Friday, July 04, 2008

Mumbai, India (BOM): In Dubai on our way to Mumbai

We just arrived in Dubai, UAE (DXB) after taking the 8p BA flight from IAH to London-Heathrow. Then taking the 12:40p BA flight to DXB arriving at 10:35p.

We are now on CX684 to Mumbai and will arrive at 4:55a...

Mumbai, India (BOM) July 2008: Arriving in Dubai International, Dubai UAE (DXB) from London-Heathrow International, London England (LHR)

04JUL08 Dubai International, Dubai UAE (DXB)

The touchdown was sweet in the darkness of the airport. We taxied into the terminal which took a while. We were hoping that we got a gate this time around as the last time, we got to Dubai, it took forever to get to the terminal.

So taking the later BA flight and connecting over London caused us to arrive at 10:30p as opposed to 6:45p on the nonstop flight from Houston...About a four hour time savings. Not to mention that those folks are on their way to Mumbai already.

We deplaned and followed the signs to the Connection Desk.

We made our way to the congested Connections area. We stopped at the first area we saw and there was no sign of Cathay Pacific Airways (CX). eventually, i caught the attention of an agent and he told us to go to the next Connections section.

There was a huge crowd around the CX desk, but we stood on the queue and waited as time ticked by. The good thing was that our flight did not depart until 12:30a. It was weird the culture in that part of the world has people standing really close to you. So this guy was almost on top of me and I was so uncomfortable that I told him to step back. Eventually, he did.

It was now our turn and after a few minutes, we got a window and an aisle seat. We then cleared the security area and made our way down to the departure level.

Our gate was at the end of the terminal so we got a good taste of the airport. There were people everywhere, sleeping all around the terminal. We were happy that that would not be us on this trip. We walked past a few Lounges and wondered if our credentials would work. But, we had no time to check it out as we were on a mission to our gate.

Eventually, we got there and although they were accepting customers in the gate area, they were going nowhere. So, we just relaxed and sat down as I tried to find an electric outlet. I sat for a while and realized there was free WiFi in the airport. Cool!

I took the chance to check some more hotels and also sent and checked e-mail. Soon, we entered the gate area and made our way down to the waiting bus. This process took some time as the flight was full.

Once on the bus it took us a while to make it out to the plane. It was cool as we approached; it was an Airbus A330 and a Boeing 777-300. I had forgotten which one we were on, but eventually, we pulled up to the middle door of the giant Boeing 777-300!

Mumbai, India (BOM) July 2008: London-Heathrow International, London England (LHR) to Dubai International, Dubai UAE (DXB)

BA107 04JUL08 London Heathrow International to Dubai International, Dubai United Arab Emirates (DXB) 12:40p 10:30p 777 G-ZZZA

Flight Time: 6:15
Seat Map - There is no seat map for this aircraft, but the World Traveller Plus cabin for this aircraft is much smaller than the seat map shown here. I think rows 23-25 are missing. The Economy Class cabin is the same size though, so I think that perhaps there is an extra row in Club World.

We went down the walkway and it was then that I realized that we were heading for a bus to take us to the plane. We made it on the bus and then we waited for a few passengers to arrive. By about 12:25p, we left and headed for the plane. Eventually, I could see a 777 in the distance with the registration G-ZZZA on it. Immediately, I felt sleepy :-).

There is something about approaching a 777 from the ground. It is a big plane. The bus stopped at the stairs and we all disembarked and then went up the unbelievably tall stairs and were greeted by a Cabin Crew member and the Cabin Service Director (CSD).

They told me to take the right aisle and my colleague to take the left aisle. My colleague got to his seat first as we walked through the Club World Class (2-4-2 with some seats facing backwards) and World Traveler Plus (2-4-2), then World Traveler with its 3-3-3 configuration.

There was a guy sitting in my colleague's seat and then he moved over to mine. Once I got to my seat, I asked to see his boarding pass and he was on the other aisle near the window across from my colleague so he moved.

