Tier Point Run to Hawaii in Nov 2022 – Day 2 – New York (JFK) to Los Angeles (LAX)
As it happens, it didn’t take long for me to get through border control and I was quickly out of the terminal waking over the road heading towards the Air Train. It was a little damp in New York but warmer than I expected it to be.
There is a lot of work going on at JFK right now. That means the only terminals currently open are T4, T5, T7 and T8. The Air Train didn’t seem as frequent as I remember: I had to wait 6 mins for a train heading to T8. Although I had about 3 hours to kill so a 6 min wait was hardly going to be a problem for me.
Key work I was interested in was the joint AA/BA terminal merger, with some impressive lounges to be available for the two frequent flyer memberships. Not a lot visible just yet but I had a long chat with one of the senior lounge staff (28 years experience she told me) and she was happy to share some artists impressions of how things will look. She also said that there was a big staff comms session next week when all will be revealed. She also confirmed that the BA team would be coming over from T7 to join them.
The Flagship Lounge was heaving when I arrived. I was lucky to find a relatively quiet seat and I caught up with Vick and the blog during my downtime between flights.
The flight to LA left from Gate 45. Boarding for the LAX flights is normally a bun fight and sometimes if there’s a CK rep on hand, I get an invite to board whenever I like. Things appeared a little unusual when I got to the gate.
Flight: Equip: A321T
Sched Depart: 20:30 Actual: 20:25
Sched Arrival: 23:58 Actual: 00:25
Takeoff: 21:37 Landing: 00:16
The gate area was almost deserted. I could see one other passenger who was hanging around with just 5 mins to boarding time. It was like it was a ghost flight, or a flight specially laid on for the two of us. A few more passengers turned up eventually but it was nowhere near as busy as I would have expected.
For this flight, I was only in Group 2, so had to wait for the First Class passengers to board before I could step onto the aircraft. Finally onboard into seat 06F and I settled in for what the captain expected to be a five and a half hour flight. We pushed back a little early and then sat close to the gate for at least 20-25 mins without any further announcements from the captain. That often means there’s a technical issue which they are trying to fix without worrying anyone or there’s an ATC restriction in place.
This time, the captain finally advised, the delay was down to the weather and the decision to use a single runway for all take offs and landings. That meant there was a huge queue and the captain was waiting for approval to JOIN THE TAXI QUEUE. Just shows you how many aircraft must have waiting to take off.
We eventually made it onto the runway just over an hour after we were scheduled to depart. That meant I would have even less time in bed at LAX trying to catch up on some sleep.
As soon as we were up in the air, I decided to get my head down for some shut eye. I managed just over a couple of hours, which meant that I avoided being tempted by any more food, nor alcohol.
We arrived into Gate 47B having caught up a bit of time. Taxiing at LAX took a fair bit longer than it normally does, so that didn’t help the time, which seemed to be slipping on by. What was nice was how quickly the AA team attached the jet bridge. Why can’t us Brits manage it as fast as that?
It took me about 10 mins from leaving the aircraft to walking across World Way outside Terminal 4 on my walk down to the Hilton just over a mile away. It’s a nice walk; not attractive as such, but it’s an indication that I have arrived in Los Angeles, which is always a good feeling.
I had already checked into the Hilton at LAX. I had been upgraded to a one bed suite on the 16th floor and a digital key was available so I could bypass the inevitable queue at reception. It was a decent sized room and I did the minimum stuff before getting into bed.
Follow the whole story here: Tier Point Run to Hawaii in Nov 2022