Different Airlines – Same Routes – To Chicago with American Airlines and British Airways
Or “Oh Sandy. You came and you gave without thinking….”
- Cheap Flight? In the autumn? Which planet are you on? (The Introduction)
- To London, BA Galleries First, American Airlines FlAAgship Lounge
- AA99 – London Heathrow to Chicago O’Hare International
- Crowne Plaza O’Hare
- Hyatt Regency O’Hare
- One-Time Exception: From Addison to Downtown – Riding the L
- Trials, Tribulations and Sandy
- O’Hare T3 and the American Airlines FlAAgship Lounge
- AA98 – Chicago O’Hare International to London Heathrow (THIS SECTION)
- Homeward Bound
- Oh Sandy, you came and you gave without thinking… (The Wrap-up)
Lets head out of the USA and off to a land where the weather is just murky. Or is that just Birmingham most of the time?
AA098 (Sold as BA1547) – London Heathrow Airport – Chicago O’Hare International
American Airlines, Boeing 767-300, Seat 20A, Economy Class
35 Tier Points Earned, 7906 Avios Earned (3,953 Base + 3,953 Bonus)
- Set 1 http://www.photoblog.com/kevincm/2012/11/04/
- Set 2 http://www.photoblog.com/kevincm/2012/11/05/
- Set 3 http://www.photoblog.com/kevincm/2012/11/06/
I boarded the plane to be greeted with a 2 class 767. The crew was friendly as I headed down past business class to be greeted with Economy Class.
And I thought I stepped back into the early 90’s
The state of the plane was not what I’d call premium down the back…. and Row 20 was a bulkhead. That was the good news. The plane however itself had seen better days.
I got to the seat and settled down to inspect the state of play… and lets say it wasn’t what I’d call excellent.
Even though there was an exit row at a bulkhead, whilst there was a little more room than a normal Y seat, it was tightish (a lot of the bulkhead people had feet on them in flight – something I wouldn’t do).
The seat controls were something from the last ice age, with dials and such. Obviously, IFE was limited to Big Screen IFE – another throwback to the past.
During boarding, someone who was too tall for their seat requested to be moved forward… and he did pre-takeoff to the middle of the bulkhead row. We’ll come back to him in a bit.
Soon enough the plane was buttoned down, and begun pushback for the hop back over to London. I noted where the staff sat, which was a new one on a 767 – the flight attendant seats were in the isle. Now whilst there are adequate exits on a 767 (I was next to one of them), I’ve got to say “huh?” I always thought keeping isles clear was a key safety thing.
Take off was its usual 767 self.
Now the gentleman in the middle seat in the bulkhead row started reaching for his waste bag as we begun our climb. When I reach for one, i’m building a GhettoIFE system. When someone else reaches for one… its 9/10 times to use it as a biological hazard cleanup tool.
Thankfully, the gentleman failed to expel what was in his body with AA staff reaching for plastic bags and other things , and the plane continued to climb out of Chicago.
Milwaukee I think…
By this point, my seatmate was fast asleep, and Mr Tall who was sat in the middle row had gone to the bathroom, and then to the exit row behind my seatmate.
Even though this is a last flight of the night service, there was a meal service to come. Lets look if Chicago catering by AA is any good… or not.
As usual, it’s a chicken or pasta choice.
The chicken was edible if forgettable – it was easy to cut and filled a small hole. The salad was fresh at least, and the addition of cheese and crackers (whilst I didn’t touch them) was a nice touch. The cookie for dessert… well you all know my opinion of that anyway.
Not a bad meal, but nothing exciting.
Still the tray was cleared away another drinks run was done, and the cabin went into darkness for the flight. I took advantage of the darkness and watched a bit of my own non iPhone IFE (as there was no way the headphone I had would had reached the bulkhead.)
Even that didn’t keep me awake, and I descended into sleep for a bit – even after fumbling around for a lack of recline button on my seat.
Daybreak came soon enough as it always does on a Transatlantic hop and soon enough I woke up to a dark cabin and a complete lack of guessing where I was (there was some silly reality TV programme on that made me want to ponder the meaning of existence when I woke up).
Soon enough, a breakfast service rocked up.
Well. Hmm. Yoghurt. That’s instant pain in a pot (and all of you know of my love of fermented milk – especially with the lacto now). The croissant was a bit.. chewy but warm. At least the orange juice tasted of orange juice (believe me, some airlines make that a challenge).
I picked away at it for a bit, before giving up on breakfast as a bad idea… well – on any Transatlantic flight. Sadly, old Continental Routes seem to have the best breakfast going.
And you don’t know how painful it is to type that.
Breakfast was cleared down, and our route took us over the north of England.
Eventually we were placed in a stack and after a few loops, we were brought in on a river approach.
Finally, the wheels were extended and we made it down onto 09R, ending the flying part of this adventure.
It was then a reasonably long taxi over to T3 and we were gated nearer to the terminal and passenger processing. Soon enough the doors were opened, and after a minor stumble on the way out as people were taking their own sweet time getting of the plane as usual.
I thanked the crew, and left the plane for the final schlep of this journey – back to my home.
Overall: What was I saying about glorified buses across the pond in the first half of this? Feels like this again, except the equipment needs work – serious work – to bring it up to its competitors. This is a case of “can do better” here AA. Whilst the service was solid and the food products was good, the state of the plane really can’t be excused when other operators (lets say United) tidy up their plane in all classes.
Next: Homeward Bound