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DREAM ON.. Fly like Mad Men to New York Go back to the luxury era of air travel with a special BA flight that lets you skip the soul-sapping queues at JFK airport.

Byline: SARAH TURNER

In the early age of jet travel to New York there were no luggage limits, no cattle class and, above all, no souldeadening two-hour queues on arrival at JKF airport.

Back in the 1950s and 1960s, you'd swan onto your chic little aircraft, be pampered into submission across the Atlantic and than saunter off to catch a cab into Manhattan. Very Mad Men and a lifetime away from today's world of superliners and security lines.

And yet... there IS a way to experience the ease and romance of air travel from days gone by. At a hefty 21st Century price it has to be said, but it definitely counts as a once-in-a-lifetime trip.

Flight BA 001 leaves London City Airport each day, preceded by little treats such as kerbside check-in and a lounge stuffed with magazines, snacks and drinks.

The A318 plane holds just 32 passengers, all business class, with flat beds, iPads loaded with films and TV shows, plus free-flowing champagne. En route to New York, it touches down briefly at Shannon in Ireland. And thanks to a special arrangement passengers go through US customs and immigration there. With roughly one official per passenger it's a quick process, with time to chat.

"How do you find Ireland," I asked mine. "It rains a lot but the whiskey is good," he replied.

Then it's back on board for a mellow seven-hour flight, punctuated by leisurely meals, the closest I'll get to flying by private jet.

And you can use your mobile to text and email and - in my case - show off remorselessly.

There are two BA flights a day from London City to JFK but BA 001 is the one to aim for... the later plane BA 003 doesn't clear customs at Shannon.

BACK DOWN TO EARTH It's easy enough to fly to New York these days with more than 30 flights from London airports alone.

But you can bypass the US immigration queues - they really can take up to two hours to clear - if you fly from Shannon or Dublin.

There are plenty of no-frills flights to both airports and if you don't live near a UK city with direct flights to the US, going via Shannon or Dublin could even be cheaper than a connecting flight to London.

You then arrive in New York at a domestic terminal just like passengers on BA 001.

Return flights to JFK with Aer Lingus from Shannon and Dublin start at PS526.

www.aerlingus.com TRAVEL FILE BOOK IT Flights start at PS2,531 return but it's worth trying for a package. For instance flights and a three-night stay at the four-star SoHo Grand costs PS2,769pp. www.ba.com, 0844 493 0758 Get inspired at mirror.co.uk/travel

CAPTION(S):

Enjoy luxury like the days of TV's Mad Men, right

Specially adapted Airbus A318s take just 32 passengers

See the New York skyline after a truly relaxing flight
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:May 5, 2013
Words:491
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