Moderators: richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
User avatar
ish2dachoppa
Topic Author
Posts: 53
Joined: Sat Aug 31, 2013 12:04 pm

AUH-LHR-DFW On BA 789/AA 772 In J

Tue May 24, 2016 7:40 am

AUH-LHR-DFW
May 2016

This would be my first trip back home to the US in two years. Normally I’d fly EY/AA through FRA or LHR because it’s on my own dime and I like their J class offerings. However, I couldn’t make the EY portion from AUH to either FRA/LHR work within my travel dates and budget, so I chose the BA option so I’d still at least get my AA miles.

BA J class is not my first or second go-to airline, having flown with them on this routing last time I flew to Dallas in 2014. I was left with the impression that it was “sardine J class”. This trip however, it was the only option for the date I could get, and the price was much better than Etihad’s flight.

Two years ago, BA operated AUH-LHR with a 777-200, so I was pleasantly surprised to see it’s now a 787-9. After reading all the 787 press over the years, I was looking forward to experience myself what all the flying public is talking about.

I did my research on Seat Guru to see which seats on BA’s fwd/aft seating arraignment have direct aisle access from a window seat, which turns out to be rows 7 & 13, A & K. What I didn’t like is how BA charges you to pick a seat in advance. I wasn’t willing to get stuck in a seat where I had to or some one else had to climb over me to get to the aisle, so I ponied up the dough to the tune of $217 for seat 13K outbound and 7A inbound at the time of booking about a month before the flight. I think it’s free of charge once you are in the 24 hr departure window.

Abu Dhabi International has changed its procedure since I’ve flown last (7 months ago). While in the check in line, its now procedure for you to have an eye and passport scan before you get to the ticket counter. There is an official stand set up just for this at the line entrance. Seeing how it was now midnight for a 0145 departure, the line was short. My bags were tagged all the way to DFW, and I received both my boarding passes and a voucher for the lounge. The agent informed me that boarding time was 0100. My boarding pass was again scanned at the entrance to passport control (used to be a single official at a desk, now its three scanning stations with people there to assist if needed). Less than 30 feet away is the airside passport/boarding pass scan just before security. Once security was cleared, I headed to the Al Dhabi lounge. It was pretty crowded, but seats were open. It’s a very basic lounge, with basic offerings, so I just helped myself to the tried and true staple of chicken and rice. Sandwiches, soup, and fruit are also available. No surprise that the bar was at near capacity.

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/924/8zc9Wd.jpg

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/922/SreJDo.jpg

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/921/OQQqNY.jpg

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/923/Gns2OC.jpg

At 1250, I left the lounge for the short walk to gate 9. This gate is part of the original terminal gates, which I call the flying saucer gates because of their shape and appearance inside and out.

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/921/Lx6zDV.jpg

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/922/fifr2S.jpg

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/921/xzLOhx.jpg

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/923/Uwpgpc.jpg

The gate opened at 0100, and once again, my boarding pass was scanned, and then I had to go through an additional screening because of the size of my backpack. I took the laptop out, powered it up and the gate agent swabbed it and ran the sample through the analyzer.

The actual aircraft boarding started at 0115 in the typical order. Cheery smiles greeted me at the door and I was directed to my seat (13K), which was the last row of J seats. Seat access is through a small gap (like 18” small) formed between the back of seat 13Js shell and the business/premium economy partition. Also, that particular area has a raised section of the floor that’s about 1.5 “ high and starts right at the aforementioned gap. Hard to see in the dark, quite easily to stumble over. The footrest is also a trip hazard because its mounted to the floor, and narrows the access even more. Also, you have to stoop over because the curvature of the cabin won’t allow typical sized adults to stand up straight. The blanket, pillow and headphones were on the seat. Once settled in, I noticed that with the seat in the upright position required for t.o./landing, my shoulders were squeezed like I was in an economy middle seat with sumo wrestlers on either side of me. The FAs came around to check on everyone and hung up my jacket.

