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3 Holidays, 3 Classes - AA Y, EK F and US C.

3 Holidays, 3 Classes - AA Y, EK F and US C.

Old Nov 3, 09, 1:42 pm
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3 Holidays, 3 Classes - AA Y, EK F and US C.

Warning, this report will be spread over 3 months and is likely to ramble!

The Preamble

Last winter I didn’t take a holiday, things were looking grim at work and I decided my disposable income was better spent on a kitchen refit and a new car.
As a consequence I spent just over 12 months without a holiday or a flight and I started to get withdrawal symptoms.

After my company had made 750 people redundant, I was one of the fortunate ones to still have a job, I also found myself working back at Gatwick after stints at Heathrow and on other projects off airport.

My late summer holiday normally consists of 2 weeks of chilling out in Arizona, this year I decided to venture slightly further west and spend 2 weeks in Palm Springs.

March arrives and I think I will feel better with a holiday booked so I find a house to hire in Palm Springs and then set about finding flights. There are only really 2 logical choices flying from the U.K, AA or UA.

UA had by far the best schedules and although my experiences with them have been fairly negative and it means changing planes at LAX I decide to book with them.
At the time of booking i had a 2 and a half hour change in LAX and a return flight through Denver. Then the schedule changes started. Firstly they gave me a 1 hour 11 minute connection in LAX, for arriving aliens and a terminal change this was never going to work, so i ring them up and change it, i now have a 4 hour connection at LAX.
Next they cancel the DEN - LHR flight and book me a 7 hour connection in SFO leaving early in the morning. At this point ive had enough and since the schedule change was over 4 hours i cancel the booking.

I text Jo-anne and tell her, she thinks i'm a nutcase where travelling is concerned and assumes correctly i have an alternative plan.

On to the AA website and flights are booked via DFW, which is an altogether superior airport to LAX.

Move forward to June and i read on FT of the buy C get F offer on Emirates to various asian destinations with a stopover in Dubai allowed. For just over 1500 for 4 flights in F, this has just got to be done, so i get on the phone to Trailfinders to confirm they have the offer and LGW - DXB - BKK - DXB - LGW is booked.
Diane a friend of mine finds out i am doing this and wants to tag along, a quick phone call later and she too is booked.

Finally i decide to burn some US and Priority Club points and go to the States for Superbowl weekend, after playing around on the always fractious US website, i come up with a 60,000 mile Envoy trip to Savannah. The website refuses to take the booking so i end up on the phone. 30 minutes and the outrageous U.K departure tax later, i'm all set and 3 holidays are booked.

Last edited by Gatwick Alan; Nov 3, 09 at 1:56 pm Reason: spelling
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Old Nov 3, 09, 2:26 pm
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Originally Posted by Gatwick Alan View Post
...As a consequence I spent just over 12 months without a holiday or a flight and I started to get withdrawal symptoms...
12 months

I get withdrawal symptoms after a month.

I look forward to the reports, especially the one in the pointy end of the aircraft.
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Old Nov 3, 09, 3:33 pm
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Its 5am on Friday 25th September, we are supposed to be leaving in 45 minutes and Jo-anne isnt packed. In fairness she has just done a 21 hour non stop shift at work and is totally knackered. We eventually leave half hour late and i'm hoping the M25 wasnt going to be bad, amazingly it was really good so we rang the Purple Parking chauffer people on the way and told them we would be 30 minutes late and only ended up 15 minutes late.

A quick and easy check in at Terminal 3 and its time to get some breakfast. Last years breakfast up on the departures level was abysmal so we walked through to the pub at arrivals and had breakfast there.

Now it wouldnt be one of my trip reports without a moan or 2 so here is the first. When we reach security why do we have to have 3 people all shouting loudly about what you can and cant take through security, theres enough signs up and they seem to be competing to see who can be loudest. I couldnt make out a word of what they were saying and they seem to have the express purpose of raising peoples stress levels.

Anyway security was quick, polite and painless. LHR does seem to be getting its act together.

