British Airways » First » User reviews
Class rating 7.7
- Boarding 6.8
- Seat for sitting 8.3
- Seat for sleeping 8.2
- Service 8.5
- Entertainment 6.0
- Food & drink 7.5
- Punctuality 8.2
- Baggage 7.9
- Of course, your ratings vary widely for different classes. Choose one below for full details.
- B767-300 - 6.6
- B747-400 High J - 7.2
- A320 - 7.0
- B737-400 - 6.2
- A321 - 7.4
- B787 Dreamliner - 7.3
- A319 - 6.8
- B747-400 Mid J - 7.4
- A350 - 0.0
- B777-200 (Four class) - 7.6
- B777-200 (Three class) - 8.8
- A320 (Domestic) - 6.9
- B767-300 (European config.) - 5.8
- A318 - 9.3
- Embraer 170 - 6.1
- Embraer 190 - 6.7
- A321 (ex-Bmi) - 6.4
- B777-300ER - 7.6
- A380 - 4.3
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Overall a very solid recent experience on BA104 from Dubai to London Heathrow Terminal 5.
The flight departed from Gate C9 at Terminal 1, which is a relatively long walk from the British Airways lounge. Ground staff at the gate were polite and welcoming. There was additional security at the gate, although the queue was relatively short and fast moving. Separate air bridges for world traveller/word traveller plus and Club World/FIRST passengers were in use.
I was given a friendly welcome from the Cabin Services Director who said “very pleased to have you back with us again” which was a nice touch as I am pleased that my loyalty and frequent use of BA secures some sort of recognition. The CSD apologised for a cabin crew member not being able to personally escort me to my seat.
The welcome drinks process was fairly chaotic as there were various ground staff milling around the FIRST cabin and the FIRST cabin was completely full. Drinks orders were taken individually (as opposed to being offered drinks from a tray) although we were only offered the normal selection of champagne, orange juice and water. I opted for a chilled glass of champagne and some orange juice. A nice touch was the offer of a small cup of Arabic coffee from a traditional style Arabic coffee pot, with the coffee containing a noticeable but pleasant taste of cardamom. Toiletry kit, pyjamas and slippers offered. Noise cancellation earphones and a blanket were already on my seat. The cabin crew helped me stow my jacket and there was plenty of room in the overhead locker for my various bags.
The captain’s cabin announcement was clear and succinct. We were informed that we would had a relatively long taxi. Take-off was smooth and uneventful.
Various drinks offered with a salmon appetizer. As the flight departed at 3.35pm lunch was offered. Starters included marinated prawns with kumquat, traditional meze platter and roasted pumpkin soup. Between the starters and main courses cabin crew were circulating to top up glasses with more Laurent-Perrier Grand Siècle which was very welcome! The main courses comprised an offer of Moroccan lamb stew, seared seabass with soy ginger broth, chicken parmigiana and Caesar salad. There were two desserts on offer, a cheese plate and various items in the bistro selection were available during the flight. The cabin crew were very happy to help me create my own wine tasting session on-board the flight allowing me taste small quantities of very good wines (two of which were award winning and very nice). The quality of the food was decent and not memorable, and I overhead other passengers talk about a decline in the quality of the food in recent years. Portion size was good and I felt very full after lunch and this was without eating any dessert or in the lounge before the flight.
The second meal on the flight was afternoon tea, which seemed a little odd as this was offered at around 5.30pm UK time/9.30pm UAE time. The afternoon tea comprised a selection of sandwiches (smoked salmon, beef pastrami and cream cheese with chives), scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam and cakes (including lemon tart, mango cream choux bun and a chocolate mousse and caramelised banana gateau). A good selection of teas were available. I double checked that there was a Nespresso machine on-board and the cabin steward seemed happy to make me a coffee to my own personal specification.
This was new first, although the seat and surrounding area showed signs of wear and tear. I was sitting in seat 2K and although it contains a hanger, it is difficult to fit a suit jacket in the wardrobe without a sleeve being partially trapped in the door. I can’t help but feel that the design of the seat wastes space. I found seat 2K a considerably more pleasant experience than a recent trip in FIRST in 1A. I found 2A to be quieter and more private.
We were given the opportunity to rest between meals. The ambient lighting was impressive and there was a smooth lighting transition from darkness to light before the afternoon tea was served.
There was a good selection of magazines on board, including GQ and various business magazines.
Inflight entertainment was solid, although not as good as many of BA’s competitors. At 15 inches the screen size is also much smaller than many Asian/Middle Eastern carriers. There was a decent selection of new releases, older films, television and music. I like the fact that BA has done special collaborations with celebrity DJs – an amazing experience to be bringing champagne at 35,000 feet listening to house music! All of the James Bond films were available and a number of people on the flight appeared to be watching Skyfall. Moving map seemed to work throughout the flight.
The service throughout the flight was generally polite and responsive, although it did take a relatively long time for someone to respond to the call button (however, as noted previously, FIRST was completely full so this is perhaps understandable).
Prior to landing, a 40 minutes warning was offered so that everyone had sufficient time to use the bathroom and their amenity kit to freshen up. We were advised that the inflight entertainment system would continue to work until we arrived at the gate (provided we used the BA earphones), although our video screens would need to be stowed. FIRST passengers were given priority exit which was very much appreciated. Although there was some room for improvement, overall this was a very solid and enjoyable flight. My avios and tier points werre credited to my account the next morning and within less than 12 hours of arrival.
The flight was delayed by 4+ hours owing to a small technical fault, compounded by a catering truck causing some additional damage, so we had an aircraft change. The information flow was now wonderful and we left the Concorde room too early, but there was a member of special services at the gate to help.
This was one of the rare flights where I had managed to get BA to tag my luggage all the way to my final destination Riyadh, despite having separate tickets. Anyway, things go wrong and experience has taught me that acceptance is better than a rant, maybe I am getting old!
Once on board the cabin crew were fantastic, BA at its best, that level of discrete service and friendly at the same time, and the CSD came round the whole aircraft making sure we had all received the EU delay forms and what needed to be done, so again top marks all round.
An excellent Ron Zacapa XO rum was on offer to start with, followed by souffle, cod, and fig tart, washed down with the Lovedale Semillion from Australia which was excellent. As the flight was running late afternoon tea was on demand.
On arrival at Dubai BA had arranged for me to me met by the Marhaba team and escorted to Terminal 3 to collect my Ek boarding pass and then deposit me at the transit hotel for 2hrs of sleep.
On arrival at Riyadh my bag was one of the first onto the belt, which was my biggest fear. All in all, excellent service recovery and a wonderful crew.
Greeted at the door with 'Welcome back, Mr STU, your seat is on the other side, at the front.' No escort to 1K. No sign of the CSD, either.
The carpet area by my seat and the seat area needed a clean and I brushed dust/debris off the upholstery.
A welcome drink of champagne was offered and accepted. Whilst drinking it, I could hear the crew talking in the galley and they seemed thrown by the inbound a/c being an hour late; whilst the swan swimming across a lake does have an 'above' and 'below' contrast, it's best not to let the below the waterline situation into the public domain, IMHO, especially in voices that carry well into the F cabin.
The purser i/c F asked me 'are you joining us for lunch' and I was obliged to say that I understood F to be dine on demand and I'd like to eat about 3 hours after departure, as I'd had a heaarty breakfast and the flight pushed back at 1125.
When lunch arrived, I had difficulty cutting through the salmon with a metal knife, it was so well cooked - well, no chance of food poisoning, on the bright side - the fish soup (chowder style) was nice.
The LPGS was enjoyable, but when I needed a glass of water (wasn't given a bottle), the call bell was ignored on three occasions and as the belt sign was on, I had to flag down a passing crew member to ask - not acceptable in an F cabin.
On the upside, the new F cabin was in good condition (athough the loos were 'compact and bijou' on par with Y) and the flight made up nearly all of the delay, enroute. My wife remarked that she did not find the seat too different to the CW on the outbound and she disliked the lack of leg support bewteen sitting and sleeping, though I didn't notice this, could be a matter of different leg length. The cabin did feel very full, with 14 seats present.
Bottom line, this was an Avios upgrade to a CW booking, so I wasn't distraught (just disappointed), but I would have been if I had paid cash - really nowhere near an F service and I know from prior experience that BA has some excellent crews who are world beaters.
1) Boarding: Reasonable walk to gate and then at the back of long queue. I’m ‘checked in’ again but given no priority, which annoys me. Standing aboard the sky-bridge, I see a sign for 1st class and branch off to the left.
2) Cabin Ambience: So, I already know this is an OLD First, but even still, there should be ways of making this experience a special one. So far so not. The cabin smells. And I mean smells badly. I am given a drink of rosé on getting aboard and I ask for a set of jammies, they give me what they have, and they don’t fit. Cabin has loads of seats (14) and genuinely, I have zero feeling of exclusivity.
3) Seat: Well, it is smelly. Really smelly. Yuck! I am not at all impressed and I have little privacy….all in all I am just not loving the whole experience thus far, you know what they say about 1st impressions right? The cabin is full so plenty of people willing to spend/use miles on this particular route on this particular day. Anyway – back to the seat. It is average. I don’t know how to elaborate on this observation, other than to reiterate – it is average. I did have an ok sleep but some of the noisy neighbours had little respect for their sleeping cabin mates and I was awakened a number of times. No width on the seat to speak of (when compared to other airlines) but the bedding was ok.
4) F & B – Drinks thus far have been good, albeit crew have taken an age to replenish glass. Seems Rosé was a bigger hit than they had anticipated and it is off the menu from take-off. Oh dear. Vino is decent enough to be fair and I have a steak dish for supper which is rubbish. Chewy rubbish with some rubbish sides which I can no longer recall other than they were soggy. Breakfast was dire, burned bacon, cheap sausages but it was at least hot. Took them some time to clear away my dishes though and was close to taking them back myself. Not kidding either.
