fbgdavidson
Posts: 3563
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 6:25 am

BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Wed Oct 05, 2005 1:25 am

Route: London Heathrow (Terminal 4) – Washington Dulles
Airline: British Airways
Flight number: BA217
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200
Registration: G-VIIG
Seat: 02K / 02F (First)
Distance: 3677 miles
Duration: 8hrs 20mins
Date: Friday 30th September



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Photo © Stephen Fox
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Photo © Florian Kondziela



Having taken this flight in all cabins recently with the exception of World Traveller it was about time I flew this route in First. It was to be my first time in BA's front cabin for a few years so was eager to see how things had changed, indeed last time I flew the boarding cards were silver, Krug and caviar flowed left, right and centre and embossed stationary was handed out for each passenger!

I booked the flight only a few weeks before travel and as such I was pre-assigned one of the few remaining seats, 02K which was something of a result as row 1 was a little close to the galley for my liking and window seats offered much more personal space than the centre seats. When Online Check-In became available some 24hrs beforehand I confirmed seat 2K although the option of 1E and 1F was then open to me.

http://img351.imageshack.us/img351/5724/bafolciscreenshot4zb.jpg
Online Check-In view of the First cabin

I was dropped off at the airport by my father on his way to work, although this meant I now had over 3hrs to kill before my flight! Fortunately I had a number of lounges available to help while away this time. I was dropped off at the far end of the departure ramp which was closest to the refurbished First Class check-in area.

http://img268.imageshack.us/img268/421/dsc019073ud.jpg
Entrance to the refurbished First Class check-in (which was not as busy as in this photo, this was taken much earlier in the year)

This photo below shows how the check-in area used to look

(From www.travelscholar.com)
and how it looks now following the refurbishment in June
http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/6989/bafcheckin3az.jpg
BA First Class check-in area in Terminal 4

The terminal was not very busy at all and there was no wait to see one of the eight or so agents in the First area which now felt even more private, nestled in the corner of Terminal 4. The wooden floor and soft furnishings echoed those of the First lounges and I thought was a nice touch, it certainly didn't have the dated feel of the rest of the Terminal 4 departure hall. I checked in my two bags and agent passed me back my 2K boarding pass and attached a Fast Track sticker.

I made my way to Fast Track security where the line was quite long, although I was approached by an official who informed me I had been randomly selected to get the full on body scan. I was shown the sticky tape on the floor and told to pull off a number of dance moves. I didn't score too well although afterwards I was put to the front of the line which probably won me a couple of minutes. I changed some spare cash at Travelex and made my way to the Lounge Pavilion opposite Gate 10. Eager to get a now routine treatment booked my first port of call was the Molton Brown Spa downstairs and I booked my back massage with a familiar face from my last visit to the Spa. I had almost two hours to kill before my 10am massage so went upstairs to the Concorde Room, my last time in here had been before my BA001 flight over 3yrs ago and despite such infrequent visits it was clear the place was only a shadow of it's former self. The welcoming staff were pleasant enough and invited me to make myself at home. The wait staff of former visits probably signed on the dole a couple of years back so I went to the bar to order myself a glass of the Bellefon Rose which I had enjoyed in the First Lounge at Gatwick some five days previous. The choice of champagnes was not really up to First Class standard, and although I rather enjoyed the Bellefon the other choices of Monopole Blue Top and Charles de Cazenove look pretty poor compared to the Krug and Dom Perignon offerings of Singapore Airlines and other top flight carriers. I did order a bacon roll from the menu and took a seat in the bar area where I filled out my immigration forms. The bacon roll arrived within just a couple of minutes, something I was grateful of as I elected not to eat breakfast at home before the drive to the airport. The Concorde Room is always rather quiet thanks to the fact only First passengers (with a couple of exceptions  Wink) are allowed entry. The place was a sea of Tumi roll-aboards and pinstripe suits would appear to be dresscode, if there were one although it certainly is a haven from the bustle of the First Lounge, god forbid the Terraces lounge  Wink

http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/6616/baconrollccr8cq.jpg
Bacon roll, glass of Bellefon Rose, passport and immigration forms primed and ready to be filled in

After finishing the bacon roll I moved away from the bar area close to the entrance and the Special Services desk. I overhead some interesting conversations between the lounge staff and other visitors to the lounge. One guy was making a big scene as he was currently waitlisted for First and Business on his flight although Special Services seemed quite happy to escort him into the lounge and console him that he'd probably spend the flight with food served on a tray and surrounded by swathes of blue cloth and pink headrest covers!

I then moved closer to the frosted Concorde doors, from where I had last exited this lounge by and sat by the window watching a number of aircraft approach, some interestingly seemed to be parallel landings, these fitting in between the movements of the departing aircraft on the Southern Runway.

