British Airways First JFK to LHR, 1st January 2018, + Concorde Room JFK

This is a review of my BA first flight as well as the Concorde Room at JFK, The lounge is suprising, but also the views.

  • AIRCRAFT: BOEING 747-400
  • SEAT: 3A

Onto the review!

Concorde Room JFK:

We got out of a taxi, we went into JFK and went to First check-in, and got our boarding passes. We just showed our passports, and they printed the boarding passes. We then went to the “First Class Security”, which wasn’t first class, because there was a queue. After that you go through a sliding door, and show your boarding pass and they let you into the lounge. I’m not sure which lounge wins, because the Heathrow one probably has more spaces to sit, but the JFK one has better furniture. Where I sat down I had a view of an OpenSkies 757, and 1 Latam plane, as well as some American planes. The one I could most easily see was an American 777. To my left, there were some things producing massive smoke, so you couldn’t see anything to your left if you were at the back part of the lounge. I’m not sure if that’s normal, but there might be a photo of it later. There was also a jet bridge, which looked like it was leading straight into the wall of the lounge. I still had about 4 hours left. Then I watched some YouTube videos, and then a waiter came to give us a menu and take our order. I forgot to take pictures of the menu, but there wasn’t much of a choice. If you want an idea of the menu, then look at the menu from my outbound BA flight. I ordered a salad thing, but realized I didn’t like it. There were those leaf things that all salads have, some orange thing and some purple things. Then I got some fries, and then my pudding, which was the only pudding, an ice cream. I did have a mystery OpenSkies 757 in front of me, which didn’t show up on Flightradar24, even though I’m a gold Flightradar24 member, or JFK’s website. The jet bridge I talked about earlier, that was leading to the 757. Then they took my tray, and I had even more orange juice. Then it was time for some more YouTube videos, and then some X-Plane. I then found out that our flight was going to be operated by a April 1996 747. I knew it was going to be a 747, just not that old. The registration was G-CIVH.


The Flight:

We left the Concorde Room at around 8:00 PM, and got to gate 10, where they were making final boarding calls. We then showed our passports and got into a queue to board the plane. Once we got on the plane, at the door I saw the stairs leading to the upper deck of the huge 747-400. I knew this plane would be 21 years old, but it looked as if it had been delivered maybe 2 years ago. We then went through a mini-business class cabin, and found First Class. We went to 4A and 3A, and I took 3A. We were then handed out amenity kits and pajamas. I use the British Airways headphones, because I don’t want to get my own out. The pilot then made an announcement saying that all doors are now closed and we were waiting for our cargo door to close. I was not sure how they would do the safety briefing, because the screens have to be folded away for take-off and landing, but you can’t see the crew from a first class seat. The crew then handed out water, and collected headphone wrappers. Then the crew handed out hot towels, which had a tasty smell. We then started to taxi, and the crew were told “All doors automatic and crosscheck”. I saw 2 Virgin America A320s, 2 JetBlue A320s, an Delta plane of which model I’m not sure, but registration N178DN (It was a 767), an Emirates A380, a Singapore Airlines A380, and a TAP Portugal A330.  The crew then announced they were doing a safety video, but I’m still not sure about there rules about stowing screens for take-off and landing, if you need to watch a safety video. It turns out they just show it on the stowed screens. Then we took off and the seat-belt signs were turned off almost exactly 5 minutes later. The main power port is not well placed, as it’s towards the front end of the seat, and on the bottom part of the fuselage. The USB port though is very well placed, as it’s right next to you. The entertainment device is touchscreen, but there’s also a remote. The crew then started making beds. The crew was a great crew, as they were friendly, and they smiled alot. Then I found that the airshow confirmed something suprising I heard in an earlier announement, that our flight time was only 5 hours 30 minutes, which is about 3 hours shorter than our outbound flight. Even though the west-bound flight, the flight time expected when we booked was 7 hours 5 minutes. They would’ve gotten away with a big delay! I like the 747 airshow more than the 787 one sooooo much more. It moves by itself, and you just watch it. Even though the 747 has 14 seats and the 787 has 8, you don’t feel like there a nearly double the seats. I’m writing this while in my seat at 11000 meters in the sky, and the crew are taking food and drink orders. I don’t eat a lot of food, and since I had 3 or 4 orange juices in the Concorde Room, I didn’t have anything. The seats are in a forward facing staggered confighuration, so it’s pretty private. Then I browsed the entertainment selection, which was different from the 787 selection, but it only had 1 episode of Top Gear compared to 2 on the 787 :(. Then I filled in a book called “100 Things to do on a Plane”. I then watched Despicable Me 1, which I think was better than the 2nd one and the 3rd one. The rest of the flight was just me playing with the seat controls. I found out after the flight that we had been assigned altitudes of flight level 350 (35000ft), Flight level 370 (37000ft), and Flight level 390 (39000ft). After we landed at Heathrow, we had a long taxi to a gate. Then I did one of the best things possible! After landing, I got to go to the upper deck, and go into the cockpit. I wore the co-pilot’s hat, and I sat in his seat. After that, the main pilot, let me press the button which disengages autopilot. Then it beeped for 2 seconds and then went back to normal. That was the best part of this flight! Here are some photos from this review:

