Springing to Chicago – BA296 Chicago O’Hare to London Heathrow (World Traveller)
- Here we go… again (in more ways than one)
- Off to Heathrow
- Terminal 3 Oneworld Lounges (Cathay Pacific and American Airlines)
- AA87 London Heathrow T3 to Chicago O’Hare International
- The joy of US immigration
- Intercontinental Chicago – Magnificent Mile
- Travel Tech: Life with a Canon 50mm f1.2 (yes, it’s another walk around Chicago)
- Hyatt Regency O’Hare
- Travel Tech: SkullCandy Ink’d Wireless Headphones
- Airplane Art Special: From the Balcony of the Hyatt Regency O’Hare ** BONUS **
- Back to O’Hare, The British Airways Business Class lounge
- BA296 Chicago O’Hare to London Heathrow
- Delayed Arrivals and Homeward
- Short and Sweet
BA296 Chicago O’Hare T5 to London Heathrow T5
British Airways, Boeing 747-400 (Super Hi J Configuration)
World Traveller (Economy Class), Seat 41A
I was welcomed aboard the Boeing 747 by the crew, and turned right – and hiked down the cabin through Club World and World Traveller Plus, in the second row of Economy Class.
I soon reached my row, and settled all my stuff into place for the evening fight.
The seat itself is the old British Airways World Traveller seat – meaning it’s not a slimline seat. It’s therefore rather comfortable on the bottom if you’re going to be stuck in it for hours. The headrest folds down – and whilst not the most ergonomic design out there – it still works for the long haul routes.
TravelPeep on the other hand wasn’t that happy
Sadly, whilst I had promised it the middle seat – once the plane doors when to close, some passengers did seat switch-a-roo, with the person sitting in the aisle seat moving forward to the Window-Emergency exit… and a mother and baby moving right next door to me.
And yes ladies and gentlemen – it was a screamer. That I could handle. Later on.. there was something I couldn’t….
The safety video played, and it was our turn to taxi out onto Orchard Field to find a runway that would lead us to London.
With a long taxi ahead (as we would be taking off in the direction of the city), all you can do is sit back and watch the world – and even in the dark, there’s plenty to watch.
With the freighter clear, it was our turn to line up and depart from O’Hare. The Rolls Royce Trent engines powered up, and BA296 climbed gracefully into the air, whilst the baby screamed.
Cloud cover was low that night, so once we were airborne I turned my attention to the IFE system (also, there was no GoGo 2Ku system installed)
The system is the same as used on the American Airlines 787 I flew across in – a Panasonic ex3 system which delivers content via a touch interface (Android based). I tried to catch up with the world like I normally do on a long haul flight… but that was broken this flight…
With no news – I went for the comedy options… with a bit of Bobs Burgers…
And then onto The Big Bang Theory.
With the plane well en-route, the crew began their first service – a bar service. I went for my usual Vodka and Cola of some variety.
Shortly after, the main meal service arrived, with the choice of pasta or chicken. I went for the chicken – which turned out to be a chicken curry.
So we have a chicken curry (which has flavour – so always a bonus), a projectile (roll), salad, cheese and Lily O’Briens desert. White or red wine was served in individual bottles.
With the meal service done, I pulled down the blind, pushed the headphones in tight to isolate some of the screams coming next door to me and settled in for the night flight.
I woke up just before approaching Ireland – a good four hours kip. Better than nothing, but an extra hour would had been lovely – I guess my body wasn’t in that sort of mood. The breakfast service followed… which has been a major bone of contention for me on British Airways for some time now. Least of all, I don’t call a sugar loaded muffin or a snack bar “breakfast”. In January, new catering was rolled out in World Traveller/World Traveller Plus for the breakfast service.
So what did I get?
Hmm. A cream cheese croissant. Biting into it – it was fresh and edible – which is a good start. A bit small, but at least it’s better than those muffins they used to have. Whilst I would had preferred some fresh fruit or something in that vein, it’s a start.
And considering the place BA is coming from, a start is welcome.
With people opening windows, I opened mine too. Well, as the mother decided to change the babies nappy in the passenger cabin as opposed to the toilet, I needed something else to look at.
With our plane on decent the cabin was cleared down for arrival.
With our plane stuck in a stack (which – let’s be honest – is expected for Heathrow), BA296 did a few loops in a stack, before busting through the cloud layer for landing
With a bump, BA296 landed on 27L.
With the plane landing on 27L, it was a quick taxi to the gate
With the plane at the gate an hour late, the doors to the Boeing 747-400 finally opened, and I made my way off – and back in Blighty.
Overall: It seems British Airways is finally picking up its long haul game after neglecting it for so long, and cutting the product back to bare bones. Both product services were of a reasonable quality – and the improved second service is to be welcomed (but not applauded – there is plenty of work on that front still. The old World Traveller seat is still a reasonable seat, and the upgraded IFE system makes for a pleasant experience.
I just wish I didn’t have a mother who changed a baby’s nappy next to me…
Next: Back on the Coach
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