Old Jun 12, 08, 1:30 am
Flying Buccaneer
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: TPA
Programs: DL Plat, AA Plat 2MM, HH Diamond, WoH Explorist, SPG Gold
Posts: 2,199
Hello Heathrow!

June 11, 2008 JFK-LHR
American Airlines 104
Seat 10G

I left the FL at 5:55 p.m. and arrived at Gate 2 about 5 minutes before boarding started. Boarding was delayed because, according to the GA, there were quite a few pax who needed extra time boarding. The boarding process was uneventful, except that pax from another flight were deplaning on the same jetway that we boarded on. When I reached my seat, I saw someone seated in it and talking on her cellphone. When I showed her my boarding pass and told her that it was my seat, she showed me her boarding pass and asked “Where is my seat?” It was 10E, the middle. No problem. As boarding slowed to a trickle, the FAs came through with water, OJ, and champagne and a choice of newspapers.

A little before 6:30 p.m., the pilot announced that we were nearly ready to close the doors. He also said that our taxi time would be very long, approximately 56 minutes. That’s the JFK I know and love! At 6:33 p.m., two minutes before ETD, we pushed back. As we were taxiing, the FAs passed out menus, landing cards, and pink “Fast Track” envelopes. The pilot came on again and said that the taxi time might not be as long as he had thought and only seven planes were ahead of us. After a slight delay due to spacing—apparently all seven of those planes were also headed across the Atlantic—we took off at 7:06 p.m.

Business Class Menu

Pommery Brut Champagne

White Wines
Marimar Torres “Don Miguel Vineyard” Sonoma County Chardonnay
St. Supery Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc

Red Wines
Chateau Cantemerle
Chapoutier Coteaux du Tricastin Rouge, Rhone

Emilio Lustau Sherry

Dessert Wine
Graham’s 20 Years Old Tawny Port


Dining Service

To Start
Warm Mixed Nuts

Mojito Shrimp served with Pineapple and spiced Coconut

Fresh seasonal Greens and an assortment of fresh Vegetables offered with Classic Caesar Dressing or Castello Monte Vibiano Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar

Bread Basket
Assorted Gourmet Breads

Main Course

Beef Fillet
Seared Fillet of Beef featured with a Mango Chili Demi-Glace, Blue Cheese Potatoes and glazed Carrots

Seared Chicken
Savory Chicken Breast with a Balsamic White Chocolate Sauce, accompanied by Pumpkin Cranberry Rissole

Pork Tenderloin
Dijon and Rosemary crusted Pork Tenderloin served with a Sweet Potato Puree and blanched Asparagus Spears

Cheese Ravioli
Semolina Pasta filled with four Cheeses, accented by a Mushroom Tomato Cream Sauce, served with sautéed Shallots and sliced Mushrooms


Caciotta and Cheddar Cheese accompanied by seasonal Grapes and dried Apricots
Breyers Dulce de Leche Ice Cream ropped with a Turtle Brownie and Raspberry Sauce

To Finish
Ghirardelli Chocolates

Continental Breakfast

Fresh Seasonal Fruit
Breakfast Breads

Before the dinner service, I did a little work. I chose the beef, and the main course was just the right size--not too much food. I opted for the ice cream for dessert. I always marvel at the combinations that AA comes up with when it comes to ice cream: dulce de leche, brownie chunks, and raspberry sauce? I think it would work better if the raspberry sauce weren't frozen, but I guess you can't prepare the servings in advance in such a way that would allow the ice cream to stay frozen and the sauce to stay liquid.

After dinner, I put my seat in the closest to 180-degree recline I could and relaxed. I glanced at my watched and saw that it was about 2:40 a.m. London time. I'm not sure how long I relaxed before I went to sleep, at least 30 minutes. All I know is that I was awakened at 5:45 a.m. by an announcement that the FAs would be through the aisle to pick up the Bose headsets and landing would be in 35 minutes. I missed breakfast. No big deal, because I felt like I just ate dinner. I had a cup of tea and prepared for landing.

The flight landed at 6:23 a.m. and we reached the gate at 6:31 a.m., about 25 minutes early. I had transferred from T3 to T5 in May, so I knew the drill. I reached the boarding area for the bus to T5 about a minute before it left. When I got to T5, the BA agent at the desk reissued my AA BP, and I went up the escalator to security. The security lines were only about 7 - 10 people deep. Unfortunately, I forgot that I was still wearing my watch, and the machine beeped. I got the full pat down. I guess it was a morning massage.

At 7:05 a.m., I arrived at the BA Galleries Lounge. Thirty-four minutes from deplaning to relaxing in T5. That's a far cry from some of the horror stories we heard in April.

After I checked in at the lounge, I asked if I could get an exit row seat on my flight to IST. The agent typed awhile, looked up at me, and said "No, sorry." It was very similar to the character on Little Britain who says "The computer says no."

This is my second visit to this lounge. Even though it has been crowded both times, it is still pleasant. There's a good variety of breakfast foods: fresh fruit, sectioned oranges and grapefruit, mini croissants and raisin twists, bacon rolls, toast, hot and cold cereals, as well as some packaged foods. There are computers as well as T-Mobile WiFi (the latter for a fee, as it is all over Europe for those of us who subscribe to the service in the US). There's also a large selection of newspapers.

I still have over an hour before the gate for my flight to IST opens, and I am on my third cup of tea. I'm looking forward to my first impressions of Turkey, even if it they are just at the airport in IST for a few hours. I am not looking forward to 4 hours in a non-exit-row Y seat, though! I'm sure I will manage.
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