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My first First Class flight (via a convoluted route!)

My first First Class flight (via a convoluted route!)

Old Jun 1, 18, 4:10 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Warwickshire, England
Programs: BA Executive Club Gold
Posts: 99
My first First Class flight (via a convoluted route!)

A bit of background - I’m a Gold card holder, mainly via sheer number of European flights I do for work. I book Economy (like a good corporate citizen) and upgrade via Avios, so comfortably hit Gold over the last couple of years.

Cut to my current business flight (LHR-DXB) and I book the initial flight in WT+. However I’m offered an upgrade to Club World for 20k Avios and £60, so I take that. Having never flown Club longhaul, I was looking forward to the flight.

During check in (an hour ago), I ask about an upgrade to First, more out of curiosity than anything else. The chap tells me they’ve got a heavily discounted offer for me... £391! Seemed too good to be true, so I’m now currently sitting in the Concord room tucking into scrambled eggs and smoked salmon, and generally being pampered. Really looking forward to the flight now (I’m in 1K), as I don’t ever get the chance to fly First.

I know that First gets a bad press amongst many here, but for someone who flies 75 short haul flights a year, it’s a bit of a treat.

I’ll update this thread following the flight (if anyone is vaguely interested) but I’m enjoying my first First experience (on the cheap!) so far.

If anyone has advice or tips tips for a first newbie (I seem to remember there’s a thread on here for it) I’d be glad to hear them.

Last edited by Tredders; Jun 3, 18 at 12:28 pm
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Old Jun 1, 18, 4:12 am
  #2  
 
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Definitely interested to hear about your trip. First firsts are always good to read. Enjoy!
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Old Jun 1, 18, 4:13 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2016
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Enjoy, I have mine (first paid for First) coming up in late August so will be interested in your experience and opinion.
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Old Jun 1, 18, 4:17 am
  #4  
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Originally Posted by Tredders View Post
A bit of background - I’m a Gold card holder, mainly via sheer number of European flights I do for work. I book Economy (like a good corporate citizen) and upgrade via Avios, so comfortably hit Gold over the last couple of years.

Cut to my current business flight (LHR-DXB) and I book the initial flight in WT+. However I’m offered an upgrade to Club World for 30k Avios and £60, so I take that. Having never flown Club longhaul, I was looking forward to the flight.

During check in (an hour ago), I ask about an upgrade to First, more out of curiosity than anything else. The chap tells me they’ve got a heavily discounted offer for me... £391! Seemed too good to be true, so I’m now currently sitting in the Concord room tucking into scrambled eggs and smoked salmon, and generally being pampered. Really looking forward to the flight now (I’m in 1K), as I don’t ever get the chance to fly First.

I know that First gets a bad press amongst many here, but for someone who flies 75 short haul flights a year, it’s a bit of a treat.

I’ll update this thread following the flight (if anyone is vaguely interested) but I’m enjoying my first First experience (on the cheap!) so far.

If anyone has advice or tips tips for a first newbie (I seem to remember there’s a thread on here for it) I’d be glad to hear them.
Well, I have to say that even after 10 plus years since joining Flyertalk it's still really nice to hear of stories like this.

I really hope you are enjoying yourself to the max Tredders after getting Gold the hard way. Hope you enjoy the LPGS, take a few photos as a momento and you do realise that you will want to use the CCR again............

Mind tell the crew it's your first First and I am sure they look after you well. Enjoy and I will certainly be reading any updates and how things are going so a 'live' trip report is always refreshing! ^
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Old Jun 1, 18, 4:54 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
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You will certainly see the difference between Y and F and I hope you really enjoy the flight, even more given the bargain rate at which it was secured.

There is much criticism, some of it founded, about F on this board. Much comment focuses on detailed issues, lack of consistency etc. and comparing standards across airlines. For me, the essential benefit of F is a bigger lie-fat bed, more storage space (always go for a window seat, never the two in the middle of the cabin) and the flexibility of service. Given that many people who fly F are in positions where they have a lot of control over their working lives, BA (and other airlines) have it about right in giving flexibility within the cabin, i.e. eat when you want to. In a Maslow hierarchy of need, I think control of one's environment is pretty high up the needs list, especially when you think there's a lot about a flight that you have no control over whatsoever (relying on the pilot). Being able to have a high degree of control on my flight, within the given parameters, is what sells F for me, irrespective of the many 1st world problems people complain about on here.
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Old Jun 1, 18, 3:07 pm
  #6  
 
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Congrats, and do report back.
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Old Jun 1, 18, 3:20 pm
  #7  
 
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A good result I'd say. Enjoy the rest of the flight!
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Old Jun 1, 18, 4:06 pm
  #8  
 
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Enjoy the flight!

