British Airways 777 Business Class In 10 Pictures

Good morning from London!

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We just flew from San Francisco to London in British Airways’ 777 business class, thanks to an amazing ~$1,100 roundtrip business class fare between San Francisco and Rome.

I think it’s well documented that I’m not a huge fan of British Airways’ business class service — I’ve reviewed them from Los Angeles to London and London to Los Angeles. On the outbound flight I had what I considered to be the worst service up until that point (though fortunately Saudia recently stole that title from them).

While I’ll have a full trip report soon, I figured I’d share my initial thoughts on the flight in the form of a typical “10 pictures” post.

Let me start with the good — the crew on this flight was very good. They were friendly and extremely professional. The CSD (customer service director) was engaged with every aspect of the service, and I’d say the crew was among the best I’ve had on any British Airways flight. So kudos to the crew, because they really were the highlight of the flight.

My thoughts on British Airways’ business class seat remain unchanged. There are eight seats per row on the 777, so it’s a very tight squeeze. This is my least favorite fully flat business class product that I’ve ever flown, though in fairness I haven’t done United’s 777 business class with eight seats per row, which is probably even worse.

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But the configuration is so tight, the footrest wobbly, the setup awkward, and if you’re in an aisle seat, there’s virtually no privacy. The lady in the window seat in front of me had to get up three times to use the flight, and each time she had to wake me up and I had to put my ottoman in the upright position so she could get past me. There goes any chance of real sleep.

Of course to provide some perspective, for $1,100 roundtrip it’s an incredible deal, though I pity the person who paid full fare for their ticket.

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I believe BA was planning on cutting back their meal service a bit, though the service on this flight was the same as on previous flights (which isn’t saying very much).

The starter of salmon tasted wet and was flavorless, and the salad was basic.

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The main course of haddock was dry and tasteless.

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The cheesecake for dessert was very good.

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However, the meal service took over 2hr30min. I don’t mind a drawn out meal service in first class when there’s actually a dining experience to be had, but waiting 45 minutes between two disappointing dishes is hardly worthwhile. I think they should just serve everything on one tray, as it would allow more time to sleep.

Breakfast was slightly better than dinner. The muesli was a bit too sweet for my taste preferences, though the frittata was good.

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The amenities weren’t much better. While the blanket was okay, the pillow was about as thick as a piece of paper.

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The amenity kit was basic, though perfectly acceptable.

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Bottom line

The crew on this flight was very friendly, which I was pleased about. However, every other aspect of the experience was as disappointing as usual for British Airways. The 777 hard product is my least favorite fully flat business class product that I’ve flown, and British Airways’ catering is underwhelming.

Of course I should add the disclaimer that British Airways business class from the west coast to Europe for ~$1,100 roundtrip while earning valuable miles is a great deal. Then again, so was flying Qatar Airways’ business class between Colombo and Casablanca for ~$600. 😉

In the past I’ve written about the 11 features that make a great business class product, and British Airways fails in almost every category. They don’t exclusively have seats with direct aisle access, they don’t have wifi, they don’t have a great pillow & blanket, they don’t have good food, they don’t have a dine on demand concept, etc.

All that being said, I’d say this flight slightly exceeded my expectations thanks to the friendly service.

Comments

  1. “Then again, so was flying Qatar Airways’ business class between Colombo and Casablanca for ~$600”

    True, but Britain (and the British) actually acknowledges that gays, women, jews, etc are real people entitled to equal rights and protections. Qatar…

  2. Why do you always mention it is 8 seats across, but fail to mention there are a lot less rows in the same space compared to reverse herringbone and other layouts?

    BA’s flatbed is really the best J seat for sleeping with unrestricted foot room.

  3. I won’t ever fly that product. If I were unfortunate enough to have no other option, I would fly PremiumEcon or World Traveler Plus as I believe it’s awkwardly called. The whole idea of sitting there staring at your neighbors face would be terrible until one of your were not only allowed to, but able to muster the courage to lift that gross little barrier. Ever flown out of LAX? Take off and especially taxiing delays can sometimes be 1hr plus. Too much time staring at a stranger.

