Outdated Guard vs New: Flying First Class on a British Airways 747

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My 747-400 Awaiting Departure in Seattle – Photograph: Colin Prepare dinner

In late 2016, my girlfriend Molly and I started planning a 2017 journey to Europe, with the aim of utilizing factors and miles to fly in a premium cabin. After appreciable analysis, we ended up flying on a British Airways 747-400 to London, and on a Virgin Atlantic 787-9 residence. This primary publish will evaluate our British Airways first-class expertise, and the second will evaluate the Virgin Atlantic Higher Class (enterprise class) product.

One of many gadgets on my AvGeek bucket checklist has been to fly worldwide first-class. I’ve had some fantastic experiences flying worldwide enterprise class (Air Canada 767, Lufthansa 747-8, and British Airways 777-300ER), however I’ve by no means had the possibility for the very best of the very best. That every one modified with this journey. I used to be already excited to be flying in first-class, however I additionally unlocked one other AvGeek need: I used to be in a position to make the coveted “left flip” upon boarding the plane. When I’ve flown in a premium cabin beforehand, I’ve at all times boarded from the entrance left door. Positive, positive, there are advantages to each, however should you’re a passionate flyer, you possibly can most likely perceive my pleasure.

British Airways Boeing 747-400 - Photo: Andrew W. Sieber | FlickrCC

British Airways Boeing 747-400 – Photograph: Andrew W. Sieber | FlickrCC

Molly and I had began planning for our European trip practically 9 months previous to departure, leaving loads of anticipation. After we began totally different European choices, there have been many enterprise class choices, however I hoped for the primary class expertise. We wished to make use of our very priceless Alaska Airways miles, as they’re companions with British Airways. When initially reserving, I discovered a flight on a BA 777 to London, through Houston. Whereas direct flights are at all times perfect, we had been elated to have discovered a flight with first-class availability.

Within the months and weeks main as much as our departure, I continuously monitored the Alaska Airways web site seeking a direct flight from Seattle to London. A lot to my delight, about one week previous to departure, seats on the direct flight opened up! Once I appeared nearer, I found this flight could be much more particular – it was operated on a 747-400. The Queen of the Skies is rapidly being retired by most U.S. airways (each Delta and United are retired their fleet not too long ago), however British Airways plans to proceed to function the sort for years to come back. I rapidly modified flights and we had been all set for the direct flight to London.


As soon as we arrived at Sea-Tac Worldwide Airport, we accomplished our passport test and made our technique to the British Airways first-class lounge. Their first-class lounge is definitely a small room positioned inside their Galleries enterprise class lounge. Whereas the primary class room is a bit small, the meals was tasty and it had a pleasant view of the airfield. One draw back: whereas there was a server that periodically involves take drink orders, she was not incessantly obtainable. So to get a cocktail, we needed to go to the bar window in the principle enterprise class lounge.

Because the time to board arrived, we made our manner from the lounge downstairs to the boarding gate. We had evidently missed the primary and enterprise class boarding, so we needed to wait and board with the principle cabin. I used to be fairly stunned that British Airways doesn’t keep a devoted first and enterprise class boarding line. Happily, we didn’t have to attend too lengthy, however I absolutely wasn’t feeling this was a firstclass expertise up to now. Fortunate for us, the expertise was about to alter!

The unique British Airways first-class cabin – Photograph: Colin Prepare dinner

As we boarded, we had been instantly greeted by the purser who launched himself and walked us to our seats. As we started to settle in, it was clear that this could be no atypical worldwide flight. The flight attendants got here by to supply us pajamas, an amenity equipment, and a glass of champagne. The primary class cabin is laid out with particular person suites alongside the home windows, and two units of suites in the midst of the cabin. In case you are touring alone, I extremely advocate the suites alongside the home windows, as they supply large privateness and a closet to retailer belongings. Since I used to be touring with my girlfriend, we chosen the center suites in order that we might chat and share the expertise. The suite had appreciable legroom and loads of house to stretch out. I used to be slightly upset that there was not a lot storage room within the center suites, because the window suites had tons of storage. The sconces within the suite had been a pleasant contact and their conventional look made me really feel like I used to be already in London.

My very snug first-class seat – Photograph: Colin Prepare dinner

As soon as airborne, the purser got here round once more to introduce himself and greet us by identify. It was a pleasant contact and he spent a while with us to ask about our journey and plans whereas in Europe. That helped to set the temper and expectations for the flight, as his employees was considerate and type all through the flight.

The beverage choice was unbelievable and supplied many alternative choices. I used to be delighted to strive Johnny Walker Blue Label scotch, which didn’t disappoint. My girlfriend sampled a number of the champagne and glowing rose, which was scrumptious as properly. From there, we started our first course of salad, which had a tasty balsamic French dressing dressing.

Dinner menu for first-class – Photograph: Colin Prepare dinner

For entrees, I chosen the filet of beef, and Molly went with the salmon. The meat was ready properly, however I nonetheless have but to expertise a really magnificent steak at 35,000 toes. I discovered it to be a bit dry, however had good taste general. Following our essential course, dessert was supplied, which was undoubtedly the spotlight of the meal. We each opted for the cheesecake, which was extremely flavorful, and an effective way to finish our first meal service.

My filet of beef – Photograph: Colin Prepare dinner

British Airways has their first-class cabin within the entrance of the 747’s essential deck, which helped it to really feel like an unique expertise — there aren’t any different passengers or crew strolling by way of. The flight attendants had been attentive and our beverage glasses had been by no means empty for lengthy. They even allow us to take a fast tour of the higher deck which was a delight for Molly as properly (she has rapidly tailored to my AvGeek methods!).

The unbelievable first-class wine checklist – Photograph: Colin Prepare dinner

One other spotlight of the flight was the amenity equipment. British Airways first-class amenity kits are supplied by Liberty of London, which is a high-end purse retailer. We discovered the luggage to be stocked with all of the requirements, and likewise one thing we’ll use sooner or later. The baggage had been well-made, and really stunning in colour. Whereas in London, we made some extent to go to Liberty, which had many high-end luggage for Molly to discover as properly.

BA First Class Amenity Equipment – Photograph: Colin Prepare dinner

Total, our expertise was nothing in need of phenomenal. I’ve typically heard of the British Airways first-class disparagingly known as the “world’s greatest enterprise class”, which I’m undecided does it justice. Evaluating it to my BA Membership World (enterprise class) expertise, there was a noticeable step up in consolation and satisfaction. I can say with ease that this really was the very best flight I’ve ever been on, and one which is able to stick in my reminiscence for years to come back.

We really obtained appreciable bang for our buck with this award flight. Whereas British Airways imposes hefty taxes on award reservations, it was undoubtedly value it for this expertise. Whereas it might not be on par with a number of the different worldwide carriers’ first-class cabins (Singapore, Ethiad, Emirates, and many others), British Airways’ first-class totally delighted. Each the arduous and gentle merchandise had been nice, and the flight crew’s consideration to element was unbelievable.

There was a window within the bathroom! – Photograph: Colin Prepare dinner

The outdated guard of British Airways didn’t disappoint, however I used to be very to see how it will examine to my Virgin Atlantic 787-9 Dreamliner flight residence. Keep tuned for half two of this story coming quickly!

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