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Review: British Airways First Class 747 London To Nairobi

Review: British Airways First Class 747 London To Nairobi

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British Airways 65
London (LHR) – Nairobi (NBO)
Thursday, November eight
Depart: 10:10AM
Arrive: 9:50PM
Period: 8hr40min
Plane: Boeing 747-400
Seat: 1A (First Class)

I boarded by means of the second door on the left, the place I used to be greeted by the cabin service supervisor, who handed me over to one of many top notch flight attendants.

This flight was operated by one in every of British Airways’ excessive density 747s (with fewer enterprise class seats). Whereas some 747s have two huge enterprise class cabins on the decrease deck (along with the one on the higher deck), this one has premium financial system instantly behind firstclass, after which there’s one enterprise class cabin behind that.

Yeah, it’s a bit odd to go from top notch to premium financial system to enterprise class, although arguably it’s much less odd than Air China’s 747, which has enterprise class, then firstclass, after which financial system. 😉

British Airways premium financial system 747

British Airways’ 747 first-class cabin is dense, because it has 14 seats. Another airways put simply eight firstclass seats in that very same area.

British Airways 747 top notch cabin

This consists of 5 rows of single seats alongside the home windows, after which two pairs of seats within the middle within the final two rows. Personally I’d keep away from these middle seats even when touring with somebody, as a result of they are surely tight, and you are feeling such as you’re on show for the complete cabin (particularly in row 4).

British Airways firstclass cabin 747

I had assigned myself seat 1A. As an aviation geek it’s particular to fly within the nostril of the 747, although it’s most particular to fly within the very entrance of the nostril.

British Airways primarily has reverse herringbone seats in enterprise class. Years in the past I referred to as British Airways top notch the world’s greatest enterprise class, and I feel that’s not too far off. These seats are extra spacious than any enterprise class reverse herringbone seat on the market, however not by that a lot.

British Airways top notch seat 747

The seat has an leisure display that folds out.

British Airways firstclass seat 747

There’s additionally an ottoman, although it’s principally solely helpful whenever you’re making an attempt to sleep, because it’s in any other case too distant for most individuals to put their ft on.

British Airways firstclass seat ottoman

The leisure and seat controls have been to the left of the seat. The leisure controls have been historic. In the meantime I fairly like British Airways’ firstclass seat controls. There’s a knob you possibly can twist to recline the seat or put it upright, along with the usual presets.

British Airways top notch seat & leisure controls

I additionally discover British Airways’ blinds in top notch to be stylish, particularly with the blue lighting. The one draw back is that it makes it arduous to take footage out the window, since you’ll be able to’t get your digital camera as shut.

British Airways first-class window blinds

Then to the left of the seat is a console the place the tray desk may also be folded out from.

British Airways firstclass seat console

The tray desk is actually massive, and particularly lengthy.

British Airways first-class seat tray desk

Then to the correct of the seat is a very slender closet, actually solely extensive sufficient to hold a few jackets, or one thing.

British Airways firstclass closet

Sadly British Airways doesn’t have particular person air nozzles in top notch on their 747s.

Seat 1A has fairly a little bit of privateness because of being within the nostril. You’re not that removed from the individual in 1K, so if touring with somebody I like to safe 1A & 1K, since they’re one of the best pair in first-class, for my part.

Nostril of the 747

Ready at my seat was a very skinny pillow in addition to a light-weight blanket, which isn’t almost nearly as good as what they’ve in enterprise class. Nevertheless, in firstclass there’s extra bedding once you request turndown service.

British Airways first-class pillow & blanket

A second after settling in one of many flight attendants got here by to supply me an amenity package and a pre-departure drink.

Very similar to my Nairobi to London flight, this flight was operated by a combined fleet crew (these are British Airways’ poorly paid new rent crews, and I discover they’re usually enthusiastic however not that polished). Whereas they appeared properly intentioned, they didn’t appear to be that they had acquired all that a lot coaching in top notch service.

I ordered a glass of champagne to drink. British Airways serves Laurent-Perrier Grand Siecle, which I fairly like, and which I think about to be one of many elements of their firstclass expertise that’s truly first-class.