Some more pictures of the Concorde Room:
http://img393.imageshack.us/img393/931/concorderoom3hr.jpg
http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/285/apronfromccr5df.jpg
http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/312/ccr29qk.jpg
http://img393.imageshack.us/img393/3674/concorderoom20ed.jpg

After topping up my glass once more I chose to spend about 30mins on the internet emailing my girlfriend and a little general Flyertalk chat, although I eventually got frustrated with almost dial-up esque speeds on the internet by which time it was closing on my appointment downstairs.

http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/9923/bellefonandcomputer6hw.jpg
Flyertalk and Bellefon Rose working well in perfect harmony

I left the Room and went down to the Molton Brown Spa although my masseuse was not quite ready thanks to a little backlog during the early stages of the morning and I went next door to the First Lounge. The lounge was smaller than I remember it to be and I took a seat close to the bar and caught a glass of the Charles de Cazenove, the First Lounge not having the selection of the Concorde Room. I took a couple of pictures for the sake of completeness and this report! The place was much busier, not helped by the size of the place and the sheer number of avenues that permit entry; BA Golds and OW Emeralds for one which are near ever present on the Terminal 4 European routes.

http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/7012/bafirstlounge6hd.jpg
http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/2830/bafirstlounge29wj.jpg
BA First Lounge in Terminal 4

The Cazenove left my mouth rather dry so chose not to finish it and then left for my appointment, as I 'checked in' I noticed I was to board from Gate 1a, darn bus...again! Every time I have taken the 217 it seems to go by bus from 1a! Anyways, I enjoyed a rather relaxing back massage with Sarah, while no connoisseur when it comes to massages this seemed to be the best of the half dozen or so I have had in recent times. Around twenty minutes later and I was underneath a warm towel and putting my clothes back on! The Molton Brown Spa is a great service and I wouldn't hesitate to arrive a little early in order to enjoy it.

http://img381.imageshack.us/img381/1762/mbspa7ok.jpg
Treatment room at Molton Brown Spa

By this time boarding was commencing on my flight and it was time to head across to the other side of the terminal, my over-doing on the Bellefon was quite noticeable, although I was coherent! The downside of boarding via bus is that you lose any benefit from pre-boarding for elites/premium passengers although I knew a few tricks to help avert the worst of things. However I took a seat near the door of the gate area amongst a similar 'sea' of Tumi luggage and Gold coloured baggage tags. All the uninitiated seemed to be in other corner and were destined to be on the eighth bus out to the plane although they were probably being clever to avoid spending more time than absolutely necessary amongst 31" of pitch! The bus took us out to the remote stands where a number of 777s were parked up.

As I boarded a rather camp but enthusiastic flight attendant checked my boarding pass, welcomed me onboard 'Mr Davidson' and escorted me to my seat. As I turned to speak to him I banged my head on the overhead locker and he said 'ooo' in a rather caring way, I said without prompting 'I'll be fine, just a light knock'. He replied, 'Oh I was more concerned about the overhead locker'. Bastard! Big grin We had a little laugh and he said to enjoy my flight as he working World Traveller today and wouldn't get the opportunity to see me again. No sooner had I put my bag in the overhead locker and taken a seat and I was greeted by Vivienne, one of the First pursers who brought nuts, Anya Hindmarch amenity bag, First view choices and asked if I wanted anything to drink. I took up her offer and requested champagne and then asked if I could get the pyjamas to change into before take off. After all I still had a whole afternoon at the end of the flight and would rather not sweat out an 8hr flight in the shirt I intended to wear later. Pyjamas and champagne were delivered almost immediately nicely presented with ribbon around them although was surprised when I noticed they were in large, which last time I tried them seemed to make me feel like I was wearing an oversize tent! I took this opportunity to go and change into them in the bathroom. Vivienne then hung my clothes in the closet behind the First cabin and just said to call whenever I needed them back, or else just to help myself from the closet! Other passengers helped themselves to the spread of newspapers on the divide between seats 1E and 1F although I had enough from the Concorde Room to keep me occupied.

http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/8311/champagneandnuts5au.jpg
Charles de Cazenove champagne and dish of nuts. Note the large shelf space for personal storage and the small screen that signifies the slightly worse IFE

The champagne was refilled without asking and nut dish removed and replaced with menu and my First view video choice was taken. Of the two dozen or so options I went for Hitch, then Taxi Driver and Road Trip. Soon the flight pushed back and we taxied along the length of the cross runway to the pleasant sounds of noise cancelled safety video courtesy of the BA supplies noise cancelling headphones  Wink The whining of the GE90s signified we were on our way to Washington and we soon punctured the cloud somewhere a few miles west of runway 27R. I enjoyed the view from my three windows and laid back as the crew prepared for inflight service.

