Across the Globe in 5 Continents Again

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Kiwi Flyer

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LHR T1 first class lounge menu

BREAKFAST

Selection of plain or fruit yoghurt

Selection of cereals

Bakery

Hot toast

Selection of pastries

Grilled bacon baguette

Sauteed mushroom and tomato baguette

Accompaniments

Orange marmalade, honey and preserves


REST OF THE DAY

Fresh soup of the day served with a variety of Continental breads

Selection of freshly prepared sandwiches

Selection of two freshly prepared seasonal salads

Selection of two freshly prepared pasta dishes

Fresh vegetable crudites accompanied by a selection of dips

Cheese and fruit

Selection of seasonal fruit

Fresh fruit salad

Selection of cheese with biscuits, celery and grapes


AFTERNOON TEA

Your choice from a range of tea sandwiches and traditional English cakes served with a pot of freshly brewed tea


The offerings don't compare at all with LH's FRA first class terminal menu.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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London Heathrow to Barcelona (LHR-BCN) Business Class on BA 767

After 2 1/2 days of flying my first RTW stop over is nearly there, and not coincidentally ;) just in time for Boo Doo Three. We get a distant gate so leave the lounge early. Boarding is already underway by the time I arrive. It looks like the flight will be full.

The breakfast meal on offer is unappetising - the hot bit is overcooked greasy gunk, the rolls are plain and the fruit are overripe. The bad weather affecting UK means a bumpy flight but I manage to avoid spilling fruit juice, water and coffee over myself or the passenger next to me.

Just across the aisle is Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear (and some newspaper columns) infamy. He is travelling with a young beautiful woman but spends the entire flight dozing, or rather pretending to.

The airbridge connects to the second door and the FAs are not blocking economy and so it takes a long time to deplane from the bulkhead row. There is a huge queue at immigration with several flights from UK arriving in this part of the terminal, and only 1 immigration officer on duty.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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5,546
Summary days 1-7

  • map
  • 37,166 flown miles
  • 12 flights
  • 4 a/c types
    • 747-400
    • 767-300
    • 777-200
    • 767-200
  • 3 airlines
    • SQ
    • QF
    • BA
  • 8 countries
    • New Zealand
    • Singapore
    • Japan
    • Australia
    • United Kingdom
    • United Arab Emirates
    • Oman
    • Spain
  • 8 airports (number of transfers)
    • 3 SIN
    • 2 AKL, LHR, AUH
    • 1 NRT, SYD, MCT, BCN
 

Kiwi Flyer

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Barcelona

I arrive in good time for the 40 minutes past the hour bus to Sitges, having read Willy Pete's advice on the train service. However by 5 to the hour it still had not arrived so I decided to take the known slow train over faster bus with unknown departure time. I ran across the bridge to the station and waited nervously in the ticket line as the seconds ticked down to the hour. Hopped on board literally as the doors closed (had to put my arm in to stop them shutting). As described by Willy Pete it did take an hour to get to Sitges with a lot of time spent at El Prat Llobregat station. Fare was 2.40 euros

The train ride from there was pleasant - passing towns and along the narrow coastal strip with views over the Mediterranean Sea in between the short tunnels. From the station it is a short walk down a gentle slope to Hotel Calipolis on the waterfront (or rather across the road and promenade).

I won't go into Boo Doo stuff. The weather was pleasantly warm and hazy without being too hot.

Sitges is a very pleasant seaside town - easily walkable, some nice beaches. Some interesting architecture and history in the old town.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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Barcelona to London Heathrow (BCN-LHR) Business Class on BA A319

With an early flight and getting back to my room rather late I decide not to try to sleep the short interval before leaving for the airport. The taxi ride is quick with very little traffic - we pull up at the terminal in 20 minutes.

I have a wait at the club check in line thanks to 2 stereotypical americans (yes I know I am making an assumption but they look and sounded american and were flying to Miami so I think a reasonable assumption). Anyway they each have 3 huge suitcases (well over the 32kg piece limit) which they have to repack, and have several large carry-on items. The check in agent is extremely patient with them and generously allows the excess baggage gratis.

Eventually they get sorted out. My check in is quickly done, and I am pleased to get 4 boarding passes saving me the bother of getting them in transit. The agent is even apologetic that she couldn't get more for me.

By now flysurfer has completed his check in with LH and so we head to the so-so lounge of Spanair (but better than Iberia which BA uses and also much closer to my gate). I have just long enough to grab a coffee before heading to the gate.