British Airways firstclass champagne & amenity package

Their firstclass amenity kits are additionally good, with a big choice of gadgets.

British Airways first-class amenity package

I’m additionally a fan of British Airways’ pajamas, particularly with how they show the British Airways emblem on the entrance.

British Airways first-class pajamas & slippers

Sadly the headphones British Airways gives in firstclass are the identical rubbish ones they’ve in enterprise class. They’re low high quality and harm my ears, and the sound solely labored in a single ear (I really feel like that occurs each different flight).

British Airways top notch headphones

A couple of minutes later I used to be introduced with a menu for the flight.

British Airways firstclass menu

Over the subsequent 15 minutes six different first-class passengers boarded, which means the cabin can be half full.

Seated instantly behind me in 2A & 2K was an older British couple. Once I boarded I positioned my bag within the overhead bin above seat 2A, as a result of there’s no bin above 1A.

The passenger in 2A discovered that deeply disturbing, and insisted I ought to put my bag elsewhere, as a result of that was “his” bin. So I positioned it one row behind, the place the bin was empty. Sheesh.

British Airways firstclass 1A

By 10AM boarding was full, and at that time the primary officer made a welcome aboard announcement. I do know that is completely avgeeky and random, however I discovered it a bit odd that the primary officer made the announcement, as a result of in my expertise on British Airways the captain all the time makes the pre-flight announcement, after which the primary officer does an announcement as soon as airborne if it’s “their” flight.

She knowledgeable us that the flight time was 8hr1min, and that we have been a bit delayed on departure as we have been nonetheless ready on some passengers.

At 10:15AM the customer support supervisor, Ian, got here round to say hello to everybody in firstclass.

Then at 10:20AM the door closed, and a minute after that we pushed, at which level the security video was screened. We began taxiing by 10:30AM.

We had a fast taxi and brief anticipate takeoff, and by 10:45AM have been airborne on runway 27R.

Taking off from Heathrow

View after takeoff from Heathrow

Sadly this flight had British Airways’ low definition leisure system. That’s the identical one I had on my flight from Nairobi to London the week prior, whereas from London to New York I had the up to date system.

British Airways leisure system

Significantly, how low high quality is that?

Map enroute to Nairobi

Map enroute to Nairobi

British Airways leisure choice

British Airways leisure choice

After shopping the leisure choice I made a decision to observe “First Dates,” which was an excellent awkward British actuality present of types.

British Airways leisure choice

After that I watched “Corporate,” which was a humorous sitcom.

British Airways leisure choice

The seatbelt signal was turned off simply 5 minutes after takeoff. A couple of minutes later the crew handed by way of the cabin with touchdown playing cards for Kenya.

Then 20 minutes after takeoff meal orders have been taken. Sadly that they had run out of my first selection for the primary course, which is the second British Airways top notch flight in a row the place that’s the case. That’s disappointing.

The menu learn as follows:

The drink record learn as follows:

About 25 minutes after takeoff heat towels have been distributed.

British Airways first-class heat towel

Only a minute later the primary spherical of drinks have been served. I had extra champagne, which was served with candied nuts.

British Airways first-class lunch — combined nuts and champagne

After that I discovered the service to be actually sluggish. It was almost an hour till my desk was set, which is a very long time to attend to start out a meal service. At that time I used to be served an antipasti plate with ham, salami, cheese, olives, and sun-dried tomato. I don’t eat pork merchandise, so I picked across the meat.

British Airways top notch lunch — amuse bouche

About 5 minutes later I used to be served the starter, for which I selected the Kinglas smoked salmon and pickled Devonshire crab with avocado puree. This was fairly good.

British Airways top notch lunch — starter

I used to be additionally provided a variety from the breadbasket, and selected the focaccia.

British Airways first-class lunch — bread choice

Subsequent up was the Autumn spiced butternut squash soup with chestnuts and pumpkin seeds. This was tasty and spicy.

British Airways firstclass lunch — soup

British Airways firstclass lunch — primary course

For the primary course I had the seared fillet of British beef and salt beef croquette with dauphinoise potato, cep aioli, and caper beurre noisette, which was fairly good for what it was (although I’m not often a beef man).