  4. I completely agree. When you have seats that force passengers in the window seat to either hop over other passengers (I got kicked twice by someone who didn’t judge correctly) to get up OR ask a potentially sleeping person to get up so you can stand up, it’s a problem. Although I found that the worst problem is that your head is opposite someone’s feet. I was on a flight last month and this guy kept moving and got up 5xs and grabbed the seat everytime…never mind that he kept kicking me. You can feel every motion the person behind you is making.

  5. Ben, the seats are at 90 degrees to other products so it’s not really a fair comparison to mention 8 abreast is it?
    Herringbone might be less abreast but there are 3 rows to every BA row?

  6. At $1,100 I would probably go with it but it is a crappy design that I would never fly if paying normal business fares or miles. The worst part of AA is the BA partnership.

  7. Part of British Airways’ race to the bottom. Is it a “full service” airline or “low cost”?
    It can’t make up its mind but usually charges full dollar for the privilege!

  8. I flew ORD-LHR-FCO r/t on one of the cheap deals 2/ AARP discount & avios co-pays…cash outlay was something like $700r/t. For that price BA business class becomes the worlds best premium economy. I do think it is much better if traveling with a companion….then it’s not a stranger stepping over you. I actually picked the “honeymoon” seats in the middle on the return and actually really liked them. It feels extremely spacious. Now if you are seated there with a stranger then it’s totally awkward as those seats are right on each other.

    After hearing how drawn out their meal service is, I actually opted to have my dinner in the ORD lounge…which was actually very tasty. A PDB of champagne w/ an Ambien shooter got me to London quite quick as I slept for 95% of the flight. I will say the upper deck window seats are very comfy for sleeping.

    Chicago has 4 carriers that go ORD-LHR non-stop plus another 8 or 9 European carriers that are 1-stop to basically anywhere in Europe. Anywhere near $1000 BA J is a steal and I’d do it every time. If paying normal market price of $3k to $8k….they are absolutely last on my list.

  9. BA does not need to be as cutting edge as QR. or EY. They just need to be competitive. Why? Because they own London, and they own London – New York. They need to be competitive, sure, and I believe they are planning to get there. But when you are the strongest I the two biggest business markets in the world (and when every businessman prefers nonstop vs connecting any day) you do not need to be the best.

  10. If you are coming back the same way, I recall at somewhere less than 72 hours (might be under 24 hours) they open up the bassinet seats on the 777 so you can secure a seat which doesn’t require being climbed on/over.

  11. On any westbound redeye, BA should serve the meal on one try and as fast as possible. I had a similar experience from SEA this summer. There would have been plenty of time to sleep if the meal wasn’t so drawn out.

  12. Lucky,

    Did you deliberately fly BA just to have a dig at the airline?

    I am surprised someone of your flying experience and industry knowledge took a cheap ticket when you are more than aware of BA’s Business Class offering.

  13. BA crap of crap even being based in London and having to travel at least 6 to 8 times a year to New York i wont take BA,i font mind connecting with Air France or KLM or direct AA or Delta but sure not BA.

  14. BA aren’t trying to impress flyers like you. They’re for business passengers, not free riders who use their parents money to go on holiday.
    If you didn’t fly on this airline, they wouldn’t care at all. They have enough customers with their current set up so why would they change it? as long as they remain competitive they’ll be fine

  15. I never understand why people defend this product, until I pause and think “maybe they are part of the BA sales team” 😉

  16. The other bitch is trying to avoid them when redeeming AAdvantage miles. You have but two chances: slim & none.

  17. You bore me rigid with your comments about BA. We know you hate them. We know you are constantly negative. Tell you what -don’t fly them….oh hold on they are really cheap aren’t they for Americans flying west. But then again you’re loaded so why don’t you pay to fly Lufthansa or AF first? Your BA reviews are as repetitive as your Emirates shower class flights.

  18. I find these “XXX in 10 pictures” posts a nice summary of your trip without going into a full-fledged trip report (especially since we know your thoughts on BA :))

    It seems to me, though, the bottom line isn’t that BA CW is crap but that $1100 is a good enough price at which you would fly CW despite its many shortcomings compared to “objectively” great business class products.

