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fbgdavidson
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BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics)

Wed Jan 03, 2007 2:28 pm

Usually I wouldn't write up a Club World report now, I feel I've posted enough of them, especially on the Washington run! However this one was a little different and to badly paraphrase Humphrey Bogart, 'Of all the aircraft, in all the airports, in all the world, I had to walk into the only one with BA New Club World'. As a result the beginning of the report isn't quite how I'd have planned it with hindsight but fortunately I have a few pictures from previous reports to fall back on!

Route: London Heathrow (Terminal 4) - Washington Dulles
Airline: British Airways
Flight number: BA293
Aircraft: Boeing 747-400
Registration: G-BNLN
Seat: 64K (Club World - Business Class)
Distance: 3677 miles
Duration: 8hrs 25mins
Date: Monday 1st January



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Photo © Mike Moores
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Photo © Paul Langfermann - The Art of Flying Photos



This trip started, as all my other British Airways ones do, 24hrs less a bit on a computer somewhere, checking in online on a quest for the best seats in the house. Fortunately this time around I had help in the form of a shiny BA Gold card and one of the benefits was the ability to pre-assign certain premium seats. As such for this trip I had 64K on the upper deck, with my wife beside me in 64J. It was to be quite a contrast to our outbound trip aboard the 'Flying Youth Hostel', the 777. With our seats confirmed upstairs it was plain to see the flight was to be very empty, only four other people were booked in the bubble adding to that almost private jet feeling that I enjoy so much about the upper deck.

We arrived at the airport a little earlier than I hoped, 1.30pm for a 5pm departure! This was in part due to my father's need to get to Manchester and my mother attending a drinks party! Alas thanks to aforementioned shiny BA card and confirmed business class tickets we'd have a few lounges to mingle about as well as the Molton Brown Spa where we'd get a massage. My father left us at the far end of the busy ramp at Terminal 4 allowing a quick getaway to Zone E, home of the First check-in desks  

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First check-in at Zone E in Terminal 4*

A uniformed BA staff member directed us to a free check-in agent who welcomed us with a Happy New Year greeting. We chatted away as he processed our documents although it appeared as though his computer was also recovering from the New Year festivities and refused to print off the baggage tags. A short time later and with necessary security formalities out of the way we headed for the Fast Track passage to airside. To my surprise and a first time ever there was not one person in the queue, Kirstin and I walked right to the front!   With a shade over three hours to spare before our flight it seemed the most obvious destination was the Molton Brown Spa in the Lounge Pavilion to get ourselves booked in for a back massage each. Despite turning up so far in advance we still couldn't get an appointment booked! I was stunned to find they were fully booked through to 5pm! However it seemed as though we weren't to leave empty handed and we were given a veritable treasure trove of goodies to take away. 2x300ml bottle of Silverbirch body wash and 2x300ml bottles of Ultrasmooth Coco De Mer body lotion EACH! Result!     

Wiping away our tears of sorrow (   ) we stopped in by the First Lounge, another BA Gold perk. Fortunately, and for once it wasn't that busy and so we occupied a few seats in the corner close to the television where Sky News was and perused the menu for something to nibble on.

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First Lounge in Terminal 4*

It seems as though I have developed something of a reputation for being a champagne and bacon roll fiend but today I had been stopped in my tracks. Bacon rolls were only on offer from the breakfast menu and so I requested a Chicken Caesar salad. I wasn't too sad as I'd managed to squeeze in a few bacon rolls at the First Lounge at Gatwick a couple of days before. I was pleased to see the premium champagne was out in force again, well almost.... a 1995 Charles Heidsieck Blancs des Millenaires was chilling in the bar area beside its inferior ugly stepbrother, the Monopole Blue Top! No prizes for guessing which one I went for   

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Chicken Caesar salad in the First Lounge in Terminal 4

The salad was pretty tasty and so I ordered a second whilst my wife ordered the asparagus risotto. With not much to do in the First Lounge but drink, eat and watch Sky News I headed upstairs to the so called 'First Business Suite', a locked room with a few internet PCs, fax machines and the ilk. It has a small bar too so those in there for extended periods of time can get a drink.

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First Business Suite in Terminal 4*

Back downstairs again and it was time to enjoy a bag or two of Kettle Chips with a glass of the better Heidsieck variety   As time rolled on the lounge got a little busier and at 4pm we moved away from the main area close to the TV nearer to the reception where we could see the monitors detailing our flight, after all how much rolling news does one person need in a day!?!?

From where we were sitting we could see and hear the reception staff and as 4.30pm rolled around some other mildly concerned Washington bound passengers enquired as to the status of our soon to be departing flight. Although according to the monitors we were still at the 'Will Board Gate 9' stage the reception staff seemed better informed and said that pre-boards had just started. As such we followed the other passengers closely to the gate.

Around the back of the shops Gate 9 is in an odd place with not much room and barging of the most polite form was necessary in order to reach the gate agent and utilize the premium boarding line. A cabin crew member was ready at door 2L for us checking boarding passes and directed us up the stairs to our own little haven where Gillian & Alex were waiting for us. As I turned the corner I noticed to my utter surprise we were onboard the only longhaul aircraft with the new Club World seats! As boarding had only just commenced I snapped a couple of pictures of the seat. The lady who boarded just ahead of us asked if we'd like our picture taken, and enquired as to whether we were on honeymoon! Sorry love, I'm just an airplane geek!  

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Seat 64B

Gillian came and offered to hang my coat up as I was retrieving a number of essential items from my bag for the flight, as well as the pyjamas. Some may say it is gauche to wear First pyjamas anywhere but their cabin of origin but the fact is they pack down very well into a carry on, save my clothes and act as an all in one napkin!

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The privacy of seat 64K is almost unmatched. You could put the privacy screen up and not see anybody for 14hrs!

I settled down into the seat and realised how at sea I felt! I had seen the seat on the internet in picture form but I felt a bit like a small child having a play with every switch to see what did what. Fortunately the airline had anticipated fools like me coming onboard and had made a glossy brochure and placed one at each seat which detailed everything about the new seat and the various positions. The crew came round with pre-flight drinks, where upon I opted for water. I mentioned the new seats to Alex and she said it was the first time she had seen them on an operational flight.

There were a few nice touches to the seat:
-The overhead lights (that were often misaligned on the old configurations) had been removed and were replaced by a small light above the right shoulder. This was able to be positioned and had a nifty dimmer sliding switch.
-The tray table was very large and had an exceptional reach
-Decent sized laptop locker at foot level with ability to store a number of electronics or books.
-Colour scheme. Looked great on the aircraft itself, especially as it was so new. However the very pale shells to the seats could mark very easily and the crew had concerns about this.

By this time boarding was over and there were only six of us upstairs and with two FAs we were bound to be well looked after.   Hot towels were handed out soon after the safety demonstration was carried out. On BA's new 10.4 inch screens it looked much bigger than previous, in fact any bigger and it'd have been overkill. A    for the choice of PTV size.

Lima November taxied across to runway 27L where we waited for a Swiss Airbus to leave before turning out at 5.30pm on the dot ready for departure into the damp Middlesex skies. From the starboard side of the aircraft I had a great view of the newly developing areas around Terminal 5 and beyond, but all too soon it was over as we were enveloped by cloud. Washbags were handed out first with menus and a few minutes after takeoff I switched on the new style light and found a comfortable lying position. The new large footstool made it very easy to find a position to lounge about in and makes a nice fit between the old Club World and First seats in this respect. A definite improvement    I perused the menu in anticipation of our orders being taken:

______________

STARTERS

Loch Fyne smoked salmon with mustard dressing

Or

Roast vegetable and tomato fraiche with basil and crème fraîche

Fresh seasonal salad served with vinaigrette


MAIN

Grilled fillet of beef with asparagus, carrots and blue cheese gnocchi

Shaun Hill's smoked haddock and prawn fish pie

Penne pasta with cherry tomato sauce

Main course salad of Cajun chicken with peppered pineapple and spicy tomato dressing


DESSERT

Apple pie with crème anglaise

Cropwell Bishop Stilton and French Brie cheese

A selection of fruit

Chocolates


_____________

One of the first formalities to be carried out was related to customs and immigration with the Cabin Services Director coming around to hand out forms as per necessary. Personally I'd like to see the Cabin Services Director make a bit more of an effort with talking to the passengers and this would be an ideal time to do so, especially on a lightly loaded flight such as this.

