Holiday to Florida in Dec 2019

Heading out to Florida on our traditional post-Christmas trip to soak up some sun.

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The mural on the wall in the T5 South Lounge complex
The mural on the wall in the T5 South Lounge complex
The mural on the wall in the T5 South Lounge complex
The mural on the wall in the T5 South Lounge complex

Tier Point Run to Palm Springs in Dec 2023: Day 1 – London Heathrow LHR to New York JFK

By Nige on Thu 14 Dec 2023 at 23:23
Type: Post
Story: Tier Point Run to Palm Springs in Dec 2023
Tags: British Airways | JFK | LHR | London | New York | Trips | USA

After deplaning the Dublin flight, I immediately have to choose between whether to go landside or head to Flight Connections. There tends to be someone checking boarding passes at the corridor that heads to Flight Connections.

Today I decided to go the Flight Connections route for a change. It seemed to cause a stir as the staff didn’t really know what they were looking for on my boarding pass and were getting confused between domestic connections and international connections.

A Christmassy-looking CCR at T5
A Christmassy-looking CCR at T5
A Christmassy-looking CCR at T5
A Christmassy-looking CCR at T5

Got there in the end. I found Flight Connections appeared to be fairly busy, but there were no queues at the boarding pass scanners and the security area was very light.

I was soon through and back into the CCR.

I picked up my bag and then almost bumped into Nigel Evans MP, who gave me the sort of look that suggested one of us recognised the other!

An empty Gate B42 just before I was invited into the pen as part of early Group 0 boarding
An empty Gate B42 just before I was invited into the pen as part of early Group 0 boarding
An empty Gate B42 just before I was invited into the pen as part of early Group 0 boarding
An empty Gate B42 just before I was invited into the pen as part of early Group 0 boarding

Then, Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber joined him and they sat at the bar having a chat. An unusual pairing if you ask me.

Flight: BA0183 Equip: 777-200
Sched Depart: 19:00 Actual: 19:33
Sched Arrival: 22:10 Actual: 22:35
Takeoff: 19:50 Landing: 22:18

I headed down to Gate B42 and got there about an hour before departure. I got into a discussion with the gate staff and when asked which group I was in, I was invited to come through into the waiting area due to my Group 0 status. Wow!

One broken pair of headphones - clearly no one checks these before loading them
One broken pair of headphones – clearly no one checks these before loading them
One broken pair of headphones - clearly no one checks these before loading them
One broken pair of headphones – clearly no one checks these before loading them

To be fair, the only benefit I gained was to sit in the pen at the top of the escalator for 10 mins before being allowed on board. Even then, Group 1 was right behind.

I need to stop whinging! A benefit offered by BA to recognise GGL status only comes once in a blue moon!

I was soon on board into seat 02A and not long after that I had my first glass of LPGS. This was an older 777-200 with old first and the new CW seat. The IFE was past its prime and the choice of films was pretty tired.

The captain announced that we would be delayed due to more BA IT issues, likely with flight planning again. We pushed back 30 mins late as a result.

Hors d'oeuvres served on the BA flight to New York
Hors d’oeuvres served on the BA flight to New York
Hors d'oeuvres served on the BA flight to New York
Hors d’oeuvres served on the BA flight to New York

I watched most of the last Indiana Jones movie with Phoebe Waller-Bridge. It was vaguely entertaining, but not so much that I could be bothered to watch the last 15 mins or so!

Dinner was served about 45 mins after take off. I started with hors d’oeuvres, which were ok – out of the three things, two of them were fish-related, so the Vickster wouldn’t have been happy!

Another stunning double souffle
Another stunning double souffle
Another stunning double souffle
Another stunning double souffle

As a starter, I ordered the double soufflé, which was excellent as it always is. Really light and fluffy with a tasty sauce.

As a main course, I went for my second turkey dinner of the season.

The turkey was OK, if a tad dry. The pig in blanket was nice and meaty and the veg was fresh and satisfying.

My second turkey dinner of the season
My second turkey dinner of the season
My second turkey dinner of the season
My second turkey dinner of the season

However, I felt stuffed afterwards. As if I really had eaten way too much during the day.

I couldn’t contemplate having pudding, and I would have to forgo the burger later in the flight as a light meal.

I had my bed made up by the relatively attentive cabin crew. Unfortunately, after ordering items (e.g. a glass of water), they did take longer to deliver the said item than one would hope.

I enjoyed a good couple of hours kip, before enjoying a pot of tea and then I readied myself for getting off at JFK.

Crazy Uber pickup location at New York's JFK
Crazy Uber pickup location at New York’s JFK
Crazy Uber pickup location at New York's JFK
Crazy Uber pickup location at New York’s JFK

After landing, we were held a little while before being able to arrive into Gate 20 at T8. I managed to scoot through the small business cabin to get prime position for deplaning.

I am always amazed at the rabbit warren of corridors that lead you to immigration and there was a horrendously long queue at passport control, so I was overjoyed at having Global Entry! To be fair that wasn’t too quick either, even though I was the first in the queue!

I should have rented out the other bed at the Hampton Inn, JFK
I should have rented out the other bed at the Hampton Inn, JFK
I should have rented out the other bed at the Hampton Inn, JFK
I should have rented out the other bed at the Hampton Inn, JFK

Through the Baggage Reclaim area and I immediately ordered an Uber to take me to the Hampton Inn, JFK.

Previously I had taken the AirTrain to Federal Circle and hoped that a shuttle bus would arrive, freezing my pants off, so this time I decided to invest $18 to ride in some level of comfort.

The Uber/taxi area was a real mess, with vehicles all over the place waiting for their riders to turn up. Eventually my Uber appeared and I was in my hotel room within an hour of the aircraft arriving on stand.


Follow the whole story here: Tier Point Run to Palm Springs in Dec 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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