I've again gotten bulkhead seat (on the AC side of course for the wider seat thanks to reading up on FT). The flight is fairly full despite the early hour. As we board a light rain begins to fall - the first I've experienced all trip so far.

We have a small delay pushing back due to ATC delays. Take off is over the Mediterranean Sea, banking with views over Barcelona and into and through the shallow cloud layer. We get good views of the mountains above the clouds, shining in the early morning light.

Breakfast is much more pleasant this way and the crew are especially bubbly.

Coming over the English Channel we encounter some isolated thunderstorms and are put in a hold pattern south of London for an hour - almost as long as the rest of the flight! Fortunately my transit is long enough, and within the same terminal that the late arrival doesn't matter.

This time we get a gate close to the flight connection centre, which once again has huge queues down the corridor just to get to the queue for security. Fast track has 2 lanes open this time and they are not doing pat downs of everyone so get through rather quickly, and again head to the first lounge and a shower. The lounge bouncer directed me to the business (terraces) side, not reading the bit on my boarding pass that says Emerald. She takes my correction good naturedly.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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London Heathrow to Los Angeles (LHR-LAX) Business Class on BA 747

For my trans-atlantic flight I naturally chose one of the longer ones to maximise mileage and status earning. While I don't like LAX, I ended up choosing this route to make the next legs work out well.

I was looking forward to this flight with the unexpected bonus of being the first day of new service changes to Club World. After checking emails and FT, and copious coffee so as to not fall asleep through boarding call (thanks also to chrissxb for help in staying awake), boarding is called and I sleepily head for the gate.

At the gate desk I see a huge stack of new boarding passes - looks like a lot of op-ups (maybe 20 or more!). The person in front of me in the elite queue gets an op-up to first (with a discreet "I think you'll enjoy this seat more sir" from the agent). Alas no op-up for me but I can't complain.

As soon as I enter the aircraft and climb the stairs to upper deck I am hit with the heat inside - it seems yet another aircraft with non-functioning APU :td: Boarding completes on time but shortly after the lights go out. Huh? Then pilot rushes downstairs to talk to someone and back up a couple of minutes later. Soon the captain comes on the PA and explains the terminal power connection with the aircraft has gone down. The lights and power come back on (still no aircon so getting very hot by now). Then a few minutes later they go off again. This repeats a few times and it takes more than 30 minutes to get the first engine started.

Then the pilot comes on the PA again to announce we've lost our slot and expected push back is not for at least another 30 minutes. There are loud groans from everyone at this unwelcome news. The crew take the initiative to hand out ice cold towels and water while we wait ^^^ 30 minutes comes and goes and eventually we push back 75 minutes late with a further wait at a holding pen near the runway for 15 minutes.

As we take off I feel the welcome relief of the aircon starting to kick in - we'd spent 2 hours in the sweltering aircraft up to this point.

The first 20 minutes or so are very bumpy as we climb through storm clouds. Once it settles the drinks service begins followed quickly by lunch. Then I gratefully fall into a good sleep, only walking up a couple of hours out from LAX just in time for the snack.

Not that I'm that familiar with the previous Club World soft product, my observation of the changes are.
  • The blanket is replaced by a much better duvet.
  • Amenity kit has changed, but not the contents IIRC.
  • Menu is now blue and smaller size. Wine list is separate page (ie not stapled in).
  • Different covering on pillows, matches the new napkins. The napkin ring will not serve as a bracelet unless you are an elf or kate moss.
  • Bathroom still has paper towels :td: and sandpaper-like one-ply TP :td:
  • The champagne changed to Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve.
  • I didn't get to try the Raid the Larder replacement "Club Kitchen" so can't comment on that.

We'd made good time en route and so landed in LAX only just over an hour late. Immigration was fairly quick compared to my usual experience at T2 - landside in 10 minutes. I then went to dinner and a walk around Universal City with flysurfer, having plenty of time before my next flight.

