|LHR T-3 Lounge. Showered, fed & ready to board my flight home.|
This 10 hour time change side-effect would be all well and good on a mileage run usually. Honestly, it's just one more part of the insanity that can make it an adventure. Case in point my trip to Hong Kong this year- I've considered skipping the hotel night entirely since it'll be the middle of my 'day' and just seeing the sights at night, then heading back to sleep it off on the 16 hour flight home. No muss, no fuss, no jetlag.
However, in the case of Jo'Burg, I'd combined a few business meetings with the trip, and so needed to be on my game at 10 am to meet some industry folks, and then on to a second meeting in the afternoon. Won't lie, that was a little rough. If I'm tempted to do this again, I'll probably limit it to one meeting... or none. Still, the meetings went well, and the second colleague kindly took me back to JNB to catch my outbound flight. Or so I thought.
As previously posted, I didn't realize until I got to the check-in line that my passport was still safely locked up in my room at the Hilton back in Sandton. Low point of the trip. Suffice to say I got really familiar with the Gautrain.
As also previously discussed, upon arrival I learned of an equipment change from one BA 747 to another, which removed several rows of economy, one of them the unlimited legroom exit row I was seated in. But as very occasionally happens in the twisted world of mileage running, my annoyance...surprise...anger, or whatever it was at that point, was eventually assuaged by a surprise status-based upgrade to a 'World Traveler Plus" seat instead. While not to be equated with a true upgrade to business class or better, 'WT+' on this plane is somewhat like AA's 737 domestic F service, less as much personal attention, but with an added little footrest. Soft product gets a little better as well- there's a menu, and your food comes in real glasses and on plates, rather than the 'microwave meal' trays served in back. At that point in the weekend, that was all I needed to forgive BA, and to get a little sleep on the trip back across the continent to LHR.
|Little amenity kit|
|See, AA?? They still do make these. Get yourselves together & stock them again.|
Speaking of sleeping it off, fast forward to the second segment of my return trip- my first chance to experience the new business class on AA's 777-300ER that they keep advertizing. My review- I give it about an 8 out of 10. It definitely puts any of AA's other hard product to shame. And considering that the previous configuration on the 777-200 was 2-3-2 angle lie flat where the middle seat of the '3' section is basically trapped unless they're the type to wake up their neighbor and get them to sit back up, or are prepared to do a flying leap over them to get to the restroom (guilty)... the shaming is immense.
|777-200 business class. These are due for retrofit in the next year or two,||thankfully.|
|In comparison- here's a panoramic of the 77W J cabin. Yeah, no more needs to be said.|
|PLENTY of space to stretch out and sleep!|
|Good sized screen, but low resolution.|
|Bose, slippers & menu|
|Seat and entertainment controls. That's a light, not an air vent.|
|Second course- fillet.|
|Pre-landing snack. Okay, pizza on the 'Flagship' service....Really, AA??|
|Lunch...dinner, maybe depending on what timezone you choose. Way better than in-flight.|
I suppose that normal people are right to consider 'extreme' mileage running like this to be insane. But to that I say- Have you ever flown to Africa just to feed a giraffe, and pet a lion cub?
Yeah, didn't think so.... :)
|One more giraffe...for good luck.|