no work phone ringing, no e-mails pinging, just you and tranquility, well that's how these moments feel to me, I cherish these moments, even more so with the seat open next to me!

I agree, that's one thing I like about flying as well. It is this feeling when everything else that bothers you usually is far away, you are there in the air, all for yourself with the views outside, just great.

So, now I am looking forward to read about the rest of your trip, definitely an interesting routing. Hope everything worked out well at the end and it wasn't too tiring with these 12 rather long flights in just 10 days.

Thanks again
CaptainRed
 
ba319-131
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RE: Part I - Oneworld To Mexico

Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:01 pm

Quoting abdul777er (Reply 13):
very nice trip report

- Thanks, glad you enjoyed.

Quoting TR763 (Reply 14):
Nice to hear you had a good experience with IB. It's an airline I swore I'd never fly again (well, I only flew Y with them).

- Thanks for reading and dropping a line, hopefully this was not just a one off flight on IB longhaul!

Quoting TR763 (Reply 14):
When I read the MAD-MEX leg would be op by a 343, I thought "old crap!", but it seems that I was thankfully wrong!

- Agreed, I was hoping for a sub to a 346, but I figure nice to get another 343, not had many.

Quoting TR763 (Reply 14):
Looking forward for the next trip reports, as your itinerary seems very interesting down here!!!

- Thanks, I think I had a good trip.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 15):
great stuff, well done.

- Hi Markus, thanks, good to see you drop by  
Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 15):
I feel sometimes to drop you an emergency mail to see the status of you´re story, after you´re notice
with the posting problems

- Well lack of time and A.NET gremlins caused a delay, gave up on many occastions, it's been frustrating to say the least, posting used to be so easy!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 15):
IB on the classic A343 looks like ok against that usual negative impressions here

- Indeed, a pretty good flight on balance and I'd do it again.

Cheers

Mark
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palmjet
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RE: Part I - Oneworld To Mexico

Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:04 pm

Hi Mark - nice to see the first of your reports from your recent travels. What a great schedule of flights. I am also looking forward to the TP report as there aren't many long haul reports on A.net.

By co-incidence I was at LHR only a couple of hours after you. In your shot of the FID at T3, I was travelling on BA794 at 1120 to HEL (and onto HKG and Australia) that morning and it's listed as the last flight in that pic ! Great stuff.

I was also at the BA Terraces lounge in T3, and again by co-incidence, I was sitting in the same row as you looking out onto the ramp. Great views. The SQ 380 that was being towed away from the gate, was later towed back as I was in the lounge to get ready for its return flight to SIN. By the time I got to the lounge, the bacon baguettes were still being served!

We flew with IB last year to TFN on a 343 in Y. It was one of the worst flights I have been on in a long time. Of course very different from a longhaul flight in J, but we had perhaps the laziest crew I've ever witnessed, so much so, that some did not even complete the safety demonstration, nor cross check the doors before departure - quite lax and most disappointing from Spain's flag carrier. Hope some of the BA service levels rub off onto IB in some way ! Glad your flights were better!!

Cheers P/jet
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vietsky
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RE: Part I - Oneworld To Mexico

Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:53 am

Hi Mark,

First time, I saw the Iberia J Class. Not bad at all.

Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
The coffee was dire, worse than normal Nescafe if you know what that is or how bad it is.

I always wondered why Airlines do not invested more on the Coffee quality (compare to Wine selection) in J class. What a shame. I actually never have tested any good coffee in J Class (only saw some T/R about Blue Mountain Coffee on SQ though)

Perhaps, Starbucks is every where on the airport so no need for a good cup of coffee in the air. Noticing, two of u pics at LHR and MAD all have Starbucks logo  
 
The777Man
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RE: Part I - Oneworld To Mexico

Wed Apr 13, 2011 7:27 am

Hi Mark!

Nice report; IB looks okay in J but norhting special. Seat looks okay; not great, glad it was more comfortable than that.

Looking forward very nuch to the continuation of this long trip!

The777Man
Boeing 777s flown: UA, TG, KE, BA, CX, NH, JD, JL, CZ, SQ, EK, NG, CO, AF, SV, KU, DL, AA, MH, OZ, CA, MS, SU, LY, RG, PE, AZ, KL, VN, PK, EY, NZ, AM, BR, AC, DT, UU, OS, AI, 9W, KQ, QR, VA, JJ, ET, TK, PR, BG, T5, CI, MU and LX.. Further to fly.. LH 777
 
ojas
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RE: Part I - Oneworld To Mexico

Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:02 am

HI mark,

Excellent TR! ... with your reports ex-LHR I can now give navigational tips to others even not being at LHR for years!!!   

Maybe you should now include a carrier which is going to join one world shortly 
Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
Today sees the start of a 10 day 12 flight trip, LHR-MAD-MEX-BOG-SCL-EZE-GRU with side trips of CGH-RIO-CGH-SDU-CGH before heading home GRU-LIS-LHR.

Exciting itinerary, hoping to see many other exciting TRs.

