Flight-Report

Review of British Airways flight London Washington in Economy

Airline British Airways
Flight BA293
Class Economy
Seat 31A
Aircraft Boeing 787-9
Flight time 08:35
Take-off 25 Nov 18, 17:05
Arrival at 25 Nov 18, 20:40
BA   #49 out of 128 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 665 reviews
ISTFlyer
By GOLD 1102
Published on 9th January 2019

Hello and welcome to this series which would include 4 flights with British Airways. This series would contain two long haul flights in the World Traveller cabin and two medium haul flights in the Euro Traveller Cabin. All of these flights would include lounge reviews of lounges that I have been reviewed before.

The last leg of this serie would be a short transatlantic flight onboard British Airways 787-9 aircraft from Heathrow to Washington on the World Traveller cabin. Despite a good flight experience and getting to spend 5 hours 45 minutes at Heathrow without getting bored, the arrival experience at IAD wasn't better as I expected. This report also has reviews of the lunch service at the Galleries Lounge's at Heathrow.

The routing for this serie would look like this; 



Pax for this flight

First: %100
Club World ( Business ): %100
World Traveller Plus ( Premium Economy ): %100
World Traveller ( Economy ): %100 

The flight was fully booked. 


London Heathrow AIRPORT - LHR


As I mentioned at the last report that there were problems issuing my onward boarding pass to Washington, the employees at the transfer desk was able to figure the issue and print my boarding pass for this flight.


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Then I have headed to the North security checkpoint where the priority security is located. This time the security process took 5 to 10 minutes which is not that bad.


Unfortunately, British Airways doesn't announce gates till 1 hours before departure and concourses till 2 hours before scheduled takeoff time. I decided to head to the South Galleries Lounge.


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I was able to access the Business lounge via my Executive Club Silver status.


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BRITISH AIRWAYS GALLERIES LOUNGE TERMINAL 5A SOUTH - LONDON HEATHROW AIRPORT


While I've entered the lounge, the employees were setting up the bar for lunch service.
Today's selections were the same as when I have last visited the lounge during lunchtime. 


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Fresh juices were available as well


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Soup selection


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Salad bar


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The only dessert at the lounge is the carrot cake.


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Finger sandwiches were also available


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Adult beverages


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A sample coffee bar. Some of the machines weren't working that day


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Magazine selection


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View from the lounge. As it is usually quieter than the southern part of the lounge, I was sitting at the northern part of the lounge which has a view of the terminal.


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Later on I have headed to the Elemis Spa to have a massage but I was rejected because I have forgotten that I was in World Traveller today. The massage service is reserved to British Airways Club World, First and Executive Club Gold passengers.


Even though, showers are available for Executive Club Silver members. That day there wasn't any queue for the showers and I was directly assigned a shower room at the reception.


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After having my shower, a notification to my phone came that my flight would depart from B gates.


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FIDS for flights departing from Concourses B & C


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Today I have decided to walk to concourse B


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A shot from the tunnel


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There are limited facilities at concourse B


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British Airways GALLERIES LOUNGE TERMINAL 5B - London Heathrow AIRPORT


As I had 30-40 minutes until boarding, I had also spent time at the Galleries Lounge at Terminal 5B


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At the reception, the attendant told me that my flight would depart from gate B39. 
The offering at this lounge is same as the Terminal 5A lounge. There is nothing special to mention about this lounge. 


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GATE AREA & BOARDING


Boarding started a little bit later than scheduled with priorities being respected.


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G-ZBKA from the gate


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This A320 which was parked at gate B38 would head to Geneva that evening.


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BA 293 LONDON HEATHROW AIRPORT TO WASHINGTON DULLES AIRPORT


I have headed to my seat after being welcomed by the crew. 


Seat

The seats onboard this aircraft was comfortable and above exceptions. The legroom was perfect for a transatlantic flight. Pillows, blankets and headphones were provided at each seat. 


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BA 787-9 aircrafts are equipped with Thales inflight entertainment system 


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Headphones


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The aircraft was still getting fuel while doors should be closed.


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This Queen of the Skies was heading to the runway as BA 113 to New York-JFK


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Before we have pushed back, G-EUYB has been replaced by G-EUUX at the next gate which had just arrived from St. Petersburg.


