Trip Report EDI-JFK-ATH, on BA WT+,CWBack to Forum
Anonymous20 Apr 2011
A trip review as promised for my NYC trip, it is also posted at flyertalk and I would recommend to you to read it from there and make our comments here, as it is easier and you can see my photos.
“So, the big day arrived, I received an email for my first Job interview saying that I had to confirm if I was available for the 24th-25th of March in order to fly to NYC, of course and I was. I arranged some obligations I had with my University and I sent back to them that I’ll be there.
They I asked me if I wanted to book the tickets by my self or they should do it and I chose the first option. My travel budget was $1k for flights only and I went straight to BA.com in order to make my booking. I was able to book WT on the way to JFK and WT+ on the way back. Then, I used some of my miles to upgrade to CW my return, where the 62K on the UD was available^. I also grabbed this chance in order to fly for 1 and a half-day to my home on the way back in order to visit my parents in ATH.
My ticket was EDI-LHR-JFK-ATH
EDI-LHR (UK Domestic) Seat 1F (A321) BA1445
I used the bus to go to EDI airport, which is very convenient as my home is close to Princess St. After 20 minutes I was there using the CW/F/Silver/Gold Check in desk, there was no queue and after that I went to the lounge, all the process was excellent without queues and hassle.
The lounge is very nice, on the new Galleries concept that BA is introducing across its lounges. I had an apple juice and soon enough the Gate was open. There was an announcement for the Silver/Gold cardholders and I was one of the first on board.
(Although many passengers don’t respect that announcement and the gate agents are to shy to send them back)
I didn’t have any problem finding space for my carry-on luggage, as I was one of the first passengers on board.
I had a coffee on board and there is nothing more to mention for this flight. We landed on time at T5.
I went straight to the airside BA desk to ask for an upgrade, upgrades were available from WT to WT+ for the price of £179 and I did it as I wanted those extra 45 TPs. The agent at the desk asked me which seat I want as there were only 5 passengers on the cabin, I went for the 28B which is the first row of the WT+ cabin and the best is that you don’t have anyone seating next to you, (there is not 28A because of the door)
After 5-10 minutes, I was in the South Galleries Club lounge. I printed some documents there for my interview, which was the next day in the morning.
LHR-JFK BA115, B747 G-CIVW, WT+ Seat 28B
My waiting time was 1 ½ hours and soon enough I noticed the A10 gate for my flight, this one was going to be my first boarding through A10, I was hopping my boarding gate to be on the T5B building in order to have a look on the lounge there. Never mind, I headed to the A10 waiting the boarding process to start, fast track worked again excellent, I was on the first bus and actually the first passenger on board the plane.
I was greeted by name on the door and I took my way on the back of the plane, I asked if there was any space for my Jacket (first time in WT+ :o) . The CC told me that there is no space for WT+ passengers but the flight is empty and I can leave it on the seat next to me, across the aisle.
Again, without any delay we were in the air, the bar service started very fast and I had a couple of Smirnoff’s before my launch, the launch was beef with potatoes and carrots and tasted good (I didn’t left a piece). Some more Smirnoff after that and then a movie.
IFE was working properly and I watched a movie (don’t remember the name but was awful) before taking a nap. Soon enough I had to wake up for the afternoon tea service, which was a coffee and a toast.
Landing at JFK was smooth, despite the bad weather (snowing). I went through immigration, where I had to queue for 20 minutes, after that my luggage was waiting for me at the carousel.
The only bad thing in flight was that the plane was once again dirty, the place that I can use next to my seat in order to store magazines or laptop was a coffee lake which I cleaned it by my self. I used some napkins for the coffee and then some more with water because it was sticky in order to clean it…Very insulting in my opinion as it was so obvious (2cm depth of coffee). I didn’t took a photo of this as I was embarrassed to do it on front of the CC.
Because my arrival time was too late and it was my first time in NYC I had arranged with EmpireCLS a driver to pick me up from the airport. I asked for a BMW 7.50 series and that was the car that was waiting for me, everything was nice with this transport the driver was there in time and he was very nice. He gave me suggestions for many things (even how to avoid frauds) and although he was already paid from my online reservation (incl. tip) I gave him 10$ more.
The ride was smooth and the driver was aware of my hotel address and everything but EmpireCLS is very expensive ($250 oneway), probably the most expensive service for chauffer transports there. I will use it again only if I need to impress someone. (I have a $25 off for my next ride :D)
I initially had a booking with Marriott Renaissance 57 in a very good LNF rate 136$ incl. taxes/per night but because of some bad reviews on trip advisor I changed this to Hudson Hotel.
Check in at Hudson Hotel was excellent, the agent asked me if I wanted a smoking room and I said yes, there was not availability in my room category for smoking rooms and I asked her what is the difference for the next room that has availability, she told me $100 per night but she can give it to me for 50$ per night, I said thanks but I cannot afford 200$ (total) in order to smoke in my room. So, she upgraded me for free ;). She even gave me a room with City view (nothing fascinating but it is nice).
The room was clean and small, I cannot imagine how much smaller was my initial room but that one was excellent for me. (I am mentioning this because on many reviews for this Hotel you will notice people complaining about the size of the room). Also the room had excellent bath amenities (shampoo etc.).
The next two days I had my assessment and interview with the company.. nothing to say about that, it was hard and after a week they called me on the phone to tell me that I didn’t got the Job but they are interested to consider me for a Middle East position.
The day that I finished with my Interview we had arranged for FT’s drinks at the Monkey’s Bar (Yahillwe’s sugestion) and it was a very nice place,I had some drinks with LondonAndy and Chipster and then a super fast dinner at TGI Fridays:o .
Nothing was exiting (apart from the fact that I was in New York:D) the next two days. I went to some museums and lot of shopping 😉
On my return to ATH (via LHR) I went to JFK using the subway. It was a sunny day and really enjoyed the ride.
JFK-LHR BA114, B747 G-CIVG, CW Seat 62K
I arrived at JFK Terminal 7 early as my flight was a sleeper service one (dinner at the lounge), the CW check in was worst than in Y and I had to wait on the queue for 35 minutes to drop my luggage.
After that I went to the private security channel that BA has at Terminal 7 for its premium passengers which was excellent. The BA lounge is on the opposite side of the Terminal, 4-5 minutes of walking. I booked a treatment at Elemis Spa (which eventually I didn’t use as I was bored, I gave my appointment to a lady that was on the same flight with me)
My pre-flight dinner was good but I wasn’t actually hungry enough.
When I saw at the screen that boarding process has started I went to the gate, the fast track boarding again worked excellent and soon enough I was on board, I greeted again by name and made my way to the Upper deck. I found easy my seat and I had my pre-flight Champagne, we got a minor delay of 40 minutes and by that time the CC took orders about the drinks.
We landed on time and then I realised that my iphone was out o battery , the plug on my seat wasn’t working during the flight, so I missed the meeting that I had arranged with BAGoldBoy at Galleries First:mad:.
We landed at T5B with my connection flight departing from T5A, I made my way fast to T5A , immigration/security was a zoo, it took me 1 hour to clear using the fast track at T5.
My connection time to ATH was initially 2 hours, so I went straight to my gate to board.My flight to ATH had nothing special except from the fact that we stayed 2 hours on the tarmac because on of our doors couldn’t close, I was out of battery during that flight, so no pictures.”
Thanks for the advices !!
EDIT TO ADD THE LAST PART, ATH-LHR-EDI
I decided to extend my report also for the way back to EDI, it was a different ticket ATH-LHR-EDI. As many of you know the oneway business tickets are very expensive, so I decided to buy an economy one and upgrade it at the airport, on the ATH-LHR route the upgrade price is fixed for £150 pounds.
I hadn’t see my family and friends since December and I really wanted to, I didn’t had much time as I arrived at ATH from JFK on the 28th of March (18.00) and on the 31st I had to leave from EDI to go to BCN for a field trip.
I scheduled my return for the 30th of March on the first exATH BA flight of that day.
BA631 ATH-LHR ,Club Europe A320 G-EUYG, Seat 3F
My parents drove me to the airport, I said goodbye to my father and mother and soon enough I was at the ticket desk asking for my upgrade, the gentleman that is the supervisor for this BA desk (or maybe for the ground operations that BA has at ATH) every time is more than helpful, he remembered me and we had a little chat about random things (weather in UK, Greek Economy). After that I went to the CE check in area which was empty and the check in agent was waiting for me, ready with my boarding card ^ (obviously the supervisor called him). I went through passport control super fast and then to my departure gate, fast track security channel worked again fast. The lounge was far away from the gate and I was too bored to walk over there. Total time from saying goodbye to my parents till arriving at the gate was 20 minutes, very good if you consider that I spend 10 minutes on the ticket desk buying the upgrade.
As I was waiting on the gate area a guy (lets call him Jim) came to my side asking me if he is on the correct gate, I asked for his BP and I confirmed that, he told me that he didn’t speak English and he asked me what he should do at LHR for his connecting flight. I then asked him what is his final destination and he told me a place that I had never heard,”can you please show me your ticket?”, I asked and when I saw it I thought :”poor boy what a stressful day you have ahead”.Jim had a ticket ATH-LHR-ORD-DTW and then another on place that I don’t remember… I told him that I will wait for him when we arrive at LHR to tell him how he will go to T3 (his connection was with AA), it was his first time on a plane, he was scared and couldn’t speak English, I thought that he cannot be the first one that goes to USA that way and that he will find his way.
Soon enough the agent was calling for boarding, I used the priority boarding for CE/Silver/Gold members and I also asked Jim to come with me in order to show him where is his seat (he didn’t know).
From the moment I was on board something wasn’t right with that aircraft, was very clean and the seats were different, after some seconds I realized that it was on of the new BA’s A320s that have the space-saver seats. It was a nice surprise and really BA must do something with the bad condition that most of the A320s have.
On time, we were taxing and we were ready for take off. I had my breakfast which was again very nice, except from the bacon and the eggs (but I never found them tasty). Then, I put the armrests away and used my empty row to sleep, that is the best thing on the new A320s as only the new space-saver seats allow that. On that point I have to say that BA had a CE cabin of 12 rows when we were 8 CE passengers on board, according to expertflyer every time I checked, the CE cabin on this particular flight was empty, so probably there was not a last minute cancellation.
Landing at LHR was once again before the ETA and after disembarkation I was waiting for Jim to show him his way to T3, I explained him that he should have his ticket all the time and wherever he feels that something doesn’t goes well to ask an agent showing him the ticket, I also wrote down to paper some phrases like “where is my gate?”
Immigration and fast track security worked better than the last time and soon enough I was on the lounge killing my time, I had 3 hours layover and used it by paying my bills through my phone.
BA1446 LHR-EDI , UK Domestic A321 G-EUXC, Seat 1F
From my last flight there is nothing actually to mention, boarding was on time and I had again a coffee, we landed on time and once again my luggage was waiting for me on the carousel.20 Apr 2011
The beef looked quite palatable; did it taste OK?
Certainly puts paid to the suggestion that all the food on board is inedible that we often hear trotted out.
Nice report!20 Apr 2011
Yes, actually it was my first Longhaul flight with BA and everything was better than the reports I used to read, I don’t know if the others overreact or BA changed something but it was so good that I ate it all.
It was actually better than the one that I had on Sheraton Grand Hotel Edinburgh last week.20 Apr 2011
“Certainly puts paid to the suggestion that all the food on board is inedible that we often hear trotted out.”
Some routes are better than others and LON NYC is certainly one of the former, due to the intense competition.21 Apr 2011
BA have pulled together a working group of WW and Eurofleet CSD’s to look at the inflight food offering and make recommendations, I think they are being asked to come back with these’s ready for Q3 this year.
My personal expereince of WW BA in the last couple of years has been that the food is okay and certainly no worse that some of its competitors. I think a lot of it is around personal taste
P.Sepas, good report, we should look to get more like this published21 Apr 2011
Whatever you were going to NYC to be interviewed for, your talents were being wasted for that position. You should be on the payroll of BT. One of the best reports I ve read – well done.21 Apr 2011
thanks for your comments and I am really sorry if sometimes I ruin your beautiful language, I’ll become better on that 😉
Martyn, what a beautiful comment, thank you very much.21 Apr 2011
truly an excellent review with great pics.
I have always called you Potakas, but I note Simon called you Pangiotis. I hate to show bad manners by not using someone’s correct name, so apologies if I made a boo boo.
Pat21 Apr 2011
‘Twas I who made the boo-boo Pat, as I misspelt it – it’s Panagiotis or Potakas!
Regards – and a great Easter to all. I’m off on Lufty tomorrow night to take my 11 year old son to see Bayer Leverkusen play.
Simon21 Apr 2011
Hey guys, I uploaded some more for my way back to EDI, ATH-LHR-EDI.
Has some nice photos.
I am trying to get my photos very secretly and sometimes I hold my iphone like reading an email or texting 😉
No problem with the name, Potakas is my handle which I don’t use it anymore on BT, it was correct from your side to think that the P from P.Sepsas would be Potakas as was the one I was using.
Rob, I didn’t got that Job but they told me that they are going to consider me for a similar one to the Middle East, I am waiting for the outcome.21 Apr 2011