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US/BA from Richmond to Barcelona...part uno

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  • US/BA from Richmond to Barcelona...part uno

    It was a rainy, wet Saturday morning when I began packing for my 3:10pm flight out of Richmond. My mom and I were on our way to a Mediterranean cruise which left from Barcelona. We were going to fly RIC-PHL-LHR-BCN on US and BA. I had been looking forward to this for a looong time and finally it was time to leave. One of my moms good friends came over around 11:45am because she was going to drive our car back after we left so we didn't have to pay for parking. We were on our way at 12. We stopped at Subway to get some lunch and then I drove us up to Richmond on a busy, wet I-64. We got to RIC and I parked us in the short term lot. RIC parking is nice because the first 30 minutes are free . We got our bags out and walked to the check-in area.

    Check-in was a breeze and our bags got checked all the way through to BCN and we got boarding passes to PHL where we would have to pick up our BA boarding passes. We said good bye to my moms friend and rode the brand new escalator up to the gates. They are still working on renovations in RIC but its coming along nicely. I sat down and finished my subway and watched a few ERJ's go by. My mom and I went to security after I ate and were through with no problems in about 15 minutes. This was my first time flying US out of RIC in a while and everything still looked the same in concourse A except that there are plasma screens at every gate like DL in their hubs. AA has 3 gates in concourse A and US has the other 5. Why? I don't know because most of the time US only uses A8 which is for RJ's and props while the other 4 are for mainline jets which come into RIC in the mornings and evenings. Some traffic I saw before I left- My first UA ERJ in new colors, UA CRJ (oc), COEX ERJ, N974DL(very first ever DL MD88 I ever flew) and two US ERJ's and a Dash-8.

    As 2:50 came around, our boarding time, there was still no CRJ in sight but just as I was thinking that the gate agent told us it had just landed and was on its way to the gate, and sure enough, N245PS pulled up to A8 and unloaded.

    US Airways Express (PSA) flight 2356
    CRJ-200 N245PS
    Seat 1F
    Depart- 3:10pm
    Actual- 3:18pm gate A8 RWY 20
    Arrive- 4:17pm
    Actual- 4:00pm gate F6 RWY 9R


    "All rows can board flight 2356 to Philadelphia". That was the call made at 3pm. We made our way down the jetway and onto the wet tarmac and onto our CRJ. We were greeted by a friendly f/a, Toni, and we took our seats in the first row. Damn I hate these planes so much. They are fun to ride on but not comfortable at all. I tried to get comfy, but it wasn't working. This was a brand new CRJ and the interior reminded me somewhat of US's E170's(just not as much room). Instead of the "no smoking" light, it was "please turn off electronics" and the armrests were identical to those of the E170's. I heard Toni tell captain Julio that there were 40 pax on todays flight. We taxied through the light rain to runway 20 and held short for about 2 minutes until we turned on and departed into the clouds. Due to the clouds and rain, the flight was a little bumpy and due to the short duration of the flight, no pretzels . Toni apologized for this major problem and said if anyone wanted anything just to hit their f/a call button and she would be happy to bring something. We flew through the clouds until they broke up right before our descent. The only thing I like about CRJ's are their descents. You feel like you're about to freefall . It's great! We descended into a partly cloudy PHL. My mom and I got into a chat with Toni for a while and we asked if we could visit the cockpit when we landed and she got excited that we asked. She said it would be great and she would ask captain Julio when we got on the ground. I told her that I was training for my PPL and she said that was great and that every pilot she's talked to has said it is the best job out there. We had a smooth touchdown shortly after our convo on 9R and taxied into F6. We waited for everyone to leave and captain Julio came out and said the plane was all mine . This cockpit was SWEET. All glass panel with out 6 computer screens right in the middle. I got to sit in the captains seat and take a picture. That was by far the most comfy seat on the plane.

    Just as we were leaving the cockpit, the gate agent came onto the plane and stared yelling, yes yelling, at us to leave the cockpit. Captain Julio apologized and told us to have a safe trip. We got off the plane and the gate agent was telling us about how this plane had a quick turnaround (even though there were no pax at the gate waiting for it). My mom told her that she new how to spoil a little fun. And then the gate agent said "This is a workzone, not a playground". Ok b!tch . That was that.

    We stopped at the bathroom and then got on the shuttle to concourse C. I got a piece of pizza at sbarro and ate with my mom. After we finished eating, my mom did some shopping and I did some spotting. After that we still had about an hour and a half so we just went to the gate. WOW, the 747 is huge . This was my first ride on this great bird . My mom took a seat and I went to explore the new A West. WOW again . Thats one of the nicest terminals in the world for sure. There's a ton of windows and the ceiling is very high, making it feel very nice inside. I took a picture of the LH bird and went back to the gate. We went up to the desk and got our boarding passes for our two flights and waited until boarding was called.