Gillian and Alex made a first drinks round as the CSD came around, I opted for my favourite champagne cocktail, the Kir Royale knowing that I was driving upon our arrival it was to be my last alcoholic beverage of the journey   A packet of macademia nuts were also handed out at this time.


A post takeoff Kir Royale and packet of macademia nuts

Eventually the hamsters got up to speed and the AVOD system was switched on, this was another first for me and I was keen to try it out, having never used an aircraft based on demand system before. Glancing through the various movies on offer was new to me and the choice was excellent, loads of oldies as well as new releases. I settled for 'Little Miss Sunshine', a movie that I was keen to see but had somehow slipped past me during its initial release.

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Little Miss Sunshine on pause - this shows the touch screen capability of BA's new Rockwell Collins AVOD system

Orders were taken from the front of the cabin, unlike some trips where they are done by frequent flyer status. I guess with the light load today there were no worries about running out of choices, United take note!! I went for the smoked salmon and pasta. Usually I wouldn't go for something as plain as pasta but experience has taught me anything much fancier (especially in Business Class) usually ends up tasting pretty bad. Stick with easy, straightforward things that are hard to cock up and you won't be disappointed!

Not long after my smoked salmon arrived, along with the offering of a top up for my Kir Royale. I felt obliged to be responsible and ordered a glass of water   Alex came around with a bread basket as well. Oddly enough the tray already had some Green & Black's chocolate on it for dessert! The salad had a few cucumbers and sliced tomatoes which were rapidly removed and substituted by a positive drowning in lime based salad dressing which wasn't half bad either. A good start tonight   


Loch Fyne smoked salmon with mustard dressing, salad with lime dressing & Kir Royale

The salmon was very tasty but not quite as good as the kinglas variety I'd had in First a few months back. The cut was quite different but it still tasted very good, especially with the mustard dressing which surprisingly complemented it very well   

Next out was the main course, and again another drinks top up was offered. Gillian and Alex were looking after us very well    By now we had been in the air about an hour and settling in nicely.

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Penne pasta with cherry tomato sauce

Pasta was fine, I mean something must really be wrong if professional caterers manage to screw up pasta! I played safe with it and it had paid off. My pasta dish was cleared away along with my now finished salad. It turned out the dessert chocolate option was the small Green & Black's bar that arrived with my salad and smoked salmon a couple of courses back. It was pretty small but I knew Club Kitchen would soon be stocked with ice cream to help me through the flight  . A fruit basket was offered with the tea/coffee drinks round after dinner and I helped myself to an apple to go with my coffee.

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Dessert - An apple, Green & Black's chocolate and a coffee

I did ask Gillian about the ice cream in Club Kitchen but she said that it was not setup quite yet and it is standard procedure to set it up after dinner. She said she'd go and have a look for me though and a jiffy later Alex was back with a small tray of chocolate ice creams for me   . She advised it was still a little frozen and that I should wait a little while so I became proactive. I sat it on top of the coffee mug which helped thaw it a little faster.


Coffee, Purbeck chocolate ice cream and Green & Black's chocolate make for a tasty post-dinner snack

At this stage the CSD came on the PA system and said that the AVOD was not working at a number of seats and the system would have to be reset. About 15mins proceeded and I decided to fire up my mp3 player which gave me some grief so I switched it off again and waited for the AVOD system to come back to life. Selecting 'Little Miss Sunshine' from the menu it recognised it had been stopped midway through and asked if I wanted to return to the spot where I left off. Alas I couldn't get it to work out and so had to fight my way through using the slightly awkward fast forward buttons.

After the movie was over I went downstairs to stretch my legs and have a look at the 'Club Kitchen' besides door 2L. It was smaller than I thought although it offered quite a range of snacks inside the chilled section, as well as champagne and wine. I think BA could make it a real feature if it was available as close to boarding as possible. That way on Sleeper Service flights those who miss out on pre-flight dining could get a snack right away and sleep as soon as possible   


Club Kitchen - A new concept for the next generation of Club World

After this I went back upstairs for a nap. I tried out the bed in the new 6' 6" elongated, not quite flat-bed mode. This was partly because I couldn't get the main part of the seat to go completely flat and partly because it sounded a bit different. If it weren't for the fact we were experiencing quite heavy turbulence and the seatbelt sign was on I might have retreated to another one of the window seats.

I slept remarkably well under the combination of new duvet and bed, got about three hours sleep, just enough so that I wasn't going to end up in a ditch along Interstate 95 somewhere in Northern Virginia! Just as I woke the afternoon tea service was coming round, it was a little earlier than usual, whilst we were still over Canadian territory, but it was nice to wake up and eat a couple of sandwiches with some coffee.

__________________________________


SNACKS

Sandwich selection of crayfish with lemon mayonnaise and rocket and Cheddar cheese with pickle

or

Salad of grilled marinated artichoke and asparagus


SWEETS

Farm house fruit cake

DRINKS

Ground coffee, decaffeinated coffee or tea

Selection of herbal teas - peppermint, blackcurrant, apple or camomile and honey


____________________________________

A shame the crews can't unwrap the sandwiches and put them on a nice plate as it'd make a lot of difference to the aesthetic quality of them. Alas they tasted pretty good, the food seems to be on the up, not quite how I remember it from say five years back but a small improvement is a start!

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Sandwich selection of crayfish with lemon mayonnaise and rocket and Cheddar cheese with pickle and cup of coffee

Whilst nibbling on my sandwiches my wife told me about the 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire' game on the IFE. Being a big trivia fan I had to try this out    I did manage to get to the £1m question and breathed a sigh of relief knowing I was about to showered in streamers and handed a large case of money as the final £1m question was aviation related. But....I got it wrong   

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'Is that your final answer?'

In a bad mood now ( ) I decided to try my hand at the near impossible mini golf game...putting a ball through the clown's mouth it wasn't! As we passed over Connecticut I decided it was time to change back into my clothes and freshen up. I took almost as long as my wife would to get ready and was half expecting to be accosted by one of the flight attendants! Upon returning to my seat it transpired the CSD had been round and had a chat with my wife. She had also been given a survey and asked her thoughts on the new seats.    Hopefully BA will listen to the combined comments of my wife and I as well as the other passengers. It seemed as though the other staff were also keen to find out what the passengers liked and disliked about the seats and they seemed pretty open about sharing their positive and negative views too.

Our approach into Dulles was an interesting one. We came in from the north, passing east of the airfield which was clearly visible off to starboard side. The parallel concourses were very pretty distinctive and aircraft could also be seen on approach and departing the airfield as well as the lights of runway 30 that became visible for a short period.

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Flying in a southerly direction, due east of Dulles. The lights of the concourses are clearly visible.

We turned south east of the airfield, in a rather sharp manner, and came in on runway 1R. The taxi round to just off gate D32 was brief and before long the mobile lounges were in place to deposit us at the immigration point. As we waited to go down the stairs I decided to have a final look around my seat. Thankfully I did as I found the headphone connector for my Bose headphones down by my seat! That was a close one!

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The upper deck of G-BNLN

Alex and Gillian wished us well and we got onboard the mobile lounge at door 2L. It looked as though the First passengers had their own bus which left first out of the three that had to come to the aircraft's side. We were descending away from the plane and about to drive off when the we had to go back and collect a few stragglers that couldn't fit on the third lounge. It turned out this cost us a few minutes at immigration as all the World Traveller passengers made it there ahead of us.

As a newly minted US Green Card holder I was eligible to use the US Citizens line which was far longer than the non-US citizens counterpart   A few idiots didn't seem to know the drill, waiting at the head of the line to be called forward instead of waiting at the desk of each individual immigration officer. One particular frequent flyer ended up in a slanging match with another passenger who decided to ignore the advice of the more experienced individual to help save time. Based on the eyebrow raising exchanges I was surprised they didn't beat each other up in the baggage hall!   

It took perhaps ten minutes for us to pass through immigration where to my surprise our bags were already off the carousel and waiting for us    That doesn't happen very often at Dulles! All that was left to do was pass through customs and catch the shuttle back to the Hilton where we had left our car a week previous.