At this time it became apparent that my PTV which had stowed for the takeoff had got stuck in the shelf! I thought I was being a drunken fool but Vivienne struggled too, as did the CSD who was subsequently called out! Instead they helped me move my bits and pieces across to seat 2F, the man who occupied it before had moved over to 2A during the boarding procedures when it became apparent nobody was going to occupy the latter.

http://img381.imageshack.us/img381/1278/firstmenuandwashbag0la.jpg
Glass of Chablis with First menu and Anya Hindmarch amenity kit

___________________________

Lunch


Starters

Duck and foie gras terrine with ruby orange compote and toasted brioche

Asparagus with Parmesan cheese dressing

Roast plum tomato soup with herb creme fraiche

Fresh salad leaves with your choice of olive oil with rosemary or spicy orange and lime dressing

Main

Grilled fillet of beef, roast shallot and balsamic butter served with mini baked potatoes with sour cream and chives

Roast brill with whole grain mustard sauce

Spicy chicken korma infused with truffle oil and morels

Prawn nicoise with lemon vinaigrette

Snacks

Bacon roll served with tomato ketchup (what no HP sauce!)

Roast plum tomato soup with herb creme fraiche and a side salad

Penne pasta with your choice of creamy pesto or artichoke and tomato sauce with garlic herb croute

Duchy of Cornwall biscuits

A selection of cheese and fruit

Dessert and Cheese

Chocolate and banana delice

Lemon and sponge pudding with custard or vanilla ice cream

Cheese plate featuring

Montgomery Cheddar - An award winning straw coloured cheese that is rich in flavour with a hint of fruit; this variety is made from the legendary Jersey cow's milk annd is a British Airways exclusive .

English Stilton - Stilton is an English, cow's milk, semi-hard, Blue, unpressed cheese with a natural brushed rind.

Brie - This soft cow's milk cheese is one of the world's most popular cheese

A basket of fresh fruit

Your choice of
Espresso, cappuccino, coffee, decaffeinated coffee, tea or herbal tea


_______________________________

The wine list was as follows:

Champagne

Charles de Cazenove Grand Apparat Brut Champagne

White Wines

Chablis 1er Cru Les Vaillons 2003, Domaine Billaud-Simon

Riesling Herrenweg de Turckheim 2002, Domaine Zind-Humbrecht

Saintsbury Carneros Chardonnay 2003

Renwood Select Series Viognier 2004

Red Wines

Chateau Branaire Ducru 1995, Grand Cru Classe St Julien

Chinon, Clos de l'Olive , 2003, Couly-Dutheil

Gordon Brothers Syrah 2001, Columbia Valley

Dessert Wines

Opitz Goldackerl Trockenbeerenauslese 2002, Austria

Warre's 1988 Colheita Port

Spirits, Digestifs and Liqueurs

We offer a complete range of classic and timeless spirits, digestifs and liqueurs including Gonzalez Byass Sherries, Johnnie Walker Blue Label Scotch Whisky, Tanqueray No. Ten Gin, The Glenlivet 18-year old Single Malt Whisky, Smirnoff Black Label Vodka, Camus XO Cognac and Woodford Reserve Kentucky Whiskey.

Soft Drinks

A selection of traditional and modern drinks including Coca Cola, Highland Spring still or sparkling mineral water


_______________________________

Vivienne's colleague, Phillip who appeared to be working most of the port aisle came round to take my orders from the menu. I opted for the Duck and foie gras followed by Prawn nicoise.

Vivienne handed me the 'Hitch' video which I began just in time for my starter and she then came back to set my table, followed by her colleague, Phillip who brought around the bread basket, I chose a glass of champagne to accompany it and my upcoming foie gras starter.

http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/484/appetiser9gc.jpg
Duck and foie gras terrine with ruby orange compote and toasted brioche

I have to say this was delicious! The ruby orange compote had such a great rich flavour and foie gras spread on the toasted brioche were superb! This was soon taken away and my Prawn nicoise was presented

http://img381.imageshack.us/img381/3203/entree9ak.jpg
Prawn nicoise with lemon vinaigrette

Again superb! The prawns were large and tasted very fresh, the sundried tomatoes though sparse were again tasty!

Vivienne then came around to take my dessert order and accompanying wine. I was eager to try the Opitz as it came highly recommended by a First regular on Flyertalk so opted for that.

http://img393.imageshack.us/img393/4996/dessert3zu.jpg
Chocolate and banana delice with Opitz Goldackerl Trockenbeerenauslese 2002 dessert wine

As seems to be the case on many of my BA longhaul flights the dessert usually are the best, and even with the hot competition today this was no exception. The Opitz dessert wine came highly recommended with good reason....it is superb! Very smooth, sweet, but no so much that it chokes the flavour of the dessert.

I was getting slightly bored by the movie, not sure whether it was the fact I was getting more and more inebriated or that the movie was indeed poor. But as the meal service went on I was adding more and more recline to my seat until after the meal service was cleared away I gave up altogether and pulled the First blanket over the top of me and fell asleep.

Around three hours passed before I woke up and when I did so I found the cabin mostly in darkness so went up to the galley and fetched a bottle of water. I took a walk down to the back of the aircraft to stretch my legs; as I made my way through the back galley in World Traveller I bumped into the camp FA who gave more care to the well being of the overhead locker than my sore head. He asked what the hell he thought I was doing back here 'with the ruffians' to which I started laughing and said I had come to Raid The Larder! On the way back up to First one of the pursers running the Club World cabin also gave me a grilling and asked where I was going, I said I had come from First but had left my boarding pass at my seat. He laughed and said the pyjamas gave away where I had come from, to which I shuffled back to my seat. As I had given up on the IFE I moved back to 2K to enjoy more personal space and the view from the window. From here it was apparent how few interactions you have with other passengers in First, the herringbone formation allows a very private feel and the few glances of passengers were usually those heading to the bathroom.