5) IFE – again, without wishing to bamboozle y’all with techie stuff – it is garbage. A useless little screen with nothing on it I want to watch. Oh my. Pulled it out of the holster and promptly put it back in again having watched nothing.
6) Crew: They can make or break a flight in my opinion - Well, this lot don’t care. It really is as simple as that – they have no desire to make my experience with them pleasurable and are simply going through the motions. No charm, no interaction, no smiles, actually rather unfriendly a lot of time spent hiding in the galley and everything I hate about BA. Dismal. We’re about to land into London and I have to say that I am just appalled that BA can get away with selling this product.
Conclusion: It is just dismal. I know a lot of folks love the Avios programme and I appreciate that, particularly as I am on a reward flight, but there isn’t enough incentive for me to pay BA my hard earned cash for such a terrible product and service. I won’t be flying BA again unless I absolutely have to. I flew with Malaysian airlines on the way out who out-performed BA in practically every area, and out-performed them handsomely – think Ferrari 458 v Ford Cortina from 1983 with 300,000,000 miles on the clock.
I connected from T5 for this flight to Bangkok and, although running late, made it to Gate 32 in plenty of time, arriving at 21.30 for my 22.05 flight, being assured that my transfer baggage was en route from T5 and had already been checked at T3. Priority boarding swas me as on of the first passengers aboard and I made my way to 12J, the second row of WT+. I had only just settled in when the CC member in charge of the cabin came over and invited me to move to the back row of the small four row cabin as the middle block was entirely free. This I did and was able to spread out and enjoy the (relatively) spacious legroom etc.
Push back was at 22.15 and I was alseep before take-off - having completed a house move that morning, I was feeling somewhat tired!! I woke up for the service and enjoyed an excellent chicken curry as compsensation for missing the T3 BA Lounge. I then fell back to sleep and rested well unto about 2.5 hours out - the seat, reclined, was very comfortable and suited me fine, as I rarely use the full recline/ flat position even when available in Business.
A good, cooked breakfast (I had Spanish omlette) was served an hour before arrival into BKK and we landed some 35 minute early before taxiing to the gate. Service was fine nd professional throughout. The mid-J WT+ cabin gets a great deal on disembarkation and can mingle with passengers leading the line from both F and J so I was on my long hike to Immigration quickly. The plan was to collect my bag and re-check it upstairs - no problems with that as a theory!
The immigration queues at BKK appear to have disapprared and the system has been pleasently revamped into an efficient facility. So, I was through quickly and at the carousel, waiting and waiting and then the frustraion of realising that you (and about 20 others) were bagless. This was really unacceptable, even with a T5 to T3 transfer, because 1'20" should be plenty to achieve this and, given my information at boarding, had already been 75% completed 35 minutes before scheduled departure. In fairness, forms had been filled in prior to arrival and processing was quick - in my case, accompanied by a whispered briefing on the immediate compo I was to receive upstairs in departures - a BA visa card with £50 credit on it. I was also promised that my bag would transfer on to my final destination of Phnom Penh the next day - will await this in breathless mode.
New F is the upgrade that BA needed. I was growing increasingly frustrated by the old cabin and actually "downgraded" myself once to a Club seat as it was a far superior product.
Excellent service as usual and glad to see they have finally sorted the Spa situation at T5 with bootable treatments as far farcical scenes before this.
Food and wine selections as expected in First and always a great breakfast.
Negatives - still not quite Cathay or Singapore for a First class experience.
Check in at LHR Terminal 5 was efficient, yet smart looking check in area on the outside, hides a very ordinary check in desk behind it, which was quite scruffy. Unlike with some airports you could not proceed directly through to immigration and security check in, but had to exit to go through the Fast Track queue, which to be fair was not bad. An opportunity wasted here by BAA and BA in the design of the terminal.
Concorde lounge was comfortable, though could do with a help yourself option, similar to the BA First Class lounge. This is especially useful when traveling with kids.
Check-in was drawn out and a number of passengers were complaining at the time it took.
On board it was the old first class, which is now very tired and ordinary. Amenity kits wear very average at best. worst of all my seat failed to move from the upright position and despite all the best efforts from the crew, would not budge an inch, necessitating a nine hour flight with no sleep. No other flat bed seats were available in business class or first class to move me to. BA have offered compensation which is inadequate at best.
Food was fine, though not exceptional, but entertainment very sub standard for first class, with screens being smaller than the current J class screens and of a lesser quality. Furthermore they did not work for the first two hours of the flight.
The one exception was the crew who generally seemed to care and were very apologetic for the seat mishap.
Overall a very sub-standard experience for what is supposed to be a premium product.
Flew First on a 777-200 from LHR -IAD on 7/12/12. Seat plan right up to final day of departure was showing new first however upon check in was disappointed to learn it was the old cabin. Check in was smooth and quick and staff very friendly. Fast track security could have been faster but it's Heathrow after all. Once through security entered the Concorde Room by the side door. Had booked a cabana for four hours and all controls and facilities explained by concierge. Concorde room was very pleasant with good standards of food and champagne. Departure was from satellite C and had a bit of a rush to get there due to enjoying the Concorde room too much.
Arrived at the gate to find the aircraft had boarded and boarded via a separate link way for first passengers. Was greeted at the door by the crew and walked to my seat.
Cabin crew were really friendly and called me by my name immediately offering drinks. Started on the champagne ( a very nice Laurent Perrier grand siècle ) departure delayed by an hour and glass continually topped up. 14 seats in first and only 7 occupied. No upgrades which was nice.
Captain came out to chat and CSD also mingling. Menus were handed out and dinner order taken. I had a bit of trouble choosing and was told I could have all of them if I liked lol. Opted for the steamed fillet of Loch Fyne salmon with lemon and mint cream sauce, mustard potato croquette and buttered kale. Had chicken liver parfait with roscoff onion and toasted brioche for starters and the ice cream sundae for desert followed by cheese and biscuits and mints. Service was great, crew very friendly professional and looked after everyone. Although old first cabin it was very nice and seat comfort good. Crew converted my seat to the flat bed and managed to get four hours uninterrupted sleep on the comfy mattress and duvet supplied. IFE was a bit dissapointing. Selection of films wasn't too great and screen was small. Crew supplied an iPad with loads of films but couldn't be bothered fumbling about with the iPad so never bothered. All in all a fantastic product and will definitely fly First with BA again.
The service received from the crew both at check in, in the Concorde room and in the air was second to none.
Flew from LHR to DME today. Early start since we were on the 0835.
First check was great, fast track security was a farce. With three empty x-rays at regular security the member of staff sent us to one of 3 queues of 4/ 5 people in the fast track. Being naughty we ignored directions, but seriously, surely this should be dealt with automatically.
Concorde Room lovely as ever.
Annoying to depart from T5C, but compensation was quick boarding and separate jetway for J/F which I haven't had before at LHR....common sense.
Lovely crew covered all the bases from accompaniment to seat to addressing us by name. As people often say, a good BA crew is second to none.....(and a bad one.......).
Food, entertainment, seat, etc, great as ever. We're hoping for a repeat on the return!
Dubai to London mid afternoon flight, terminal 1. The plane may have been a 777-200, apologies not too sure. New 1st class cabin.
Checkin a little challenging as poor queue control and no signage for First class. Took about 15 minutes and efficient nice I had reached the counter.
The Terraces lounge at Dubai is small and looks nice, but lacks facilities. The lavatories are very basic open cubicles giving no sense of privacy. Not particularly clean, and not odour free. There are no shower facilities here, so I opted to use the shower suites at the airport hotel on the upper floors of the terminal. Very good value at around US 14. Very clean and well equipped.
The BA lounge had very limited food available, a few rolls and savouries, numerous passengers were taking plates stacked up high with crisps. I had a small chicken salad roll, knowing that I would be able to eat perfectly well once on board. A nice selection of drinks and teas were available.
The flight was called and it was a long walk to the one end of the terminal to get to gate 9. Boarding was reasonably busy and limited assistance from the ground staff. However, once I entered the air bridge to door 1, I sensed a feeling of calm.
Welcomed on board and escorted to my seat 1A, and assisted to get settled. The premium cabins were full and there had been several upgrades into the 1st cabin.
An apology was made as there were no duvets available as they had not been loaded in London. The heavy blankets from club world were given out. While these are functional, they do not have the same comfort as a duvet. Drinks were served and it was a welcome to be a nicely chilled glass of champagne.
I asked to dine straight after takeoff although I was asked what time would I like to eat. Service was faultless from the crew and I elected to have a very tasty chicken and rice dish after a beetroot marinated smoked salmon starter,and finished with a bread and butter pudding. Overall it was a very appealing menu with a good selection.
Following which I changed into my sleeper suit and slept for a good three hours. After watching part. F a film on the IFE, I ad a small afternoon tea. This was nice especially the cakes.
Leaning into Heathrow was ahead of schedule and baggage appeared quickly.
A very nice flight with BA 1st, not the best , but a very helpful and friendly crew.
Saturday lunchtime departure to Dubai from T5. 1st check in deserted with all staff congregated around a single counter in deep discussion. Swift checkin process and through security and into the CCR. Generally feels relaxing and I would normally use a cabana, although on this occasion the booking had not been made. The CCR felt very crowded as did the terrace with many passengers.
A late breakfast was enjoyable but service was so slow and disorganised. But in a way this did not matter as we had so much to chat about. A little shopping in the terminal and then a return to the CCR for tea prior to boarding.
Boarding occurred via a packed bus journey with standing room only. Thankfully once up the stairs I was escorted to my seat 1A. Despite the cabin wardrobe being very close, once it had been used there was no further disturbance other than by myself. A very close proximity to 1K allows chatting easy without disturbing other passengers. This was new first and the seat was clean and comfortable, I do appreciate the individual wardrobe both for my bag and jacket. The only aspect I dislike is the lack of the independent foot rest control.