When you walk out of security you are in a shopping mall and its difficult to identify signs telling you where the gates are, eventually if you keep walking you will spot that you are actually in an airport.

After buying water and snacks for the flight, we notice that we are at the furthest possible gate from the terminal, felt like a 5 mile hike and when we got there most people had boarded well ahead of departure time.

AA51 was supposed to leave at 10.25am, everyones on by 10.15 so i'm thinking early arrival at DFW. Wrong. The captain announces luggage loading difficulties and we eventually leave the gate 25 minutes late. Im not worried about this as we have a 3 hour plus connection in Dallas.

I wont go into a lot of detail about an AA economy flight, promise to provide more details on the Emirates flight, but i will say last year and this have seen a definate improvement in crew service and for the first time in my memory we got a mid flight snack. Now it may only have been some cheesy nibbles, a shortcake biscuit and a very small toblerone bar, but at least it existed. The lunch was edible and of course the flight finished with the Pizza.

Our middle aged flight attendant was excellent, we had her again on the flight home, more about that later.

They didnt have any I94W forms on the plane which they blamed on London. This didnt help people on tight connections as the plane was 35 minutes late at the gate and we all had to stand in the immigration hall filling the I94W's in. Immgration and customs was quite slow for DFW taking 30 and 10 minutes respectively.

The flight to PSP was on time from Dallas and arrived 15 minutes early. You have to love PSP airport, walk out the gate and then walk outside to get to the baggage hall, one of the nicest small airports ive been through and free wifi everywhere too. Being compact, the car hire desks are opposite the reclaim belts and the cars are all on airport. We were away 20 minutes after disembarking.

The next 2 weeks were spent soaking up the sun and chilling out.

Next up - The flight home and a diversion to ORD.
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Old Nov 3, 09, 11:43 pm
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Old Nov 4, 09, 11:48 am
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Pitched up at Palm Springs airport at 9.30am, dropped the car off and walked into the terminal, as i'm walking through i notice the inbound flight is scheduled in an hour late.
At the check in, the AA agent is on the ball, he's noticed i'm on an international connection, we discuss the delay and i tell him i'm comfortable with the delay as Dallas is a good airport for changing terminals, he tells me if the delay gets significantly worse he will page me and route us through Chicago instead, little did i know at this point i'd be going there anyway.

The delay got a little worse and the 11.25am flight eventually closed the doors at 12.45. A good run into DFW meant we hit the gate 45 minutes behind schedule and we still had an hour to change terminals and grab a bite to eat.

When the flight attendant reads out the list of connecting gates on the plane, i wonder why they never seem to give out international destinations, i knew it was likely to be the D terminal, but theres no reason why it had to be and confirmation would have been nice.

When we reached the gate for the LHR flight at boarding time, they announced boarding would be a little delayed, but not to worry as we had strong tail winds and with a sub 8 hour flying time, would still be arriving an hour early.
I guess they havent heard about the Heathrow effect, arrive in the area an hour early and you are guaranteed a scenic tour of south east England.

We eventually got off the ground at 8pm, 50 minutes late.

I was delighted to see we had the same flight attendant serving us as we had on the flight out, she was a real diamond, she seemed to instinctively know which passengers to interact and share a joke with and those who wanted to be left alone. Her anecdotes helped to keep us amused later on in the flight.

About an hour into the flight, and before dinner had been served, the captain came on and made an announcement. He said that due to toilet blockages we were going to divert into Chicago and change planes and that they had a plane available for us. The Purser then came on and she fleshed (not flushed) out the announcement by explaining that 3 toilets were blocked already and they didnt want to risk an unpleasant situation developing later in the flight.

The plane incidentally was a 767, not my favourite plane as it doesnt have seatback TV's like the 777, but for an overnight flight its not really an issue as sleep is the priority. I do miss the chance to look at the map though.

As we are approaching Chicago the captain comes on and explains that we will be doing an overweight landing as obviously we were fuelled to cross the Atlantic and that there were procedures to be followed. This would entail the runway being lined with fire engines and that we should not worry as this was standard practice and precautionary. We thumped down at ORD at about 9.45 pm.

