Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

This is: Round The World 2004

Flight Log 21 : BA2154

Bridgetown, Barbados (BGI) - London Gatwick (LGW)

Due to the horrendous chaos at the airport, the captain had no choice but to delay departure. As he explained, it wasn't just that there were missing passengers - the baggage reconciliation had also shown that we had bags on board that shouldn't have been. As I settled into 2K, a little hot and bothered from the non-air conditioned chaos of the airport, one of the cabin crew approached and asked how I was. I said basically OK, except for the worst airport experience ever. She assured me that all the passengers were saying exactly the same and suggested that what I really needed was a nice cool glass of champagne. I deferred completely to her good judgement and professional experience in these matters

Considering the extent of the problems in the airport, I was surprised that we managed to push back at 1715 - I had thought things were destined to get far worse adrift than that. Our 777 taxied out to the runway to begin its takeoff run and by 1727, Speedbird 2154 was airborne and ready to strike out across the ocean, bound for home.

The cabin crew had taken the post-takeoff drinks orders on the ground, so these were promptly served, with canapés, once airborne. CSD Simon introduced himself personally in a most friendly and welcoming manner and again commiserated on the BGI airport experience. The dinner menu was as follows :- 

Starters Champagne
King prawns with mango salsa Perrier Jouet Belle Epoque Brut 1996
Char-grilled asparagus spears on tomato and Feta cheese salad  
Roast garlic and tomato soup White Wines
Fresh salad leave with our choice of balsamic olive oil, Caesar dressing or extra virgin olive oil Chablis Grand Cru Bougros 2001, Jean-Marc Brocard
  Nobilo Icon Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002
Main Cono Sur Reserve Chardonnay 2001
Braised lamb shank with natural jus, fresh vegetables and roast potatoes  
Breast of chicken filled with garlic and herb cream cheese, served on rösti potatoes with carrots and asparagus Red Wines
Penne pasta with zou choice of pomodoro or wild mushroom sauce topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese Chateau Cantenac-Brown 1995, Grand Cru Classé, Margaux
Blackened tuna on a Mediterranean salad Piedra Feliz Pinot Noir 2002, Valle de Casablanca
  Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon 1999, Apalta Vineyard
Bacon roll served with tomato ketchup Dessert Wines
Grilled fillet steak withred onion marmalade in a French baguette De Bortoli Noble One Semillon 1996
Roast garlic and tomato soup with a side salad Warre's 1986 Reserve Tawny Port
A seection of cheese and fruit  
Dessert and cheese  
Chocolate cheesecake with raspberry coulis  
Vanilla panna cotta  
A selection of classic cheeses  
A basket of fresh fruit  
Espresso, cappuccino, coffee, decaffeinated coffee, tea or herbal tea  

I had the tomato soup (absolutely delicious), the salad with Caesar dressing (OK but nothing special), the chicken breast (chicken and vegetables delicious, not sure about the rösti) and a cup of blackcurrant tea.

As soon as I had finished eating, I changed into my sleeper suit and got settled down for what was left of the night. And therein lay the difficulty ... although it was now 0100 UK time and only four hours of potential sleeping time were available, it was only 2000 Barbados time and I did not feel even slightly tired. I was very comfortable lying on my flat bed, having remembered to spread my blanket as an extra seat covering, with the duvet on top and a comfortable pillow under my head ... but I didn't sleep at all. When I yawned for the first time, it was already past 0300 UK time, i.e. over half the sleeping time gone. I finally gave up at 0445, when I was about to be awakened anyway.

The breakfast menu was as follows :-

Chilled fruit juice
An energising fruit smoothie
A selection of fruit, plain yoghurt and cereals
Fresh seasonal fruit plate
A wide selection of breakfast pastries and rolls
Scrambled eggs, grilled bacon, pork sausages, sautéed mushrooms, grilled tomato and hash-brown potatoes

I had a bowl of Fruit & Fibre, a banana-based smoothie and the cooked breakfast, which I was barely ready for but took anyway   Very soon thereafter, the cabin was being prepared for arrival. We touched down on Gatwick's sole runway in an easterly direction at 0610 and were on-stand by 0615.

Another good experience of BA First. The cabin layout in the 777 had been better than I expected, although the 747-400 will always be my favourite. Just a shame I wasn't ready to sleep.

Date: Thu 08 Apr 2004
Aircraft : Boeing 777-200
Scheduled dep : 1640
Actual departure : 1715
Scheduled arrival : 0550+1
Actual arrival : 0615+1
Cabin : First
Seat : 2K

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