Thanks for sharing.
Great leaders don't tell you what to do ... they show you how it's done!
 
Mexicana757
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RE: Part I - Oneworld To Mexico

Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:02 am

BA319-131

Great trip report. Enjoyed reading it and thanks for taking so many pictures. The pictures made your TR a great read. And nice touch writing the TR while in flight.

Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
For desert I took the strawberrys and cream, most likely full of calories but it tasted good, can't be good every day!

I had to laugh at your mention of calories for a second time.   I think the strawberries and cream dessert was fine you should have worried more about the calories being consumed with each glass of wine. But no one counts those.    
Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
Next stop if to have your baggage screened before proceeding to the lady manning the button.

If you don't know what the button is, let me tell you. It is just a button, you press it, if it buzzes your luggage gets a thorough inspection, if not, you are free to enter the country, it's completely random, today was my lucky day, no buzzer went off, I smiled at the girl manning the button, I was free to enter the country.

The dreaded button. I hate that stupid button. Do they have the red and green light in MEX? I have never been through MEX customs just transfers. GDL has the red and green light. You press the button and wait for the light to turn either color. Get red and your luggage gets inspected. Green you can go through.

So sad to see MEX with no MX tails moving around.     

Looking forward to reading the future TRs.      
 
abrelosojos
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RE: Part I - Oneworld To Mexico

Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:00 am

Mark,

I was beginning to wonder when reports from your Latin American odyssey would make it to A.Net ... and here comes the pleasant surprise - a really good passenger account of what a flight between LHR and MEX via MAD would look like. Thanks so much for sharing with us.

Iberia J class looks pretty standard and I agree that they have an above average hard product. Frankly a tad surprised on the soft side as I have usually got rather decent meals on them. Yours look poor. Perhaps, it was the close-up picture of the chicken that made me reconsider my dinner options here! How were the crew? How do you rate them?

Again, thanks - and looking forward to the next installments.

Saludos,
A.
Live, and let live.
 
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sultanils
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RE: Part I - Oneworld To Mexico

Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:20 am

Hi Mark,

Lovely story & first part of your extensive journey. You've got yourself a nice routing and it seems you are in great holiday spirits! Very nice & I'm jealous   I'm a bit surprised on the outcome of your IB experience, it seems you had a good flight. That's a bit in contrast with the general tendency of IB on long haul being far from oustanding. Anyway, if YOU liked it, than it's OK, isn't it?
Your story brings back memories of me & the wife's trip to Mexico some 10 years ago. We took the very same flight but back then it was operated by a 747-300 and we flew Y.

Curiously awaiting your next installment of this trip,
Nils
In thrust we trust.
 
akhmad
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RE: Part I - Oneworld To Mexico

Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:55 pm

Hi Mark,

Great start of your spotting adventure. I thought that Mrs BA319-131 would come along when you told us about your plan to go to South America.

Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
With my sole boarding pass in hand I headed over to a couple of BA staff deep in conversation about 'stuff', apologising for interrupting them, I enquired about the lack of onward boarding pass, they suggested checking with Iberia, and pointed behind me before continuing their important conversation about 'stuff'.

Did the staff realize that you were traveling in J?

Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
Here are a few lounge shots

Just beautiful! It feels somehow more intimate than the T5 one.

Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
however when the doors were closed club's load was less than 50%, the seat plan was looking more like 80%, odd!

Perhaps to allow you to move around in case you are not satisfied with your seat assignment.

Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
Crew released and the customary hot breakfast was offered, a few in front declined, as I would normally do,

How can you decline full English breakfast?

Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
and seeing some stored ones

Sad view. I would love to see them flying into the airport of my birthplace.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 1):
I do love Madrid's T4 and T4S, such an open and clean feel to them, stunning!

It reminds me of Barcelona T1!

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 1):
most likely full of calories but it tasted good, can't be good every day!

It's just a tiny portion. You can have it everyday.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 1):
great views out there, let me share some with you.

  

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 1):
This was the second attempt, the first one had no text at all! - another A.NET gremlin I suspect, most annoying.

At least, you managed to post the excellent report of yours.


Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to your next installment of the series.

Cheers,
Suryo
There is no deity except You. Exalted are You. Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers.
 
ba319-131
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RE: Part I - Oneworld To Mexico

Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:14 pm

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 16):
excellent report with some great pictures

- Thanks Captain Red, glad you enjoyed.

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 16):
Really like it that you write your report onboard, feels a bit like being live with you on the trip

- Good, that's what I was aimimng for  
Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 16):
Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):

Trays cleared away I relaxed, reading the paper, glancing out of the window, sipping on my champagne, this is the life, no worries, no work phone ringing, no e-mails pinging, just you and tranquility, well that's how these moments feel to me, I cherish these moments, even more so with the seat open next to me!

I agree, that's one thing I like about flying as well. It is this feeling when everything else that bothers you usually is far away, you are there in the air, all for yourself with the views outside, just great.

- As you can imagine, I'm firmly against allowing people to use mobile phones on planes.

