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milky

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  Topic: Trip Report #2 - Sent 23 Aug 15:28

Date: 22nd August 2010
Flight: BA0196 IAH -> LHR
Depart: 2035hrs
Arrive: 1120hrs
A/C: G-CIVR B747-436

Nice easy transition from land side to air side at Term D.
Seat 61K, got First Class lounge access opposite gate D9
Nice calm evening, Boarding began at 1955hrs, and finished fairly quickly with me being the last one to board the A/C. Push back and engine start up was quick and taxi was underway fairly quickly, runway 15L departure, a very quick take-off due to very light load on that flight. Roughly only 140 people on board. Banked out right and up quickly. Cruising was between FL350 and FL390. Drinks were served prompt to boarding and dinner was quickly arranged after take-off. Choice of scallops or braized rib and a selection of wines.

The IFE was excellent, I chose to watch She's out of my league and Diary of a Wimpy Kid With Michael McIntyre's Comedy show between hand and then i dozed of for 3 hours.

We woke up at about 1000hrs for breakfast to be served: Fruit, Cereal and Bacon Roll and a roll.

We started our decent on the border of Wales and England. We flew directly to the airport then to the south and banked left to turn onto finals onto 27L. Very smooth landing and quick exit of runway for the next BA 744 behind us, quick taxi onto gate 552 which is T5C so we were coached to arrivals and a very quick transition through T5 and out the other side where our holiday officially ended.

I would like to say that on both our BA flights to and from IAH the Crew were exemplary and would like to congratulate them for making such an outstanding service for the passengers despite how they might personally feel for the strikes etc. They were incredibly professional, and this makes the difference between airlines, the people who do all the work on the inside.

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captain bill

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  Topic: Trip Report #2 - Sent 23 Aug 15:54

Well said milki, well said.


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milky

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  Topic: Trip Report #2 - Sent 23 Aug 16:46

it needs to be said, because BA Crew are always the best i have come across, and they don't get the praise they should.


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FLX

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  Topic: Trip Report #2 - Sent 23 Aug 16:54

I would say 140pax<Obviously including @ least 1 pax travel on deeply discounted fare or non-Rev$> flying on a 744 for 8hrs+ is borderline commercial suicide for BA unless that 744 is a temporary/last minute sub. I had no idea BA has such dismal load-factor on IAH-LHR even in the middle of the summer peak. Logically<U don't even need to be an expert in airline mgmt to figure this one out>, U just know that this is an unsustainable op situation. No wonder every step during milky's BA journey was so extra smooth+efficient+quick.....the supporting infrastructure for that flight was designed/planned for 3TIMES the actual pax load!

Thx for sharing so much details. I now understand a lot more about why BA has been in a very tight spot in recent yrs.

An omen: I recall not so long ago, a famous and large longhaul carrier routinely demonstrates things similar to what milky has described here re his recent BA flight experiences fm IAH:
- Large, perfectly maintained 744 fleet
- Efficient ground handling/boarding/disembarking of pax in terminals
- Excellent inflight F&B quality+service efficiency
- State-of-the-art AVOD
- Excellent piloting skills+experience translating into usually smooth flights throughout
- Always outstanding pax services by very professinal crew
- Often light load factors on many 2ndary longhaul routes........

The name of that airline: JAL

Pls BA, don't follow that suicidal path


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FLX

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  Topic: Trip Report #2 - Sent 23 Aug 17:16

milky:
Try not to fly BA for a change next time and fly on any of the SkyTrax 5Star airlines. Who knows? after coming acrossing more diff airlines' crew, U may decide to expand your shortlist of <BA Crew are always the best i have come across>.

In my opinion, some of them got even less praise than they should relative to BA crew.


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milky

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  Topic: Trip Report #2 - Sent 23 Aug 20:52

I was talking to a BA staff member who is stationed at IAH who is close to our family, Emirates are increasing service from 1x daily 773 to 2x daily 773. Every single flight is full to the brim. Emirates has asked her to join them from BA to EK and are paying her triple the amount BA are.
Also BA's contract to IAH only has 1 year left, and no one thinks they well stay, so it may be the end of BA at IAH, also this time of year the BA equipment is 2x744. However it is now 1 772 and 1 744.
It is unlikely we will fly anyone but BA.


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Mabel

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  Topic: Trip Report #2 - Sent 23 Aug 21:39

Damn those EK vultures, trying to steal BA employees with the promise of 3x BA's pay! If I were a Western woman, you couldn't pay me enough to go work for a Muslim-owned business and be subjected to the awful treatment Muslim women have to deal with everyday.

I don't see BA pulling out of IAH simply because EK is increasing their frequency...BA and EK serve entirely different territories. No one flies EK through DXB to transit to Europe. If BA pulls out of IAH it will be because the sides won't be able to agree to a new contract.


