This isn't so much a trip report, as a sort of summary of my first First and the odd, fortunate and standard things that happened!
The trip was supposed to be Edinburgh, Gatwick, Trinidad (via St Lucia) return in F for our honeymoon.
Outward leg to LGW was fine, overnight in the Hilton and off to check-in in the morning. The first thing that happened was the tannoy announcement in the F lounge for me; a special welcome from the exec club 'special services' (or something) to say hello and to make sure I was aware of how to make the most of my first trip in that cabin. This was repeated on board and even the SFO came out to say hello (he thought he knew me). A good start.
Given the stories on here about F and BA in general I quickly realised that there are some things I wished I'd not known about. The filth being one thing - not sure I'd have noticed it so acutely if I'd not been a member on here for a while. We had two central seats and the normal grime on the seat controller was there.
The flight was great; the crew were fantastic, the food good (for the environment), the wine plentiful and I was delighted to enjoy the LPGS just as much as I'd hoped. I also wondered what people meant when they say they miss the 'old F' footrest when a good one is provided in NF. Then we were diverted to Barbados due to bad weather in St Lucia, the result of which was that we missed our connection to Tobago in Trinidad and only just made the last flight of the evening. Problem compounded by the F crew not handing out landing cards so we went from being front of the immigration queue at Trinidad (in obviously a massive hurry) to further down the back, queuing while we were filling out the forms.
Anyway, no great shakes and it followed with a great 10 days in Tobago.
Onto the return then and an easy start with a transfer to Trinidad and a pleasant wait in the lounge. Very comfy seats and some nice nibbles. Onboard we had two window seats (2 & 3 K) and the grime was much more apparent. I took some photos and once I work out the means to upload them I'll add them to the correct thread. Short hop to St Lucia and some passengers disembarked
leaving rubbish in the seats in their wake. This rubbish wasn't ever cleared for the new St Lucia LGW leg and another couple were a bit put out to find headphones still plugged in and general disarray in their seats; I felt for them and considered this quite an oversight by the crew. I wondered if my chatting to the crew didn't help this during the stop over!
Cue trying to get to sleep after some decent grub and wine and all is good. I can't sleep in Club from experience but First was awesome and I settled in. Through my ear plugs I heard a long PA by the Capt. which I presumed to be a turbulence warning. 20 mins to landing warning and all the lights on - hmmmm, this seems a bit early thinks me and indeed it was - we were diverting to Bermuda for a medical emergency. The missus was convinced we were landing and wasn't the only one; some bloke got himself fully dressed out of his sleeper in anticipation of seeing LGW!
Landed and took off again from Bermuda and now it was looking like both trips which were meant to be about 10 hours in total were more like 14 - more time in F was fine by me. Got some good kip on the way back to LGW but realised we would miss our EDI connections. Breakfast was good, got off the plane to find we were rebooked on a later a/c ... from LHR. All the LGW flights were full and I couldn't help but wonder if, I was a bit higher up the BAEC pecking order, I might have got two seats anyway. This move of airports didn't go down well with the missus and once we got our luggage back (took a while - nobody told them we were not transferring and to return the bags) we were on our way again.
A comp trip round the M25 on National Express and into LHR and into the ... CCR of course! Not something I expected on this trip but ordered the obligatory burger (first time in the CCR) and more LPGS with some excellent Chablis. CCR was an oasis of calm and I look forward to seeing it again next year on a hopeful trip to Borneo at some point.
Anyway, back in Edinburgh now after a full 24 hours of travelling and seeing far more of the Western Atlantic than we expected to. Diverted on both legs - some luck!
In summary I thought:
F is a great product and the seat very comfortable for sleeping in. A big difference in sleeping space from Club and a cabin I'll try and get into on the longer trips.
The food in F isn't Gordon Ramsay but is nice all the same so zero complaints there.
The staff were amazing - really good - I'll be emailing BA.
Wines etc were good and the LPGS is excellent.
The cabin is a bit mucky when you look closely - to the casual observer I'd be surprised if they noticed most of the time. I don't think it would take much effort to rectify this and the sort of things they need to do would only need doing once a week or two I'd have thought.
The CCR burger was very nice. I'd order it again no worries.
Anyway, a trip which was 50% longer in total than expected in First and also took in the CCR as part of a Gatwick return. Most unexpected.
I hope the lady who suffered the medical problem is ok; I gather it was fairly serious but I don't suppose I'll ever find out if she was ok in the end.