Without wanting to take the thread too OT, Iíd be interested to know what the avios and TP earning position on a flight like this. Cash WTP fare, avios upgrade and then cash upgrade. Iíd assume itís the base fare.
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Old Jun 1, 18, 4:39 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Woodbinerich View Post
Enjoy the flight!

Without wanting to take the thread too OT, I’d be interested to know what the avios and TP earning position on a flight like this. Cash WTP fare, avios upgrade and then cash upgrade. I’d assume it’s the base fare.
You're right and officially it should only be WTP TP's and miles but some folks have been known to have received full TP's and that includes WT+ 'normal' UuA upgrades to just CW but they're not very common at all so very much the exception than the rule and always best to keep sssshhh about such things if they do happen......
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Old Jun 2, 18, 12:52 am
  #10  
 
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Enjoy! At your price point, I'm pretty sure you'll find First to be worth it....

I sometimes feel for the people complaining about First after they have spent the equivalent of a small car on a flight. But for many of us, flying on heavily discounted fares or using special upgrade offers/vouchers it can be great value!
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Old Jun 2, 18, 1:09 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
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Originally Posted by LCY8737 View Post
Enjoy! At your price point, I'm pretty sure you'll find First to be worth it....

I sometimes feel for the people complaining about First after they have spent the equivalent of a small car on a flight. But for many of us, flying on heavily discounted fares or using special upgrade offers/vouchers it can be great value!

This exactly, I'll be on my 7th F in a couple of weeks and 5 of them have been because F was cheaper than CW at time of booking (which I still find completely mad), one cost me 30k Avios and the one coming up on Friday cost me 27k Avios into what looks like an empty cabin at the moment (2F released last Weds). Mostly achieved because of what I have picked up on here So I have a very different set of expectations and think myself extremely lucky to be there (and even like the burger!) than someone who's had to spend hard cash on what I've been able to experience for precisely £0 - indeed actually 'saving' a few £ based on the fare differentials!

(edited to add example of what I am looking at for my Auugust trip, making it my 8th)



As an example, checking for my August trip...
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Last edited by LBP2; Jun 2, 18 at 2:04 am
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Old Jun 2, 18, 2:03 pm
  #12  
 
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Originally Posted by LBP2 View Post
This exactly, I'll be on my 7th F in a couple of weeks and 5 of them have been because F was cheaper than CW at time of booking (which I still find completely mad)...
This actually makes sense when you think about it. I regularly get this with J flights too. You are willing to pay for the flight at rate "x", but some people have a corporate travel plan than says " J class over 8 hours" or some such. They don't get any choice in upgrading and can't within a travel policy. If the route is not F heavy for business at the time you want to book it may be there are some redemptions - but you wish to pay cash so they offer you an attractive deal.

One of my clients will only pay for Y but I can book anything I like and claim the Y fare back from them. I can often find J cheaper than Y (or very close). It is why I have only ever flown in First class on Emirates!
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Old Jun 2, 18, 2:48 pm
  #13  
 
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Originally Posted by Tredders View Post
A bit of background - Iím a Gold card holder, mainly via sheer number of European flights I do for work. I book Economy (like a good corporate citizen) and upgrade via Avios, so comfortably hit Gold over the last couple of years.

Cut to my current business flight (LHR-DXB) and I book the initial flight in WT+. However Iím offered an upgrade to Club World for 30k Avios and £60, so I take that. Having never flown Club longhaul, I was looking forward to the flight.

During check in (an hour ago), I ask about an upgrade to First, more out of curiosity than anything else. The chap tells me theyíve got a heavily discounted offer for me... £391! Seemed too good to be true, so Iím now currently sitting in the Concord room tucking into scrambled eggs and smoked salmon, and generally being pampered. Really looking forward to the flight now (Iím in 1K), as I donít ever get the chance to fly First.

I know that First gets a bad press amongst many here, but for someone who flies 75 short haul flights a year, itís a bit of a treat.

Iíll update this thread following the flight (if anyone is vaguely interested) but Iím enjoying my first First experience (on the cheap!) so far.

If anyone has advice or tips tips for a first newbie (I seem to remember thereís a thread on here for it) Iíd be glad to hear them.
I hope you have a wonderful trip.

