LHR-IST in J: ?s

Old Jul 8, 06, 11:03 pm
  #1  
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LHR-IST in J: ?s

A few questions about my upcoming first intra-Europe flight on BA -- I'm arriving at LHR on another airline and have a 4 hr layover until my flight on BA LHR-IST in J.

Will I be able to check in as soon as I arrive at T1, or is there a maximum check-in time (e.g. 2 or 3 hours before departure)?

How strict are they likely to be at the J check-in desk about the linear dimensions of my cabin baggage? My normal carry-on bag is taller than the 22in they quote on their site -- will they let a few extra inches slide? Will they weigh it too?

I'm 99% sure I'll have access to the Terraces lounge -- the Manage My Booking screen mentioned that I'd also have access to the MB Spa. Will I be able to take a shower and/or book a massage? (I've only ever done this with a longhaul flight -- didn't think I could get spa access and/or a massage on an intra-Europe J itin -- but that will definitely help kill the 4 hrs)

Will there be a meal service on the 1725 departure to IST, and if so will it be substantive and decent? (or am I really better off eating ahead of time in the terminal/lounge?) I know that within the US the meal service in domestic F varies widely -- if it's just pretzels and drinks I'll definitely want to plan ahead.

Thanks in advance for any info you can provide!
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Old Jul 9, 06, 5:00 am
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The minimum check time is 2.5 hours (iirc, check ba.com for more info) for European flights - though this only really applies if you are checking flights.

If the bag is larger than the dimensions, there is a very good chance you will be made to check it. The longer European routes in summer do seem to attract extra checks of cabin baggage. Again, they may weight it. More pertinently, at over 22 inches it may well not fit in the overhead bins, especially on the 767.

No spa access, but you can use the showers.

Meal service? This is Europe, not the US! Yes, you get a four course meal of variable quality. It can be good - pate de foie gras as a starter on one trip, it can be bad -a crappy tomato salad on another. Hot main meal - think curry, stew etc then cheese and dessert. The wine is crap, so is the champagne.

If you haven't do ensure you have seats on the AC side on the Airbus. If returning on the 767, go for the middle block.

Enjoy your trip. It is one of the less comfortable routes on the network, but with a good crew it can be pleasant.
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Old Jul 9, 06, 6:34 am
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Just the re-iterate, the 1725 LHR-IST flight is the Airbus. Whatever you do, make sure you have pre-assigned seats on the AC side of the plane. Sitting on the other DEF side is no different to sitting in Y.

Full Band 4 meal service - starter, main course, desert and most importantly a tablecloth

Make sure you know the tip about heading first to the VISA desk, if you don't have a visa, and then to passport control.
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Old Jul 9, 06, 6:43 am
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Now we all have our opinions. I love the CE sevice on a band 4 (actually I have a predilctiion for the entire CE network but then I think that we are so lucky to have such a thing). Do forget any AA FEBO/NEBO/BIMBO - you will have a meal and the Bubbly is perfectly OK and the wine is drinkable. Forget US meal service that is now anything but. BA in CE never fob people off with a bag of crisps and a drink. Ever. Enjoy.
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Old Jul 9, 06, 6:46 am
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Originally Posted by PUCCI GALORE
BA in CE never fob people off with a bag of crisps and a drink. Ever.
No. It's just a cup of tea and a short bread biscuit

Oh how quickly one forgets. Catering fiasco ring a bell?
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Old Jul 9, 06, 6:57 am
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Originally Posted by LHR Tim
No. It's just a cup of tea and a short bread biscuit

Oh how quickly one forgets. Catering fiasco ring a bell?
No I had to fly pax with nothing whatsoever to offer them in any class - did you? No, I thought not.

Sorry - but are we in the midst of a catering fiasco as we speak or did you not like me speaking in absolutes?

