Holiday to Utah in Aug 2019

This is one of those holidays that we have been hoping to do for years. Utah and the Mighty 5.

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Stunning colours on Boston Common
Stunning colours on Boston Common
Stunning colours on Boston Common
Stunning colours on Boston Common

Holiday to New England in Oct 2023: Day 14 – Boston to London Heathrow

By Nige on Tue 24 Oct 2023 at 22:47
Type: Post
Story: Holiday to New England in Oct 2023
Tags: BOS | Boston | Hilton | Holidays | LHR | London Heathrow | Massachusetts | New England | USA

Another holiday comes to an end and although we have enjoyed our time away peeping at leaves for the past two weeks, we need to get back to the moggies.

The view of the courtyard below at the DoubleTree Boston Downtown
The view of the courtyard below at the DoubleTree Boston Downtown
The view of the courtyard below at the DoubleTree Boston Downtown
The view of the courtyard below at the DoubleTree Boston Downtown

One of us has missed them terribly and needs to keep these breaks as short as possible. Issues with the hot water hasn’t helped, but it’s thanks to all of those helpers looking after our cats and our home that have made our break possible.

The morning started with an early rise for me and a returning to bed for another snooze later on. We both finally surfaced not far off 6am.

Since Starbucks in the hotel opened at 6am, it wasn’t much of a walk to get our caffeine top-up. Although, perhaps part of the enjoyment is a bit of a walk in the fresh air, before settling down in a comfy chair in the store to enjoy our drink and plan the day. This time we took our drinks back up to room 518.

We had breakfast in the hotel fairly late for us, but we enjoyed it non-the-less. We both thought this hotel was a really good hotel for Boston. The rooms are a good size; the beds are comfy and they have heavy-duty pillows!

A cheeky woodpecker on Boston Common
A cheeky woodpecker on Boston Common
A cheeky woodpecker on Boston Common
A cheeky woodpecker on Boston Common

After breakfast, we packed up and checked out. Leaving our bags downstairs ready for our departure around lunchtime.

We walked out to Boston Common again, with a view to retracing some our steps from yesterday, but also to visit the Waterfront area.

The Waterfront area of Boston
The Waterfront area of Boston
The Waterfront area of Boston
The Waterfront area of Boston

It was another lovely morning: a little bit of a nip in the air, but the sun was out providing warmth in abundance.

We walked through Quincy Market where we were tempted by all of the lovely food on offer. We resisted on the basis we were aiming to get to Boston airport early and into the lounge.

We headed back to the hotel, picked up our bags, ordered an Uber and headed off to the airport. The trip wasn’t long and we found Terminal E almost empty.

An empty Boston Logan Terminal E
An empty Boston Logan Terminal E
An empty Boston Logan Terminal E
An empty Boston Logan Terminal E

There was certainly no queue for security and minimal benefit in me having TSA Pre-Check. Interestingly, due to another BA IT issue, I wasn’t able to add in our passenger information properly ahead of the flight; I was forced into ringing the BA GGL line and ending up not adding Vick’s Known Traveller Number in. Hence she didn’t have TSA Pre-Check on her boarding pass.

As I mentioned, that actually didn’t lead to any meaningful difference.

The only change was that I didn’t need to take my shoes off.

The stunning view of the skyline from Terminal E
The stunning view of the skyline from Terminal E
The stunning view of the skyline from Terminal E
The stunning view of the skyline from Terminal E

Having cleared security, we headed up to the BA Lounge at around 1pm, hoping we might be able to get in. We slipped into the lounge without any challenge, but within 5 mins, we were asked to leave along with one or two other passengers who were still in the lounge.

We waited patiently downstairs in the departures lounge, pondering our next step. We decided we would queue up ahead of reopening at 2:30pm with the hope that the lounge staff would allow us in.

I think someone is supposed to stand in the middle with their arms out at 90 deg!
I think someone is supposed to stand in the middle with their arms out at 90 deg!
I think someone is supposed to stand in the middle with their arms out at 90 deg!
I think someone is supposed to stand in the middle with their arms out at 90 deg!

I had some money ready, just in case I had to sweet-talk someone into allowing us in, but in the end we talked sweetly to a woman who checked our boarding passes, and she turned a blind eye.