We then got settled in. This aircraft is a little different as it has fewer World Traveller Plus seats and there are two extra lavs behind World Traveller Plus and none in the rear of the airplane. I also don't think that this airplane has any crew rest bunks in it either.

We pushed back soon after waiting for a while. I can only guess that someone was behind us. I did notice that the headsets in World Traveller are different than those in World Traveller Plus; they are thinner and also the amenity kit is in a different color plastics, but has the same toothbrush, toothpaste, socks and blindfolds and ear plugs.

After quite a wait, it was our turn to take off and we took to the skies. A short time after takeoff, we were served beverage of choice and pretzel nuggets; this is the same thing as the last flight.

The main meal followed with a choice of lamb with rice or Chicken Tarragon with potatoes and vegetables. I opted for the chicken that came with a bottle of water, bread, chocolate, summer fruit trifle raspberry and red currants salad with rough oat crackers.

With 5:22 to go, the Captain came on the PA and said that we were at 36,000’ and making good progress towards Dubai. As you would expect it is hazy, temp is low 30sC and with about 40 minutes to he will update us on the arrival time, etc. We are currently scheduled to be touching down at 10:30p. at this point we were over southern Germany.

The CSD announced that the movies should start momentarily says the Cabin Service Director.

For today, our entertainment was:

  1. Son of Rambo
  2. Street Kings
  3. The Oxford Murders
  4. Smart people
  5. Drillbit Taylor
  6. 21
  7. Shine a Light
  8. The Spiderwick Chronicles
  9. Cartoon Network
  10. Family Comedy
  11. Sport
  12. Explore: Brits Abroad

The second round of movies 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. Sky flyers
  10. US Comedy
  11. Schemes and Scams
  12. Drama: Out of This World

My headphone was scratchy in my seat, so I had to use the one for the middle seat, which was kind of weird as if I moved too much, it got disconnected.

I fell asleep with about 5 hours to go and awoke at 1:13 left.

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

The meal was a slice of pineapple, lemonade, dessert (chocolate Tiffin brownie) and two sandwiches (cheese and tomato plus chicken & rocket) with a history of John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich who died in 1792.

So like clockwork, at 40 minutes before landing at 9:57p. The Captain came on the PA and said that it was 33C light winds from the Southwest the time in DXB is 3 hours ahead and just coming up to two minutes to 10. In about twenty minutes time the seat belt signs will go on, so now is the time to freshen up if you need to.

We got the cabin ready and made our way into Dubai.

Mumbai, India (BOM) July 2008: Arriving in London-Heathrow International, London England (LHR)

We touched down after making nice approach into Heathrow. As we landed on the runway close to Terminal 4 (runway 27L), it did not take too long to get to the terminal.

I saw the Singapore Airlines (SQ) Airbus A380 at the gate as well as a Saudi Arabia (SV) Boeing 777-200, a Virgin Atlantic (VS) Boeing 747-400, an Iberia (IB) Airbus A320 landing, a plethora of American Airlines (AA) planes and the Etihad (EY) Airbus A340-600 across the way heading out to Abu Dhabi (AUH); oh well.

I also saw an Enbraer ERJ-45 from bmi (BD) landing, a Virgin Atlantic Airways' Boeing 747-400 landing.

This BA Boeing 747-400 was parked at the gate in Terminal 4.

we disembarked and cleared Immigration with ease. I did not use the IRIS system as my colleague was with me and there was no line anyways.

The BA counter was just outside of the Arrivals are so we checked in there. The process was easy and we were given seats right away as the flight was open. No upgrades, but we had the middle seat empty in World Traveller.

We then went upstairs and cleared security and re-entered the terminal. We headed towards the Holideck and was granted entry after showing our credentials.

We headed straight for the tower and watched more airplanes land.

When it was time to go, we headed for gate 1C, showing our boarding passes, then taking the long walk down to the waiting bus.