Just yesterday, I landed in Austin, my hometown after spending some time on vacation in Europe. I flew home with British Airways, on flight 191, from London Heathrow. This flight is operated by a 747-400 (its a 777-300 from October to April). British Airways sends their non-retrofitted 747s to Austin, which means that Austin gets all 3 BA 747 retro liveries. As you probably already noticed from the title of this topic, my flight was operated by G-BNLY, the aircraft painted with the Landor Retro Livery! Here’s a picture of that livery:
One disclaimer: Due to an issue with the window shades, I was unable to get any footage of our taxi and departure from London. Because of this I gave up on taking a bunch of photos, and only have a few bad quality ones. This report will be mostly written. Also this is my first ever trip report, so I may be doing some things wrong. Anyways here it is:
Check in & security at Heathrow
When I arrived at the airport I was pleasantly surprised to see the check in area in T5 not very busy (by Heathrow standards at least). I was able to drop my bag and head to security within 10 minutes. Security was fine as well and I got into the terminal quickly.
Once I got past security, the crowds started to appear. I relectantly waited in line for about 10 minutes with hundreds of other people to get a sandwich at an extremely crowded Pret a Manger. I made a beeline for the train to the B gates, as this was where my flight was departing from. It was to much relief once I arrived there without delay (last year the train I was on broke, and we were stuck underground for almost half an hour! Thankfully there was a bunch of flight attendants with us who called some engineers to come rescue us.) The b gates were much quieter, as there were only a few flights departing at that time. Soon enough our aircraft pulled into stand 547. Here’s a picture of our aircraft at the stand (it’s not very good)
I flew in World Traveler (economy), and my seat was 33k, a window seat on the right hand side of the plane. I boarded in group 4, and was on the plane pretty quickly.
We took off from runway 27R, and flew north east over Manchester and later the northern tip of Ireland. We initially climbed to FL340, and slowly made a step climb to FL400.
Seat & IFE
As I mentioned earlier, these are the very old seats, but I did find them to be reasonably comfortable. They have standard legroom and width. The headrest is quite good. Unfortunately BA has no power at these seats, although they do in World Traveler Plus (premium economy), Club World (business), and First class. There is also no WiFi. The IFE selection was decent, but limited, and the screen was small and grainy. I know that BA has much better IFE on their newer planes. Overall the seat was good, but the IFE wasn’t. Here’s a picture of the seats:
Food and Crew
Normally I expect quite bad food in economy, but this food was actually pretty decent. The first meal service commenced around half an hour after takeoff and took about 45 mins - 1 hour. I opted for the pasta with marscapone cheese and veggies, which was tasty. It as served with some sort of cold potato and veggie salad, bread and butter, cheese and crackers, and a berry pudding. Around three hours before landing the crew came around and handed out ice creams, then about an hour and a half later they handed out chicken sandwiches and banana bread. The meal service was by far the best I’ve ever had in economy. My one complaint was that there was a really long gap between the main meal, and the next service. I think they could have handed out the ice creams, and the final meal earlier in the flight.
The crew was very good and they came around with drinks every 1 to 2 hours.
Approach and landing in Austin
Soon enough we were descending into Austin, and the flight was almost over. Here’s a picture of our final approach on runway 17R:
The landing was quite hard and we taxied to do our gate. Here’s a picture of a bunch of United planes at remote stands, waiting to leave for Houston after being diverted:
You can even see an erj with the new livery! We pulled in right next to LH468 from Frankfurt:
This is a terrible photo, I took it while getting my carryon from under the seat 😂
Arrival into Austin
The international gates are situated on the east end of the airport that was just expanded and redone, so it’s very nice (there is also a new delta sky club in this area). The international arrival hall was packed with passengers from the BA and LH flights. Thankfully I have Global Entry (which also includes pre-check. This means all you have to do when arriving in the US is insert your passport and you’re good to go! This was very helpful as the normal customs lines were very long.
This concludes my trip report!
I hope you enjoyed it. This was my first ever trip report so please leave me feedback, or any questions and comments!