Crew and service were excellent and lunch good. After changing had a very good 2 hours sleep to be woken for tea prior to landing.
Overall a very good flight and intuitive service from a well established crew. Well done BA. But I do think that I prefer the original 1st as somehow the cabin feels and looks more spacious.
Rating this fairly is really hard because i was already annoyed at having to take an 8 minute bus in stifling heat to get to the C gates for T5, only to board an old heap of junk. Two things i loathe about this aircraft - Mid J with WT+ constantly coming through the curtain and old First which is knackered (i'd post photos if i could - it was torn/bashed up)
Despite all of that, the crew turned this misery around. They could not have been more helpful, the food was excquisite, and for all its age, the seat was still actually fairly comfortable. The lack of power meant nothing able to be charged though and the IFE was so bad, i wanted to go back to Club. Instead i just watched movies on my ipad
We landed on time, luggae was not given priority (this is LAX though so we expect that).
Overall, the crew, as usual, made this flight great. BA really need to pull their finger out with these tired old planes and get them refurbished. One CSD told me each one takes 3 months to change 1 cabin!? seriously!!!
It was a surprise to get "new first" on this route but a really pleasant one. What a difference from old tired First. We went down to the aircraft thinking we were early but they had already called First pax so we joined the CW crowd. We weren't seated as the poor crew member on the door had been left on her own. no matter..
I've only ever been on BA 747s so it was nice to see the 777 layout. Seat 2e/f were great although the distance between for speaking is much further than in old first so no more whispering :0
Take off was prompt, hot towels, kir royales and warm nuts duly served. Into PJs then dinner service - all of it faultless. Great selection of movies although i fell asleep after 1 film.. this is the firm time i've ever fallen asleep on a plane!. It felt like minutes before the blue hue was replaced by the yellow morning glow. Great breakfast and landed 30 mins early.. shame the outgoing plane sat on our space for 25 mins.
Even the luggage was given its priority and out first, which never happens. The only thing i could fault, and its scraping the barrel, is that the cabin was too hot for sleeping.
Bit of Background
I take 1 or 2 short duration, long haul golf breaks a year, with the flight making up part of the enjoyment. I’m definitely looking to make the most of the whole experience and this time was keen to sample BA’s New First product for the first time.
Choice of flights to Miami
I’d changed from the later 777 flight which was 80% New First to the earliest flight as on www.ftdashboard.net it appeared that this had now become a NF flight as 12 of the previous 15 flights had been NF.
Alas, as excellent as the website is it doesn’t predict the future and we were in an Old First 747 albeit with excellent seats in 1A and 1K.
Check in and security
Having travelled the day before into London from Northern Europe I’d left my golf clubs in left luggage before heading into town. On collecting the clubs it’s a bit of a schlep up to the departures level and the First check in at the far end of the terminal. Saw some of the new porters helping other guests who had arrived kerb side.
The First check in experience is no different to any of the other kiosks. You then are dispatched to deposit your golf bag at the nearby oversize luggage counter. Next time I’ll just use the nearest kiosk I come across in departures. Overall poor compared with other airlines as the clubs are used to a bit of pampering when they check in!
Usual debacle of Fast Track having a queue, in this case about 20 people and nearby normal lanes empty. Escaped the pen and walked 4 machines down to where there was no queue.
I’m quite tall so can possibly see this more clearly than other passengers but it does amaze me that people would rather wait in ‘fast track’ rather than join the 'plebs' in enjoying the ‘no queue track’.
Lounge and boarding.
Joined my golfing buddy already ensconed in the Concorde Room for breakfast. On every trip to US I look forward to Eggs Benedict stateside so thought I'd try them early doors - should've waited. Ordered some Grand Siècle at the bar which was kindly brought to us on the spacious and airy terrace with soothing views over the airport.
With the Wembley Stadium arch recognisable off to the left and planes taking off and landing, it is a great space to spend some time relaxing prior to boarding. As we were departing from a B gate we were up and at it 30 mins before scheduled departure.
Priority boarding was observed at the gate with a rushing group ahead sent back to join the other queue. There was only 1 jetway onto the aircraft so 20 or people ahead before I boarded and was escorted by a crew member ‘sans hat’ to 1A where I was surprised by the quality appearance of the seat ( last flew BA First 3 years ago and on that occasion the seat was particularly worn). The cabin was also very clean. A huge glass of champagne then arrived from the excellent host - think she had spotted I was not intending to work on the flight!
The CSD then introduced herself, offered menus, explained the ‘a la carte service’ and apologized as she was working in Club.
There was a 40 minute delay before departure with passengers ‘stuck in security' (probably fast track) then ‘sitting in the wrong seats’. No refill of champagne although I was asked what I would like to drink after take off.
During the flight some of the rougher edges of the old cabin became apparent but apart from TV screens and Avod it was not a problem. Finally departed 1 hour late after a long taxi to runway.
The cabin was full in first and hot (actually tepid) towels came round 15 mins after lift off with drinks 5 mins later with Row 1 served last.
A couple of glasses of the white wine set up an excellent start to the lunch with a rather good quality soufflésque soufflé. Unfortunately the beef that followed was well, very well done. It had arrived fairly quickly after finishing the starter. The potentially beautiful accompanying side dishes were also overcooked to make for a truly miserable effort.
As they served passengers from the back of the cabin on this flight I was worried I'd get the same poor main course experience as my last flight in the back row of First when they served from the front and unfortunately that proved to be the case.
We had a great crew who I felt were trying very hard but the menu is either too ambitious or the crew need more training. Could they maybe need more crew?
My first choice of dessert was said to have been not loaded however a super chocolate pud from Club was offered and again the crew made an effort by serving a small portion of the other First menu dessert when I joked about not having a clue what it was or how to pronounce its name.
The cheese board was splendid and the wines available and served throughout all courses were top notch
Lunch menu was:
Smoked breast of Gressingham duck on a celeriac salad with apple jelly and blackberry dressing
Twice baked Parmesan and Gruyere soufflé and Caesar dressing
Leek and potato soup with smoked salmon and chives
Fresh seasonal salad with your choice of dressings
Herefordshire fillet of beef with truffle and Madeira sauce, British wild mushrooms and roasted baby root vegetables
Roasted loin of lamb marinated in Moroccan spices and apricot and raisin couscous, roasted vegetables and mint tomato sauce
Nicoise salad with roasted breast of chicken and lemon basil dressing
Cep Mushroom ravioli with spinach and sun dried tomatoes with garlic and thyme cream sauce
Grilled minute steak sandwich with horseradish relish on Manoucher bread served with vegetable crisps
Selection of biscuits
Selection of cheese and fruit
White chocolate and passion-fruit cremeaux with mango foam
Apple Tarte Tatin with caramel sauce
Ice cream sundae
Coastal Cheddar, Fourme D’Ambert, Cornish Blue, Isle of Avalon
Champagne – Laurent-Perrier Grand Siecle, France
Saint-Aubin 1er Cru La Chateniere 2010, Burgundy, France
Verdicchio Dei Castelli Di Jesi Doc 2009, Stefano Antonucci, Santa Barbera, Italy
St.Supery Dollarhide Ranch Sauvignon Blanc 2010, Napa Valley, California, USA
Chateau De Fieuzal 2006, Grand Cru Classe Pesasc-Leognan, Bordeuax, France
Siduri Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir 2010, Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA
Novy Syrah 2010, Sonoma County, California, USA
Dessert Wine - Chateau De Myrat 2002.2eme Grand Cru Classe Sauternes, Borsac, Bordeaux, France
Port – Warre’s 1992 Colheita Tawny Port
For some reason a lovely nap followed lunch from which I was slowly roused by the clinking of the serving of afternoon tea.
The clotted cream transfusion refreshed the parts the snooze hadn't and it was soon 45 mins to landing and a questionnaire to fill in.
We landed approx. 1 hour late and with departure through the door between Economy Plus and Club we were always going to have a bit of a wait in the immigration hall. This was made painful by the large queue already in place when we got there after the considerable walk.
BA arrivals staff were wondering around making sure the date was on customs forms when 3 immigration desks with staff (there were 6 operating) at the far end weren’t being sent passengers and gave the impression they weren’t unduly aroused by the size of the queue. Words cannot describe the incompetence of the American queue marshalls who made a family of 5 (3 young children) wait extra long for a desk to become available.
I collected my lonely golf bag and made haste to the hotel.
Guilty on a couple of counts. For the meal service would it not be wiser to offer items that are not so time sensitive e.g. beef short ribs instead of fillet. Many of their competitors have specially trained food preparation crew on their flights. On arrival of a delayed flight, could/should more be done for premium passengers. Heh, I’m prepared to wait my turn but also where possible, I’m willing to do what it takes to avoid hanging around, hence purchasing a ‘premium’ ticket.
I’m an easy to please passenger (full glass, full stomach) and the crew were excellent, the seat very comfortable and up until arrival, my ego was indeed nicely massaged. Was the differentiation with Business Class worth the extra cost? I think the jury is still out on that.
BA First Class 777-300ER G-STBC
BA182 JFK-LHR 16/8
We checked in for this flight at Toronto Pearson and took a connecting American Eagle flight, in their First class, to JFK. We initially presented ourselves at the BA First check-in desk at Toronto but were rather curtly redirected to the American airlines check-in which was at the opposite end of the large terminal building – nothing clear on my BA booking info to this effect.
