How to maximize the BA First Experience

Discussion in 'British Airways | Executive Club' started by techguru, Feb 27, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. techguru
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    techguru Silver Member

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    If you are lucky, and your work let's you book BA First, a leisure traveler, or a first time redeemer I find the following tips are useful to maximize the BA First experience. First, make sure you arrive early enough to not rush about security / border control. I find that 30-45 minutes in the lounge on the State side is enough -- if it were LHR T5 Concorde Room than I'd be inclined to be there longer. Realize you can use the Concorde Room in T5 at LHR, and book through yourfirst or quintessentially (the concierge) in the lounge the use of a cabana for your stay at T5. Make sure you book out as far as advance as you can as the cabanas book up. Remember to ask for a razor and toothbrush you need those as they aren't stocked in the rooms (odd I realize).

    I always book a facial at the same time. You can use the Elemis Spa next door for free, and store your luggage with the coat room since you can't lock the cabana. On board I dine when I want (meaning I usually sleep as possible on the way to Europe), and wake up and eat the bigger meal then. The true First experience I think is getting to where you go as rested as possible. Also change into a sleeper suit as soon as possible on the ground, and get ready to go. I also always bring a little gift for the crew -- be nice to everyone, and your First experience should be memorable.

    The irritating thing about BA First is when you transit Heathrow there is nothing special about Fastrak invariably as slow at times as the regular line...LH beats BA hands down here. Also a special note to carry on requirements if returning from AMS to the US they are HARD CORE strict on box sizer it matters not which class of service you are.

    Remember it is just a plane, and I think you'll have a wonderful time. Have a glass of champagne on me in the CCR and enjoy lunch or breakfast...
     
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  2. TheBeerHunter
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    TheBeerHunter Silver Member

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    Thanks for the write up, techguru.

    Can people who are booked on awards in F use YouFirst and/or Quintessentially, as well?

    I have an award in F to South Africa from SFO coming up in May. My first time in BA F -- can't wait!
     
  3. techguru
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    techguru Silver Member

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    Yes you can use youfirst and Quintessentially as well. I would say the suet pudding for lunch is a favorite of mine with a couple of glasses of champagne. Concorde Room is the way to go -- book your massages or facials as soon as you can as they tend to book up early. I'd request cabana 2 as cabana 1 is kind of busted. If you want to do duty free shopping they can bring items for you to look at in the CCR, but I haven't done it. Also there is scotch tastings for free at the Harrods right next to the CCR -- and I love Fortnum and Mason cookies -- the ginger ones are great. If you do the arrivals lounge right when you get there you can get your suit pressed -- not that I do it that often... The closet in the new first is fine for keeping my clothes wrinkle free.
     
  4. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    Very good advice about pre-booking at LHR CCR. It is almost essential. The numbers to call to book is 0800 408 7667 or from the US 800 331 1332. Staff on these lines can also help you with your bookings (if they involve travel in First).

    Re arrivals lounge, here is a report I put together late last year. http://www.sitinfirst.com/?p=503
     
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  5. ukgooner
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    ukgooner Silver Member

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    Nice thread :)

    What sort of gift do you bring the crew?
     
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  6. EZEIZA
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    EZEIZA Silver Member

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    Unless you have a long connection and desire a lie down for a while then I see little reason to book a cabana. Some people just book them because they can. They check them out,take a few pictures then abandon them which I find rather selfish.
    Last time we used the CCR we had hours to spare after checking out of our hotel. After a leisurely F check-in we strolled through security and entered by the 'secret door'. We headed straight for the dining room which was empty and had an excellent lunch in relaxing surroundings served by a very pleasant girl who couldn't do enough for us. Having had an elegant sufficiency we retired to the terrace. Where, after finding two very comfortable armchairs coffee and liqueurs were taken.
    The hours just flew by.....reading, people and plane watching,browsing the internet,ordering more food and drinks. It is a wonderful relaxing way to pass the time before your flight in first class. US based airline lounges are miles behind.
     
  7. techguru
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    techguru Silver Member

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    I usually nap in the cabana, and try to get a couple of hours of sleep as the SFO-LHR flight leaves me with 2 or 3 hours of connection time. But I agree if no nap = no cabana.

    In regards to treat I usually buy godiva chocolates for the crew. The kind with wrapped individual pieces.
     

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