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Overhead panel


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The safety video was shown while we pushed back.


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After the safety video, I have slept a bit. I have wake up when the aperitif service begun. Pretzels were offered with a choice of drink


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Route map


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MEAL - BA 293 London Heathrow AIRPORT to Washington Dulles


Today's options were chicken or pasta. The tray contained the main dish, a salad, bread, butter, crackers, cheese, a pudding, a bottle of water and milk for coffee. No drink of choice offered with the meal


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Penne with Tomato Pesto Sauce - The dish was delicious. The other option was Chicken Tikka Masala.


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While the meal service continued, tea and coffee service was done.


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Route map as trays were collected


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IFE - BA 293 London Heathrow AIRPORT TO Washington Dulles AIRPORT


The IFE screen on this aircraft had more content than those old 747-400 aircraft. I find that it's easy to use Thales entertainment screen compared to those Panasonic ones.


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The seat pocket content as usual. Inflight shopping was offered during this flight


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BA Eastern USA & Eastern Canada destinations


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Mileage and time information


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A short visit to the toilets ( washrooms in British English ). They were clean while I visited


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SNACK - BA 293 London Heathrow AIRPORT TO Washington Dulles AIRPORT


1 hours 15 minutes before arrival, this snack box was offered to passengers with their drink of choice. Today's menu was a Tuna Mayonnaise and Sweetcorn Wrap alongside with a Cadbury chocolate. The sandwich tasted good.


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Route map at that time


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Immigration cards were distributed before arrival.


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Before arrival, the Flying Start project video had been monitored.


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Photos before and during landing



Delta Connection aircraft


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Southwest 737


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We were going to park at gate B44. The fixed gate of British Airways at IAD


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This Avianca A321 from San Salvador had arrived just after us


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Washington Dulles AIRPORT - IAD


Last photos of our aircraft after entering the terminal


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As the concourses hasn't direct access to the CBP area, passengers are transported to the immigration area by shuttle buggies. One buggy was reserved for First, Club World and World Traveller Plus passengers and the other buggy was for passengers seated in World Traveller.


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Our aircraft would be catered before returning to Heathrow


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Last shot of our aircraft


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Immigration took 20-25 minutes as First, Business and World Traveller Plus passengers had arrived before us. Only 3 officers served visitors at that time. By the way, there were smart adolescents that skipped the line under the barrier. No one didn't warn them and they were one of the first ones to clear immigration.

My baggage was waiting for me at Carousel 20 while I arrived there 


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The airport was packed due to the end of holiday season. The Silver Line Express bus didn't accept credit cards that night and there were 45 minutes until the closest 5A bus would depart. That's why I took an Uber back to my address.


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This report and this serie has came to an end. Thanks for reading and hope to see you in another report/serie.


Coming up
 
This section would include spoilers of my next reports if travel plans are made. This section would appear in my recent report "except the flashback series reports" so you could have an idea what flights are coming next. Just a quick note that, flights I that I marked that I haven't flown yet could be not reported or/and not flown depending on several factors such as itinerary change, cancellation of trip, dead battery and more.


Up next

The mileage run series would start just after this report. Including 12 domestic business class flights on A320/737-800 aircraft which would include a review of the Turkish Airlines lounges in Izmir, Ankara, Trabzon, Gaziantep and Istanbul-ISL. If I'm lucky I would experience the brand new domestic lounge at ISL, if not I would review the temporary lounge corner at Istanbul Airport. 


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<span style="font-weight: normal;">The 13th flight on the mileage run series would include a flight that I won't earn miles on an alliance carrier membership card but it would be a report of a rarely reported airline.[/span]


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After the mileage run series; the next report that I would share would be a review of the American 737-MAX-8 onboard a transcontinental flight on the Main Cabin. There would be also a short review of the Admirals Club at the departing airport.


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Coming up January/February 2019

Another British Airways report would be posted shortly after the American report. Including one long transatlantic report with the super jumbo and the other one on my regular shuttle flight.