A few post flight bits to look at:


Starting from the back: The Molton Brown goodies I received as an apology for not getting an appointment (my wife got the same amount), the latest incarnation of the Club World amenity kit. Front row from left to right: Menu, Club Kitchen information and wine list

Verdict:

Well this one is going to be a little different to my usual verdicts. I am going to have a separate one for the seat, and another for the rest of the aspects.

Seat:
Good:
-The cushioning is that bit more comfortable, the old seat was given new padding in 2005 but it was an aftermarket affair and didn't fit too well. This new version is much better and fits well.
-The colour scheme is really nice and I like the brushed aluminium look to a number of parts of the seat such as the light and dimmer slide. The blue and white/beige go nicely together too.
-No more misaligned lighting as overhead lighting is completely gone.
-No more small drinks table that was practically an accident waiting to happen.
-10.4 inch IFE screen is superb. A perfect size for the position relative to the viewer.
-Laptop drawer is now very useful and can fit more items that a regular traveller may bring.
-Dining table has a much better reach and is much larger.
-AVOD is a really good system. In my admission I've never used one before but it was very simple to pick up and the choices were very good.

Bad:
-Footstool whilst more versatile does feel rather flimsy, even just whilst resting feet on it I felt I was putting a little too much pressure on it.
-There are no more elasticky pockets. A useful place for newspapers and washbags on the old seat was an elastic pocket on the underside of the footstool. This is gone and has been replaced by a non-elastic one that is only good for magazines and the ilk. Those could cause problems for those in the middle seats.
-While I said I really liked the colour scheme I think it will mark very easily. Looks great now, but in 6 months time, perhaps not.
-Divider screen is quite noisy, I'm pretty certain it'd wake your neighbour if they were asleep.
-The bathrooms haven't been refurbished.

Other aspects of the flight:
The passage through Heathrow was exceptionally easy and the facilities are still pretty good. The fact the Molton Brown Spa gets so booked up is annoying but at least now the goodies make up for it somewhat.

The crew on this flight were really good; friendly, proactive and willing to help. A credit to the airline   

Here are a couple of extra links that people might find useful:
British Airways New Club World website - www.newclubworld.com
My Imagestation Album from this flight - here
Photos of the New Club World Booklet that was handed out:
Cover
Page 1 - Welcome to a cabin with a difference
Page 2 - A gastronomic experience
Page 3 - A relaxed working Environment
Page 4 - Help yourself to a tasty snack
Page 5 - Sit back and be entertained
Page 6 - Drift off in total comfort
Page 7 - A seat designed with your comfort in mind
Page 8 - The seat

Feel free to ask any questions! As far as I am aware this is the first trip report about this new generation of Club World on the internet  

* - Denotes picture taken on previous trip

[Edited 2007-01-03 06:39:51]
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
WN230
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics)

Wed Jan 03, 2007 3:13 pm

That was quite enjoyable as i haven't read a BA tr in a while. The pics were great, especially the ones of the seat. Where will your next tr take us? I'd be pleased to know. Thank you for a great work of art.

WN230
Judas Priest North American tour in '08 . . . cannot wait!!!
 
SNATH
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics)

Wed Jan 03, 2007 4:27 pm

Hey man,

Thanks for the, once more, very readable and informative trip report!!!

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):
Some may say it is gauche to wear First pyjamas anywhere but their cabin of origin but the fact is they pack down very well into a carry on, save my clothes and act as an all in one napkin!

Nonesense!!! I have put on my LH First pyjamas many times on AC Executive First (mainly on the overnight flights, to sleep more comfortably). Seeing the surprised faces of all the other passengers is always priceless...  Wink

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):
Usually I wouldn't go for something as plain as pasta

From my experience, pasta is always the lesser of the two / three / four evils!  Smile

Cheers,

Tony
Nikon: we don't want more pixels, we want better pixels.
 
wrighbrothers
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics)

Wed Jan 03, 2007 9:48 pm

Another great trip report Mr Davidson  Smile some good pictures of the seats. Glad you enjoyed it, looks good.
I wonder, how do you compare it to BA's F product, similar in any ways or is F still better ?
I myself flew BA F LHR-SEA-LHR on an old 777 (like the one you got in your last trip report to IAD with the small screens) nearly a week ago (look out for that trip report this or next weekend too) and the experice was still top-notch.
Hopefully if get a job with BA engineering (it's either that or VS) mid next year, I could be fixing those seats Big grin

wrighbrothers
Always stand up for what is right, even if it means standing alone..
 
767747
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics

Thu Jan 04, 2007 12:37 am

Great report! Nice pictures from your flight with BA. The new Club World sounds really nice!

767747

[Edited 2007-01-03 16:37:59]
I love to fly!
 
jetset7e7
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics)

Thu Jan 04, 2007 3:48 am

Great Report, Fantastic Pics. Next Gen Club World looks nice!

Mark
Retrofitted Blended Winglets - The Future Is On The Wing
 
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ClassicLover
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics)

Thu Jan 04, 2007 5:45 am

I was wondering when you'd rear your ugly head again, Fraser  Smile Trust you to have the scoop on the next gen Club World!

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):
-The overhead lights (that were often misaligned on the old configurations) had been removed and were replaced by a small light above the right shoulder.

That's very good indeed - is the light flexible or solid? This type of over the shoulder light has been a feature of the QF Skybed for a number of years now. Great to see BA taking on a good idea.

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):
I was keen to try it out, having never used an aircraft based on demand system before

Despite all my flying, neither have I... This will be rectified with I fly Royal Jordanian in March.

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):
Club Kitchen - A new concept for the next generation of Club World

I like the club kitchen - and the sheer amount of goodies in it. The Innocent smoothie (which I love) is a great addition! My only issue when I flew BA last time was that I ate so much free stuff (not knowing about the pre-landing sandwich) that I virtually waddled off the plane at the other end.

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):
-No more small drinks table that was practically an accident waiting to happen.

Hooray! It was such a waste of time - and no good when you had your glass of champagne and glass of water on it. It was intrusive - another good decision from BA!

Thanks again for the report - keep an eye out for about 8 from me in April. We'll see if I can get some pics up to your quality!  Smile
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!
 
airbus3801
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics

Thu Jan 04, 2007 7:45 am

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):
Usually I wouldn't write up a Club World report now, I feel I've posted enough of them, especially on the Washington run! However this one was a little different and to badly paraphrase Humphrey Bogart, 'Of all the aircraft, in all the airports, in all the world, I had to walk into the only one with BA New Club World'. As a result the beginning of the report isn't quite how I'd have planned it with hindsight but fortunately I have a few pictures from previous reports to fall back on!

Have no fear, no one here tires of your club reports, especially with the new seats! Fantastic report and great photos! What was your post-mortem of the seats, better than the previous? I enjoy seeing the crew concerned about how their customers like them as well.

[Edited 2007-01-04 00:14:04]
 
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alaskaqantas
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics)

Thu Jan 04, 2007 8:03 am

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):
A shame the crews can't unwrap the sandwiches and put them on a nice plate as it'd make a lot of difference to the aesthetic quality of them.

I have always been surprised that they serve this in business class. I have never flown BA business interntational before, but by reading these report and talking to family who have I find that its not exactly up to business standards.

great report, and pictures! I laughed when I saw your thread because when I read up on the new seat on BA's website I thought to myself "how much you wanna bet that Mr. Davidson would be the first to report on this." haha guess I was right!

The seat looks alot better, I might have to try out BA international one day!
~Cheers-
~~Kyle H.
to some people the sky is the limit, to aviation enthusiasts, its home!
 
daron4000
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics)

Thu Jan 04, 2007 8:08 am

What was the config like on the main deck? Is WTP in front of Club?
 
Sketty222
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics)

Thu Jan 04, 2007 8:21 am

A great trip report. This is the feedback ive heard from a passenger with regards to the New Club seat. The photo of the upper deck, in my opinion, makes Club World look a lot fresher and modern to the old style Club.

Quoting Wrighbrothers (Reply 3):
I wonder, how do you compare it to BA's F product, similar in any ways or is F still better ?

