Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

July 2005 : Flight Log : BA87

London Heathrow (LHR) - Vancouver (YVR)

Following a brief visit to the F Lounge in Terminal 4 - an unexpected bonus given the tight connection - we made our way to Gate 7 and, thanks to the Fast Track, were soon aboard. We climbed the stairs and soon located our seats. I had OLCIed myself into 63K and my friend into 63J. The first thing I noticed was that the cabin had the newly-modernised Club World look, with the dark blue softer seating and matching dark blue divider fans. I had an orange juice as the other passengers arrived. The cabin was not to be full and I was especially pleased that 64J was empty, which meant that I was able to leave my seat without having to step over anyone's legs.

The captain announced a short delay caused by a faulty seat back in the Y cabin, which had implications for the easy movement of people in the event of an emergency arising. An engineer came aboard to sort it out. It didn't take too long and by 1409 we were pushing back. As the departure runway was 27L, it was a relatively short taxi, but each movement forwards was followed by a lengthy wait while several aircraft from the main part of the airport took off. Soon enough, the characteristic 747-400 chimes announced our turn and we made our take-off run, lifting into the cloudy West London skies at 1429, giving me an excellent view of the current state of progress on Terminal 5.

There was no hot towels service, the cabin crew launching directly into the first round of drinks as soon as they were released from their seats. I had a glass of the champagne accompanied by a mixed nut selection. Orders for lunch had been taken on the ground, the menu being as follows :-



Appetisers   Champagne Cocktails
Ballotine of salmon with herb crème fraiche   Kir Royale
or   Buck's Fizz
Artichoke and roast vegetable salad with tomato and basil dressing    
Fresh seasonal salad served with vinaigrette   Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve
Main Courses   White Wines
Pan seared fillet of beef with cracked black pepper sauce and potatoes dauphinoise   Raymond Reserve Chardonnay 2002, Napa Valley
    Pouilly-Fumé 2003, Pascal Jolivet
King prawn masala    
    Red Wines
Three cheese tortellini with wild mushrooms and creamy pesto sauce   Chateau Ste Michelle Syrah 2001, Columbia Valley
Marinated corn-fed chicken and roast Mediterranean vegetable salad with lemon tarragon dressing   Chateau Verdignan 1999, Cru Bourgeois
Dessert   Rioja Urbina Reserva Especial 1996
Keen's Cheddar and Stilton Cheese    
Chocolate / Fresh Fruit    
Coffee, decaffeinated coffee, tea or selection of herbal teas    

I had the salmon starter, which was thoroughly familiar : I'd had it in First on my LHR - LAX flight in March. The beef main course was truly excellent - probably the best main course I'd eaten in Club World. On previous flights I had felt that the main course was the least praiseworthy part of the meal, but not this time   I stuck with champagne to accompany my starter but switched to the highly popular Rioja for the main course. I finished with the cheese option and a cup of coffee, the latter being delayed just a little due to passing through an area of turbulence.

Suitably fed and watered, I settled back and watched I Robot on my laptop, then managed to write the better part of this log entry. Most other passengers were taking the opportunity to catch up on some sleep, but for some reason I felt disinclined to join them. At least, that is, to begin with. I eventually gave in to the inevitable and snoozed lightly for anything up to an hour.

With only 1.5 hours to go, the cabin crew began serving afternoon tea. There was a choice of sandwiches : either kippered salmon with horseradish crème fraiche and egg mayonnaise with cress or grilled Mediterranean vegetables with cream cheese and gammon ham with tomato. I had the former combination, together with a delicious portion of ginger cake. The menu also showed that a savoury Danish pastry should have been served, but for some reason, it never made an appearance. In fairness, I'm not sure I would have been ready for it anyway. I washed down the food with two cups of my well-liked blackcurrant herbal tea. The light meal was followed by a hot towels service.

With tea out of the way, we were very quickly heading across the mountains and the coastal strip. I had a good view of YVR as we passed by before making a U-turn to approach from the right direction. With the very smoothest of smooth landings, we touched down on Canadian soil at 1505 in the afternoon. Unfortunately, however, the expected ahead-of-schedule arrival wasn't to be. With airport capacity restricted due to expansion works, we were forced to wait for a gate to be vacated, so that it was 1519 before the journey finally came to an end.

Another highly enjoyable Club World experience   I just hope we get those new softer seats / beds again for the journey back home!

Date: Sat 02 Jul 2005
Aircraft : B747-400
Scheduled dep : 1350
Actual departure : 1409
Scheduled arrival : 1515
Actual arrival : 1519
Cabin : Club World (Business Class)
Seat : 63K

Flight History 2005