Thursday, July 03, 2008

Mumbai, India (BOM) July 2008: Houston Intercontinental, Houston TX (IAH) to London-Heathrow international, London, England (LHR)

BA196 03JUL08 Houston intercontinental, Houston TX (IAH) to London Heathrow Intercontinental, Houston TX (IAH) 8:00p 11:05a +1 Day 777 G-VIIL

Flight Time: 8:50
Seat Map

I walked down the jetway where a lady was reuniting Duty Free items with their owners, then onto the plane. We were greeted by the Cabin Service Director and a Cabin crew. He ushered me down the first aisle to my window seat in World Traveller Plus.

It was cool to walk through the Club World class with it s 2-4-2 configured cabin with its lay flat seats, some of which faces backwards. I had flown in Club World twice before and once I got that backward facing seat. It is an odd ride indeed.

There was a little congestion in the walkway, so we waited. Once it all cleared, we continued on to the World Traveller Plus cabin which starts counting at row 21-25 and has a 2-4-2 configuration. Each seat has a TV screen and comes with a power plus which requires an adapter to use it. There is also a foot rest and a leg support.

As we were getting settled in, the Captain came on the PA and announced that the main cabin door was closed and we will be on our way shortly. He proclaimed that the weather was good in London and that our taxi would be a long one today. I figured that was the case as I had noticed earlier that we were using runway 8R for departures. This is the runway all the way on the other side of the airport.

I was taking out some stuff from my bag and I noticed that we were already pushing back. Other passengers were also still standing in the cabin. It was about 7:52p; great, we are off to an early start so we should arrive early. The Captain had said that he anticipated an ontime arrival.

As we pushed back, the manual safety demo started; I assumed that the tape was broken for some reason as the demo is usually on the monitors. As the taxi continued, I noticed that we were heading for runway 33R-15L. traffic was light today and it was 8:03p when we took to the runway and headed off to London.

In the seat back was a headset along with an amenity kit that has a pair of socks, ear plugs, toothbrush and toothpaste plus blindfolds.

As we took off down, I did notice two FedEx DC-10s at the cargo facility and an MD-11 from World Airways at the hard stand near to the cargo facility.

After takeoff, an announcement was made introducing the crew and the Cabin Service Director. She talked about the service to expect for tonight’s flight. The entertainment system started with news from the BBC, cartoons and a preview of the movies on three separate channels. For entertainment tonight, we had:

  1. Be Kind Rewind with Jack Black
  2. Over Her Dead Body with Eva Longoria Parker
  3. Married Life with Pierce Brosnan
  4. Happy Go Lucky with Sally Hawkins
  5. Flawless with Demi Moore
  6. The Other Boleyn Girl with Natalie Portman
  7. Cleaner with Samuel Jackson
  8. Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears A Who!
  9. Cartoon Network
  10. Family Comedy
  11. Sport
  12. Explore Photography

The second round of films were:

  1. The Game Plan
  2. The Other Boleyn girl
  3. Batman Begins
  4. Toy Story 2
  5. The Bucket List
  6. Jumper
  7. The Big Sleep
  8. The Water Horse: Legend of the deep
  9. Family
  10. US Comedy
  11. Schemes and Scams
  12. Drama: out of This World

For Audio

  1. High Life
  2. BBC Comedy
  3. Mark Lamarr’s Musical Journey
  4. BBC On Air
  5. BBC Backstage
  6. BBC Live in concert
  7. BBC Classical Performance
  8. Classical World
  9. Opera
  10. Side Projects
  11. Leading Ladies
  12. Heavy Metal
  13. Pianio Man
  14. Country
  15. Jazz
  16. Well Being

Then there are Games

  1. Backgammon
  2. Blackjack
  3. Chinese Solitaire
  4. Crossword
  5. Daw Poker
  6. Gold Digger
  7. Hangman
  8. Keno
  9. Slots
  10. Solitaire Snap2
  11. Tic-tac-toe
  12. Trivia
  13. Zero G
  14. Kid’s Game
  15. Twins Café
  16. Noisy Farm

There was an initial service of drink of choice as well as a packet of pretzel nuggets.
Dinner came at 9:06p; it was a choice of chicken with mash potato or the salmon with pasta; beverage of choice was also served at the same time by the same flight attendant. Came with roll, a bottle of water, a salad, with Italian dressing and dessert, plus a Nestle crunch.

After dinner, I went to the rear galley and found a plethora of snacks in their “tuck shop.” There was chocolates, oat bites, baked mini cheddar, choc chip and orange cookies and Walkers true shortbread to name a few.

I fell asleep with about 5:25 to go as we were over Northern Canada. When I awoke, we were just west of Ireland with 1:20 to go; it was time for breakfast. The meal came in a box and consisted of a croissant with turkey and cheese, a blueberry muffin and a tub of orange juice. Offers of tea or coffee accompanied the meal.

The U.K. Landing cards arrived at 9:40a with a smile.

At 9:53a, the first office said we were 90 miles west of Cardiff with 250 miles to go to Heathrow; we were well ahead of schedule and were estimated to touch down at 10:30a. It was now eight minutes to 10a. There is a chance that we may hold 5 for to 10 minutes before we land, but he is not expecting this to be the case. The temperature is 17C with good visibility and light variables, referring to the winds. He concluded that in about thirty-five minutes we will be landing and the seatbelts will go on in about 15 minutes.

There was then a PA saying that the seatbelts will be turned on in 20 minutes. Use the washroom now as after the seatbelts signs are on you cannot use the washrooms. They also made an announcement about their Change for Good program which collects spare change for UNICEF. She thanked us for our continued support in the program.

At 9:58a, an announcement was made that the HiLife entertainment system will be switched off and the headsets will be collected. The last video to be show will be a video about arriving at Heathrow’s Terminal 4.

The video started at 10:06a and was a cartoon which was pretty cool. The 20 minutes to landing announcement was done at 10:08a.

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