FlyerTalk Forums - View Single Post - LONDON - VS Upper Class / CO BusinessFirst; Claridge’s Hotel (Lots of Pics)
Old Mar 7, 10, 1:42 pm
  #2  
ray1022
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: New York, NY
Programs: Amex Platinum, Inspirato, UA Spouse of GS,Amanjunkie,Starwood Platinum,Hyatt Diam
Posts: 272
London-Heathrow to EWR
Continental

Business First
Seat 3B

Plane: 757
Depart London-Heathrow: 3:40pm / Arrive EWR: 7:15pm (early arrival at 6:20pm)



Car to Airport:

I typically like to research car service companies in the city which we are visiting, as I always find that the hotels markup this service greatly and usually outsource it anyway. After narrowing it down to 2-3 companies, I chose to book with ichauffeur and they proved to be very professional during the entire booking process and our driver was very friendly and courteous. I was told cars are all late-model and clean and ours was stocked with magazines, newspapers, and water/soft drinks in the vehicle. See below for a shot of our extremely comfortable ride , with reclining rear seats. Needless to say, my wife slept the entire ride!

S-Class to Airport:





Check-in:

Upon driving up to Terminal 4, where our Continental flight was scheduled to depart, the road/drop off is about 50 ft in front of the terminal entrance, so there is a little bit of a walk to get in, which can be unpleasant if it’s raining slightly as it was on our day of departure. Upon entering, we looked at the monitors to see where the Continental desk is located and proceeded to the Continental BusinessFirst check-in area. The friendly concierge greeted us and gave us our pass for the lounge (he explained even though CO is not part of Skyteam any longer, we would still be using the Skyteam lounge). We then stepped up to another man who asked us the obligatory security questions, and then on to the check-in agent, who was efficient. She quickly noticed that my wife and I were not seated next to each other and offered to contact the concierge (who had just stepped away) to ask one of the other passengers to switch aisle seats with me. I thought to myself that this probably wouldn’t get carried out but, to my surprise and once on board, it did – they had asked the other passenger to switch aisle seats with me when he checked-in. She then provided directions to the lounge and we were on our way to security. Once at security, there is a separate line for Business Class passengers which was empty. The security woman at the desk took our boarding passes and cross-referenced it against a list she had which detailed exactly which fare classes on particular airlines were eligible to use this security line. She waived us through and security was a breeze and we were in the Terminal concourse. There are plenty of duty-free shopping options, mainly designer outposts from Harrod’s (Cartier, Ferragamo, etc). The VAT refund desk is also nearby, but be sure to remember that you must physically present any items purchased along with the VAT refund form. Given we were a bit hungry, we made our way to the lounge….


Skyteam Lounge – Heathrow:

I was a bit surprised that we were using the Skyteam Lounge, as I briefly searched before leaving and I saw some posts mention that we would use the older Holideck lounge operated by KLM. Perhaps these were older posts or I just didn’t pay much attention when searching, but the Skyteam lounge was a pleasant surprise. The lounge is located opposite Gate 10. As you can tell from the pictures, it is a very modern lounge with various sections, all spread over 2 floors – the 2nd floor is almost identical to the 1st floor, but much quieter and not as crowded. There are various seating sections, a video gaming section, a food buffet area, a bar area with self-serve wines, and a computer section. There is also a separate shower section, an oxygen bar, and massage chair section, all empty during our visit! Probably not as unique as some other international First Class lounges I’ve experienced, but much, much better than the traditional Continental President’s Club lounges, particularly in EWR. CO – like I said, you have quite a bit of catching up to do with your ground services! Upstairs, in addition to many of the same sections as the 1st floor, there were sleeping compartment rooms and also 2 empty VIP rooms that were roped off. Overall the lounge was a nice, modern surprise to what I was expecting. Bathrooms were also of high quality finishes, with egg-shaped toilets and nice contemporary decor. The windows of the lounge face the runway, so you are able to watch the various planes landing. I took many pictures here, so enjoy.

Skyteam Lounge - Heathrow Terminal 4:


























Bathroom:






Sleeping Rooms:


Shower:



(Report Continued...keep reading)
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