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/922/fExXTS.jpg

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/924/5L5iAF.jpg

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/921/sbsD99.jpg

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/923/VPWs5m.jpg

It didn’t look like a full flight, but there were only 3-4 unoccupied J seats that I saw, and Y+ looked full

I had three windows, but I was right over the wing, so the downward view was pretty much non-existent, and the upper portion of the seat shell blocked a good part of the closest window to me. The FA’s came around with pre-departure beverage shortly afterwards, along with menus and breakfast requests. Pushback was at 0140, and we were pushed back a good ways back in order to clear a construction area (road tunnel for the mid-field terminal). Something I noticed that probably other a-nutters would also have noticed is that once the a/c started down the taxiway, it was constantly in motion until pulling into the gate at LHR. We turned left onto the runway, and took off with out a single brake application. Once on the ground at LHR, we didn’t have to stop at any intersections. Facing backwards for takeoff, I did have the sliding-out-of-my-seat, hanging-from-the-seat-belt sensation. Not unpleasant, just different.

After about 15 minutes, hot towels were handed out, and the breakfast requests were collected. Fifteen minutes later, snacks were served (Arabic Mezzo shown here).

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/922/PSJ34t.jpg

The IFE had a nice selection for multiple cultures and preferences. The hand controller does require you to really twist around in your seat to get while its in the upright position, not so much with the seat reclined. The screen is also a touch screen. The headset jack is the single prong type, so no adaptor is needed to plug in the provided headset or your own personal headset. I didn’t try the provided set, but I will on the return trip back for commentary’s sake.

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/921/pHw3gv.jpg

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/922/6OCz1P.jpg

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/922/tRSgTb.jpg

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/922/1FJcHy.jpg

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/921/KfjfnG.jpg

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/924/6lmTFE.jpg

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/924/6GpWmc.jpg

Storage was limited to a drawer by your feet, and was big enough to hold a 15” laptop and an iPad, but it was not deep enough to put my camera in even with nothing in it. The USB port and A/C outlet is located right next to the drawer, and the drawer itself has a cutout so that power cords wont get pinched.

Now with a belly full of food and booze from the lounge & on board, coupled with being awake for 23 hours straight, I reclined the seat fully and lowered the 2-position footrest to catch some zzz’s. The cabin temp was right in the zone where I didn’t even use my blanket, but I suspect middle age body fat had something to do with that as well ; )

The seat width was good once reclined. There are separate controls for adjusting the headrest and lumbar support. Overall cushion firmness was great for my 250lb self.

Here’s where I talk about the windows. I’ve always been a skeptic of how effective they really are verses the traditional sliding shade, so this was my first chance to really find out. I woke up shortly before breakfast (the nose knows) and looked out to see the sun starting to come up. About 20 minutes later, the sun was in position on the horizon to really shine into the cabin. You can see how well the windows kept the cabin dark. Through the window, the sun is a bright dot. The windows seem to be a second-gen upgrade because they were a purple-haze color instead of the mint-green color I’ve read about and seen images for. Also, the dimness controls at any of the three windows by my seat controlled all three windows in unison. The windows don’t respond instantly to any control input, so its press and hold (one potato, two potato…) while the window dims or brightens.

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/924/9PPGMF.jpg

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/922/SXBhzo.jpg

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/922/IHGQP7.jpg

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/922/AK8WOM.jpg

The cabin noise level was definitely on the quite side, even without the headsets. I normally double up (foam earplugs and a Bose QC headset) to block out as much engine/airstream/carbon-based life form noise as possible, but given this was a red eye, I just went with the Bose and it was good.

The cabin atmosphere was as good as advertised. I’m a contact lens wearer, and my eyes never dried out as they typically do.

Breakfast was served while we flew over the Czech Republic with about 90 minutes remaining before arrival. I had preordered the English breakfast.

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/923/LQIEtV.jpg

Decent into LHR started while breakfast was being cleared. ATC has us do 4 complete holding patterns from about 0555 to 0606 local, and we were on the ground pretty much on schedule. Like I mentioned, it was one continuous decel and taxi to the remote gate at T5.

