British Airways 747: First & Club World Video Reviews

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by Nice Travel Adventures, Nov 4, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Nice Travel Adventures

    Nice Travel Adventures Silver Member

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    I was lucky enough to go an trip from London to Bangkok (& back again) on a British Airways 747, and have not one but two trip reports to share.


    The outbound flight was in First Class – hope you enjoy this (very!) comprehensive video review (and please hit the thumbs up button if so!):


    This was one of the last longhaul flights British Airways operated out of Terminal 3 (the Bangkok flight switched to Terminal 5 from Winter 2013) and the departure experience really suffered as a result – the advertised pre-flight dining menu was no longer available, the spa closed long before the flight left & the queues and service were far from first class.


    Onboard, things were far better – despite British Airways operating a cabin that was over 15 years old (BA have also have a ‘new first class’, and an ‘even newer A380 first class’ on other planes) the seat was clean & worked well – albeit with an old-fashioned décor.


    The service and food were excellent, and whilst BA’s competitors offer more space & privacy, this is a good step-up from BA’s business class; if you were paying list price you’d be better off on one of BA’s rivals, but British Airways offer regular sale fares that undercut the competition making this cabin a compelling proposition despite its shortcomings.
     
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  2. Nice Travel Adventures

    Nice Travel Adventures Silver Member

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    For the return flight, I flew Bangkok to London on a British Airways 747 in New Club World on the Upper Deck:


    The British Airways business class seat was revolutionary when it was launched, offering a truly flat bed to many more destinations than anyone else; nowadays however, many other airlines have installed better beds (including even American Airlines!) and BA are being left behind.


    I’d hoped that the service and food would have been improved now that British Airways could no longer rely on their seat to cover any other shortcomings – but I left disappointed. The food was far worse than recent flights on Virgin and American Airlines (who both cook the components of a dish separately before plating, to avoid overcooked vegetables), and the cooked English breakfast was similar in quality to that found on an internal British Airways flight between Edinburgh and London (with passengers paying $150 for their ticket). There wasn’t enough food to offer passengers dessert and cheese, and I regretted my choice when I saw the small portion of cheese offered!


    The British Airways seats are rather narrow, but I was lucky in that window seats on the upper deck of the 747 have additional storage space in the side, due to the curvature of the fuselage. Sadly, the seats haven’t been optimised for the width of the upper deck – so the seats are narrow whilst the aisle is wide. There’s a similar issue of wasted space on BA’s new A380s too.


    Overall, BA’s Club World setup (with passengers lying head to toe) allows them to fit many more passengers in to the same space – which manifests itself with cheaper fares and more lucrative frequent flier points than their competition. It’s clear that BA have taken an approach of ‘good enough’ rather than ‘be the best’ – if you want great food and service, then there’s plenty of other airlines who will take your money (or BA will happily point you in the direction of the First Class cabin). If you just want a flat bed to sleep on whilst travelling around the world, then BA is a solid & reliable choice.
     
  3. Nice Travel Adventures

    Nice Travel Adventures Silver Member

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    I am disappointed that no-one picked up on the issue that a YouTube commentator mentioned today - specifically the inappropriateness of the chocolate fondant shape (at 9:27, and apparently NSFW) - I really should have complained for some miles :)

    .
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2014

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