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BA F LHR-JFK-LHR Trip report with NYC stuff

BA F LHR-JFK-LHR Trip report with NYC stuff

Old Nov 27, 09, 9:15 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Programs: Sir CT-UK - Streaker pour les autres.
Posts: 5,463
BA F LHR-JFK-LHR Trip report with NYC stuff

Mrs CT and I spend 6 days in NYC at the end of October and beginning of November for some R&R and some sightseeing. We purchased to CW tickets LHR-JFK and used miles to upgrade to F both ways. We also used points + cash for an unbelievably cheap deal staying at the Crowne Plaze Time Square which worked out really great value and a cracking location.

I have broken down the TR into 3 areas.

1. The outbound flight
2. The stay in NYC
3. The return flight

*There will be spelling mistakes
**There will be grammatical errors


Outbound flight BA 177 LHR- JFK

• We drove ourselves to the airport and used the valet parking at the end of T5 outside the F checking zone. As normal this was really quick and easy. Only made slightly more complicated by the fact I was dropping of a colleague’s car who was flying in the next morning from AMS. Saved us both a fortune in parking doing this. We arrived at around 9.45

• On approach F check in nice greeting at entrance by a member of BA staff who called over to the check in agent with our flight details . Sh!t check in with a bored guy who held is head in hands and rolled his eyes at us. I had to sell good morning to him twice to get any response. He asked all questions twice, didn’t check Mrs CT’s passport properly so had to go back to passport check after being rejected at security. This was the only member of BA staff the entire trip who let them down and should be frog marched to the door and been given a kick out of it. He was the face of BA that morning and a bad one at that. (If anybody from BA reads this I have his name)

• All the staff in the CCR really nice and helpful as normal, we had a great Polish waiter in the dinning area who couldn’t do enough, was a credit to them even though it was busy. Soft boiled eggs, eggs Benedict and a burger were consumed all of high standard. We tried a cabana for a while but really didn’t see the point in them for a couple unless you wanted to try some shower gymnastics and then retired out on to the terrace for a while. Not a drop of drink was consumed which for me is unusual.





• About 45 minutes out we went across to the B gates and arrived just as boarding was starting so slipped down the fast track lane but we both got pulled aside by the “random” security on the bridge. This was no issue but just meant that we than hade a queue of maybe 30 people to the door. Met at the door and greeted by name and then escorted to our seats 2K and 3K. From the outset the entire female crew were really friendly and professional. The cabin was full but my previous worries of this causing bad service were unfounded.

• Menu not to my taste but what I had was good. Shame about the canapés and missing simple food such as the pasta. The Coq au Vin was very nice, cheese board. Offered 1 chocolate, maybe that is because she looked at my gut and did me a favour. My one and only drink choice of the day was this:



I had a proactive visit from CSD stating that the EC had asked him to check everything is OK with the flight as I had a small complaint on a previous one. This was a very nice touch. Shame my TV only worked for 20 seconds at a time before switching off but as I was only using it for the map not much of a problem. I sent an email off to BA after this and they came back with oh sorry never mind at least I had a DVD player

• Arrival, we landed about 2 minutes behind an Iberia flight so my blood started to boil at the sight of that, luckily we left through door 1 so we were off in minutes and only behind about 50 people. I would say from doors open to taxi about 30 minutes. In the queue for INS I looked behind and could see a snaking line so I partly felt sorry for them then smirked to myself and thought hey at least I am ok. (is that wrong?)

Summary

Overall this was a good flight, very good onboard crew and service. I can’t be any more enthusiastic about it than that really as it just did what it said on the tin and got me from a to b. I no longer fly as much as I used to but still don’t get overly excited by it which is a shame.

