21st February 2014 at 19:51 #569676
Anonymous21st February 2014 at 19:51 #569677
To the airport
The town car we booked to take us to the airport turned out to be a stretched limo, all black leather seats, cocktail bar and disco lights. Alas we weren’t dressed, or destined for Studio 54, and the novelty wore off some 90 minutes later as we were still crawling along the Queens Boulevard. But we did turn a few heads as we cruised up to Terminal 7, only to disappoint onlookers who were hoping to grab a glimpse of Justin Bieber or the like, but instead had to settle for our motley party spilling onto the pavement in some disarray.
The wittiest couple of agents you could have wished for. Dry and sharp – we could have stayed there chatting all evening. They were having fun and so were we. One advised that the dividing screen between two of our seats wasn’t working, although on further enquiry they weren’t sure whether this meant it was permanently up or down. As it happened the latter, but hardly a problem for my wife and daughter. Had I been stuck staring at someone else’s ugly mug for 14 hours (mine of course is a painting) this might have been an issue!
I’d forgotten about the curious uphill push to get one’s belongings through security after the Club World Check-in at JFK. Fancy putting the machine on an incline! Once through, the greeting at the Galleries Lounge was pleasant and we made our way straight for the pre-flight dining. The dining room and lounge were both very busy. We had arrived before most of the flights had departed so things were in full tilt. The dinner selection was good. A range of fresh salad items, Thai Red Curry and noodles and delicious lamb and apricot dish with rice, fish etc with cheeses, fruit and chocolate mousse to follow. There were plenty of staff on hand to clear tables etc. After dinner we moved to the lounge for tea and biscuits. Here there was also a good range of cold sandwiches and wraps, biscuits, cheese and fruit. The staff were friendly and attentive. The lounge is spacious enough, though I thought the lighting very harsh in the central areas, while the outer edges were rather chilly with aggressive air conditioning. Nevertheless we were able to relax/charge gadgets in relative peace.
Boarding was swift, although the fast track line was slower than the regular line – it looked as if all cabins were full. There was a cheery greeting at the door and again upstairs were two of the sweetest cabin crew members imaginable were busy settling people in. Vacuum cleaners at JFK obviously work better than at Heathrow as the cabin was pretty clean and fresh, though as ever the dividing screens were pretty yukky. But the seat had plenty of stuffing left in it and was comfortable, which was the priority for a night flight. Amentity kits were handed out – the new shoe bag with a reasonable range of goodies, and most importantly for me ear plugs and eye masks. Dinner orders were taken, but I just asked for a bottle of water so that I could shut down as soon as the wheels left the tarmac. After a few too many announcements (I thought these had been cut back generally?) I settled down for some shut eye.
I suspect there wasn’t much of a meal service going on as I didn’t hear a sound from the crew. As forewarned, once we caught the jet stream over Newfoundland, things started to get quite bumpy and there were two longish periods of turbulence which prevented a really deep sleep. Meanwhile my wife, in search of a midnight snack was kindly offered crew buns to save her waking herself up going downstairs to raid the larder. Really thoughtful!
I awoke in time for the breakfast service. This comprised a rather tacky plastic container of fresh fruit (bit odd for business class) a small croissant and jam and a blue muffin (delicious). The menu suggested that there was also an egg/bacon roll, but I wasn’t offered this, although I wouldn’t have had it in any case. There was time for a couple of cups of tea before the seat belt sign went on. Some of our short flying time (6 hours) was eaten into by a few turns over the suburbs of London, but we were on the ground ahead of schedule, but at the very furthest C gate. Only two of our bags appeared to receive priority treatment, but we were nevertheless driving out of the airport some 40 minutes after landing which isn’t bad going.
A very pleasant and relaxed journey. All BA staff we interacted with, and even lounge contractors, were charming, polite and unusually up for a bit of banter which I always enjoy. It really makes such a difference when people are nice to you when you travel, and the whole trip required no effort at all. This is how flying should be.22nd February 2014 at 12:17 #569678
Hermes glad to hear you enjoyed your flight!
Can I ask you P L E A S E feed back to BA your thoughts on those plastic containers of fruit. They are an embarrassment to hand out in a ‘premium’ cabin. You should see some of the looks we get when we present them to passengers.22nd February 2014 at 12:38 #569679
Will do. I was a bit sleepy when I was presented with it and at the time couldn’t work out what was odd. It was only later that the affront kicked in. Even worse it had a letter penned onto the lid!!!
Ps I liked the new amenity kits, particular as I can probably find a future use for the bag.22nd February 2014 at 13:36 #569680
It does become frustrating. We are constantly told that we need to deliver a ‘premium’ service. Well that’s all well and good – but give us the resources to do so. Not plastic punnets of fruit for breakfast.
From what I’ve seen even the US carriers are miles ahead of BA in terms of the second service on the TATL’s.
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