Me at JFK
My salad at JFK
My fries at JFK
My ice cream at JFK
The seat
The best part!!
Bye 747

Ground experience at Heathrow:

We went from the gates to a lift that led us to the shuttle train. The shuttle took about 2 minutes to get to the station, and about 2 minutes to get to A gates (exit). When we got there there was a massive passport control queue, and I don’t see why they can’t put fast track in the EU lane. Then we went on a 5 minute walk to the arrivals lounge, where we got breakfast invitations and were let into the lounge. The lounge was alot smaller than the Concorde Room, just a tiny bit smaller than the Galleries lounge at the B gates at Heathrow, which I reviewed earlier. We didn’t really use our breakfast invites, because I had nearly nothing, and my mum just had some coffee. The lounge has seating with powerports, and then a huge sofa near the back, next to the shower rooms. That’s where I’m writing this review from. We didn’t actually use the invites at all, since to use them you need to go to the First Breakfast Room. The reason this lounge isn’t a match to the Concorde Room is because also business class can access this arrivals lounge. Then we got a train home, which was the easiest option. Byeeeee!

Hilton Garden Inn Central Park South, Room 605.

  • ROOM: 605
  • CHECK-IN DATE: 29/12/17
  • CHECK-OUT DATE: 1/1/18

Hello! Welcome to Child Flyer, and this review will be about the Hilton Garden Inn at Central Park South, and the address is 237 West 54th Street. I give the Address, because there is a Marriott next door, and there is another Garden Inn a few streets away. Onto the review!

The Hilton:

We checked in around early evening, and there was a queue of about 3 or 4 people, and then we got a room key, and all you have to do is pay. Then there are elevators right behind you, and to get up to any floors apart from the 1st floor, you need to tap your room key on a scanner and you can pick any floor you like. We got assigned room 605, which was on the 6th floor, and was big enough for 2 people. There was a medium sized bed for 2 people, and there were only 2 chairs. The heating was a problem, because whenever we tried to set it, it would go back to its default setting, and eventually an engineer came up to fix it. It still wasn’t settable, but at least it was the right temprature. Then it was simple for the next 2 nights, and then I just stayed up all night for 2018. After that we checked out and got some breakfast, and then went to JFK. After that, we just sat in the Concorde Room at JFK waiting for our flight back to London. The pictures in this post will be here in about 10 hours, after I get to London and play some games, and then I’ll add the images. This is because whenever I try to add my pictures, it says “HTTP error”. Byeeeeeeee!

British Airways First LHR to EWR, 28th December 2017, + Concorde Room Heathrow

This is a review of my BA first flight as well as the Concorde Room at Heathrow Terminal 5. You also get a bit of the Galleries lounge at the B gates, because of a big delay.

  • SEAT: 2K

Onto the review!

Here is the Concorde Room review:

We entered the Concorde room through the First Wing, which was at the other end of the terminal if you arrive by pod. It had check-in and smaller security screening. We checked in for our flight, and went through security, and then we were let into the Concorde Room. We then looked for a place to sit, and eventually found a sofa by a electric fire. We then ordered some breakfast, which for me was orange juice. Here’s a picture of our food:

Our breakfast!