On stating our need for wheel-chair for my wife, the service started to improve with a wheel-chair being obtained and the first class representative getting us through to the AA lounge. This lounge was a little basic but we only spent 30 minutes there before a smooth one-hour flight in AA ‘first class’ to JFK. We had a wheel-chair waiting at the gate in Terminal 8 at JFK and had rapid transit to the security check. So we didn’t actually experience the full BA First class check-in experience. There was a bit of a queue in the fast track security where I noted most passengers were in economy so would be good if BA did a bit more policing here.
The wheel-chair got us immediately to the front of the queue and then we went to the Concorde lounge. We had the most warm welcome in here both my the man on the desk and by the lounge host – Angelo – who afforded us the same welcome and courteous service as he later explained he would give to the more rich and famous who frequent the lounge. This was my first time in this lounge.
A very calm, spacious, wonderfully furnished lounge. You could have your own lounge within a lounge in here and just bask in the opulence. Given that our flight wasn’t until 22:55 we elected to eat in the lounge. A restaurant zone with about 10 tables with two others occupied. After a first glass of champagne, our choice of wine list was presented on an Ipad. First choice not available but others were. I chose Maine Lobster, Striped Bass and a selection of ice creams. A splendid bread basket was also provided. My son had the same and my wife enjoyed a good vegetarian ravioli dish. We then decided to have a pre-flight shower but had to go to the Club Lounge for this. We then had a final 30 minutes back in the Concorde lounge where only one other person remained.
We were called for our flight (on-time) and went through the priority boarding lane only to be held with a big queue backing up to collect their duty free – slight annoyance here.
We were pleased that the flight was a new 777-300ER. Whilst this is what is scheduled each day for this flight the exception to this is a Thursday, which was the day we travelled and this aircraft had only been swapped onto the schedule earlier in the day. Anyway it secured us New First which still isn’t fitted to all of the 777-200ERs which had been scheduled to operate the flight. We were welcomed onto the plane and the three of us were taken on the short left turn to our seats – 2A, 3A and 4A. There were only four others in the cabin meaning it was only half full. We had avoided row 1 because the middle two seats were occupied. I would remark though that the front of the cabin is better due to the noise coming from the Club galley where the cabin crew seemed to be opening and closing storage units throughout the night.
The seats were very comfortable. More than enough leg room (I’m 6’3”). A simple dial put the seat into recline. Three separate lights were provided (all controllable) and a controllable window blind. Nice blue ambient lighting. There was very good isolation from all adjacent seats even those across the aisle. They weren’t occupied it wouldn’t have been a problem if they were. Given the seats were angled into the window the view was a rather limited so unfortunately you can’t enjoy the view outside in First.
We were offered drinks immediately and I had to try the Laurent Perrier Grand Siecle (I’m assuming that’s what we also had in the Concorde Lounge). It was excellent. At this point I’ll make a special mention of the service we got from the First Class purser. She was so polite, friendly and very professional. She looked after us most of the time. She’d been with BA for many years and really enjoyed her job.
We departed on-time. Having eaten in the lounge I didn’t really need to eat again. However I did have a meal less a main course. I had the 12 month old Serrano ham starter, my son had the roast pepper and tomato soup. The other starter was a salad with truffle dressing. Mains were veal loin, pork belly, ricotta and broccolini saccottini and goat cheese fritter. I had dessert of panna cotta and a wonderful selection of cheese. I asked for some fruit and had a full basket presented! I finished with decaf coffee and then had to try the Cognac – Otard XO served from a new bottle. A highly recommended night cap.
Through the meal I watched the in-flight entertainment which was the best I’ve seen. At last a 1000 choices on various channels. Big screen, great picture and instant response to the touch screen (or remote control) commands. I watched archive BOAC/BA films on the BA-TV channel!
Then to sleep. At this point it was only three hours before breakfast would be served (1.5 hours before arrival). I went to one of the two toilets for the first class cabin and changed into my BA pyjamas. Bit of a squeeze to do that in a standard size aircraft loo. Used some of the contents of the amenity kit which comes presented in a lovely Anya Hindmarch bag. Only criticism being the toothpaste by DR Harris – yuk. Stick to a simple brand here BA.
Whilst I was changing the cabin crew made my bed up. A thin mattress was put on the seat and quilt laid on top and turned back - most inviting. Sleep was ok. The cabin was hot with too much ongoing noise from the Club galley at the back of first class – mind you my wife in, seat 4A, slept soundly without complaint and I was probably burning up my calorific intake anyway.
I woke in time for breakfast. As with my main course abstention, I didn’t have appetite for a ‘full BA full english’. I did have cereal, yoghurt, fruit platter and pastries. All very nice with no plastic tubs to be seen and everything served on fine china including my own tea-pot.
Soon it was time to get ready to land. We arrived at the gate at HeathrowT5 (satelitte B) 6 hours and 30 minutes after take-off.
Unfortunately there was no wheel-chair waiting for my wife or for two other passengers who had them booked. Despite the best endeavours of the captain we had to wait 30 minutes which wasn’t really acceptable. However, all of the aircraft crew remained dutifully with us – in good spirits and without complaint. On BA’s request I did send a letter of complaint but await a response.
In summary a great service, a superb lounge, a nice new aircraft and a very comfortable new First product. Excellent food and drink and best of all, great on-board service. Well done BA.
From start to finish the First Class service was the worst I have ever encounted. The Concord Lounge service was so slow I wish I had used the First Class Lounge. Boarding was a nightmare with no fast track to be seen. The service was terrible and they did not know the difference between a lager or beer.
The so called electronic window had to be cranked down manually. The toilet/bathroom size is a disgrace. As for the BA pajamas and aminity kit is embarrassing. BA offered me a $100 credit which was an insult.
Hello, I just recently flew British Airways First Class on a 747 with OneWorld miles. I had seen a few youtube videos of the new First Class and was very excited to fly it.
I visited the lounge in SFO and I had a bad experience. The room was very small and there were big windows showing the tarmac, which made it very uncomfortably warm inside. As I was sitting in the lounge, I noticed that our plane had the old first class. (I could tell by the window orientation.) I was very dissapointed because British had told me that I have the new first class.
I boarded (the first class boarding was very easy as I could board via the lounge) the plane and everything was EXTREMELY old and dirty. The pillow looked like it hadn't been washed in a couple months. Some of the flight attendants were very friendly, and some very rude.
I had the tomato soup which was delicious, the fish and mashed potatoes which were ok, and the sundae for dessert with the ice cream very tough and hard to eat.
After my meal I had a chance to use the entertainment system. It was very hard to use and before each movie I was forced to watch a 5 minute intro about BA. The flight attendant also had to use a knife to get the remote out of its holder.
I decided to get ready for bed and put my pajamas on in the lavatory. The lavatory was nice, but very small so i
I had trouble changing in it. The amenity kit was very nice as it offered a wide selection including mouthwash, eye drops, and various lotions. The flight attendant made my bed which included a duvet. I slept like a baby as the bed was very comfortable and long for tall people.
I was sleeping well until the cabin crew turned on bright lights out of nowhere. They served us breakfast and I started with a refreshing cup of juice and a pot of classic British tea. I had the British breakfast as my main course, which was absolutely disguisting. The eggs tasted like rubber and the mushrooms tasted like they had come out of a can- which I have never heard of before.
We then landed in Heathrow and the boarding was efficent for first class. It wasn't my first time traveling into T5 at Heathrow so I already new how wonderfully new and efficent it was. I don't know about baggage in Heathrow because I checked my luggage all the way through to Rome, but I can say the baggage in Rome was a horrific mess because everybody was coming from the crowded customs.
I don't have a British Airways experience on the way back because I flew Virgin Atlantic flight 19 on Upper Class. I hoped the reader has learned much from my experience!
I was contacted by BA on the evening of my departure from Doha, to make arrangements for a meet and greet, to take me directly to the departure gate.
As I'd already booked a transfer to the airport I advised them of my anticipated arrival time and was told that my boarding pass would be waiting for me there and a member of staff would escort me to the lounge.
I know some people love this kind of service and I think there are times an places for it, but on a relatively quiet evening in Doha I didn't think there was a need for it, despite the fact the member of staff insisted that I should take advantage of this service.
I arrived at Doha Airport terminal B at about 9pm for my 11.20pm departure. At the first class counter the boarding pass had not yet been printed, but this was very quickly done and the agent again insisted on escorting me to the lounge. There was quite a queue at immigration, here the escort came in handy - pushing me to the front, despite this there was a wait, but once through here there was no queue for security and I was air-side before 9.15.
BA uses the Oryx lounge in Doha, as with most 3rd party lounges, it is over-crowded and not particularly luxurious in any way (it makes you very grateful for the Concord Room in T5). The young lady who had escorted me to the lounge asked me to present myself at the gate no later than 10.20 - which I did, and after a brief security check, I found a seat and waited for boarding to be called.
First and Club passengers had a dedicated bus, but this left after the World Traveller bus, which resulted on us waiting on the tarmac to board, this didn't bother me but some of the other passengers seemed a bit narked by this.
Crew welcomed us onboard and I was escorted to my seat - I had to direct the young lady however as she headed for the wrong aisle initially. It was a nice surprise to get the "new" First cabin (not usually prevalent on the middle eastern routes yet), it really is a massive improvement in terms of privacy vs the previous cabin (to the point where I would rather have a Club World window seat for privacy vs a middle seat in the old First cabin).
The seats are on a par in-terms of comfort and space, some minor differentiators that I notice are: new first has more space at the guest-seat/ottoman end of the bed; the foot rest in new First isn't as big as the one in old First and can't be moved independently; the amount of personal stowage space is vastly improved with the slim-line wardrobes, the window blinds make a nice gimmick and the new TVs are a significant improvement over the old product.
Before take-off amenity kits, including pyjamas were offered. It was a quiet flight for the hop across to Bahrain - just two of us in First. Canapes were offered prior to take off (which I refused), only to be offered them again once airborne (which is unusual on these short hops, usually there's no service).
