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This summer, we had a trip around the US discovering architectural masterpieces and wonders of nature … but let’s start from the beginning: here it is how we flew to the US.
You already know that my husband Filippo is a travel geek, for this trip he surprised me … if you follow me on Facebook and Instagram you probably already know.
He always says that any part of the journey has to be an unforgettable experience, even the flight (for him, especially the flight!), and that you can travel and fly in style on a budget.
We flew to New York on one of the most exclusive flights in the world.
I received a lot of questions about this flight, so I asked Filippo to tells us about it and how he did it.
The flight from London City Airport to New York JFK is more like a trip on a private plane than any other commercial flight in the world. On this route, British Airways employs the flight codes that were assigned to the supersonic flights of the London-New York Concorde: we traveled on the legendary BA001.
This flight is perhaps one of the most exceptional in the world, and is definitely a unique way to cross the Atlantic. For this service, British Airways employs only two 32-seats planes in business class configuration.
The service is absolutely outstanding and it’s designed to combine the convenience of a direct connection between the heart of London and the Big Apple, with a truly first-class experience, defined by the high quality of the service and of the on-board catering .
“It’s a very very special flight, you’ll see!” this is what an Italian British Airways flight attendant told us on the plane we flew on to London. She was 100% right.
The uniqueness of this flight is immediately visible at the London City airport: there are check-in desks and an entire gate reserved to the LCY-JFK Service. When we arrived at the gate 24 we soon realized that we were in a lounge reserved for the 32 passengers of BA001, with buffet and Champagne.
We soon discovered another unique feature of this flight: boarding is allowed up to 5 minutes before departure.
In fact, the boarding procedure is very simple: you have just to walk out the door of the lounge to get on the plane that’s waiting right in front of the gate.
On the plane we were welcomed by Gary, the cabin manager, a sort of British butler, who pointed us to our seats and then let us choose from 3 different types of Champagne D.O.C.
The plane is an Airbus A318, the shortened version of the aircraft used by easyJet and British Airways for all their European flights. Nicknamed babybus, there are just two aircraft like this one in the world, equipped with a 32 seats business class cabin.
There were just 15 passengers on board. A few minutes after takeoff, we’ve been served a sushi appetizer and champagne, and a few moments later the plane began to descent.
And here it is the most unique feature of this flight: about an hour after the take-off, we landed at Shannon in Ireland, to clear the American immigration.
In about half an hour, we cleared the US immigration at a TSA counter reserved to the 15 passengers of the BA001.
A few minutes later, once the plane has been refueled, we were back in the air, and our aircraft was now cleared to enter the US as a domestic flight, without further security checks nor immigration lanes.
It ‘s now time to relax and start enjoying this unique transatlantic journey. After lunch, fruit, dessert, a movie, a few more glasses of Champagne and a nap on the seat/bed (with duvet too), in less than seven hours we were flying over Long Island, ready to land at the JFK airport.
Once we landed in New York, the outstanding British Airways service was not yet over: in Terminal 7 we found reserved lanes for LCY-JFK passenger and we were allowed to bypass all security checks and go straight to the baggage claim, where a BA representative was waiting for us with our luggages and she handed us the boarding passes for our next flight to Boston.
We said goodby to Gary, who escorted us to the baggage claim and who was excited for the upcoming weekend in Manhattan. We tried, with no success, to persuade him that we were not completely crazy continuing to Boston without having few days in New York.
It has been a unique and absolutely unforgettable experience.
This is perhaps one of the most amazing flight you can fly on. You’ve to try it at least once in a lifetime. And you can do it! In the coming posts we’ll tell you how to fly in style on a budget.
Why are we writing about it?
We want to say that it is not only the destination of a trip to make it the perfect, but feeling at home on a plane, trying the best food, being welcomed into a beautiful hotel, experiencing something unique and unrepeatable, are all essential components for an unforgettable journey.
Is it worth flying in business class?
In my opinion, absolutely yes. Even if you are not a millionaire, you can travel in style and make every part of the trip a pleasure. Air travel is not just an inconvenience required to reach the destination of our journey, the flight should be an unforgettable moment too and prepare ourselves for the next destination.
How to fly in business class?
You can fly business class paying a slightly higher price than coach by flying in the right time, choosing the right fares and with a little “luck”. It is not a low-cost option, but it is a realistic alternative to traveling in economy class.
When you look for a flight, do you check how much it would cost flying in business class? Probably not.
Do not think that flying business class always costs too much. It is not necessarily true.
You saved some air miles? Redeem them in exchange of free flights in business class.