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/922/mHPpQG.jpg

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/921/Wgt8dz.jpg

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/923/bTDQgA.jpg

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/924/GZxDjC.jpg

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/924/sstJR6.jpg

Stepping out onto the airstairs was an absolute joy, given the 50 deg drop in temperature from AUH. The first two buses carried the F&J passengers on the short ride to the terminal.

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/923/qEkhQY.jpg


After a security screening, a quick check of the boards to see which terminal I was connecting with (T3) for the scheduled 0930 departure to DFW, I hopped on another bus for the winding drive to T3. On checking into the AA lounge, the agent informed me that there was going to be a two-hour delay, with departure pushed back to 1130. He said that an announcement would be made when the flight would be ready for boarding. I was in full vacation mode, with no hard time-line to follow, so I just ate surfed the web for a few hours. I still checked the boards from time to time in case anything changed and it wasn’t announced. Which is exactly what happened. The board changed from “delayed” to “go to the gate” without any PA announcement. It was still an hour from the revised departure time, so I was in no panic. Upon getting to the gate, there was a crowd of people milling around the entrance, so I just grabbed a seat after I noticed the cabin crew for the flight sitting around waiting themselves.

After about an hours wait at the gate, the cabin crew got up and boarded the a/c. I just bided my time, no rush. About 15 minutes after that, the gate agents opened the gate via a verbal announcement to the first people in line, which had the effect of everyone crowding the gate. The staff didn’t get control of the situation for about short while, and then made the typical boarding calls by pre-board, F & J, etc. I went through the additional security questioning at the gate, but it seemed all the connecting passengers did also.

After that, boarding went smoothly. I was warmly greeted and directed to seat 10J, and I settled in for the 9-hour flight. Last time I flew AA from Europe two years ago, these J seats were only available on 773s out of LHR, but this was a 772, so I guess in that time, other aircraft have been retrofitted. Not unexpectedly, every seat was occupied. The herringbone pattern gives you plenty of room to stand up, and there was a storage area at the bottom of the seat and a small cabinet that held the Bose active noise cancelling headsets. Be aware that the headphone jacks for these seats are INSIDE the cabinet (seems counter-intuitive). The headsets have a three-prong jack, so if you use your own headset, you’ll have to use an adaptor.

The seat was on the firm side and didn’t have any lumbar support. The hand rest on the aisle side could be retracted flush with the seat, which made getting in and out easier. After about 5 hours, I noticed I was squirming around in the seat a lot more that I did on the 789.

Travel tip, there are lavs in the fwd and aft section of J. Everyone seemed to migrate to the larger lavs up front by the snack bar, but there are smaller lavs at the very back of J, and were separated by a curtain from Y+. These rear lavs never had a line, unlike the fwd lavs.

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/921/tYz6vX.jpg

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/922/LL8wNX.jpg

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/923/K1OIFY.jpg

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/923/Rc7rvr.jpg

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/921/XvHEEX.jpg

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/923/5E96tY.jpg

Warm nuts and a beverage were distributed shortly after departure. A snack was then served about an hour after that. Our main course choices were then taken (went for the duck) and served about three hours into the flight.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/924/4CXOmF.jpg

Desert was a chocolate sundae.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/921/Fq8lhq.jpg

I settled in and just watched movies until the late flight snack was served about 90 minutes from arrival, this time a flatbread pizza.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/923/JBV7GA.jpg

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/921/Tt2bJM.jpg

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/924/YyuaBb.jpg

I’ve read that there was help yourself snack area by the galley, but when I looked towards the later part of the flight, it was totally empty. It looked the exact same way when I boarded, so I’m wondering if the ground/cabin crew ever restocked it at all.

During the flight, there was some turbulence encountered which caused the seat belt light to remain on for about an hour. However, this was after the main meal service was completed, so it didn’t affect anything that I saw.

Decent & arrival into DFW was normal with the exception of the two gate agents in place to assist passengers who were making a connection and were behind the timeline because of the two hour delay leaving LHR.