I took this opportunity to have a bit of fun and take some pictures of the seat and the cabin.

http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/4047/bafwithbear4mh.jpg
My girlfriends bear enjoying the buddy seat. This is intended to be enjoyed by a friend and allows you to dine together. I have tried this with my younger brother once a few years back and although a novelty the 'buddy' certainly gets a raw deal and is not comfortable for a prolonged period of time.

http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/5166/bafseatfrombuddy5qr.jpg
The view from the buddy seat back at the facing passenger

http://img381.imageshack.us/img381/289/seat2f7ve.jpg
My second seat, 2F which you can see in 6'6" bed format. The white screen separates you from the passenger in 2E although can be wound down for couple travelling together.

http://img222.imageshack.us/img222/7548/baf7778uh.jpg
http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/463/baf77722ub.jpg
The First cabin. My seats were the second window on the bottom photo and aisle seat on the right hand side closest to the camera in the second one.

At this time it became apparent the crew were preparing afternoon tea and Vivienne came around with a silver salver with a selection of sandwiches.

__________________________

Afternoon Tea

Sandwiches

A selection of sandwiches featuring roast chicken with lemon mayonnaise, kippered salmon with horseradish creme fraiche, gammon ham with tomato and grilled Mediterranean vegetable with cream cheese.

Patisserie

Warm plain or fruit scones served with clotted cream and strawberry jam

Cherry bakewell, chocolate choux bun and lemon drizzle cake


___________________________

http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/6702/afternoontea3nx.jpg
Roast chicken with lemon mayonnaise sandwiches and coffee

Despite the large selection I only opted to take a couple of the roast chicken variety, the lunch was rather filling and had to make room for my girlfriend's always sublime evening meals. I had a cup of coffee with it and sat in the buddy seat admiring the view of northern Canada and eastern seaboard of the United States. The Cabin Services Director came around with immigration forms although I already had mine filled out in the Concorde Room so let him complete his rounds.

I noticed the aircraft was in very gradual descent and felt it was about time I got changed out of the PJs although they did feel very comfortable by this stage. It could have got embarrassing had I got to the immigration point still wearing them! I asked the crew for extra inserts for the BAg (including wooden comb Cambrian  Wink ) and retrieved my washbags from my carry on, incidentally fully functional souvenirs from previous trips in First and took them in the bathroom with my clothes from the closet to change and freshen up. All in all this was beginning to take some time and I was half expecting a member of the cabin crew to come knocking and unlock to reveal me with trousers around my ankles....or worse!

After all was done the only thing left to do was return to my seat and gather together my bits and pieces from both seats before landing. The captain announced to the cabin that a great view over the whole Chesapeake was offered to those on the left hand side...damn it! But nevertheless I settled and returned the seat to landing position. We landed from the north so fortunately our taxi to the BA stand was not far at all and as we raided the overhead bins the CSD and other members of the crew held back the teeming masses from Club World and allowed the other passengers from the First cabin to take optimum places on the mobile lounges to the immigration point, a true time saver! As the buses parked up I feared the worst, having arrived at IAD at this time numerous times I have always been welcomed by a huge crowd of other European arrivals, once to the extent where we had to wait on the bus for the line to clear! Fortunately it appeared as if we were ahead of them and the line was relatively short and within five minutes or so I was at the head of the immigration line. After passing through I was half expecting to find time to read a novel although much to my surprise my bags were already off the carousel in a small roped off pen with other bags labelled with First tags. Certainly makes a change from my usual Club World arrivals where the carousel may revolve devoid of bags for 30mins before all the World Chaveler bags hit the carousel leaving the premium bags until last!

Overall, a superb flight from British Airways, one of those flights you wished would last a little longer! The crew were excellent as always on BA, right from boarding, the only minor problems being the broken PTV housing which wasn't too stressful as I just hopped across the aisle although am not sure what would have happened if all seats taken, however that is hypothetical. The other being the older entertainment system which to be honest as mentioned I barely used thanks to the First View option. The Concorde Room was not quite up to First standards and more importantly that of competitors, especially on the champagne and food front, perhaps when I visit again in a few months the non-breakfast selection may be a little better. The catering was all back to normal, although the Gate Gourmet situation did leave me in some doubt until about a week before, thankfully it was all back to normal although the champagne selection left a little to be desired, although it did taste not quite so dry at altitude which means I can't slate it!

All in all though those are few minor points, the seat while not revolutionary anymore is still superb and offers a great deal of personal space and the service is second to none!

