One of the teams I manage is in Boston Massachusetts, so I tend to visit the city at least once a quarter to checkin with them and get some proper facetime. Nowadays Boston, like many cities in the US, is home to some seriously good craft brewing and with a reputation for some fantastic IPA’s which I’ve enjoyed on previous visits. For this trip I’ve loaded a case with 42 cans and bottles of Brewdog’s finest to give the team a contrasting taste of British efforts in this space. Not wanting to haul this through London, I get a cab to the airport, dropping off at T5 departures.
The case is pretty heavy and the bathroom scales have inconveniently decided to suddenly stop working today, so I haven’t been able to weigh it before leaving. The normal weight limit on a checked bag with BA is 23kg, but this is increased to 32kg if you’re flying business or first class, or have silver/gold status. Even so, I’m still a bit concerned that it’s going to be too heavy and I’ll be forced to drink several bottles of brewdog on the concourse, or worse…let it go to waste!
Fortunately it weighs in at 28.4kg, so I can proceed through security at the T5 First Wing, into the lounge and out onto the terrace.
Unfortunately the terrace is not the sea of calm it often is; there’s a group of ten or so travellers making an awful lot of noise. Glancing at their table, and there are numerous bottles of champagne they’ve taken from the bar and consumed. They’re clearly intent on continuing the party on their flight, as they bring further bottles of champagne back to their table and begin decanting them into thermos flasks. Occasionally you see people stashing a can of Tribute Ale or some Kettle Chips in their carry on, but it’s not often you see this type of blatant abuse of the lounge rules.
My flight, like many US flights, is departing from Terminal 5B; de-camping to the lounge there for the final 30 minutes or so before boarding and proper tranquility is resumed.
Heathrow to Boston (140 TP)
The BA239 is being operated by Boeing 777-200ER, tail number G-VIIF, a plane approaching her 22nd birthday. BA’s business class cabin on their 777’s is often referred to as “the dormitory”, and generally regarded by frequent fliers as the worst BA club world product. I wonder if they’re thinking about the 164 passengers on the flight in far worse accommodation when they make such comments.
With a departure time of 19:55 and a scheduled arrival time of around 22:00 EST, BA239 is the last BA flight departing Heathrow for the East Coast. Taking this flight and including a Saturday night in the itinerary, saves several thousand pounds on the ticket price; a Saturday night away from home is an anathema to most business travellers, so BA sets their ticket prices accordingly, confident that their companies will pick up the bill.
The 777 makes good time across the Atlantic, and with Global Entry I’m straight through border control. My case containing the Brewdog is quickly on the belt, and I’m out of the terminal, waiting for a cab in the (very) crisp Boston air. Straight to the Seaport Hotel, and bed; my body clock is saying it’s 3:30am, the time back home in the UK.