Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Community > Trip Reports
Reload this Page >

LHR-DEN on BA in Club (Business)

LHR-DEN on BA in Club (Business)

Old Jan 20, 11, 5:32 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Market Harborough
Programs: BA Blue
Posts: 319
LHR-DEN on BA in Club (Business)

Hello All,

This is my first ever trip report so please be gentle. I was especially impressed at how much time i managed to kill during flights whilst writing it. In fact, i might start writing trip reports for every flight i take purely to pass time and with no intention of posting it anywhere.


BA219 LHR-DEN - 31st Dec 2010 - Club World

Our journey began as many others have. With my sleep being prematurely broken by the piercing screech of my trusty alarm clock. As someone who almost exclusively works late shifts, me and early starts get on like BA and Unite. It didn't help that i'd been suffering from a severe dose of man-flu for the last few days either. Still, i wasn't going to let my crippling illness ruin the start of what should be a great holiday. This will be my first proper Club World trip. By proper i mean that i paid for it at the outset. I did fly CW a few months back after doing the $399 upgrade at the airport and have done Club Europe a few times too.

Having finally managed to get my suitcase closed with the help of some overweight neighbours, we left our quaint little flat in Langley and began the arduous 5 minute walk to the bus stop. I had debated throwing the wife and luggage in the back of my Volvo and driving them to T5 (in my T5) and then dropping the car back and bussing myself back to the airport. It seemed like too much hassle though. There are 3 buses from Langley; 2 to Heathrow Central, 1 to T5. Somehow, Mrs Z convinced me we should just get the first bus that came rather than wait for the T5 bus. This turned out to be a bad call. Lugging 3 heavy bags from the central bus station to the Heathrow Express station and then up to T5 departures was a nightmare. Especially as i was carrying most of the weight, gentleman that i am.

We had checked-in online and so quickly dumped the bags and made our way through to security. Thank god we had fast-track. There must have been at least 3 or 4 extra people in the normal security queue. The check-in agent advised us our flight would be on a bussing gate so the north lounge would be best. I defied her logic and instead headed to the south lounge as i'd heard it was better. This is our first time using the lounges in T5. I've had the pleasure of the BA/CX/AA/EK lounges at T3 so it would be good to see how they stack up against T5. I'm sure we looked like total lounge virgins as we stumbled up the stairs and almost tried to get into the First lounge. First impressions, quite impressed. Much better than BA galleries T3 and even though it was fairly busy, we had no problem finding a few seats by the window to watch departing aircraft from. As an airline employee at LHR for 4 years now, watching aircraft takeoff has somewhat lost the charm it had when i was younger. At this point i decided that i'd switch from Lemsip to Heineken to help dispatch my man-flu. I also grabbed what i suspect would be called a 'fun-size' bacon roll. Why making something smaller is akin to making something fun is beyond me.

2 hours and several Heinekens quickly came and went and we made our way to gate A10 where we were packed into a bus for our trip to the out stand. Suprisingly, we ended up almost at T3. Our plane was on gate 590 which is just over the taxiway from the control tower. We were on the last bus so i expected to walk into a full CW cabin, but was amazed to see our section was completely empty. I'd booked 11A/B in the rear section between the galley and premium economy. By the time everybody had boarded it was clear we had this entire area to ourselves. Result, i thought. I'd been pretty impressed at getting 2 rear-facing middle seats to myself on my last CW flight, so this was amazing. The cabin crew were welcoming and attentive. I've always found BA CC to be excellent even at the back of the bus. The CSD introduced himself and asked about where we were going, etc. I almost wouldn't have minded if i spent 5 hours on the tarmac as we did this time last year when we flew to Denver. No such (bad) luck this time though. A mere 8 minutes behind schedule we were pushed back and on our way to the runway.

After takeoff, drinks were in order. I decided on some Lanson Black Label before i got started on the Heineken again. I knocked it back with flagrant disregard to the driving i'd be doing once we landed in DEN. The CC tried to entice me with a Kir Royale, but i quickly explained that i am but a simple man and as such i tend to drink either beer, white wine or champagne. None of this fancy mixing malarky. Mrs Z is a bit of a lightweight so she stuck to Bucks Fizz or else she'd be swinging from the quintessentially British lampshades they put in CW. It was around about this time that i thought choosing the AB seats was a mistake. It was getting quite warm on this side of the plane and if you dared to open the window blind it was a bit like that movie Sunshine where they had that room on the spaceship that looked directly at the sun. I also noted at this point that the no smoking sign above my seat was not illuminated. Ironically of course, my Marlboro lights were sat on my coffee table at home so i wouldn't be able to do my impression of Jon Voight on BA from Mission Impossible. Luckily, unlike Jon Voight, i had a good choice of AVOD to watch. No tapes that might self-destruct. That said, i am now 3 hours into this 9 hour flight and don't seem to have done anything besides eat and write this trip report. Food is nothing to write home about, even though that seems to be what i'm doing right now. I'm sure the economy class meals aren't far off the quality of CW these days. Fills the hole at least. So, after my lacklustre meal, i decided to try and get some rest. After all, it is New Years Eve and i would love to be able to make it to midnight in Denver and ring in the new year.