There was a lot of hanging about in Bahrain, because we landed early. During the flight crew change, the Captain came and personally introduced himself to me and the other passenger in First, before the remaining (3 passengers) joined us.
We left Bahrain on-time, once airborne drinks were offered along with nuts, before dinner orders were taken. I opted for the light option (a salad of oriental duck) which I was a bit disappointed with, the duck was quite tough. I enjoyed a lovely with Burgundy with it, as dinner was tidied away I was offered a turn-down service.
I'd noticed that on the right-hand side of the cabin, the crew had turned down separate seats to those occupied by the passengers, while on my-side of the plane, it was my own seat which was turned down. I changed into pyjamas, hung my clothes in the wardrobe and settled down for some rest.
I slept almost continuously for about 4 hours before waking, it took a few minutes for the crew to offer me breakfast, but this was done courteously.
I got-up, washed and changed in the bathroom before I enjoyed my Espresso and a plate a of properly ripe fruit (hate it when I get under ripe fruit) and read a copy of the previous day's Financial Times until landing.
We arrived at a B-gate and disembarked swiftly before taking the shuttle train back to the main terminal building. Where I proceeded to flight connections before popping into the Concord Room for a cup of tea and a bacon sandwich where I waited until my onward connecting flight.
I had connected from another BA service to the morning departure for Doha via Bahrain, so arrived in T5 via domestic flight connections.
As I had some time to kill during the connection I popped into the Concord Room for a spot of breakfast (Eggs Benedict, Orange Juice and a pot of Tea). The eggs had clearly been sat for a few minutes before serving as the hollandaise had dried a little on the top (not enough to make a fuss about, and I really didn't feel like I'd been waiting for long for it to be served), the fruit juice (in my opinion) was of a much better quality than that available in the other lounges in T5.
The Dining Room was busy, but staff were never too difficult to get hold of. Unfortunately the couple across from me returned both their meals complaining they were too cold. After breakfast I moved on to the Terrace and enjoyed a drink served at my table by staff.
Less than a hour later my flight was boarding (from a C gate), so I made my way across to the gate. There was no queue in the fast track channel and I was swiftly seen to and strolled down to the plane, only pausing for a few passengers to be welcomed on board ahead of me.
Upon seeing my boarding pass the crew member (who turned out to be the purser in First), escorted me to my seat (1E) and introduced herself.
Before I'd had chance to stow my luggage her colleague had arrived with amenities (a wash bag, pyjamas and slippers). I settled into the seat and was offered a pre-flight drink (Champagne, Orange Juice or Water), after this Arabic Coffee and Dates were offered.
The cabin was relatively busy with only two seats free. The seating was the "old" First configuration, which I find much more open and less-private than its newer counter-part (especially when sat in the centre of the cabin). The seat is well padded, but I personally find the armrests too low down. I like 1E and F, as they both benefit from additional storage (where the seat in-front is in the rows behind), useful for magazines, tablet computers, blackberries etc. The foot-rest in this configuration is in my opinion better than in new first.
Departure was punctual, drinks and nuts were served shortly after being airborne and crew came through the cabin to confirm arrangements for lunch (which I requested for 13h00 UK time). I read and worked prior to that (not a huge fan of indulging in the in-flight entertainment system - delivered via an iPad owing the very tiny screens in this iteration of the First product).
Lunch was served (a little late - but then everyone pretty much asked for theirs to be served at a similar time), I chose Cod (very well cooked) accompanied by tortellini and samphire and washed it down with a glass of a very nice white burgundy.
The passenger next to me opted for the beef, which was unfortunately not available, but in what I thought was a very nice touch to the service, he was offered a steak option from Club (which he declined, but I thought it was a nice touch to be offered it).
Shortly after lunch I reclined my seat slightly with the aim of getting a short snooze as a consequence of my 4am start. I then proceeded to sleep for the remainder of the flight, until 45 minutes prior to landing in Bahrain. Very shortly after waking up the crew removed the duvet (which I honestly don't remember getting down before falling asleep) and pillows from my seat.
At the same time I was offered afternoon tea for which I took a pot of tea and a scone. Afternoon tea was a little rushed, but I welcomed the opportunity to have some so late in the flight, certainly I've never had this level of service in Club.
It was the usual hour of hanging about on the ground in Bahrain before the onward hop to Doha. Canapes and drinks were served while we waited on the ground, most of the passengers disembarked in Bahrain and there were just three of us who continued to Doha.
Disembarkation after the 30 minute hop was swift and via bus (all be it a little bit of a long journey) to the terminal building, where there was no queue for immigration, I was through immigration and curbside to meet my waiting driver in less than 5 minutes (no checked luggage).
I really enjoyed this flight, despite it being the "old" cabin, its still very spacious and comfortable, food was of a decent standard and the wines were very good indeed.
However for me it was the crew (especially the purser) who were the stand-out feature of this flight, they were attentive and anticipatory of my needs - I've never had such high service on BA before, and I really hope to be able to experience it again soon.
Took the 08:30 LHR - JFK BA117. After hassle free valet parking, First Check-In took around 5 minutes on a Saturday morning. Check in person initially did not issue onward boarding pass for connecting AA flight, nor attach priority baggage tags. After a polite reminder all was rectified.
Security was a complete shambles. Initially I was directed to the far end of T5 as the Fast Track next to the Concorde Room was allegedly too congested. I waited for around 5 minutes and was eventually allowed through. There was no Fast Track segregation in operation and the entire security screening took around 25 minutes.
Concorde Lounge was a wonderful quiet haven after that, with hardly any customers at 07:00 on a Saturday. Several coffees later I made my way to Gate B37. I have found the quickest way to the B Gates is to avoid the crowds by using the down escalaters in the main terminal and the lifts in the B Island (exactly the opposite to most people).
Boarding was very well organised and I only waited 5 minutes before being shown to my window seat. This 747 was fitted out with the latest First interior which I fiound was a great environment for work, relaxing and sleep. The plastic covers over the window at my seat were already scratched and looking tatty, but the rest of the cabin was in excellent condition. These plastic screens which house the electric blinds also restrict the view out of the aircraft and make any photography of an interesting scene almost impossible.
Departure was delayed by 30 minutes for de-icing procedures, but once underway the flight ran to schedule arriving on time in JFK. The food service on this flight was an unpleasant surprise. An unimaginative hot breakfast followed by an even blander and actually totally unhealthy afternoon tea (fatty sandwichs and cakes) was well below any First Class catering I have experienced across 6 carriers (including BA) in within the last year. Granted, the time of day is early for a transatlantic flight, but BA could have offered a brunch or lunch with the usual full range of dishes. At least they had some bananas and apples in the galley...... Curiously they did offer a splendid wine list, but a Premier Crus Mersault with a Full English did not seem a good match.
Catering aside, the flight was very comfortable and I was able to get plenty of work done, enjoy some good music and a decent rest. The crew were outstanding throughout. Following an on time arrival, disembarcation was underway in 3 minutes, immigration cleared in 10 minutes and my priority tagged bags on the belt 5 minutes after that. The immigration official was thorough and very polite. With my bag dropped for transfer I was on my way to AA for my connecting service to Florida.
In summary, catering apart, it was a very good experience.
I'm reviewing both outward and inbound flights together as pretty much everything was the same.
Boarding was good, but not perfect. On both occassions I asked to pre board. Outward they didn't say and by the time we got there, all lines were open. On return they did remember but we boarded 30 seconds before everyone else.
My heart sank upon boarding. Both planes were OLD First. After 18 month BA you really need to pull your finger out with this. This rollout has been glacial in speed!. That said, I cannot fault much else. The crew were brilliant both ways. Engaging, interested in the passengers (and both flights were packed).
AVOD has had it. Its a disnosaur now. The quality of the entertainment on those tiny blue screens (Even NCW have larger screens!) was awful as was the sound. However at least it worked and the choice of entertainment and films was great.
The food was faultless. Even on the return journey when the crew were not happy with the quality of the food that was loaded, I saw no problem with it. It all tasted great. The wines were good, as were the champagnes.
Both flights were early, and baggae arrived off first (for once). I was even amazed that a box of wine made it to the carousel undamaged.
BA's fantatsic reputation really is based on its crew. I guess i'll have to start saving and hope than in another 18 months, New First might have reached the whole fleet.
I checked in at Durban for what is a regular trip back from JNB to LHR.
After an uneventful but slightly (30m) late BA Comair flight my connection was down to 80m but since last year's World Cup, immigration and security at J'burg, even on a busy Friday night, are efficient.
I decided to bypass the BA Lounge and walk directly to the gate to board before the rush. However this did not work as boarding was totally disorganised with no attempt to segregate priority boarding even though both jet ways were connected. A wait of around 15 minutes was followed a further 15 minutes standing on a crowded jetway before boarding actually progressed. This seems to be a frequent occurrence boarding BA flights in J'burg and is poor compared to my experience with Emirates, Etihad and even Air France this year.
Once on board however, everything quickly improved. I was in my sleeper suit with a glass of Laurent-Perrier, wash bag, menu and newspaper within 10 minutes. The crew were efficient and really helpful which was to continue throughout the flight. Departure was spot on time and after a short taxi we were on our way.
This flight departs at 21:35 and recognising that many passengers (myself included) wanted to eat quickly and get to sleep, the service of drinks and dinner was rapid (without being rushed). The smoked salmon starter and roast chicken were beautifully presented but bland and dissapointing (food quality out of J'burg often seems to be relatively poor on BA).
The wine however was a joy. Pheasant's Run Sauvignon Blanc was full flavoured in the style of Cloudy Bay and the 2004 Chateau Lafitte which followed was stunning. Both these wines maintained bouquet and taste really well at altitude. This aircraft was still configured in the old First Class configuaration, and the IFE was limited to a small screen although on this occasion it worked flawlessly (not all that common).