Am looking forward to my next BA F experience down to Cape Town in a few months, this time on the 747 which I have always said lends itself much more to the First Class experience.
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
fbgdavidson
Posts: 3563
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 6:25 am

RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Wed Oct 05, 2005 1:48 am

Added to say, Here is a link with all the photos and a few more in original quality. No need to log in unless you want to leave comments
http://www.imagestation.com/album/?id=2119913267

Thanks
Fraser
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
Stretch 8
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Joined: Fri May 28, 1999 4:00 am

RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Wed Oct 05, 2005 2:44 am

Good report Fraser. No doubt, BA First is the ultimate travel experience. Your "walk of shame" into WT wearing pajamas takes the cake! I tried that as a CW passenger last year on #293, and was shooed back upstairs on the 744!
Maggs swings, it's a drive deep to left! The Tigers are going to the World Series!!!
 
mhodgson
Posts: 4673
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2002 8:47 pm

RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Wed Oct 05, 2005 3:15 am

Great report - One day, I will fly First!!

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):
. As I turned to speak to him I banged my head on the overhead locker and he said 'ooo' in a rather caring way, I said without prompting 'I'll be fine, just a light knock'. He replied, 'Oh I was more concerned about the overhead locker'.

Excellent Big grin
No trees were harmed by this message. However, several million electrons were terribly inconvenienced
 
wrighbrothers
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Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 8:15 am

RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Wed Oct 05, 2005 3:55 am

You got one of the B777's with the old style PTV's.
Once again another super trip report and glad to see you enjoyed the FIRST experience. I just LOVE those mobile lounges at IAD
How long did you spend in Washington ? , I went their last year ( Club out and FIRST back in 1K) and I liked it.

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):
Am looking forward to my next BA F experience down to Cape Town in a few months

When do you go ?

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):
I just hopped across the aisle although am not sure what would have happened if all seats taken,

They would have offerd a club world seat or a portable DVD player ( if they had one)

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):
Having taken this flight in all cabins recently with the exception of World Traveller

Saving the best till last eh ?  Wink

Wrighbrothers
Always stand up for what is right, even if it means standing alone..
 
MH017
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Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2005 4:17 am

RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Wed Oct 05, 2005 5:00 am

What an excellent trip-report and written with a lot of humour as well !!!

Love the pictures and could "taste" the atmosphere...also, would have loved to try the cheese-selection offered  Wink

Looking forward to your Capetown flight experience !
don't throw away tomorrow !
 
fbgdavidson
Posts: 3563
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 6:25 am

RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Wed Oct 05, 2005 5:27 am

Thanks for the kind comments

Quoting Wrighbrothers (Reply 4):
How long did you spend in Washington ? , I went their last year ( Club out and FIRST back in 1K) and I liked it.

I'm here until Xmas, not in Washington per se. Down the road in Richmond.

Quoting Wrighbrothers (Reply 4):
When do you go ?

Not until February  Sad In the meantime I have a Club World return and United Business Class trip back home to bring me down to the ground!

Quoting Wrighbrothers (Reply 4):
They would have offerd a club world seat

Eww  Wink

Quoting Mhodgson (Reply 3):
Excellent?

Have to say while I found that funny he freely admitted he had just started the job and unless he was a really good judge of character he could have used that line on a less grateful miserable bastard!

Quoting Stretch 8 (Reply 2):
I tried that as a CW passenger last year on #293, and was shooed back upstairs on the 744!

Strange. I tend to do the walk of shame down to the back when on the upper deck as pacing the top floor just appears psychotic! The only time I've been given a frosty reception when heading downstairs was when I tried to take a glass of champagne with me. Probably because they thought I was going to hand it to one of teeming masses in WT! My interpretation was that those downstairs couldn't go upstairs but those upstairs had free roam of the plane with the exception of First.
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
JAGflyer
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RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Wed Oct 05, 2005 6:47 am

Great report and pics Fraser! Nice to see what flying BA first looks like. Did you actually buy full F or did you use miles/certs for an upgrade?
Support the beer and soda can industry, your recycle old airplanes!
 
roseflyer
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RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Wed Oct 05, 2005 7:57 am

Great report. BA first sounds very pleasant. There are some aspects of your trip report that make me feel that BA first is better than UA first, but I haven't flown first class outside of star alliance yet. I haven't flown BA yet, but might one day.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
Venezuela747
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RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Wed Oct 05, 2005 8:48 am

Ohh I remeber your trip reports, you are the guy who take pictures with the teddy bear with Kristin's name.....I remeber your trip reports, nice job once again

I too will one day fly first class.....how much did you pay for it, if I may ask
ROLL TIDE!!!
 
ZKSUJ
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RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Wed Oct 05, 2005 9:46 am

Great report. Very nice pics and good commentry. Glad to hear you had a good experience.
 
daron4000
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RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Wed Oct 05, 2005 10:14 am

Great report...were the lavatories nice? I heard they are nicer than the ones in Club.
 
BA380
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RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Wed Oct 05, 2005 7:18 pm

I love the low-key BA F service and as discussed before, I actually like the 777 F cabin better than the 744 on BA (but opposite is true for J).