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 18):
I am also looking forward to the TP report as there aren't many long haul reports on A.net.

- The TP report has stired up a bit of interest, let's hope everybody enjoys it when it surfaces  
Quoting Palmjet (Reply 18):
By co-incidence I was at LHR only a couple of hours after you. In your shot of the FID at T3, I was travelling on BA794 at 1120 to HEL (and onto HKG and Australia) that morning and it's listed as the last flight in that pic ! Great stuff.

- It's times like this you realise the world is a small place, TR on the way?

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 18):
We flew with IB last year to TFN on a 343 in Y. It was one of the worst flights I have been on in a long time. Of course very different from a longhaul flight in J, but we had perhaps the laziest crew I've ever witnessed, so much so, that some did not even complete the safety demonstration, nor cross check the doors before departure - quite lax and most disappointing from Spain's flag carrier

- I'd not go so far to say they were lazy but they wern't that active from what I could see.

Quoting vietsky (Reply 19):
First time, I saw the Iberia J Class. Not bad at all.

- Hi Vietsky good to hear from you, keeping well I trust. Yes the J hard product, seat adn space, is actually pretty good.

Quoting vietsky (Reply 19):
I always wondered why Airlines do not invested more on the Coffee quality (compare to Wine selection) in J class. What a shame. I actually never have tested any good coffee in J Class (only saw some T/R about Blue Mountain Coffee on SQ though)

- I had some decent stuff once, think it was on Qatar.

Quoting vietsky (Reply 19):
Noticing, two of u pics at LHR and MAD all have Starbucks logo

- You caught me out! - I'm a bit of a Starbucks fan  
Quoting The777Man (Reply 20):
Looking forward very nuch to the continuation of this long trip!

- Cheers Lars, hope to get the next up on Monday night.

Quoting ojas (Reply 21):
Excellent TR!

- Thanks Ojas.

Quoting ojas (Reply 21):
with your reports ex-LHR I can now give navigational tips to others even not being at LHR for years!!!

- Ha, I like the way you think  
Quoting ojas (Reply 21):
Maybe you should now include a carrier which is going to join one world shortly

- Funny you should say that, it might be an option on something I'm looking at next year.........

Quoting Mexicana757 (Reply 22):
The pictures made your TR a great read. And nice touch writing the TR while in flight.

- Thanks, I find it helps keep more detail in as it's fresh in your mind.

Quoting Mexicana757 (Reply 22):
The dreaded button. I hate that stupid button. Do they have the red and green light in MEX? I have never been through MEX customs just transfers

- I can't remember but I suspect so.

Quoting Mexicana757 (Reply 22):
So sad to see MEX with no MX tails moving around

- I know, very sad indeed  
Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 23):
I was beginning to wonder when reports from your Latin American odyssey would make it to A.Net

- Hi Alex, finally found the time, seems to be in short supply at the moment.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 23):
Iberia J class looks pretty standard and I agree that they have an above average hard product. Frankly a tad surprised on the soft side as I have usually got rather decent meals on them. Yours look poor. Perhaps, it was the close-up picture of the chicken that made me reconsider my dinner options here! How were the crew? How do you rate them?

- Yes, the chicken looks a bit grotty, was fine though, too small mind! The crew were ok, nothing special, one the meals were over I hardly saw them to be honest.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 24):
Your story brings back memories of me & the wife's trip to Mexico some 10 years ago. We took the very same flight but back then it was operated by a 747-300 and we flew Y.

- Hopefully good memories - thanks for reading.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 25):
Great start of your spotting adventure

- Indeed, made over 600 on this trip, well worth it.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 25):
I thought that Mrs BA319-131 would come along when you told us about your plan to go to South America.

- No, she'd not take too kindly to some of the flight times, connections and being dragged around airports.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 25):
Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
With my sole boarding pass in hand I headed over to a couple of BA staff deep in conversation about 'stuff', apologising for interrupting them, I enquired about the lack of onward boarding pass, they suggested checking with Iberia, and pointed behind me before continuing their important conversation about 'stuff'.

Did the staff realize that you were traveling in J?

- No, never even asked to see the ticket.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 25):
Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
Here are a few lounge shots

Just beautiful! It feels somehow more intimate than the T5 one.

- I think it is as T5 South is just huge by comparison.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 25):
How can you decline full English breakfast?

- Easily after a while  

Cheers

Mark
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sr117
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RE: Part I - Oneworld To Mexico

Fri Apr 15, 2011 5:40 pm

Hey Mark

Thanks for the excellent report ! How long were you in Mexico? Hope you enjoyed your time here.

Unfortunately it looks like you landed on either the 23 L/R runways at MEX which means you didn't get the most scenic approach, but I'm glad you enjoyed it nonetheless.

That english breakfast on BA looks very tasty. I wouldn't mind having one right now.

