The lounge at JFK was so much emptier than in September. My seat let me survey the whole area but was quite quiet; across the way were a cluster of folk watching that there Super Bowl. And then, oh, hi Nige, hi Martin! Up they popped on Facebook, watching the game back in England. I talked to them, though not much because I was writing the last blog post. Happened to finish typing it just as they announced boarding to my flight, which meant once again I've failed to use the "Pre-flight supper" restaurant.
My plane was leaving at 11pm, which makes it a "sleeper service" so they don't go overboard on food and drink. Most people just want to sleep immediately, though of course not me because I like to feel desiccated and exhausted on a Monday morning.
Gate 4 was just round the corner and I boarded nice and quickly and headed straight upstairs. Damn, I love going upstairs on a plane. It's a 747 and I've got the prime real estate of seat 62A, the infinite legroom, privacy, and no clambering seat in the exit row in the centre of the cabin. There are two side bins big enough to fit my bags so I don't even need to put anything above head level.
A lass sits in 62B and puts the privacy screen up, and she's the last person I see that isn't staff until the bloke in 63B stares me out when we're coming into land 5 hours later. Yeah, 5 hours for this transatlantic leg; shorter than the domestic flight I'd just got off, and overnight. This is a bastard.
I'm given a menu, which says that inside there's also the "do you want breakfast?" card, which is untrue. A champagne arrives, and a "wash bag" amenity kit (these are junk) and one of the attendants apologises for the lack of breakfast card, so she's just taking notes herself. "Yes, I want waking up for bacon please" is my response.
The inflight entertainment works and I start the Steve Jobs film and then it restarts about 5 times because argh fucking hell BA what the hell is up with your shitty software. Once we're in the air it behaves itself and I learn how to hate Steve Jobs, or at least that portrayal of him. Such a wanker.
Food comes quickly; there's a quick salad, then this lovely chicken with wasabi rice and a cheese plate. I'm asked if I want the dessert chocolate pudding too and can't answer - I hold my hand over my mouth while he looks inquisitive, and manage to spit out "you'll have to excuse me, I have a mouth full of cheese". He laughs.
After clearing up the plate he goes, those desserts are lovely aren't they? Do you want another one? Ha! Well, no thanks, but how about another glass of champagne? Well of course sir.
Steve Jobs continues to piss me off, even managing to make me like Sir Clive Sinclair in comparison. What the fuck is up with these supposed geniuses being such arseholes? I fall asleep during the film anyway, having put my seat into a reclining but not fully flat position. At 9am UK time I'm woken up and handed a bacon panini plus fruit plate and a smoothie.
I feel completely fucking wretched. I always do. I think my refusal to sleep, wilful choice of punishing schedule, excess alcohol consumption plus the air quality of a clapped out old jumbo jet all conspire against me, though it's probably just the last one. Right? I absolutely cover myself in moisturising cream and it makes me feel even worse.
We're meant to land at 1100 I think, but in the end touch down on the Tarmac at 1020. The taxi to T5B is quick and almost before I know it - because my mind is a bit of a fog anyway - I'm on the monorail, off the monorail, at the UK border oyster gates, through customs, and up the escalators to the arrivals lounge all inside half an hour. Phenomenal.
Last time I was in this lounge I'd got off the 7am arrival and it was rammed, but here at 1050 it's virtually empty. I get assigned a shower suite immediately - Purple 02 - and have a rejuvenating and, unlike last time, hot shower. Then to the spa and I ask for a massage. I could have a real one at 1pm, or a chair one right away. Let's go with the chair.
15 minutes of super firm wobbling and I feel quite a lot better, though still exhausted and monstrously dehydrated. I also leave my passport and notebook in the massage room, which wasn't sensible.
300ml of Diet Coke doesn't do me much good, but it's nice to just sit around in the UK timezone chatting to folk online. BA.com tells me that because I upgraded to first class yesterday I'm now going to earn FEWER tier points than originally, and that right there is a whole bunch of bullshit.
News reaches me that there are quite a few flight cancellations today. I look to see if I'm affected, because of course I've still got 2 flights to take before I can go home. At the moment the Bergen flights are unaffected, but I go airside where if the best does happen I'll be able to sort it all out in the lounge.