I managed to spend the next few hours dozing whilst listening to my iPod. I can never sleep properly on planes, no matter what seat i have. Still, i arose feeling somewhat refreshed and having returned to taking Lemsip after the champagne and beer had the opposite effect on my man-flu, i was feeling a good sight healthier too. The CW seat really is a great seat to relax in. Especially after i requisitioned half the pillows from the rest of our cabin and made my own cosy little armchair. The 2 seats in the middle (E,F) would be perfect for a bit of mischief. I thought having an entire section to ourselves and an often absent crew was a perfect excuse for some fun, however Mrs Z didn't agree so i am yet to join the mile high club. Actually, seeing as Denver is the mile-high city i guess i have but it wasn't nearly as exciting.

After forcing our way off the plane first, we legged it to immigration with the painful memories of previous DEN immigration queues still burned into my retinas. We then needed to stop and rest a little after remembering how thin the air is. As Denver has so little international traffic and due to the unfortunate scheduling of the BA and LH flights coming in at similar times, it can be a nightmare waiting to processed by the relatively small team of suspecting CBP agents. We arrived first and the large gentleman, who had obviously had his personality surgically removed by the DHS, managed to admit me and my Wife in a timely manner and with barely any water-boarding. Thinking we were about to set a new world record from deplaning to driving off in our rental car, we then spent what i'm sure was a solid 20 minutes waiting for our 'priority' (and i use the term incredibly loosely) tagged bags to emerge from the carousel. Eventually, with our bags in tow we made it to the rental car place in good time. I unsuccessfully tried to negotiate a good deal for an even bigger SUV and so, defeated, trudged out to collect our poverty-spec Jeep Grand Cherokee which i came to hate more with every passing day. Anyway, we had arrived. We made it to my family's home in Lakewood in good time after stopping off at the liqour (or is that liqor?) store and testing the payload capacity of aforementioned Jeep, but despite my best efforts i spent the new year asleep, having only managed to last until about 23:15...


BA218 DEN-LHR - 16th Jan 2011 - Club World

As the sun rose on our final day in Colorado, i was fast asleep and would remain so for several hours thereafter. Because of the late afternoon timing of the flight, there really isn't much you can do on your last day. I expressed my disbelief again at how much more stuff we seemed to be taking back than we'd brought in and both me and Mrs Z worked tirelessly to get all our bags under the magic 23kgs.

After dropping our rubbish Jeep back to Dollar and getting away with the massive crack i'd acquired on the windscreen, we made our way to BA check-in. Disappointingly, the CW desk was open but unmanned. As we waited, i noticed something even more alarming on the overhead CW display. 3 bags at 32kgs! Where did 32kgs come from? I'd left 1 suitcase half empty to get the weight down to the 23kgs that the BA website stated i was entitled to, so was not a happy bunny. I could've put another case of weak tasteless beer in there! Oh well, i thought, i'll know for next time. When the CW agent finally returned from the back-office, after doing her nails or whatever, she checked us in quickly and sent us on our way. We made our way to the premium security lane and quickly discovered that at DEN this basically just another regular lane. Security took aaaaages to clear. When we finally made it airside we were subjected to yet another horror - the AA Admirals Club. BA had recently shut down their own DEN lounge and started sharing this dump. Even as a traveller who rarely frequents lounges and business class cabins, i was not impressed. My advice would be to forget the lounge and kill the wait in the Denver Chophouse instead. I'd rather spend extra money and get a good meal and some drinks there. Anyway, i'm turning into a right biatch now. It wasn't that bad i guess, but i don't think i will bother going to the lounge next time.

Onboard was as good as the outbound, perhaps slightly better service. I didn't really manage to get much sleep but was fairly relaxed for most of the journey. Once back at LHR we breezed through the welcomingly but slightly worringly (you can add -ly to almost anything you know) lax immigration and were amazed to see all 6 of our checked bags emerge within minutes of the belt starting up. Surely there must've been some mistake? I considered letting a BA rep know that the normal BA procedure for unloading bags mustn't have been followed, but Mrs Z was whining about going to the arrivals lounge. After doing our best not to look suspicious (and in the process managing to look totally suspicious) as we passed through the 'nothing to declare' customs channel, we located the BA T5 arrivals lounge. It was small but uncrowded and we found a couple of nice seats in front of the TV's showing the endlessly repetitive Sky News. Despite looking forward to the breakfast, i found myself feeling full when i got there. It must be Mrs Z's new diet where she simply gives me all her food, including the lovely bacon roll from the flight on this occasion. Anyway, i left my Wife......in the lounge and went to get the car so we didn't have to unneccessarily burn calories lugging 6 suitcases onto buses. Thus ends our trip and this report on it. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as i'd like to think i enjoyed writing it.

