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CaptainRed
Topic Author
Posts: 784
Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:22 am

BA Upperdeck Experience And AA Biz To New York

Fri Sep 18, 2015 8:27 pm

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/teaser.jpg

Hi everybody!

Introduction



Once in a year my dad and I head out together for a weekend city trip somewhere around Europe. But for this year we wanted to indulge in a little bit of luxury and do something more special. How about a long weekend in the city that never sleeps, in New York City? Sounds good! And to make things even better, we decided to fly in business class over the pond. However to find a reasonably priced flight for this wasn't really easy, but then British Airways came to our rescue with a business class sale for the summer months. Nothing out of Germany though, but they had a pretty good offer with flights out of Dublin, first to JFK via LHR, and the return flight direct JFK-DUB with American Airlines. Not bad, would give us a chance to compare the two airlines (and LHR would be a new airport for me, yes, believe it or not I have managed to avoid Heathrow so far). I then booked a simple return flight FRA-DUB with Aer Lingus to get ourselves to Dublin and we were all set.

The BA flight to JFK was scheduled to be in a B747-400 and they have a part of the Club World cabin on the upper deck, of course I was eager to ride in this exclusive section, something I always wanted to do. However BA charges a ridiculous amount of 105,- Euro extra for a seat reservation on the upper deck per person! So I decided to wait till online check-in gets open and hope that there are still seats in this section available.

The return flight with AA was at first scheduled to be in a 767 but then got downgraded to a 757-200. Well, I really do like the 757, but on such a rather long flight I would have preferred something more bigger.

In this report I will focus on the biz flights and won't write about the Aer Lingus flights, since these were just two pretty standard European hops and I had already covered this route in another report.

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/map.gif
Map generated by the Great Circle Mapper - copyright © Karl L. Swartz.


Flight 1: DUB-LHR


29.08.2015
British Airways BA 833
Dublin – London Heathrow
Distance: 450 km / 243 nm
Airbus A319 (G-EUOH)
Seat 2A
scheduled 08:50 – 10:10
actual 08:47 – 10:08
flight-time 08:58 – 09:58 (60 minutes)

After a pleasant flight with Aer Lingus and a night in the Premier Inn hotel near Dublin airport it was time to head back to the airport on this lovely morning. BA uses the older terminal 1 here:



After security (we were able to use the fast track lane, nice) we headed straight to the lounge, the DAA Executive Lounge where we got welcomed in by a quite friendly agent at the reception. It wasn't very busy there yet:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_002.jpg

And they had a small, but nicely stocked buffet with snacks and sweets:



Selfservice coffee and tea bar, with also some stronger stuff on offer, but not for us on this time of the day though:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_005.jpg

Instead I got a coffee and a few nibbles:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_001.jpg

The lounge was pleasant enough to wait for our flight, only the view out of the windows wasn't that spectacular:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_003.jpg

Let's check the FIDS, all looks good for our flight to Heathrow:



Later on the way to the gate we saw this beautiful green 757, looks sexy with the winglets:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_008.jpg

And our ride to London was already at the gate, here it is, the A319 as scheduled:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_007.jpg

Turned out to be G-EUOH, built in 2001 and in service with British Airways since then. Boarding started just as we arrived at the gate so we directly headed into the plane. Good morning to the flight attendant and I settled down into 2A, with the middle seat blocked. But besides there wasn't any difference to a regular seat, even the seat pitch wasn't that good. I had expected a bit more room, but it was certainly enough for a short flight. My view out of the window:



And I liked how they put the BA logo on the bulkhead:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_011.jpg

On time departure after a quick welcome by the Captain and we made our way towards the runway. Two AA planes were parked at other gates, a sign for things to come later on this trip:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_012.jpg

And up in the air from runway 28:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_013.jpg

After the turn towards the East we had this view over the airport:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_014.jpg

And a little later over the coast of Ireland:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_015.jpg

The airshow was on for the whole flight, always good:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_016.jpg

Then the crew started with the service, they were apparently of the more senior and experienced type and very friendly on this flight. They distributed hot towels first, followed later by a hot breakfast:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_017.jpg

The food was really nice, I had a warm croissant with it from the bread basket, together with an orange juice and a coffee. After the trash got cleaned up we had already left flight level 270 and were descending towards London. The Captain was on the mike again with another welcome, he told us about the lovely weather in London this day and that we would be put in a hold only for a few minutes so we would be on time in Heathrow. Good to hear.

