Knightsofmalta
Topic Author
Posts: 1741
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

Going home with British Airways Club on the B747-400

Wed May 17, 2017 3:59 pm

Here's the link to the photos.

INTRODUCTION
This has been one of the most tiring trips I have made in a very long time, so I’m rather glad it’s finally over and I am on my way home again. Although I must say that travelling with the wiry R. has been rather fun and really easy going.

CHECK-IN
My flight back to Heathrow will depart at 21h40. Just after 20h I check out of the hotel and make my way across the footbridge to Terminal 1. Signage inside the terminal is really bad, verging on non-existent, and eventually we find the check-in counters more by chance than by design.

British Airways has its own dedicated check-in counters in area F of the terminal. From check-in you have to walk back quite a bit to area G, which is where the security checkpoint is.

Generally speaking, the impression I get of Terminal 1 is of an old and tatty facility that has grown organically and without order and method. Apart form the bad signage the building has very low ceilings and was obviously designed by somebody who is either blind as a bat, has absolutely zero taste or who has no aesthetic appreciation whatsoever. It’s an incredibly ugly airport!

LOUNGE
Of course we walk straight past the Iberia lounge the first time because there are no signs here either… To access the lounge you have to head up two flights of stairs. The lounge is rather nice though and looks as though it was only recently opened or refurbished. With the Iberia flight to Madrid leaving around the same time as ours to London it’s quite full and there are only few places left to sit. We only have about ten minutes in the lounge, enough to have a drink, before it’s time to head back downstairs and to the gate for boarding.

BOARDING
Boarding planes is something the Mexicans do really well. There are separate lanes for First and Club Class passengers and another queue for the working classes. Boarding starts forty minutes before departure. By this time I’m so exhausted I head straight up the airbridge and then for the upper deck so I can sit down and start dozing.

CABIN & SEAT
On this leg I’m sitting on 62K, which is the window seat on the emergency exit of the upper deck. And quite frankly, I think this must be the best seat in the house. First of all, being a window seat you have a lot of additional storage space – which the aisle seat is lacking. More importantly though, it’s one of only two seats – the other is 62A – that gives you access to the aisle without having to climb over your neighbour on the aisle seat.

CREW & SERVICE
The crew on the upper deck consists of two elderly gentlemen that are very friendly and laid back. The service follows the same sequence as the outbound flight, with wash bags, menus and welcome drinks being offered in sequence.

By this time though, I’m simply too exhausted. I feel stupidly tired in fact. While we’re still on the ground I change into my shorts to reveal my hunky hairy legs and even studlier Happy Socks for the benefit and pleasure of all of humaity. As soon as the seatbelt sign is turned off after take-off I extend the seat into a bed and awake over six hours later, just due west of the Irish coast and with three hours left to go to London.

THE MEAL
So I actually miss the first meal service. And to be honest, in hindsight I think I wish I’d missed the breakfast too. Yuk, this really is the most disgusting meal I’ve ever had on a plane. How on earth can you manage to totally ruin Rösti? Have they got a salt shortage in Mexico or something? But it’s not just that, the scrambled eggs taste last lumpy bits of plastic and the pink little sausage is disconcertingly reminiscent of a… Still, at least the baked buns and the yoghurt are edible.

ARRIVAL
Around forty minutes out of Heathrow the Jumbo’s nose gently tilts down and we start our descent. It’s a lovely day in London for flying and we are treated to some really spectacular views of central London. We approach the city from the west, flying an easterly track just south of the city. We turn on to the approach abeam of London city airport, which has already reopened after the weekend by the looks of it. And then from there we fly along the Thames, before eventually gliding down to runway 27L. I’m home again.

CONCLUSION
In my opinion there really is no other aircraft that can rival the Boeing B 747. I know the Airbus A 380 is much larger, heavier and what not. But the 747 simply has style. Alas, the type is very quickly becoming a thing of the past as more and more aircraft are choosing to replace their existing 747 fleets either with the Boeing 777 or the larger A 380. So I’m kind of left wondering if perhaps this may have been my last flight on the Queen of the skies. I hope not!
 
SR100
Posts: 96
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2005 1:43 pm

Re: Going home with British Airways Club on the B747-400

Fri May 19, 2017 1:05 pm

Great report, though regarding your comment "More importantly though, it’s one of only two seats – the other is 62A – that gives you access to the aisle without having to climb over your neighbour on the aisle seat."

This is only half of the truth, the two other seats are 64A and 64K, both bulkhead seats in the very last row on the upper deck - and my favorite ones, because there is no view into the cabin and its activities. These two seats really give you a mini-suite feeling.
Flown all types and variants of Airbus, Boeing, Lockheed, Bombardier, DC, Embraer, Fokker, ATR, plus BAe146-1/2/3, Britannia, Caravelle, Comet, Concord, CV440/990, M404, Herald, Avro, Trident-1/2/3, IL-18/62, SWM, Viscount, VC-10, Tu-104/134/154, YS-11
 
EddieDude
Posts: 6617
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2003 10:19 am

Re: Going home with British Airways Club on the B747-400

Fri May 19, 2017 5:47 pm

Knightsofmalta wrote:
Boarding planes is something the Mexicans do really well. There are separate lanes for First and Club Class passengers and another queue for the working classes.

