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London for Tottenham-Chelsea

London for Tottenham-Chelsea
London for Tottenham-Chelsea 
via BA First and Air France La Première
February 2023

I'm off today for a quick 14 hours in London where I’m meeting my travel besties for my first Premier League match - Tottenham vs. Chelsea in the spectacular new Hotspur Stadium. Today I’m flying BA A380 First on the return of a cheap December Budapest-Denver ticket. It also lets me log my 4th BA segment and thus re-qualify for BA Gold. First up today is a short American positioning flight to Chicago, then a visit to the ORD Flagship Lounge and then over to Terminal 5 and BA.

Miserable security at 6:45am-ish.   Both PreClear and CLEAR+ lines were ridiculous. 

While AA has moved to the C concourse, the Admirals Club is still in the A concourse... supposedly for another two months.

Breakfast of Champions. LOL.

Breakfast omelet was tasty.

At O'Hare, my first stop was the nearby Flagship Lounge.

My BA A380 arriving on time from London with the Chicago skyline in the distance.

With a little over two hours to departure time, I headed to Terminal 5 and the BA Lounges. My one word impression: depressing.

First Dining is to the left of the check-in counter behind a tattered looking blue curtain. The space itself is small, stark white and depressingly institutional with no windows and dreadful non-existent ambiance with way too many tables for the space, packed close to each other. I was the first person to arrive so was able to select the least depressing two top table at the back right by the planter which separates the room from the J serve yourself counter.  Service was well intentional but not polished and definitely challenged once the tables started to fill, as there was only one server who today was actually the First Dining manager. The food itself was quite good. And I enjoyed multiple glasses of the very good Stag's Leap Artemis, which was the only worthwhile wine offering IMO. 

What a depressing space. Stark walls. Come on BA. A few cheap pics or even dorm room posters would be an improvement.

The vine ripe tomato soup was excellent.

The Sole Meunière was shockingly good although the presentation a little odd.

And the off menu Tiramisu was delicious.

My Instagram video of my flight to Chicago and lounge-hopping at O'Hare.

British Airways First Class from Chicago to London

Chicago to London
British Airways BA 294
5:00pm-6:45am +1
February 25, 2023
Departed 14/14


This is my 4th BA A380 flight in two months.  On board our A380, a wonderful cabin crew provided excellent service.

Today's menu...

And wine list...

Our amuse-bouche starter.

Today’s food was just OK, with BA continuing to insist on offering cold beef as a starter. Yo BA, it doesn’t work. Then again, my bad as I should know by now and not order it. LOL.

The cod was 

Vanilla ice cream, chocolate crumbles and Baileys.  Yum.

Beautifiul morning approaching London... complete with cobwebs that made the trip.

As usual, BA was excellent in the air but absolutely, miserable at Heathrow, arguably the worst big city airport in the world.

And my Instagram video of my BA flight to London.


After a pleasant BA flight, reality hits when you are disgorged into the atrocity that is London Heathrow. Still no priority treatment for First or Business Class passengers and you just follow the hoard to the T5 train and then immigration. My dilemma today is that I needed to shower and stow my bags for the day. I opted for the a cheap room at the T4 Premier Inn only because I’ve been there before and knew the drill. Plus the Air France check in counter is in T4 in case I needed to call an audible later in the day. 

My cheap room for the day.

Since it was Sunday morning and no traffic, I went with a £42 UberX ride into the city and The Berkeley, to visit @cedricgrolet and buy a selection of decadent pastries to share with the boys. 

Cedric Grolet at The Berkeley.

Then off the The Cadogan to meet @shariq_dallas...


Then to Piccadilly Circus to meet @thedarkknightdds and our tube ride to Tottenham.


And the complimentary shuttle bus to the stadium.

My Instagram video of my trek from Heathrow to Hotspur Stadium.


We arrived at Hotspur Stadium about 75 minutes before game time. And what a gorgeous new stadium it is! 

Our first stop was the massive Spurs store. There were literally thousands of shoppers but amazingly efficient check-out with more than 40 cashiers.

We bought a Premium seat package from an authorized reseller which including some food and drink… and awesome 4th row seats virtually on the center or halfway line. 

