Old Mar 27, 11, 11:33 am
  #10  
BotB
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Bristol, UK
Programs: Accor Silver, HH D, BA Silver
Posts: 5,283
Return leg DEN -LHR CW but seated in NF 777 G-YMMK (again!)

My return flight from DEN had the same seat map in MMB as I had coming out and I could see that there was a F cabin but no seats available until T-24 when to my delight all the seats were selectable. Decided to try 1A for the return leg. No other F seats were taken at that stage and I had only counted 30 J pax (on a 48 J config) up to that stage, so thought it might be quiet coming back...

At the airport, check in was open already at T-4 (thanks BA!) so used CW (no F at DEN) check in desk which had no queue. Friendly staff and efficient, within 2 minutes was on my way to the terrible security areas at DEN. I did overhear another GCH checking in (he was also in CW) asking if he could get a seat in F cabin which he could see online but not select…interesting…wonder what BA criteria allowed me to select a seat of my choice and him not too…they said yes and he was moved to F with a wink and a nod...

If you are flying a premimum cabin you can use the 'fast track' which is not well sign posted on the air bridge (the easiest path to the BA AA lounge, instead of going downstairs through the main security area). You have to walk to the extreme right over the air bridge (the wrong side of the display cabinets) to get to the security fast track area…if you stay on the left of the cabinets then you are in the standard queue and these can be very long.

Passport check went quick but thereafter everything is mixed again and so you just join the rather long queue's to clear the x-ray and metal detectors. Interestingly, I 'beeped' going through the detector (even though I am very careful to take off all metal items) so got the pat down and a swab on the explosives check…well, didn't the [email protected] thing go 'red' and indicate explosives present!…that made for a tense moment I can tell you…so I got taken off to a private room for another pat down and check and more swabs which came back as safe (thank goodness!)…No idea what set the detector off but hope I never have to go through that again! I had just filled up my rental car with petrol before handing it back in but that shouldn't have set this off...

After this it was only a short walk to the new combined AA BA lounge (see separate thread for details) which was okay but I liked the older BA lounge better if I could choose. Definitely look for the quiet area behind the reception desks as the majority of pax are AA users and quite noisy in the lounge in general. They do announce when ready to board so you don't have to keep checking the monitors. I had a couple of glasses of the red stuff to calm the nerves after the 'screening incident'.

When boarding was announced went to the gate and was greeted by a friendly MF crew on board. I was surprised to see the entire F cabin quickly become full with pax (compared to my flight out). The cabin crew in the F cabin was very attentive and friendly and we had a few good chats during the flight. I was never addressed by name and no status greeting during the flight but still they were always willing to help and constantly going through the cabin to ensure all went smooth.

The 777 I flew back on was G-YMMK and had the same 14F config with NF. 1A is very nice with (in my opinion) more privacy and has converted me to a NF fan. Maybe it is simply that I did not see anyone else in front of me and even to the side the privacy is decent unless you lean forward (no better or worse then OF though). The views are less disrupting and you don't see the very 'busy' design of the cabin that I mentioned above when seated in 3K. The one caveat is that the personal locker doesn't have the mesh pockets like 2,3 and 4 AK would so small items do need to go elsewhere, however, the space for a jacket is much wider so you can get a bigger winter coat in if needed. (the locker is diagonal instead of perpendicular to the seat (due to the fact that no seat back available to use for the locker like in 2,3 4AK).



This time the crew were smarter and because the flight was only officially CW we also only had CW blankets in the F cabin placed on the seats when we boarded. I actually found this better as the blanket is not as thick and therefore cooler which helped greatly to keep a decent body temperature in the warmish cabin. I actually could sleep for around 6 hours coming back which is pretty much a record for me…The NF seat when made into a bed is fantastic and my favourite in any cabin (wide, long, stable and solid).

Some last points; the blue ambient lights under the foot rest area remain blue no matter what light scheme the cabin crew select for the other areas. The lights above the overhead storage area along with the large wall lamp at the front middle of the cabin in F and the window blinds can be changed from blue to orange by cabin crew if desired at least on the 777's. (typically blue at night and orange for morning arrival). I managed a picture of the orange light on the window blind below.



Food was quite good CW fare and I can definitely recommend the salmon / asparagus starter which was nothing short of brilliant (would have taken it again as a main if I could have and had known about it before, not sure if it was better because they could use the steam oven's in F or if it would have been this good in normal CW cabin as well).

I was quite amused to see that not only was the F cabin full but also the CW cabin was full so BA must have sold quiet a few check in upgrades to max. both cabins out…well done if you ask me, hope this is possible more often in future instead of leaving the seats empty.

So finally, rather chuffed with myself for not only getting some skiing in during a work trip to the area but also snagging New First seats on both legs for a WT+ fare then MFU'd with miles!

Definitely worth considering DEN as a hub if you are travelling to North America in CW…

Last edited by BotB; Mar 27, 11 at 3:50 pm Reason: Learned how to insert photos finally!
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