I was wondering if I would have a problem using the Global Entry kiosks because of my extended time outside of the US, but the process went smooth as butter. I collected my printout and went downstairs to the luggage carrousels. The bags didn’t take long to show up. I grabbed my bags and headed for the dedicated Global Entry checkout point. It was a short wait, less than 5 minutes. The TSA agent collected my printout when I got to the desk, looked at my passport, asked me if I came off the London flight (yes), and where was I headed to next (done traveling for the next few days). I took the provided shuttle bus to the consolidated rental car center, got my vehicle and headed out into the city that I called home for 12 years.

Overall, both cabin crews were warm, friendly and helpful, the BA seat was more comfortable than the AA seat, the cabin in the 789 was more comfortable than the 772, herringbone beats out fwd/aft any day of the week.

Next stop in a few days time will be DFW-MCO, and then a week after that, MCO-MIA-BGI for some Caribbean sunshine and the return hop back across the pond in about a month. Stay tuned.

Ish 2 Da Choppa
 
vlad1971
Posts: 97
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2005 4:48 am

RE: AUH-LHR-DFW On BA 789/AA 772 In J

Tue May 24, 2016 8:26 am

Excuse me my friend but you flew on B777-300ER with American . There are no lavatories behind J class nor - J- seat numbers on B777-200ER on American . Plus all retrofitted 200ER's has no Herring Bone seats . Its reverse seating like on BA .
http://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Ame...ican_Airlines_Boeing_777-200_B.php

Cheers .
 
jasoncrh
Posts: 784
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2005 10:29 pm

RE: AUH-LHR-DFW On BA 789/AA 772 In J

Tue May 24, 2016 1:08 pm

was the nonstop AUH-DFW on EY just too expensive?
 
User avatar
ish2dachoppa
Topic Author
Posts: 53
Joined: Sat Aug 31, 2013 12:04 pm

RE: AUH-LHR-DFW On BA 789/AA 772 In J

Tue May 24, 2016 2:23 pm

Vlad, thank you for pointing that out. I think I came to the conclusion that it was a 772 from a quick glance out the window at the wingtip and it didn't looked raked. Now that I really think about it, the safety card did say 777-300. Bad on me.

Jasoncrh, I love flying Etihad, but in this case, the non-stop was just too expensive an option at $7400 USD vs the one stop option at $3700 with BA/AA. I was traveling solo, so I was in no rush at all.
 
directorguy
Posts: 1410
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 10:58 am

RE: AUH-LHR-DFW On BA 789/AA 772 In J

Tue May 24, 2016 2:35 pm

Quoting ish2dachoppa (Thread starter):
Abu Dhabi International has changed its procedure since I’ve flown last (7 months ago). While in the check in line, its now procedure for you to have an eye and passport scan before you get to the ticket counter.

Very strange procedure-DXB definitely doesn't have that (yet). Was this everyone or just people checking-in for certain flights/airlines?

Thanks for sharing your trip report. BA has been doing a lot to promote its 787 AUH flight in the UAE, but it's mainly geared towards premium customers. I've flown on the 787 (QR) in Y and definitely not a fan-and from what I've read, not a hit with BA's Y pax either. The catering on AA looks much more interesting as well.
 
User avatar
ish2dachoppa
Topic Author
Posts: 53
Joined: Sat Aug 31, 2013 12:04 pm

RE: AUH-LHR-DFW On BA 789/AA 772 In J

Tue May 24, 2016 3:06 pm

Directorguy, I'm not 100% sure. I didn't look around at the other check-in counters, and this was T1, so things might be different in T3. I'm an E-Gate card holder, but it looks like this system has replaced the E-Gate card. I didn't see any signage for E-Gate holders at all, unlike last time I flew out last October. I'll ask my co-workers what their recent experiences have been.

I've been so buried with work that I never noticed any BA advertising in regards to their 787s at all. I've read the same things about 787 Y cabin not being a hit with passengers.

I saved the menus from the flights, should of posted images of them. I did prefer the AA catering.
 
jasoncrh
Posts: 784
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2005 10:29 pm

RE: AUH-LHR-DFW On BA 789/AA 772 In J

Tue May 24, 2016 3:13 pm

ah cool - that's what I assume. EY charges high fares for AUH- origination, so I'm not surprised. Looks like you had a nice
flight!
What do you do in AUH? I lived there until June last year. Loved it and miss it.