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See more

Verdict

British Airways

8.4/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew9.0
Entertainment/wifi7.5
Meal/catering9.0

London - LHR

8.4/10
Efficiency8.5
Access8.0
Services8.5
Cleanliness8.5

Washington - IAD

6.5/10
Efficiency6.0
Access5.0
Services7.5
Cleanliness7.5

Conclusion

The boarding pas problem was easily solved at the transfer desk, I have also asked the agent if I could switch to the BWI flight which was two hours earlier than the IAD flight. She told me that it would be easy to change my booking at the lounge as I had status. Today, the fast track security waiting time wasn't that bad. I was in the airside within 10 minutes after being issued my boarding pass. Then I have checked the concourse of my gate at the service desk but like always, I was asked to stay at the main building until a notification appears. There were a couple of A10 wide-bodies that day so I wasn't sure if we would board by a jetbridge that day. The lounge ( south ) was a bit crowded that day but I managed to find a seat at the northern part of the lounge. The food was the same as my last lunchtime visit ( August 2018 ) and the food tasted good. In addition, the beverage selection was good as always. Before having my meal, I have headed to the service desk to change my flight to BWI but unfortunately there were only 2 seats at that aircraft and the ground staff told me that a free change could at the gate if I didn't have any baggage. Unfortunately, I had checked luggage so I had a long layover. After hanging 2 hours in the lounge I had have a shower at the Elemis Spa at Terminal 5A. While I've visited, there were available showers so I was directly assigned a shower cabin. Later on a notification to my phone came that my flight would depart at B gates. I have walked there and rested a bit at the Galleries Lounge at concourse B. The offering and the services are the same compared to the main building lounges. Boarding started 30-35 minutes before scheduled departure time with priorities being respected. The seat at the aircraft was the same as my last longhaul flight onboard the 747 but this time the aircraft was equipped with the Thales IFE system which is better than the Panasonic one. We have took of a bit later than our scheduled departure an aperitif service had begun just after takeoff with snacks and a drink of choice. Later on, main meals arrived in a reasonable time. The pasta option was delicious and one of the best Economy meals that I had. After a long sleep, I had waken up for the pre-arrival service. The sandwich was delicious like the pasta. BA surprised me today about meals. Later on, we had landed close to schedule but from gate to exit it took 45-50 minutes which had a 10 minute wait for the buggy to depart, a 10 minutes buggy ride and the rest at the immigration line. Only 3 officers were assigned for visitors at that time. Also the Silver Line Express Bus had some issues that day and there were 50 minutes till the next 5A bus ( IAD to city ), I had to take an Uber which I waited for 15 minutes due to the unorganized traffic at the airport. Overall, the LHR experience and the flight experience was decent but definitely IAD staff could have definitely take precautions due to the last day of the holiday season.

LHR
(+) Fast and efficient transfer security ( at least that day )
(+) Priorities respected while boarding
(-) Gate area ( queues ) a bit disorganized ( Gate B39 )
BA Galleries Lounge
(+) Nice and comfortable seats
(+) Beverage options
(+) Didn't wait for shower
(+) Meal options
BA 293
(+) Comfortable seats
(+) Nice and delicious meals ( both services )
(+) Nice cabin crew
(+) Toilets were kept clean during the flight
(+) Decent IFE system
(-) Unannounced delay
IAD
(+) Bags were waiting for me
(-) Buggy to immigration/immigration waiting time
(-) Ridiculous traffic at arrivals ( Holiday season )

Information on the route London (LHR) Washington (IAD)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 9 reviews of 1 airlines on the route London (LHR) → Washington (IAD).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is British Airways with 7.4/10.

The average flight time is 8 hours and 17 minutes.

  More information

7 Comments

  • Comment 483362 by
    KL651 TEAM 4377 Comments

    Thanks for this FR.
    Nice lounge offering and decor, but I find it cheap to reserve some services like the Spa to actual Business and First passengers.
    Good onboard service, BA has really made an effort to improve its catering in all classes.
    The behaviour of these teens at immigration is surprising, this is really not the best place to misbehave ^^

    • Comment 483369 by
      ISTFlyer GOLD AUTHOR 167 Comments

      Thanks for your comment,

      "Nice lounge offering and decor, but I find it cheap to reserve some services like the Spa to actual Business and First passengers."
      - The south lounge has a better and more modern decor than the north lounge so I usually prefer going there. The offering is also good compared to some other lounges in Europe. Yes, it's annoying that they restrict some services to ticketed J and F passengers but in the US it's worse, over there BA only offers hot meals for these passengers in J or F to avoid eligible AA passengers visiting their lounge.
      "Good onboard service, BA has really made an effort to improve its catering in all classes."
      - Definitely agree, even though the dessert and the second meal seems a bit cheap, the meal tasted extraordinary. I'm waiting with impatience to experience their new Club Europe catering in May 2019.
      "The behaviour of these teens at immigration is surprising, this is really not the best place to misbehave ^^"
      - Probably due to the late hour, there were fewer guiding employees than usual. Of course, it's annoying to have 10 people skipping you but it's more surprising that none of the passengers in the line opened their mouth.

