The Last Push! The Final 700 Tier Points to BA Gold!
A Dash Across Manhattan to Newark
- Why do I do this to myself? (The introduction)
- Off to Birmingham Airport, Air France AF1656 to Paris CDG
- Ibis Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport
- A Rushed Check in, AA Lounge
- AA45 Paris CDG to New York JFK
- A Delayed Transit, AA85 New York JFK to San Francisco International
- Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport
- Intercontinental Mark Hopkins
- One Time Special – Around the Bay and Under the bridge
- Two Time Special – 3 and a half miles. Across the Golden Gate Bridge and back
- Escaping San Francisco to the Crowne Plaza
- Early Morning San Francisco Airport, AA24 San Francisco to New York JFK
- A Dash Across Manhattan and NJ, Newark Airport
- BA Galleries Lounge, EC8004 OpenSkies Newark Airport to Paris Orly West
- Paris. City of Dreams, Romance and Pickpockets?
- Eurostar 9013 Paris Nord to London, Chiltern Railways
- 700TP: Job Done
I checked in the podium (with no queues), and my bag was tagged for the trip to Paris-Orly. A boarding pass was issued for the EWR-ORY segment. I was given directions to the boarding and security area too.
Check in area
More 787 advertising
With those formalities done, it was time to go and relax for a bit. Firstly to pick up some duty free… and then to the lounge.
I headed back up the escalators and through security (where the TSA were their usual selves sadly…), and went to inspect the airside area. Which – and I’ll be honest – looked like a building site.
A quick visit to duty free (where for once, I could actually take my duty free with me, rather than have it delivered at a gate), and I trekked back to towards the security area – and upstairs to the BA Lounge.
Proper sized bottles of Jack Daniels
This way to the lounge!
Lounge Stop: British Airways Galleries Lounge
I was welcomed warmly to the lounge, and offered a meal voucher for the evening. I was also offered the usual of a storage cabinet to stow my items before flight.
That’s a nice thing!
With that, I headed off to the food area. Well I have to investigate food section.
The food selection was quite nice, covering a load of tastes from salads to hot items – a rather good mix timed well for the day. The staff seemed quite proud of the lounge of the food as the presentation was rather good (as a member of staff pipe up and asked if it looked good – I said (and honestly… it did look good!)
After dining, it was back into the main lounge, where the staff were friendly and talkative,
… and proactive in bringing bubbles.
Looking around the lounge, this lounge is based on BA’s “Galleries” concept – and it shows as it’s a nice looking lounge, providing a very quiet environment for a before flight
BA Brand water…
And to me, time to recuperate in peace and quiet is important in a lounge. That and the WiFi that was in the lounge was pretty reasonable.
The lounge cleared a bit after a London flight went, leaving the OpenSkies and the late London flight passengers left.
Classic BOAC poster art (British Overseas Airways Corperation – the for-runner of British Airways)
Oh yes, the 787 for tonight was cancelled. Some things never change.
Sooner than I would have liked, the call for the OpenSkies flight to Paris Orly was made. I took my leave of the lounge and thanked the kind lounge host, and headed down to the gate.
Boarding was in full progress at the gate – with priority boarding thrown to the wind it seemed. Considering the load at the front, this wasn’t exactly a big thing as the flight looked lightly loaded towards the back.
My boarding pass was beeped, and I headed down the jetway to the waiting Boeing 757-200 to take me across the pond.
EC8004 Newark International Airport – Paris Orly West
Operated by Openskies (British Airways), Codeshared as IB7514
Seat 1F, BizBed Class, 2oth January
140 Tier Points Earned, 3,648 miles flown, 3,648+1,824+3,648 Avios Earned
After being welcomed aboard, I turned left (now That’s a change I like!) and headed to my seat at row 1, right hand side.
At the seat already was a bottle of water, amenity kit, pillow and a light blanket. Buried in the Ottoman was a pair of slippers too.
The Front office
Seat controls… not many compared to the AA Seat – but it does go flat!
Folded privacy fan
The BizBed Cabin from 1F- note the white stuff in plastic bags – these are important in a bit .
Day blanket at seat
Water and Amenity kit at seat (Amenity kit is the BA Club World Kit)
Legroom – note the slippers. Don’t get these in Club World
The crew welcomed everyone aboard warmly, lead by an American CSD with a mixture of American and French cabin crew.