British Airways firstclass lunch — essential course

Then I had a cappuccino.

British Airways first-class lunch — cappuccino

Lastly for dessert I had the nice and cozy chocolate and nut tart.

British Airways firstclass lunch — dessert

General the meal was fairly good, and by the point it was finished we have been 2hr30min into the flight, which means we had about 5hr30min remaining to Nairobi.

Map enroute to Nairobi

Map enroute to Nairobi

At this level I requested to have my mattress made, since I needed to get some sleep. I discover the British Airways firstclass mattress to be snug. It’s not the world’s largest or most plush mattress, nevertheless it does the trick. My one constructive criticism of the bedding is that I discover the cover to be means too slender — it’s not vast sufficient so I can truly wrap myself in it.

British Airways top notch mattress

British Airways first-class mattress

I managed to nap for simply over three hours, and awoke with simply over two hours remaining to Nairobi.

Map enroute to Nairobi

Map enroute to Nairobi

At this level I checked out the bathrooms — there are two bathrooms behind top notch, they usually’re an alright measurement, however not all that fresh-looking in any other case.

British Airways 747 firstclass rest room

About 75 minutes earlier than touchdown the cabin lights have been turned on, and the pre-landing service started. On a majority of longhaul flights, British Airways simply serves afternoon tea earlier than touchdown.

I’m positive they’d declare it’s because they’re a British airline, although I think this has extra to do with value financial savings than anything. I hate to say it, however I truly type of love their afternoon tea, so I’m completely nice with that.

The afternoon tea menu learn as follows:

Afternoon tea consisted of some finger sandwiches (smoked salmon, angus beef, and cheese), in addition to some sweets.

British Airways top notch afternoon tea

Then there have been scones with jam and clotted cream.

British Airways first-class afternoon tea

At round 9PM Nairobi time the primary officer was again on the PA, informing us that we have been about 250 miles from Nairobi, and that we’d be descending in about 10 minutes. Positive sufficient we began our descent about 10 minutes later, after which about 10 minutes after that the seatbelt signal was turned on.

We landed in Nairobi at 9:40PM, and from there had a 10 minute taxi to our arrival stand.

What’s fascinating about Nairobi Airport is that we truly arrived at a gate, however we didn’t use the jet bridge. I consider it’s because they solely use the jet bridge on departure, since they don’t have a solution to let individuals exit there with out getting into the primary terminal, fairly than the immigration facility.

So whereas that’s an annoying design, I sorta didn’t thoughts attending to stroll proper subsequent to the queen of the skies…

British Airways 747 upon arrival in Nairobi

British Airways 747 upon arrival in Nairobi

British Airways 747 upon arrival in Nairobi

British Airways 747 upon arrival in Nairobi

Now, there was one main difficulty. They deplaned each by means of the second door. Clearly premium financial system was forward of us, they usually didn’t maintain again individuals from enterprise class both, so I think about someplace round 150 passengers deplaned earlier than me.

This meant that I needed to wait over 45 minutes at immigration. Often a bonus of first-class is precedence disembarking, however clearly that’s not the case right here. In equity, with out entry to a second door, I’m unsure what else they might have carried out.

British Airways top notch backside line

I paid 22,500 Avios to improve this phase from enterprise class to first-class, and I’d say that’s nearly what British Airways first-class is value to me.

British Airways has come a great distance enhancing their enterprise class product, with higher bedding, facilities, and meals.

In the meantime nothing has actually modified with top notch.

I really like sitting within the nostril of the 747, the primary class seats are a bit extra spacious than the enterprise class seats, and the meals and champagne are a step up.

I’d say service was simply alright, and I didn’t discover a distinction between service in enterprise class on the higher deck of the 747, and in top notch. I feel that largely comes right down to combined fleet flight attendants largely simply not being educated in top notch service, or maybe it’s a scarcity of expertise, since most of them have solely been flying for a couple of years at most.

So yeah, I’d fly British Airways top notch once more, and given the affordable improve prices from enterprise to firstclass, it’s a great deal. However that’s about it, as this isn’t actually a aggressive top notch product in any other case.


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