  19. I find it interesting that none of the BA defenders have actually posited a single actual defense of BA’s J product…just complaints about Lucky, or how the product isn’t “that bad”. Why should he or anyone else take it easy on these guys for being complacent? They’re a huge airline, and if you’re an AAdvantage member, the primary option to cross the Atlantic on awards since AA loves offering up BA on award searches.

    BTW Even United has a new J class in the works. Review and lambast them as much as you want until they fix their product, Lucky.

    @Bill
    Believe it or not, there’s a significant crossover between us frequent business flyers and those who play the miles/points game.

  20. Aah…brings back fond memories of the early 2000s when I used to fly JFK-LHR-JFK a few times a year. I would work in London until about 16:00, then head to LHR for BA179 which was 777 in those days. I don’t mind sitting rear-facing so I would usually take 13K. I found access to the aisle was fine and if you put the screen up, you couldn’t see the person in the aisle seat. Most of the passengers on that flight were Brits, so they would eat dinner and go to sleep. I would always stay up, watch a movie or do some work so I could sleep when I got back to NY. I always found the crew very attentive, and since most of the passengers were asleep by 22:00 GMT, they were quite happy to have something to do or have a chat in the galley. I guess the product was better back then and the 777s newer…

  21. @ Evan – why take this so personally? It’s not like Lucky wrote a negative review of your close family…lighten up!

  22. Not that it really matters but if you draw a line across the cabin through the shoulders in BA, herringbone, staggered or reverse herringbone you will find four pairs of shoulders and four pairs of legs. BA could solve a lot of problems in the blogosphere by labelling the forward and backward seats as different rows.

  23. I was in BA First a couple weeks ago on the A380 from LAX-LHR and naturally kept slipping up the stairs to use the larger business class toilets and git chatting to a guy who saved up his miles for BA “Club World.” I didn’t say it, but I couldn’t understand why you would choose BA J Class over AA’s J Class on the 777-300ER for the same price. I also asked him how he found staring at a stranger when the divider is down, he didn’t seem to mind. I was just fascinated because I absolutely refuse to try BA’s J class!

  24. I agree the BA Club pillows are an absolute disgrace – last time I took 2 extras from empty seats and with 3 pillows you just about get a normal pillow. Not sure what BA are playing at. They say no one cares about direct aisle access (yes we do, I now fly more Qatar, Cathay, AA), they say the seats are a great bed (they are not), and the food on board and in the lounges (particularly the slop in the BA First lounge T5) gets worse and worse. I do fly BA a lot but only when no choice. Yet Willie Walsh’s bonus goes up and up and standards get worse and worse.

  25. I personally find the rear facing J seats on BA fine. The recline of the seat and cruise angle of the plane make for a more comfortable sleep. If you really need to guarantee no one bumps into you (which can happen on any flight in any class), get 11A or K or 4A or K (772 four and three class) against the bulkhead and you won’t have to climb over anyone.
    Except during take off or landing for safety reasons, raise the divider – there’s a button on top.
    The pillow is too thin? Ask one of the wonderful FA’s for another.
    What, in the amenity kit did you/do you ever use? What would make it more acceptable for you? If it was in an AA bag, you’d no doubt think it was wonderful.
    Seriously, as someone who just paid $1,250 return CLT to ROM on AA for cattle class, the “muesli was too sweet” comment did it for me.

  26. You should never have to be woken up or have to raise your ottoman to let someone by. Anyone with even modern dexterity can simply step over an out-stretched leg.

    BS business class isn’t the best, but that’s probably because it doesn’t need to be. Their biz cabins are often full anyway

  27. I actually somewhat like the BA J seat and I prefer it over QF when I fly from OZ to LHR. This is, in part, because I prefer the second/night leg of the flight to be the longer flight for sleeping). I have never had anyone ask me to put up my ottoman so they could get out, but then I’m a heavy sleeper with my eye mask and earplugs and pajamas

  28. When BA introduced the business class beds on the 747 they were the best in the sky. Especially if you scored 62 or 61 upstairs. I also traveled with wife so the back/front seating was absolutely ideal!