I was back visiting in January this year and didn't have that procedure when I departed. Departed from T3 on EY.

Quoting ish2dachoppa (Reply 3):
Vlad, thank you for pointing that out. I think I came to the conclusion that it was a 772 from a quick glance out the window at the wingtip and it didn't looked raked. Now that I really think about it, the safety card did say 777-300. Bad on me.

Jasoncrh, I love flying Etihad, but in this case, the non-stop was just too expensive an option at $7400 USD vs the one stop option at $3700 with BA/AA. I was traveling solo, so I was in no rush at all.
 
caleb1
Posts: 548
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2008 1:51 am

RE: AUH-LHR-DFW On BA 789/AA 772 In J

Wed May 25, 2016 2:29 am

Not much food served out of AUH.
 
User avatar
ish2dachoppa
Topic Author
Posts: 53
Joined: Sat Aug 31, 2013 12:04 pm

RE: AUH-LHR-DFW On BA 789/AA 772 In J

Wed May 25, 2016 2:35 pm

Caleb, yes there was a conspicuous absence of abundance of food from Abu Dhabi to London, but I wonder if that was because it was 7 hour overnight flight where almost everyone would be asleep.

Jason, I work quality assurance. Been here 4 years, getting my exit plan strategy in order.
 
jeffrey1970
Posts: 1484
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2001 1:41 am

RE: AUH-LHR-DFW On BA 789/AA 772 In J

Thu May 26, 2016 1:53 am

Quoting vlad1971 (Reply 1):
I’ve read that there was help yourself snack area by the galley, but when I looked towards the later part of the flight, it was totally empty. It looked the exact same way when I boarded, so I’m wondering if the ground/cabin crew ever restocked it at all.

I really enjoyed your tr, and I look forward to your next trip reports. Anyway, isn't that the responsibility of the catering crew and not the ground crew?
God bless through Jesus, Jeff
 
ba319-131
Posts: 8317
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

RE: AUH-LHR-DFW On BA 789/AA 772 In J

Wed Jun 01, 2016 8:42 pm

Quoting ish2dachoppa (Thread starter):
Facing backwards for takeoff, I did have the sliding-out-of-my-seat, hanging-from-the-seat-belt sensation. Not unpleasant, just different.

- I always fly backwards on BA, never really noticed this before.

Nice read & pictures, thanks for sharing.
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
 
User avatar
CARST
Posts: 1565
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2006 11:00 pm

Re: AUH-LHR-DFW On BA 789/AA 772 In J

Fri Jun 17, 2016 5:39 am

Nice report there. The BA seat really is so out of date compared to what AA offers on the 77W. All the details you mentioned, narrow gap, little steps, not standing upright, no direct aisle access on most window or inner seats, a reason to choose another airline for J class flights. And I think (except for the direct aisle access) very much true for the EY J product, too. Especially the flimsy armrest on EY is annoying. So I think your second flight must have been way better than the first one...

I noticed you said no snack bar on the AA flight, what is very strange. The few times I've flown on their 77W I could always grab snacks from the galley, like little mini-sandwiches, nuts, crackers or juice. Also the crew was very attentive every time serving drinks quickly to the seat.


Carst
 
KLDC10
Posts: 1409
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2016 8:15 pm

Re: AUH-LHR-DFW On BA 789/AA 772 In J

Fri Jun 17, 2016 8:23 pm

Great report. The British Airways Boeing 787 seems like a real enjoyable experience. The AA 777-300, certainly in terms of hard product, seems very competitive. About that Flatbread Pizza though... it looks awfully similar to what I was served in economy with AA from LHR to DFW. It could well be a more premium recipe, but it seems a little odd that business and economy are provided with such similar snacks towards the end of the flight.
DC9/MD90/MD11/F70/BAE146
737/738/739/744/748/752/763/772/789
A319/A320/A321/A332/A333/A346/A359
Q400/E170/E175/E190/CS300

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 12 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos