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ANOTHER Business Trip : Italy,Spain,USA - Part I

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  • ANOTHER Business Trip : Italy,Spain,USA - Part I

    Well not long ago i got back from a business trip that took my quite far.
    Rome then over to Spain, then across the pond to the USA.

    I wont post it all in one Report, but over about 3.

    Airline - Alitalia
    Route - London Heathrow to Rome Fiumicino
    Scheduled Departure - 06:00 (06:07 actual)
    Scheduled Arrival - 09:30 (09:55)
    Aircraft - Airbus A321
    Seat - 19F
    Class - Economy

    I got to Terminal 4 at around 04:00, the place was deserted, and i never liked this, back in the days i prefered in when everybody would be here waiting for relatives,friends,family,customers, to arrive from the longer flight from SYD etc, it was quiet like it was now, and it didnt feel right.
    I got to the front of a queue, which was going down like a F1 Car.
    The lady behind the desk asked the usual security questions, why i was going to Rome, and if i had a prefered seat, aisle window or middle.
    Naturally i said Window and she gave me 19F.
    I then headed off to Security area, said goodbye to Aimme, who was flying off to San Francisco the same day, and i headed up and through security to my gate.
    I was in the terminal and at my gate in no less than 20 minutes, which is good for Heathrow standards. I shiny Alitalia airbus sat quietly at the gate, in new livery. The gate area was quiet, most people either sleeping, eating or just relaxing. Lots of business travellers on this flight, and it was unusualy empty on this flight.At 05:10 boarding was called.
    We were greeted on board by a tired crew, it was obvious. They directed us to our seats, not saying much but at least smiling.
    There were a group of travellers on-board travelling to Pisa, who were causing some trouble a few rows ahead. The Alitalia seats are comfortable enough for a flight of this distance. The crew did their final checks, and shut the doors, we then pushed back and watched the safety demonstration on the overhead TV's. We then taxied to the runway and took off into the sunrise.
    Climb was very smooth and the seat-belt sign was turned off not long after. I took off my seat belt and tried to stretch out into the the footroom. The TV's were then turned on again, and some short programs were shown in Italian. One program was about Cagliari, another about some fashion stuff and another about current events.
    About 1 hour and a bit into the flight, the in-flight service reached my seat.
    2 trolleys came past, one with drinks and another with snacks
    "Sweet or Salty snack"
    It was either some sweet Chocolate Covered peanuts, or some salty biscuit. I got the sweet snack, with the BEST CUP OF COFFEE i have ever had in my entire life. I came in a small cup, and saucer, with sugar cubes and the sweet snacks.
    I then fell asleep for a while after that.
    I woke up when we were descending, and i saw the crew rushing back and forth through the cabin. I then tightened my seatbelt as we descended into the clouds. It wasnt actually that turbulent but as we left the clouds, i had lovely views of the coast and countryside.
    We then made the smoothest of touchdowns onto the runway, and we taxied and parked up at the gate. I later found out this aircraft was flying over to Paris CDG.
    I said goobye to the crew and headed off to my hotel and meeting that i had at 4pm that day.

    I woke up at 8am the next morning, i called my office back in London, and i was told that i had to go over to Alicante.
    There was no direct route to ALC from Rome, only to Valencia, but i wanted to save myself from having to travel far on the ground, and decided to pay extra to fly to ALC.

    I had promised myself to stay away from Iberia, so i ended up with these.

    Airline - Vueling
    Route - Rome Fiumicino to Madrid
    Scheduled Departure - 13:40 (14:12 actual)
    Scheduled Arrival - 16:05 (16:30 actual)
    Aircraft - Airbus A320
    Seat - 2A
    Class - Economy

    I got to FCO at 12:00 after checking in online. I didnt opt for checked bags and decided to take only carry-ons.
    I had booked the flight at and when you book it gives you the option to pre-select a seat and buy extra seats:
    Basic Seat - Ordinary Airline seat at rear of aircraft
    Optimum Seat - Bulkhead or exit seat
    XL Seat - Economy Plus
    Duo seat - Business class style seats with middle seat empty.

    I purchased the Duo seat, 2A, for an extra 25 euros.

    I headed straight through security, and then to the gate.
    Another shiny Airbus was just taxiing in when i got to the gate.
    I was rather reluctant at booking Vueling as they are "The low-cost carrier of Iberia", and as you may tell, Iberia are not my favourite airline.