We were flying past the Silverstone circuit:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_018.jpg

I was sitting on the wrong side for the views over the city of London, instead I had this great overview over London City Airport:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_019.jpg



Over the Southern suburbs:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_021.jpg

And the Twickenham Stadium:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_022.jpg

Already over the airport perimeters on final approach towards runway 27R:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_023.jpg

Touching down after exactly one hour in the air. On the way to the gate we saw this big bird coming all the way from Australia:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_024.jpg

Nearing terminal 5 with a lot of BA planes, well, it's their base after all:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_025.jpg

At the gate then perfectly on time, and with a seat this far in front of course we were out of the plane quite quickly, and for the first time I set my foot into London Heathrow airport:



We had a little more than one hour of connection time, so should be more than enough since our next flight leaves from the same terminal. We somehow missed the fast track entrance to the security check here. Their was quite a long line here at the regular check so I asked an agent there if we can switch lanes. He checked our boarding passes, 'Sure, of course', and let us pass to the other, much shorter line. Still it took a few minutes, but then we were through and into the main hall:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_027.jpg

We made a quick dash into the lounge, but since our flight was departing from the B gates we only had a few minutes there and just got a quick drink.

Flight 2: LHR-JFK


29.08.2015
British Airways BA 173
London Heathrow – New York John F. Kennedy
Distance: 5554 km / 2999 nm
Boeing 747-400 (G-CIVV)
Seat 60K
scheduled 11:20 – 13:55
actual 11:20 – 13:46
flight-time 11:42 – 13:31 (6 hours 49 minutes)

Once we arrived at the gate boarding was almost finished and we were among the last passengers to get on board. Still enough time for a quick picture of our chariot of the skies, what a beauty:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_028.jpg

G-CIVV would take us over the pond today, flying for BA since 1998. It was my first time in a 747 since almost 20 years and I was getting a little excited now. And yes, we managed to get a seat on the upper deck! During online checkin the day before there were still two window seats up there available and I was really happy to take them. So on board we were greeted nicely by the FA and guided to the stairs leading up. I took my seat 60K, made myself comfortable and a welcome drink was delivered quickly, I took an orange juice this time:



And I had three windows all for myself   :

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_031.jpg

Window seats here in Club World are rear facing, but for me this wasn't a big deal. It felt a bit strange during take-off roll, but later during cruise there wasn't a lot of difference. Let's checkout the seat, first impression was very positive. When the divider to the seat next to me was up it was like a small private cabin, very comfy. A lot of features:



The controls were simple and easy to use:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_033.jpg

All in all a place where you could easily spent even a very long flight without any problems. Since we boarded quite late just after we made ourselves comfortable in the seat pushback already started, exactly on time. Bye bye BA land:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_030.jpg

Good to see another airbus in the Dove livery:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_035.jpg

On the way to the active departure runway we spotted a few nice big birds, like this A380 from Malaysia:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_036.jpg

And another one from Abu Dhabi:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_037.jpg

Lining up on runway 27L:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_038.jpg

A slow, but yet powerful take-off roll and up in the air we go:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_039.jpg

Great view over the main building of terminal 5 here:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_040.jpg

And heading west over the green British countryside:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_041.jpg

This looks like an old military airfield, but I couldn't identify it:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_042.jpg

A little later the flight attendant came around to take orders for the meal service. But wait, let's have a look into the menu first to see what's on offer for this flight:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/ba_menu1.jpg