Fine - You will never be palmed off with a drink and a bag of crisps unless out caterers walk out on strike and half (or whatever) are fired and the baggage loaders walk out in sympathy. Sorry for any inaccuracies
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Old Jul 9, 06, 7:04 am
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Originally Posted by Smirnoff
Make sure you know the tip about heading first to the VISA desk, if you don't have a visa, and then to passport control.
Ouch, the great Turkish visa-on-arrival rip-off. As soon as you get off the plane, go hell for leather towards the visa counter, before your entire aircraft-load of passengers join the queue for one or two bored blokes stickering your passports. For Brits, it's 10 in sterling. I have a nasty feeling it's $100 for Americans - outrageous. It's almost enough to make me feel sorry for you
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Old Jul 9, 06, 7:08 am
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Originally Posted by PUCCI GALORE
No I had to fly pax with nothing whatsoever to offer them in any class - did you? No, I thought not.
Lord, I hope you weren't on my flight back from SFO last summer...it was the first full day of the Gate Gourmet 'episode' and for the entire flight back in CW all we had was 1 cup of MaxPax coffee...

I hit the roof when I got to the airport and discovered the worst because, about 3 hours before I left for the airport, Gloria of the Executive Club telephoned and told me (I quote)

"The flight is operating normally and you should turn up to at the airport as you normally would"

As I pointed out to the poor Duty Manager the US$40 voucher was useless because no catering establishments were accepting it or giving change and the lounge wasn't geared up for the problem (understandably).

Suffice it to say that it was one of the most miserable flights I think I've ever had, and not helped when the upper deck discovered that pax in Economy had been given a deli-bag with sandwich and other bits and pieces...

Definitely not one of BA's finest moments, and I felt sorry for the cabin crew who must have taken a LOT of flak over all this.
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Old Jul 9, 06, 7:28 am
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Originally Posted by PUCCI GALORE
Now we all have our opinions. I love the CE sevice on a band 4 (actually I have a predilctiion for the entire CE network but then I think that we are so lucky to have such a thing).
Sorry to drag this off topic (or back on topic) but how does one know what catering band their flight is?

Mrs Bitpipe & I are off to Prague next week in CE from LGW, never done that route before in CE so not sure what to expect, both flights are lunch time / afternoon ish.

Should I avoid the temptation to tuck in at the First lounge ?
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Old Jul 9, 06, 8:15 am
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Prague is Band 3:

Originally Posted by BAW845_Matt
all CE flights offer a hot breakfast, regardless of band.

EUROPE BAND 1 & 2
CDG/BRU/AMS/CGN/DUS/LUX/FRA/HAJ/HAM/BOD/LYS/STR/GVA/BSL/TXL/ZRH/
MUC/TLS

EUROPE BAND 3
CPH/TRN/PRG/MRS/MXP/BIO/LIN/NCE/BCN/OSL/GOA/VCE/VRN/PSA/BLQ/VIE/
MAD/WAW/ARN/BUD/FCO/LIS/KRK/NAP/BEG/DBV/RIX/VNO/SPU

EUROPE BAND 4
KBP, ATH, SPU, ALG, VNO, TIA, CTA, KEF, HME, PRN, VAR, SKG, ADB (from LGW - ones such as LCA from LHR as well).
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Old Jul 9, 06, 10:20 am
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Originally Posted by 27R
Ouch, the great Turkish visa-on-arrival rip-off. As soon as you get off the plane, go hell for leather towards the visa counter, before your entire aircraft-load of passengers join the queue for one or two bored blokes stickering your passports. For Brits, it's 10 in sterling. I have a nasty feeling it's $100 for Americans - outrageous. It's almost enough to make me feel sorry for you
As of last week, it was $20 for Americans. That is still more than J10, but only just.
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Old Jul 9, 06, 10:56 am
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Originally Posted by chalf
As of last week, it was $20 for Americans. That is still more than J10, but only just.
IIRC Clinton agreed that it should go waaaay up as a favour to Turkey, but it has come down since.
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Old Jul 9, 06, 11:00 am
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Originally Posted by Smirnoff
Sitting on the other DEF side is no different to sitting in Y.
Except that seats are 2 inches wider....
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Old Jul 9, 06, 11:38 am
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Thanks for all the info. FWIW, here was the text on the Manage My Booking "At the airport" tab, that got my hopes up about the massage

After check-in

<snip>

British Airways Terraces Lounge
Location:After Security, the Lounge Pavilion is located in the International Departures lounge. (Lounge access is subject to capacity restrictions.)
Catch up on work before you travel, enjoy a snack or simply unwind in a relaxing area away from the busy airport environment. Molton Brown Travel Spa offers a selection of complimentary treatments.
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Old Jul 9, 06, 11:53 am
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Nice to see that ba.com is as accurate as ever.
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