And about Iberia, wow, I'm impressed to hear that they weren't awful, in fact, they don't sound that bad. I like the olives and cold plate dish they served before arrival, sounds like a nice change of pace indeed, although I'm not sure vegetarians would appreciate it so much  

The presentation on the chicken dish looks awful but judging by the ingredients it looks interesting, wouldn't mind a bite or two. Can you tell I'm a bit hungry ?

Thanks again
Ricardo
 
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OA260
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RE: Part I - Oneworld To Mexico

Fri Apr 15, 2011 6:18 pm

Hey Mark ,
Great report , I wondered why you had been so quiet recently   Great to see you back again with a really enjoyable report and nice photos. I was dissapointed to see the IB Meal they could do alot better as you say . Everything else looks nice though. Has the BA breakfast shrinked also? I remember it used to be a bit more substantial?


Regards

Philip  
 
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chepos
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RE: Part I - Oneworld To Mexico

Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:02 pm

Excelente, thank you for sharing and great pics. I guess you got lucky with the IB cabin crew on your flight, the IB long haul crews are known for being less than friendly and often times rude (they must hire retired F/A's from the U.S.- hehehe). Gor a flight in excess of 11 hours the second meal seems rather small, I would have been starving by the time you get into MEX. Hope you enjoyed your time in MEX and I'm looking forward to reading the next couple of installments.

Regards,

Chepos
Fly the Flag!!!!
 
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fbgdavidson
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RE: Part I - Oneworld To Mexico

Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:14 pm

Great pictures and narrative, Mark! I've been wondering about IB B+ for a while, considering IB are considered rather woeful in economy the B+ gets reasonable reports and your report suggests why, very nice seat (same as SAA perhaps?) and the cold meats as a second meal are always a little different, as long as they're of a decent quality of course!

Looks like a fun trip, though think the wife might kill me if I didn't take her along on something similar   Any particular reason you didn't opt for BA's non-stop service?

Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
I might be working, but it looks like BA has tweaked the meal, visually it looked better , perhaps the chives sprinkled over the meal?

I looked at that picture and thought the same thing! My Club Europe breakfast into LGW last weekend looked different and I think it might be those chives.
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
jgw787
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RE: Part I - Oneworld To Mexico

Sat Apr 16, 2011 2:04 am

Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
I always appreciate as I think it the right thing to do, other carriers, BA, cough cough should take note.

I thought BA rules at least at LHR were to deplane using L1 and board by L2. I thought that was why when T5 was built they only put one jetway at each gate.
 
Globetraveller
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RE: Part I - Oneworld To Mexico

Sat Apr 16, 2011 1:15 pm

An excellent beginning to your trip report series Mark!

Really great to see another around of TRs from you. As always: excellent pictures and great detail. I look forward to the rest!

Globetraveller
 
FlyingFinn76
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RE: Part I - Oneworld To Mexico

Sat Apr 16, 2011 2:16 pm

Hi Mark,

Nice that after your initial troubles you finally got this opening report up and running. Looks like a nice, quite comfortable way to get to MEX. BA of course is always a very good airline, but not sure about IB - somehow I'd expect a bit more in business class on a long haul. But at least the seat looks like it's very comfortable for sleeping, am I right?

Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
Today sees the start of a 10 day 12 flight trip, LHR-MAD-MEX-BOG-SCL-EZE-GRU with side trips of CGH-RIO-CGH-SDU-CGH before heading home GRU-LIS-LHR.

Gotta love this itinerary!

Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
3rd Flight on this aircraft, 98th A320 flight

Did you pass the hundred mark already, I assume so?

Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
I took a stool by the window, P this this for you.

Thanks mate, that one is still missing from my log, though.

Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
Minimal luggage for the 10 days ahead

I don't know how you manage with just that. I think having a change of clothes for every day would push me way over that limit...

Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
I'm not sure exactly what time boarding appeared for the flight but I noticed it at 07:40, so I grabbed my stuff and headed out of the lounge. By the time I passed the next monitor it was stating gate closing.

Naah, they keep doing this all the time with the departures at T3 - the gate is usually closing a good 45 minutes before departure. In all fairness, they DO board quite early and usually send the buses away as soon as they fill them, but if you have lounge access it makes sense to wait a bit longer in the lounge than in the plane I guess...

Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
The gate 24 area is all bussing, P knows this area quite well from his regular jaunts home to HEL on BA. This was the first time I've been here, all in all it's a quite tidy set up.

Yeah, I know it far too well!

Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
however when the doors were closed club's load was less than 50%, the seat plan was looking more like 80%, odd!

Maybe a bunch of incoming connections got delayed?

Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
wash it down with some champagne, did I feel bad, nope! - not even after the second bottle!

Don't be! That's one of the good things in life and about riding up front!

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 1):
I do love Madrid's T4 and T4S, such an open and clean feel to them, stunning!

I second that. And if you compare them to the dump that the T1-T3 complex is it is even more so.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 1):
Eventually, pre departure drinks were served, OJ, water and Cava, I took the latter.

No champagne? What about later during the flight or was it always Cava? Hope at least it was some premium brand and not some 2 EUR per bottle dishwater!