Then we just sat on the sofa, and I was writing this blog post, and my mum was reading some news. The next event would be my mum’s massage at 7:40 AM. When that was done, my mum said she liked her back massage, and then went to get some coffee. Toward sthe end of my Concorde Room time, my mum went to get some magazines, I found our plane would be a 1 year old Boeing 787-9 registration G-ZBKN, but that was wrong and. We then left the lounge, went to the transit train to the B gates, and got off. The unlucky part was coming. We then went to get some things from the shops, and then went to gate B34. We stood in line for about 20 minutes, and we were going to be the first people to board the aircraft. Then they said there was a problem with our 787, so we went to the Galleries lounge, and the agent at the lounge said the flight was delayed to 1:55PM, and an announement said the same thing a few minutes later. Then I figured out that the replacement aircraft could be one of four, the 787-8, 787-9, 777-200 or 777-300. The one I was hoping for was the 787-9, as the 787-8 doesn’t have first class, and the 777-200 and 777-300 are just boring. I’m currently in the galleries lounge writing this review and I have 2 747s in front of me, as well as 2 787-9s. Then the 747 were towed out of their parking spaces.

The Flight:

We went to gate B45, where we waited for 5 minutes, showed out passports, and then went to the lower level to get a bus to the remote stand. We then borded a 787-9 by stairs with a roof. Then we got on the plane and the crew apologized for not being able to escort us to our seats, then we walked through a mini business class cabin and found out seats. We were then asked to swap seats, and I agreed to the one to move to a middle seat. The amenity kits and pajamas were then handed out. Then the fun safety video screened. Then we took off, and after about 5 minutes the seat belt sign was turned off. After that, I changed into my pajamas and played with the seat controls, which were easy to use. You had to select what you wanted to change, and then turn a wheel to adjust it. I then watched something called “Airplane Pilot” on the entertainment screen, which was based on a Vickers VC-10. Then the crew started the meal service by taking orders. All I had was the apple and cranberry crumble, which was a pudding. I found out that while the USB ports worked for my iPad, the socket didn’t work for my computer. What I found annoying was that the crew said that they will un-plug anything that was plugged in but not being used. After that I made my self a bed, and wached Despicable Me 3, which I had seen before, but I still liked it. Then I watched the two episodes of Top Gear that they had, and then the airshow. The entertainment device controller was an iPhone sort of thing, and the screen was also touchscreen. Then I just looked through the entertainment system and found a trivia game on it. After that about an hour before landing, the crew handed out water bottles. The photos are below: (There will be more once my iPad decides it wants to send them :)!)

Me in the Concorde Room
Concorde Terrace view
Concorde Terrace view
Concorde Terrace view
Concorde Terrace view
Concorde Terrace seating
Me on the Concorde Terrace
Me waiting for a shuttle
Our plane!
Me in BA First


Ground Experience at Newark:

We got off the plane at Terminal B, and then went on a 5 minute walk to immigration, where there were about 50 people standing in the line, and when we got to the front part of the line, an immigration officer sent us to another line, which might have actually been longer. Then we went to an immigration officer, and then he took my mum’s fingerprints, and didn’t even scan mine, and then he put a stamp in our passport, and let us through. We then went through the baggage reclaim area, and joined a line where someone collected our landing cards. We then got in a taxi, and got out of the airport!

Thistle London Heathrow Terminal 5, Room 163 Runway View


  • ROOM: 163
  • DATE: 27 DECEMBER 2017

Hello! Welcome to Child Flyer, and this review will be about the Thistle hotel at Heathrow Terminal 5. I was in room 163 which had “Runway View” as a feature, which costs 10 pounds extra for a chosen room. Onto the review!

The Thistle:

We arrived at around 9PM, and checked in, which was easy as all you needed to do was show your passport, sign a sheet of paper, and tell them if you want a wake-up call. We then went to our room, and pressed the card onto the scanner and it let us into our room. The check-in agent said the bed was small, but big enough for us (me and my mum), and when we went into our room we found it was plenty for me and my mum (as you can see below). 