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/ba_menu2.jpg

I opted for the mozzarella and the lamb chops. The FA warned me though that the lamb chops are a rather small portion, but I decided to take it anyway since the other choices weren't too much to my liking today. But first as an aperitif I took a lovely Kir Royal, a minor letdown here that the nuts were served in a bag (this felt sooo economy   ) :



Yeah, live is good:



Later the FA made up my table for the meal and brought the tray with the starter (sorry for the dark picture) :

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_045.jpg

Mozzarella with roasted tomatos and a delicious pesto, together with a fresh salad, a warm bread roll from the basket, all accompanied quite well with a fruity Rioja. So far a good start to the meal.

The lamb chops with couscous for the main course, the portion wasn't actually that small and certainly more than sufficient after the generous starter:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_046.jpg

The meat was tender and with the tasty honey rosemary sauce and the couscous it made for a very satisfying dish. For dessert I took the cheese which had a quite strong taste, but together with the pear chutney it was really good. The flight attendant asked me if I would want a glass of port with the cheese, well of course I didn't decline.

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_047.jpg

After the meal I just relaxed in my little cabin and played around with the IFE. I watched a few episodes of the Big Bang Theory and a couple of good old Monty Python sketches. But most of the time I had it on the airshow. Cruising over the Northern Atlantic:





Overview of the small and cozy upperdeck cabin during cruise:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_050.jpg

Later in the afternoon a tea time snack was served, the choice was a sandwich combo or an antipasti plate. Took the sandwich combo together with a buttermilk scone and a selection of cakes and sweets. Everything was absolutely yummy, just one of the cakes was too sweet for my taste:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_051.jpg

The Captain then was on the speakers shortly before descent with a friendly good afternoon and a few words about the flight. Our route of flight was over Ireland first, then across the Atlantic before making landfall at Newfoundland and then down towards the US, along Long Island and into JFK. Cruising altitude was FL370.

Already during descent, the general aviation airport of Groton (New London) in Connecticut:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_052.jpg

And over Long Island, this is the Calverton Executive Airpark:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_053.jpg

It's getting more and more built up as we got closer to New York City:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_054.jpg

Moments before landing, with the skyline of Manhattan visible in the distance:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_055.jpg

And with a smooth touchdown on runway 22L this nice flight was sadly coming to its end. The international terminal with a lot of colorful tails:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_056.jpg

Taxiing was rather short for such a large airport and we came to stop next to this 777 from Hong Kong, it must have arrived just a few minutes before our flight:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_057.jpg

The engines were shut down then and the Captain was on the mike again telling us that it will take another few minutes because we had to be towed in to the final gate position. Interesting, I had never experienced something like this before. Disembarking down the stairs again, I thanked the FA for the nice flight and we set foot into terminal 7 of JFK airport. Next was the probably most cumbersome thing when going to the US, the immigration procedure. There was a very long line and it was moving agonizingly slow. We stood in line for around 80 minutes. But then at least the officer was somehow friendly and we finally got the stamp in our passport.

Of course after flying in business class we wanted to get into the city center in style – so we took the subway   The view back to the terminal from the station of the Airtrain, a little train that connects all the terminals with the nearest subway stations:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_058.jpg

And another view on a BA 747, this is however not the one we had just taken:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_059.jpg

...
 
CaptainRed
Topic Author
Posts: 784
Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:22 am

RE: BA Upperdeck Experience And AA Biz To New York

Fri Sep 18, 2015 8:31 pm

New York City



After a long and boring subway ride we emerged into the sunlight again in bustling midtown Manhattan. Just around the corner was our hotel, we had booked a room in the Novotel:



And we were lucky to get a room on the 26th floor with a gorgeous view over Broadway and Times Square:



And the rest of the room was nice as well, quite big, comfortable and stylish:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_075.jpg

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_076.jpg

Three days now to explore New York City, and it sure was a blast. First we went to Times Square, an overkill of lights and sounds with thousands of people around, tourists from all around the world, street artists, touts, theater goers and more, what a crazy place:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_062.jpg

