BA 730 LHR – GVA

Club Europe 01A

I have started to wonder what it is about BA 730 that I seem to always be on this flight at the end of a transatlantic trip. Here I was again waiting at the gate for this flight. The times were going all over the place, we were meant to leave at 11:40 but when the gate was opened at 12:00 and I made my way down the cabin crew were all there, but they said the flight crew were on their way from Dusseldorf. This was going to be yet another long wait… having been sat on a plane from America and then in the lounge at the terminal the last think I needed was the sit for longer.

Once boarding was announced I was soon on board and was at the stage of not knowing what  I really wanted… my bed, no eat, no drink, no bed…

The flight was the normal routing from runway 09R right turn down to Brighton, across to Étretat, Paris, Auxerre, turning left just after Dijon and then round the Jura Mountains to land on runway 05

The service was good and efficient with the usual “Brunch” plate of cold meats and mozzarella being served.

Arrival at Geneva was quick and efficient with my bag 2nd of the belt.

Diary

BA 172 JFK – LHR

First Seat 01K

With some strategic positioning at the gate I was ahead of the crowd as we boarded. Welcomed at the door I was shown to my seat and asked if I needed pyjamas and if I would like a glass of Champagne to drink, what a combination.

Right on time I heard the tug under my feet rev up and push us back out of the gate. We had a remarkably short taxi to runway 22 L for our departure. With no queue were were soon up and away. The crew were quickly into action and I had decided to have a soup and some cheese before calling it a night. Unfortunately the soup was stone cold. The crew check the second flask and it was the same story. The popped it into the oven for a bit which did warm it through a bit but it was not as it should have been.  The cheese, however, was excellent and as I went to brush my teeth the crew made up my bed, and that was it till the morning.

I really should not have ordered it and just waited till the Concorde Room but I could not let a full cook breakfast pass me by. I have said it before, this is one the very few things I miss about the UK whilst living in Switzerland, Bacon, Sausage, Black Pudding…

All too soon we were circling over the London area and lined up for an arrival on runway 09 L

It was a quick taxi to the B gates, just one down from where I had landed a few days earlier on my way back from Chicago.

Diary

BA 001 LCY – JFK (via SNN)

Club World Seat 01A

LCY – SNN

Boarding started at 9:30 with the staff in the gate room / lounge announcing that BA 001 was ready for us to board. There were the usual reminders to ensure we had all our belongings with us and we headed out to the plane. 5 minutes all 20 passengers were on board and the cabin crew announce “boarding completed”. I already liked this service.

The cabin crew were headed up by Olivier who was very excited to have customers making their first trip to New York via Shannon on the BA 001 service. The seat was comfortable and we were installed with menu cards and ready to depart.

The on-time departure from runway 09 allows some views of the dockland area of London as we climbed into the mist and cloud, and that was that. Olivier came round and took orders for starters which were to be served between London and Shannon and then the main course with was to be served between Shannon and New York.

Menu

Having chosen the canapés they were served with a glass of champagne and I sat back and enjoyed the short trip over England, Wales, the Irish Sea, and Ireland to arrive at a very sunny Shannon Airport.

Shannon Airport

The cabin crew had told us to take all our belongings with us as we arrived in Shannon as they were going to fill up the plane with fuel and we were going to pass US immigration. Staff from Shannon airport met us and led us efficient along the to corridors first to security and then to the US Pre-clearence facility at Shannon Airport. Those of us with baggage in the hold were asked to take a seat for a few minutes while our baggage was unloaded and scanned by US CBP. Once they were ready for us we were invited to enter the US Federal Inspection Facility and present our passports etc.

There was a small hicup with my baggage receipt which meant they could not read it and count not get my back up on the screen… I was taken to the “naughty room” where they looked harder and managed to get my bag from the system and allowed me to confirm my baggage and was told all was good and having been thanked for my patience I was on my way to the seating area next to the BA 001 gate.

It was all very civilised and relaxed. This really was stress free travel.

SNN – JFK

Once back on board we soon took off on runway 06, starting from where we had exited the runway on landing.

Once in the air the service was continued with drinks and then our main courses being served followed by dessert.

The iPads had been handed out just after take off, but having seen all the films I wanted to see in the October select going to and from Chicago, there was not a lot on the iPad I had not seen or really wanted to see again. With that in mind I got on with some documents I had to write for work and slept most of the way across.

I woke up as we approached Gander and then stayed awake the whole way down the coast. The views of Cap Cod as we crossed overhead Boston were magical while I enjoyed my afternoon tea with Champagne. The choice of more bubbles with the afternoon tea service seemed to throw the crew a bit… but it just felt right on this flight.

After the tea service it was not long before we were making our way down long island and then lining up on runway 31R at JFK for our landing and very short taxi to our gate at terminal 7.

Diary

BA 2286 GVA – LCY

Club Europe Seat 2D

Boarding was by bus from the terminal and managing get myself positioned in poll position I was quickly onto the plane and with my bags quickly stowed as in my seat ready to go. The plane had a different seat configuration from the one which had been published as there were no seats 01A and 01B and the extended leg space I should have had had disappeared with the addition of seats 01C and 01D.

However comfortably in the plane we taxied to the end of the runway for our take off. We were not waiting about and soon were were climbing high out over the Jura mountains as we headed to London.

I am very used to the Heathrow and Gatwick offerings in Club Europe flights. On these flights you are offered a very light salad and some awful dessert. However on the London City flight was surprised to see we were offered and choice of hot dishes with a salad, and proper dessert. I opted for the Lamb hotpot which was good and filling. Drinks flowed and we made good progress towards London. As we approached London I realised that we were going to do an easterly approach to the the very short runway at London City and we were give a great tour of the city by light as we flew west on the south side of the Thames to then turn sharply round the top of the Shard to line up to runway 09.

Once on the ground we made a 180° turn on the runway to taxi back to the terminal and park up at gate number 6 before being allowed to disembark.

Diary