Hahaha, not really. Either a majority of the passengers were foreigners who are used to boarding in an orderly manner, or the BA agents were strict and serious about queues and priority. Most of the time, boarding at MEX or any other Mexican airport is chaotic. People get up and queue way before agents announce that boarding will start, and along the way the queue becomes a mob. I am thankful that AM for example is now enforcing boarding by zones. There are usually dividers that allow for five different queues (one for each zone) to form at the gate, and agents do not hesitate to send people back if they are in a queue they do not belong to.

Knightsofmalta wrote:
this really is the most disgusting meal I’ve ever had on a plane. How on earth can you manage to totally ruin Rösti? Have they got a salt shortage in Mexico or something?

Sorry about that. Could it have been the natural blandness of flavor that occurs when eating at 40K feet? Curious information tidbit: there is a Mexico City statute whereby restaurants are prevented from having a salt shaker on the table. If you want salt as a guest, you are supposed to ask your server to bring it to your table. The local government believes salt is a major cause of obesity, hence this ridiculous example of governmental overreach.
Upcoming AF MEX-CDG-DEL-CDG-MEX A380, A332, 77W. Old J.
 
Knightsofmalta
Topic Author
Posts: 1741
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

Re: Going home with British Airways Club on the B747-400

Sat May 20, 2017 5:19 am

Hi guys,

Thanks for commenting. SR100, I hadn't thought of row 64 but I guess you probably do have quite an intimate experience if you're seated on one of those seats. Although the proximity to the loo might be an issue.

As for the queuing, I really think it's a Mexican thing because on Aeromexico the process was just as orderly. I wasn't aware of the salt shaker rule in Mexico city, by the way. But I think in this particular case it was just that BA obviously chose the wrong caterer or isn't paying them enough!
 
jeffrey1970
Posts: 1395
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2001 1:41 am

Re: Going home with British Airways Club on the B747-400

Sat May 20, 2017 2:13 pm

I love your TR's. Just like the 747 your TR's have a sense of style. You should fly to Seattle someday and go visit the factory where Boeing builds the 747.
God bless through Jesus, Jeff
 
Knightsofmalta
Topic Author
Posts: 1741
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

Re: Going home with British Airways Club on the B747-400

Sat May 20, 2017 7:52 pm

Hi Jeffrey,

That's really very nice of you to say. So thanks a lot. The Boeing plant is definitely on my to do list. I've been to Toulouse and Hamburg to see the Airbus factories and really enjoyed that!
 
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readytotaxi
Posts: 4535
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:09 am

Re: Going home with British Airways Club on the B747-400

Mon May 22, 2017 5:43 pm

Hi, another cracker, you spend so much tie flying I wonder if you need a home :D
That BA breakfast is shocking, and usually over salted. Thanks again.
you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
 
DAIAM2002
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2016 5:30 pm

Re: Going home with British Airways Club on the B747-400

Tue May 30, 2017 6:02 pm

You reports are quite entertaining... thank you for sharing
 
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vhtje
Posts: 631
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 12:40 pm

Re: Going home with British Airways Club on the B747-400

Tue May 30, 2017 11:58 pm

Thanks for the TR! Your reports are always very well-written and entertaining. I love the legroom shot with the socks - that is a signature of mine, I do the same thing. I cannot tolerate sleeping in clothes, and I cannot tolerate being hot when I am sleeping, so I always carry loose cotton shorts and t-shirt onboard and change before take-off. It makes a huge difference to the comfort of the journey, in my view. I am glad I am not the only one!

If the breakfast on board inbound to LHR is bad, remember there is always the arrivals lounge where a fresh bacon butty awaits!
I only turn left when boarding aircraft. Well, mostly. All right, sometimes. OH OKAY - rarely.
 
EddieDude
Posts: 6617
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2003 10:19 am

Re: Going home with British Airways Club on the B747-400

Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:28 pm

As many of you have probably read already, BA will end 747-400 service to MEX. It will become 777-200ER daily in summer and 787-9 5x weekly during the winter. Not entirely sure when the change becomes effective. I look forward to seeing the BA 787-9 at MEX and reading a trip report on that flight when the time comes.
Upcoming AF MEX-CDG-DEL-CDG-MEX A380, A332, 77W. Old J.
 
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BawliBooch
Posts: 783
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 4:24 am

Re: Going home with British Airways Club on the B747-400

Thu Jun 15, 2017 3:27 am

Chuddies on a plane? In Club Class?

Tch tch! :)
L' Esprit de Mai 68

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