    British Airways flight 66
    Boeing 747-400 G-BNLP
    Seat 35K
    Depart- 7:00pm
    Actual- 6:55pm gate A8 RWY 9L
    Arrive- 7:05am
    Actual- 6:31am T4 gate 08 RWY 27L


    "Boarding rows 44-53 for British Airways flight 66" was the call made at 6:15pm. A HUGE line formed and thats when I really realized how massive this bird was. 9 rows in 3x4x3 seating is 90 pax. Crazy. After that line dissappeared, boarding was called for rows 35-43. Thats me. My mom got pulled over for additional screening and I went onto the plane. I say the stairs up to the top and was greeted by a nice BA f/a. Man I wish I was flying up top. I walked past Club World and World Traveller plus and took my seat in row 35. There are about 5 rows that are sectioned off betwee WT+ and the galley and we were in it. I liked it though. My mom came about 5 minutes later. We were greeted by a blanket, pillow, and our bag of socks, eye shades, toothbrush and toothpaste . This was my first time flying a European carrier across the pond since I flew Air France in 2000 and I forgot how nice the service was compared to DL, US, and UA. You would never get socks on a US carrier these days. I got comfortable and looked out the window at the massive wing. 737's could fit under it it seemed like as I watched t hem taxi out to 9L. Our captain for tonights flight came on the PA and announced flying time and he welcomed us aboard and re-assured everyone that he and his crew knew what they were doing. It was a nice little touch .

    The full flight pushed back a couple minutes early and taxied to 9L. I don't know if any of you have seen the BA safety video but I think its kind of funny, especially when the oxygen masks drop from the ceiling in slow motion . By the time that was over, we were roaring down 9L. What an awesome takeoff! I was glued to the back of my seat. After using of 9L, we slowly climbed out of the PHL area up towards JFK. About 20 minutes after departure, the f/a in our section, Sam, came around with little cans of drinks and these really good vinegar and sea salt pretzel knots. I had a sprite and the pretzels which are diffrent but really good. I was starting to doze off after that but I didn't want to miss dinner so I forced myself to stay awake and I'm glad I did. While I was watching 50 First Dates, my dinner showed up. We had a choice of beef or cannaloni, and me being the pasta fan that I am, I chose the cannaloni which came with a salad, roll+butter, cheesecake, and a piece of chocolate. It doesn't sound like much but it was very filling and very tasty. I really don't mind airline food at all. After the meal, the captain turned out the cabin lights as we passed over Canada. The only thing that bothered me on this flight was that the cabin was so warm. I can't sleep unless its cool. So I listened to my CD player until the next movies started. It got a little bumpy as we left the Canadian coast but nothing bad. Finally the next set of movies came on and I watched Secret Window, one of my favorites. Sam came around offering drinks and I took some Orange juice. He came around about 5 times throughout the flight. Very nice. This flight was very smooth after the few bumps along the coast. As I was watching my movie, I noticed something outside with the corner of my eye. It was a CO aircraft (764 I think) passing 1000 feet below us at 37,000. They were flying a little faster than us but I felt sorry for them because the pax probably weren't as spoiled as we were. I continued to watch my movie until the first rays of light appeared outside.

    By the time the movie ended, it was light outside and breakfast was being served. It was the "All Day Deli" which consisted of a blueberry muffin, yogurt, and orange juice. It was nice as I was still full from dinner. Wow I still couldn't believe I was on a mighty 747. Sam came around with the UK immagration forms but we didn't need one since we were continuing to Spain. As we passed over Ireland, we began a slow descent. It was a nice day in London as we flew over the Thames along with the London Bridge and all the attractions. We had a very smooth touchdown on 27L and a slow, lumbersome taxi into gate 8 at T4. What a great flight, I didn't want to get off .

    Back in LHR for my second time, and hopefully my last. Its like a maze with signs telling you where to go. Organized chaos. We followed a twisting hall to a bus that took us to T1. We passed a Malev 737 and a Swiss Airbus on the way to T1. We pulled up and then entered another maze until we ended up in a long line for security. It only took about 10 minutes and I had a little snack in my backpack that I ate since I knew we weren't going to get any pounds to buy food in the terminal(even though they probably take USD anyway). My mom and I both made it through with no problems and walked to the what I like to call "holding tank" until our gate was posted. It was pretty crowded this morning. I went to the bathroom then I dozed off until around 8:20, BA474 to Barcelona was announced to be departing from gate 24. We walked down the rather bare terminal to gate 24 and waited for about 10 minutes until boarding started.