I also would like to think what you make of the New Club compared to First. Obviously the service is different but what do you think of the seats in comparison to each other?

cant wait for your next TR

Lee
There's flying and then there's flying
 
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fbgdavidson
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics)

Thu Jan 04, 2007 8:41 am

Ah ok, lots of questions!  biggrin  I'll tackle them one at a time!

Firstly thanks for the kind comments so far, makes the effort into putting these together worthwhile  Smile

Quoting WN230 (Reply 1):
Where will your next tr take us? I'd be pleased to know.

Currently my next confirmed trip isn't until March  Sad Going to Hawaii in AA First. I might have a couple of not very exciting business trips between now and then though.

Quoting Wrighbrothers (Reply 3):
I wonder, how do you compare it to BA's F product, similar in any ways or is F still better ?
I myself flew BA F LHR-SEA-LHR on an old 777 (like the one you got in your last trip report to IAD with the small screens) nearly a week ago (look out for that trip report this or next weekend too) and the experice was still top-notch.
Hopefully if get a job with BA engineering (it's either that or VS) mid next year, I could be fixing those seats

F is still better and although this is certainly an improvement I don't think F bookings will drop off too significantly as a result of the new seat. The flip side to that is I don't think it is enough to get the Virgin apologists to move over, something BA must have been aiming for.

I didn't realise that BA were now flying the 777 to SEA, and interesting you got one with the old screens. On our outbound IAD-LHR leg of this trip we ended up on one of the the non-Extended Range 777s with 17 F seats and the small screens. To be honest it had minimal impact for me as I got onboard, ate and slept for as much as possible. Those screens are pretty tiny mind you, luckily I seem to have avoided them and it has been a few trips since I last ended up with them.

Did you get the personal DVD players as an alternative to the 12 screen system?

Good luck with job application!

Quoting ClassicLover (Reply 6):
That's very good indeed - is the light flexible or solid? This type of over the shoulder light has been a feature of the QF Skybed for a number of years now. Great to see BA taking on a good idea.

The old bed had both an over the shoulder and an overhead light, the latter of which was often misaligned. The new one pivots and had some direction but only in forward and back, there is no lateral movement per se. It is also built up into the seat and has a nifty dimmer slider.

Quoting ClassicLover (Reply 6):
My only issue when I flew BA last time was that I ate so much free stuff (not knowing about the pre-landing sandwich) that I virtually waddled off the plane at the other end.

 biggrin  The crews do have a habit of making you feel really bad about turning down food and drink!

Quoting Airbus3801 (Reply 7):
What was your post-mortem of the seats, better than the previous? I

Certainly but it is evolution rather than revolution. I summarised my thoughts on the seat in the verdict right at the bottom.

Quoting Alaskaqantas (Reply 8):
I have always been surprised that they serve this in business class. I have never flown BA business interntational before, but by reading these report and talking to family who have I find that its not exactly up to business standards.

To be honest my gripe isn't with the sandwiches (I think it makes a good light snack at the end of the flight) but with their presentation. That said United managed to offer two full meals on their transatlantic C class flights between IAD and LHR. UA Business Class: IAD-LHR-IAD (w/pics) (by Fbgdavidson Feb 22 2006 in Trip Reports)

Quoting Alaskaqantas (Reply 8):
I laughed when I saw your thread because when I read up on the new seat on BA's website I thought to myself "how much you wanna bet that Mr. Davidson would be the first to report on this." haha guess I was right!

All I can say was I was very lucky! As it turned out I almost got it on the IAD-LHR flight too! Usually I book BA292, the 9.55pm departure, however this time it was touch and go between it and the earlier BA216. BA292 that evening had the new seats!!!! 1 flight out of 2 from BA's 100 longhaul aircraft isn't bad!

Quoting Daron4000 (Reply 9):
What was the config like on the main deck? Is WTP in front of Club?

To be quite honest I didn't peek through the forward curtain to see what was between 1L and 2L. Afraid I can't remember what the layout was at OLCI, and even then it was possible an equipment swap occurred.
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
roseflyer
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics)

Thu Jan 04, 2007 10:08 am

Thanks for the trip report. It is good to see improvements to Club World although it was already pretty good.

I've had that pasta and it was pretty good although more cheese would be good. I've also had the steak alternative and the pasta is better. The salmon is definitely better than the turine. However those sandwiches in my opinion are horrible. I think it is completely classless to serve a sandwich like that. A gourmet alternative would be much better.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
comorin
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics

Thu Jan 04, 2007 10:26 am

Excellent trip report, thanks for the scoop on New CW! I am looking forward to trying it out on a spring trip (if I'm lucky).

My heart sank when you posted the Menu - it's the same old CW Menu! I knew the plastic-wrapped sandwiches weren't far behind. I just don't get it!

The one thing BA did brilliantly was curries - as good as SQ; but you don't see it on the menus anymore, too bad.

Congrats on your Green Card - now you can't use the word "Whilst", and no more bacon rolls for you  Smile

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 12):
I think it is completely classless to serve a sandwich like that. A gourmet alternative would be much better.

I couldn't agree with you more. At least you don't get a silly Panini or an All-day Deli box (shudders). After a long flight LHR-MAA last year, I was handed the self same Pret-a-Manger style sandwich. I also hope AA's antics ( no snack in business class) won't catch on with Mr. Walsh.
 
DavidT
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics)

Fri Jan 05, 2007 1:59 am

Very interesting to see the new CW. Club Kitchen is long overdue! They used to have sandwiches on Raid The Larder, before they filled it with shortbread and freddo bars  Sad.

Quoting SNATH (Reply 2):
Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):
Some may say it is gauche to wear First pyjamas anywhere but their cabin of origin but the fact is they pack down very well into a carry on, save my clothes and act as an all in one napkin!

Nonesense!!! I have put on my LH First pyjamas many times on AC Executive First (mainly on the overnight flights, to sleep more comfortably). Seeing the surprised faces of all the other passengers is always priceless...

Wearing F pyjamas in J, especially to enforce status as a premium flyer, is a rather futile excercise. If you were rich enough to fly F, you would be in F. Not J.

Otherwise you end up looking like somebody who's either flown and got lucky with a gate upgrade or saved up enough BA miles to book into F  

(I wouldn't hang on to those F pyjamas too long... they do end up rather tatty after a few washes!)

[Edited 2007-01-04 18:01:00]
 
roseflyer
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics)

Fri Jan 05, 2007 4:06 am

Quoting DavidT (Reply 14):
Wearing F pyjamas in J, especially to enforce status as a premium flyer, is a rather futile excercise. If you were rich enough to fly F, you would be in F. Not J.

Otherwise you end up looking like somebody who's either flown and got lucky with a gate upgrade or saved up enough BA miles to book into F

I never realized anyone particularly cared. All it shows is that you've flown first class. Does anyone really read that far into it? I'll wear first class paraphenalia on occasion because I have it and like it, but never would think that people would think it is an attempt to enforce status. We are beyond the turn of the century oceanliner class structure.  Smile
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
wrighbrothers
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics)

Fri Jan 05, 2007 4:36 am

Quoting Sketty222 (Reply 10):
I also would like to think what you make of the New Club compared to First. Obviously the service is different but what do you think of the seats in comparison to each other?

Although I haven't tried the new club world yet (although I have the old one may a time) I still think the F seat and overall service wipes the floor off Club world, the seat's noticeably longer and slightly wider than the 'current (well technically now old) club world seats. The lay out is good for privacy as the window seats point towards the windows, therefore you have to poke your head round to see the people behind you, and if you recline the seat a little, you can also hide your face from the person beside you in the middle seat.
The service is personal and of the highest standard.
While the New club seat looks wider and more comfortable, it's F anyday for me.

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 11):
I didn't realise that BA were now flying the 777 to SEA, and interesting you got one with the old screens.

Yep, I think it's usually the small screen planes, or the 3 class 777's (on the later on 2X daily freq).

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 11):
Did you get the personal DVD players as an alternative to the 12 screen system?

I did indeed, although my sound was funny, it was virtually silent, even though everything was in the right place and the volume up to the max, I ended up just reading and listening to my MP3. The 12 channel IFE was only a bother because there was a good movie on channel 18 (I think) and...ofcourse....no channel 18.

