72 Hours in the Middle East: American Airlines to London Heathrow

*This series covers a once in a lifetime trip with my dad. He is a member of an elite squad known as – no, not the Special Victim’s Unit – the Concierge Key Crew. He has flown and accrued over 12 million miles with American Airlines and, as such, he has been invited to be part of this unpublished, invite only, members’ club. You can’t buy your way in or request membership – you must fly some unpublished number of flights/miles per year in order to gain entry. He flies a certain number of qualifying miles each year to keep his outrageous perks. Every year he does a few crazy, 72 hour trips in premium cabins to  maintain his status. This time, he invited me to accompany him. This is my story.  (DUNH DUNH – SVU music).*

Friday at 4 pm. We go to check in for our evening flight from NYC to London. I assume we are going to the priority check in line, where I have been fortunate to go before when flying business class.

Um, no.

20150130_164711 For someone like my dad – who has this special card… 20150130_165241 You get to use the transatlantic first class check in.  20150130_165339 It’s in this secret, special hall that a woman guards. Your name has to be on a list to get in. And when you get in, the person checking you in knows your name because, duh, you fly so much. You are then escorted through security, cutting to the front of the line. It makes normal premium class service look like peanuts. I mean, it was INSANE…everyone was shooting us daggers, but I couldn’t blame them. We were then ushered to the first class lounge…even though we were flying business class…because of his Concierge Key status. AWESOME. 
20150130_171648 We quickly helped ourselves to glasses of Gloria Ferrer champagne – a little acidic and tinny for me, but it did the trick. The sushi wasn’t exactly Nakazawa style, but we were eating it with BRITNEY SPEARS’ mother and it was in an airport and I wasn’t scared of getting food poisoning. So I dealt. 
20150130_185645 After we were (escorted, even before people with children) onto the plane, we settled down for a quick 5.5 hour flight across the pond. America’s new business class is sensational. Huge entertainment selection, lie flat seats, and a really comfy blanket/pillow combo.
20150130_191810 The Hundred Food Journey is the best food porn since Chef.
20150130_210712 The food leaves a lot to be desired. It’s fine but not exciting or especially flavorful. It just does the trick. So, I ate my flavorless but at least tender steak, took a sleeping pill, chased it with another glass of sparkling wine (it tastes better as the pill kicks in), and 40 minutes into the movie, I was passed out and didn’t wake up until our descent to London. 
20150131_030054 After we made it through the transfer security, we waited for about 40 minutes for a shuttle to the new terminal. We had a ton of time before our next flight, but I thought that my dad’s brain was going to explode. He kept muttering about having enough time in the next lounge. I had no idea what he meant. 

I mean, I literally had no idea what he meant…

Next up: Bollinger and baklava with Qatar Airways.

Comments

  1. Wow this is so cool!!! 12 million miles is insane!

    I felt like the 100 foot journey was a little bit too long, but enjoyed it nevertheless. Food porn, indeed

    • I actually, agree, Cindy – a little long for the land, perfect for the air! And WOW was I craving Indian food when it was done!

  2. Truth!! I mean, how could you not afterwards???! Drooldrool