Royal Vacation: Getting there was the hardest part!

Royal Vacation: Getting there was the hardest part!

Royal Vacation: Getting there was the hardest part!

As you might notice, there is no initial “Flight Review” for the way over in the trip report log. There’s a reason for that. First of all, our group went on two different planes on the way over to London, with 4 people on a flight out of Miami, and my Mom and I flying on American Airlines Business Class out of Dallas. The flight from Miami went fine but our flight was A MESS.

Trip Report log:

  • Introduction: A Royal Vacation
  • Getting there was the hardest part!
  • Hotel Review: St. Ermin’s Hotel,  Marriott Autograph Collection, London
  • London: The Sights
  • A day in the English Countryside
  • Hotel Review: Old Town Chambers (Edinburgh)
  • Scotland: Exploring Edinburgh and Stirling
  • Hotel Review: Radisson Blue Manchester
  • Flight Review: American Airlines Business Class 767 MAN-ORD

This would be my Mom’s first international Business Class flight and I obviously wanted everything to go perfectly for her…unfortunately that would not be the case.

We started out at the Centurion Lounge, which was great, but when we left is when the trouble began.

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Dallas Centurion Lounge

american airlines business class dallas london dfw lhr lost bag

Having drinks at the Dallas Centurion Lounge

First, we had a three-hour delay. Then it took even longer because they had to get a new plane due to an equipment problem. We were originally on a newly retrofitted 777-200.  I was excited about this because I knew they were band new seats and nicer than anything Mom had ever been on!  However, the new plane would be a 777-300, which I was looking forward to seeing as well because I wrongly assumed it was one of the new planes American Airlines had recently purchased.

The next problem with this delay/plane change was that they re-seated everyone and separated me and my Mom.  This obviously upset me and I ended up having to go to the desk three different times before they would finally put us back together.

Finally, after a long delay we boarded the plane after midnight and then I became even angrier….

It seems they had given us an old 777-300 with the old business class seats with a 2-3-2 configuration – far inferior to the 1-2-1 configuration and new seats on the new 777-300 and retrofitted 777-200 we had been on.

The crew was confused about things and generally rude, they were out of some of the food, and the cabin was actually pretty dirty.  It was just generally poor quality everything.

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Old Business Class configuration

american airlines business class dallas london dfw lhr lost bag

Old Business Class seat

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Trash throughout the cabin

Mom was still pretty happy since she had only flown coach before but I was disappointed that I couldn’t give her a better experience.

The flight was otherwise uneventful, but we weren’t done in our adventure of trying to get to London….

The rest of the group arrived on time and was wondering where we were.  When I landed and connected to WiFi I had several text messages asking if we were OK.  I told them about the delay and that we would be at the hotel soon, but that turned out to be a lie.

We arrived too late to see the American Airlines arrivals lounge, which I had wanted to review, so we just went to get our luggage and get into town.  We got the baggage claim area and waited, Mom’s bag came out and then we waited and waited and waited…no bag for me.

Next stop was  the American Airlines desk and the woman there, very matter-of-fact-ly and un-apologetically, informed me that my bag was still in Dallas and should be here in a couple days….great.

“Ok, whatever, lets just get to the hotel and have a drink, I need this day to be over.”  I thought, so we headed to the Tube and into town.

Unfortunately the subway car stopped after about 15 minutes and never moved again.  Apparently there was some power outages and they didn’t know when it would run again.

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Subway is dead…

After about 45 minutes of waiting it was time to find another way into the city.  They told us there was a bus stop right outside so we gave it a try.  It was pouring down rain of course…

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Time to hop on the bus

We took the bus to a train stop.

american airlines business class dallas london dfw lhr lost bag

Waiting for the train

And waited undercover for our ride.

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Still excited to see London…eventually

Finally we arrived at Waterloo Station and walked to our hotel.

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We made it!

By now it was around 8pm, and our family was waiting for us to get dinner.  Not what I had expected for a flight that was suppose to land around lunch time. (Could have sped things up if we got a cab instead of taking the bus but it was almost the principal of the thing at that point!)

Finally we made it to our GREAT hotel, The St. Ermin’s!

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It was quite a trip to get to London but we were SO HAPPY when we finally met up with everyone, and as you will see, the rest of our trip was incredible!  (may bag arrived 2 morning later)

Next Up: St. Ermin’s Hotel!

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