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 11):
Those screens are pretty tiny mind you, luckily I seem to have avoided them and it has been a few trips since I last ended up with them.

The flight there was the first time I'd ever had the small screens (although admittedly, that was only my 3rd 777 flight). Overall I think the F cabin on the 744 is better, Our 777 didn't have the overhead blue lights in the roof because of the crew rest.

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 11):
Good luck with job application!

Thanks, hopefully I'll be able to claim in one of your TR's in the future. 'Hey, I fixed that plane'  Smile

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):
While I said I really liked the colour scheme I think it will mark very easily. Looks great now, but in 6 months time, perhaps not.

Yea, they have problems with any colour except possibly grey. If you ever have problems with the seat, tell the crew at the end of the flight, they'll then fill out a cabin log which then goes to the engineers when back at LHR. If it can be fixed in the time they've got (can be between 4/5hrs and, well 25 days if it's due for a major over-haul) they'll fix it, the only problem (the IFE ofr example) is that they don't have enough time 50-70% of the time.

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):
-Footstool whilst more versatile does feel rather flimsy, even just whilst resting feet on it I felt I was putting a little too much pressure on it.

Hmmm, they don't have much of an option in that aspect, I guess all they can do is make the footstall itself thicker, but that'll put more stress on the joint, and that lead to it breaking.
Oh, and I noticed you're in possetion of a gold executive club card. Well done !

wrighbrothers
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Sketty222
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics)

Fri Jan 05, 2007 8:48 am

Quoting Wrighbrothers (Reply 16):
Quoting Sketty222 (Reply 10):
I also would like to think what you make of the New Club compared to First. Obviously the service is different but what do you think of the seats in comparison to each other?



Quoting Wrighbrothers (Reply 16):
Although I haven't tried the new club world yet (although I have the old one may a time) I still think the F seat and overall service wipes the floor off Club world, the seat's noticeably longer and slightly wider than the 'current (well technically now old) club world seats. The lay out is good for privacy as the window seats point towards the windows, therefore you have to poke your head round to see the people behind you, and if you recline the seat a little, you can also hide your face from the person beside you in the middle seat.
The service is personal and of the highest standard.
While the New club seat looks wider and more comfortable, it's F anyday for me.

Ive flown in both First and the 'Old' Club World many times but was just wondering how the 'new' seat compares to the First seat. Travelling in both First and Club I know that the service is very different and a lot more personal in the First cabin. Hell, if I had a choice it would be First for me everytime as well  Wink
There's flying and then there's flying
 
Stretch 8
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics)

Sat Jan 06, 2007 12:16 am

Thanks for the report Fraser. I will be heading from IAD to SPU via LHR and LGW in April, and look forward to the new CW. Any idea if "important" routes such as IAD-LHR will have the new CW from now on, or I wonder if it will be hit or miss.
Maggs swings, it's a drive deep to left! The Tigers are going to the World Series!!!
 
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ClassicLover
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics)

Sat Jan 06, 2007 6:10 am

Quoting Alaskaqantas (Reply 8):
I have never flown BA business interntational before, but by reading these report and talking to family who have I find that its not exactly up to business standards.

That surprises me a lot. I've flown BA and QF on international Business legs (more than once) and I have to say they're both excellent. BA is very like QF, just a different seat and a very British way of service rather than Australian.

That said, I've flown CX, AY, BA, AA on "domestic" legs in J and F and the service standards are comparable, you just get more of everything on an international leg.

I'll let you know how I go with my RJ international J, BA First, AY international J in a couple of months time.

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 11):
The old bed had both an over the shoulder and an overhead light, the latter of which was often misaligned. The new one pivots and had some direction but only in forward and back, there is no lateral movement per se. It is also built up into the seat and has a nifty dimmer slider.

Sounds good - looking forward to trying it. I'm tempted to book my QE2 connecting flight in J on BA in the hopes I get the new Club World. Or maybe I am just a slut for the Molton Brown travel spa! haha

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 11):
The crews do have a habit of making you feel really bad about turning down food and drink!

Tell me about it, god bless them! I've sent you a pvt msg... so check that out.
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!
 
DALelite
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics)

Sat Jan 06, 2007 11:19 am

Congrats to your Green Card! Your trip report was enjoyble to read and i am amazed about the new J-Class product.
As i can see, BA also has new china , am i right?
Missed your little puppies.

cheers: DALelite
They loved to fly and it showed..
 
A340600
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics)

Sun Jan 07, 2007 5:08 am

Quoting ClassicLover (Reply 6):
The Innocent smoothie (which I love) is a great addition!

LOVE innocent smoothies!

Aha Fraser, first report on A.net of Club, glad too Smile Though flyertalk did pip the post on this one Wink

Although the cabin looks very plain and far too dull i'm guessing that is just the flash and the actual ambience is much more pleasant? Looks good as always, but when will BA change their catering, compared with what you see from other offerings theirs are of a lower league. Packaged sandwiches like that are very economy, at least it isn't an All Day Deli box though Wink.

Fraser, i'm very disappointed where are your famous furry travel companions?! silly 
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Markhkg
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics)

Sun Jan 07, 2007 6:24 am

Out of curiosity, do you know if the new Club World seatbelts utilize airbags? (The seatbelt airbag causes the seatbelt to be significantly thicker than normal.)
Release your seat-belts and get out! Leave everything!
 
bastew
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics)

Sun Jan 07, 2007 6:36 am

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):
-Footstool whilst more versatile does feel rather flimsy, even just whilst resting feet on it I felt I was putting a little too much pressure on it.

The 'flimsy footstool' issue has been raised with engineering as some are damaged already.

With the new cabin BA although unable to eliminate the 'stepping over issue' they wanted to make it easier by making the footstool narrower on the new seat (and theoretically easier to 'step over'). I think as further aircraft are fitted (only 2 have been completed so far - 100+ more to go!!) we will see a stronger footstool.

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):
-While I said I really liked the colour scheme I think it will mark very easily. Looks great now, but in 6 months time, perhaps not.

Before the final colours/materials were selected BA liased with the 'aircraft presentation' (ie cleaning) team. One issue that the cleaners raised is that it is easier for them to clean a surfact if they can see it is marked (which stands to reason I guess).

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):
A shame the crews can't unwrap the sandwiches and put them on a nice plate as it'd make a lot of difference to the aesthetic quality of them. Alas they tasted pretty good

The sanwiches are sealed to maintain freshness. Nothing quite like an un-wrapped sandwich at the end of a 7 hour flight! Quite rightly, the aesthetics perhaps do not represent what one would expect to see in Club. And regardless of the packaging the quality could definitely be improved. The sandwiches used for the afternoon tea service in FIRST are loaded exactly the same (wrapped). The crew however do unwrap these before serving for the purpose of aesthetics. With 3 crew for a maximum of 14 diners in FIRST this is no mean task. In Club it would be a little different. 6 crew for 70 diners. Un-wrapping sandwiches in front of the passenger in the cabin would be just as aesthetically dis-pleasing as receiving a wrapped sandwich. And if they were unwrapped in the galley prior to delivery some would be stale by the time they were placed in front of the passenger.

HOWEVER......with the 'new' (??) catering there is a choice of sandwiches OR a main course salad for the second meal.

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):
-The bathrooms haven't been refurbished.

Totally agree with you. I was really shocked that the loos weren't to be refurbished. Sad

Quoting Daron4000 (Reply 9):
What was the config like on the main deck? Is WTP in front of Club?

The 'High J' configured B747's are the first to receive the new CW cabin. These aircraft will retain the current layout. It will only be the current 'Low J' B747's (with 38 J seats) that will be re-configured with WTP in front of Club. That way, the Club cabin will increase from 38 to 50 seats on these aircraft.

Quoting Comorin (Reply 13):
The one thing BA did brilliantly was curries - as good as SQ; but you don't see it on the menus anymore, too bad.

They still feature on routes from the UK eastwards.

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):
Wearing F pyjamas in J, especially to enforce status as a premium flyer, is a rather futile excercise. If you were rich enough to fly F, you would be in F. Not J.

Must admit we have been known to give a little giggle in the galley (out of passenger view of course!)  Wink when a J pax strolls around in his/her F pj's.
 
