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trip report, 1st Club world experience LCY-JFK-LCY

trip report, 1st Club world experience LCY-JFK-LCY

Old Aug 21, 13, 3:05 pm
  #1  
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Smile trip report, 1st Club world experience LCY-JFK-LCY

BA001 15th August 2013


Check-in
Arrived at LCY at 9am for 9.45 departure. Club World London City checkin is done at a small desk in the doorway of the airport. There was one person in front of me being checked in. As there is no conveyor, a baggage handler takes the checked bags and wheels them into the terminal after each passenger. I asked the baggage handler whether I not I should lock my suitcase. He hemmed and hawed and said maybe not, but he looked like he didnt want to commit himself.

The BA checkin agent recommended the I shouldn't lock it unless I had TSA-approved locks, which I did not. While checking me in, she asked if I needed the wheelchair I had ordered. I explained that with LCY being so small, and my having plenty of time, I could do without it. However, I would need assistance by at Shannon and JFK.


I suffer from chronic back pain which can affect my ability to stand or walk for long distances. I can't always be certain I won't need help especially with airconditioning and high altitude.



Security
There was no fast-track that I could see, however security was quiet when I got there. The school trip what turned up *just* .as I was taking out my bag of liquids were a sensible lot and stood by the wall, out of the way, until they were all ready. So, I went straight to the front..

Security was handled really well for me. I put my things in the trays, .walked though the archway with my walking stick and shoes on. Then I was shown to a seat .(after the archway) .while someone else took my shoes and stick to to be x-rayed. Before the pat-dowm commenced, I asked if there were any painful areas. I was little bit worried about being scanned but it seems that LCY only selects people at random for the scanner..My shoes were brought back to me before the pat-down was over..


Lounge and boarding (G-EUNB)
After a quick walk past duty free,.I got to the gate-lounge about a minute before boarding. The desk is tucked in a corner behind the door, so I walked past them .by accident and sat down! One the ground staff came and got my passport and boarding pass and then brought them back to me. With.no time to make use of the lounge refreshments,.I took a small bunch of grapes to eat quickly and a packet of shortbread .to nibble in the flight. There was a nice selection of fruit, Danish pastries, hot and cold drinks, inc. champagne and cakes and biscuits. (Readers might be pleased to know that there is still Walkers fruitcake at LCY!)

Of course, with a flight carrying no more than 32 pax, boarding was leisurely. I don't remember hearing a priority boarding call, and wouldn't have been necessary anyway. I waited for the first few people to go so I wouldn't be standing longer than necessary. Then stopped to let someone walk ahead of me (knowing I might be slow on the stairs) and he asked if needed help with my things. I said "thanks" but declined.

I stowed bags in the overhead bin just behind my row (another other pax offered to lift bag and.I took them up on that) and took my seat. I was 1k(?), the window seat. .I had made the right seat choice because the G-EUNB aircraft has extra room behind the footstools for 1J and K. Therefore I didn't have to disturb the person next to me, in order to get in an out of my seat.

Onboard .LCY-SNN
The Purser made intros and takeoff ensued. Soon as seatbelt signs were .off, cc brought round the landing cards for pre-immigration and then began serving drinks and starters. The purser came and confirmed that he had a special meal (low lactose) for me but he would let me know if any of the other meals were available. .Thing is, I had cancelled my special meal a week ago after having seen the CWLCY menu, .but no biggie.

My starter was two fruit kebabs. .Really good and went quite nicely with the Kir royale I had ordered earlier.

After plates were taken away, I .reclined the seat to try and get comfortable. unfortunately I just couldn't. There was no lumbar support in the seat, or at least not as much as I needed. The pillow was too rigid to afford me any extra comfort. I had brought my own tempur-pedic but there was no point un-packing it on the short flight. On the other hand, one of the nice things about the CWLCY window seat is the space between the seat and the window. It makes a nice cubby for stowing a handbag during take-off and landing.

Soon enough it was time to get ready for landing. The purser reminded everyone to take all belongings off the plane and they'd see us soon.

(SNN-JFK details to follow)
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Old Aug 21, 13, 3:50 pm
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the not-so-smooth Shannon stop


When I got got to the plane door to disembark, I realised wheelchair wasn't readily available. The purser then asked if I really needed it because "i noticed you *can* walk". well by this time I did need a wheelchair so I was just going to have to wait for it..

