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#952397 by Amo
25 Sep 2019, 21:59
Ground Staff
Food & Drink
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Hi everyone, thought I would upload my trip report from my recent flight out to Orlando. This is from the economy cabin (up in the bubble though!)

It took me a while to sort out the dates and prices for this trip - oddly enough the weren't coming up with the usual great prices for September. After some searching I did get a good price going out in Economy and back in Economy Delight (mainly for the extra miles and TPs - but the location of the seats meant this wasn’t a good option going out for the immigration line)

I checked in very promptly 24 hours before and scored SEQ001 for the flight - excellent start!! I actually went up the morning of the flight as the departure was 1300 on a Sunday. Bag Drop was less than 5min, and I dealt with a very pleasant agent. I had booked the Clubrooms for a quiet place to site beforehand. It was no clubhouse obviously but I found it a very nice place to sit for a couple of hours (and have some processo!). You could also get some bottled water to take on the plane - I don’t think the clubhouse do this anymore? I would definitely book the Clubrooms again for the right price.

Boarding commenced on time so we filed down to greet Tinkerbelle who would be our ride to MCO. I went straight onto the plane and was directed upstairs to 79C. Unfortunately this plane doesn’t have the side bins for storing bags but as it happens the overhead lockers were empty for my row.

A quick flight time of 8 hours 18mins across the Atlantic was promised (I had a similar promise last time then spent over an hour circling the space coast due to weather, however I was confident today would be settled at Orlando!!). We were a little late pushing back and then waiting for our take off slot but this just meant we were due to land on time rather than early.

Drinks were served soon after take off (after the Premium section of course). Interesting that we seem to have the same drinks available as Premium (with the exception of Prosecco), it’s just that they are served in plastic cups! Menus came round - I can only remember two of the three choices, macaroni cheese with posh ham (prosciutto??), paneer curry and a chicken dish. I had the paneer curry which was lovely - a similar dish to what I have been served in Upper Class before. Interestingly everyone in Economy upstairs got their first choice for mains, the CC went downstairs to source a couple more of the macaronis when needed. I was really impressed with the food offering in economy - they have done away with the bread roll, but then given that you could use it as a baseball if needed, this is no great loss! The wine is served in individual bottles now which I prefer (exactly the same as Premium). Tea and coffee followed the dinner service.

The afternoon ice cream has now been done away with and we had a bag of Skittles instead. I quite like this - and it was far less messy!! I do believe there was another drinks run in the afternoon as well just before afternoon tea.

The entertainment system was working well - I finally managed to watch Avengers Endgame!! I also caught up with Captain Marvel too - an enjoyable watch.

Afternoon tea was served about 2 hours out. The Eric Lanlard offering was very nice. A mozzarella and pesto roll plus a scone. OK this was a pre packaged scone rather than warmed but it was still very tasty. Tea and coffee were served with this also.

We landed just before 1700 from the south so had a slightly longer taxi to the terminal. We disembarked just after the downstairs premium cabin. This is where the experience went downhill - immigration!! Being a Sunday, there were not as many desks open as during the week (I had been following the wait times on the website to get a rough idea). I was one of the first off our plane and I waited over 90min. In that time, several other flights arrived as well - they must have been waiting close to three hours I estimate.

It’s a thoroughly unpleasant wait as well - no water or seats - I really felt for those who are not as able to stand for such periods or those with young families. I don’t understand why the waits have gotten so much worse in the last 1-2 years. At some points in 2017, I was clearing immigration in 15 mins with the use of the machines (that have now all mysteriously disappeared). I am seriously considering global entry - particularly as I passed the Enrolment on Arrival desk several times during the queue! I know I only go two to three times a year as a tourist but it seems like it could be worth it? Anyway when I eventually got the officer, I was processed in less than a minute and got to my suitcase right away (these were now all stacked on and off the conveyor!). I got to my resort within an hour of leaving the immigration officer (having stopped for groceries on the way) which was a new personal record for me!!

So first time flying economy for a couple of years - and I really recommend it. Food was great, service top notch (or at least no different to the experience in Upper or Premium that I could tell). It was worth paying the extra for the seat in the bubble but that would be my only recommendation. I look forward to Economy Delight on the way back - all that legroom!! :-D

Thanks for reading! :cool:
#952402 by ColOrd
26 Sep 2019, 06:29
Excellent trip report, really detailed! And nice to read a review from the back of the bus so to speak!
#952409 by matt.hibb
26 Sep 2019, 12:15
Thanks for the TR.

Agree on the arrival experience at MCO, it can be dreadful. To think you're paying higher airport charges/fees/taxes to use it over many other airports, it's terrible and just keeps getting worse.

Can't recommend Global Entry enough. Never waited for more than a few minutes on entry. And being able to use TSAprecheck is great outbound too. On my 1st use of it arriving into LAS a while back, it was a total zoo. Global shares the same officer as the crew line does which was also massive. To my astonishment, I was called ahead of all the crew! I had like a 2 minute wait.
#952438 by Lindsk
27 Sep 2019, 16:12
Great TR, thanks. It is good to hear that Economy was also a positive experience. I also cannot recommend GE enough. We have only used it twice so far and saved a lot of time (and no doubt, it will become even more valuable as immigration seems to be taking longer, as you say). Yes, we have reached the luggage area before our luggage and had to wait for a short while, but I would rather that than have to wait in the queue to see the immigration officers.
Have a great break and I look forwards to the TR on Economy Delight - no pressure ;-)
#952461 by buns
28 Sep 2019, 05:14
Amo

Thanks for an excellent TR and huge kudos for getting that SEQ1 :-D

The seat you got was at least in the hallowed "bubble" (a must for many and I ahve never seen the economy cabin empty up there) and it looks like you had tip top servcie from the CC.

Another vote for GE - although I will add we tried for Approval on Arrival on the next visit following completion of the process only to find we could not do it at MCO, so do book an appointment at the GE Office in MCO during your stay as a backup

Thanks once again and enjoy Orlando

buns
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