Edited to add - I forgot I overheard passenger asking about paid onboard upgrades. He was quoted 750 pounds for D->F one-way. Ouch.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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LHR-LAX Business Menu

LUNCH

Starters

Mark Edwards' Asian crab salad
or
Mixed Mediterranean meze plate

Fresh seasonal salad served with vinaigrette

Main

Vineet Bhatia's prwan bhuna masala with coconut and curry leaf rice
Prawn in Indian spices with coconut and curry leaf rice

Shaun Hill's lamb hotpot

Chicken, leek and mushroom casserole

Main course Greek salad with oregano dressing

Dessert

Banana and chocolate delice with creme anglaise

Coastal Cheddar and Bleu d'Auvergne cheese with garnishes

A selection of fruit

Chocolates

Club Kitchen

As an enhancement to our Club World dining experience, we are pleased to introduce the Club Kitchen, which features a wide range of enticing snacks and drinks.

Snack salads, sandwiches, filled rolls and wraps

Fresh fruit salads and fruit smoothies or juice

Choice of luxury cakes

Crisps and chocolate (including organic chocolate)

Please ask the crew for chilled items not on display

Drinks

Complimentary bar serving alcoholic beverages and soft drinks is available throughout the flight. See inserted wine list for today's selection.

Ground coffee, decaffeinated coffee or tea

Selection of herbal teas - peppermint, blackcurrant, apple or camomile and honey

If seated in the upper deck, you can visit the Club Kitchen downstairs or you can ask the crew to bring something to your seat.


LIGHT MEAL

Snacks

Sandwiches of chunky egg with baby spinach and peppered smoked salmon
or
Roast Mediterranean vegetable salad with Buffalo Mozzarella cheese

Cornish pastry

Sweets

Lemon meringue tart

Drinks

Ground coffee, decaffeinated coffee or tea

Selection of herbal teas - peppermint, blackcurrant, apple or camomile and honey


WINES

Champagne coughtails

Kir Royale
Buck's Fizz

Champagne

Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve

White

Hahn Estates Monterey Chardonnay 2004

Chablis 1er Cru Rive Droite 2004, Lamblin et Fils

Red

Raymond Estates California Cabernet Sauvignon 2001

Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2004, Domaine du Pere Pape


VISIT THE CLUB KITCHEN AND HELP YOURSELF

Welcome to a new concept in Club World, which complements our existing meal services by allowing you more flexibility and choice for your dining needs.

A new Club Kitchen facility is being progressively fitted to our aircraft (excluding Boeing 767 aircraft) in the Club World galley area. If the aircraft operating your flight today is not fitted with this facility, please ask the crew for chilled options, such as a refreshing fruit salad.

Why not take an opportunity to stretch your legs and help yourself to "home comforts", interesting snacks and tempting treats after the first meal service.

Welcome to a new Club World experience.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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Los Angeles to Chicago O'Hare (LAX-ORD) First Class on AA MD80

Back at the airport and through security to the lounge. The lounge bouncer directed me to the Admirals Club side and gave me drink chits until I pointed out I was Emerald and thus able to use the Flagship Lounge. Why is it that bouncers increasingly seem to not read the boarding pass properly? Drink chits were hastily withdrawn and substituted by the access card. I had a drink before heading across to the Admirals Club side to use the computer terminals to catch up on emails and FT of course.

I notice the time and head down to the gate. Boarding is delayed while cleaning is finished, but not so much that it is worthwhile going back to the lounge.

Mindful that US-based airlines allow much more carry-ons (and observing the gate lounge that situation seems to be almost back to normal in contrast to my previous US trip in August when far less carry-ons were being used), I made sure to board with the first group to claim my overhead bin space. Just as well too as the bins filled up and some unhappy passengers had to stow bags many rows behind their seat. This red-eye flight is totally full.

We push back 30 minutes late but expect to make up time in flight (which we do). There was no pre-departure drinks but I get some water and nuts shortly after take off. FEBO is being used (served in order from Front on Even numbered flight, would be Back on Odd numbered flight). That is the extent of the meal.

The seat is not particularly comfortable. Much wider and softer than economy/coach, but the headrest is too low, there is a part of seatback digging in to my lower back making reclining uncomfortable, the legroom is too short to stretch out. Together with the light and noise from FAs (especially when they move a cart in and out of position to block off toilet while they are chatting with each other and with pilots), it makes sleep difficult despite my tiredness from sleep shortage the last several days.

As we approach Chicago we get a lightning display out the windows, sufficiently far away to not be obscured through rain or cloud, and thus also no turbulence. We land in the 5am darkness and in moments I am through to the lounge and freshening up with a shower and coffee.