      Thanks again and hope to see you in another report.

  • Comment 483444 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 4732 Comments

    Hi Eryorulmaz, thanks for sharing this last report in the series!

    "Then I have headed to the North security checkpoint where the priority security is located."
    - There's also a Fast Track security queue at the South checkpoint. I prefer going through the South Fast Track as there's usually less of a wait in my experience.

    The food offering during dinner and lunch at the Galleries lounge is pretty good IMO, but it's miserable in between during "tea" service hours.

    "As it is usually quieter than the southern part of the lounge, I was sitting at the northern part of the lounge which has a view of the terminal."
    - Totally agree, that's usually my go-to part of the lounge. The other side of the lounge can be super crowded, while the north side will be half empty and quiet.

    "The massage service is reserved to British Airways Club World, First and Executive Club Gold passengers."
    - Right, even Club Europe passengers aren't eligible--only if connecting to/from a long-haul

    It annoys me that departure gates are announced so late at British airports. You always have to wait around and then make a mad dash to the gate at the last minute. As much as I fly through LHR T5, I've never had more than 5-10 minutes to spend at the T5B lounge as a result.

    Overall seems like a decent experience for TATL Y. The new cabins are nice and the 787s have good IFE content. I'm glad the 2nd flight is now operated by a 787-9 instead of an older 744. So now we have the 1st BA flight with new cabins in the High-J 744 and a new 789 on the 2nd flight--both of which are good experiences in all cabins, though nothing beats upper deck Club World on the High-J 744.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Comment 483451 by
      ISTFlyer GOLD AUTHOR 167 Comments

      Hi KévinDC and thanks for your comment,

      "There's also a Fast Track security queue at the South checkpoint. I prefer going through the South Fast Track as there's usually less of a wait in my experience."
      - Where is it, can I access there via the transfer route as I require a visa to enter to the UK. The fast track connection path directly leads to the Northern checkpoint.
      "The food offering during dinner and lunch at the Galleries lounge is pretty good IMO, but it's miserable in between during "tea" service hours."
      - Completely agree, the afternoon tea concept is one of the things that I hate at Heathrow, but it's also nice to have the lunch concept until 17:00 (5pm). I have never entered the lounge later than 18:00 (6pm) so I can't comment on the dinner offering.
      "Totally agree, that's usually my go-to part of the lounge. The other side of the lounge can be super crowded, while the north side will be half empty and quiet."
      - For the most of the time, the Northern part is quiet but I have also experienced an overcrowded lounge without any available seats including the Business Corner
      "Right, even Club Europe passengers aren't eligible--only if connecting to/from a long-haul"
      - That's one of the annoying BA restrictions. The most annoying is the dining room restriction at Galleries Club locations in the US.
      "It annoys me that departure gates are announced so late at British airports. You always have to wait around and then make a mad dash to the gate at the last minute. As much as I fly through LHR T5, I've never had more than 5-10 minutes to spend at the T5B lounge as a result."
      - Me too, there was a trick until Summer 2018 that you could find out your concourse by looking at the FIDS at the transit station which only shows flights departing from concourses B and C, but now they have limited that screen only to monitor flights within the next three hours. It's also nice that BA sends a notification about the concourse 2 hours before scheduled departure time but I would definitely prefer to go to the T5B lounge just after arriving from my previous flight and spend all the time there. Unfortunately, the new airport at my hometown ( ISL ) would have the same stupid process.
      "Overall seems like a decent experience for TATL Y. The new cabins are nice and the 787s have good IFE content. "
      - Yes, it's a decent experience and the IFE at 787s are better than other aircraft, especially than those old not-refurbished 747s.

