Weekend to London in Feb 2016

We enjoy heading down to London to sort out Russian visas in support of our trip to St Petersburg.

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Breakfast on the terrace in the BA CCR at Heathrow T5 Breakfast on the terrace in the BA CCR at Heathrow T5

Holiday USA West Coast Road Trip in Aug 2022: Day 1 – London (LHR) to Los Angeles (LAX)

By Nige on Thu 04 Aug 2022 at 08:24
Story: Holiday USA West Coast Road Trip in Aug 2022
Tags: British Airways | Holidays | LAX | LHR | London | Los Angeles | USA

We had not been able to check in online due to some internal BA IT issue: we had used Verifly to provide all of our covid documentation; BA has stopped promoting the use of Verifly now and insists on passengers uploading covid documentation directly on its website.  Even though we had done that and had confirmation back from BA that our documentation was in order, the BA check in system still couldn’t work out that we should be able to check in.

Vick on the terrace waiting patiently for her breakfast Vick on the terrace waiting patiently for her breakfast
Vick on the terrace waiting patiently for her breakfast

So, into the First Wing and we had to (briefly) queue for a check in agent.  Check in was smooth and other than being asked whether we were fully vaccinated, we soon had our boarding passes and were heading through security.

It felt great walking into the CCR and onto the terrace for breakfast.  The sun was in an irritating position – shame we can’t move the sun to a better location on demand!  The sun didn’t distract from the quality of the breakfast however!  I ordered the full English and Vick had eggs benedict with gluten free bread.

After breakfast we found a sofa we could lounge on and I picked up the Starbucks.  Vick wasn’t feeling great so she dozed for a while.

We were due to leave from Gate C65, so we headed down there about an hour before departure.  It’s a badly positioned access point into the boarding area at Gate C65, next to a narrow walk way.  The gate staff were assertive in ensuing the access way was clear which meant a number of passengers had to go and sit down.  Of course, we got a family of Americans (who ended up sitting in First Class) who pushed in and blocked the access way.  They were “sponsored” by a member of staff who was trying to get them priority boarding ahead of everyone else.  We waited patiently as good British people do.

Finally got on board into the middle seats (01D and 01F).  Vick’s side of the aircraft got prompt attention with a hot towel (yes they are back), the offer of a drink, a menu and an amenity bag.  My side of the aircraft fared less well!  I was eventually offered a drink and obviously got my order in for a glass of LPGS.

We pushed back over 30 mins late.  We were under our own steam 5 mins later and we took off just before 12:30pm so it was relatively short taxiing today.

Service was fairly swift and it wasn’t long before the cabin crew wanted to exchange our menus – somehow they had handed out the wrong menus – it was a little bizarre.  However, on first glance, it looked like the menu was the same!

Anyway, we ordered and not long afterwards, hors d’oeuvres were served.  Nice start by BA; well presented and tasty.

Hors d oeuvres on board the BA flight to Los Angeles Hors d oeuvres on board the BA flight to Los Angeles
Hors d oeuvres on board the BA flight to Los Angeles

Starters then arrived (after a number of glasses of LPGS) which for me was the soufflé, which was tremendous. Wow – great starter.

My souffle starter on board the BA flight to Los Angeles My souffle starter on board the BA flight to Los Angeles
My souffle starter on board the BA flight to Los Angeles

I had started watching Pulp Fiction and had just about reached the diner scene with Uma Thurman when my lamb shank main course arrived.  It looked amazing, but unfortunately, it was cold.  Vick ordered the same and found hers was cold as well. Very disappointing.

My souffle starter on board the BA flight to Los Angeles My souffle starter on board the BA flight to Los Angeles
My souffle starter on board the BA flight to Los Angeles

We ate a small amount, but then decided it was best to leave the rest.  We complained when the cabin crew came to collect our plates, and the female cabin crew member was very apologetic. There was nothing else she could really do.

Flight: BA0281 Equip: 777-300
Sched Depart: 11:40 Actual: 12:10
Sched Arrival: 14:55 Actual: 15:26
Takeoff: 12:29 Landing: 14:53

For pudding, I went for the crepe suzette which was very tasty (and hot); Vick went for the tart. Nice recovery by BA cabin crew.

The crepe suzette on board the BA flight to Los Angeles The crepe suzette on board the BA flight to Los Angeles
The crepe suzette on board the BA flight to Los Angeles

I watched Phantom of the Open after lunch – a bit lame to start with, until I found out at the end that it was based on the true story of Maurice Flitwell who was considered the worst golfer in the world when he played his first ever round of golf in the qualifying for the British Open. 

I had to go to the galley to order my dinner: waldorf salad, cheeseburger and another glass of LPGS.  I can’t say the service was that special on this flight.  I don’t think I can remember the last time that service in First Class was so lack lustre. However, other than the less-than-warm lamb, the food has been amazing.

The salad served up for dinner was really tasty – it came with hot salmon.  Neither of us are fish-lovers, but this was really good.

The salad on board the BA flight to Los Angeles The salad on board the BA flight to Los Angeles
The salad on board the BA flight to Los Angeles

The cheeseburger was also pretty good. The burger was hot and the bun and accessories were a little unusual.

The BA burger on board the BA flight to Los Angeles The BA burger on board the BA flight to Los Angeles
The BA burger on board the BA flight to Los Angeles

A further snooze followed dinner, before arriving at Gate 134 of Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT).  There was a long wait on the apron after touchdown; we had to wait for 30 mins for a Singapore Airlines aircraft to leave our gate.

Once we had deplaned, we headed down to Immigration and the Global Entry kiosks.  I wasn’t expecting it to read my passport; it had failed on two previous occasions.  Before I even got to presenting my passport, I got a message to proceed.  It had obviously face-id me and confirmed I was all ok to go.  Wow – that’s impressive!  Vick wasn’t so lucky and couldn’t get the kiosk to read her passport, so she had to see the Border Patrol Officer and get her fingerprints taken. From there we headed out onto the street and then along to T5 where we picked up AA boarding cards which would allow us to use TSA Pre-check for the next flight to Las Vegas.

Follow the whole story here: Holiday USA West Coast Road Trip in Aug 2022

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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!

View all posts by Nige   |   Website

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