Flying F ist teh only time I have wanted the flight to be longer and would be happy if the captain decided to fly round the block a few times before landing...
cabin crew: doors to automatic and cross-check...
 
airxliban
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RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Wed Oct 05, 2005 8:49 pm

Very nice report...good details. I've always wanted to go on BA F!!

Quoting Wrighbrothers (Reply 4):
Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):
Am looking forward to my next BA F experience down to Cape Town in a few months

Please let us know how it went and if its any different on the mighty 744.
PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
 
airxliban
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RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Wed Oct 05, 2005 8:49 pm

Oops, meant to say how it goes.
PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
 
brokenrecord
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RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Wed Oct 05, 2005 9:45 pm

Pompous a$$hole.  Big grin

j/k, very nice report. I will say that your F experience appears to be much better than the one I had in J on BA IAD-LHR-DOH-LHR-IAD.
 
fbgdavidson
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RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Thu Oct 06, 2005 12:19 am

As it was a one-way booking paying cash made little sense in any class of service so I redeemed 75,000 miles for it. Return would have been 150,000. No stickers, eVIPs or lax upgrade policies for elites in the Executive Club  

Quoting Daron4000 (Reply 11):
Great report...were the lavatories nice? I heard they are nicer than the ones in Club.

You don't get the translucent window like you do on the 747 :D Still pretty small just with walnut veneer and Ren toiletries, as you get in the washbag.

Quoting AirxLiban (Reply 13):
Please let us know how it went and if its any different on the mighty 744.

Well for a start the entertainment system will not be the slightly rubbish version that I had. More channels, games etc and the PTV won't get stuck in the shelf because the 747 has a sort of eject button on the shelf which the 777 doesn't.
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
GSPSPOT
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RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Thu Oct 06, 2005 1:42 am

Fantasitc report and pics - Lucky bastard!  Smile
Finally made it to an airline mecca!
 
wrighbrothers
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RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Thu Oct 06, 2005 5:02 am

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 6):
I'm here until Xmas, not in Washington per se. Down the road in Richmond.

HEY I'm near Richmond !! ( England  Wink )

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 6):
Eww

I quess you could always try a real travelling experience in WT , i'm sure you'd love it  cheeky 

Wrighbrothers
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LHR27C
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RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Thu Oct 06, 2005 5:51 am

Hi Fraser,

Really excellent report, sumptiously illustrated and a fascinating read! Unfortunately First is a world I can only dream of, although I did manage to try out of one of the seats in BA's 777 F cabin on work exp @ LHR recently...

Looking forward to your CPT report.

Oliver
Once you have tasted flight, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned forever skyward
 
JAGflyer
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RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Thu Oct 06, 2005 8:07 am

How'd you get into First? Full fare or upgrades?
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brokenrecord
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RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Thu Oct 06, 2005 10:51 am

Quoting JAGflyer (Reply 20):
How'd you get into First? Full fare or upgrades?



Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 16):
As it was a one-way booking paying cash made little sense in any class of service so I redeemed 75,000 miles for it.
 
Bofredrik
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RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Fri Oct 07, 2005 5:27 am

Great report! But the meal service is more or less the same that i used to get in Business class. BA is saving money on food what i can see!
 
wunala
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RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Fri Oct 07, 2005 4:13 pm

Great report. Always a pleasure to read.

Cheers
 
mikkel777
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RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Sat Oct 08, 2005 2:51 am

Thanks for the report and the pictures. IAD is a mess, probably the worst US airport I've arrived at from Europe.
 
BA0284
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RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Sun Oct 09, 2005 1:12 am

Another brilliant trip report.

I got a free First class upgrade on my LHR-SFO earlier this year. Big grin It really is the way to fly! The First experience in the B747 is so much better than the B777, can't see how though!!! Just is.

Looking forward to the CPT trip report!

BA0284
(This is my first post on .net!!)
 
wrighbrothers
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RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Sun Oct 09, 2005 5:11 am

Quoting BA0284 (Reply 25):
BA0284
(This is my first post on .net!!)

Welcome BA0284  Smile
Wrighbrothers
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Boeing744
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RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Sun Oct 09, 2005 9:42 am

Wow, great trip report! Why was one of the IFE choices Road Trip? It must be over five years old by now (good movie anyways).
 
fbgdavidson
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RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Mon Oct 10, 2005 12:01 am

Quoting Boeing744 (Reply 27):
Wow, great trip report! Why was one of the IFE choices Road Trip? It must be over five years old by now (good movie anyways).

In First there are two sets of IFE. The PTV based that the whole aircraft watches (though I think more channels in First & Club World) and also what is known as First View. It runs off Hi-8 tapes and there are individual players in each seat which play onto the PTV screen so you can pause, stop, FF etc whenever. Usually First View has quite a selection of movies including those from a number of genres, some classics and a number of foreign movies...hence the inclusion of Road Trip
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
wrighbrothers
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RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Mon Oct 10, 2005 2:04 am

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 28):
In First there are two sets of IFE. The PTV based that the whole aircraft watches (though I think more channels in First & Club World)

If I am correct , all classes now have 18 channel IFE , the one currently installed in the 747 and most 777's on BA are Rockwell ( I think) and are18 channel in all classes , however , some 777's ( like the one you had) have the old IFE and have 18/12 channnels in first/club and 12 channels in WT/WT+.