The purser asked us to remain in our seats for a moment whilst they checked with the authorities how they wanted to deal with the transfer of passengers onto the new plane as technically we had left the country. We were also asked to keep hold of our boading passes.

I was expecting us to pull up on an adjacent gate and be sheparded straight onto the new plane. Not so.

We pulled up at gate K9 and were asked to walk across to gate K16. There they told us boarding would start in 20 mins once everybody was at the gate and anybody needing a new boarding pass had approached the desk so that they could check us onto the new plane.

I decided to go for a walk to see if i could have simply walked out of the airport and surprise, surprise i easily could have done just that.
I realise that the passenger manifest would have shown me as not on board but by then i could have been far way. I guess i was surprised by the trusting nature of it all, not something i'm used to in U.S airports.

When boarding was called, youve never seen a plane board so quickly and efficiently, since the plane was the same configuration, everybody knew where their seat was and that there would be space in the overhead bins, in less than 15 minutes we were all sat down and ready to go, unfortunately the plane wasnt. In fact it was more than another hour before we pulled back from the gate.

Now this is where a good crew comes into its own and we were fortunate enough to have one. We were constantly updated as to what was going on and why. The purser explained the problems of transferring the catering from the previous flight. The captain explained the extra maintenance tests that had to be done for a flight over water and why we would be hearing the engines being started up and shutdown to test for leaks. When the maintenance logs were signed off we were finally on our way.

When the drinks cart came round we wanted a nightcap and i had $12 ready but the flight attendant said im not taking your money after what we just put you through.

We eventually landed at Heathrow about 2 hours late and i had to get the Chauffer parking people to go fetch the car.

When i got home i emailed AA to tell thm how well the crew had handled the situation and in particular how good our flight attendant was. They replied by email and later by letter and rewarded me with 20,000 miles for the inconvenience. I was pretty surprised, and of course pleased as the thrust of my email was to compliment, not complain.

Well thats it for holiday 1, in a few weeks its on to holiday 2, as Moomba puts it, in the pointy end. Stay tuned
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Old Nov 5, 09, 5:11 pm
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Excellent report - your explanations of the delay procedures really help the reader to visualize and understand what happens during IRROPS.

Lavatory maintenence seems to be a recently-occuring issue for AA - last week, our LAS - DFW flight was delayed as both Y lavs were clogged.

Last edited by Non-NonRev; Nov 5, 09 at 5:14 pm
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Old Nov 28, 09, 1:17 pm
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Holiday 2 Emirates in First

Flight 1 28 Nov EK12 LGW-DXB

A couple of weeks before I was due to fly out, I wandered across to the Emirates desk in the North Terminal and booked the chauffer services to and from Gatwick and Dubai airports.
I asked the guy to link mine and Dis bookings together as the tickets were purchased a few days apart. This I believed he had done.

For anybody who knows Gatwick, I have to park in Staff Car Park X which is adjacent to the main runway. Most days I see EK11 land, which turns into my flight, it seems to be close to time every day.
When I booked the trip it was going to be 4 aircraft types (if you count derivations), starting with a 777-200, but recently it has turned into a 777-300ER without suites.

The day before we were due to travel the chauffer service rang to confirm pick up, 5 minutes later the rang to confirm a separate car pick up for Di. I told them 1 car would be quite sufficient for the 2 of us, so they cancelled the second car.

5 minutes later Emirates rang, they had spotted the cancelled car and wanted to ensure our needs were being met. They also had 2 cars booked for Dubai. Very efficient, but if only the man at the desk had listened to what I told him.

The car was booked for 7.10am and the driver tapped the door at 7.05am.
On the way to the airport he told me we should have kept the 2 cars as all of the drivers are self employed.
The car was a brand new Mercedes estate.
Half an hour later we are being dropped in the North terminal and there was nobody at the first class check in, so i plonked my feet on the lovely red carpet. 1 minute later we are at Fast Track security, which unusually seemed to be operating as fast track, we were through quickly with no additional searches.
I told Di to ignore the woman trying to shoo us to the shoe screening area and walk to one side, which she did and it was off to the Emirates lounge for us.