The hotel calls this room a room with a “Runway View”, and that’s true, but for the real view you have to go to the restaurant. 

Then the rest of the night was easy to sleep through, because of Heathrow’s 11PM to 5AM curfew. We then checked out, which just needed them to take your room key and you can go. We didn’t go though, we went outside and then got in a “Heathrow Pod”, which took us to Terminal 5. The pod looks like the below picture, but it was hard to take pictures since the pod shook you around a lot, but the pod looks like this:

Me in the pod!
A pod leaving Terminal 5

That’s the end of the Thistle part of it! Next up is the Concorde Room, followed by a BA first flight on today, and a BA first flight on the 1st and the post on the 2nd! Byeeeee!

airBaltic Economy, Riga (RIX) to Gatwick (LGW), Bombardier CS300

Hello! Welcome to Child Flyer, and this review will be about airBaltic economy on the Bombardier CS300. In this post I will be flying from Riga International Airport in Latvia to  London Gatwick. This will be a review of the ground experience at Riga (not very special), the flight and the ground experience at Gatwick (again not very special) On to the review!


  • SEAT: 17A


Here is the Ground Experience review for Riga airport:

Another CS300

We arrived at Riga airport by a Baltic taxi and then walked straight into the airport and then went straight to a restaurant called Lido which is a good restaurant, but I’m not sure what to call Lido since you don’t order things, but you take things off a long winding table, and then for some meals you ask the chefs and they give you the meal on a plate. We then went through security which had a medium sized line that took about 5 minutes. Then there were all the duty-free shops and all they got me to buy was a bottle of water :). Then was passport control, where even with British passports, the officer spent like 2 minutes looking through our passports. After that me and my Dad just sat down on the floor our flight was departing from, but we moved one level up because there was no WiFi for me to write this blog post :). My Mum wa

s going to come soon, though she wasn’t there with my sister at 3:05PM, and our flight started boarding at 3:20, and they close the gate at 3:30 for a 3:50 departure. We had a view of the queue for our flight, and a view of a CS300’s nose. My Mum showed up at 3:08 PM finally. Then my sister went to get a Diet Coke and then we just sat around and then boarded the plane and sat down in row 17. 

The Flight:


We had a funny safety video, and then taxied to runway 18, which apparently is 3200 meters long according to a sign. We were first in line for take-off, and once we got through a layer of clouds we got a beautiful sunset. The seat-belt sign went off about 4 minutes after take-off. I’m currently in seat 17A writing this blog post with a crying baby somewhere behind me :(. Then there was an announcement saying they will come through shortly with snacks, and for business class look in the menu for today. Then a silent video came on the overhead screens and said “Snacks, Choose Fresh, Refresh, Enjoy your meal”. Then a babyjust stood in the aisle and didn’t move until a crew member came to I think take a trolley. After that I just played X-Plane for a while. When the trolley came round to row 17, I just had some red pringles. My mum just had some tea and some sort of salad thing. Service was fine and it was normal speed, as we were four people. The next edition of this flight will probably be in business class, because of the British Airways first class flight I have on the 28th of December and the 1st of January. So that means New Year in New York and next flight will probably be business class, YAY!!!  We were just south of Sweden when I got kind of bored and started playing on my iPad. Then just a minute or two later a flight attendant came around with one of those rubbish bin trolleys. The rest of the flight was pretty boring and just bings of people pressing the call button. If you’re wondering why the pictures of the menu look so dark, it’s because their from the previous flight which had the same menu. I will want some WiFi after this flight after having no access to a flight simulator like X-Plane or Infinite Flight or any other very good video games. We were just east of Amsterdam when they came around with another trolley which had more pringles! Since PINS has no transfer partners that I know about, the next flight I take on airBaltic will probably be booked through British Airways. Tell me in the comments please what airline loyalty programs transfer from both BA and Etihad, since I will have about 50,000 miles in our BA household account, since me and my Mum have a household account. The reason I ask for Etihad is because I also have 1,000 Guest Miles there, and don’t want to keep them in Etihad, since they’ll expire. I looked through Etihad’s website, and I can’t find a transfer button, so if there’s a miles + cash option then please tell me. During our descent we hit some light turbelence around 4:10PM London time. This was just north of Brussels. I liked this flight, but I wasn’t looking forward to landing. This was because we had to get a National Express coach, and I don’t like coaches, and National Express seems to always be delayed. My Mum and I actually nearly missed a flight because the coach was delayed by like 45 minutes because of some fire. The time until we reach London is 29 minutes, so I’m bored and just going to re-read what I wrote. Then we landed at 6:47PM and the door opened at 7:01 PM, so we were a tiny bit late 



