Tuesday, January 17, 2012

British Airways - Boston - Singapore - My impression

I caught a flight from Boston - Singapore on British Airways via London Heathrow airport. This is not the first time I am on this flight, and I'd like to share my experience on the trip.

Firstly, I would like to point out that this journey is slightly more expensive than flying from Boston to Singapore through the West Coast, however when you take airlines like China Eastern Airlines, Malaysian Airlines or even United that goes near China, you will find that much of the flight is filled with many Chinese Nationals which will make you feel uncomfortable. I've experienced on every flight that passes through Shanghai that people go to toilets with the doors open.

The flight from Boston to London is rather pleasant. The people are rather orderly and not overly excited to get on the plane. The seat size and luggage space is decent, after all its a B747.

I have not much complains except that the food is pretty bad. But since it was a short flight, it was fine, and I got dinner at Heathrow.

As Heathrow Airport is one of the busiest in the world, it is efficient in many ways, however, I do not like it very much as they still use buses to transport people between terminals, which I do not feel it is safe as it does not seem hard to stray away from bus area to get to the planes.

The terminals are separated and not accessible much but by the buses and lots of walking. The staff at the counters at British Airways are not terribly friendly as well. My flight got delayed for 12 hours, and there was not even any notice by the British Airways staff to inform the passengers of the delay. The airport sigh says flight delayed to 9am, and if you don't look closely, you will not notice as the flight was for 9pm.

After going to the transfer counter, the staff gave me a note to go to the Qantas staff and they have a bus to bring me to a Hotel to accommodate me for the night. Again, the location of the counter is far away, and rather hard to navigate. When I finally arrived, there was again, going from arrival to departure to arrival and much back and fourth.

The hotel that they put me in is Park Inn Hotel inn Heathrow. It is about 10 minutes from the airport, and a pretty nice hotel. It seems like 50% of the time I transfer in London, I end up at this hotel as the planes failed to fly off on time.

However, in the morning, after another 1 hour delay, my flight to Singapore was ready, and it is a Qantas Codeshare flight and its a A380. QF010

The flight was orderly unlike domestic US flight where everyone brings their huge luggage on board. On this flight, everyone was normal. The old ladies spoke in their strong British accent and were courteous and enjoy their tea. On the flight, the touchscreen was pretty enjoyable, it was a skycam which shows you the top view of the A380, which during take off, makes you feel that it is "too heavy" to fly, but miraculously manages to take off.

Other than that, there was nothing special about the A380. The flight was bigger, but it simply packed more people in the 2 levels on the plane. I've previously flew business on the A380 and it is much more spacious than economy, but not much more special compared to the 747-400.

Overall, I would say that going from Boston to Singapore through London, would be a very pleasant experience if not for the 13 hour flight delay which makes me arrive in Singapore at 6:30am, one of the worst time as the Taxi's charge you extra for peak hour charges, and you get stuck in the terrible morning rush hour.

-- Robin Low

Heathrow Airport

Leaving Boston

Dinner on British Airways

Arriving at Heathrow

Heathrow Airport

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