    I never flew the 747 main cabin J class – the layout was just like the 777 and I could not imagine a worse nightmare.

    However – with the advent of the BA YQ super fares I have not experienced BA J since the early 00’s and I appreciate your comments about the ‘new BA’. I was tempted to try them in 2017 but you convinced me to fly Qatar instead. I hope it is as good as Cathay or at least somewhere in the vicinity.

  29. Ben I may be mistaken but it looks like you’ve made a typo with the woman needing to get up “3 times to use the flight”. Should this be toilet? Sorry for being a pain…

  30. I know you did this partially because of the fare SFO-LHR, but I am curious – have you ever flown BA’s all-business class flight from London City to JFK?

  31. I fly to Britain (often London) several times per year. I would never consider flying BA. I must have spent something like $100,000 over last few years these flights, All on other carriers.

  32. I don’t mind the BA seats. But then, on a night flight, I put on PJ’s, a sleep mask & ear plugs & go right out. And on flights from SYD/MEL to LHR, I prefer the BA J to QF. (I like the 1st flight to be the shorter, with the 2nd, night flight the longer one for a longer sleep). I have NEVER had to put my ottoman up for someone climbing over. I have no problem climbing over the ottoman if I have window seat. Try getting to the bathroom easily from a window sit on QF if your seat mate has his feet up, and tray table down with laptop & cord.

  33. @Justin well, many of them don’t acknowledge Muslims, east Asians or even blacks…

    And what does that have to do with BAs dismal Buisness class? You sound like a sour Englishman upset that his airline is getting a bad review. lol.

  34. I’d pretend to continue sleeping so that precious lady would just raise her legs and hop across.

    Don’t mess with me when I’m sleeping. I’ll show you…

  35. Ben,

    Are you still a member of BAEC? I recalled you were Gold (Emerald) with them.

    I wonder if all this negativity is just deflection?

  36. During one of the bargain sales last year, I grabbed the LHR-JFK leg on BA 747 so I could show the family what it was like on the top deck on 747 as well as experience the BA service & seats that are so contentious. Unfortunately, I had to agree with Lucky 100%. The food was very average, the service less so and the seats were a disgrace. The ONLY positive was the afternoon tea. AND they forgot to load a bag. A Sri-Lankan 738 is better in every aspect, actually, I think I would prefer almost any airlines domestic J product (with the exception of BA Club Europe).

  37. As far as seat comfort, UA 8-across business seat is way way way more comfortable that BA’s seat. The UA seat, even though is lacks storage, is very plush and great for sleeping. I also found the UA F seat equally as comfy, though it lacked privacy.

  38. “True, but Britain (and the British) actually acknowledges that gays, women, jews, etc are real people entitled to equal rights and protections. Qatar…”

    Which is neither here nor there and has nothing to do with the actual quality that either airline offers.

    Sour grapes must be in season now.

  39. Compared to some business products (eg Swiss), I find the unrestricted legroom on BA superb – I hate those horrible foot ‘cubbies’. I always take a rear-facing seat and thus am never bothered by someone needing to go to the toilet – you also get masses of storage by the windows then too. It’s not a modern product but I find it a perfectly comfortable one. I’ve taken AA J too and it’s a very nice seat. Sadly the in-flight service has been consistently worse than BA and the food the same or worse. Why would someone pick BA over AA? Well at least BA look after you in the case of a delay! 10h overnight rolling delay with AA going from JFK and I got a $16 food voucher plus 10k AA miles after much complaint. BA would have communicated what was happening, paid for a proper meal and a hotel and I would have received €600 compensation – therefore eastbound to Europe I wouldn’t travel with them again, however Westbound I’d consider them (although the officious security rubbish at T3 from their staff was pretty dire).

  40. Just flew Swiss Business again from East Coast to Switzerland. The worst seat in a lie flat. So narrow you can barely fit. Leg room is terrible as well. Feels like a cramped claustrophobic space. If you get a window seat and are anything above 170cm, you will literally have the bulkhead force you to spend the entire flight leaning to one side. I have seen better premium economy than Swiss Business.
    Thing that pisses me off the most – fact that Swiss is rated in the Top 20. No way they deserve that.