Would I have found the SQ, EF, XX suites, mini bars, TV any more exciting? Maybe for the novelty but the SQ service would get on my nerves as I had a couple of bottle of water and that was that as I watched a couple of films
Ground experience 8/10 not bad considering the first interactions with a uniformed BA person was 1/10. I didn’t want bells and whistles just the common courtesy of someone to take their head out of their hands as I walk up. He knew I was coming to him as the greeter called him by name. A simple Hello or good morning was all that was required

In flight 7/10 it was good, not great. Probably more to do with me not being overly enthusiastic about the flight, food or drink than anything else. The crew worked the full cabin very well and are a huge credit to BA.



NYC Stay

• We stayed at the Crowne Plaza Time Square http://www.cpmanhattantimessquare.com/ using PC Cash + points which made this stay incredibly affordable even with having to purchase points I think the room only ended up costing about $82 per night so a bargain for the great location. Others have done reviews on this hotel in more details but for a chain or those who can get it on a budget I can’t recommend it enough.

• Upgraded to a large corner room with lounge access and free internet. The only down side to this was that the room was next to the service elevators so some noise came through the wall. This was annoying during the day but at night not an issue as I wear super duper industrial earplugs as the wife sounds like a wounded buffalo when she is asleep. (god help me is she reads this)







• All the staff in the hotel were fantastic apart from one snotty nosed cow at reception who I had to deal with when my key stopped working, I was about to through my toys out of the pram and tell her to check me out when I realised I would be a DYKWIA and cut my nose of to spite my face. The lounge staff were great and we got our monies worth in free breakfasts alone. We wanted to be on a tight budget this trip so avoided eating out at expensive places and enjoyed some great out and the fact I wasn’t drinking kept the costs right down.

• Sightseeing in NY for us involved a shed load of walking which as you will find out wasn’t the best thing for me. We did however go up to the top of the rock (Rockefeller centre) http://www.topoftherocknyc.com This is well worth the money and I would say better than the empire state as you get to see it. Some sample pictures from that. If you really want to see more then go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/4057565777/









• The time of year made for some nice shots walking around central park also. In hindsight this was a mistake as I felt it the next day. If you have time it is well worth walking around.If you have time spend half a day there or more








• What was cool though was seeing some fire trucks out and about and I am a bit of a kid when it comes to them



A walk in the park........

• Well not excattly a leaisurly walk but a 26.2 mile run/ waddle / shuffle / feel like death NYC Marathon. For those that have met me you will know I am not exactly a racing snake but I signed up for a lottery place while hammered one June night and remembered nothing of it until July when a $180 IMG mass participation sports charge appeared on my Amex statement. My training plan of a new flash pair of trainers, changing from beer to wine as I have never hear of a wine gut and a couple of 4 mile runs in hindsight really wasn’t ideal but hey I got my ... around it and got a finishers medal. I beat a lot of skinny people at the same time. I was bitterly disappointed with my time and on a real low at the end but at least I didn’t come last by a long way and got to see the sights of NY and experience what I must say are the best crowds and well-wishers anybody would ever want to meet. If anybody has ever thought about doing it then I say just sign up and give it a go. http://www.nycmarathon.org/











Return flight BA172 JFK-LHR

• The taxi from the hotel to JFK about 30 minutes so the F check-in was empty apart from one idiot who had an issue as he and his partner were in different cabins and wanted to be seated together. If i was the check in agent I would have offered him a downgrade.

• The lounge was busy closer towards the boarding time but fine, really nothing to get too excited about. I managed to hobble over to the bar and had a G+T to kick start my day as I thought if I reset my clocks to UK time it would be 12:30 so that was acceptable. It took a while to hobble over to the gate due to legs not wanting to work due to cramps and gin. They had just started the boarding for kids and people that needed extra time. They took one look at me and asked if I wanted wheeling down to the gate, I declined even though I thought it would be good idea. Again escorted from the door to our seats by a member of the crew. This time a male dominated crew with a fantastic purser in F who reminded me of Mr Humphries from are you being served. I accepted a glass of fizz before take off, apparently I was the only one drinking so he asked me to help him out and get the bottle down to a reasonable level. 4 Glasses later and we started to roll.