DavidT
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics)

Sun Jan 07, 2007 10:05 pm

Quoting BAStew (Reply 23):
They still feature on routes from the UK eastwards.

Does that cause a problem with the whole cabin smelling of curry for some time?
 
comorin
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics

Mon Jan 08, 2007 2:10 am

Quoting BAStew (Reply 23):
They still feature on routes from the UK eastwards.

Too bad! Gordon Ramsay praised the Shrimp Korma on LHR-JFK as the best thing he'd eaten on a plane in a long time ( TimesOnline ).

Quoting DavidT (Reply 24):
Does that cause a problem with the whole cabin smelling of curry for some time?

Not really - the ventilation (air exchange) in planes is better than in most restaurants, but BAStew might be more qualified to comment. Having said that, I remember flying F MAA-LHR, and they served a curry for breakfast!! I found that hard to take as the smell did waft over from across the aisle. BA's logic was that we were served breakfast when we boarded at 3 a.m, and lunch (The Curry) at 6 am LHR time. My tummy tells me that the meal before you sleep is called Dinner, and the meal you get waking up is called Breakfast!  Wink
 
bastew
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics)

Mon Jan 08, 2007 3:31 am

Quoting DavidT (Reply 24):
Does that cause a problem with the whole cabin smelling of curry for some time?

Hehe, not really. the 'currys' tend to be the westernised version....quite mild and non offensive.

Quoting Comorin (Reply 25):
I remember flying F MAA-LHR, and they served a curry for breakfast!! I found that hard to take as the smell did waft over from across the aisle. BA's logic was that we were served breakfast when we boarded at 3 a.m, and lunch (The Curry) at 6 am LHR time

That is true. In FIRST/Club one of the meals prior to landing in london at, say 6am, will be a lunch/dinner option. This is due to the time difference. Take a HKG-LHR flight departing HKG midnight local time, arriving heathrow 5.50 local time. You will be served dinner after take off and a hot breakfast prior to landing.

The after take off dinner service will generally take place about an hour after take off, so by that time it is 1am HKG time and most Club/First pax are asleep and skip dinner.

Some passengers with a short business trip to london may wish to keep to H.K time. So landing at 6am in london is 2pm H.K time. Hence a lunch option on the menu also.
 
LHR777
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics)

Mon Jan 08, 2007 5:32 am

Quoting BAStew (Reply 23):
It will only be the current 'Low J' B747's (with 38 J seats) that will be re-configured with WTP in front of Club. That way, the Club cabin will increase from 38 to 50 seats on these aircraft.

Just a small point - the 'low-J' 38-seat Club configuration is going to a 'mid-J' 52-seat Club configuration, to be known as a '74C'.
 
airnewzealand
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics)

Mon Jan 08, 2007 5:48 am

Me thinks BA have been onboard QF's business class and taken a few of there aspects!!!  Wink

Cheers and nice report!
 
bastew
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics)

Mon Jan 08, 2007 6:19 am

Perhaps QF should take one of ours: fully flat horizontal beds!  Wink
 
ba319-131
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics)

Mon Jan 08, 2007 6:33 am

Great report, many many thanks!

Not flown BA Club World for a few years, reallyenjoyed the flights. The New BA Club World seat looks excellent, I'm off to LAX in feb, fingers crossed my upgrade from WTP comes through + fingers crossed it's with the new seats.

Rgds

Mark
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TLVFred
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics)

Mon Jan 08, 2007 8:34 am

Does anyone know the timescale for the 744 and 777 roll out?

I am travelling in C - 777 in April (I assume 777 wont even be started on by then). The to JFK (744) in August, and I assume all 744s would be done by then (didnt I read somewhere JFK route would be guaranteed by April?)

Thanks
 
airnewzealand
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics)

Mon Jan 08, 2007 4:29 pm

BAStew...
I agree 100%...heheh  Wink

Cheers And safe flying. Might see you in SIN or NRT!
 
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fbgdavidson
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics)

Tue Jan 09, 2007 10:36 am

OK, lots of questions! I am aware the pictures of the seat have been linked elsewhere on the net so presuming Imageshack can't handle the bandwidth I've linked the photos uploaded to MyAviation


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



Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 12):
However those sandwiches in my opinion are horrible. I think it is completely classless to serve a sandwich like that. A gourmet alternative would be much better.



Quoting Comorin (Reply 13):
I knew the plastic-wrapped sandwiches weren't far behind. I just don't get it!



Quoting A340600 (Reply 21):
when will BA change their catering, compared with what you see from other offerings theirs are of a lower league. Packaged sandwiches like that are very economy, at least it isn't an All Day Deli box though 

Not much love for the plastic wrapped sandwiches eh?  biggrin  Well if I was planning the menu for this flight I probably wouldn't put sandwiches encased in cellophane and I am glad that a salad is now an option. I didn't choose the latter because I'm not a fan of artichoke and asparagus. A Caesar salad and it would have been a different story.

Quoting BAStew (Reply 23):
The sanwiches are sealed to maintain freshness. Nothing quite like an un-wrapped sandwich at the end of a 7 hour flight! Quite rightly, the aesthetics perhaps do not represent what one would expect to see in Club. And regardless of the packaging the quality could definitely be improved. The sandwiches used for the afternoon tea service in FIRST are loaded exactly the same (wrapped). The crew however do unwrap these before serving for the purpose of aesthetics. With 3 crew for a maximum of 14 diners in FIRST this is no mean task. In Club it would be a little different. 6 crew for 70 diners. Un-wrapping sandwiches in front of the passenger in the cabin would be just as aesthetically dis-pleasing as receiving a wrapped sandwich. And if they were unwrapped in the galley prior to delivery some would be stale by the time they were placed in front of the passenger.

HOWEVER......with the 'new' (??) catering there is a choice of sandwiches OR a main course salad for the second meal.

I can't imagine unwrapping a few packs of sandwiches can be that hard on the crew in F. The sandwiches are quite small IIRC but 4 sandwiches per passengers (at the high end) x 14 passengers is 56 sandwiches. On my previous trips in First the silver salver had maybe two dozen sandwiches on it max...and I was one of the first to be served.

Surely the answer is rather simple...like with the main meal service the crew should go around the cabin and take an order. Then unwrap the required numbers of sandwiches, thereby retaining aesthetic and (debatable  Wink) culinary qualities of the food.

Up until about 2004 the sandwiches in the afternoon tea service always arrived unwrapped. Did bread all of a sudden start to get stale really quickly  Wink

Quoting Comorin (Reply 13):
The one thing BA did brilliantly was curries - as good as SQ; but you don't see it on the menus anymore, too bad.

Maybe in the past, the last one I had in F was a real mistake  Sad BA First & Club Europe: IAD-JER-IAD (pics + Vids) (by Fbgdavidson Jul 27 2006 in Trip Reports)

Quoting Comorin (Reply 13):
Congrats on your Green Card - now you can't use the word "Whilst", and no more bacon rolls for you

I'm on my best behaviour to stem the amount of Americanese words I pick up. I've started 'British Phrase Of The Week' at work and it seems to be going down rather well  biggrin 

Quoting BAStew (Reply 23):
Must admit we have been known to give a little giggle in the galley (out of passenger view of course!)   when a J pax strolls around in his/her F pj's.



Quoting DavidT (Reply 14):
Wearing F pyjamas in J, especially to enforce status as a premium flyer, is a rather futile excercise. If you were rich enough to fly F, you would be in F. Not J.

Who wears F PJs to 'enforce status as a premium flyer'???  Confused As I mentioned earlier I brought them with me:
1) Because they are thin they pack down well into a carry on bag.
2) They act as a good all in one napkin. On a trip a year ago wearing the PJs saved my shirt getting doused in red wine.
3) I avoid sweating in my clothes for 8hrs!

Besides who am I going 'to impress'?? There were only six passengers upstairs, four of whom were at the other end of the cabin! As for the crew, well the BA Gold notation on the manifest probably gives away the fact I'm a premium flyer.

If the crew want to have a giggle that's fine, if other passengers want to assume I'm being an arrogant arse then they can go ahead but I'm certainly not going to sit sweating in my shirt for 8hrs when I have other options.