Now I have to say the Emirates lounge at Gatwick is excellent. Way too big now that Continental have left and gone to Heathrow, leaving it an Emirates only lounge.

Even if the first and business sections of the plane were completely full and a lot of cardholders had access, the lounge would still be spacious and half empty.

Hot food was being cooked to order and I had an excellently cooked and presented breakfast. Staff were polite and efficient without being in your face.

I had a good natter with a couple of them about all matters Gatwick.

I also managed to spend 10 minutes in the massage chair, to ease my stiff back.

Boarding was called in the lounge about 30 minutes before departure and when we reached the gate everybody else had been boarded, so it was a civilised amble down the airbridge to be met at the door and escorted to our seat.

So far Emirates are impressing me!!
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Old Nov 28, 09, 1:57 pm
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^ Enjoying your report so far and looking forward to the US Air portion.
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Old Nov 28, 09, 9:39 pm
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The plane for this flight has the first class seats in pairs with the minibar built into the seat divider at the front of the seat.
The seat goes flat and is comfortable, however for a solo traveller these seats are not ideal, rather like Lufthansas.
For Di and I this was not really a problem and in fact in some ways an advantage as this was Dis first time in First, and I could assist her with the intricacies of the 600 channel ICE system. God knows what shell do on the next flight which has the 1000 channel version and well be in separate suites !

There was a lot to like about this flight and my niggles are small.

The purser came round and introduced herself and was visible throughout the flight.
I had to point out that our seats had not been loaded with headphones, but that was quickly rectified.

Day flights on Emirates in First do not get an amenity kit, although slippers and eyeshades are handed out and toothbrushes and razors are available in the toilet.

A basket of chocolate and goodies is provided, most of which found its way into my hand luggage. There isnt really a logical surface onto which the basket can sit, so it ends up getting in the way.

The ICE entertainment system is excellent and worked flawlessly. In fact Im typing this report up listening to Supertramp and Tom Petty.
I also love the music section contains every UK Number 1 single from the Fifties to the present day.

The first cabin was busy with 10 of 12 seats occupied, but dining on demand was offered with no pressure applied, drinks were kept topped up at regular intervals and in fact the crew were very good at all times and interacted with a smile and a joke.
They were at just the level I like, visible without being overbearing.
The crew were of mixed origin, the Purser was Asian and the 2 girls serving us were East European and Australian. The Australian girl in particular was excellent with a great friendly approach.

Now for the food, we both very much enjoyed our food, however as much as Di said the Chicken curry was nice, to me it looked like a large economy meal put on a first class plate, the sauted spinach looked cooked to destruction.
My Halibut on the other hand was flaky and beautiful presented.
I reserve further judgement on the meals til Ive taken some more flights in the next week.


On board your flight today our a la carte dining service offers you the choice of creating your own menu. From a snack to a complete meal, our crew will be happy to prepare your selections and serve your choice whenever you wish.

Canapes Selection of canaps which include tandoori chicken brochette, lamb arayees, courgette sambousak, parmesan cheese and mixed olives.

Appetisers Iranian caviar served with traditional accompaniments

Selection of authentic Arabic mezze which includes hommous, moutabal, tomato filled with tabouleh, stuffed vine leaf, aubergine salad, muhammara and pickled vegetables.

Prawn Ceviche prawns marinated with fresh lemon served with a red pepper salad and fresh water cress.

Main Courses Roasted Lamb tender roasted lamb served with a mild rosemary jus accompanied by a butternut squash puree, mixed spring vegetables and fondant potatoes.

Murg handi lazeez chicken curry with steamed basmati rice and sauted spinach with spices

Traditional fishcakes served with blanched asparagus spears, roasted butternut pumpkin and a tangy lemon and dill sauce.

Artichoke tortellini home made pasta cases filled with wild mushroom farce topped with a creamy mushroom sauce and served with roasted Mediterranean vegetables.

Poached Halibut served in a flavourful bouillabaisse sauce with steamed Olivette potatoes with herbs and braised fennel

As an alternative accompaniment to your main course and additional variety of vegetables is available which includes turned butter carrots, roasted parisienne potatoes, steamed broccoli and steamed basmati rice.

Bread Basket a variety of fresh baked rolls and garlic bread.

Light Bites Seasonal salad served with a choice of dressings
Minted green pea soup mixed with winter vegetables and garnished with crunchy crutons.

International cheese selection

Sweet delights Clotted cream cheesecake buttery biscuit base topped with creamy cheese filling served with a fruity strawberry confit

Chocolate and Morello crisp chocolate pastry tart layered with a rich chocolate ganache and morello cherry filling encased in a chocolate crisp, served with a vanilla pod Anglaise sauce.

Fresh seasonal fruit

Afternoon tea selection A traditional afternoon tea with a selection of classic reception sandwiches, delicate mini pastries, lemon drizzle cake and freshly baked scones, served with clotted cream and strawberry preserve.

Chocolates to accompany a freshly brewed cup of tea or coffee

We ate early, so I managed to find room for the sandwiched an hour before landing.

To be continued......
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Old Nov 30, 09, 5:40 am
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We arrived at Dubai 20 minutes early and despite people on the Emirates forum complaining they always get a coaching gate, we pulled up to a gate as close to immigration as you can get and the bridge connected to door 1 to let first class off first.

My first impression of Terminal 3 was just Wow, high ceilings huge water features and the biggest lift Id ever seen to drop you down to immigration.

Fast track cards were given out on the plane, but the queues were short everywhere and the cards not needed, I kept mine for the future.

Another country that doesnt require you to fill out any paperwork on landing, good on you UAE. Passport swiped with minimal interaction and off into the amazing baggage hall. As we approached belt 9, so our bags appeared in first and second place.

A walk through customs, again no paperwork, turn right and there is the Emirates chauffer drive desk. Pick up a voucher, out the front door and the car is waiting for you.

We were staying in the Holiday Inn Al Barsha and the car transfer took an amazingly quick 15 minutes, Id been advised to expect up to an hour.
The Holiday inn is far from your stateside Holiday inn, think Crown Plaza and you would have a better idea. We bagged a 2 bedroom apartment and I have to say Im totally happy with it.

The 2 days in Dubai were spent seeing the old and the new.
You wonder when, if ever Dubai will be finished, roadworks and building works everywhere, with my work hat on I was horrified by some of the standards of health and safety I saw, for example a man working on a trestle on the edge of a slab, 6 floors up with no handrails or edge protection in place to stop him falling to certain death.

Took a ride on the brand new Dubai metro, its wonderfully clean, pity that only 50% of the stations are open on the Red line and the Green line not yet open at all, still it seemed busy already so is likely to be a success and sensibly priced too. The station workers were all keen to help.

I enjoyed my stay, it was interesting to see, would I come back, yes I would but there are other places I would prefer to revisit first.

Next up DXB-BKK, hopefully on the A380
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Old Dec 3, 09, 6:49 pm
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Flight 2 - DXB_BKK EK372 A380-800

The Emirates car was supposed to pick us up at 6.30am, it was there 10 minutes early and sadly so were we. Another fast trip to the airport meant we were there by 6.45 for a 9.40 flight. Id previously booked a 7.10am pickup but was advised this wasnt early enough, yeah right.

As we were dropped in the separate area of terminal 3 for business and first class passengers, we were met by both a porter and an escort who took us across to the first class check in desk. That was painless, as was passport control, no queues and no conversation, security was also very quick, no laptops out or shoes off, if your shoes set it off, you just take them off and go again, simple really.
All of this was in the separate area for premium passengers so I cant really comment on the queues at the regular security posts.

We didnt take the lift direct into the lounge, instead walking off to the side into the main departures area, by god it was heaving with humanity, quickly buying our duty free, we headed for the sanctuary of the Emirates first class lounge.

The lounge is huge, I mean enormous, lots of wasted space. Previous posters on flyer talk have commented that the noise of the announcements from below due to the lounge being completely open is annoying, I concur, it is. The sanctuary of the lounge is missing.
There are of course many good things about the lounge, the food served at the dining area, cooked to order from a kitchen you can see behind glass screens was excellent, beautifully presented. Staff were everywhere to serve your every need, and yet it didnt feel special.
Di described it as impersonal feeling and lacking character. Id agree with that, it rather reminded me of the first class lounge in Singapore which also left me under whelmed, perhaps its just me.

Anyway boarding the A380 is done from gates directly connected to the lounge, show your boarding pass and take the lift down 1 level directly to the upper airbridge.

As you walk down the upper airbridge the thing that strikes you is how huge and wide the wings are, it makes you stop and stare.

On arrival at the door, business class passengers are sent on their way to their seats, we were personally escorted to our suites. We only had a load of 5 of 12 for this flight and we were the only people on the K side of the plane.

As soon as we were seated, the champagne came round, unfortunately the attendant managed to spill it over Dis leg.
The crew immediately rushed into action, towels were brought and a pair of pyjamas found along with profuse apologies, Di took it all in her stride.

We both booked showers once we reached cruising altitude with lunch to follow, all this and we havent even taken off yet.

I set the ICE system to the tail camera and waited for take off. The entertainment system has got to be the best in the sky, incredible amount of choice, for an old rocker like me, I was delighted to see the back catalogue for artists like Pink Floyd, David Bowie and the Rolling Stones available as well as a huge selection of other artists. Clearly the censors dont check whats on the albums as Star Star from Goats Head soup was on there.

People say how quiet the A380 is, the take off is a rumble rather than a roar and you dont feel like you are going fast enough to get into the sky, but before you know it you are off the ground.

After a few minutes the chimes went and the crew sprang into action.
First up I was shown the shower and how to use it, its an amazing feeling having a shower at 41,000 feet. Came out of that feeling nicely refreshed.

Next up the Purser came around and introduced herself, she was from the French Reunion islands and was totally passionate about her job, I, along with a guy from Dubai had a long talk about the good and bad of Emirates. He spoke about continuity of care, why will Emirates take you from front door to front door in many places but not in Bangkok. Its particularly surprising when you think how cheap transfer services are in Bangkok.
The purser said she was going to find out why and I believe she will.

I was also told that Emirates now employ 100 different nationalities, I found this hard to believe at first, but my flight attendants today were Lebanese and Thai, and an announcement on board said they spoke 12 different languages, the last one being Swahili, so maybe it is true.

Service on board was excellent and this has got to be one of the best first class experiences out there, I imagine only the Singapore suites can compete, but until they make them more accessible to people like me, I doubt Ill ever find out.

The menu will follow.
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Old Dec 5, 09, 8:30 am
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On board your flight today our a la carte dining service offers you the choice of creating your own menu. From a snack to a complete meal, our crew will be happy to prepare your selections and serve your choice whenever you wish.

Canapes Selection of canaps which include grilled thai style chicken on a lemon grass skewer, hairyali prawns, mini ratouille baked potato, mini vegetable samosa, grilled halloumi and breaded olive skewers, marinaded mozarella balls and mixed olives.

Appetisers Iranian caviar served with traditional accompaniments

Selection of authentic Arabic mezze which includes shanklish and vegetable salad, moutabal, stuffed vine leaf, baba ghannouj, hommous Beyrooti and a chickpea kibbeh, with an assortment of Arabic pickles and garnishes.

Marinaded prawns prawns served with hard boiled quail eggs, fresh green asparagus tips, lemon and a pine seed vinigarette.

Smoked duck breast sliced and served with a tangy mango chutney, toasted chocolate bread, chopped chilli and fresh micro herbs.

