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The Outer Limits My trek to EBC

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NEPAL | Wednesday, 9 April 2014 | Views [322]

Royal First Lounge at Thai HQ (BKK) including bar and hostesses

Royal First Lounge at Thai HQ (BKK) including bar and hostesses

For the flying cognoscenti it was SAN-ORD-LHR-BKK-KTM.

Three hours to Chicago with a slightly early arrival for a tight connection to London. The only inconvenience was having to walk from C to B terminal.  I forgot to mention that naturally the departure board showed in red letters MAINTENANCE DELAY.  Upon my timely arrival at the gate I dutifully inquired about the delay and learned that "the aircraft is in the hangar."   I could now conjure up the worst case scenario of the current half hour delay getting pushed yet further out and my missing my next tight connection to Bangkok.

The fortune goddess shone her graces on me this day as I took one of six first class suites in the 777-300 and the captain announced that the time would be made up with help from a stiff tailwind for an on time arrival.   Too bad this was a 7-1/2 hour flight because after the climb to cruising altitude and meal service there was about a four hour nap time.   But for my 35 hr. journey I was mentally prepared to accept whatever time slots I was given.  The late dinner (21.30 departure) was fine but service was the typical glum faces I have gotten used to on UAL.that stems from international flights being given to a crew with "senior" status (in more ways than one).

I was in the second row, but knowing I needed to transfer terminals at the ginormous Heathrow complex, I gently elbowed my way past the grandmother and family with baby seat in the first row so that I would be off first and able to sprint down the jetway.  Down the seemingly endless set of corridors and escalator that the "transfer" signs bade me to follow, I was unceremoniously dumped into a tiny waiting area for the bus to take from T1 to T3.  After the new security check and the careful eyeballing at the gate of my travel documents, I stood for about five minutes before Thai opened for boarding.

i knew in advance that this 747-400 configuration would provide only nine suites in the aircraft nose, but I was astonished to find that I was the sole occupant of the cabin today.  There were two crew members doting on my every need and non-need for the 12 hr duration of this lengthy affair to Bangkok.  Dom Perignon for the start and to stick with in view of the poor French wine menu.   On to the traditional Euro starter of caviar, Melba toast, shredded egg white, crushed egg yolk and herbed sour cream.  This is the life I thought somehow ignoring the rice and lentils that I would soon need to savage my palate with.

The piece de resistance was the pre-flight online lobster I had ordered and the attendant disclaimed because of its small size.  Finishing with a lemon tart and a coffe laced with Kaluha.  Then it was time to crack open the packaged of size selected PJs to go night night.  Seeing as how I could order the crew off my deck, I chose to avoid the contortionist experience of changing in the toilet going in situ.

First one off this aircraft with my trusty help holding back the minions in business class and thanking me by name as I headed out to be met at the top of the jetway by my personal escort and driver to take me by cart to the First Royal Silk lounge for my 4 hr. transfer, also on Thai to Khatmandu.





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