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The average flight time is 10 hours and 28 minutes.More information
Welcome to this new series of Flight-Reports which is actually a combination of three flights in two different itineraries. The first itinerary would only include a transcontinental flight onboard American Airlines 737-8MAX aircraft and the second one would include two flights with British Airways onboard their A380-800 aircraft and their A320 aircraft.
The second flight of this serie would be my second experience on the A380's of British Airways on one of the longer transatlantic routes. I have flown this flight on the World Traveller cabin with the good ( but not the best ) product of British Airways. Unfortunately, I won't be able to review a lounge this time and the information about that would be available during the report. Otherwise, everything went very good.
Pax for this flight
First: No idea
Club World: No idea
World Traveller Plus: %95-100
World Traveller: %95-100
As I already had a booked BWI-LHR-IST ticket in World Traveller, first I decided to fly from LAX to BWI for a reasonable price and then fly to London from BWI but then I've realized that LAX-BWI ticket prices had a significant markup due to the holiday season and it was cheaper to change my BA flight from BWI to a LAX departure. That's why I've decided to fly directly from LAX to LHR and then to Istanbul.
I have competed my online check-in 24 hours before departure. As BA does sell their emergency exit seats for non status passengers, they were unable for my LAX-LHR flight and the upper deck was almost full as well, so I had decided to stick at my original seat: 21K. For my onward journey, I was able to reserve an exit row seat for free.
Boarding pass generated from the BA app
The day of my flight, I have spotted the incoming flight from flightradar24.com; that day I was going to fly with G-XLEF which isn't equipped with Wi-Fi yet. The list of aircrafts that are equipped with Wi-Fi was available on ba.com at that time, however, that section is removed at the moment.
LAX was quite busy that day
As usual, reaching TBIT from the entrance took 5-10 minutes as the airport was crowded.
As there were only 6 employees checking-in all the A380 ( 1 for First, 2 for Club World, 3 for Bag Drop ), I waited 20-25 in the Club World line for my turn to come. Many people, even in the premium cabins, had excess luggage so it took long to process those passengers payments.
While waiting for my turn, the crew had arrived to the check-in desks and I had recognized two of them from my previous flights. One was the cabin attendant that served me on my LHR-BWI flight that summer in the Club World cabin and the other one was serving my area on my IAD-LHR flight, the previous month. But both of them wasn't serving my area that day.
Few minutes before my turn came, I had checked expertflyer to check if there are emergency exits seats available. Seat 80A was available at that time and I have asked the check-in agent to assign that seat for me. He was happy to help with that. Later on, he tagged my bags and told were the lounge is located. After that, I had proceeded to the security checkpoint.
After heading to the upper level for security, I have used the priority lane and the employee there recognized my priority by only looking at my boarding pass. It was strange that the TSA agent didn't want me to take off my shoes at that time. As the agents were efficient that day I was in the airside within 5-10 minutes.
Then I've headed to the oneworld Lounge to have something to eat before my flight.
At that moment, they were rejecting some eligible pax and redirecting them to somewhere else. I've understood something was going strange at that moment. One of the passengers were directed to the Qantas First Lounge and another one was denied to the lounge with a J class ticket. ( You could see that guy's hand while arguing ). When it was my turn, the employee kindly rejected my entry and told me that they were unable to offer access to me for that occasion only and they have apologized for that. They were more polite to me than they were to the people in front of me. They told me that I could get a meal voucher from the BA service desk.
As I didn't have that time to walk to the American Airlines Flagship Lounge in T4, I had decided to get the meal voucher and use it in one of the food court restaurants. The agent at the gate didn't question me and gave the voucher directly. Probably there are sometimes that they need to deny people from the OW lounge due to operational reasons. Then, I was surprised that I've got a $19 voucher which is an amount under LAX standards.
First, I have thought of having a starter and a glass of water at PF Changs which would cost around $15-18 but there was a queue in front of the restaurant as they also accept Priority Pass members. Then I have headed downstairs to the food court and decided to have a burger at Umami Burger.
After a wait of 15 minutes for ordering and another 10 minutes for my meal to be ready. I have enjoyed a truffle burger for the day. It's strange that the burger costed $16.97 and there were no money left for a drink or a side.
And the burger which tasted really good but not worth that much.
After finishing my meal at 20:40 ( 25 minutes before the scheduled departure time ), I have walked really fast to the gate.
I have arrived to the gate around 20:45 ( 20 minutes before scheduled departure ) and I have noticed that boarding hadn't started yet.
There were two queues formed; one for groups 1&2&3 and the other one for groups 4&5. I have entered the queue for groups 1&2. By the way, the seating areas in LAX at gates aren't enough for an A380 departure as most of there were people sitting in the floor as well. There is also no space to form 5 different queues for each group.
Around 20:50, boarding had started with priorities being respected. As they were using the new face recognition e-gates, it took time that the machine to open gates. Passengers didn't need to show their passports or scan their boarding passes. The e-gates recognized passengers from their faces and the gate opened if the machine recognized the passenger. I have boarded with group 2.