Last edited by Dave Z; Jan 21, 11 at 7:23 am
Dave Z is offline  
Old Jan 20, 11, 8:55 pm
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Denver, CO
Programs: Bonvoy Platinum
Posts: 17,441
Originally Posted by Dave Z View Post
BA218 DEN-LHR - 16th Jan 2011 - Club World

As the sun rose on our final day in Colorado, i was fast asleep and would remain so for several hours thereafter. Because of the late afternoon timing of the flight, there really isn't much you can do on your last day.
With a 17:40 departure time, you could've easily squeezed in 3-4 hours of skiing up in the mountains.
pseudoswede is offline  
Old Jan 21, 11, 1:39 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: SIN
Posts: 532
Originally Posted by Dave Z View Post
Hello All,

BA219 LHR-DEN - 31st Dec 2010 - Club World

We had checked-in online and so quickly dumped the bags and made our way through to security. Thank god we had fast-track. There must have been at least 3 or 4 extra people in the normal security queue. The check-in agent advised us our flight would be on a bussing gate so the north lounge would be best. I defied her logic and instead headed to the south lounge as i'd heard it was better.
Have you visited the north lounge? I personally preferred North lounge where everything including the shower are located on the same floor and you get a nice view of the runway
luv_flying is offline  
Old Jan 21, 11, 2:21 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: BRS
Posts: 336
I enjoyed your writing style, although there may have been a little too much information re: your holiday activities.

Oh, and it's liquor.
Weean is offline  
Old Jan 21, 11, 2:55 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: TSV, Australia
Posts: 2,373
Nice report. Thanks for posting.
camsean is offline  
Old Jan 21, 11, 10:23 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: UK
Programs: Virgin Flying Club Red, Emirates Skywards Blue, BA Executive Club Blue, Amex BA
Posts: 1,925
Thanks for your trip report. Wow you are definitely brave taking a bus with all your luggage!
GodAtum is offline  
Old Jan 21, 11, 4:59 pm
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Market Harborough
Programs: BA Blue
Posts: 319
Originally Posted by pseudoswede View Post
With a 17:40 departure time, you could've easily squeezed in 3-4 hours of skiing up in the mountains.
Well, what with my love of lie-ins and previously high expectations of getting drunk for free in the lounge (therefore arriving at the airport in ample time) i pretty much only had time to finish packing and grab a quick coffee at Starbucks with my parents. I was skiied out anyway

Originally Posted by luv_flying View Post
Have you visited the north lounge? I personally preferred North lounge where everything including the shower are located on the same floor and you get a nice view of the runway
Unfortunately not. This was my first J flight out of T5. I like to find a lounge and stick with it until i go to the gate. I have a Y flight from T5 to JFK next week though and i just got my Silver status, so i shall be sure to head there this time, especially if the check-in agent advises me to use the south lounge. Fight the machine and all that.

Originally Posted by Weean View Post
I enjoyed your writing style, although there may have been a little too much information re: your holiday activities.

Oh, and it's liquor.
Hmmm, it could've been liquor that caused me to write that. Still, though i might be married i am only 27 (just) so things haven't dried up in that department, yet! Was that too much information as well? Probably. And this time i can't even blame it on the beers. Oh well...

Originally Posted by GodAtum View Post
Thanks for your trip report. Wow you are definitely brave taking a bus with all your luggage!
Thank you very much. People often tell me how brave i am. I used to live in 'da hood' of west London you know! We only took the bus to the airport though, at which stage we only had 3 bags. Luckily, i decided to utilise the vast-ish space in the back of my V50 to bring the now 6 bags home. We used the old trick of putting our stuff in 3 smaller bags and putting them inside 3 bigger bags on the outbound leg. I still have no idea where all the stuff that filled the extra 3 bags came from though. I'm sure the only things i bought were a t-shirt from American Eagle and a bottle of diet Pepsi.

Last edited by Dave Z; Jan 21, 11 at 8:19 pm
Dave Z is offline  
Old Jan 21, 11, 8:30 pm
  #8  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Argentina
Programs: BAEC/IB
Posts: 38,285
Nice report. ^

The 32kg limit is a well known benefit for CW although wasn't really well advertised until now. I would tend to keep that news to myself rather than tell the wife though.
HIDDY is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: