This is London. London Heathrow Terminal Five.
Finnair Flight AY839 Helsinki – London
Aircraft: Airbus A319 Miles: 1,134 Duration: 3hrs5mins
After our comfortable Airbus A319 service from Helsinki to London T3 on Finnair, we made our way via international transfer over to Terminal 5, the home of British Airways, for our final flight on our challenge – a British Airways Boeing 777-300ER service to New York JFK.
Our inbound flight from Helsinki was very comfortable and enjoyable. Today’s service included drinks from the bar, a hot chicken and wil mushroom lunch followed by pancakes with a blueberry compote). Crew were constantly in the aisle offering more drinks, coffee refills, cognac, etc. As it was a Saturday lunchtime flight, the cabin wasn’t overly busy, so we could stretch out.
After an enjoyable day in the excellent care of Finnair (with great thanks!), we’ve pit-stopped in the BA Galleries Lounge Pavilion for a quick shower and some water. The Galleries lounges are vast, with both north and south lounges in Terminal 5A (the main terminal), with another lounge in Terminal 5B, plus a separate First Class lounge (T5A) which serves the carriers Emerald Card guests, and the Concorde Room, exclusively reserved for First Class customers and Concorde Room card holders. Combined, these lounges have space for 2,500 guests at any one time, and offer a sizeable increase over previous lounge facilities in other terminals. The décor is soothing and comfortable, with a wide variety of food, beverage, entertainment and business options available.
Boarding tonight is from a B gate, so we get to ride the toy town train before boarding our last sector, covering 3,458 miles in 7hrs50mins. Upon landing, we will make our way back to 2 Park Avenue, to check-in at the oneworld Headquarters, thus completing our challenge. We hope someone’s left the lights on!
It seems fitting that our last flight will be with British Airways, whose partnership with Comic Relief UK has lead to the creation of Flying Start. Although the origins of British Airways stretch way back, the actual name British Airways came into being in 1974, with the merger of BOAC and BEA. Today, British Airways have a fleet of 241 aircraft flying to an impressive 169 destinations. Heathrow is the main hub of BA’s activities, but London Gatwick also has an impressive array of destinations on offer. BA have an impressive fleet, split between both Airbus and Boeing. BA have one of the largest 747 fleets in operation today, with up to 55 of the giants circling the globe, backed up by more than 50 Boeing 777s. A dozen Airbus A380s are on offer and are due to be delivered soon, followed closely by 787-800 and 787-900 variants. Recent product renovations, including new seating and improvements to catering, along with a refocus on customer service have seen the airline’s revenues respond positively. We both spend quite a bit of time on board BA aircraft, so it is a taste of “home” for us after this epic journey – one we are immensely looking forward to.
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