Good morning from London!
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.
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.
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.
The main course of haddock was dry and tasteless.
The cheesecake for dessert was very good.
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.
The amenities weren’t much better. While the blanket was okay, the pillow was about as thick as a piece of paper.
The amenity kit was basic, though perfectly acceptable.
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.