I was irritated by this comments but unfortunately being young with health problems the "but you don't look sick to me" attitude is all too common.

I went to sit down and the purser said I'd only have to get up in a minute. I said "yeah but its the standing that kills, innit" (well, I didn't say innnit) .he replied with "oh".

The assistance took so long all the cabin crew had disembarked and it was just the pilots waiting for me to leave, as the last passenger. I had a brief chat with the pilots .and they explained that they would leave the flight, stay overnight and pick up the next day's BA001 from shannon due to their working hours.

.When he came, explained that they'd been v busy. I supposed he hadn't been briefed because be started to wheel me to the exit until the pilots ahead of us told him I was bound for New York. The. He steered me to immigration and to get pre-clearance queue. The lady at the immigration booth him to wait while she called sone Aer Ligus cabin crew ahead of me! When I told the assistance guy that I my flight was due to board, .he just said breezily, "not without the cabin crew"' I then reminded him that I was on BA, not EI and my flight *was* boarding! Luckily the next booth called me over and I was "processed"..

Annoyingly when i explained my my job he then asked "if you're a government worker, how can you afford to travel on BA001?" well that did offend my British sensibilities but I had to just laugh outwardly and give some guff about how I don't smoke, drink etc. Easier than explaining about seat sales and tier point runs anyway.

When the assistance guy was wheeling me back, he murmured to his colleague that no one had given him any info about the person he was collecting and .that he had been sent over in a rush. Anyway .with the delay, there was no waiting around and I was able to get straight back on the plane and back into my seat

I thought there was a dedicated CWLCY pre-immigration area but perhaps in the confusion, it was missed.
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Old Aug 21, 13, 4:33 pm
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When I did this in January there was a seating area roped off where pax with luggage had to wait just before and to the right of the screening area whilst they screened the hand bags only pax. We were then called into the area - I guess they need the time to do whatever it is they do with the bags and doing it this way obviously makes the whole process quicker.

There was also a board indicating which flight was being screened and they were also checking BPs and an interloper was polity told to wait until her flight was called before she would be screened.
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Old Aug 21, 13, 4:37 pm
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Originally Posted by UKtravelbear View Post
When I did this in January there was a seating area roped off where pax with luggage had to wait just before and to the right of the screening area whilst they screened the hand bags only pax. We were then called into the area - I guess they need the time to do whatever it is they do with the bags and doing it this way obviously makes the whole process quicker.

There was also a board indicating which flight was being screened and they were also checking BPs and an interloper was polity told to wait until her flight was called before she would be screened.
i'd read about something like this but mine was done differently. the immigration guy was looking at an image of my suitcase and asked me to confirm his description. he was a bit too vague so then he asked me to look at his monitor and confirm it as my suitcase
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Old Aug 21, 13, 4:44 pm
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I was shown a picture on the monitor of both my bags and asked if they were mine and if I had any food in them.

That's what I meant about pax with bags having to wait - so they could do the picture thing whilst they clear the hand bag only pax
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Old Aug 21, 13, 4:47 pm
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Love the comment from the US immigration... "If your a government worker, how can you afford BA001"


Finding your style ^

Thanks for posting.
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Old Aug 21, 13, 4:49 pm
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Looking forward to the SNN - JFK report!
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Old Aug 21, 13, 5:59 pm
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Originally Posted by GadgetGal View Post
I had a brief chat with the pilots .and they explained that they would leave the flight, stay overnight and pick up the next day's BA001 from Shannon due to their working hours.
Just to explain this one (for the umpteenth time), it isn't some union restriction that counts LCY to Shannon as a day's work, but is done deliberately. The pilots report to Gatwick, and are then (within their duty time) driven over to LCY and fly to Shannon. It is done this way so that, if the inbound aircraft has been diverted to Gatwick (not unknown) due to early fog/weather at LCY, they can ferry it over to LCY and then on to Shannon. Given that, although there are limitations on duty hours in a day, pilots are paid for an 80-flying-hour month, it doesn't impact on costs how these flying hours are spread over the days of the month, and it maximises the reliability of the service.

Cabin crew are of course not needed if the empty ferry from Gatwick to LCY is required, so they can report later in the day direct to LCY, and thus get through to New York in one go.
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Old Aug 21, 13, 6:12 pm
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Originally Posted by UKtravelbear View Post
I was shown a picture on the monitor of both my bags and asked if they were mine and if I had any food in them.

That's what I meant about pax with bags having to wait - so they could do the picture thing whilst they clear the hand bag only pax
Originally Posted by WHBM View Post
Just to explain this one (for the umpteenth time), it isn't some union restriction that counts LCY to Shannon as a day's work, but is done deliberately. The pilots report to Gatwick, and are then (within their duty time) driven over to LCY and fly to Shannon. It is done this way so that, if the inbound aircraft has been diverted to Gatwick (not unknown) due to early fog/weather at LCY, they can ferry it over to LCY and then on to Shannon. Given that, although there are limitations on duty hours in a day, pilots are paid for an 80-flying-hour month, it doesn't impact on costs how these flying hours are spread over the days of the month, and it maximises the reliability of the service.

Cabin crew are of course not needed if the empty ferry from Gatwick to LCY is required, so they can report later in the day direct to LCY, and thus get through to New York in one go.



Thank you for the detailed post.

Very interesting !!

So is it only flight deck that are LGW based and report to LGW ? Are cabin crew LCY based ?


cs
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Old Aug 21, 13, 6:47 pm
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When I flew back from AMS to LCY on the EMB 170 I asked the CC if she got to fly the baby bus, she said not, sadly and it was covered by the airbus certified Gatwick crews...
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Old Aug 21, 13, 6:50 pm
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Originally Posted by cornishsimon View Post
Thank you for the detailed post.

Very interesting !!

So is it only flight deck that are LGW based and report to LGW ? Are cabin crew LCY based ?


cs
No, they are LGW-based crew. One Purser/CSM (I'm unsure) and two further cabin crew.
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Old Aug 21, 13, 7:36 pm
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Originally Posted by WHBM View Post
Cabin crew are of course not needed if the empty ferry from Gatwick to LCY is required, so they can report later in the day direct to LCY, and thus get through to New York in one go.
I've seen the BA001 depart from LGW before. I was surprised to see New York on the screens in the lounge as I knew BA scrapped their LGW-JFK services, then I looked at the flight number and seen it was the LCY flight.

So it looks like sometimes if LCY is closed the flight starts from LGW (or would the ferry flight incorrectly appear on the screens?). If this happens do they individually call/text the customers or put on a bus from LCY?
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Old Aug 21, 13, 7:57 pm
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Originally Posted by Skipcool3 View Post
When I flew back from AMS to LCY on the EMB 170 I asked the CC if she got to fly the baby bus, she said not, sadly and it was covered by the airbus certified Gatwick crews...
Originally Posted by Feroze View Post
No, they are LGW-based crew. One Purser/CSM (I'm unsure) and two further cabin crew.

As I once knew but wasn't sure I was current, hence my question.

So with this in mind do the cabin crew not also start at LGW ?

Originally Posted by layz View Post
I've seen the BA001 depart from LGW before. I was surprised to see New York on the screens in the lounge as I knew BA scrapped their LGW-JFK services, then I looked at the flight number and seen it was the LCY flight.

So it looks like sometimes if LCY is closed the flight starts from LGW (or would the ferry flight incorrectly appear on the screens?). If this happens do they individually call/text the customers or put on a bus from LCY?


The babybus has previously operated ex LGW when LCY has been closed for whatever reason and the aircraft hasn't been able to position LGW-LCY after inbound diversion.

The reason for diverting to LGW on inbound in preference to other airfields (excl LHR) being that LGW has BA ground crew & SS available to handle the flight where other options (STN, LTN, SEN etc) do not.


cs
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Old Aug 21, 13, 8:12 pm
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Originally Posted by cornishsimon View Post
As I once knew but wasn't sure I was current, hence my question.

So with this in mind do the cabin crew not also start at LGW ?
I thought they did - but they have different duty hour restrictions to the flight crew. I'm flying the route again in a couple of weeks and I shall endeavour to get the full lowdown.
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Old Aug 21, 13, 8:21 pm
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Originally Posted by Feroze View Post
I thought they did - but they have different duty hour restrictions to the flight crew. I'm flying the route again in a couple of weeks and I shall endeavour to get the full lowdown.



My memory says your understanding is correct.

I'm sure someone will confirm one way or another soon



cs
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