The seat though was extremely comfortable and with a relatively smooth flight over the equatorial region and Sahara I slept really well. I was offered a cup of tea within minutes of waking up (a really nice touch) and enjoyed a small breakfast of juice, yoghurt and fruit which was fine.
With favourable winds we commenced our approach into the London area 30 minutes early only to be held orbiting around SE London for the same amout of time! Arrival at C Gates was exactly on time, disembarking within 5 minutes followed by the train to the main T5 Building. I used the lifts to and from the shuttle train, which always saves at least 5 minutes over the escalators.
Immigration was busy but running well and I was in the baggage hall 15 minutes after arriving at the gate. Although the bags started appearing almost immediately, mine did not. After 45 minutes of frustration it was found to have been sent to the transfer section and eventually, 60 minutes after arrival at the gate, returned to me (this has also happened before).
The T5 Arrivals lounge is a supurb facility and I was able to enjoy a relaxed shower and a great breakfast in a very quiet Concord Room before making the short walk to collect my car from valet parking.
Even with the tardy boarding, mediocre food and irritating baggage handling, this flight still just about compared favourably in overall terms to F-Class experience via DXB, AUH or ZRH. The main reasons being the avoidance of an en route connection, the BA crew who were excellent, the cabin comfort and ambience which is good and T5 with it's supurb arrival lounge facility.
However, BA really do need to sort out their ground handling and food supply in J'burg and baggage handling in London if this passenger is not going to experiment further with alternative carriers.
DXB to LHR Tuesday morning departure.
Quick and easy check in and and to lounge in about 2 minutes, DXB lounge is very old and tired, but on this visit was not full to capacity. Very modest breakfast offering, washrooms also very old and tired. When full this lounge which is shared by all becomes uncomfortably packed.
Boarding only fine as although fast track at gate, this merged into the general queue to board the aircraft, and into a very old 1st class cabin, fortunately only 4 passengers in cabin and not full of upgrades as can often be the case.
Lovely service from the crew who made a superb service with an attentive, friendly and warm experience. I paid for IFE as the old tiny screen in place. IFE selection for a short flight of 7 hours was fine.
Lunch fairly unpleasant, but as always never expect great food from any airline.
In general a good experience with the crew who made this possible.
LHR to AUH, Friday morning departure.
T5 quiet and 1st class check in empty, but not managed well and little groups of staff chating away. Have experienced great check in and this was not such an experience. Quickly though to CCR where it appeared that a trainee was at reception, not able to answer basic questions.
As always cabana a little haven of privacy, but showing signs of age with stained soft furnishings and fabrics.
Breakfast service was terribly slow and disorganised, staff appeared to be running and retracing their steps all the time.
Finally on board to what was a very old 1st class cabin, but still a delight to be there, cabin full.
Take off delayed for just over 1 hour waiting for late passengers.
A usual superb service from crew and flight was a pleasure. Attentive but not obtrusive with appropriate humour and interaction.
Lunch was fine, as always never expect great food on any airline. IFE non AVOD.
Overal following poor ground services a superb flight only made possible by such an efficient and professional crew.
British Airways can appear such a curate's egg at the moment. A flight out to CPT in First (excellent) was followed by a disastrous return to LHR in J class, where the only thing going for the airline was the barely indifferent food. Although the 'new' Club, the seat area was uncleaned (papers stuffed down the side from the outward leg), the plane's heating was haywire, the entertainment system kept breaking down, and in one part of the cabin the crew were unable to dim the lights for the entire flight. The plane had spent 10 hours on the ground in CPT - why was nothing done to address matters, which had been known about ex-LHR?
Having briefly mentioned the food, the 'Club Kitchen' downstairs was non-existent, and the local bread and croissants would have been more at home in a paper or cardboard factory than on a plate. Only the charm and professionalism rescued this flight - BA is lucky to have them, even if they disguise their disillusionment with management only scarcely!
Flew to Sydney and back. Flight out was in 'old' first and return in 'new'. Seated in 1A both ways. Had iimpression that new first was not as spacious as old - not surprising as new window treatment means that cabin skin moves in by at least 3 - 4". There was not so much space for books and the other clutter one acquires on a long flight. The new seat was however very comfortable for sleeping, being wider. The boarding process in London was anything but a premium experience - all herded in together resulting in a 15 minute queue to get on the aircraft. Bangkok and Sydney both had dedicated separate boarding. Not really surprised as I think terminal 3 is probably one of the worst terminals in the world.
The service was absolutely terrific and really sets BA apart, the 4 crews were attentive, personal and friendly without being over familiar.
The food could at best be described as average - BA really need to put more thought and maybe resource into this area - the cooked breakfasts were by far the most palatable food offered. The inflight entertainment was problematic on the Sydney/Bangkok sector and is not a patch on the latest offering from Qantas.
Still, an excellent experience both ways.
I flew in FIRST between SIN and SYD in their 777 which had the 'new' First configuration.
Checking in in SIN is a complete pain for First passengers because a separate so called 'Premium Check in' Area is located in area 4 and both FIRST and Business passengers share the same queue.
The so called BA FIRST lounge in SIN is very large, the reason being that BA want to be able to accommodate their Gold card holders (and also possibly the equivalent level for Quantas) so this lounge was really a business class lounge which afforded no privacy or exclusivity to FIRST passengers. The food and wind offering was very average. Hence I concluded that the FIRST experience with BA only starts on entering the plane.
In SIN there is a separate airbridge to the first cabin which improved matters.
The Seating is adequate and the mood in the cabin was fine.
However, having recently travelled on a number of EMIRATES flights in their First cabin (A380 and 777 ER incl private suites) I was shocked as to how far BA has fallen behind their competitors on these routes.
I hoped that the 'traditional' BA high service levels would rebalance the products but unfortunately this was not the case. I remarked to the Purser towards the end of the flight that perhaps their 'B' team had operated the service today. He seemed to agree. The service was slow and also very formalised and distant (Being called 'Sir' at the end of every sentence is a great way for staff to keep a barrier between you and them but does nothing to make a passenger fell at home). I hoped that BA get their most dynamic and responsive staff to work in the First Cabin but this does not seem to be the case. I have had some great conversations in recent flights with some of Emirates First crew (even chatting about the peculiar aspects of spin bowling) and this is what attracts me back to their flights, together with the scale and quality of their product.
The BA IFE was again just about average but is paltry compared to Emirates 1,000 channels of music and film entertainment.
The flight was on time and embarkation / baggage was fine.
Many people comment that the understated aspect of the new BA First product when combined with the quality of the Cabin crew creates a strong product offering ought to give Emirates a go on these routes.
Comparing to the competition, the new BA FIRST cabin is an also ran even before it is fully rolled out.
As a special treat I decided to go First on BA. I was looking forward to trying the new product but sadly all I got was a very old and tired one.
Now I know it takes time to get all the planes equipped but this 777 was out of the ark.
First off. Boarding. What a farce. Sign in the lounge said "Boarding" and as the flight was due to go in less than 30 minutes I made my way quickly to gate 10. Remember gate 10 is where you get bussed to the plane and it is in the basement.
It was a zoo. There is not enough space in the area when everyone else sees the signs saying "Board Now" and you get to the gate and it says "Please Wait". Left hand did not know what the right was doing. Was a horrible, horrible experience. You would think it was the first flight BA had ever boarded via a bus.
Then the actually plane. Worn seat cushions. An IFE screen that was smaller than my smartphone. No AVOD and a paltry selection of films. Now I knew it was a 777 I was going to be on, so I took some DVD's. But, my laptop needed power and there was no adaptor that would power my very uncommon pc. It is a Dell so I am being sarcastic in case that doesn't come across.
Bits of the seat fell off to add to the dilapated feel of the aircraft.
The crew did a sterling job in trying to keep the service up given the very poor tools they have been given. They were embarassed to be having to deal with everything which included 3 hours sat on the ground at LHR before take off.
Certainly not a First Class experience and please don't waste your hard earned cash for BA in this cabin.
DXB to LHR, First class, morning flight
A bit of a hectic check in due to poorly managed lines, and the usual trek to the BA lounge prior to departure.
Dubai has a tiny lounge for all premium passengers, when we arrived about 1 hour pre-flight the lounge was packed, cluttered and very untidy. Incredibly poor selection of breakfast items and no Earl Grey tea, fortunately we had taken an early breakfast at the hotel. The lounge staff wasn't particularly helpful until the BA receptionist came to our rescue.
In all a dreadful experience and we couldnt wait to board our flight.
The cabin once again must have been one of the oldest cabins. We had two middle seats and were settled in nicely by again a very attentive crew, who were friendly and chatted appropriately.
Due to the poor lounge experience I couldn't wait for lunch which was very good and plentiful.
Unfortunately, the IFE had a tiny screen so not such a good experience, but bearable.
A comfortable flight with an attentive crew in what is, I believe, a very comfortable first class seat.
LHR to DXB, overnight First Class flight.
Good check in process with friendly but functional staff, check-in area quite empty and through to the CCR (Concorde Room). Picked out to be scanned at random, not a real hardship and only a minor delay. Always enjoy the CCR as relaxing and value the time it gives to draw breath from London life.
We had booked a cabana as we always feel it gives further privacy and comfort. Dinner was pleasant from the limiting menu but still very tasty.
We had strolled earlier to Elemis and had booked treatments. But on reflection always feel that they are rushed and not really a true choice, but a nice diversion.
Back to the CCR to wait for our flight.
Called and easy boarding, we were escorted to our seat and helped to stow jacket and luggage.
Probably one of the oldest 777s still flying with tiny IFE monitors. But I still prefer this to NCW as I value the space and privacy.
As this was a night flight we had booked window seats to get as much undisturbed sleep as possible.
Cabin service was impeccable from an older, jovial and intuitive crew.