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 1):
and feeling knackered, not a great start feeling knackered.

That's what you have the nice sleeper seat for.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 1):
the takeoff roll seemed to take longer than usual, wheels finally left Iberian soil at 13:37 - that said, we had a long flight ahead of us.

Well, that's an A340 classic for you!

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 1):
The usual slow climb allowed some lovely views of the Madrid area, at one point I did wonder if we were actually climbing, the fields of green below us seemed very close, however we gradually started to distance ourselves from terra firma.

Well, that's an A340 classic for you!  
Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 1):
the dish was tiny, tasted fine but was a bit on the small side, plus is lack any real presentation, not a great looking dish visually.

Hmm, to be honest with you, it didn't look very appetizing at all. Looks like something out of an elementary school cafeteria.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 1):
For desert I took the strawberrys and cream, most likely full of calories but it tasted good, can't be good every day!

That looks so much better and with presentation to match!

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 1):
my wine and water have been topped up, crew seem pretty good with that, though they don't put enough wine in so they have to fill the glass up more often.

Maybe they have had some bad experiences with turbulence and nasty red wine stains - keeping the glass half full (or half empty if you're a pessimist) is a way to try to prevent that.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 1):
I spent the rest if the time listening to the new Duran Duran album and looking out of the window, great views out there, let me share some with you.

Beautiful, just beautiful scenery, but horrible, just horrible choice of music!

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 1):
The crew came through, linens placed on extended tray tables and the snack tray laid out, on the tray was a a plate of fruit, a little cheese and some dry cured meats, nothing exciting but it makes a change from sandwiches.

Looks like a very nice snack! Although you have to be a carnivore, vegetarians would probably run away from it screaming!
 
ba319-131
Topic Author
Posts: 8301
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

RE: Part I - Oneworld To Mexico

Sun Apr 17, 2011 7:43 am

Hi All,

A few selected replies.

Quoting SR117 (Reply 27):
Thanks for the excellent report !

- No worries, glad you enjoyed, thanks for reading.

Quoting SR117 (Reply 27):
How long were you in Mexico?

- Just a shade over 24 hours, not much time for anything but spotting and sleep.

Quoting SR117 (Reply 27):
Hope you enjoyed your time here

- I saw nothing but my hotel room and the airport, however I came to spot planes and made over 100, so time well spent.

Quoting SR117 (Reply 27):
The presentation on the chicken dish looks awful but judging by the ingredients it looks interesting, wouldn't mind a bite or two. Can you tell I'm a bit hungry ?

- You must be hungry, it's hardly an attractive dish!  
Quoting oa260 (Reply 28):
Great report , I wondered why you had been so quiet recently

- Hi Philip. yes travels, work and posting issues.

Quoting oa260 (Reply 28):
Has the BA breakfast shrinked also? I remember it used to be a bit more substantial?

- I don't think so, though thouse who have not flown BA for a while would be able to detect better than I.

Quoting chepos (Reply 29):
they must hire retired F/A's from the U.S.- hehehe

- Ha, that's funny!

Quoting chepos (Reply 29):
Gor a flight in excess of 11 hours the second meal seems rather small, I would have been starving by the time you get into MEX

- It was actually ok size wise and I only had a light snack that evening before bed.

Quoting fbgdavidson (Reply 30):
Great pictures and narrative, Mark!

- Thanks Frazer, glad you enjoyed  
Quoting fbgdavidson (Reply 30):
I've been wondering about IB B+ for a while, considering IB are considered rather woeful in economy the B+ gets reasonable reports and your report suggests why, very nice seat (same as SAA perhaps?) and the cold meats as a second meal are always a little different, as long as they're of a decent quality of course!

- I'd be quite happy to use IB B+ again, seats are comfy, good as a bed, decent wines, meals are ok, though could be better presented and larger in size. Not looked at the SAA seats properly but they seem similar.

Quoting fbgdavidson (Reply 30):
Looks like a fun trip, though think the wife might kill me if I didn't take her along

- Mrs BA319131 won't come on hard core spotting trips like this, not enough time for her to relax.

Quoting fbgdavidson (Reply 30):
Any particular reason you didn't opt for BA's non-stop service?

- Originall I was booked on the Mexicana A330 service from MAD-MEX, they of course went under, the easiest option was to change to the IB service, plus it gave me another A340, too few flown compared to the 744.

Quoting fbgdavidson (Reply 30):
Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
I might be working, but it looks like BA has tweaked the meal, visually it looked better , perhaps the chives sprinkled over the meal?

I looked at that picture and thought the same thing! My Club Europe breakfast into LGW last weekend looked different and I think it might be those chives.

- Excellent, not just me then!

Quoting globetraveller (Reply 32):
An excellent beginning to your trip report series Mark!

- Thanks GT, more to follow.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 33):
Looks like a nice, quite comfortable way to get to MEX. BA of course is always a very good airline, but not sure about IB - somehow I'd expect a bit more in business class on a long haul. But at least the seat looks like it's very comfortable for sleeping, am I right?

