Follow Captain Chris Holden's lead with a cycle along San Fran's Golden Gate Bridge. Photo: Getty Images

THE FLIGHTDECK • August 2018

Pilot talk: USA experiences

They've conquered their childhood dreams of making it to the cockpit, now they're taking on the American dream. From the Big Apple to the capital of country music, we ask BA pilots for their most memorable US encounters

Captain Chris Holden, 777/787 @That787Pilot

After flying into San Francisco International Airport, I love having a day out around the Bay. I rent a bike from Blazing Saddles, cycle across the Golden Gate Bridge and go down into Sausalito for lunch and a stroll. I love having lunch at Casa Madrona Hotel’s restaurant Poggio Trattoria. The views are wonderful and the food is great – they do the most beautifully cooked artichokes. Then catch the ferry back to Pier 39. 

Captain Rob De Martino, Training Standards Captain A380

Once when I was in LA I was lucky enough to take part in a filming of an episode of The Big Bang Theory at the Warner Brothers Studios! While, over in San Francisco, nothing beats a day out at Alcatraz and an evening visit to the Tadich Grillon California Street, an authentic local seafood restaurant that's served food for 166 years. Recently, we routed home over the Grand Canyon and were treated to an incredible view – not everyone can enjoy the view from 35,000 feet, but a helicopter flight over the canyon has got to be the next best thing.

Captain Dave Wallsworth, A380 Fleet @DaveWallsworth

New York is an amazing place… it really is the city that never sleeps. I was lucky enough to fly there regularly for four years on the Airbus A318 from London City. Going up the Empire State Building has to be done, as does The Rockefeller Center. Walk or ride a bike around Central Park, take a boat tour, or get last-minute tickets to a Broadway show. Did I mention the food? You can get pretty much anything you fancy in this city, but my favourite food district is Little Italy. It’s Italy with a New York attitude. Superb!

Inset 1

Adam Rogers, senior first officer, BA CityFlyer

For a truly “all-American” experience there’s one place that has it all. The music, the food, and the southern friendliness. It’s none other than Nashville. Head to Broadway and pick one of the lively honky tonks, grab a root beer and a basket of tater tots and then sit back while some of America’s best rock ‘n’ roll and country singers blow the roof off. My favourite place is Robert’s Western World: great staff, good food and it’s home to the best singers on the strip.

This article has been tagged BA, Destination