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 28):
Usually First View has quite a selection of movies

30 I believe

Wrighbrothers
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RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Wed Oct 12, 2005 12:36 am

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 8):
here are some aspects of your trip report that make me feel that BA first is better than UA first, but I haven't flown first class outside of star alliance yet.

Well I'd swap BA F for a chance on SQ F, as it happened my one way trip over was originally booked on SQ in First from FRA-JFK but had to cancel it due to Visa interview and then couldn't get anymore availability  Sad

In comparison to UA F, I presume you mean the 747 suite product, which I have heard from people who have done both barely matches up to BA Club World in terms of service!

A couple of my pics that made it onto MyAviation...darn those a.net screeners  Wink

MyAviation.net photo:
Click here for bigger photo!
Photo © Fraser Davidson



MyAviation.net photo:
Click here for bigger photo!
Photo © Fraser Davidson

"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
Paul
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RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Thu Oct 13, 2005 2:26 am

Hey Dave

What an awesome report man. You never fail to disappoint. You are truely blessed with the old mans airmiles mate. I guess MNC´s are quite good for sending employees all over the place and earning bucket loads of airmiles at the same time!

Good job

Paul
Veni, vidi, vici.
 
fbgdavidson
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RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Thu Oct 13, 2005 2:41 am

Quoting Paul (Reply 31):
What an awesome report man. You never fail to disappoint. You are truely blessed with the old mans airmiles mate. I guess MNC´s are quite good for sending employees all over the place and earning bucket loads of airmiles at the same time!

Them BA miles are mine all mine....(and always have been....since Sep 02 anyways!)
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
Orion737
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RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Thu Oct 13, 2005 10:52 pm

I have only once flewn BA first class and it was quite a fewyears ago on a 742 from LHR-Nairobi. I actually didnt like it very much. I felt very 'out of place' actually. Surrounded by a lot of snobs and snooty businessmen who rather wondered what a 18 year old lad was doing up in First.

I may, if I am ever lucky enough to have the chance, fly First again to see if i might feel anymore at home up front. I sometimes fly C but that is usually only on GB Airways short haul and to leisure destinations.
 
fbgdavidson
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RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Tue Oct 18, 2005 1:04 pm

Orion, a lot has changed up front since then. BA brought in the First suite thing in about '96-'97 and you barely need to interact with the other passengers, heck you can do that in Club World if you get the right seat! The only reason I noticed some of the other passengers was because I looked about the cabin, in fact the lady in 2E was indulging in the poor quality champagne in the Concorde Room before I arrived  Wink

So now there is no reason to feel out of place  Wink
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
TriStar500
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RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Tue Oct 18, 2005 3:22 pm

Thank you for taking so much time to cover your flights in minute detail.  Smile It was a pleasure to read about your experience on BA First - but probably not as much pleasure as experiencing the product in reality.  Wink
Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
 
A340600
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RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Wed Oct 19, 2005 7:32 am

One of the best trip reports I have ever read, the amount of discriptive detail to almost put readers into your shoes along with good visual relief in the form of pictures, I have never seen the F cabin in so much detail before.

Thankyou for sharing, I eagerly await your next report,

Sam Smile
Despite the name I am a Boeing man through and through!
 
fbgdavidson
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RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Fri Oct 21, 2005 8:16 am

Quoting Wrighbrothers (Reply 4):
They would have offerd a club world seat or a portable DVD player ( if they had one)

Interestingly a BA lurker on Flyertalk says that from 1st November aircraft with the GMIS old style IFE will be equipped with portable DVD players for all passengers and list of films will be in First Life magazine (haven't heard of this magazine before, only Business Life and High Life)

Also some new F washbags are coming, slightly smaller than the current offerings and in brown but with a new Ren moisturiser.
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
wrighbrothers
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RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Sat Oct 22, 2005 3:18 am

Hello again wave 

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 37):
will be in First Life magazine (

Yep, a high life for FIRST passengers,all new.

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 37):
that from 1st November aircraft with the GMIS old style IFE will be equipped with portable DVD players for all passengers

News to me  Smile

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 37):
Also some new F washbags are coming,

Yep.

Wrighbrothers
Alistair
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fbgdavidson
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RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Mon Oct 24, 2005 3:21 pm

Quoting Wrighbrothers (Reply 38):
Yep, a high life for FIRST passengers,all new.

Nice, does this come in 1st November? Any idea of the features from 'inside'?  Wink
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
wrighbrothers
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RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Mon Oct 24, 2005 7:37 pm

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 39):
does this come in 1st November?

I'm not sure.

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 39):
Any idea of the features from 'inside'?

No, but I know that there are going to be 4 new IFE channels.