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captain bill

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  Topic: Trip Report #2 - Sent 24 Aug 22:05

I was criticised by some members on this site when i quoted a few weeks past what an EK Arab gentleman said >WE WILL DOMINATE THE WORLD < Well I tell you that is EXACTLY what EK want to do and they will attempt to do it at any cost. BEWARE


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FLX

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  Topic: Trip Report #2 - Sent 24 Aug 10:28

Mabel:
Re <be subjected to the awful treatment Muslim women have to deal with everyday>, the followings may cast new lights on what to expect for expat staff, both male and female, working for EK right fm the initial job interview all the way to relocating/living in Dubai:
http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2010/06/29/343649/no-stopping-emirates-as-it-plans-to-add-700-pilots.html

Regardless of your obvious hatred towards anything in the Gulf, it's a great, detailed article that provides interesting insights into career with a rapidly-growing airline and living on foreign soils.

On the other hand, I absolutely agree with U it's not about EK stealing BA traffic between IAH and LHR/EU via DXB. IAH region is full of IT/Tech firms and big oil industries<Including smaller exploration consultancies and engineering outfits>. Naturally, we can expect lots of related travel demand going to/fm:
a) India - Just about every U.S. IT/Tech firm has got @ least 1 R&D campus in India these days typically employing @ least 1,000 each. But more interestingly, these campuses tend to be based in 2nd-3rd tier cities as oppose to prime time DEL and BOM.
b) Gulf+Africa - No intro needed here. If a place has gold<Black gold in this case>, people will go there to get it no matter how far fm home. What's more, if energy prices stay high, these new age gold-diggers will get to their goldmines in the most luxurious style - fare is no object.

It's about EK being able to cover India and Gulf+Africa via DXB fm N.America<And vice-versa> much much better than BA or anyone else via EU. Take a look of the # of destinations of each:
Africa: EK=19, BA=16
Gulf: EK=12, BA=9
India: EK=10, BA=5

For these destinations, EK generally has equal or higher frequencies than BA. In terms of the transit experience, it's obvious which hub is more enjoyable/hassle-free for a connecting pax regardless of his/her nationality or ethnic origin: LHR T5 or DXB<No chance for coaching/busing to the terminal arrival non-sense here>. Don't get me wrong, LHR T5 is already pretty good. But comparing it with DXB is bit like comparing a delivery van with a 18wheel semi-truck trailer.

These are where the rapid+huge growth lies, not EU. Yes, there're significant OD traffic between IAH region and LHR/EU. But frankly, I est that volume can sustain no more than a daily BA 772ER<Or may be 2X 763ERs> when U consider CO also flies LHR and IAH is a Star/CO fortress. My hypothesis: The connecting traffic to India and Gulf+Africa used to allow BA to fill a lot more capacity fm IAH than a single daily 772ER. After EK's entry and established itself in IAH, those connecting traffic on BA simply vanished. To the best of my knowledge, EK has been expanding capacity<Or trying to get approval to do so> to meet rising demand in ALL of its N.American destinations so the expansion @ IAH is nothing more than part of the bigger trend already emerging.

captain bill:
Relax, take a deep breath. I don't think we hv to get too worked up over extravagant comments made by individual who has got an ego problem and just happens to work for EK. This type of people<e.g. Airline of my country/I work for is the best in the world, etc.> populate the entire industry everywhere and EK is not immune. It's nothing more than a personal comment. If we take such comment and liberally project it as the definitive official Corp statement, we'll get high blood pressure all the time....not a very healthy way to enjoy commercial aviation. Of course, if such EK gentlemen was authorized to make such comment on behalf of the company<i.e. Public statement>, that's a diff story. However, until now, I still hv never heard of any official EK comments in public/media that remotely resemble>WE WILL DOMINATE THE WORLD< and believe me, I do follow many PR communication stuff fm EK<The latest news being EK will launch 388 flight to my home base in 2mths>. And what if EK implies such statement and subtly acting on exactly such goal? So what? I'm unaware of any big commercial airline throughout history that was not interested/aspire to dominate the mkt/industry it operates in. It just happens that EK operates globally and its mkt is the world mkt. Why is DL, currently the largest airline on earth, rapidly expanding its domestic and particularly overseas network lately? Because there's nothing else that's fun to do after its gigantic merger with NW? In a sense, Imperial Airways/BOAC subtly tried similar well before anyone else could approach it on a similar scale. Later, PanAm aimed for similar goal in an even grander scale<BTW, I just couldn't help to notice the parallels between how PanAm and EK hv practically underwritten R&D of the biggest,baddest,riskiest jumbos of their times respectively>. Can we now say they were evil and therefore industry back then should BEWARE? Most importantly, neither Imperial/BOAC nor PanAm @ the end truly succeeded in world domination - suppressing/marginalizing/wiping out global competition completely........History may not repeat itself, @ least not in the same form & shape, but I always believe it is the best teacher of everything in life.

I actually look @ EK's grand expansion plan fm the opposite angle: It's the only way for EK to remain viable independently in a future global mkt that will be DOMINATED by the 3 alliances all armed with ATIs<Anti-Trust Immunity> for their JV ops across most key mkts. U see, in such scenario, the 3 alliances will, for all practical purposes such as profit-sharing, operate like 3 gigantic world airlines. If independent airlines like EK don't grow to certain comparable scale, the only outcome is being marginalized/confined to niche mkt or small region. This is especially true for carriers like EK where their home region mkt is so tiny to draw upon traffic.


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milky

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  Topic: Trip Report #2 - Sent 24 Aug 17:56

I was born and bread with BA and I love them to pieces. I hope that BA continue to grow, and I hope in the not so distant future that they are still around for me to join the company


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captain bill

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  Topic: Trip Report #2 - Sent 24 Aug 20:22

I take your point FLX and I want to go on record as saying I am not coming at this from an anti Muslin point of view. I am all in favour of large, strong airlines and I take my hat of and compliment EK for what they have achieved but there is a very (in my opinion) unhealthy, aggressive policy within the EK organisation that will trample over anyone in their way to get where and what they want. Just look at what other Gulf airlines have to say and also what other Mid Eastern airlines have to say about them.


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captain bill

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  Topic: Trip Report #2 - Sent 24 Aug 21:32

milki I was once very anti BA for some of the reasons FLX states above. I hated the arrogant attitude that was within the company which was inherited from BOAC. They did what they could to keep the British independent airlines down and colluded with the UK government to set the rules. Then along came the iron lady, Mrs Thatcher, and she and her cabinet said BA must be privatised and stand on their own two feet. This was the best thing that ever happened in UK civil aviation and I came to admire what certain people within the >new< company were doing. Lord King, Sir Colin Marshall and others were a breth of fresh air and were prepared to compeate with outher British , European and World airlines on a leaval playing field. I have the utmost respect for Willie Walsh although at times the way he speaks to people could be a bit more diplomatic but he is a man that is in a hurry to get it right and he has a great management team around him. I also am a BA fan and admire them very much. I believe they will be around and I hope you find a position in the company that will bring you success, happyness, wealth and above all contentment.


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milky

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  Topic: Trip Report #2 - Sent 25 Aug 23:08

Thank you Captain Bill, I appreciate it. I hope to be either at the front of any of their aircraft or Crew. I am willing to start at the very bottom and work my way up, I dont care how I do it, I just want to do it.


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FLX

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  Topic: Trip Report #2 - Sent 25 Aug 12:10

milky:
Contrary to <be either at the front of any of their aircraft or Crew>, I actually think U will hv an awesome BA career in its PR team. I hv never come across anyone, both on and off this forum, more devoted/focused to the role of being a BA champion so consistently.

Anyway, I really hope your career aspiration will materalize as it's always very cool to combine interest/hobby with making a living<That's why captain bill is my idol>.

Though I'm curious about the followings<Always interested in how people handle career options thx to my HR background>:
Given 2 choices and only these 2 choices, what will U pick for the 1st 10yrs of your career<U're free to do whatever afterwards>?

A) Join BA as a management trainee and remain in non-crew/non-frontline/management/corp functions eventually progress to the middle-manager level.
B) Join EK from a junior/cadet pilot and eventually progress to fly as a Senior FO<First Officer> on A380.

captain bill:
I think I know what U mean and agree they do exist to a certain extent @ EK. 1 prime example is how EK allegedly influence foreign policy/trade agreement/diplomacy of U.A.E. to gain traffic rights fm other nations. Another example is overwhelming bulk purchasing fm suppliers/service providers so they've to give EK priority over its competitors<Guess who has more power than Airbus to dictate 380 delivery slots for ALL 380 customers?>. Other examples can generally be described as capacity dumping/predatory pricing in certain EK mkts. Things that are certainly unhealthy and aggressive for the mkt longer term. However, I still fail to see all these tactics as EK-patented & exclusive. I hv seen numerous major airlines used similar set of tricks all the time when they can or when they must. The old favourite/most visible target to lay on such criticism was SQ<I still remember it raised a lot of industry veterans' eyebrows 12yrs ago when it ordered 77units of 777 in a single order>. It's no secret QF and BA wanted to bury SQ alive in the way they used to attack SQ's <unfair> tactics. Now, it's EK, again in a grander scale. What EK is doing is really nothing new in this industry. After all, what else can we expect fm Tim Clark<EK President> who graduated in London U and started his career with BCal.