The famous Chrystal Ball that drops on every New Year's Eve to mark the beginning of a new year is just barely visible here on top of the narrow building in the background:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_063.jpg

A must visit of course is the new World Trade Center, this is WTC One, at the moment with 1776 ft (541m) the tallest building in the Western hemisphere. Gone are the times when the tallest in New York also meant the tallest in the world. But still a very impressive skyscraper:



They recently opened the observation gallery on top of the building, and the views from there are really stunning. It was just a bit hazy that day:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_065.jpg



Back down at one of the two pools that are part of the 9/11 memorial, quite a somber feeling to stand there, knowing and remembering all too well what has happened here not too long ago:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_067.jpg

Back in Midtown we had dinner in a small outdoor restaurant at Bryant Park, a little green oasis right in the city:



And the food was good, too. Had a tasty luxurious turkey burger:



Somewhere on Fifth Avenue, just in case you have forgotten in which country you are:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_074.jpg

And the Chrysler building, in my opinion still the most beautiful skyscraper in the city:



The next day we decided to just walk along more or less randomly through the city, starting at Greenwich Village and make our way down to the financial district. Just a few impressions from the way:



http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_077.jpg



Little Italy:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_080.jpg

And just a block further down, it seems as you are suddenly in China:



http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_081.jpg

Under (well, almost) the Brooklyn Bridge, you know:



Finally arriving at Wall Street:



As a little treat after the long walk we had the probably most quintessential New York snack, a hotdog:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_068.jpg

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_085.jpg

On the morning before our return flight we headed to Central Park:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_088.jpg

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_089.jpg

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_090.jpg

The Belvedere Castle, a mini castle built in 1869 on a little hill, nowadays housing a station of the National Weather Service:



Amazing, this is right in the middle of one of world's major cities:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_092.jpg

...
 
CaptainRed
Topic Author
Posts: 784
Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:22 am

RE: BA Upperdeck Experience And AA Biz To New York

Fri Sep 18, 2015 8:34 pm

Flight 3: JFK-DUB


01.09.2015
American Airlines AA 290
New York John F. Kennedy – Dublin
Distance: 5117 km / 2763 nm
Boeing 757-200 (N187AN)
Seat 1A
scheduled 18:45 – 06:50
actual 18:40 – 06:37
flight-time 19:07 – 06:24 (6 hours 17 minutes)

To get back to JFK airport we took a hotel shuttle this time, certainly more convenient than the subway. It isn't really faster but at least you see quite a lot on the route. The driver was quite good to avoid the traffic and went through some nice residential neighboorhoods in Queens and also through some not so nice industrial areas.

After arriving at the American Terminal we printed our boarding passes at a self-service machine. Yes, seat 1A will do nicely:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_096.jpg

We also had the TSA Precheck on our boarding passes, so we could use the fast lane through security, and this was really relaxed. No shoes or belt off, no need to show the bag with liquids, we were through within minutes. After security:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_093.jpg

Next stop was the Admiral's Club Lounge which was quite busy, but we still got two seats at the window. Adequate offers here from the buffet, with nice chocolate cookies, brownies, and more hearty things like cheese, olives, crisps and raw veggies. There also was a bowl with a tasty soup available:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_098.jpg

I helped myself to some snacks, together with an icetea at first:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_094.jpg

But we also had gotten these for something better to drink, I later converted them into pints of Samual Adams:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_101.jpg

Views from the lounge were quite nice here, good to see an American 767 in the old shiny livery:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_095.jpg

And one in the new livery, I must admit that it has grown on me and I quite like it now:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_102.jpg

Another shiny one on final approach to runway 13L:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_097.jpg

A sleek looking 757, first I thought this might be our ride for this night, but it was turning into another gate:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_099.jpg

Let's check the screens, all looks good for the flight to Dublin:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_103.jpg

One last visit to the bathroom before we left the lounge, but hey, do they really need to put a sign there like this, shouldn't this be evident?

