BA115 744 seating and ops questions

Old Sep 9, 19, 11:30 am
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BA115 744 seating and ops questions

First-time ever flying in Business class onboard BA115 in about 4 weeks from now. This is an AA award and apparently we can't be issued seats until we check in. I'm wondering if there's any way to select our seats beforehand, and any way I can be assured of flying upstairs. Never flown a 747 in my life, despite many dozen trans-Atlantic segments over the years, and I vowed I want to be on the upper deck on one of these birds if I ever have the chance. Traveling with my wife on the same itinerary, so will need to sit together.

Second question is how much time will we need to go from a TML-3 arrival (arriving from HEL on AY) to TML-5 for the JFK flight? We have a 5h20m layover so I"m guessing it won't be a problem, still one can never tell with Heathrow. I'd like to be able to use the BA Club World lounge prior to boarding.

Finally, ss someone who can't walk far or fast, how easy is it to arrange one of those electric carts as needed? It's not possible for me to walk all the way from the furthest T3 gate to the central terminal; I don't need wheelchair assistance, but I do need a motorized cart. Thanks in advance.
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Old Sep 9, 19, 11:42 am
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If you have either the appropriate One World Status or are prepared to pay then you can select seats anytime you like.

TBH without status or paying it’s unlikely you’d get to sit on the upper deck.

You need to ask AA for the BA booking reference so you can manage your flights using the BA app / website.

5 hours is more than enough to get from T3 to T5. MCT is 90 mins and most people do it in a lot less time than that so you’d have plenty of lounge time.

if you need assistance you should call BA special assistance - details on the BA website.

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Old Sep 9, 19, 11:52 am
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If the booking includes the AY flight, it is possible that there is more than one BA booking reference. With AA tickets I have seen the wording about "you cannot select seats until check-in" when looking at the "wrong" booking reference in BA's MMB. With the "right" booking reference seat selection then appears as normal.
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Old Sep 9, 19, 3:21 pm
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Originally Posted by NJRadioGuy View Post
I'm wondering if there's any way to select our seats beforehand, and any way I can be assured of flying upstairs.
Originally Posted by UKtravelbear View Post
If you have either the appropriate One World Status or are prepared to pay then you can select seats anytime you like.

TBH without status or paying its unlikely youd get to sit on the upper deck.
To flesh out the details, if either you or you wife has BA Gold or Silver or OW Emerald or Sapphire status, then you should be able to select your seats for free now (ie from the time of booking) and you should have a choice from almost all of the upper deck seats. 64A will probably be blocked because it's a bassinet position, and on some flights 60B may be blocked for crew rest (although LHR-JFK doesn't sound like a likely candidate for that).

With BA Bronze or OW Ruby, then the same applies from 7 days before the flight. AIUI, this is 7 days before departure, to the second.

Otherwise you will have to pay to pre-allocate seats on the upper deck. If you have to pay, then the normal position is that only the following seats will be available to you: 63AB, 63JK, 64B and (possibly) 60B. Once they're gone, they're gone.

As you mention the need for assistance with getting to the gate, it's probably worth mentioning (in case you don't already know it) that the stairs up to the upper deck are pretty narrow and steep. If you don't need a wheelchair, this may not be a problem for you, but I think it's worth you thinking about and if necessary you might want to look at some photos of the stairs.
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Old Sep 9, 19, 3:30 pm
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Originally Posted by NJRadioGuy View Post
Second question is how much time will we need to go from a TML-3 arrival (arriving from HEL on AY) to TML-5 for the JFK flight? We have a 5h20m layover so I"m guessing it won't be a problem, still one can never tell with Heathrow. I'd like to be able to use the BA Club World lounge prior to boarding.
it usually takes me around 45 minutes from disembarking the aircraft at T3 to being through security in T5

the bus ride airside between the terminals takes around 12 minutes
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Old Sep 9, 19, 6:12 pm
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I don't have any kind of status on any airline, and this will only be my second BA flight ever (the other being a wholly unremarkable A320 short haul intra-Europe, PRG>LHR last year). I don't mind paying the cost of seat selection since this is probably the only time I'll ever get a chance to fly in a seven-four. I always seem to get A330s, 757s, 767s, or 777s going across the pond (and recently a 787-10 on UA). After paying the fuel taxes on both tickets the seat selection costs will be an added insult but it's only once so why not.

As for physical assistance, I can walk 10 or 15 minutes on flat ground without a problem, but after doing that I'm in considerable discomfort. Climbing stairs isn't a problem if it's under 5 stories, and even then, I'm just plain slow. But the walk from LHR's T3, gate 21 or 22 to baggage reclaim is more than I was able to handle the last time I was flying to the capital. Nowadays, if I'm ever in Heathrow it's on a connection. Good to know that I'll have some lounge time in T5. Where does one catch the bus? Airside or do I have to leave the secure area and re-clear in T5?
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Old Sep 9, 19, 7:43 pm
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Originally Posted by NJRadioGuy View Post
. Good to know that I'll have some lounge time in T5. Where does one catch the bus? Airside or do I have to leave the secure area and re-clear in T5?
You'll have to follow the purple sign Flight Connections. Depending on where you coming in T3, it could be a long walk. But eventually you'll end up in a corridor that points you to Flight Connections Terminals 2,4,5. Go into that corridor and you'll find an escalator (or elevator if you choose) down to the bus connection to Terminal 5. There will be a sign downstairs for Flight Connections Terminal 5. You'll see a queuing area formed by stanchions and ropes which ends in a secured glass door. That's where you will board the bus to T5. Once you've arrived at T5, you'll go through another glass door to enter T5 . You'll go up an escalator where you will join other people who just disembarked flights that goes to T5. Keep walking by following the sign for Flight Connection All Terminals. Eventually you'll see the sign for Flight Connections Terminal 5 and Fast Track. Since you are in Club World, you can go to the line for fast track. There will be an automated gate where you can scan your boarding pass which hopefully will let you through. After that, you will find another escalator. Go on the escalator which will end in the T5 fast track security.

Last edited by muishkin; Sep 9, 19 at 7:49 pm
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