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milky

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  Topic: Trip Report #2 - Sent 25 Aug 15:36

FLX I would take choice 2 no questions, I would love to work for BA however my number one dream would be to become a Pilot, any which way I can achieve that I will do even if it means not working for BA.


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captain bill

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  Topic: Trip Report #2 - Sent 25 Aug 16:02

FLX - YOU MAKE ME BLUSH.

I have been very fortunate in my life within the airline business and I have worked in a number of positions within it. In my current position I am becoming very despondent and feel aviation security is now at such a high level of intensity that mistakes are going to be made and by simple methods deployed by certain people and a major incident could go down at any time. I do hope I am wrong. I need to move on and hope to do this within the next 6 to 8 weeks.

I love milki's enthusiasm and I hope he keeps posting and lets us all know how his future develops. Hope an old codger like me is still around when he gets his bars on his sleeve. It's a great feeling and then when you have to turn them in because your eyesight fails well it's not so good. I still like a look at the sharp end but I wouldn't have a clue where to start that's why today's pilots are my heroes as have been many of the guys from the past who flew literally on a wing and a prayer and some old fashioned skill.

Yes they can take many things away from you but the memories are still there to enjoy.


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Mabel

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  Topic: Trip Report #2 - Sent 26 Aug 23:11

From a passenger's standpoint, say what you will about BA's labour issues, but they've always known how to treat a passenger properly. I've had a few bad experiences with them over delayed/canceled flights, lost baggage, etc., but never had a bad experience relating to their customer service, inflight, at the airport or anywhere else. Even in Y class they treat the pax well and that's saying something, especially in this day and age where customer service is mostly an anachronism.

Milky, best of luck to you in pursuing your aviation dreams. Anyone lucky enough to earn their living by doing their hobby is very lucky indeed.


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milky

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  Topic: Trip Report #2 - Sent 26 Aug 10:59

Thank you guys for all your support and encouragement. I have a long fight though to be able to achieve my dream, I do not have particularly great vision, I do wear glasses. But I will not however let that stop me.


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captain bill

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  Topic: Trip Report #2 - Sent 26 Aug 15:27

No don't let it stop you as the tolerance now is a lot better than it was in my day. Pilots don't need to see well as the computers do it all for them. Ha Ha


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milky

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  Topic: Trip Report #2 - Sent 26 Aug 15:46

Ah ok, what do you think is the worst presription that is acceptable?


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FLX

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  Topic: Trip Report #2 - Sent 27 Aug 6:12

To remove any potential barrier towards a commercial pilot career in regards to eyesight std, I suggest U should seriously consider the lasik procedure to resolve this issue once and for all.

Compared with a decade ago, it's a very mature medical procedure and the cost of op has gone down dramatically @ where I live<Don't know about EU/UK though>. In fact, it's so common and such a non-event these days that most people around here regard it as low risk as, say, a complex dental treatment @ a local clinic....


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captain bill

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  Topic: Trip Report #2 - Sent 27 Aug 7:33

You see what I mean guys, if you need an answer just ask Professor FLX. Great answer - never thought of it. Well done.


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milky

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  Topic: Trip Report #2 - Sent 27 Aug 8:13

I cannot have Laser Eye Surgery. I have a left lazy eye.


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milky

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  Topic: Trip Report #2 - Sent 27 Aug 14:17

So what do you think is the worst prescription that would be acceptable to become a pilot


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captain bill

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  Topic: Trip Report #2 - Sent 27 Aug 14:26

Try this sight (no pun intendes) it may help you. Lots of other good information on it.

http://www.askcaptainlim.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=50&Itemid=73


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Mabel

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  Topic: Trip Report #2 - Sent 27 Aug 19:09

Milky, I don't know if you're into mind-rotting, addicting video games, but if you are there might be hope for you...see below, the link courtesy of my 14 year old nephew who is well on the way to video game zombiehood.

http://www.destructoid.com/mario-kart-saves-child-s-eyesight-177666.phtml


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milky

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  Topic: Trip Report #2 - Sent 27 Aug 19:37

:L thanks for that info Captain Bill.
Mabel I believe that my eye will not improve again, the nerve endings are completely dead and will not work again


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captain bill

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  Topic: Trip Report #2 - Sent 28 Aug 8:35

milki - Lord Nelson was a Captain and he had only one eye.

England Expects Every Man To Do His Duty
Kiss Me Hardy

You know the guy I'm talking about.


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Mabel

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  Topic: Trip Report #2 - Sent 29 Aug 22:08

LOL good point Captain Bill!


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Trip Report #2

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