Quoting Wrighbrothers (Reply 16):
I did indeed, although my sound was funny, it was virtually silent, even though everything was in the right place and the volume up to the max, I ended up just reading and listening to my MP3. The 12 channel IFE was only a bother because there was a good movie on channel 18 (I think) and...ofcourse....no channel 18.

That sucks, I usually find the 'Business Life' channel to be pretty interesting...

Quoting ClassicLover (Reply 19):
looking forward to trying it. I'm tempted to book my QE2 connecting flight in J on BA in the hopes I get the new Club World. Or maybe I am just a slut for the Molton Brown travel spa! haha

Well turn up early if you want to guarantee an appointment. On the other hand, leave with a bounty of goods like me  bigthumbsup 

Quoting DALelite (Reply 20):
Congrats to your Green Card! Your trip report was enjoyble to read and i am amazed about the new J-Class product.
As i can see, BA also has new china , am i right?
Missed your little puppies.



Quoting A340600 (Reply 21):
Fraser, i'm very disappointed where are your famous furry travel companions?!

 biggrin  The ursines were having a holiday in the US. The little one's Green Card hadn't come through and they didn't want to be apart....


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



Quoting MarkHKG (Reply 22):
Out of curiosity, do you know if the new Club World seatbelts utilize airbags? (The seatbelt airbag causes the seatbelt to be significantly thicker than normal.)

No need for one. The seats aren't herringbone pattern, or angled to a degree whereby this is required.

Quoting BAStew (Reply 23):
Before the final colours/materials were selected BA liased with the 'aircraft presentation' (ie cleaning) team. One issue that the cleaners raised is that it is easier for them to clean a surfact if they can see it is marked (which stands to reason I guess).

Actually, that makes a lot of sense! If that is the case then the cabins should look pretty good for months to come  thumbsup 

Quoting Comorin (Reply 25):
Too bad! Gordon Ramsay praised the Shrimp Korma on LHR-JFK as the best thing he'd eaten on a plane in a long time ( TimesOnline ).

 rotfl  According to a couple of menus SQ C menus I have he is on their equivalent of the culinary council. Surely he should be talking up his own food  biggrin 

Quoting Stretch 8 (Reply 18):
Any idea if "important" routes such as IAD-LHR will have the new CW from now on, or I wonder if it will be hit or miss.



Quoting TLVFred (Reply 31):
I am travelling in C - 777 in April (I assume 777 wont even be started on by then). The to JFK (744) in August, and I assume all 744s would be done by then (didnt I read somewhere JFK route would be guaranteed by April?)

According to www.newclubworld.com the fleet should be done by April 2008. New York JFK should be completely done by Spring this year.

A thread on Flyertalk tracks the course of G-BNLN using ACARS. So far it seems as though LAX, HKG, IAD and GRU are popular destinations.
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=633240



and breathe....
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
bastew
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics)

Wed Jan 10, 2007 1:26 am

Quoting Airnewzealand (Reply 32):
Cheers And safe flying. Might see you in SIN or NRT!

Hehe will let you know when scheduling give me my annual treat....a NRT!  Smile

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 33):
Quoting BAStew (Reply 23):
The sanwiches are sealed to maintain freshness. Nothing quite like an un-wrapped sandwich at the end of a 7 hour flight! Quite rightly, the aesthetics perhaps do not represent what one would expect to see in Club. And regardless of the packaging the quality could definitely be improved. The sandwiches used for the afternoon tea service in FIRST are loaded exactly the same (wrapped). The crew however do unwrap these before serving for the purpose of aesthetics. With 3 crew for a maximum of 14 diners in FIRST this is no mean task. In Club it would be a little different. 6 crew for 70 diners. Un-wrapping sandwiches in front of the passenger in the cabin would be just as aesthetically dis-pleasing as receiving a wrapped sandwich. And if they were unwrapped in the galley prior to delivery some would be stale by the time they were placed in front of the passenger.

HOWEVER......with the 'new' (??) catering there is a choice of sandwiches OR a main course salad for the second meal.

I can't imagine unwrapping a few packs of sandwiches can be that hard on the crew in F. The sandwiches are quite small IIRC but 4 sandwiches per passengers (at the high end) x 14 passengers is 56 sandwiches. On my previous trips in First the silver salver had maybe two dozen sandwiches on it max...and I was one of the first to be served.

Surely the answer is rather simple...like with the main meal service the crew should go around the cabin and take an order. Then unwrap the required numbers of sandwiches, thereby retaining aesthetic and (debatable ) culinary qualities of the food.

Good point. I think the true issue with the 'wrapped' sandwiches versus a traditional tray lay-up is that they are cheaper for BA. I guess they just source them from a supplier that makes sandwiches for the likes of M&S and they can store them longer. As for crew asking pax and unwrapping the required number, nice idea. A shame any change at BA takes so long from suggestion (and trying to get it past the unions).

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 33):
Quoting BAStew (Reply 23):
Must admit we have been known to give a little giggle in the galley (out of passenger view of course!) when a J pax strolls around in his/her F pj's.



Quoting DavidT (Reply 14):
Wearing F pyjamas in J, especially to enforce status as a premium flyer, is a rather futile excercise. If you were rich enough to fly F, you would be in F. Not J.

Who wears F PJs to 'enforce status as a premium flyer'??? As I mentioned earlier I brought them with me:
1) Because they are thin they pack down well into a carry on bag.
2) They act as a good all in one napkin. On a trip a year ago wearing the PJs saved my shirt getting doused in red wine.
3) I avoid sweating in my clothes for 8hrs!

Besides who am I going 'to impress'?? There were only six passengers upstairs, four of whom were at the other end of the cabin! As for the crew, well the BA Gold notation on the manifest probably gives away the fact I'm a premium flyer.

If the crew want to have a giggle that's fine, if other passengers want to assume I'm being an arrogant arse then they can go ahead but I'm certainly not going to sit sweating in my shirt for 8hrs when I have other options.

Hehe was only joking about the crew giggling. And of course it would be noticed by the crew that you are a Gold card holder. It is the Club passenger in the First PJ's strolling through the WT cabins and asking for a FIRST washbag/wine etc that we have a giggle at (YES they exist...one on every flight!  Smile
 
DavidT
Posts: 461
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics)

Thu Jan 11, 2007 4:56 am

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 33):
Who wears F PJs to 'enforce status as a premium flyer'???

Sorry, I didn't mean the comment to be pointed at you. As BAStew says it is the Club passenger on miles in the First PJ's strolling through the WT cabins and asking for a FIRST washbag/wine who wears them to see the 'priceless' expressions on other peoples' faces I was talking about  Smile

(and, admittedly, we've all been that passenger at some point...)
 
exFATboy
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics)

Thu Jan 11, 2007 7:16 am

Another great report - my first view of the new Club World! (Actually, since I don't travel on business any more, I didn't know there was a new Club World!) Looks nice, I like the new colours and the new TV screen looks great. And the Club Kitchen is a definite step up from the old "Raid The Larder."

Have to agree about the sandwiches - yes, it's a small matter in the overall scheme of things, but it just mars the CW experience...everything else is presented in the graceful, elegant manner that sets BA apart from its competitors on the US-LHR route, then here comes the wrapped sandwich, looking for all the world like it came out of a convenience store on the M5. At the very least, they could make the label more attractive!
 
ardian
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics

Thu Jan 11, 2007 9:29 am

Wow, what a great way to fly! I've seen a video of the new seat in work and I couldn't agree more what you say about that noise.
I reallly like this cabin. A great improvement compared to the old one. The clubkitchen looks amazing and very stylish. Looks very exclusive, such a special fridge next to the bar.
Did you hear any of the positive and negative views from the crew and have you enjoyed the movie Little Miss Sunshine (I read a lot of great reviews, but unfortunately I still haven't seen it)

Again another great tripreport  Smile
 
willyj
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics)

Thu Jan 11, 2007 12:18 pm

Quoting DavidT (Reply 14):
Wearing F pyjamas in J, especially to enforce status as a premium flyer, is a rather futile excercise. If you were rich enough to fly F, you would be in F. Not J.