Out of interest how do you hit gold with 75 short haul segments, are they always higher fares earning 20tp in which case you just scrape it to gold?
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Old Jun 3, 18, 9:00 am
  #14  
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Thanks for all the comments. The promised trip report follows. Forgive me for the length of this post, but I loved pretty much every minute of the experience!: -

Concorde Room - very pleasant, very quiet (not sure if this was normal, or whether I was just lucky) and plenty of comfy places to sit. I was travelling with a colleague (WT+) so he was obviously delighted to be taken in with me. The major difference in my eyes between the First lounge and the Concord Room is the level of attentiveness from the staff. I walked in, and within about 5 seconds, was asked if I'd like a glass of champagne. We started off by having breakfast in one of the private booths in the restaurant (very good scrambled eggs and smoked salmon), and then sat on the terrace. Surprised to not be able to find a power socket to charge up phones near the comfy sofa I'd sunk into, so moved inside, and found some equally comfy armchairs with power outlets next to them. Absolutely delighted to hear that there was a 2 hour delay on our flight (genuinely, this was the only time I've ever been pleased to be delayed!) and so sat at the bar, drinking Cosmopolitans and chatting away to the bar staff, who in common with all the other staff members I spoke to, were lovely. One observation is that I actually never had to ask for anything during my entire time in the lounge - as I finished my juice or coffee with breakfast, someone appeared with a smile to ask if I needed a top up. As I was finishing a drink at the bar, the bar staff appeared with a smile and asked if I wanted the same again. PETER01, you're absolutely right - I've now been spoilt and want to go there every week when I fly!

Eventually (and somewhat reluctantly!) left the Concord room and got to the C gates. I boarded in group 1, and I was welcomed by name, and taken to my seat (1K). Cabin crew and manager came and introduced themselves to me, and they couldn't have been friendlier. Within minutes I was relaxing in my seat, and a glass of champagne and a bowl of warm nuts arrived. There were only 3 others in First, so it felt extremely exclusive, and on the recommendation of the good folk of Flyertalk, I mentioned to the cabin crew that it was my first time in First. My pyjamas, slippers and Liberty amenities kit arrived, and I then spent probably the best part of 15 minutes playing with the seat controls, lighting, window blind, foot stool etc etc. Suffice to say that even at 6' 6" tall, the seat was wide enough for me, and I didn't struggle with leg room.

I was served fresh dates and a small Arabic coffee (both delicious) and given the menu to choose my dinner. I'm sure those of you who fly F regularly take it for granted, but it's fabulous to be able to say what time you'd like to eat. At the allotted time, my dinner table was laid with precision (good linen, decent glassware & the salt & pepper pots were carefully turned so that the S & P on top were facing me!), and it was time to eat. I had a meze plate (with warm pita bread, of course!) to start, and it was very good. Following this was filet of beef in a Cafe de Paris sauce, cooked very nicely. The cabin manager kept regularly asking how I was enjoying my first First, and whether I needed anything. I never got a chance to ask for a refill of wine, or a glass of water, because it just seemed to magically appear when I wanted it, without me having to say anything!

I was asked if I wanted the cheese board (of course I did!) and the cabin manager asked if he could interest me in a Southampton to go with it. He laughed & seemed pleased when I replied that I'd love a glass of port (Southampton = Large Port, get it?!) as he said that he uses that line every flight, and nobody ever knows what it means, but this was typical of the service I enjoyed on the flight. Very efficient, but also very friendly, and staff who really did seem to love their job. Perhaps I was just lucky and got an amazing crew, but I couldn't fault them.

After all the food and wine, I reclined my seat and grabbed 30 mins sleep. As someone who is used to being uncomfortable on pretty much all modes of transport due to my height, it was so nice to have a good sized place to relax, and the flat bed meant that sleep came quickly. As I woke up, the cabin manager was there to ask if I wanted him to make my bed up for me "properly", and when I told him that I was fine, he reappeared shortly after with a cup of coffee and some warm biscuits, with a smile and a "here you go, you look as though you'd like a coffee right about now"...

When we were about 90 minutes from Dubai, afternoon tea was served. Again, the neatly laid table, and a couple of warm scones with jam and cream appeared, along with a selection of sandwiches. These were swiftly polished off, and more coffee arrived. I never usually drink coffee on board, but the Origin stuff being served was actually very good.

Shortly before landing, one of the cabin crew came over and asked if I'd like to take home one of the female Liberty amenities kits. I thanked her and said that my daughter would love one, and she returned with 2 of them, saying "you'd better take one for your wife too - I don't want to get you into trouble". Again, a small example of the level of service.

We landed, I said goodbye to the crew and thanked them for looking after me so well, and I waited for my colleague to arrive from WT+. One last nice touch - as we walked into baggage reclaim, my case was waiting on a separate trolley marked "First Class Luggage", so I was ready to go even before the main baggage carousel had started up.

So, that was my first First experience. I loved it, the F product was impressive to me (although granted my benchmark is only Club Europe). However, the stars of the show, from the moment I walked into the Concord room, to the moment I left the plane, were the staff. They made the flight memorable.

