Cheers from London! Last week (here�s the link to the archives) we left off from New York City. This week we cross the Atlantic in style -- and I�m talking style. So much so that this new airline is now my favorite. I�m not alone � successful businessmen, wealthy families, celebrities, even royalty love it too. Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, said, "Eos was so comfortable, I wanted to go around again." If you want to hop the pond in a plush plane and then check into a posh hotel, get your weekend bag and passport because we are off to England! If you are in a hurry or have ADD, don�t worry; there�s a 2-minute Johnny Jet video at the end of this week�s story.
Eos Airlines is named after the winged goddess of the dawn in ancient Greek mythology. That�s a fitting name for this airline, because passengers talk about their flight as if they rode on a goddess, and the New York to London flight arrives at dawn. Eos began flying last October. They offered just one flight a day until last week, when they added a second daily flight (except Saturday) on their only route. New York to London is the most popular long distance overseas route in the world, with around 23 flights a day to and from the metropolitan areas. Eos is going after their competitors� business class passengers, with walk-up fares that are considerably lower and a superior product. As you are about to see, nobody does the transatlantic flight better then Eos. FYI: Flights from New York depart at 7:15 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. EST. They arrive in London the following morning at 7:40 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.
ARRIVING AT JFK
When I made my reservation I was told to show up at the airport just an hour before departure with my passport in hand. I thought I misunderstood the agent. Who ever heard of arriving an hour before an international departure? Actually, according to the Eos website, passengers can arrive just 45 minutes in advance. Is that crazy or what? All my concerns about how I would check in and clear security in time to make my flight were quickly answered. When I arrived at JFK�s Terminal 4 I was greeted with no line for check in, and an agent saying, 'You must be Mr. DiScala' (my real name). I was startled, and asked how he knew my name. He smiled and said, 'You�re the only one who hasn�t checked in yet.' I was impressed -- and I hadn�t even taken their limousine service. Passengers get preferred rates; the driver calls ahead to alert airport staff about arrival, and at curbside passengers are greeted by an Eos representative.
After I was handed my boarding card (which took a mere 30 seconds), one of Eos� gang of turquoise-jacketed escorts standing nearby took me to security. It�s not that I couldn�t find security on my own; all Eos passengers get a free pass to the front of the security line. They must have a special deal through which they pay top dollar for this service, but boy is it worth it! Passengers still get searched like everyone else, but what a simple joy not to have to wait in a long line. After I cleared security, another Eos staff member waited on the other side. I said, 'How did you know you I was flying Eos?' He just smiled, but later I saw a walkie-talkie sticking out of his pocket. These guys are good.
I was dropped off in front of Emirates Airlines� lounge, where two Eos flight attendants welcomed passengers (Eos has a deal with Emirates). I have been to many airline lounges, but this one is definitely the nicest. Now I know why the other passengers arrived early. I dropped off my bag in the closet and went to use the bathroom. The attendant asked if I would like a hot shower before the flight. I sure did. I changed into my comfortable flying clothes, and walked around for a better look at the lounge. It had a fully stocked self-serve bar, plenty of computers with free high-speed, a large screen TV, and best of all a dining area. With all the food options, it was like a high-class Sizzler buffet. I took some pictures, but I didn�t want to look like a spy or a freak so I tried to keep it on the down low. The options ranged from pasta and seafood to pot roast and chicken curry -- you name it. The curry was delicious -- and don�t even get me started on the desserts. I ate watching planes take off and land. I also downloaded emails on my laptop using the free wireless connection -- another huge plus.
When boarding was called, I almost had mixed feelings. Part of me didn�t want to leave the lounge, but the smarter half couldn�t wait to get on the plane. Although I had never flown Eos before, and I didn�t really know what to expect, I was full of excitement. Before I stepped on the Boeing 757-200, a flight attendant offered me an array of newspapers and magazines. I grabbed a USA Today. Then I stepped on the plane and saw the seats and their configurations. Get this: A 757-200 can hold 231 economy class seats but Eos� have just 48. Can you believe that? I kept cool -- but my soul wanted to scream for joy.