- Hi P, the seat is great as a seat and as a bed, slept very well in it.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 33):
Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
Today sees the start of a 10 day 12 flight trip, LHR-MAD-MEX-BOG-SCL-EZE-GRU with side trips of CGH-RIO-CGH-SDU-CGH before heading home GRU-LIS-LHR.

Gotta love this itinerary!

- Thanks, quite liked it too, if I'd had more time it would have been even more interesting.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 33):
Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
3rd Flight on this aircraft, 98th A320 flight

Did you pass the hundred mark already, I assume so?

- Yep, hit the 100 figure on a JJ machine in Brazil.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 33):
Thanks mate, that one is still missing from my log, though.

- How many have you caught so far?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 33):
I don't know how you manage with just that. I think having a change of clothes for every day would push me way over that limit...

- I've enough clothes for a change everyday apart from jeans, two pairs for 10 days, not much room for buying anything whilst away!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 33):
Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 1):
I do love Madrid's T4 and T4S, such an open and clean feel to them, stunning!

I second that. And if you compare them to the dump that the T1-T3 complex is it is even more so.

- Not been to the old terminal since IB moved out, it was bad enough then, however IB had a lounge with brilliant views over the ramps, I guess it's the Air Europa lounge now?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 33):
No champagne? What about later during the flight or was it always Cava? Hope at least it was some premium brand and not some 2 EUR per bottle dishwater!

- Cava all flight P, was ok, though not something you would have too many glasses of.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 33):
Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 1):
I spent the rest if the time listening to the new Duran Duran album and looking out of the window, great views out there, let me share some with you.

Beautiful, just beautiful scenery, but horrible, just horrible choice of music!

- What's wrong with Duran Duran? We are having a bit of an 80's revival here in the UK, quite a few bands getting back together and launching new albums, good stuff!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 33):
Looks like a very nice snack! Although you have to be a carnivore, vegetarians would probably run away from it screaming!

- Ha, not thought of that, no idea what the other option, if there was one,was.

Cheers

Mark
111 732 733 734 735 736 73G 738 739,7M8 BBJ 741 742 743 744 752 753 762 763 764 772 77L 773 77W L15 D10 D30 D40 AB3 AB6 312 313 318 319 320 20N 321 21N 332 333 342 343 345 346 359 351 388 CS1 CS3 I86 154 SSJ CRJ CR7 CR9 CRK 145 170 175 220
 
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rogerbcn
Posts: 1173
Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 10:45 pm

RE: Part I - Oneworld To Mexico

Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:55 am

Hola Mark!

An excellent TR as usual. It is a very long trip and eager to read all parts of it as yours come always with detailed information and pictures.

Love those BA breakfast, I still remember the last one I had on a TXL-LHR two summers ago.

IB long haul product on J class is very acceptable, I have flown them to EZE and FFK and I always find the seat very comfortable in all positions. I agree with you about size and presentation, it could be bigger and better presented, although once you taste it you forget about everything; it is usually very tasty. Wine selection is as well a great product, they tend to have great wines and referring to the use of cava, I think it has to do with promoting Spanish products, although they could offer something better than the one they used to offer when I last flew them. There are great cavas out there.

Crews are a very different story, they just do their job and it is difficult to find any that goes a step ahead and provides the service and kindness you see on other carriers.

I like the shoe bag and use them all the time when travelling, and yes, the shoe horn is a very useful device for some of us. I always use one when putting on my shoes, especially after long flights.

Salut!

Roger
"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Traveling is Living)
 
wfm
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2007 2:14 pm

RE: Part I - Oneworld To Mexico

Tue Apr 19, 2011 10:50 am

Hi,

Great TR. Looking for the Brazil segment.

Regards,

Michael
EIDW-EKCH
 
ba319-131
Topic Author
Posts: 8301
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

RE: Part I - Oneworld To Mexico

Tue Apr 19, 2011 10:16 pm

Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 35):
An excellent TR as usual

- Hi Roger, thanks for reading, good to see your comments are in-line with my opinions on the service, both hard and soft, seems IB are consistent in that manOR.

Re the shoe horn, perhaps us Brit's just don't use them then?

Cheers

Mark
111 732 733 734 735 736 73G 738 739,7M8 BBJ 741 742 743 744 752 753 762 763 764 772 77L 773 77W L15 D10 D30 D40 AB3 AB6 312 313 318 319 320 20N 321 21N 332 333 342 343 345 346 359 351 388 CS1 CS3 I86 154 SSJ CRJ CR7 CR9 CRK 145 170 175 220
 
ronerone
Posts: 1464
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2004 4:56 pm

RE: Part I - Oneworld To Mexico

Sat May 07, 2011 3:16 pm

Great report Mark! And what an exciting itinerary you have! I have been wanting to hit Latin America for quite some time, so i will be watching out for this series with a lot of anticipation  

Contrary to other reports on Iberia, your experience seemed quite positive. Apart from the meals which did not look too appetising, the rest seemed great! Loved Madrid's terminal, and the abundance of Airbus aircraft out there! Great stuff  


Sorry for my late response here, just found some time to get it accross the line  

Thanks for sharing, looking forward to reading your next installment on Avianca!

Cheers,
Roni
Fly Roni. Aviation Journeys. Photos. Videos.
 
ba319-131
Topic Author
Posts: 8301
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

RE: Part I - Oneworld To Mexico

Sun May 15, 2011 12:12 pm

Quoting ronerone (Reply 38):
Great report Mark!

- Hi Roni, thanks for reading, glad you enjoyed  
Quoting ronerone (Reply 38):
And what an exciting itinerary you have!

- Yep, was quite pleased with it myself  
Quoting ronerone (Reply 38):
Contrary to other reports on Iberia, your experience seemed quite positive. Apart from the meals which did not look too appetising, the rest seemed great

- Indeed, food aside it's a much better experience than I expected.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 38):
Loved Madrid's terminal

- Yes, lovely and airy, great views outside, lots of glass.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 38):
Sorry for my late response here, just found some time to get it accross the line

- No worries, I know what it's like, plus not enough hours in the day these days!

Cheers

Mark
111 732 733 734 735 736 73G 738 739,7M8 BBJ 741 742 743 744 752 753 762 763 764 772 77L 773 77W L15 D10 D30 D40 AB3 AB6 312 313 318 319 320 20N 321 21N 332 333 342 343 345 346 359 351 388 CS1 CS3 I86 154 SSJ CRJ CR7 CR9 CRK 145 170 175 220
 
Flightsimboy
Posts: 1772
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2005 12:49 pm

RE: Part I - Oneworld To Mexico

Sun May 15, 2011 9:07 pm

Great trip report, and as you mention start to a spotting trip, when do we see those pics?

Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
Minimal luggage for the 10 days ahead

Is there a guide somewhere to pack so lightly for 10 days LOL. I pack light myself, but for 10 days I would have had more lol.

Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
Heading towards Terminal 3 I took a couple of pictures, whilst not the best of terminals, I quite like the exterior, at least in the dark, nicely lit up with hints of purples and blues, quite refreshing.

I somehow associate purple hues with Virgin Atlantic for some reason. Maybe because it's such a prominent feature in the Bond movies with the VS scenes shot on board!! But then I hope my mind is not playing tricks on me lol

Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
The only drawback to this whole set up is it is bussing, hardly a very premium service being packed like sardines in a bus then being unloaded on the tarmac whilst your turn to get on the stairs to climb unto the plane, I but it's miserable in the wet, thankfully today was dry.

Oh you J & F class passengers are so pampered. But I agree maybe J need a dedicated bus service.

Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
There is one good side to boarding by stairs, a few close up shots of the plane.

Ah yes, the view that is enjoyed by all including the Y passengers lol

Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
before we settled in next to a sexy Iberia A340-600, we were somewhat dwarfed as you would expect!

There is only one word to describe the A346, and that word is indeed "Sexy"....Have to ride her someday...someday!!

Quoting ba319-131 (Thread starter):
All in all another solid flight from BA, northing to get excited about but more important, you get what you expect with noting to complain about.

Very well said!!

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 1):
The amenity pack

I love how the Amenity packs is the same design of the seats, and the earth tones of the J class. Very soothing!!

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 1):
For desert I took the strawberrys and cream,

Hardly the way I would have imagined Strawberries and cream to be served. But I guess it tasted as good as it looked.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 1):
If you don't know what the button is, let me tell you. It is just a button, you press it, if it buzzes your luggage gets a thorough inspection, if not, you are free to enter the country, it's completely random, today was my lucky day, no buzzer went off, I smiled at the girl manning the button, I was free to enter the country.

What in heaven's name does that machine look for? I would dread to picture the reaction from me if that thing actually started beeping. I don't think I've heard of this feature at other airports. The security probably has to do with drugs, I suspect. But still all too bizzare.
LAX772LR - "Answer to goofy question:" in response to my question about the B737-MAX8 being grounded. 48 hours later all B737-MAX8 grounded worldwide. Go figure!!
 
ba319-131
Topic Author
Posts: 8301
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

RE: Part I - Oneworld To Mexico

Mon May 23, 2011 8:48 pm

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 40):
Great trip report

- Cool, thanks for reading.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 40):
as you mention start to a spotting trip, when do we see those pics?

- I'll post a few in the next reports, I'm more into registration spotting than pictures.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 40):
Is there a guide somewhere to pack so lightly for 10 days LOL. I pack light myself, but for 10 days I would have had more lol.

- Ha, I wish my wife could pack like me, she need to put a bag in the hold for an overnight trip to Edinburgh!

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 40):
Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 1):
If you don't know what the button is, let me tell you. It is just a button, you press it, if it buzzes your luggage gets a thorough inspection, if not, you are free to enter the country, it's completely random, today was my lucky day, no buzzer went off, I smiled at the girl manning the button, I was free to enter the country.