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_100.jpg

We had gate 1 at the end of the concourse, and there were absolutely no views to our plane, but to get a close up picture of this 777 was also nice:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_104.jpg

Once we arrived at the gate they just called out priority and business class boarding, so we directly went there and were the first in the airbridge. A very friendly welcome from the flight attendant and we turned left in the plane, wonderful. However on my row both seats were already occupied by a senior couple, don't know when they had boarded. Turned out they had both the aisle seats. Well, no way I would give up my window seat, and since the cabin wasn't full tonight they moved over to 1D/1F, and so I had then two seats for myself. Excellent legroom here in the bulkhead of course:



The seat controls with a lot of options:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_106.jpg

The seat itself was comfortable, just in the lie-flat position it wasn't completely flat and there were quite noticeable gaps between the seat parts and that made it a bit difficult to find a good sleeping position. But that actually wasn't a big deal with a rather short flying time of just a bit more than 6 hours.

Let's have a look in the seat pocket. The American Way magazine:



With a quite impressive fleet page:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_108.jpg

Boarding completed then and we were ready to pushback. And look who we met just outside of our position, one of the new American 787:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_109.jpg

We were then standing quite a while on the apron with nothing happening, no words from the cockpit, actually there were not a lot of announcements at all from the pilots on this flight. In the meantime the flight attentands distributed these Bose headsets:



Finally we were allowed to continue taxiing and on the way to the active runway I spotted a big one from Air France:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_111.jpg

Jetblue with sexy sharklets departing ahead of us:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_112.jpg

And one from Egypt behind us:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_113.jpg

Cleared for take-off then from runway 13R, with nice views over the terminals of JFK:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_114.jpg

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_115.jpg

Climbing into the evening light:



With the airshow on the main monitors in the cabin:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_117.jpg

The FAs on this flight were very friendly, both of them took good care of us and one was especially talkative with always a smile and a nice word to the passengers, well done here. Always adressing me by name, she even noticed that I am with my dad (he was sitting in 3A) and told me that we could change seats to sit together if we wanted. Very nice, but I kindly declined and told her that we both like to sit at the window. Then she asked if I already had a chance to look into the menu and if she could take my order. Well, yes I had:





I decided to take the beef tonight. She also asked if they should wake me up for breakfast or if I would like to sleep a bit longer. Well, sure I would go for breakfast.

But first I got a little bowl of warmed nuts, together with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_120.jpg

Enjoying the sunset outside while sipping on the lovely red wine:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_119.jpg



Then the meal arrived, starter and main course all on one tray:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_121.jpg

The salad was fresh and the strawberry added an interesting twitch to it. I just shouldn't have taken the blue cheese dressing with it, since this gave it a quite strong taste. The beef filet was delicious, a generous portion, very tender, with a creamy and peppery sauce and accompanied well with the mashed potatos and the veggies. The cheese then was nothing special, but still ok.

For dessert I had the cookies ice cream:



And this was absolutely yummy, sweet and with good chunks of chocolate and cookies. But also quite a massive portion and I could hardly finish it. After dinner I checked out the IFE, there was a good selection of movies and series, actually I found it better than on BA. I watched a couple of episodes of The Simpsons and then I tried to get some sleep. But I wasn't actually able to fall asleep, just couldn't find a really comfortable position on the seat. Even the turbulences didn't help to lull me into dreamland.

Anyway about an hour before arrival the crew came around again with the breakfast tray. I took the Quiche Lorraine:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_123.jpg

The Quiche itself was nice, but I didn't like the sausage and the potatoes with it. Well, to be honest I was still quite stuffed from the dinner and not really hungry at this point. The fruits however were quite refreshing. Outside a new day was dawning after a very short night:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_124.jpg

Approaching Dublin airport over the Irish sea:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_125.jpg

Back on the terra firma on runway 28 after a little more than 6 hours in the air. Once at the stand nothing happened at first, apparently they had problems to get the airbridge moving. While we were waiting I saw that the cockpit door was opened and asked the FA if I could have a quick look inside. She asked the Captain and then she welcomed me in. Nice, I forgot to ask for a picture though. But anyway I thanked the pilots for the nice flight and by that time the airbridge got connected and we could disembark. From the terminal then I finally had the chance to take a picture of the plane that just took us here:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_126.jpg

And I found out that it was registered as N187AN, flying for American since 2001. It had a little incident just a few days before our flight, a generator failure, resulting in a diversion to Gander.

