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View Full Version : A Tale of Two Cities - Day the First - Introduction, Flights and Arriving


ukstitch
10-11-2008, 11:51 AM
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times... Oops - I'm copying the wrong set of notes :) Now, where was I...

The cast :

Me - first trip to Seattle and first trip to DL

Yep - just me. Officially, this started out as a work trip, then I added the Disneyland (DL) part on as an extra, so there was no option of taking anybody else with me as I wasn't paying for the flights. The trip took place between the 29th September (London to Seattle) and the 7th (arrived in London from Los Angeles). The split occurred on the 3rd October (moving from Seattle to Orange County).

I flew with British Airways out of Heathrow Terminal 4 to Seattle, which is about a 9 1/2 hour flight. Checking in was done online 24 hours in advance in hope that I might be able to secure some kind of extra leg room (at 6 feet 2 inches tall, the leg room provided by most airlines in economy class is not enough for me on a short haul flight such as to DLRP, let alone to the USA. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to secure such as seat, but I was at least able to secure an aisle seat which mean that was able stretch my legs out as required.

The lunch time drive to Heathrow from the South coast was quick enough and I was there within the hour. I dropped my bag off at the check in point and then headed through security which proved easier than the last time I was at Heathrow (the rules around laptop computers are slightly kinder now as you don't need to remove them from the bag and have them scanned separately).

Once I reached "the other side", I had a quick wander around Terminal 4 shops, but there wasn't much to look at to be honest - I much prefer Gatwick North.

Anyway - after a couple of hours waiting and around doing nothing the flight was called and I was on my way. The plane was a 777, so not the largest of transatlantic planes but also not the smallest.

The service was pretty good (much better than the short haul European flights) and the entertainment was reasonable (though not as good as on the larger transatlantic planes. I didn't get as much sleep as I really wanted, but then again, this means that I was awake to accept the drinks offered every hour or so, as well as the two meals (dinner and sandwiches).

The view didn't really change throughout the entire flight and was almost entirely clouds:

As I wasn't able to sleep, the lack of leg room became quite noticeable, so I was up and down throughout the flight. Psychologically, it was a great relief when the display reached 1,000 miles to go, as this meant that it was just the equivalent of a short haul flight left to go:

We eventually landed about 10 minutes late or so. The detour north that the plane took seemed to have worked, because there was very little turbulence, so the flight was quite pleasant, if a little long and tiring due to the lack of sleep I had. It was an interesting flight though, because the plane managed to stay just ahead of the light / dark divide, so it was just about light when it arrived, even though the flight left at about 5:30 in the evening, so it was now about 3am according to my body clock.

I collected my stuff, then headed for the taxis and onwards to the hotel which had been selected and paid for through work.

I stayed in the homestead Redmond, which was a reasonable hotel, although nothing special. To be honest, it was pretty much a typical American motel, although the rooms were a decent size and there was nothing especially wrong with the hotel; it's just there wasn't really anything amazing to say about it either. It's a little way out of Seattle (about $30 back into the centre), but it was perfectly placed for my training course (more to come about that later).

After the long flight and the lack of sleep, all I wanted to do was sleep, so I unpacked my stuff in a fairly rough way, got ready for bed and crashed out asleep for the night.

gemmybear83
10-11-2008, 12:02 PM
Yeahy you have started it!! I have been looking forward to this!! I agree with you about BA economy entertainment its not as good as some of the others, when I flew with Firstchoice to Mexico this summer its seemed much better than BA!

ukstitch
10-11-2008, 12:14 PM
Yeahy you have started it!! I have been looking forward to this!! I agree with you about BA economy entertainment its not as good as some of the others, when I flew with Firstchoice to Mexico this summer its seemed much better than BA!

I had much better entertainment on the way home, but I think only the boeing 747's get the better system for some reason (I spoke to somebody on my course who had a 747 flight to Seattle and they had the same system I had on the way home).

A Small World
10-11-2008, 12:37 PM
Brilliant start. Thanks for taking the time to do this and Im looking forward to reading more :goodvibes

tennisfan
10-11-2008, 02:33 PM
Great start, I look forward to the rest:goodvibes

Cyrano
10-11-2008, 05:52 PM
Well the travelling day is the worst. But sounds like you had a reasonable trip.
Looking forward to the rest :thumbsup2

Ware Bears
11-10-2009, 05:09 PM
I'm finally reading it!! Off to read the next part. :goodvibes