Last edited by Tredders; Jun 7, 18 at 10:38 am
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Old Jun 3, 18, 9:08 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 111
Originally Posted by Tredders View Post
Thanks for all the comments. The promised trip report follows. Forgive me for the length of this post, but I loved pretty much every minute of the experience!: -

Concord Room - very pleasant, very quiet (not sure if this was normal, or whether I was just lucky) and plenty of comfy places to sit. I was travelling with a colleague (WT+) so he was obviously delighted to be taken in with me. The major difference in my eyes between the First lounge and the Concord Room is the level of attentiveness from the staff. I walked in, and within about 5 seconds, was asked if I'd like a glass of champagne. We started off by having breakfast in one of the private booths in the restaurant (very good scrambled eggs and smoked salmon), and then sat on the terrace. Surprised to not be able to find a power socket to charge up phones near the comfy sofa I'd sunk into, so moved inside, and found some equally comfy armchairs with power outlets next to them. Absolutely delighted to hear that there was a 2 hour delay on our flight (genuinely, this was the only time I've ever been pleased to be delayed!) and so sat at the bar, drinking Cosmopolitans and chatting away to the bar staff, who in common with all the other staff members I spoke to, were lovely. One observation is that I actually never had to ask for anything during my entire time in the lounge - as I finished my juice or coffee with breakfast, someone appeared with a smile to ask if I needed a top up. As I was finishing a drink at the bar, the bar staff appeared with a smile and asked if I wanted the same again. PETER01, you're absolutely right - I've now been spoilt and want to go there every week when I fly!

Eventually (and somewhat reluctantly!) left the Concord room and got to the C gates. I boarded in group 1, and I was welcomed by name, and taken to my seat (1K). Cabin crew and manager came and introduced themselves to me, and they couldn't have been friendlier. Within minutes I was relaxing in my seat, and a glass of champagne and a bowl of warm nuts arrived. There were only 3 others in First, so it felt extremely exclusive, and on the recommendation of the good folk of Flyertalk, I mentioned to the cabin crew that it was my first time in First. My pyjamas, slippers and Liberty amenities kit arrived, and I then spent probably the best part of 15 minutes playing with the seat controls, lighting, window blind, foot stool etc etc. Suffice to say that even at 6' 6" tall, the seat was wide enough for me, and I didn't struggle with leg room.

I was served fresh dates and a small Arabic coffee (both delicious) and given the menu to choose my dinner. I'm sure those of you who fly F regularly take it for granted, but it's fabulous to be able to say what time you'd like to eat. At the allotted time, my dinner table was laid with precision (good linen, decent glassware & the salt & pepper pots were carefully turned so that the S & P on top were facing me!), and it was time to eat. I had a meze plate (with warm pita bread, of course!) to start, and it was very good. Following this was filet of beef in a Cafe de Paris sauce, cooked very nicely. The cabin manager kept regularly asking how I was enjoying my first First, and whether I needed anything. I never got a chance to ask for a refill of wine, or a glass of water, because it just seemed to magically appear when I wanted it, without me having to say anything!

I was asked if I wanted the cheese board (of course I did!) and the cabin manager asked if he could interest me in a Southampton to go with it. He laughed & seemed pleased when I replied that I'd love a glass of port (Southampton = Large Port, get it?!) as he said that he uses that line every flight, and nobody ever knows what it means, but this was typical of the service I enjoyed on the flight. Very efficient, but also very friendly, and staff who really did seem to love their job. Perhaps I was just lucky and got an amazing crew, but I couldn't fault them.

After all the food and wine, I reclined my seat and grabbed 30 mins sleep. As someone who is used to being uncomfortable on pretty much all modes of transport due to my height, it was so nice to have a good sized place to relax, and the flat bed meant that sleep came quickly. As I woke up, the cabin manager was there to ask if I wanted him to make my bed up for me "properly", and when I told him that I was fine, he reappeared shortly after with a cup of coffee and some warm biscuits, with a smile and a "here you go, you look as though you'd like a coffee right about now"...

When we were about 90 minutes from Dubai, afternoon tea was served. Again, the neatly laid table, and a couple of warm scones with jam and cream appeared, along with a selection of sandwiches. These were swiftly polished off, and more coffee arrived. I never usually drink coffee on board, but the Origin stuff being served was actually very good.

Shortly before landing, one of the cabin crew came over and asked if I'd like to take home one of the female Liberty amenities kits. I thanked her and said that my daughter would love one, and she returned with 2 of them, saying "you'd better take one for your wife too - I don't want to get you into trouble". Again, a small example of the level of service.

We landed, I said goodbye to the crew and thanked them for looking after me so well, and I waited for my colleague to arrive from WT+. One last nice touch - as we walked into baggage reclaim, my case was waiting on a separate trolley marked "First Class Luggage", so I was ready to go even before the main baggage carousel had started up.

So, that was my first First experience. I loved it, the F product was impressive to me (although granted my benchmark is only Club Europe). However, the stars of the show, from the moment I walked into the Concord room, to the moment I left the plane, were the staff. They made the flight memorable.
Now that was a nice read. Iíve my first First later in the year (with tips learnt here) and was really hoping youíd report back with something like that. Well done!
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