What a gorgeous stadium.

Pre-game warm ups.

And player introductions...

Great stadium atmosphere and even better that Spurs won 2-0 with superstar Harry Kane sealing the victory late in the game


Spurs win! Spurs win!

And my Instagram video of a great experience and game.

Tottenham to Paris

With 62,000 fans all leaving at the same time, it was inevitable gridlock around the stadium. We contemplated just walking the 45 minutes to Wood Green but opted to sit on our arses in the comfort of a slow moving shuttle bus. Once at Wood Green, I took the first train as it went all the way to Heathrow T4. I had a late BA flight and would meet @thedarkknightdds the next morning in Paris for our Air France flight home. 

As a BA Gold member, I used BA First check in and security, and the Galleries First Lounge even though I was on a cheap £55 Economy ticket. 

My order was delivered within 5 minutes.


And the Chicken Thali was delicious.

While our flight to London was an hour late, I was upgraded to Club Europe as apparently the flight was oversold in Economy.

Euro "Business Class". LOL.  Economy seating and legroom with an open middle seat.

Impressive meal service on a 40 minute flight.

In Paris, BA uses Terminal 2A and I hadn't realized that 2C and 2D are completely CLOSED for renovation which means that there is no obvious way to walk from 2A/2B to and thru 2C where the Sheraton claims they are located and onward to 2E/2F. It took me 45 minutes to navigate my way including a visit to the 2C/2D parking garage and the bowels of CDG.

My room for 5 hours.  Haha.

My Instagram video of my trip from Hotspur Stadium to Paris.

Air France La Première Check In and Lounge at Paris CDG

A short 10 minute walk from the Sheraton is one of the world best First Class experiences.

Air France La Première at Paris CDG is a wonderful travel experience. Elegant private check in area where you relax while a Personal Assistant who takes your passport, checks you in and returns with your boarding pass.

Then escorts you to passport control, security and the fabulous La Première Lounge, the best airport lounge in the world and the only lounge with a Michelin star chef. The La Première Lounge features an Alain Ducasse restaurant with great food and fine wines. 


I relaxed in the lounge with some cheese and champagne while I waited for @thedarkknightddsto arrive from London. He was met plane side, escorted to a waiting limo for a short drive to the lounge where we enjoyed breakfast prior to being driven to our plane for the 12 hour flight to San Francisco.​

And the signature Alain Ducasse Coquillettes Jambon/Truffe Noir... aka mac 'n cheese.

And a great way to finish breakfast. LOL.

My Instagram video of our visit to the La Première Lounge.

Air France La Première Paris to San Francisco

At T-30, our La Première Personal Assistant came and escorted downstairs to for our short limo ride to our plane.

And our own private jet bridge to door 1L.

Paris CDG to San Francisco SFO
Air France AF 84
777-300ER (77W)
February 27, 2023
Departed 2/4

Welcome to Air France La Première, an elegant private single row 4 seat cabin with ceiling to floor curtains to block out the world. So fortunate to be the only two passengers today on the way to San Francisco.   Excellent in-flight service and food combined with the amazing CDG ground experience and Lounge make Air France the best overall First Class experience in the world. Thanks to @thedarkknightdds for the pics as I was unable to retrieve mine after my seat mangled my iPhone.

My iPhone after being eaten and mangled by my seat.   

My Instagram video of our fabulous Air France flight to San Francisco.

United First Class San Francisco to Denver

Thanks to a great San Mateo Apple store staff, I had a new IPhone 14 in a little over an hour. Then back to the Rental Car Center and the AirTrain to SFO. A half hour in the G concourse United Club and then a short two hour flight back home to Denver.

With CLEAR+ and PreCheck, an easy security experience tonight.

San Francisco SFO to Denver DEN
United 1216
Departed 12/12

United has the worst First Class boarding where seemingly half the plane is pre-boarded.  Once on board, my A320 bulkhead seat has some of the best narrow body leg room in the United fleet.


My usual pre-ordered United Burger.  

Pretty tasty despite appearances.

And the best part of United catering... Eli's Pie in the Sky.

My Instagram video of the last leg of my quick trip.