Despite eating in the CCR I had a light supper on the flight and then settled for the night, having made little attempt to view the IFE as on night flights there is little time for this as I always try to sleep for as long as possible.
Despite being an old cabin, I found the seat to be very comfortable for sleeping once made up as a bed and I slept soundly for almost five hours, as did my companion.
A very light and quick breakfast, just in time for landing.
Overall a very good and comfortable flight in what was an old aircraft but with such an efficient and intuitive crew all went smoothly. Well done BA.
LHR-MIA. Was travelling with my wife in seats 5E & 5F. These are probably the best in the cabin if you are travelling with your partner as you can keep the dividing screen down and talk easily during the flight.
Seat 4E & 4F are similar but as there is no seat in front don't have quite as much privacy. Onboard service was friendly and dare I say first class. Escorted to seat by purser on boarding.
My wifes IFE was not working so she changed seats. The crew persisted and got it started. They even set the movie to the one she was watching in the right place so she could move back to the seat without missing any or having to fast forward it herself.
An interesting selection of wines and the food whilst not amazing was amongst the best I have tasted onboard. The seat was confortable and was converted into a bed with cotton covered duvet and mattress cover by the staff.
The only frustration being the wait to get off the plane when the people in Premium Economy behind took ages to get off the plane.
British Airways may not have the most modern seat or all the gadgets like the middle eastern airlines but It's the service that really shines through. Sometimes, on other airlines, I smile seems like far too much to ask for but, on BA, it's a given.
Service is always lightening fast, even with a full cabin. The food is also of a high standard, although they could do with updating their choice of champagnes. The Concorde Room (CCR) at London Heathrow is the likely the best airport lounge in the world, with plenty of amenities, whilst still maintaining that elusive British decorum! Overall BA has an incredible First product, made by their INCREDIBLE staff.
Recently my wife and I flew First on BA from Heathrow to Doha (via Bahrain) having connected from Edinburgh. This was my first visit to the Concorde Room in terminal 5 having previously used the one in T4 on a few occasions (on the way back we were also able to use the Concorde Room before boarding our flight to EDI as we had arrived on First- the breakfast was a bit ordinary in terms of presentation and taste, but my wife liked her scrambled eggs) We had a couple of glasses of pink champagne before boarding and then were greeted by name by the CSD and taken to our seats 4EF. Pre-take off drinks were served and amenity kits and PJs given out. Excellent food and wine offering, though as previous reviewers have said the white wine was somewhat lukewarm. When I pointed this out a couple of cubes of ice were promptly added to my glass! Before arrival into Bahrain afternoon tea was offered which was served with whatever degree of formality individual passengers wished (I'm generally very relaxed and sat opposite my wife and shared a joke with the cabin crew as they served our food which was most relaxing and amiable). We spent an hour on the ground at Doha before the 25 minute hop to Daoha during which the cabin crew managed to serve a round of drinks and canapes- quite impressive. Before the return flight we relaxed in the Oryx lounge at Doha where alcoholic drinks are served upon request. After boarding alcohol was not allowed to be served until the doors had closed- once they had a blue label was promptly offered and accepted. The hop back to Bahrain was shorter this time- only 20 minutes but again a round of drinks and canapes were served. While on the ground at BAH a technical problem was noted which caused us to remain on the ground for over four hours. The cabin crew looked after us well though (the CSD was noteable by his absence totally) and the meal was served while still on the ground. After take off we quickly went to sleep awakening about one hour before landing and had a cup of tea. All in all an excellent two flights.
Took BA flight from Muscat to LHR on 5th April 2010. This was to be my first experience of BA's 1st class and i was looking forward to comparing it with Qatar which i have flown first class many times to and from the middle east. After checkin was given invitation to the Oman air business lounge which BA use and was suprised that with a daily flight they put first class passengers in there, its used by many airlines and was busy the furniture is old and the whole lounge needs a face lift, was not at all impressed so headed off to the boarding gate, a bus was used to take you out to the plane. (along with everyone else!!!)
Once on board taken swiftly to my seat 2A and offered soft drink only as the first leg of the flight to Abu dhabi can not serve any alcohol,that was is it no news papers offered and given a coat hanger for my shirt once given a sleep suit and amenity kit. CSD came through the cabin and welcomed us but it felt like a chore rather than a real greating. We took off early for the 45 mins to Abudhabi and again offered juice (not fresh) I asked the CSD if there would be food offered on this sector and was told canapes and that full service starts after Abu Dhabi, she seemed suprised that i would want dinner on this night flight and asked why i did not pre flight dine, i was taken back (and thought she had never been inside the Oman air business lounge) and told her i would be wanting dinner she scurried off and returned with the menu and wine list.
At Abu Dhabi those passengers disembarking tramped through the cabin, then 20 mins later those boarding came through i was not impressed with this and did not feel comfotable sitting there with everyone passing staring and disturbing me.
Took off on time and quickly offered champagne, but due to restrictions the champagne was not cold the flight attendant apologised and explained this was always a problem on this flight. Of the nine passengers in first i was the only one to have the full dinner service. I was not very impressed with the menu options and the wine chose for the main course was not available and again all the white wines were luke warm!!
Then came the most disappointing part of the flight my bed, crew made it up and i got in to find it was like sleeping in a sleeping bag very narrow at the feet and i could hardly move, this annoyed me so much i had to give up and change the seat into a different position and try to sleep. I do not know why anyone pays extra for BA first there product is very dated and poor compared to the other middle eastern airlines. The cabin crew seemed to spend more time chatting amonst them selves and gorging on the food that had not been eaten. I can see why they are not a 5 star airline and i support Mr Walsh's attempts to shake up the crew after this experience.
Arrival at Heathrow was early but ruined by a remote parking spot which meant a long bus ride to the terminal with no seperate provision for first class. The only redeeming feature of arrivals was the lounge which was very good, i enjoyed a massage and facial followed by a very good breakfast in the Concorde room.
My last thought of this experience was never first class on BA again.
Heathrow to Washington Dulles. Started my journey in terminal 5, I really love the new terminal it's so much brighter and roomy than the old one. The first premium check-in area is great I turned up and I was the only one there which made a real difference. They checked my bags quickly and assured me that they would be first off the plane at Dulles. I was allocated seat 1k as I have a Gold executive card and also a concorde room card.
After check-in I proceeded to the Concorde Room which is fantastic, the dining booths are great, especially if you're planning on travelling at night as it allows you to maximise your sleep whilst onboard. The food was great, I had the fillet steak which I usually have, as always it was delicious. I had about an hour and a half to my flight was meant ot start boarding , so I treated myself to a relaxing massage at the travel spa, a really handy extra feature. After feeling new and rejuvinated and refreshed I proceeded to the sattelite to board my flight after a sneaky gin and tonic. Suprisingly in my past experience First passengers were allowed to board before the Club ones. Although this doesn't really bother me because you just end up sitting on the plane anyway.
Once onboard the FA introduced herself to me and offered me a glass of bubbly. She also brought me my pyjamas and slippers along which my amenity kit. After a short taxi we were airbourne quickly and after about 5 minutes the FA took my dinner order, I once again chose the Steak ( I am a bit of a steak junkie). The food as always on first was delicious and the little touches like the box of chocolates which I thik I might have taken my fair share of! Throughout the flight we were offered drinks and anything that we wanted. About 2 hours before landing we were given afternoon tea which was actually quite refreshing. The time from tea to landing let me think about how much I like the First product, yes the seat isn't the best compared with the likes of Emirates or Singapore but it's the little touches and the service is effcient and friendly. I would choose the BA First over Emirates anyday as from the moment you check-in you are made to feel extremley welcome and nothing is too much effort for the attentive crew. Landing was uneventful although we did have a long taxi to the gate. Once on stand we were actually allowed to disembark before the Club passengers which was a nice change As we were first off the plane passport control and immigration was quick and after about 15 minutes we'd collected our bags (which, as promised were first off the belt) and were curbside and in our limo to DC. So to conclude I would certainly reccomend BA's First to anyone who can afford the pice tag.
Being among the few which flew back over New Years on a leisure trip with my wife, seat 1A and 1K were the ones we selected for our flight back from LAX to LHR.
Check in was swift and curteous. Our luggage was taken care of right from the start so that we did not have to wait for it to be screened. There was no line at security. TSA had to make use of course of the "naketscanner". Gladly I was not selected to go through there but my wife was. Note, after the metal detector - again without shoes. The lounge in LAX, shared with Singapore and Qantas Airways is neat and kind of cool. The TV station can not ne adjusted in the privacy room because of the fact that for 6 months the battery is dead... Boarding was quick, however there was no separate entrance for First.
The seats are comfortable, even after 15 years in service. However they were not that clean.
This being a New Year's Eve flight we expected somewhat of a special dinner or so. None of the above. Because of only a few Bollinger on board. We were served, for immediate drinks before take-off a sparkling wine of no common source. Bollinger was served after take-off. Food was good for me, Steak in a Teriaky sauce and mashed truffeled potatoes. My wife had spagetti and she was not delighted with here choice. VOD was OK, i think that there should be more choice of movies. I also think that Emirates has too many on file.
I slept for about 5 hrs. even though the flight was quite bumpy. Breakfast is always good on BA in first. I helped myself to tea and toast with some jam.
After landing and getting to our stand - on the field, we were left waiting due to the fact that the stairs were not working. After 30 minutes a new truck arrived and we were able to disembark. I do hate the bus ride and am by now sick and tired of not always parking on a gate. Security in Heathrow was good, no real line and friendly staff. The Concorde Lounge is always a delight and I look forward to the next Supersonic Flight to avoid being 11 hrs on any airplane.