  41. I agree with alot of the comments.
    Why fly this “crap” airline even if its cheap. Everyone knows your going to shit on this airline .

    Your truly a nasty vindictive jew.
    Fly el al and see how much you enjoy it you pig.

  42. Looking forward to that UA 777-200 review!!!!

    J seats on UA’s 777-200 I find pretty comfortable, it’s the 4 across the middle I find offensive

  43. I have to agree with some on here. Reading reviews that are so repetitive seems a bit pointless. If a restaurant critic hates a particular place, I’m not going to read his review when he visits week after week to say the same thing. I get it. Can’t you wait for the airline to reconfigure, redesign etc before posting another review on them? It kind of gives the impression that the scope of this blog is very limited. I enjoy your fresher reviews on PIA, Saudia etc (they serve a purpose – reading what you say makes me never want to fly them). But yeah – showers on planes are cool, Krug is the best, Bose headphone are a must, herringbone this, pyjamas that yaddayaddayadda – anything new to say…?

  44. Like many others I am bored by repetitive reviews… don’t fly BA and then complain if you don’t like them!

    Further, I love the rear-facing BA Club seats and never have a problem getting to or from a window seat or with someone climbing over me. And I can’t sleep with my feet stuck in a kind of small hole in the back of the seat in front, making the open space on BA a boon. LAN business is great for this too, incidentally.

    And even further… I have never had any trouble with the foot rest, nor found it to be ‘wobbly’, difficult to operate or similar as some complain.

    I like BA food. Maybe it is a culture thing? But other British friends / acquaintances tend to like it too. I certainly wouldn’t go so far as to say it is the best, either. I do agree that the meal service can be too slow. However, I think 2.5 hours is a bit of a stretch. Are you sure? In years of experience flying BA Club, I haven’t had it take that long!

    I have never liked the amenity kits… but then, does anyone care? If you fly business frequently then you don’t need another pen, lip balm, etc. because you carry your preferred one already. I remember flying LAN and using one of the lounges (SCL or GRU?) with Salvatore Ferragamo amenity kits in the showers. Which was impressive until I realised I didn’t need or want moisturiser, a mirror, a pen, a lip balm, a (trendy) amenity kit bag… because I have it all already.

    For the record I am not employed by BA or anyone related and travel mostly for pleasure. I don’t only fly with BA but I am happy to do so when I choose to!

    Lastly, Lucky, I do appreciate some of your insights, but I think you need to remember that the majority of your readers are not going to be travelling just for the sake of taking a flight or reviewing a product. Some of us have full time jobs and so we don’t have time to go to X Y and Z between getting from A to B — even if it means paying for the privilege of doing so. While I will if I have time, or the inclination to visit any of the locations between, this means I am not bitter if I can’t fly my favourite carrier or aircraft on a route because the journey is just a part (admittedly an important one) of the trip. I think if you genuinely grasped this concept, then your reviews and blog in general might become more useful to ‘real people’ and certainly rile fewer of them (see the previous comments).

  45. PS, re. the “Lady Carnavon von villy” comment, I agree that such blog posts are somewhat vindictive, but I wouldn’t go so far as to call them nasty. Lucky may be Jewish, but this is hardly relevant to his airline reviews and that comment was clearly intended as a racist slur. Sadly this pathetic kind of anti-Semitism and racism in general is another tiresome, all too repetitive aspect of not only comments on this blog but comments online in general. An aspect which I could do without, quite frankly.

  46. I flew BA Business Class once, and will never fly them again…and Lady Carnavon, it’s easy to hide behind an alias while spewing bile…go spread your hate somewhere else!

  47. @ Lucky – the point is, they met your expectations (or, in fact, exceeded them) at the price you were willing to pay. Isn’t that just what they are supposed to do? Who on earth pays “full price” for a 10 hour Business Class flight to London, and thinks they got good value – regardless of the airline or their product?

