This is the 3rd part of my recent trip LHR
in First Class. This report concludes my journey and covers the last sector on the day flight back to London. If you're interested, the first 2 parts can be found here:
BA First LHR - SFO (by airlineanorak May 25 2012 in Trip Reports)
UA PS First Class SFO - JFK (by airlineanorak May 25 2012 in Trip Reports)
The first part of the TR
explains the background to the trip, how many miles I used to book etc, so I won't repeat it here.
CHECK IN AND
I choose to fly on the day flight home from NYC after spending almost a week there meeting up with friends. I much prefer the day flights back from the East Cost of the US since I find the 6 hours or so is not enough to enjoy a decent enough sleep on the overnight flights. Also, I still love flying and want to enjoy the flight. So wherever possible, I take the day flights back.
day flight from JFK
departs at 08:00. I booked a car from my Manhattan hotel for 05:30 since I suspected it would take somewhere between 30 and 45 mins to reach JFK
. The car turned up on time and due to a bit of traffic close to JFK
, it took around 40 mins. BA
check in for Club and First passengers is round to the left behind the economy check in (it's actually not that well sign posted). Club check in is first and then First check in is at the end on the right hand side.
First Check In:
Both the First and Club check in desks were empty and I was soon on my way. As per the way out, we had selected 5E and 5F. Also, the good news is that we knew this was going to be New First since it was a High J config (all High Js have been fitted with the New First).
The check in agent pointed us to the fast track security (just opposite the First check in desks) and told us to make ourselves comfortable in the Concorde Room. Now this was a surprise to me that it was opened for the day flight, since the BA
web site said it was closed, as did the 'You First' concierge when we contacted them. The check in agent said it was open from 06:00am every morning. I will write to BA
and ask them to reflect this on their web site and to inform You First.
There were only 2 people in front of us at security and we were soon up the ramp, with the Concorde Room (CCR
) on the left hand side.
THE LOUNGE - JFK
We were the first people in the CCR
this morning, so I got snapping with my iPhone and took quite a few pictures - I still feel a bit embarrassed when there are other people around when I take pictures!
I must say that I actually preferred the JFK CCR
to the LHR
one! Perhaps since it's newer (it was completely refurbished in 2011) or because it was smaller and more 'homely'? It was just a more pleasant place to spend some time in.
I didn't take any photos of the breakfast offering, but it was a cold buffet selection of pastries, breads, fruit, yoghurts, smoked salmon and a few other bit and pieces. I am assuming the CCR
closes after the day flight departs, since there are no other BA
One World flights till the evening?
I had some toast, with smoked salmon and cream cheese. There was a bar where a full drinks service was available. However, even for a Scotsman, 06:30 felt a tad too early for alcohol, so I had a coffee.
I popped out to Duty Free to buy some things and came back to the lounge. By this time, there were around 10 people in the Lounge. At around 07:15 I decided to head to the gate, since boarding was just about to start. As we approached the gate, boarding started and we were soon on board.
I was pleased to see for sure that it was definitely New First! I have flown both the old and the new before, but never so closely together. It's only when it was 10 days apart that I saw just how much better new First really is. I think it's because I clung on to the nostalgia of the old First (a product I knew so well) that I was perhaps blinkered. But BA
have made a great job of NF
There were 10 passengers in First on today's day flight back to London (14 seats).
Here were our seats 5E and 5F:
We were warmly greeted by the crew and drinks were offered. Since I had now completed breakfast and had a coffee, I thought it was acceptable to have a glass of Champagne!
It was soon after this that we encountered some technical problems. The whole aircraft was plunged into darkness and all power failed (even to the emergency lights which briefly came on). Within a few minutes, power was restored but an alarm immediately sounded in the First galley at door 1.
I won't bore you with the ins and outs, but we ended up being on the ground for 3 full hours while they fixed the problem. Something had clearly 'tripped' when they encountered the power failure and the alarm was indicating there was smoke in the First Class toilet. This is obviously something they can't take off with since they'd never know if there was a real fire mid-flight.
At one stage they thought they were going to cancel the flight, but after the engineers had a conference call with Boeing and London Engineering, the fault was resolved sometime after 10:00. What was interesting is that to access the electrical room on the jumbo, the engineers had to lift the carpet in First Class and descend below us! I took a quick snap:
The crew were delightful throughout all of this and I had build up a great rapport with them. The continued with drinks service throughout the delay and I think I must have had 4 glasses of Champagne!
We were soon in the air (about 3 hours late). Menu cards, sleeper suits, slippers and pashminas were handed out (some of these items were given out before take off)
Wine list (same one as the LHR
flight 10 days earlier)
Food menu (again, an of these items are available at any time during the flight)
Given that I had already consumed 4 glasses of Champagne before take-off, I thought it wise to have a pot of tea with my breakfast! I went to for the fruit salad and the full English.
My fruit salad
My full Engligh
Shortly after this, I switched to Tanqueray & tonic and watched 2 movies. About half way across the Atlantic, I was feeling peckish and the crew made me 2 bacon rolls. I then switched to my favourite whisky - JW
Blue Label. About an hour before landing I was also served the afternoon tea of sandwiches, salad and a plate of cakes. Apologies, but again I didn't take photos of the rest of the food! I think I must get too 'relaxed' - or perhaps it's the JW
Blue that does it!
I did however, take some random cabin pictures:
I love that you can split the screen and watch the entertainment whilst still seeing the map!
I had a great flight back. The crew were faultless once again. They really worked as a team and nothing was too much trouble. I used to live between India and the UK and flew BA
often between the two countries. I have generally received great service, but there are times where the crew just don't care and everything feels like a hassle (I guess you get these bad eggs on every airline). I'm pleased to say that on either of my BA
flights did this ever occur and the service felt very genuine.
In summary about my whole trip, I had a wonderful time! I loved Yosemite which was breath-taking. San Francisco is a great city and I will never tire of it. NYC was a lot of fun and we spent some wonderful days with friends out there.
was my biggest surprise about how pleasant it was. I struggle to fault BA
First for anything - the lounges are amazing, their New First is top notch and the Service I received on both of my flights was second to none.
I hope you've enjoyed reading these reports. I have 2 more BA
First Trips coming up and potentially a BA
Club World. I'll see if any of these journeys are unique enough to write another TR
As ever, all feedback is very welcomed!
Thanks for taking the time to reach the end!