Gates at LAX are not spotter friendly
As I was sitting in the upper deck, I have used the upper jetway to board the plane.
As my seat was in the smaller World Traveller cabin in the upper deck, the overhead lockers are smaller than those in the front so it was essential to board early to place hand baggages near to my seat. Most passengers in groups 4 and 5 needed to place theirs somewhere in the front cabin.
While I've boarded the aircraft; a pillow, a blanket and headsets were available at my seat.
The enormous legroom at row 80.
As there were no seats in front of my seat, the power source was next to the life vest and the remote & the USB was located at armrests.
Overhead panel - The nearest seatbelt sign was on top of the crew seat which was located in front of my seat
FJ A330 which I've spotted from the small emergency exit window
For the safety briefing, the crew asked us to open the personal IFE screens; this aircraft was equipped with the Thales IFE system
Later on the safety video had been played
As there were no windows next to my seat I couldn't take pictures of LAX and the takeoff process.
The route map just after we took off
Even though we had departed 35 minutes later than our scheduled time we were planned to arrive before our scheduled arrival time.
The BA IFE system is not the best that I've seen but had around 100-150 movies that was selected from different types of movies. Today I've watched one of the recent movies that was released several months before my flight.
The seat pocket contained the safety card, the High Life magazine and the High Life Shop catalogue. Inflight shopping was available during this flight.
BA USA route map
The destinations between London and North American destinations
Shortly after the seatbelt sign had been turned off, the aperitif service started with a choice of drink. The cabin crew had also offered wine for passengers to enjoy with the meal that would be also served within an hour.
Later on, the meal service had started. The options were chicken and pasta as usual. The tray contained the main course, a small salad, bread, crackers, butter, cheese, vinaigrette for the salad, a bottle of water and a small pudding.
The main course tasted good. It's always rare and nice to have a tasty meal on a transatlantic flight departing from USA.
Cavatappi with Tomatoes, Olives, Capers & Mushrooms
While I was enjoying my meal, the crew passed for tea & coffee.
Shortly after I finished my meal, the cabin lights were turned off and I continued to enjoy my movie. Drink runs were made after the lights were dimmed.
After finishing my movie, I had slept for a while and woke up here.
Then I had a short visit to the lavatory. As I was seated near to the lavatory, I noticed the crew cleaning the lavatory in regular sequences. It was clean during my visit.
Later on, I've helped myself from the snack basket at the rear galley. These were that days selections.
Before landing, breakfast was served by the cabin crew. The tray contained a hot breakfast burrito ( chicken or vegetarian ), a muffin, fresh fruits and a small orange juice.
I have had the chicken burrito option which tasted really well. It was definitely better than my previous transatlantic experience on BA which they have only served a bagel for breakfast.
Egg, Cheese & Turkey Bacon Breakfast Burrito
While people were enjoying their breakfast, tea & coffee was served by the crew.
The route map just before starting our descend.
A shot from the emergency exit window
30 minutes before arrival, the video about the Flying Start charity project had been monitored from the safety video.
We had landed on time and after a 15 minutes taxi we had parked to gate C62. As it took long that the jetway to be connected, passengers in the upper deck World Traveller were able to leave the aircraft 30 minutes after arrival ( approximately at 15:55 - 40 minutes before my connecting flight would depart )
Then I have checked the information for my onward flight and saw the information "Go to A gates". I was in a worry that would I be able to make my next flight.
So, this report has came to an end, thanks for reading and hope to see you in another report.
In overall, the flight experience was pleasant and everything went perfect during the flight. LAX was crowded as usual and the waiting time for check-in was long for a priority queue. Even though the security waiting times were acceteptable; the deny at the lounge was a bit surprising and the amount of meal voucher was even more surprising. Probably the amount was based on Heathrow that people could easily eat a full course meal ( light meal + drink/ maybe even a main course + drink at Wagamama ) for 15 GBP. The boarding process was a bit messy as there were no clear lines for each group and people were waiting at different parts of the gate area.
(+) Acceptable security waiting time
(+) The terminal was fresh and had a higher ceiling level than other US airports
(+) Friendly check-in agent that helped me assigning an exit row seat
(-) Very bad traffic ( without exception ) while entering the airport. No public transportation option except buses for a large airport.
(-) Check-in waiting time
(-) Meal voucher was not sufficient for an airport like LAX ( food in LAX TBIT is a huge markup )
(-) Messy gate area even though priorities were respected
(-) Not enough seats for an A380 near gate 154
(+) Comfortable seats
(+) Nice meals during the flight ( both the dinner and the brunch )
(+) Legroom at exit row seats
(+) Sufficient IFE for a transatlantic flight ( but not the best I've seen )
(+) Power sources and USB ports available at each seat
(+) Drink runs were made in regular intervals
(+) Toilets were kept clean during the flight
(-) The snack basket seemed a bit basic but it was alright
(-) It took too long for the ground staff to connect the jetbridge to the aircraft.