Lets talk about the seat before we go any further – and yes, it’s the old generation Club World flat seat, in a 2-2 formation. In terms of seat controls… well it’s one control that goes to flat-bed or upright. And that’s it. The layout is a Ying/Yang layout with a dividing fan between the seats.
At seat, there were electrical charging points, a bracket for IFE devices. Noise cancelling headsets were also there as well.
Pre-departure beverages were offered… and since this is French airline (even if it’s a form of BA), there can be only one drink….
The load at the front of the plane was busy, with every seat taken.
Pushback seemed to be delayed, but eventually our Boeing 757 pushed away from Newark Terminal B, and headed off for a runway to take off from.
The safety demo was carried out manually as the plane had no IFE installed. In the Club World style seats, my line of sight was down to the 2L entrances, and it was odd-looking backwards.
I guess I can’t get used to this flying backwards malarkey.
The two RB-211s spooled up and like any 757, we rocketed off into the night sky, with a few nice views of Manhattan Area.
Dusk in the cabin
After a while, lights came up to commence the service. Food orders were taken for those who wanted food, and for those who wanted rest. At this point, Mattress Pads, Duvet style blankets were distributed, with beds made for those who wanted it. I made mine in an Upright position, so it could be transformed into a bed after dinner.
Mattress pads, proper duvets… this is not Club World by any stretch of the imagination!
Mattress pad installed
Privacy fan in-situ
IFE devices were handed out – and its another tablet to behold. This time, they were Apple iPads. Mine was 57% charged (seemingly used from the last flight). This would matter as the iPad was down to its last 1% of power by the time I handed it back in!
Holder flipped out
With Apple iPad Installed
Another hint this wasn’t Club world is the provision of PAJAMAS on this flight. The only time I’ve had pyjamas before is aboard Asiana… in First Class.
Service was quick and efficient, with a trayed meal appearing rather quickly. Of course, more champers was offered (and accepted… well it would had been rude not to.)
Salmon Light meal
Pay Attention BA Mainline: PROPER SALT AND PEPPER POTS.
After this, the lights went down for the rather quick journey across the pond. I put the blanket on, put the bed into a flattish state, and got comfortable.
The minions sent me to sleep. TADA!
And I must had got some good sleep as I was woken 1 and half hours to go to Paris, with the offer of a breakfast service that I requested.
Bloody heck. An Airline that can make REAL COFFEE in the air. Look. It even has a bit of a Crema on it!!!
We don’t like to think about this stuff at GhettoIFE towers.
Coffee top up… again with a crema on it. An airline that can make reasonable strength coffee in the morning. This – I approve of.
Meanwhile outside, light was beginning to flow in. A few windows were open, so I cracked mine open a bit too.
Nearing that 1%… keep going Shelly!
And then nature did her thing with sunrise
During this time, the crew came around to collect service items, and the iPad (by now, on its last legs). However the crew were so friendly and understanding, and as well as delivering a great service – there was only one thing I could do – and give out a BA Golden Ticket for great customer service.
I think the crew-member was quite shocked and didn’t know what to do with it until told by the CSD (who was very appreciative of one of her crew getting a Golden Ticket).
It isn’t just me that likes to look out of the window.
Closing in on Orly, it was announced we would be stacked for 30 minutes. This suited me, as we were still 30 minutes early. After 10 minutes, we were cleared to land.
Sunrise in the cabin.
Preparing to dive into the murk.
The landing was very typical 757… quick, powerful and bumpy. But we had made it to Orly in the murk of a Paris morning… with plenty of Eau d’Paris around.
Our plane taxied for a short while, before parking up at a hard stand. Buses were sent to meet us, as well as air-stairs. I gathered my things together and chatted to the CSD before leaving the plane.
The plane on the tarmac.
Overall: Impressive. VERY IMPRESSIVE if I’m honest. Whilst the seat was the old product, the things they did to improve it puts it beyond Club World and Club World London City (which in itself is a very good service – probably the only one I could match this against).
Food was passable and enjoyable, again served with touches that put it ahead of Club World.
Don’t confuse BizBed with Club World – different products from start to end in terms of delivery. And that includes both in terms of hard product and the softer product as the crew were all-outstanding. This is a product I have very little hesitation in recommending… except it ends at Paris Orly. This… has its disadvantages compared to CDG in terms of connections onward… and other things if you’re not careful…