Salad collection Choose from our range of options which include a mixed leaf salad with a range of toppings such as crudits, cajun chicken strips, tikka marinaded prawns, crumbled fresh greek feta cheese and kalamata olives or shaved parmesan and foccacia crutons. Drizzle your salad with a choice of Italian olive oil, balsamic and olive oil, classic ceasar dressing or a creamy blue cheese dressing

Soups Spicy pumpkin and carrot soup
Cream of Zucchini parmesan soup

Main Courses Fillet Mignon grilled and topped wthcreamy gorgonzola cheese sauce served with porcini mushroom flavoured gnocchi fresh sauted spinach and asparagus, and assorted seasonal vegetables.

Kadhai Chicken tender pieces of chicken thigh cooked in a very hot pan with mixed peppers, onions and spices with steamed basmati rice and mushrooms cooked with fenugreek leaves

Mixed seafood platter a medley of grilled salmon, poached sea bass and pan fried lobster with a creamy pommery flavoured sauce, braised baby leek, roasted cherry tomato on the vine and sliced new potatoes and fresh dill.

Pasta Bar enjoy a delicious taste of italy with our pasta choices of sun dried tomato ravioli or penne pasta tossed with your choices of fresh sauces, all served with freshly shaved parmesan cheese.

Poached Sea Bass topped with a light tarragon sauce with a chunky sweet potato mash and sauted summer vegetables

As an alternative accompaniment to your main course and additional variety of vegetables is available which includes turned butter carrots, roasted parisienne potatoes, steamed broccoli and steamed basmati rice.

Bread Basket a variety of fresh baked rolls and garlic bread.

International cheese selection

Sweet delights Mini desserts Gourmet selection of fine miniature desserts

Pecan pie served warm with white chocolate sauce fresh peach slices and stracciatella ice cream.

Strawberries and cream

Fresh seasonal fruit

Chocolates to accompany a freshly brewed cup of tea or coffee
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Old Dec 5, 09, 9:06 am
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Ive posted some photo's of the food in the Flyertalk gallery


Last edited by Gatwick Alan; Dec 5, 09 at 9:12 am
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Old Dec 5, 09, 10:16 am
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Arrival into BKK was bang on time and luckily we were only half way down the E pier.
We were given fast track passes, which meant we could use the VIP immigration, where there were no queues whatsoever, the regular immigration looked extremely busy, the luggage was quick and as we walked out the first thing I noticed was my name on a sign board, so we jumped into the chauffer car and headed down to the Royal Orchid Sheraton on the river.

This hotel seems to be unflavoured amongst the starwood properties, it was perfectly acceptable to me, the lounge, and my room had great views down the river.

The food offerings in the lounge 3 times a day were nice and there was a 2 hour happy hour.
I dont spend all day in the hotel so perhaps im not that fussy, so long as the bed is good and the hotel is clean, im reasonably happy.

I did enjoy taking the hotel boat down to the Skytrain station, a nice start to the morning.

Coming up next - the journey home
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Old Dec 6, 09, 1:12 am
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Flight 3 EK375 BKK-DXB

This report will be mercifully brief, I left the menu on the plane, but the food options were similar to the other flights.

Our chauffer was already waiting in the lobby when we checked out and at 6.15 in the morning the drive to the airport was quick.

The check in experience was far from First class, other than the fact we stood on red carpet. There were 2 couples in front of us who took 15 minutes to clear, and it took 5 minutes to process us for no apparent reason.

Good news was we were given fast track passes, which meant the Air crew / vip area which was quick and I even got a smile from the man at passport control.

Took a cautionary trip to Duty free, ensuring our bags were firmly zipped shut and then headed for the joint First/Business lounge, which was adequate but not spectacular.

The plane for this trip was the same as the first one with the paired seats, they actually are not dissimilar to the business class seats on the refitted 777 except they have the minibar divider sticking out in front. Adequate for day flights, but not what you want for overnights.

We arrived at DXB on time, and despite reports Id heard to the contrary, transfer was well signed and pretty much empty and within a few minutes we were in the first class lounge for an hour sojourn before the flight back to Gatwick.

About half hour before the flight was due to depart boarding was called in the lounge to gate 123. That is some walk, all of 15 minutes to the gate.
Gatwick Alan is offline  

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