What in heaven's name does that machine look for? I would dread to picture the reaction from me if that thing actually started beeping. I don't think I've heard of this feature at other airports. The security probably has to do with drugs, I suspect. But still all too bizzare.

- It's a random search in effect, I expect drugs, the machine has no fuction other than a red or green light, red means search.

Cheers

Mark
111 732 733 734 735 736 73G 738 739,7M8 BBJ 741 742 743 744 752 753 762 763 764 772 77L 773 77W L15 D10 D30 D40 AB3 AB6 312 313 318 319 320 20N 321 21N 332 333 342 343 345 346 359 351 388 CS1 CS3 I86 154 SSJ CRJ CR7 CR9 CRK 145 170 175 220
 
LH4116
Posts: 1183
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 4:39 am

RE: Part I - Oneworld To Mexico

Thu Jun 23, 2011 3:44 pm

Hi Mark,

Great report, been a while since last so I'd better catch up on your reports  

BA Club Europe seem like a pretty nice intra EU J product to me, by judging the reports I'd recall it as one of the best... After SAS of course. Fares are pretty attractive at the moment, so I've been feeling pretty tempted to try it out. The full English breakfast looked rather decent, though given the fact that you're a calorie conscious man, couldn't you've ordered a low-calorie meal?  

IB's long haul J product seems rather decent. In terms of hardware I must say the seat looks fantastic, love the beige and sand colors, also the legroom looks very generous. Perhaps a bit too generous, since they could've cut a few inches to fit another row of seats, suppose that wouldn't have made any big difference in terms of comfort.

The food offerings however appear to be IB's weak side. In terms of quantity and presentation I must say it looked rather bad, portions looked small also the main course could might as well been a dish from Y served on a fancier plate. But that's just my opinion  

Interesting that you began writing the TR on your iPad, I assume you were using Pages. How well does it suit for TR's? I'm thinking of starting to use it for my future TR's, but on the Mac  

All in all, it was a pleasure reading as always! Thanks for sharing.
//Jonas
SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
 
MSS658
Posts: 2453
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 8:16 am

RE: Part I - Oneworld To Mexico

Sun Jun 26, 2011 5:19 pm

Nice trip report, However I must agree about the portion and presentation of your lunch. Looks more like a Y class lunch than a J-class lunch.
Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
 
ba319-131
Topic Author
Posts: 8301
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

RE: Part I - Oneworld To Mexico

Sun Jul 03, 2011 6:57 am

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 43):
Nice trip report

- Thanks for reading, glad you enjoyed.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 43):
However I must agree about the portion and presentation of your lunch. Looks more like a Y class lunch than a J-class lunch.

- Yes, not such a great meal visually or size wise.

Quoting lh4116 (Reply 42):
Great report, been a while since last so I'd better catch up on your reports

- Hi Jonas, thanks for stopping by  
Quoting lh4116 (Reply 42):
BA Club Europe seem like a pretty nice intra EU J product to me, by judging the reports I'd recall it as one of the best.

- It's an ok product, there could be improvements to it too.

Quoting lh4116 (Reply 42):
Fares are pretty attractive at the moment, so I've been feeling pretty tempted to try it out

- Not from here, there are some silly prices at the moment and weekend day trips in C are priced insanely, no wonder the Club cabins are seemingly mostly empty at the weekends.

Quoting lh4116 (Reply 42):
The full English breakfast looked rather decent, though given the fact that you're a calorie conscious man, couldn't you've ordered a low-calorie meal?  

- I could update my profile to show this but you've got to have fun sometimes  
Quoting lh4116 (Reply 42):
IB's long haul J product seems rather decent. In terms of hardware I must say the seat looks fantastic, love the beige and sand colors, also the legroom looks very generous. Perhaps a bit too generous, since they could've cut a few inches to fit another row of seats, suppose that wouldn't have made any big difference in terms of comfort.

- The cabin is great, they actually took a row out to increase legroom in the forward cabin.

Quoting lh4116 (Reply 42):
The food offerings however appear to be IB's weak side. In terms of quantity and presentation I must say it looked rather bad, portions looked small also the main course could might as well been a dish from Y served on a fancier plate. But that's just my opinion

- Food needs help, hopefully they can learn a bit from BA, not the best but certainly a great deal better than IB in this dept.

Quoting lh4116 (Reply 42):
Interesting that you began writing the TR on your iPad, I assume you were using Pages. How well does it suit for TR's? I'm thinking of starting to use it for my future TR's, but on the Mac

- Pages works just fine for me, the ability to pick it up, put it down when you want is great, ipad is brilliant.

Cheers

Mark
111 732 733 734 735 736 73G 738 739,7M8 BBJ 741 742 743 744 752 753 762 763 764 772 77L 773 77W L15 D10 D30 D40 AB3 AB6 312 313 318 319 320 20N 321 21N 332 333 342 343 345 346 359 351 388 CS1 CS3 I86 154 SSJ CRJ CR7 CR9 CRK 145 170 175 220

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