I am not looking forward to the further red-eyes I have to come.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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Posts
5,546
Summary days 1-10

  • map
  • 45,079 flown miles
  • 15 flights
  • 6 a/c types
    • 747-400
    • 767-300
    • 777-200
    • 767-200
    • A319
    • MD-80
  • 4 airlines
    • SQ
    • QF
    • BA
    • AA
  • 9 countries
    • New Zealand
    • Singapore
    • Japan
    • Australia
    • United Kingdom
    • United Arab Emirates
    • Oman
    • Spain
    • United States of America
  • 10 airports (number of transfers)
    • 3 SIN, LHR
    • 2 AKL, AUH
    • 1 NRT, SYD, MCT, BCN, LAX, ORD
 
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Kiwi Flyer

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Chicago O'Hare to El Paso (ORD-ELP) First Class on AA MD80

I spent some time catching up on messages and FT, posting some more of this report. I headed to the gate 30 minutes prior to departure and find boarding is already up to group 6! Fortunately F isn't too full and there is still overhead bin space for me.

We pushback on time before joining a queue of over 30 aircraft waiting to take off. As we head southwest I see a few scattered thunderstorms. Meal is a choice of pizza or chicken and pasta, with a side salad. Unusually for airline meals the salad is simple with lettuce, tomato and cucumber. No rocket!

The flight is smooth and I sleep much of the way, waking up 30 minutes out from El Paso. We fly past White Sands and have a straight in approach. Within 5 minutes of landing I am checked in at the Hilton, just a short walk in the desert heat across the carpark from the terminal (not quite all under cover but mostly). The first room they give me hasn't been serviced so I get another room.

I finally get to meet jfe and see his mansion from afar at sunset (I think he was being kind enough to allow it to fit in one picture ;) ) before eating ribs over the New Mexico state line.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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El Paso to Chicago O'Hare (ELP-ORD) First Class on AA MD80

It felt good to be getting to sleep in a real bed before midnight for the first time in ages. Unfortunately that feeling was shattered with my wake up call in time for the early flight out.

There was a short wait at F check in so one of the quick-check agents called me over. He made a show of being careful with the coupons to attach to the 3 boarding passes. When I got the BP & ID check before security I realised he wasn't careful at all - with multiple coupons attached to more than 1 boarding pass. Security check was quick and so I headed to the gate to get the coupons sorted out and the ones for future flights restapled back into my ticket.

Boarding started 30 minutes prior to departure. With another light load it completed quickly but we didn't push back early.

Breakfast was a choice of pancakes or omelette, plus warm bagel or biscuit. The FA later came around offering seconds.

The soft early morning light cast wonderful shadows on the hills and gullies of the first part of the flight. Around the time the patchwork began I fell asleep however, briefly interrupted every 20 minutes or so by comments from the pilot - along the lines of "we're just passing Kansas City, with the Kansas River closest to us and behind is the Missouri".

Prior to landing we did a loop over Chicago, out as far as the Lake before heading back to O'Hare. Since I had plenty of time until my next flight I head across to the other pier to the flagship lounge.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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Sep 24, 2004
Posts
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Summary days 1-11

  • map
  • 47,552 flown miles
  • 17 flights
  • 6 a/c types
    • 747-400
    • 767-300
    • 777-200
    • 767-200
    • A319
    • MD-80
  • 4 airlines
    • SQ
    • QF
    • BA
    • AA
  • 9 countries
    • New Zealand
    • Singapore
    • Japan
    • Australia
    • United Kingdom
    • United Arab Emirates
    • Oman
    • Spain
    • United States of America
  • 11 airports (number of transfers)
    • 3 SIN, LHR
    • 2 AKL, AUH, ORD
    • 1 NRT, SYD, MCT, BCN, LAX, ELP
 

NM

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So did you visit the ORD Flagship Lounge? Given that you arrived from LAX on a red-eye, and departed to El Paso on a lunchtime flight (Pizza), you would have had time to visit the FL at the end of the K concourse.
 

serfty

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NM said:
So did you visit the ORD Flagship Lounge? Given that you arrived from LAX on a red-eye, and departed to El Paso on a lunchtime flight (Pizza), you would have had time to visit the FL at the end of the K concourse.
I guess he did:
Kiwi Flyer said:
... Prior to landing we did a loop over Chicago, out as far as the Lake before heading back to O'Hare. Since I had plenty of time until my next flight I head across to the other pier to the flagship lounge.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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Yup visited and I now prefer ORD flagship lounge to the LAX one.

