Christmas and New Year with youngest son and family in NJ. Drove down from Yorkshire the day before, left car as usual at eldest son’s home in Buckinghamshire (they were away) and used their local airport run guy to take us to the Radisson on Bath Road. Some anxiety about flights being cancelled by VS and BA due to heavy snow on US eastern seaboard. Messages to son established that yes there was deep snow but as ever in the States, it was under control and flights seemed to be arriving and taking off as usual.
This is a Trip Report from the Upper Class cabin
Food & Drink
Radisson was good, we would stay again. Particularly enjoyed the Steak and Lobster bar, OH had a very good rib eye and I had a half lobster which was delicious. Very good night’s sleep, unprecedented for me, firm mattress but deep and squishy-soft mattress topper. I need to buy one!
Very foggy next morning so more anxiety about delayed flights. Cab for very short journey to Terminal 3. I’d had to phone FC a while before on another subject, so booked a slot at DTCI and gave cab driver a note with our surname and flight number. He was not a native English speaker and tried but failed to pronounce our (perfectly ordinary) name on the intercom at DTCI. He couldn’t manage to spell it out in a way that the nice girl at check-in could understand. He was getting more frustrated by the minute so I got out, went around the car and spoke to the girl who said yes I have your details, your husband (name) is with you which I confirmed and we were in. Cab driver presumably embarrassed but it came across as annoyed.
Check-in smooth of course, nice girl spotted OH’s hated white cane which he has because of his sight problems and helped us through security and I emailed Croydon with thanks and praise. Quick trip to duty free and up the hallowed stairs to the CH, not looking its best shrouded in covers here and there and the welcoming staff at a temporary desk halfway down the entrance corridor but hey, it’s still the beloved CH. I went to book a manicure immediately, but they couldn’t fit me in till 1415 which I queried as we were boarding at 1515 so no time for polish to dry. Was assured (but still doubtful) that it would be fine.
Lanson in hand, obligatory wave posted, Facebook check-in posted, son in NJ messaged, really there’s never a moment in a busy social life is there . OH had spicy chicken wings which he loves and I had feta and beetroot salad which sounds odd but was really good and I would have it again. Went for manicure a few minutes early to fill in the form. 1415 came and went, 1420 and 1425. Reception staff kept saying won’t be a minute. It was 1435 before the girl came for me, rushed job, assured me it would dry but inevitably it got dinged in repacking my flight case.
Quickly on board, welcomed by FSM who said there were 2 FSMs on board, his (female) colleague was running the galley. Ghastly Gardet declined, Prosecco requested and readily brought. We were in 3A and 4A, In 1A was a girl of about 12 and in 2A, next to me, a boy of maybe 10. No worries, our granddaughters are much the same age, frequent flyers, plug themselves straight into their iPads and revel in not being told they’ve had enough screen time for that day.
Tomato and basil soup
Fillet of beef
Warm orange marmalade panettone
Cheese (Brie, Aged Gouda, Cornish Blue)
I had crab cakes which were good but very big, and cheese. Wined and dined I reclined and hoped to sleep a little to enable me to stay awake longer and also to chat to family when we arrived. Just dropped off when there was a series of bangs and my suite shook. Child from hell in 2A was running up and down the cabin banging his hand on each suite. Then he decided to change his seat to a bed. He banged everything, leapt on the chair to get the duvet, jumped on the bed to make it up but finally he threw himself back on the bed. Hooray, peace at last. My suite shakes and bangs. He is now hauling his bed up and down. FSM passes and I ask what the boy is doing. FSM investigates. Child has dropped something and rather than get out, he is hauling bed up to try to reach it without moving. FSM sorts it out and says parents are in 1K and 2K and father asks if I want to swap with him. No thank you, my husband is partially sighted and needs me next to him not the other side of the cabin.
I was by then thoroughly awake and alas didn’t manage to do more than doze for a few minutes but no further problems on what was otherwise a good flight and attentive crew.
Touched down on time, usual feeling that we’ve landed at JFK by mistake and are taxi-ing to EWR but we were quickly off and made our well-practised fast walk to immigration, only a dozen or so pax ahead of us in the queue. Usual gorgon at the head of the queue was not there, instead a quite friendly-looking guy who waved us to the numbered kiosk. That queue got held up and the guy in the next kiosk smiled (!) and waved us to him, very genial, “You guys here for Christmas?”. Usual fingerprints for me but not OH and we decided the TSA staff at EWR have all been to charm school since our last visit. Luggage off very quickly and we hurried to customs and unbelievably, the charm school continued with “You have a good day now”.
Down the arrivals ramp for rapturous welcome from our son and youngest granddaughter, out in the bitter cold and massive piles of snow to the car. Son turned to us in the car and said “It’s just 30 minutes since I watched your plane touch down, how do you do it?”
Thanks for reading.