Monday, December 17, 2012

My first US trip - day 1

US trip diary
Day 1
15 dec 2012

Right now my youngest son Encheng is sleeping on my lap, in a British Airways airplane on route to London. I just had my late supper in flight.

Today has been a long waiting day. With the flight taking place in late night, we had the whole day in preparation. The kids spent most of the day watching TV, Su-lan went out shopping for a replacement hand luggage, and I searching on the Internet, updating our trip on tripit and making further arrangements to our family's first ever US trip.

I must say TripIt is a great app for setting up and updating a long trip in the US. You just make booking for hotels, theme parks, airlines, submit the confirmation emails to Tripit, and voila! Your trip has been accurately updated with little effort. I am amazed at how well this app works, it really helps with holiday planning.

Thanks to my brother-in-law Kevin, we were transported to the airport amid pouring rain. The check-in process was relatively smooth. After the customs, we went to the Bidvest premier Lounge thanks to Investec. My FNB Platinum credit card is less useful than the Invest Credit card in this instance. The Bidvest airport lounge was a good experience, allowing our family to enjoy some snacks and drinks, watching the latest soccer match on TV, just having some time to relax before the flight.

Having a toddler or a baby is always an advantage when boarding a flight, as you are given priority. Mmm, maybe I should have another baby ..., but maybe not, as Su-lan protests at how our three energetic boys are already stretching us and testing our limits.

This is the first time we fly with British Airways, and the initial experience was not up to expectation. First, there was an hour delay due to the public address system not working, and the flight attendants had to conduct the safety demonstrations using a loud speaker, to about six rows of passengers at a time. The cabin was rather warm before the airplane took off. Then once in flight, I discovered the toilet did not have water to wash my hands. Soon after a senior air host announced 5 of the toilets were unserviceable due to problems with water supply, reducing to two toilets servicing 250 people in the economy class. He apologized and made the toilets in the business class available to economy class passengers.

The service attitude of the flight attendants made up for the technical problems of the aircraft. They were helpful, attentive and friendly. They tried to make the best of the situation.

I hope we will still be in time to catch our cnnecting flight to New York when we land in the London Heathrow airport. Now is time to get some sleep.

Kevin, writing in seat 31D, 12:55am midnight