    • Comment 483452 by
      ISTFlyer GOLD AUTHOR 167 Comments

      "I'm glad the 2nd flight is now operated by a 787-9 instead of an older 744. So now we have the 1st BA flight with new cabins in the High-J 744 and a new 789 on the 2nd flight--both of which are good experiences in all cabins, though nothing beats upper deck Club World on the High-J 744."
      - I have never tried the upper deck Club World cabin on the 744 but I would try it this May. Thanks to your reports, I have pre-selected seat 62A for that flight. I would also like to remind that the 789's would only operate during the winter to IAD. These aircrafts would be replaced by 744s in the summer season.

      Thanks again for stopping by and hope to see you in another report.

  • Comment 484043 by
    hometoyyz SILVER 498 Comments

    Hello, my busy flight-reporter friend!

    The lunch spread in the lounge looks pretty decent.

    I’m glad the seats were comfortable — this can certainly be a challenge in 787 economy seating with the nine-abreast setup. A good sign that you were able to fall asleep so quickly upon boarding, and relatively early in the evening.

    The pasta actually looks pretty appetizing, and I’d be hopeful for a Tikka Masala from a British airway too. The pre-arrival meal is a bit less enticing, but better than some arrive for pre-arrival meals on relatively short Transatlantics.

    What exactly is the Flying Start project?

    And then arrival into IAD. On the plus side, there are the very unique experience of the Moon Buggies. On the other end, a bit of a wait to get through customs. Although I guess it could have been worse than 20-25 minutes, especially with just three agents on the job.

    I like your ideas of previewing “the next episode of Eryorulmaz’s flight-reports” as it were. And by the looks of it, I’ve got some binge-watching to do. Thanks again for sharing this, and happy flying!

    • Comment 484069 by
      ISTFlyer GOLD AUTHOR 167 Comments

      Hi Hometoyyz and thanks for commenting starting from this report,

      "The lunch spread in the lounge looks pretty decent."
      - It's certainly better than I expected from BA.
      "I’m glad the seats were comfortable — this can certainly be a challenge in 787 economy seating with the nine-abreast setup. A good sign that you were able to fall asleep so quickly upon boarding, and relatively early in the evening."
      - Actually I try not to sleep on late-afternoon westbound transatlantic flights to adjust my sleeping time to Eastern Standard Time, but yes I have fallen asleep. I could tell you that the seats are really comfortable and not like those on narrow-body BA aircraft.
      "The pasta actually looks pretty appetizing, and I’d be hopeful for a Tikka Masala from a British airway too. The pre-arrival meal is a bit less enticing, but better than some arrive for pre-arrival meals on relatively short Transatlantics."
      - The meals in BA usually those catered by Gategourmet are pretty appetizing in both directions. As Gategourmet lost the bid to cater BA short haul flights, they are trying to extend their existing contract on long haul flights with those tasty meals. As you mentioned, I would consider the pre-arrival meal as acceptable after that bagel they served for breakfast in the previous flight of this serie. In addition, to this the sandwich was tasty like the meal and much more than some carriers veggie sandwiches that they offer in transatlantic flights.
      "What exactly is the Flying Start project?"
      - A charity organization in the UK that BA sponsors.
      "And then arrival into IAD. On the plus side, there are the very unique experience of the Moon Buggies. On the other end, a bit of a wait to get through customs. Although I guess it could have been worse than 20-25 minutes, especially with just three agents on the job."
      - Unfortunately, riding in the moon buggies are different experience but when it could be painful when the first buggy is full and you need to wait for everyone else to deboard the aircraft for the second one to depart ( including the cabin crew and passengers requiring assistance ). After our flight an Avianca A321 had landed from San Salvador but passengers on that flight were luckily at the immigration hall later than our flight so it saved almost an extra 10-15 minutes.
      "I like your ideas of previewing “the next episode of Eryorulmaz’s flight-reports” as it were. And by the looks of it, I’ve got some binge-watching to do. Thanks again for sharing this, and happy flying!"
      - Thanks for appreciating the section; I have different plans for 2019 and I would share those when those trips are confirmed. I would still have IST-LHR & WAS-LAX flights as I usually do but I will try to use different airlines and different routes for the next year. But for now, the coming next reports are 1 AA flight and 4 BA flights and the completion of the mileage run series.

      Thanks again and hope you to see in one of the future reports.

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