I thanked her later on – we both knew she didn’t need to allow us in and it avoided a very embarassing situation where I may have contemplated handing over some cash to encourage our access into the lounge!

Vick in First Dining in the BA Lounge at Boston
Vick in First Dining in the BA Lounge at Boston
Vick in First Dining in the BA Lounge at Boston
Vick in First Dining in the BA Lounge at Boston

We were scheduled to leave from Gate E12, not far from the BA Lounge, but were advised that we should be able to board directly from the lounge as part of Group 0. Wow – that’s pretty special.

Flight: BA0202 Equip: 787-X
Sched Depart: 21:40 Actual: 21:30
Sched Arrival: 09:10 Actual: 08:58
Takeoff: 21:46 Landing: 08:50

We decided 6pm was about the right time to pop into First Dining, where we had an ok choice of dishes.

My charcuterie platter as a starter
My charcuterie platter as a starter
My charcuterie platter as a starter
My charcuterie platter as a starter

Vick went for the salad as a starter. Nothing particular special, but alright was the take I got from Vick.

My charcuterie platter was quite nice. I don’t normally go for that sort of thing, but I wanted something different from a salad.

The BA Burger (with bun) enjoyed in the BA Lounge at Boston
The BA Burger (with bun) enjoyed in the BA Lounge at Boston
The BA Burger (with bun) enjoyed in the BA Lounge at Boston
The BA Burger (with bun) enjoyed in the BA Lounge at Boston

For main course, we both went for the BA Burger. Vick without the bun and neither of us wanted the pickle.

I liked it a lot; Vick didn’t think there was that much of a taste in the burger patty.

The New York style cheesecake
The New York style cheesecake
The New York style cheesecake
The New York style cheesecake

Vick even push the boat out with a New York style cheesecake for pudding.

I tried a little bit and it was nice.

After finishing, we watched the earlier flight board from the lounge. They were using new facial recognition technology to match individuals with their passports.

It was quite funny the way individuals interacted with it, but it did seem to work.

A 787 waiting at gate E12 to take passengers back to Heathrow
A 787 waiting at gate E12 to take passengers back to Heathrow
A 787 waiting at gate E12 to take passengers back to Heathrow
A 787 waiting at gate E12 to take passengers back to Heathrow

The downside was that there was at least a 5-10 second delay between passengers, so the overall process was slower than manually checking.

Hopefully, it will speed up in due course…

Our 9:40 departure was due to start boarding at around 9pm. We were up waiting close to the lounge gate area a good 5 mins before and we waited patiently for the pre-boards to deal with the facial recognition software! It was a good laugh at times.

On board a new (ish) BA 787-X
On board a new (ish) BA 787-X
On board a new (ish) BA 787-X
On board a new (ish) BA 787-X

When Group 0 was called, Vick was up first and she failed to pass the test. She needed a manual passport check. I went next and I sailed through for some reason.

By the time we reached the air bridge having gone down two levels via escalators, there was a fair old long line ahead of us, waiting to board the aircraft. Note that this time we had a 787-X – the first time we had the pleasure of the new BA fleet.

My pancakes for breakfast on the way into Heathrow
My pancakes for breakfast on the way into Heathrow
My pancakes for breakfast on the way into Heathrow
My pancakes for breakfast on the way into Heathrow

On into seats 1A and 2A, we were made to feel very welcome and immediately were offered all of the normal amenities. It was water all round, due to the need to drive home from Heathrow.

Building on all of the recent positive strokes, the aircraft pushed back about 10 mins early, and with a short flight expected, we were due in to Heathrow about an hour early. That of course increases the chances of us being stuck on the ground without a gate to go to. I feel the pull of a remote stand…

Plugged in my WIFI hub and got that all set up without too many problems.

We both asked to be woken in the morning to get some breakfast. I ordered the pancakes which were pretty tasty.

We arrived a little early and parked up at remote stand 558, so there were buses to take us back to Arrivals. Never a great premium experience, but at least it avoids the train/walk between one of the satelite terminals and Terminal A.


Follow the whole story here: Holiday to New England in Oct 2023


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Author Bio: About Nige

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Nige is one of the co-founders of The Billingham Blog and works as a freelance management consultant. He loves to fly in his spare time!

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