    I watched as "The Joy of Vueling" taxied in and parked.
    After an unusual short amount of time we started to board. We were welcomed on-board by 2 flight attendants, the female was just staring at the passengers as they walked in, the male was checking boarding passes and talking and smiling. Mixed feelings so far. Some crap Eurovision style music was playing during boarding, also i saw all the crew, including the pursur couldent have been older than 20, which i dont mind as Aimee is only 22, but i mean that there should be at least some veteran staff on board. I got to my seat and a tray table covered up 2B. Somebody who had booked special assistence had been pre-assigned 2C, and much to my relief, she was English.
    She was on her way to Tenerife to see her family who were on holiday there from England, she was flying Air Europa.
    Too me, i dont know if any of you have seen Vuelings wierd and wonderful "Spanglish" language, their slogan "flying hoy means Vueling", and on their website if you select it into english it only changes some words, for example "Seleccion tu flight". Luckily i speak Spanish and i get to grips with it, as some dosent even make sence in Spanish, i feel sorry for people who speak no Spanish, or English.
    I felt sorry for people who didnt pay 25 extra euros, i had payed it, and the legroom was pretty medium, and arm-rests didnt move, and my seat pitch was terrible.
    The safety demonstration was shown in Spanish with English subtitles, and again im safe at the fact i speak spanish, if this flight was leaving Heathrow then im sure there would be some problems.
    So far this is definately belonging to Iberia.
    Once airborne i looked through the in-flight menu, and the food was reasonably priced,and worth money. I decided against buying stuff.
    I instead decided to relax as best as i could, and look out of the window which looked like it hadnt been cleaned since the windows were first fitted. When the crew thought they had finished they're work for today, they sat at forward galley and started chatting very loudly, and during descent, the Eurovision style music started blasting out again.
    Descent was smooth and we made a hard touchdown in MAD, with the F***ING MUSIC STILL PLAYING, and it wasnt even like it was background music, it was just as loud, if not louder than the sound of the engines !
    We taxied in and parked up at a gate, and disembarked through a jetway.
    I said goodbye and headed off through to my connection.

    Airline - Spanair
    Route - Madrid to Alicante
    Scheduled Departure - 18:55 (19:25 actual)
    Scheduled Arrival - 19:55 (20:30 actual)
    Aircraft - Airbus A320
    Seat - 15A
    Class - Economy Plus +

    I got to my connection in time and after re-checking in and going through security again, i got to the gate. A plane was already connected to the gate, but nothing was happening, the plane had 1L and 1R open the cargo doors open but nothing connected to it apart from a jetway that had its door closed. A few people were hovering around it but other than that, nothing. After about an hour, people started to arrive at the gate, THIS IS ONLY 45 MINUTES BEFORE TAKE-OFF!, WE WERE MENT TO BE BOARDING 10 MINUTES AGO !
    Eventually a Baggage truck pulled up at the plane, Empty, AND STARTED TAKING BAGS OFF !!
    then a catering truck pulled up and the jetway doors all opened.
    Then a Spanair Crew came through the gate area, and so did a couple of gate agents. As soon as the first truck pulled up, it left and another came, FULL of bags and started putting them on.
    Then boarding started at 18:45 !
    Nobody seemed to care that we were late, the flight was nearly empty, the gate area had nearly nobody in it.
    I was welcomed on-board by a friendly crew who were very chatty.
    I then took my seat, which was comfortable enough for an hour long flight. During boarding i had a quick look through the in flight mag, and then i looked at "Sabor El Vuelo" the in-flight menu.
    The crew announced no in-flight service as the flight time was short, and turbulence was expected. Take-off was normal and we made a smooth climb. When we reached our cruise, the sun shone through the window, but it was unusual to be this turbulent at such a height.
    The crew made sure everybody was okay, and gave out water if people needed it. Spanair crew were very attentive, very tidy and very efficient.
    The Plane was clean, also tidy, quiet and had good legroom.
    We started our descent and we made a gentle touchdown onto the runway.
    We landed inland, and we parked up at T1.
    Its amazing that the new terminal next to T1 has almost been completed, and last time i saw it there were only a few sandbags and some trucks there. We parked up next to an Air Berlin 737 and a Monarch A321.

    I made my way through to the baggage clain and into he arrivals hall, then i jumped on a coach into Alicante City.

    I will post the flight to America in a couple of hours !

  • #2
    Ok again im sorry, i cannot complete this trip report, as tomorrow im flying to Hawaii, so i wanto chill a little before i go. I PROMISE i will write a full report for the Hawaii flights.

    I will write what i did for my flight for this trip and rate them

    Alicante - London Gatwick
    Airline - Ryanair

    Seats - 8/10
    Crew - 10/10
    Punctuality - 10/10
    Food - 7/10
    Aircraft - 10/10

    Overall for this Ryanair flight - 8.5/10

    London Gatwick - Toronto
    Airline - Thomas Cook

    Seats - 5/10
    Crew - 10/10
    Punctuality - 3/10
    Food - 4/10
    Aircraft - 7/10 (BOEING 757-200!)
    Entertainment - 3/10

    Overall for TCX - 5/10

    Toronto - Los Angeles
    Airline - Air Canada

    Because my thomascook flight was late i missed my flight, which was the last flight to LAX that day, so i had too pay an extra$150 to get the early flight the next morning.

    Seats - 10/10
    Crew - 10/10
    Punctuality - 10/10
    Food 8/10
    Aircraft - 10/10

    Overall - 9.5/10

    2 days later

    Los Angeles - London Heathrow
    Airline - United

    Seats - 8/10
    Crew - 10/10
    Punctuality - 9/10
    Food - 10/10
    Aircraft - 9/10
    Entertainment - 10/10

    Overall - 9/10

    I have been offered a job which requires me to fly to Hawaii on a Monday Morning and fly back to London on a Friday. That is my type of job.
    WISH ME LUCK !!!