Wrighbrothers
Always stand up for what is right, even if it means standing alone..
 
fbgdavidson
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RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Sun Oct 30, 2005 1:42 pm

Quoting Wrighbrothers (Reply 40):
No, but I know that there are going to be 4 new IFE channels.

Sweet! Anything for use non laptop users to help pass the time before AVOD gets installed (seriously BA need it to be considered an industry heavywieght!).

Are these 4 channels just for First or for the ruffians too?  Wink Do they complement the First Life magazine?

Sorry for all the dumb questions, just been a while since any enhancements were made to BA IFE on longhaul!
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
wrighbrothers
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RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Mon Oct 31, 2005 1:30 am

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 41):
before AVOD gets installed

It's coming

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 41):
Are these 4 channels just for First or for the ruffians too?

Nope, it's for everyone. They are BBC channels, comedy such as little Britain etc, drama and some other things

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 41):
Do they complement the First Life magazine?

Nope

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 41):
BA IFE on longhaul!

BA are completely re doing FIRST , and CLUB WORLD. New seats, IFE menus etc.

Wrighbrothers
Always stand up for what is right, even if it means standing alone..
 
fbgdavidson
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RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Wed Nov 09, 2005 5:21 am

To the person who emailed me here are the pictures of the amenity kit as requested.


The BAg, small card welcoming onboard and explaining the details of the inserts. Small bundle of eyeshades and socks. Plus the earplugs (these are the same as Club World) Each BAg comes with a number of inserts that have a nice vintage picture on them and contains the items listed.


'Face' pouch. Contains small washcloth and two small pots of Amanda Lacey Cleansing Pomade and Pink Cream. There are instructions on the back of the vintage card of how to apply the creams during the flight so you leave nicely freshened.


'Basics' pouch. Contains toothbrush, REN peppermint mouthwash, Elgydium toothpaste, REN Malachite Soothing Eye Gel, REN Honey Lip Balm and Aroma Therapeutics of London 'Fresh Face'. Again application instructions on back of vintage card.


'Shave' pouch. Contains Wilkinson Sword disposable razor and REN HX4 shave cream.

And as requested the comparison between the newer and older First amenity kits. The green with grass blades on it is the oldest of the three and the beige one had similar inserts (long gone) and was picked up on a flight in autumn 2003.


Sad as it may seem, but testiment to the bag itself is the fact I continue to use the green one as my primary washbag and although it is well used and well travelled it still holds up well. The beige one is less travelled but is a handy size for carrying aftershave, shaving foam and anything that doesn't fit in the smaller one. The green one seems nigh on bulletproof whereas the other two are a little more flimsy.
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
Lucky727
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RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Wed Nov 09, 2005 6:15 am

Your reports are always a great read - and the pics of the F cabin look fabulous.

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 37):
First Life magazine (haven't heard of this magazine before

Coincidentally, just picked up a copy from the departure lounge at BDA yesterday (I guess BA & AC share it, it's not a big place) - a very slick publication for people with more money than God has angels...i.e. a Jo Malone gift box, one of many items in the over the top gift pages, priced at around £500 !? (for bath oils??)
··· [·] oooooooo [·] oooo oo ooooo [·] ooooooooooooooooooo [·]
 
wrighbrothers
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RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Thu Nov 10, 2005 5:35 am

Hey Fbgdavidson  Smile

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 43):
To the person who emailed me here are the pictures of the amenity kit as requested.

Looks good, I see that ear plugs and eye shades have been brought back ( or have I just missed them ? )

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 43):
'Face' pouch. Contains small washcloth and two small pots of Amanda Lacey Cleansing Pomade and Pink Cream. There are instructions on the back of the vintage card of how to apply the creams during the flight so you leave nicely freshened.


'Basics' pouch. Contains toothbrush, REN peppermint mouthwash, Elgydium toothpaste, REN Malachite Soothing Eye Gel, REN Honey Lip Balm and Aroma Therapeutics of London 'Fresh Face'. Again application instructions on back of vintage card.


'Shave' pouch. Contains Wilkinson Sword disposable razor and REN HX4 shave cream.

Aren't they also put in the washrooms aswell ?

Wrighbrothers
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GDB
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RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Fri Nov 11, 2005 1:05 am

Superb report, you certainly get to experience the best BA has to offer.

Never been in 1st, in truth I fly so rarely I'm not likely to.
 
wrighbrothers
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RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Fri Nov 11, 2005 1:36 am

Quoting GDB (Reply 46):
Never been in 1st,

Just become an SM and you'll get it  Smile

Wrighbrothers
Always stand up for what is right, even if it means standing alone..
 
GDB
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RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Sat Nov 12, 2005 3:11 am

Don't get me started on that Wrighbrothers!
 
wrighbrothers
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RE: BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics)

Sun Nov 13, 2005 3:42 am

Quoting GDB (Reply 48):
Don't get me started on that Wrighbrothers!

How do you mean ?
Never say never  

Wrighbrothers

[Edited 2005-11-12 19:45:29]
Always stand up for what is right, even if it means standing alone..

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