Hi everyone, welcome to my first ever flight report. Do apologise if there are some parts being uncovered here. Looking forward to your comment and suggestion to further improve the quality of my report.
So, I was studying in the UK at the time and had no decision to where I should spend my easter break. Browsing the net for some holiday alternatives, I finally found a return ticket to New York (via Boston) with a very affordable price of GBP 367 return! Without any doubt I booked the ticket right away, and I was all set to go. (Fyi, this report will only present my first leg flight from LHR to BOS. My second leg was with American Airlines (AA 1105) in their A321 fleet.)
The day started quite early for me, as I departed from my friend's flat in Liverpool Street (3 mins walk to Liverpool street station) at around 6 in the morning. I took the Central Line, made a stop in Holborn, and took another hop on Piccadilly line to Heathrow. The tube from Holborn was really packed at the time as it was exactly the peak hour for Londoners to commute. Travel from Liverpool Street Station to London Heathrow took around 90 minutes and I managed to arrive at LHR at around 7:30 am (45 minutes ahead until I could drop my baggage and retrieve my boarding pass). British Airways uses LHR's dedicated terminal 5 for their operations. I didn't see any other airlines operated from here.
Here's some of the picture I could snap around the airport. Check in counter in LHR's terminal 5 is really spacious, a total opposite from their terminal 3 which host several other airlines such as Cathay Pacific, Garuda Indonesia, Oman Air, and American Airlines. BA's ground staff on this area was really helpful. The guy on the check in counter even advised me in a quite detailed manner regarding some protocols I would face during my transit in Boston (regarding US pre-clearance protocol).
Passing the security check, I managed to take some other pictures of this terminal. Just like another airport found around the world, LHR terminal 5 offers an exhaustive shopping options as well as restaurants. However, from my view, the ambient in this airport is still way behind many other airports such as SIN, AUH, HKG, or HND.
Fyi, LHR's terminal 5 consists of three terminal buildings namely 5A, 5B and 5C. This terminal provides a train service which connects the three buildings in a regular basis. Well, I miss the information on how frequent the train is, but I believe it won't make the passengers wait for long. As my flight would be departed from gate B32, I took the train service which connected me from the main terminal building to the 5B building, and it took quite fast to get there. I forget how long it was, but it was around 5-minute ride (or even less) if I'm not mistaken.
LHR terminal 5 gives such a clear view of the aircraft outside, and thus very great for all aviation-enthusiast. This is the total opposite of their terminal 3 where the boarding room is totally surrounded by wall, which gives no access to the view outside. However, as this is a BA's dedicated terminal, the view might get boring as there were no other airlines to be spotted around. During my waiting time, I took pictures of some BA's fleets which were being prepared for some US destination at the time. One of them is BA's oldest B744 in their current fleet (G-BNLK) which has served the company for roughly 27 years now.
Route: London Heathrow (LHR) to Boston Logan (BOS)
Scheduled departure: 11:15 AM (local time)
Scheduled arrival: 01:30 PM (local time)
Flight duration: 7 hrs 15 mins
Boarding was commenced on time and smoothly executed by the crew. The flight was pretty much full at the time with load factor in economy cabin was around 90%. I couldn't get the information on the load factor on the other classes, but based on my sole observation, load in business cabin was probably around 70% or even more. Getting onboard early, I managed to take some pictures of the economy cabin and some others of my window seat on 44K. During taxi, I also snapped the other One World fellows - i.e. Cathay Pacific and Qantas - being prepared for their next service back to Hong Kong and Sydney (via Dubai), respectively.
For this medium-haul flight, British Airways provided pillow and blanket; a standard flying kit that we find in almost all full-service carrier (for medium and long-haul flight). Sadly, they did not provide a complete set of amenity kit; only a tooth brush and a tooth paste being provided here. No earplugs, no socks, and no eye-shades being provided for the passengers. In addition, inflight magazine and inflight shopping catalog were also provided to support passengers' comfort. Unfortunately while the content of the magazine was good, its condition was not preserved well that some part of it had been ripped and become untidy.
Now, let's jump to my review on the flight experience. The aircraft was relatively aged (well, you know it's a 27-year-old B747-400), but as you can see from the previous picture, the cabin itself looked clean and neat. Despite looking clean and neat, the seat onboard this B747-400 was quite uncomfortable (at least for me). The seat arrangement in this aircraft is relatively tight, and the level of comfort is somehow lower than in their new product offered in their A380 and B777 aircraft. However the headrest was quite helpful to get me to sleep for an hour or two. Apart from that, being in a day flight with a fully-loaded cabin made the flight feel rather warm and slightly uncomfortable, however it wasn't such a big deal.
The food and beverages onboard were just fine. My main course was some kind of rice with lamb which I did not quite like. Sandwich was also given as the refreshment prior to landing and it tasted just ok. I really appreciate the work and the attentiveness of the cabin crew on this flight. These people were amazing, they were warm, attentive, and highly responsive. The cabin was also kept fairly clean throughout the entire flight. Here are some other pictures I took during the flight. Unfortunately I forgot to take the picture of my meals onboard.
The IFE provided in this flight was also not quite satisfying The IFE screen itself was the old and outdated version and thus did not deliver the best quality of entertainment onboard. However the movie choices were quite good that it helped me stick on my seat throughout the flight.
The flight finally landed safely in Boston Logan International Airport about 15 minutes ahead of schedule. Here are some wing-view pictures I took during the trip.
However, I have such a poor impression about Boston International Airport. International arrival and immigration process was just fine, the thing was that the crews were so much unpleasant and somewhat rude. Going to the domestic American Airlines terminal, my impression was getting worse. The airport was too packed, too many people and somehow disorganised (mostly in the security check line). Passing this area and being in the airside, airport situation was just much better.
All in all, my experience flying British Airways on this trans-atlantic route has been good, even though the service delivered was not as good as those delivered by the ME3 and some certain Asian carriers (but I believe they have that capacity to deliver a much better service; particularly in economy). And well, I have no doubt flying them again some times in the future (hopefully trying out their new B787 fleet).
Anyway, for me flying B747 is such a privilege as their presence is getting rarer and rarer these days. I really hope that this aircraft will still be flying around, well at least in several years ahead. Really glad to have this trip on 747 when they're getting phased out one by one everywhere in the world.