Pleasure and Business – BA294 Chicago to Heathrow Airport in World Traveller Plus
In this adventure…
- Pleasure and Business Mixing things together (again)
- Off to Heathrow
- Cathay Pacific Lounge and the American Airlines Lounges
- AA47 London Heathrow to Chicago O’Hare, Main Cabin Extra aboard a 787
- US Immigration Adventures
- Intercontinental Chicago North Michigan Avenue
- Deep Dish Pizza fun
- Travel Technology: Canon 40mm F2.8 STM with a Canon 100D
- Hyatt Regency O’Hare
- Back to O’Hare, British Airways Terraces Club Lounge
- BA294 Chicago to Heathrow Airport in World Traveller Plus
- From pleasure to business, BA Galleries South
- BA962 London Heathrow to Hamburg in Club Europe
- IBIS Budget Hamburg
- AIX2017 – What you missed
- Back to Hamburg Airport, Hamburg Airport Lounge
- BA967 Hamburg to London Heathrow in Club Europe
- Pulling it home
- My calf muscles hurt…
BA294 London Heathrow to Chicago O’Hare International
British Airways, Boeing 777-200, Seat 24K Main Cabin Extra
3953 miles flown, 90 Tier points earned, 3,953 Base Avios Earned
I headed down the jetbridge and was welcomed aboard. I turned right, and headed past Club World into the World Traveller Plus cabin.
The pair of seats.
At the seat, a blanket, pillow, headphones (noise cancelling) and an amenity kit were waiting.
Yep. It’s a 777.
So, let’s look at the seat – it’s not a bad seat compared to the old seat with it closer to the bulkhead than then old World Traveller Plus seat. It does have a deep recline (which shocked me in more than one way later in the flight). There’s an in-seat guide to the seat too .
Pre-departure beverages were offered, with a choice of water, orange juice or Champagne. No prizes what I went for:
Menus for the meal service were handed out on the ground.
With the cabin loaded, the doors were closed for the journey to London
Emirates Boeing 777 next door.
The British Airways safety video played (and if there’s one video that needs to be replaced, it’s that video – I swear it’s no longer fit for purpose in some respects), and soon our BA294 begun its taxi to a runway.
Which runway – I don’t know. It’s a running joke that at O’Hare they love to build more runways… yet forget to add more terminal space…
Passing the American Airlines Terminal (Terminal 3).
Passing Embarer ERJs. I must be odd, as this is one of my favourite types of planes….
Passing Terminal 1 – the home of United Airlines.
Eventually, our plane found a runway it liked, and powered BA294 powered up its engines for the run to Heathrow.
With the plane safely in the air, we crossed the north side of Chicago, and out over Lake Michigan.
For once, I was sat on the right-hand side of the plane on an Eastbound flight, so I got a lovely view of the downtown district of Chicago as the plane ascended.
With the plane in flight, it was time to catch up with the world, using the Thales IFE system.
Cabin in flight.
The IFE system has both touch screens and a manual interface – I used the touch screen for the majority of the time.
The IFE box however, is rather larger (even by modern standards).
World Traveller Plus Headphones – note the normal audio pin, and a power pin.
First up (and one reason why I like flying British Airways home) is that I get a chance to catch up with BBC World News. After a diet of CNN/CNBC and other American news, having the news read to you in a reassuring accent can never be undervalued.
With me caught up with the world in a reassuring accent, it was time for entertainment and something to send me to sleep once dinner had been through the cabin. Thankfully, there’s The Bang Theory which covers all those touch points.
It was then I discovered how deep the recline on these Reacro seats go. And it was a sudden flashback to flying United in Economy Minus on a 767.
With the tray table deployed. Hmmmm.
So, there’s some real recline in the seat, but it does bring the monitor in front of you to being “in your face”. I think a degree or so less of recline might help – just so the screen is and legroom is not compromised.
Let’s look at the amenity kit, and yes – this has had signs of being downgraded. Gone is the plastic wallet and replaced with a plastic bag of stuff.
So, you get:
- Cheap pen (points for a pen though… though you could brand it for a few pennies more)
- Cheap blindfold (doesn’t block light… that’s a subject I could talk about for hours)
- Ear plugs
- Toothpaste and Toothbrush
For those who flew World Traveller a few years ago – you’ll be familiar with the kit. At least British Airways
Drinks were served before dinner… and… well. Vodka and Cola is never a bad option.
Some say it’s never a good option. I prefer one to help me sleep.
With an evening flight, comes evening views. And the views of the window were lovely as usual.
With a choice of beef or pasta… I went with the beef.
Mozzarella and Tomato
Beef with Gnocchi
The Black Forest Thing. How Brexit is that?
Looking at the tray, the Mozzarella and Tomato was left to the side (sorry, not my favourite combination of things in the world even though there’s a lot of Umami there). The Beef was well done (which is how I like my beef), but wasn’t too tough to cut (always a good sign) The accompaniments were reasonably fresh too. The roll was a roll, and the Black Forest Gateaux pudding was sweet.
Nothing stellar if I’m going to be honest, but at least it was a reasonable meal.
With the meal cleared away, the lights went down, and I took advantage of the main reason I was in World Traveller Plus – to get some sleep
Yet the lights were still on in Club World. Must had been a slow service.
I had a good sleep as I apparently missed the breakfast service. With the flight in that wonderful 7-and-a-half-hour zone, missing the muffin and coffee wasn’t a bad thing to be honest. I woke up the outside world and the light of another day.
With the British Isles in sight, the crew were cleaning up the cabin before arrival, and soon enough it was time to enter a stack. Because Heathrow needs stacks to manage its arrivals… and BA294 needed to get in the queue.
Another poor aircraft in a Heathrow stack. If only a third runway was built…
Conditions outside were not great – with a fair bit of very low cloud around – or as its better known as – fog. I had a sinking feeling that my connecting flight would be heavily delayed on landing.
The plane was in landing configuration … I didn’t start the video until the wheels went thump on the ground…
Ready to land…
Umm… Is there an airport here?
Is that a runway?
Ah. The Queen of the skies emerging through the fog. We must be at an airport
Fog over the Heathrow complex was low, and slowly vanishing. However, for us – we landed on the foggy side of the airport (and as the pilot noted – he conducted an auto-land of BA294.
Meanwhile on the other side of the airport…
I’ve seen worse spring mornings.
There was a short delay getting to the gate area – as the fog was playing havoc with departures (and planes sitting in gates, when they should had been long gone).
Eventually, the plane found a gate it liked over on Concourse B, and it pulled onto the gate. With the engines shut down, it was time to leave this 777 behind – and conclude the pleasure part of this trip
Thank you World Traveller Plus seat.
Spot the dusty lampshades.
I thanked the crew, and headed out in the foggy wonder of Heathrow Airport
Overall: I fly World Traveller Plus or Premium Classes because I need to get sleep and be relaxed for the upcoming day. And I managed to get a fair lump of sleep, so points in that respect. However, service was more than little slow to be honest. Whilst I don’t care about breakfast, I am worried that British Airways has cut the arrivals service far too hard back (as I covered in my A380 ride from Washington Dulles to Heathrow).
And again, there are little signs of cutbacks here and there. Which in a premium seat is worrying.
To sum up: Hard product reasonable, soft product… it needs Alex Cruz removed.
Next: A long Heathrow Transit and The Galleries South Lounge
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