• Canapés were served still ex JFK which was a nice touch. I can’t remember what they were but enjoyed them. Again I can’t remember much about the menu apart from the champagne was some kind of Bolly and I had the cooked breakfast which tasted fantastic.







• The rest of the flight was a bit of a fog, I pretty much drank my way back to LHR and fell asleep for about 1 hour. The arrivals process was fantastic with us arriving around 8pm I think at a B gate. Off at door 1 with CW held back a quick train and in the lift. No queue at immigration and F bags on the belt by the time we arrived. Maybe 20 minutes from wheels down to kerbside where our lift back to the pub was waiting.

Summary


Overall I would say this was an excellent flight. This was probably more down to me being relaxed and wanting to enjoy it. The food was to my taste, the fizz far better than water and yet again a really great crew. To top it off even the arrivals process was spot on. 10/10 for all areas on this.
CT-UK is offline  
Old Nov 27, 09, 10:23 am
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Join Date: Jul 2004
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Well done and Thank You!

Did you have no canapes ex-LHR?
Flyingfox is offline  
Old Nov 27, 09, 6:49 pm
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Join Date: Jun 2007
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Great report. How'd you enjoy all 5 boros?
The_Rockaway_Kid is offline  
Old Nov 27, 09, 7:11 pm
  #4  
CMV
 
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Nice pictures and thanks for the entertaining report.

Had you really not run more than a 4-miler before running the NYC marathon?
CMV is offline  
Old Nov 27, 09, 7:29 pm
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Fantastic report! Thanks

The quality of the pictures is incredible. May I ask what camera you use?

Cheers.
tanzaniancane is offline  
Old Nov 27, 09, 7:37 pm
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Great Trip Report, but remind me not to follow your training plan for a Marathon, well done for getting round though.

Cheers Larry.
larrywilmot747 is offline  
Old Nov 28, 09, 1:30 am
  #7  
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Yep loved the 5 boroughs, really good support in all of them coming back in to Harlem was great but once you see central park you think great then realize how far it is still to go.
Yep my longest training run was 2.7 miles (4KM), I wouldn’t recommend that to anyone. I spend a lot of time in the gym and swimming just forgot about the running part.
All the pictures were taken with a Canon 400D with the bog standard 18-55mm lens that comes with it so nothing special. I think the camera is called the Rebel in the US. I then used Dynamic Photo HDR 4 to process the pictures.
Finally if anyone has a spare moment please take a look at my signature and see my next event for a good charity. I am also selling calendars of the NYC pictures for £6 with £3 going to DREAMFLIGHT
CT-UK is offline  
Old Dec 1, 09, 6:06 pm
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Thanks for the well-written report, and congrats on the marathon!
Buster CT1K is offline  
Old Dec 1, 09, 9:02 pm
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A very nice report. Your NYC pictures were terrific. I also have a Canon EOS SLR but it's an older model. I'd love to take pics like yours.
hoyateach is offline  
Old Dec 2, 09, 6:02 pm
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Great report, thanks. I hope you submitted a complaint to BA regarding the check in staff at the First desk. I've always wondered whether they specifically select staff for these desks or just rotate the standard staff as you do get some worse than expected service sometimes.

Great photos too, were you allowed to take a tripod to the Top of the Rock? I was under the impression that this was forbidden.
matthandy is offline  
Old Dec 3, 09, 3:58 am
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Originally Posted by matthandy View Post
Great photos too, were you allowed to take a tripod to the Top of the Rock? I was under the impression that this was forbidden.
I found out also that you weren't allowed a tripod when a guide came up to be and told me off. He did say I could use a monopod.

I use one of these http://www.bristolcameras.co.uk/p-ma...o-709-digi.htm

After being told off I closed it up and it became a monopod so he was happy. I then opened it up just a little, then some more...
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Old Dec 3, 09, 12:36 pm
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Great report! Wonderful read! Hope to see many more travels from you in the future.
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