There is always a certain excitement and anticipation when travelling First Class, and particularly when you’re flying it for the first time with an airline. Today that was how I felt as I boarded my British Airways First Class flight from Sydney to Singapore for the very first time.
British Airways First Class is often described as the world’s best business class, so I was keen to see what they have to offer to make this a memorable journey. On this flight I was traveling on the 777 from Sydney to Singapore. By taking it for what it was, I found it to be an enjoyable experience.
There is direct aisle access from every seat, a reasonable amount of privacy, comfortable seats with large screens, good meals, and very good service with those little British touches adding to the experience. Overall though British Airways is really not keeping up with the standards being set by the world’s leading airlines.
Let’s look at what British Airways First Class offers travellers. When you arrive at your seat it is quite an inviting sight. The seat is wide and has that look of luxury that you anticipate from flying first class. There are two pillows, a small blanket, and pyjamas beautifully packaged up with British Airways labelled ribbon, all awaiting you.
The design of the seat gives quite a bit of privacy. I was in a window seat so I was angled away from the aisle. At head height the seat has some wings giving that added extra little bit of privacy.
To your left is a nice little table area for putting things like drinks, snacks, your table, your phone and headphones. If sitting in the centre section of the plane, where there are two seats together, it works quite well with the privacy divider between the seats. This can be pulled across if you’re on your own but if you’re traveling as a couple you have the ability to sit and have a conversation and share the journey together.
BA has a large screen television monitor which slides out for viewing. Interestingly it appears to be a fairly old model as the push button to release it is quite tough to operate and needs a little bit of effort to make it work.
What I really like though are the added little touches that really make this a beautiful experience. For example the light shade to your left is like those found in an old railway carriage. This styling is carried on further with the sliding blinds which change colour to set the mood. On boarding they were set to blue which looks, once again, very reminiscent of that traditional railway carriage of days gone by.
On your left is a control dial that adjusts both the lighting and the seat, which is reasonably easy to operate, allowing you to recline the seat into a convenient place to relax, or later into a fully flat bed. Each first class seat also has a small locker which is very convenient and perfect for hanging up your coat or fir placing small items like your shoes.
Next to the magazine storage area are two USB ports which are very conveniently located for charging your devices. At ground level you will also find a universal charging point.
Soon after I had finished settling into my seat, I was warmly greeted by the crew who were happy to introduce me to the seat and show me how to use the controls. I was offered a glass of champagne. The champagne served is Laurent-Perrier Grand Siecle.
British Airways does a lovely job with the amenities kit and their pyjamas. The stylish, leather amenities kit is supplied by Liberty of London and contains a nice range of supplies to use on the flight or to take home. The pyjamas are beautifully wrapped and are soft and very comfortable. They are labeled First adding to that exclusivity that first class is all about. The headphones provided are standard noise canceling headphones.
One thing I feel BA could improve on is the blanket provided at take off. It’s just a very small, flimsy covering and not really suitable for a long travel day. Soon after take off I asked the crew for a duvet, which is available for sleeping, but I find it much more comfortable for relaxing as you settle in for the flight.
Shortly after takeoff the crew begin the food and beverage service. Drinks are offered and soon after that I was able to recline my seat, settle back, and listen to some lovely symphony music with a gin and tonic.
It doesn’t then seem long before the crew are coming around to set your table is set for dinner. To start with the appetiser is served, which was a small plate of antipasto, including prosciutto, pecorino cheese, and pepperoni.
For entree I had the pea and mint soup which is served with cream and fresh mint. It was really delicious! For my main course I had the Australian grain-fed beef with butter balsamic sauce, potatoes and beans. I accompanied this with a beautiful glass of red from the Bordeaux region of France – the Chateau Destieux 2008.
To end this delightful meal I chose a cheese plate, which I always enjoy. This was accompanied by a very nice glass of port – the Warre’s Colheita Port 2000. I really appreciated the fact that the meal was served at a leisurely pace, lasting a good hour and a half.
After dinner I decided to relax and watch a few movies on this daytime flight to Singapore. On the return sector it is an overnight flight, so after dinner you settle in for sleep. The crew do an excellent job making the bed up for you. The bed is soft, wide, private, and very comfortable.
I slept beautifully. Breakfast was served before landing into Sydney but I chose to sleep as late as possible. I opted to just have coffee and orange juice knowing that I would be able to have a full breakfast in the Qantas Business lounge when I arrived in Sydney.
Expert Traveller Recommends…
With the world leading Business Class products of other airlines, especially those from the Middle East, British Airways is sadly being left far behind. That said, British Airways First Class is a solid, all round product which I thoroughly enjoyed.
The experience of travelling first class with the service, the quality of the food, and the wine, really makes the experience enjoyable and one I would happily do again.
The little added touches that British Airways uses such as the blinds, and the lights resembling a railway carriage, really add to the journey. I would recommend BA First class because it usually is offered at affordable prices. Sometimes British Airways offers their first class tickets even cheaper than their business class one. Why wouldn’t you choose to enjoy it!