Otherwise you end up looking like somebody who's either flown and got lucky with a gate upgrade or saved up enough BA miles to book into F

I disagree. There is a reason they offer these pyjamas to F passengers - they are great for wearing in flight. I'm sure some people do want to prove something about their status to other passengers, but since they're the only ones who really care, whatever.

And I disagree with the "if you're rich enough to fly F, you'd be in F" bit, as I think J has become good enough, especially for a relatively short transatlantic flight, that F is a waste of money. Now a private jet is a different story...
 
airxliban
Posts: 4305
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics)

Fri Jan 12, 2007 6:34 am

Thanks for the great report! A passenger emergency that forced BNLN to land in Beijing on the 21st of the December was what cost me beating you to the forums with the first new Club World report! Lucky bastards going to GRU got to go on it instead and we were stuck on CIVM Sad

Anyway, seems as though BA have improved the product in a number of key areas. The seats look taller than the used to be.

About 64K - indeed you are right, the privacy is unmatched!

I wish they'd serve the nuts in a proper ceramic bowl instead of the silly packets.

Didn't know that BA takes orders by frequent flyer status...is that standard practice?

Noticed the new blanket as well. Very warm and not easily crumbled up and made for a very comfortable rest.

You're 100% right about the sandwiches. The choices on your menu didn't sound particularly appealing particularly after someone has woken up. Artichoke and asparagus sandwiches? To each their own, I suppose...

Thanks again and warm regards from Dubai
PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
 
speedbird747BA
Posts: 1312
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics)

Sat Jan 13, 2007 6:54 am

Great TR and pics!!

It looks like BA does it again!! Thanks.

Cheers,
Kyle
How long do I have to climb, up on the side of this mountain of mine?
 
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BNE
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics)

Sun Jan 14, 2007 2:24 pm

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):

Eventually the hamsters got up to speed and the AVOD system was switched on, this was another first for me and I was keen to try it out, having never used an aircraft based on demand system before.

Welcome to technology of the 21st century, I'm surprised you haven't used it before, you must have been flying on the wrong airlines. I really missed the AVOD on my last trip I just flew.

Thanks for the interesting report.
Why fly non stop when you can connect
 
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fbgdavidson
Topic Author
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics)

Tue Jan 16, 2007 1:38 pm

Quoting ExFATboy (Reply 36):
And the Club Kitchen is a definite step up from the old "Raid The Larder."

A step up indeed...although I think if it was ready for the passengers when they boarded those who missed out on pre-flight dining could have something to eat before takeoff and then sleep more.

Quoting Ardian (Reply 37):
Did you hear any of the positive and negative views from the crew

They were concerned about the light coloured shells being marked, although from what has been said it appears as though it makes it easier for the cleaning crews to spot and wipe off.

Quoting Airxliban (Reply 39):
Thanks for the great report! A passenger emergency that forced BNLN to land in Beijing on the 21st of the December was what cost me beating you to the forums with the first new Club World report! Lucky bastards going to GRU got to go on it instead and we were stuck on CIVM 

As I used to say when I was 15...'harsh lines'...

Quoting Airxliban (Reply 39):
Didn't know that BA takes orders by frequent flyer status...is that standard practice?

I don't think they do unless they are low on catering. In this case the orders were taken starting at row 60 working towards the galley.

Quoting BNE (Reply 41):
Welcome to technology of the 21st century, I'm surprised you haven't used it before, you must have been flying on the wrong airlines.

Wrong airlines indeed. The majority of my longhauls of late have been BA and UA...

I guess it is one of those things you get used to really fast. I suspect my flight next week will be AVOD and NGCW-less. Such is life...until April 2008  Wink
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
comorin
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics

Wed Jan 17, 2007 8:26 am

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 15):
We are beyond the turn of the century oceanliner class structure. Smile

We can change that! The FIRST pajamas should be bright red, kimono-like silk gowns - then those miserable folk in 'C' will know who's got the money!  Wink

BTW, I'm off to BLR in Feb: JFK-LHR-DXB-DEL-BLR-GOI-BLR-DXB-LHR-JFK on VS/BA/IC/IC/9W/9W/EK/BA/VS.


Quoting Airxliban (Reply 39):
Didn't know that BA takes orders by frequent flyer status...is that standard practice?

I always thought catering was by seat number: Low to High on Outbound and Hi to Low on Inbound. Does BA have a rule?

( psst - any tips for an overnight hotel in DXB?)

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 33):
Up until about 2004 the sandwiches in the afternoon tea service always arrived unwrapped. Did bread all of a sudden start to get stale really quickly

Exactly! The reception sandwiches with the scones - we call them 'scoanz' in the US  Wink was classy and very British. I think you, me, RoseFlyer and Airxliban should stage a protest outside T4...

BTW, Thank you for your many wonderful tips on Y-UP, I am now a Goldie too  Smile
 
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fbgdavidson
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics)

Mon Jan 22, 2007 12:44 pm

Quoting Comorin (Reply 43):
I always thought catering was by seat number: Low to High on Outbound and Hi to Low on Inbound. Does BA have a rule?

I've seen a few ways of doing it. From front to back of the cabin and sometimes they've darted around all over the place. Probably doing orders by status. I feel this is a nice touch for J, unnecessary and a bit obvious in F.

Quoting Comorin (Reply 43):
Exactly! The reception sandwiches with the scones - we call them 'scoanz' in the US   was classy and very British. I think you, me, RoseFlyer and Airxliban should stage a protest outside T4...

 biggrin  How about Saturday?

Quoting Comorin (Reply 43):
BTW, Thank you for your many wonderful tips on Y-UP, I am now a Goldie too

Welcome to the not-very exclusive club  Wink Glad I could be of help. Those Y-UP deals are worthwhile. Smile

'You can now enjoy being away from the hustle and bustle of Terminal 4, ensconed in the hustle and bustle of the FIRST Lounge whenever you travel with us or our oneworld alliance partners, enveloped by the cocophony of the ego-inflated individuals talking loudly on cellular telephones.'  Wink

Don't forget you can use the AA Flagship Lounges at LAX, ORD and in the near future JFK.
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
BA380
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics)

Mon Feb 05, 2007 8:24 pm

Fraser

great trip report, although I'm not surprised, as your TR's are always of the finest quality...

does anyone know if the 'soft' changes are already on all a/c - ie the new crockery, the new trendy cushion etc?
cabin crew: doors to automatic and cross-check...
 
GDB
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics)

Tue Feb 06, 2007 4:29 am

Another incomparable report.
Concise, informative, well illustrated and fair.

(And kudos to BAStew as well for insightful replies/comments).
 
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fbgdavidson
Topic Author
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics)

Tue Feb 06, 2007 8:22 am

Thanks again for the kind comments  Smile

I'm off to Hawai'i in a few weeks on AA and if people haven't had enough of my ramblings I might be inclined to scribe a few of my thoughts with view to posting them here...

Quoting BA380 (Reply 45):
does anyone know if the 'soft' changes are already on all a/c - ie the new crockery, the new trendy cushion etc?

Indeed. I've seen them on all my longhaul flights for the last couple of months now.

Some have reported that even the Club Kitchen has appeared on aircraft that don't have the new seats. On flights I've taken without NGCW there has been an insert with the menu advertising Club Kitchen but since it is a 'hard product' feature I just presumed it had been incorrectly stuck in there.
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
CXfirst
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics)

Tue Feb 06, 2007 9:03 pm

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):
the final £1m question was aviation related. But....I got it wrong

What was the question?

Anyway, great TR

-CXfirst
 
englandair
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RE: BA Next Generation Club World: LHR-IAD (w/pics)

Tue Feb 06, 2007 10:10 pm

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Thread starter):
A shame the crews can't unwrap the sandwiches and put them on a nice plate as it'd make a lot of difference to the aesthetic quality of them. Alas they tasted pretty good, the food seems to be on the up, not quite how I remember it from say five years back but a small improvement is a start!

I've never understood why on services from LGW the afternoon tea sandwitches come unwrapped with a small salad (and so are presented in a much nicer fasion), whereas sarnies from LHR always look like they've just been bought for £1.50 from Tesco! Maybe as BA Stew says it's to maintain freshness- an 8 hour flight to the Carribean ex LGW isn't half as long as some of the services ex LHR.

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