    July 25th, 2004
    British Airways flight 474
    Airbus A319 G-EUOB
    Seat 7A
    Depart- 8:55am
    Actual- 9:00am T1 gate 24 RWY 27R
    Arrive- 11:55am
    Actual- 11:45am gate 42 RWY 25


    There were many pax on this flight going on a cruise out of Barcelona, including us. We had to wait for a fellow A319 to start up behind us before we could push. We did so about 5 minutes late. There was one really hot f/a in the first class cabin so I didn't get to see her that often . We taxied out to 27R and waited in line behind 2 aircraft. The plane right in front of us was an all white ARJ. Does anyone know what thats all about? We took off and turned left over the sunny England countryside. We had a quick climb up to 35,000 as we flew over the English channel. At this time, what I had been waiting for, breakfast on a 2 hour flight ! We had a HOT ham, egg, and cheese sandwich along with an All Day Deli box which included a blueberry muffin, a fruit cup, and vanilla yogurt. BA sure fills you up and it all tasted good as well . It was a very uneventful flight over France. I dozed off for about 20 minutes and then took out my cd player and stared out at the clouds until I saw some mountains pop up in front of us. They had to have been the Pyrenee's(sp?) and we would be descending soon. And sure enough the speed breaks were deployed and we rattled on down towards BCN. We were litterally rattling for about 10 minutes. We turned left after we passed over the mountains out toward the sea. It was a hazy, hot day in BCN. We descended over the industrial part of BCN for a smooth touchdown on RWY 25. Is it a BA thing that all their landings are really smooth? We pulled off the runway and I saw the Delta flight going to ATL. We waited for about 5 minutes for an Easyjet 737 to leave our gate. I saw an LH A300 land behind us. When the 737 left, we pulled into gate 42 next to a BA 767 going back to Heathrow. We deplaned and got our passports stamped. My mom went to the bathroom and we went down to what we thought was the baggage claim for our flight.

    Barcelona- El Prat International Airport is in dire need of expansion. It is one of the most crowded airports I've have ever been to and not very organized. We went to the bag claim for terminal A (because thats where we arrived) and found an agent for Royal Caribbean (the cruise line we were about to go on) and he told us that BA uses terminal B and that we had to walk outside about a 1/4 mile to terminal B (which seemed like a mile to us since we had been travelling all night). Since we were out of the secure area and didn't have a broading pass, we went to the information desk and asked what we should do. The lady told us just to go through security and tell them we had to pick up our bags. So we wait in line for about 10 minutes and go through security. The guy who was checking boarding passes was a little stumped since our boarding pass said LHR arriving BCN. He called over a security gaurd who understood that we needed to pick up our bags and gave us directions. He was very nice about it. So we get to the baggage claim for terminal B and I look on the moniters for "BA474 Londres Heathrow". Nothing. It was only about 12:15 and I thought it would still be posted. There was another BA flight coming from Gatwick so I just went to that claim and sure enough, my bag and my moms bag are going around in circles on the Gatwick claim. We picked up our bags and left this crowded airport and left for our 12 night cruise.

    BA is one of my favorite airlines with great service . The only thing I disliked is LHR(and always have, not really BA's fault). PSA was great as always. I will post the return on IB/BA/US soon which will be a little more interesting than this one. Please post any comments/complaints. Thanks for reading and stay tuned!

  • #2
    great report! Im glad to enjoyed BA like I have!
    Only the dead have seen the end of the war-Plato


    • #3
      Great Report, as always. I totally wish that we would of taken British Airways to Rome in March, as the travel agent said it was an option. American was good though.

      Can't wait for part 2!


      Next Flights:

      October 14, 2006 - Airtran MDW-MSP
      October 16, 2006 - Airtran MSP-MDW


      • #4
        Re: US/BA from Richmond to Barcelona...part uno

        Originally posted by PHF2ATL
        The plane right in front of us was an all white ARJ. Does anyone know what thats all about?
        Excellent report. I saw this on a domestic flight last month up to GLA with BD. Is it something to do with Titan Airways?


        • #5
          Nice report!

          Pete Ganabathi
          Embry Riddle Aeronautical University

          Fly Frontier Airlines - A Whole Different Animal


          • #6
            nice report
            - The baby will be back -


            • #7
              i must copy Babypurin on this report
              Airlines: XT,KL,SN,ACA,DL,AF,TV,SN,OS,LX,WA,NW,FI,US,AW,CO,OH,OO,9W,AA,AE,FL,B6