IAH to LHR, CO4 or CO32?

 
Old Jul 21, 08, 1:33 pm
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IAH to LHR, CO4 or CO32?

Sorry if this has been covered elsewhere, but my search didn't find it. Feel free to point me to a thread if I missed it and I will add this there. I fly to LON twice a year and am planning my fall flight. Last spring was before the switch to LHR. Any suggestions on CO4 versus CO32 in terms of how crowded the flights are (is CO 32 regularly less full??), the impact at LHR for immigration (is 9:30 am arrival pretty bad compared to 2:00 pm), and whether Fast Track Immigration coupon/stickers are available for elite?

I would tend toward CO4 just out of habit (same times as the old LGW flight), but CO32 may have advantages. What meals are served on that flight---is there a dinner after departure even though it is after 10:30 p.m.? Or, do they wait for breakfast or lunch to be the main meal? For you who are hit by jet lag, is the later flight significantly better on that dimension? Also, I notice CO4 is 30 minutes shorter. Do you actually notice that (or is the time in the air still the same)?

Thanks for any help!
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Old Jul 21, 08, 1:42 pm
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My policy for Red-eyes (which is what most west-east TATLs are) the later the better. Also, England is a non-Schengen country; so, I would have to imagine Immigration at LHR is FUBARed all times of the day. Finally, I wouldn't get excited over an airline meal even in BF.

Jet lag--later flight
Immigration--Wash
Food--Wash

I say the later flight takes it.
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Old Jul 21, 08, 1:44 pm
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From what I've read on this and other forums, the late flight to LHR, CO32, has pretty low load since it started in late March. Lower than CO4.

Dinner is still served after departure, but if you're flying BusinessFirst, the dinner is abbreviated - meaning appertizer and salad together, not separate courses.

Personally, in coach, I always get better rest on the later flights to Europe. On the earlier flights, you get there when it's just around midnight US time, and by the mid-afternoon in Europe, I'm like a zombie. On the late flights, I have dinner, then have some decent time to sleep before they wake you for breakfast.

I think unless one is flying BF and really prefer the 772 seat to the 762 ones, I'll take the CO32 over CO4.
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Old Jul 21, 08, 2:10 pm
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2pm will be a much, much quieter time to arrive in LHR than 9.30am, if this helps.
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Old Jul 21, 08, 6:31 pm
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I took CO 4 back in April on a Tuesday and there weren't more than 75 people on the flight. Upon arrival we might've spent 15-20 minutes going through customs...IIRC the walk to customs was longer than the wait. Seems like dinner and a breakfast snack were served, and this was in coach.

I prefer 6:30-7:30 times b/c I can leave the office around 4 and I get to my destination sooner. My TATL flights (all 2.5 of them...KEF is halfway across)are also for vacation and not business.

If you're like me and you like to look out the window, get a seat on the right side of the plane (K). We flew past LHR towards the southeast and then turned around over London. While there almost every day I saw other planes landing from the same direction. And if you're coming back from Gatwick sit in A. Unfortunately I did the opposite coming and going.
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Old Jul 21, 08, 11:56 pm
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I took 32 in April - very low loads then - and returning on the new late return to EWR. Whole row of Y to each passenger, nice to lie across and get some proper sleep. I don't know how loads are currently though.

The later arrival time did seem quite quiet at T4, and I'd assume it's a little quieter than earlier in the morning, although I don't know what other TATL traffic comes into T4, in addition to flights from elsewhere. My wait through the UK passport control was a minute or two, and I recall the non-UK line also being very short.

I'd take the 10:30 - use the extra 30 minutes to get some more shut-eye. In Y usual dinner is served pretty soon after take off. But I'd rather get something at Pappadeaux and skip the meal, try to get more zzz's instead. I arrived very fresh after that flight, and my MO these days is also to take the latest flight, and then actually stay awake until the next evening!
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Old Jul 22, 08, 12:51 am
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CO32 takes longer partially because the 762 has a slower cruising speed than the 772.
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Old Jul 22, 08, 11:04 am
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Thanks for all the insights. I think Pappadeaux and the late flight sound great.
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