Ground experience at Gatwick:

We got off the plane via a jet bridge and then walked through Gatwick to passport control, which was quick, then we went to Marks & Spencer and bought some stuff. Then we took a short shuttle ride from the south terminal to the north terminal to get a coach home.


The airBaltic flight from Gatwick to Riga was probably more interesting, but that was probably because it was shorter. This bottom line should be the same as the previous post. I don’t know if I prefer Gatwick or Riga, since Gatwick has that great ice cream, but Riga has Lido with some great pancakes. Which would you choose?

airBaltic Economy, Gatwick (LGW) to Riga (RIX), Bombardier CS300

Our CS300 taking us to Riga
The cheap entertainment system
Safety card and proof of our aircraft (top right)
Safety card
Editing this post
Alternative seating
Just water

Hello! Welcome to Child Flyer, and this review will be about airBaltic economy on the Bombardier CS300. In this post I will be flying from London Gatwick to Riga International Airport in Latvia. This will be a review of the ground experience at Gatwick (not very special), the flight and the ground experience at Riga (again not very special) On to the review!


  • SEAT: 10F

Here is the ground experience for someone in economy at Gatwick:

We had a flight departing from terminal south, so there was no need to take a shuttle to the north terminal when we got off the Gatwick Express. If I had the choice, I would book a flight departing from Heathrow, but my Dad likes Gatwick. We went through security, which was alright, but we got stopped and they searched our bags, because my Dad had a coffee machine with him. When we got through security, I bought some pringles and orange juice. I’m currently writing this ground experience review while in a restaurant called Wetherspoon at Gatwick. There were lots of announcements, as usual, saying “Passengers flying AIRLINE to DESTINATION please come to GATE!”. My airBaltic PINS number is added to this booking, so you may get business class reviews soon. At this Wetherspoon, you can get some great ice cream (vanilla with chocolate sauce), for only 99p, and it’s only for kids. This is not an ad.  This is going off-topic (ground experience), but I was tracking the plane on Flightradar24, and found that the plane would be a June 2017 Bombardier CS300. This meant we would have an unusual 2-3 configuration. Even though I’ve never been on a Bombardier Q400, I think this is an improvment on the product because the plane is newer, and the Q400 may be noisy since it’s a turboprop.