    BA has one of the most profitable premium cabins out there, precisely because of the high density (and possibly wobbly) seating. They can charge less money as a result, so they remain competitive.

    And ultimately, most of us would rather pay less, for a few less frills. Isn’t that the lesson of the airline industry of the past two decades?

    For most people, it’s not really a choice of BA vs CX vs AA. It’s “I want to get to X without paying more than Y”. If BA (or AA or CX) meets that criteria, we’ll fly them. So will you.

    Oh, you just did. Sounds like a win win.

  48. BA J is not that bad at all:

    Pros:
    Window seats are very private
    Seats are comfy upright, reclined and flat
    No cubby hole for feet
    Centre seats are great for travelling with a partner as you can see them and it is also very private.

    Cons:
    Aisle seats are rubbish, I avoid them
    Poor storage apart for window seats with window storage (A380 upper deck is good)
    Service is so-so

    Doesn’t bother me but bothers others:
    Stepping over someone feels once or twice to reach the aisle.

  49. Having only joined this site a few weeks ago, I’m wondering if I should just delete my details right now.

    The language and tone of at least one of the responses above is not the standard of material I want to read.

    I’ll wait to see whether offensive / rude posts are quickly erased.

  50. When it comes to the absolutely absurd comments posted by one particular person on this thread, it really is better to just completely ignore them. Debating them gives whoever that person is exactly what they want. Pretend it was never seen, speak about aviation, and do not give them the satisfaction.

    I know I’m contradicting myself in even mentioning it, but allow this to be a pleasurable place to discuss our hobbies and not give bored trolls like that the gratification.

  51. Hey Lucky – glad to hear the positive report on the hospitality of the crew. I do hope they are encouraging the FAs to be exude more warmth. The interaction with the crew, imo, is one of the biggest factors to a memorable flight.

  52. Re Lucky’s remarks about BA’s Business Class – as I recently flew KUL-LHR-KUL in both Business Class and Premium Economy in one booking, may I add my 2c worth?

    As I’ve always worked for myself and pay for my own tickets, I never fly Business Class! However, I decided to check out BA’s Premium Economy with its extra baggage allowance and slightly more room. Because my flight dates were not 100% certain I had to buy a flexible ticket, which, when i went to buy on-line, was listed as cheaper than a flexible Economy! Huh?

    I was too busy to check-in on-line exactly 24 hours before flying and choose my seat for free (and I’m too cheap to pay to choose my seat prior to that), I ended up with virtually no choice, and had to settle for more or less the last seat – next to the toilet door!

    On check in, I asked if the Premium Economy section was full – maybe i could move my seat? I was told it was full.

    However, just before boarding I was called by name to the desk, the woman there took my boarding pass, ripped off my baggage stub and slapped it on a new boarding pass. “You’re flying Club now!” and thrust it back at me as though she had been forced to do this against her will. Perhaps I wasn’t her first choice? But apparently, I had been upgraded!

    My first BA Business Class long-haul flight!

    Boarding and turning left I found myself in we’re-lowering-the-lights-in-the-hope-you’ll-go-to-sleep gloom, which I thought was a bit premature! I groped my way to my seat/cubical and found myself almost nose-to-nose with an equally startled woman opposite. We nodded warily at each other and together investigated the sliding hatch/partition thing between our seats. Apparently this has to be down during take off and landing. We agreed to raise it later.

    A flight attendant asked if I’d like a newspaper. I asked what my choices were. She reeled off about six. I asked if they had The Guardian. “Oh, no”, she said disapprovingly. “We haven’t carried that for about four years”. I was surprised that she felt it necessary to tell me the history of BA’s relationship with The Guardian. Or was she making the point that a real business-class type of passenger would have known that! Hmm….

    Settling for The Times (which has really gone downhill since I last read it) I decided to stretch out and enjoy my “nearly-flat” seat/bed. The seat’s control panel is very contemporary – so much so there are no demarcations between one button and the next, and no label – and no light to read them if there were! I pressed a couple at random, with nothing much happening other than an attendant arriving. (Maybe I had hit the call button). She whisked the seat backwards and I was reclined!