I also visited the ORD admirals club (by way of comparison) and also found it better than the LAX AC.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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NM said:
Ahh, I missed that bit while ploughing throug the saga :p .

Great effort, by the way Kiwi Flyer.

Thanks for the encouragement. Lots more to come - I'm only now nearing half way!
 

Kiwi Flyer

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Chicago O'Hare to Los Angeles (ORD-LAX) First Class on AA 757

I like the AA ORD lounges better than the LAX ones and was so ensconced in what I was doing that I suddenly realised boarding had already begun at the gate at the end of the other pier. So I quickly packed up, thanked the staff and ran down the length of the pier, across and up the other one for the gate. There was some confusion - the monitors said gate H15 while the lounge staff had scrawled gate H12, and the monitors said a flight to Indianapolis (IND) was leaving from gate H12 at the same time as my flight. Gate monitors at both H12 and H15 were out of order and both in process of boarding. I tried gate H15 to find it was H12. So I head to the other gate to join the queue and grab my seat.

It seems I wasn't the only person confused since the FA kept saying over the PA - "This aircraft is going to Los Angeles. If your destination is not Los Angeles please leave the aircraft now."

It is a full flight and I am lucky to get overhead bin space near my seat.

This is my first time on AA's 757. I had read comments on the American/AA forum where popular opinion seems to be first on the 757 is worse than on the MD80. Admittedly based on only one flight I disagree. I was more easily able to stretch out (although pitch is not great compared with true first, more like shorthaul business on NZ A320). The seat seemed to be wider. The centre arm rest is of decent size - plenty big enough for a glass of wine, a glass of water and a book (plus my seat mate's things). There is some IFE - 10 channels of audio plus a mainscreen movie.

Food was the same as the previous day - choice of chicken and pasta or pizza. No pre-departure drink this time though. Perhaps the larger cabin meant the FA's felt they didn't have enough time to do this?

I also managed some sleep (yes again!) so no scenery reports. (Apparently it was fairly cloudy over the interesting bits anyway.)
 

NM

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Kiwi Flyer said:
Yup visited and I now prefer ORD flagship lounge to the LAX one.

I also visited the ORD admirals club (by way of comparison) and also found it better than the LAX AC.
I agree. The ORD FL is very nice. Its always been quiet when I have been there, and a good selection of sandwiches and cheeses, along with nice champagne and other beverage selections. And the staff have always been very chatty and pleasant.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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Altair said:
Thanks Kiwi Flyer, please keep these trip reports coming in. I thought I had read all your trip reports, until I saw the links.
Oh could you review what you ate on the trip and the quality as well, the only mention was the poor salad.
It seems that NZ and SQ (of course) are better than BA and QF or is it your *A preference coming out?

Food review so far.

AKL-SIN SQ

Excellent as usual. I had tuna salad with no dressing, curry chicken, satay, salad no dressing, hapuku, fruit.

SIN-NRT SQ

I had book the cook - nasi biryani. It was excellent.

NRT-SIN SQ

Very good - top restaurant quality (other than service issues like not being offered sake). I had satay, hana goyomi.

SIN-AKL SQ

Good. I had salad no dressing, book the cook yam duck, fruit and for breakfast book the cook nasi biryani.

AKL-SYD QF

Terrible. I asked for the omelette but gave it away after 1 bite. Likewise for the fruit.

SYD-SIN QF

Okay but not the standard I was expecting. I had salad, kingfish, fruit. I note that QF only has one meal on this flight, while SQ on the slightly longer flight from AKL has 2 meals plus mid-flight snack.

SIN-LHR BA

Good. I had fresh salad, risotto, cheese & port. The port wasn't up to scratch.

LHR-AUH BA

Good. I had salmon starter, cod main and souffle desert.

AUH-MCT BA

No meal.

MCT-AUH BA

No meal.

AUH-LHR BA

Mixed. Skipped supper, but had breakfast. The smoothie and coffee were good. Fruit also good. Omelette merely okay.

LHR-BCN BA

Terrible - inedible.

BCN-LHR BA

Okay.

LHR-LAX BA

Very good. I had crab salad, chicken and fruit for the first meal. Sandwiches and tart for the second. I didn't try out the new Club Kitchen mid-flight option.

LAX-ORD AA

No meal.

ORD-ELP AA

Okay. I had chicken and salad, skipped the mixed nuts and biscuits (both heated).

ELP-ORD AA

Same as above.

ORD-LAX AA

Same as above.
 
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