We then went through immigration, got our boarding passes for the flight to Frankfurt from the Aer Lingus transfer desk and headed directly to the Aer Lingus lounge where we just relaxed and waited for the final flight of this trip. And with this picture from the lounge I want to conclude my little report:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/nyc15/tr1502_127.jpg


Conclusion



It was a wonderful and succesful trip with very pleasant flights. To be honest I haven't done much flying in business class so far so I can't really compare with other airlines, but I certainly enjoyed both the flights with BA and with AA. The service on BA seemed to be more sophisticated over all and the seat comfort was definitely better than with American, where as everything on AA felt a bit more down-to-earth, but with very friendly flight attentands on our flight. The personal highlight for me on this trip was the opportunity to fly on the upperdeck of the 747!

And that's it, folks! Thanks a lot for reading my report, I hope you enjoyed it. As always, if you have a question or want to leave a little comment, I would be very happy to read about it  


CaptainRed
 
signol
Posts: 2652
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 5:18 pm

RE: BA Upperdeck Experience And AA Biz To New York

Fri Sep 18, 2015 9:19 pm

Hi Captainred,

Nice report, and some great pictures of NYC!
BA did the job, seems to be well. Pretty standard for J though I too haven't been in the pointy end very much!
AA also seemed good. With the smaller aircraft, how much room was there in and around the seat?

Thanks again

signol
Flights booked: NWI-AMS-JNB-DUR, JNB-AMS-NWI
 
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fbgdavidson
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RE: BA Upperdeck Experience And AA Biz To New York

Fri Sep 18, 2015 9:42 pm

Nice report! Lots of familiar sights there...

The military airfield is the former RAF Abingdon
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
WearyDrover
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RE: BA Upperdeck Experience And AA Biz To New York

Fri Sep 18, 2015 11:39 pm

Hi CaptainRed.
Nice trip report with great photos of NY city. It is interesting to compare the two airlines and see how they measure up. It's a quarter of a century since I last flew BA and that was on a 747. It's good to see the crew are as friendly as ever.


Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
coming all the way from Australia:

Wonderful. I usually only get to see QF's A380 when in Dubai.

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
we also had gotten these for

How quaint.

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
do they really need to put a sign there like this,

Judging by a thread in non aviation, yes.

Regards, Weary
A man may learn wisdom even from a foe - Aristophanes
 
Cory6188
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RE: BA Upperdeck Experience And AA Biz To New York

Sat Sep 19, 2015 4:18 am

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
One last visit to the bathroom before we left the lounge, but hey, do they really need to put a sign there like this, shouldn't this be evident?

It's a health code regulation. You'll find them in the bathroom of basically any establishment in the United States that serves food. I don't think it'd be a federal regulation, but from my experience traveling, pretty much every state mandates it. Yes, it looks silly, but if you live in the US, you just get used to seeing them after a while and you tune them out.
 
Bongodog1964
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RE: BA Upperdeck Experience And AA Biz To New York

Sat Sep 19, 2015 5:58 am

The quiche Lorraine looks disgusting, had the deep fried it ?
 
767747
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RE: BA Upperdeck Experience And AA Biz To New York

Sat Sep 19, 2015 1:36 pm

Nice report on your travels to NYC! I used to live just about 40 minutes north of the city growing up, so it was nice to see familiar shots of the city.

Looks like you had some nice flights with BA and AA. I'm surprised that AA serves their dinner on an international flight in Business, with everything on one tray, and doesn't divide up the courses at all. Food looks good, though. I'm also impressed they serve a pretty substantial Breakfast portion, being that most flights to Europe are only really catered for the dinner service, and the morning meal is usually just fruit, and breads.

Thanks for sharing!

Matthew
I love to fly!
 
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Ytraveller
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RE: BA Upperdeck Experience And AA Biz To New York

Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:10 pm

Hello CaptainRed,

Very happy to see another BA 747 report on here   You cannot beat the beauty of the 747 in BA colors.

Excellent pictures from New York. Last time I was there was 2009, when the new WTC was a stub in the skyline....

Nice to hear you had a good flight with AA. I am surprised to see so much old branding still around, not that I'm complaining  

Thanks for sharing
- Ytraveller
 
CaptainRed
Topic Author
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RE: BA Upperdeck Experience And AA Biz To New York

Sun Sep 20, 2015 10:36 am

Quoting signol (Reply 3):
Nice report, and some great pictures of NYC!

Hi signol, thanks a lot.

Quoting signol (Reply 3):
Pretty standard for J though

Well, as long as this is the standard, I'm happy with it.

Quoting signol (Reply 3):
With the smaller aircraft, how much room was there in and around the seat?

It was certainly ok, the cabin feels a bit smaller, but the seats are the same. And the free seat next to me helped of course.

Quoting fbgdavidson (Reply 4):
Nice report! Lots of familiar sights there...
The military airfield is the former RAF Abingdon

Hi fbgdavidson, thank you.

Quoting WearyDrover (Reply 5):
Nice trip report with great photos of NY city.

Hey Weary, thank you, glad you liked it.

Quoting WearyDrover (Reply 5):
It's good to see the crew are as friendly as ever.

Well, on the BA flight actually they were more professionnel than friendly, but it was ok.

Quoting WearyDrover (Reply 5):
Wonderful. I usually only get to see QF's A380 when in Dubai.


I think they make a stop in DXB on their way to London.

Quoting WearyDrover (Reply 5):
Judging by a thread in non aviation, yes.

Yes, you are right, I remember that particular thread   ...

Quoting Cory6188 (Reply 6):
It's a health code regulation. You'll find them in the bathroom of basically any establishment in the United States that serves food.

Hi Cory, thanks for the information, I thought that it might be a regulation.

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 7):
The quiche Lorraine looks disgusting, had the deep fried it ?

Don't worry, it wasn't deep fried. Though indeed it looks a bit dark on the picture, looked better in real life, and actually it was quite nice.

Quoting 767747 (Reply 8):
Nice report on your travels to NYC! I used to live just about 40 minutes north of the city growing up, so it was nice to see familiar shots of the city.

Hi Matthew, thank you.

Quoting 767747 (Reply 8):
I'm surprised that AA serves their dinner on an international flight in Business, with everything on one tray, and doesn't divide up the courses at all.

Well, I think the official explanation for this is that because of the rather short flight time they want to give the pax more time to relax or sleep on board.

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
I'm also impressed they serve a pretty substantial Breakfast portion, being that most flights to Europe are only really catered for the dinner service, and the morning meal is usually just fruit, and breads.

It was indeed pretty substantial, even a bit too substantial for my taste. To be honest just fruits and bread would have been ok as well.

Quoting Ytraveller (Reply 9):
Very happy to see another BA 747 report on here You cannot beat the beauty of the 747 in BA colors.

Hi Ytraveller, thanks a lot. And yeah, the 747 is simply a beautiful plane, and the BA colors suits her well.

Quoting Ytraveller (Reply 9):
Excellent pictures from New York. Last time I was there was 2009, when the new WTC was a stub in the skyline....

It is really an impressive building now. And it's a great experience to ride the elevator up to the observation desk.

Quoting Ytraveller (Reply 9):
Nice to hear you had a good flight with AA. I am surprised to see so much old branding still around, not that I'm complaining

They still have a few planes in the old livery. Also within the plane they had their old logo on the bulkhead walls.

CaptainRed
 
invaders
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RE: BA Upperdeck Experience And AA Biz To New York

Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:19 pm

Great report there. Thankfully, BA changed from a 772 to a 744 on my flight to JFK not so long from now. Looking even more forward to it now that I read your report! Can never get enough of the 744!

Thanks for the report  

O
 
eastern747
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RE: BA Upperdeck Experience And AA Biz To New York

Sun Sep 20, 2015 7:42 pm

Flight on AA tells me they are trying to be as bad as UA. Everything dumped down at once spells out two things in my mind. Passengers want fast service to sleep OR F/As are just too lazy. Serve the appetizer and salad first, then bring the entree. Then that awful ice cream crap. The breakfast meal is a waste due to timing so close after dinner. The US passengers demand probably demand it. (on a 7 hour flight!) The quiche wasn't boarded that way, trust me. F/As started the reheat process too early and simply screwed it up. ONCE again. IMHO
 
jfidler
Posts: 388
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RE: BA Upperdeck Experience And AA Biz To New York

Mon Sep 21, 2015 2:58 pm

Nice report. That's amazing to hear BA charges extra to reserve a J seat on the upper deck. I'm surprised they can get away with doing that in J. Does UA does this for their 747s in J? Usually it's the American carriers that are first with adding a new fee or charge -- or is BA leading the way on this one?
 
lychemsa
Posts: 1864
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RE: BA Upperdeck Experience And AA Biz To New York

Mon Sep 21, 2015 9:59 pm

The food in C on AA looks nice.

The food in AA Economy is awful.
 
TheCommodore
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RE: BA Upperdeck Experience And AA Biz To New York

Tue Sep 22, 2015 6:21 am

Great report.

Interesting to see the differences between the two airlines, BA looked marginal better IMO ??

I always enjoy the upper deck. Its my preferred choice on the 747

Many thanks
“At first, they'll only dislike what you say, but the more correct you start sounding the more they'll dislike you.”
 
CaptainRed
Topic Author
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RE: BA Upperdeck Experience And AA Biz To New York

Fri Oct 02, 2015 11:53 am

Hi everybody, good to see more replies, thanks a lot for them. And sorry for answering so late, but I have just been on another trip the last days.

Quoting invaders (Reply 11):
Thankfully, BA changed from a 772 to a 744 on my flight to JFK not so long from now. Looking even more forward to it now that I read your report! Can never get enough of the 744!

Hi invaders, good to read about that change, the 744 is definitely a cool airplane, so enjoy your flight!

Quoting jfidler (Reply 13):
Nice report. That's amazing to hear BA charges extra to reserve a J seat on the upper deck. I'm surprised they can get away with doing that in J. Does UA does this for their 747s in J? Usually it's the American carriers that are first with adding a new fee or charge -- or is BA leading the way on this one?

Hi jfidler, thank you. And I was negatively surprised as well to see that extra charge. Maybe because it was on a discounted J fare, I don't know. They also charged for seat reservation on the main deck, so it had nothing to do with the upper deck. No idea if UA does this as well.

Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 15):
Interesting to see the differences between the two airlines, BA looked marginal better IMO ??

Hi Commodore, yes, BA was indeed better, mainly because of the much better seat comfort, also the food was slightly better.

Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 15):
I always enjoy the upper deck. Its my preferred choice on the 747

  

CaptainRed
 
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TheRedBaron
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RE: BA Upperdeck Experience And AA Biz To New York

Sat Oct 17, 2015 2:37 am

Great Report loved the NY part....

TRB
The best seat in a Plane is the Jumpseat.
 
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sultanils
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RE: BA Upperdeck Experience And AA Biz To New York

Sun Oct 25, 2015 8:43 am

Hi CptR,

Really cool to travel to NYC this way! I would also prefer the BA flight on the upperdeck of the Queen of the Skies although AA does far from a bad job either. Across the pond on a 757 is also an item on my bucket list. Tnx,

Sultanils
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