    To be totally honest, the food and wine were excellent, and wanting to sleep, I struggled out of my seat to investigate the sliding panel. There is a button – but neither I nor my-almost-bed-mate could find it. Again, an attendant came to deal with us!

    For those who want to know, the button is on the top of the divider, conveniently located at the exact place you put your hand if you get up in the middle of the night for the bathroom. You know you’ve found it – as does your neighbor – because the partition drops straight down with a loud clang.

    Time for sleep. Because the seat is not exactly flat, but rather a series of articulated panels, it’s not nearly as comfortable as it looks in the photos. it seemed like a long, long 13 hours to London.

    Arriving in Heathrow with 2 hrs to kill, I decided to see if my upgrade included access to the Business Lounge. The gatekeeper examined my boarding pass carefully, then checked it again on her computer screen. Maybe she often gets forged boarding passes? Or perhaps she suspected I was only an upstart upgrade? Or maybe she trained with the same batch of employees as the woman at the KLIA desk who initially upgraded me? I was definitely beginning to feel that some of BA has a “corporate identity”. Or more accurately, attitude. She waved me through.

    The Business Class lounge is very nice – with large shower/bathrooms. Excellent. There are desks with PCs, charging stations, room to work, and WiFi – which once you’ve keyed in every personal piece of information they can think of – allows you access to a fairly slow internet. There was a large breakfast buffet laid out – certainly all you could wish for at that time of the morning. Very nice. In fact as the machine filled my coffee cup, I spent a moment looking around, thinking pleasant thoughts, when a large mouse (or small rat) raced out from under the buffet table by the wall, across the floor, and disappeared under the center buffet table.

    I didn’t expect to be upgraded for the return flight, so I made sure I checked in on-line exactly 24 hrs before my flight – and found a row of three seats in the centre with one aisle seat already taken. I took the other aisle seat in the hope the middle would stay empty. It did!

    The only newspaper on offer as we entered was The Daily Mail, which as far as I could see, no one picked up. (My kind of passengers!)

    Take off was quite interesting – as we started to pick up speed, loud sirens suddenly went off! As we were well below take-off speed, I assumed we’d abort. No, we continued, with sirens blaring, and the plane clambered off the ground along with several loud bangs and bumps. Only at about 1,000 ft did the siren cut off. I waited for some kind of explanation. But no. Only the usual announcement about who was in the cockpit and our altitude, etc.

    Premium Economy dinner was pretty uninspiring – with the only appetizer on offer combining two of my least-favorite foods – beetroot and mayonnaise – but service was very friendly and attentive, and when I asked if there was a vegetarian meal available (I had forgotten to order one) they promptly found me some lasagne!

    The Premium Economy seat only reclines about 45% but for some strange reason it is more comfortable than the Business Class seat/bed. The return flight seemed much shorter…

    On approach, the cockpit announced that they had a problem with some part of one of the engines, and they would therefore not be able to power down as quickly as usual after landing, so we’d have to wait a bit once we got to the gate. Okay…. but no mention of sirens. Okay…

    Again, once we got down to about 1,000ft back came the sirens! But, hey, we were used to this now! And the bangs, and the bumps.

    So…? All in all, I had a more pleasant flight in Premium Economy than Business. Yes, the food is better in Business. And the Business Lounge – barring the fauna – is very nice if you’ve time to kill. So would I spend more than three times as much to fly BA Business? Nope – not unless I was using Other People’s Money – and maybe not even then. But a premium for Premium Economy? Yes, it’s a good deal – and the staff are nicer!

  53. I’m confused if Lucky was in an aisle seat next to a stranger then where did Ford sit ?
    $1,100 round trip plus mileage earned is tremendous value period.

  54. We flew out Sunday after you did, SFO to FCO, and felt the same way. I pity anyone who paid even close to full price for this substandard product.
    I’m not sure it was worth the $3k for the two of us.
    A dismal example of an airline; dirty plane, absurd seating arrangement, poor food and wine, indifferent service.
    Happily, I can transfer the earned points to an airline worth flying

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