We were welcomed on board, and found out seats at 10E and 10F. On take off from runway 26L at Gatwick, we had to wait for 2 EasyJet A320s to land, and then we were given permission to take-off. The seat belt sign was turned off 7 minutes from when the main landing gear got off the ground. We were given a safety video on the small monitors, and the start was funny. A few minutes after take-off, my Dad realized that in the magazine it said that airBaltic has no row 13. After I heard this, I looked behind me, and there was no row 13, as it went from row 12 to row 14, with no row 13! The flight attendants were opening and closing overhead bins, and they closed 2 but then opened them and made sure the bags weren’t falling out. I was confused at first, but now a few minutes later I understood. I am currently flying over the north sea, and have just left London. The flight attendants have just rolled a cart down the aisle, and I guess they start at the back, and business class. The business class product is the same old boring intra-European type. It isn’t even permanently blocked, the middle seat. Instead, the first 2 or 3 rows have tray tables in the middle seat, while the next few rows just have “DO NOT OCCUPY THIS SEAT” written on them. As a budget-carrier, I think they are a nice airline, especially compared to Ryanair and Wizz Air. Even though their main colour is meant to be a lime green colour, the plane is nearly all white, apart from the mood lighting and the cabin crew uniforms. There is no wifi on this plane, and the whole of airBaltic’s fleet. I am agreeing with Lucky from One Mile At A Time, when he says the lack of air vents on planes annoys him. Luckily this plane did have individual air vents! YAY! This plane was getting pretty warm, but the vents helped. Even though there aren’t personal entertainment screens, the airBaltic magazine is interesting. Their menu isn’t very child-friendly, apart from some Twix, Pringles and some juice. This was an early night flight as it departed at 5:30PM, and arrives at 10:15 PM, but you should know the time difference in Riga is 2 hours ahead of London time. Writing this review was the only real entertainmment I had. I’ve flown airBaltic many times before, 2 or 3 times on the CS300, and I was soooooooooooo bored on the flights. So if you want some entertainment, write a review of your flight, and tell me in short how your flight was in the comments. The pictures on this post are in weird postitions, so some pictures from this flight will be at the top. I’m sort of copying Lucky’s style from OMAAT (link above) with these reviews. People give airBaltic bad ratings, and I only see one or two real reasons they should be angry, one being they have bad service if you miss your connection, and two, they’re expensive. I understand people being angry about missing their connection, but I agree with airBaltic. If you miss your connection, you booked it, your fault. This flight went a lot faster than I was expecting, probably because I was writing this review. Most of the interesting things I’ve already talked about, so otherwise this review is nearly done, apart from the ground experience at Riga. Apparently at 11815 meteres in the sky our outside temprature was -57 degrees Celsius, which kind of scared me because I was scared our fuel would ice over. Even though I saw the Air Crash Investigation for British Airways flight 38, where they said the fuel icing temprature was lower than -57. I also knew that aircraft have a system that heats the fuel to prevent that, but I still thought what if something changes and we have an engine failure, but that very, very rarely happens, and luckily we had a safe flight on this flight. Going back to the flight, there were lots of little kids, and crying babies, running down the aisle. The person in front of my Dad also reclined their seat, which kind of annoyed me, even though I wasn’t in his seat. The person seemed to be reading some sort of Arabic book, which was very small, maybe a portable bible? I can speak Latvian if needed (I speak both English and Latvian), but our crew understood English well enough. We passed through security and everything at Gatwick, so with British passports, I hoped that there would not be queues at Riga, since we had EU passports. We were flying just North-East of Hamburg, so we were close and I started having less interesting things to say. The CS300 is just the best plane of airBaltic’s fleet, with the other planes in their fleet being 737-300s and -500s and also Bombardier Q400. They did have something for kids in the magazine for purchase, which was a teddy bear. The thing about the teddy bear was that it was dressed in a cute little airBaltic uniform. We were earning PINS for this flight, so every mile we flew we were earning miles. We were seated in possibly the noisiest part of the plane, right next to the engines. I eventually stopped writing and played on my iPad, because there was nothing else very interesting. We had a decent landing, it was alright, but I would have preferred a larger gap between the main landing gear and the nose landing gear touching down.



We got some stairs, but we were at a gate so I didn’t mind much. We then got inside the terminal and went through passport control where there were 2 other people in the queue, and immigration was fine. We then went in to the bag drop area, and then went through an area where you could go through customs if you wanted to declare anything. Then we went through some sliding doors and we found my Mum and sister.



airBaltic was fine for economy, Gatwick was alright and Riga was the simplest of all. If I was given the option between Ryanair, Wizz Air, EasyJet or airBaltic, I would take airBaltic as fast as I could! Overall the best part between the flight, Gatwick and Riga, Gatwick was probably the best.




This is a blog run by me, Karlis. The first post on this website will be on the 15th of December 2017, and a BA First flight on the 28th and the 2nd. All posts on this website will be mostly either Latvian (EET) or British (GMT) time. This website may move to BoardingArea, but that’s not guaranteed. I fly alot of AirBaltic, so there will be many Bombardier CS300 reviews on this website. This website will be based on One Mile At A Time, which is a BoardingArea site. I will mostly talk about airlines, but maybe sometimes something other travel related. I like the US alot, but I don’t live there. If you get bored of CS300 reviews, then say in the comments, and I’ll try some more planes. From today (10/12/17), the blog will be running in about 5 days time!