The Concorde Lounge: Flight 57 leaves Terminal 5 at 8pm which gave us time to enjoy the Concorde lounge. The BA Concorde lounge is a haven away from the hustle and bustle of Heathrow. The Concord lounge is reserved for passengers flying international first class, so it is less crowded and gives the lounge an air of exclusivity. The lounge features a full bar with a good choice of champagnes, a full sit-down restaurant and large seating area. There is no need to browse a buffet for a hostess will serve you food and drink wherever you are seated. The lounge is not to be missed! Oh! This is a flight review, we almost forgot...
Boarding: The boarding process is standard at Terminal 5 for BA. There is a Premium boarding area and a Coach boarding line. Since there are quite a few premium seats and Silver and Gold status members boarding at the Premium line it makes no sense to rush to queue up if you are travelling in First. (SFO boards from the lounge, a much more elegant process, which I will explain in a latter report.) At the door we were greeted by the purser who personally escorted us to our seat and addressed us by our proper names.
The Aircraft and Seating: This aircraft's A section seats 14 in First class in 5 rows. We picked seats 2A and 2K, which are across the aisle from each other. Seats 1A and 1K are blocked for the super elite in BA’s programme, however 1A and 1K are available at check-in online 24 hrs in advance. I find seats 1A and 1K to be less desirable because they are next to the common-use closet and up against the nose, giving a somewhat cramped feeling compared to other seats.
The seating in this B747-400 is the old-style full-flat seats that were introduced some time ago. They may not have the bling of the new seating offered by so many Eastern carriers, but they’re still quite comfortable. I would rate the sitting position as a ten, sleeping as a ten and dinning at a ten. (The crew makes up your bed with a bed pad and comfy duvet when you are ready for sleep. All in all quite elegant. BA is also in the process of designing an update its First Class product.)
Entertainment: Older style AVOD system with 7 inch screens.
Food: Excellent. Lobster tail appetizer and some wonderful fish for main course (please excuse the lack of specifics, I do not remember the exact menu and I forgot to note down what I had. The wines were also excellent, as was the cognac! (Perhaps that is why I cannot remember the fish.)
Service: BA’s international flight crews are simply the best. I love the way we feel when we are taken care of. The Asian carriers, like Singapore and Cathay, do have super-efficient and elegant service staff but they lack the warmth of the BA crews. The heartfelt service ethic is evident at BA. They always make us feel special.
Baggage: Our bags were first off the belt.
Arrival Service: This was one major failing of BA for our flight to Johannesburg. On the website they listed an arrival lounge and the telephone agent confirmed this, but when we checked-in at London we found out there was no lounge as advertised. No big loss for our schedule but if my plans were different it could have been a disappointment.
Conclusion: I love the private suites on Emirates, the service on Cathay and the bling at Singapore Airlines, but I will fly on BA given the choice because of the excellent service and the genuine friendliness of the staff.
BA31 LHR to HKG. Seat 3K After poor service in the Concorde lounge at T5 it was a pleasant suprise to have attentive FA's onboard. As I was last to arrive in the First cabin I was flooded with Champagne (Pol Roger 1999), macadamia nuts, pyjamas and menus before I had even sorted my bag and sat down. After take-off, orders were taken for dinner and served about an hour later. As it was a night flight some passengers were quickly in pyjamas and sleeping while I ate. The canapes, starter and main course were excellent. Interesting wine list.
As for the seating - this is showing it's age and there is NO STORAGE, except for the overhead locker. In theory there is some storage under the footrest, but with all the bedding, pillows, pyjamas, slippers and amenity kit piled at that end there is no room to put your own things. To highlight this, the pillows fell off on take-off. I suggested to the FA that they needed a closet for all this and he advised that the new seats coming next year will have this feature. Seems a bit poor for all the $$ or points paid for a First seat. Service was average to excellent depending on which FA was serving you.
IFE was really poor considering it has only recently been upgraded to AVOD. Very little to choose from compared to QF, SQ or EK. Overall I thing BA First needs an upgrade to compete with so many other airlines.
Seat 03A LHR - BKK Seat 03K BKK - SYD
Great seats, lots of room, 3 windows to myself for a great view of landing every time. Much preffered to the 777 as the galley is behind you so there is no noise or people/crew walking up and down all the time. Would take first in the 747 over the 777 any day of the week.
Staff on this route were very polite, helpful and easy to get along with. My best flight thus far with BA, in any class, due in part to the team in the first cabin.
Stayed in Bangkok for 2 nights and were lucky enough to have our original crew for the next leg of the trip!
Only shame was the flight leaving T4 at Heathrow. So only a make shift lounge despite T5 being open for nearly a year now??
My wife and I have just taken a First Class trip with BA to Cape Town. I regret to say that it is no longer real value for money when compared to the level of service which we experienced when we last travelled First Class in 1991. We expected that meals would be served from a trolley - alas no longer and everything on a plate just appeared from the galley. No pampering!
Also when disembarking at Cape Town we just had to take our place in the queue behind all the World Traveller Plus passengers and so ended up well down the line at Immigration.
Certainly no longer worth paying premium monies for First Class.
Superb 1st class, and no through traffic in the cabin, unlike the 777.
So far, and not having tried every layout, the 747-400 is my favourite BA First product. It is looking "tired" now, which is exaggerated by how fresh "new" Club World is but i was recently lucky to be invited to test the new First product due for roll-out from March 2009 and i have to say it is going to be exceptional!.. anyway back to the here and now
Boarding from a London hub is usually always great, this most recent time was no exception although i have to say being one of the last to use T4's First check-in, i think its boring as hell so departing from T5 in future will hopefully be a better experience.
The First seat is always comfortable. Ok so it doesn't have any fancy gimmicks like United's vibrating one but its still very comfortable given how much use it has had since last refurb. Sleeping too is better now a small mattress pad is part of the turn-down. Duvet and pillows are great and a nice treat up from Club's.
Service can be really hit & miss. I've had the "where the hell is everyone" scenario like firstclassboi reviewed above and I've had service so amazing i wanted to take the crew home. Shame there is no consistency. That said the flight i am reviewing for now, the service was almost faultless.
The in-flight entertainment is ok. AVOD wasn't installed on my return leg and this tapes business is a joke. In the end i asked for a portable DVD player but its just not "First".
The food was excellent in both directions. Every course a gourmet treat. My only one moan was that on arrival, my pancakes breakfast as my final salute to the USA, were cold and a bit stale. Oh and on the subject of champagne, this is BA First, not Air Guacamole!.. Put the Krug back on and stop insulting us with cheap rubbish!
We arrived on time and as ever with every BA flight whether in Club or First, my luggage came off when the grounds staff felt like it. I have NEVER had a bag come off as a priority. Again i hope this is at least somewhat resolved with T5..
Sitting in First is a great experience, nearly all of the time, although there may be odd occasion where the crew may not be that attentive, the food choice unappealing, the champagne definitely not First standard, but still it is good to be sitting 'up front'. Generally, the crew are great and make up for any mild disappointments regarding the menu or champagne!
Boarding is usually very good and attentive. IFE is great if the AVOD is working properly, which is increasingly the case.
We always sit in 5EF when travelling together, and the noise from the galley is hardly ever an issue. You do not benefit from the window and the extra space at the side, but it is good if you want to talk to your travelling companion.
There are rumours that the F upgrade is being delayed due to financial pressures; at least the introduction of the new seat, but the premium training continues. Still, the (slightly tired) current F seat is comfortable in a seated, relaxed and flat position and certainly helps one sleep.
Disappointing when, as often occurs, one leaves the 'plane by door 2 left, after the WTP passengers have got off on the mid J 747.......
The F baggage service is not quite good enough and rarely is there any obvious priority service; and area that BA should look at across all of the airports to ensure as quick, consistent service as possible.
It's not that I don't know where my seat is, but it would be nice to be shown to the seat and offered that bubbly beverage without a wait. Similarly, whilst the seats are semi-private I don't really feel that there is any effort to ensure that my glass remains full. In First Class a half-full glass is most definately half-empty. I often wait and wait, press the bell, then walk back to the galley to find the crew chatting.
On quite a number of flights the champagne has "run out" and been replaced by that from Club. The same "run out" champagne is mysteriously seen in duty free bags given to friends of the crew (and later seen by them at the baggage belt). I once complained to customer services about this and strangely enough they totally ignored the point in their standard response in relation to my flight from London to Sidney (sic). For customer relations they deserve a 1 out of 10 and following the total lack of interest I returned my exec gold card to which not surprisingly they failed to respond and lost a loyal customer. BA now only receive my business when they are the cheapest airline on the route which they seem to be more and more often. That said, 1 in 5 flights has fabulous, attentive, chatty crew who make up for the rest leading to an overall good product with great seats.
Row 2 or 3 are the best here - nice and quiet
BA's first class is great except for the inbound catering ex US which is simply appalling. Brits never complan and US customers are so amazed by the rest of the product/service that I doubt BA gets many negative comments on the inbound catering. BA doesn't upgrade so First is often almost empty.
Luckily sleep is the priority on these flights so its not a major problem.
Looking forward to the new product to be announced March next year. Internet access would be useful as I work solidly on daytime flights.
I proposed gilded sedan chairs to get past the high J desembarking issue.........
No matter what seat you have in First, you will struggle to get off the plane 'first'. I've flown it several times and the plane never disembarks from the front door, so the forward section of Club World gets off before you, which makes a real difference if like me you are flying to the U.S. (You have a section here to rate the airline for boarding, but not for disembarking, and I'd give very different marks for one and the other because of that.) If you are flying on the 747 with World Traveller plus Immediately behind the first class, you also have to wait for all of them to get off before you, which can make you wonder why you are paying five times as much. That said, it's still one of the best first class products, simply because of the service. The staff know what they're doing, and have received special training. There are also three of them for a maximum of 14 passengers (on the B747) so you don't have to hang around waiting for food, a drink or whatever...