My First in First - Impressions

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Old Jun 13, 18, 2:11 am
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My First in First - Impressions

I'm a novice on here compared to many of you, however I thought I'd share my impressions on my first ever flight in BA First Class, from which I just stepped off (I'm writing from the BA Arrivals lounge).

I flew yesterday's BA28 from Hong Kong to Heathrow. Unfortunately, no space was available on BA32 and it's a pity as, from reading you, it seems like the experience on the A380 is far superior to the one on the 777. Anyway, let's start.

About myself, I fly around 100 times every year, mostly in economy but occasionally also in business class, especially on flights longer than 9 hours. I'm currently an elite level passenger for all 3 major alliances and I've experienced J on the following airlines before: Alitalia, British Airways, EVA Air, Saudia, Qatar and, only on short haul flights, Delta, Air France and KLM. I'd never flown 1st class before today though, on any airline.

The experience on the ground in HKG was of course superb, the lounges (The Pier, in particular) were top-class (but I also very much enjoyed the cabana at The Wing), although I was particularly disappointed by the fact that an airport of such importance and size does not offer a fast track lane at security nor immigration for its premium customers.

I found on the seat on the 777 very comfortable and spacious. I was sitting in 3K by the window. Loved every aspect of it however, if I need to make some effort and criticize something I'd say it lacked a bit in privacy and storage (apart from the wardrobe where you could hang your jacket, there wasn't really any more space to put your mobile phone, wallet etc.). I also found the console used to control lights and the seat not that easy to understand at first, overall though I'd give the seat a solid 8/10.

Bedding was quite good. Unfortunately I couldn't get much sleep as I found the plane quite noisy. Turbolence also didn't help. 8/10

Service on board was professional from start to finish. I often read critics on this board about the attitude of the crew. I must say I have not experienced this. I've always felt very welcome and pampered by Trevor, the cabin chief and the other flight attendants. I'd give them a 10/10.

Food was good. All choices were available (albeit the cabin wasn't exactly full). I loved the salmon with caviar as appetizer, as well as the prawn salad as main. The choice of wines was somewhat limited though, but again I'm used to QR so ... 7/10. I must say I had to make an effort to eat everything, after being very well fed in the HKG lounges.

Overall, I very much enjoyed the experience on board however, if I need to make a final remark, I find BA's 1st class to be only marginally better than QR's business class. It is however miles better than Club World. I'd definitely fly again in BA F however, considering the price tag, I still feel QR's J is a better value and I'd pick that were I to fly to a destination served by both airlines. Unfortunately, having never flown in other Fs before, I can't really compare BA's to the same class of service on other airlines.

A final note on the arrivals lounge. Good service, love the concorde breakfast room. Hard to schedule an appointment for a massage though even at 7 AM (first slot at 11.30 AM). I liked the cabana, relaxing even though not at the same level of the one in Cathay's lounge.

If interested, I can post pictures of the food served on board.

Thanks for your attention.
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Old Jun 13, 18, 2:41 am
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Nice review and 100 flights a year is hardly "novice"

There's a great thread for BA Food Pictures if you'd care to share them --> Post your BA Food Pictures here
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Old Jun 13, 18, 2:58 am
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I absolutely don't mind these thread and it's not the reason why I'm asking, but wouldn't it be nice to have a thread for first First experiences?

There are many people who look for advice on how to maximise their First experiences, or to find out what to expect. A thread that contains a collection of first Firsts may be useful.
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Old Jun 13, 18, 3:01 am
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Originally Posted by ringingup View Post
I absolutely don't mind these thread and it's not the reason why I'm asking, but wouldn't it be nice to have a thread for first First experiences?

There are many people who look for advice on how to maximise their First experiences, or to find out what to expect. A thread that contains a collection of first Firsts may be useful.
Was thinking that, would be great to see a wide view of different peoples first First across the years
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Old Jun 13, 18, 3:05 am
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You must not be a tall person.

(QR's business seat is bad for tall people; BA's F seat is fine)
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Old Jun 13, 18, 3:05 am
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I pretty much agree with all the comments of the op
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Old Jun 13, 18, 3:09 am
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Originally Posted by Danusa86 View Post

A final note on the arrivals lounge. Good service, love the concorde breakfast room. Hard to schedule an appointment for a massage though even at 7 AM (first slot at 11.30 AM). I liked the cabana, relaxing even though not at the same level of the one in Cathay's lounge.
Is there a Cabana in the arrivals lounge?
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Old Jun 13, 18, 3:12 am
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Good review

Any trip involving HKG brings the added bonus of access to some of the best available lounges worldwide.

Note what you say re lack of fast-track, although I do find that the general level of efficiency at HKG does tend to compensate a lot its absence.

I’m largely on the same wavelength as to your perception that there really is very little in it between BA F and QR J. I guess there will always be more of a feeling of inherent exclusivity with smaller cabin size, and you clearly had a very good crew providing top service - which is what should reasonably expect in any First class. Unfortunately I wasn’t quite so lucky on my last BA F flight, and whilst on the one hand there were no issues of major concern for me, nor do I believe there was enough differentiation in overall standards between the two products to convince me that the additional cost from QR J to BA F is justified on routes where both are available.
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Old Jun 13, 18, 3:18 am
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Originally Posted by ringingup View Post
Is there a Cabana in the arrivals lounge?
Yes, a couple and just for F passengers. Not as good as the HKG ones but still much appreciated!
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Old Jun 13, 18, 3:19 am
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Originally Posted by Danusa86 View Post
Yes, a couple and just for F passengers. Not as good as the HKG ones but still much appreciated!
Never knew about the cabanas. They are not the rooms with infinity baths, are they?
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Old Jun 13, 18, 3:21 am
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Originally Posted by ringingup View Post
Never knew about the cabanas. They are not the rooms with infinity baths, are they?
Yes, that's what I mean. They are actually called cabanas by the lounge attendants.
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Old Jun 13, 18, 3:22 am
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i am very surprised HKG doesn't have any premium security lanes. Was the plane noisy because of the engines?
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Old Jun 13, 18, 3:29 am
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Originally Posted by Danusa86 View Post
Yes, that's what I mean. They are actually called cabanas by the lounge attendants.
I don't think they are strictly reserved for arriving First passengers. I certainly used one of them, at least once, when arriving in CW and I was only Bronze back then. I remember it being discussed in the past, but I may be wrong.

The annoying thing about the cabanas with infinity baths is that on multiple occasions it seemed to me that staff tend to discourage their use providing excuses. I'm sure that at other times they are genuinely occupied or being cleaned.

Last edited by ringingup; Jun 13, 18 at 3:34 am
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Old Jun 13, 18, 3:35 am
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Originally Posted by ringingup View Post
I don't think they are strictly reserved for arriving First passengers. I certainly used one of them, at least once, when arriving in CW. I remember it being discussed in the past, but I may be wrong.

The annoying thing about the cabanas with infinity baths is that on multiple occasions it seemed to me that staff tend to discourage their use providing excuses. I'm sure that at other times they are genuinely occupied or being cleaned.
Well, the lounge attendant specifically asked to see boarding pass to make sure I was in F and not in J or he wouldn't let me use them.
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Old Jun 13, 18, 3:36 am
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Originally Posted by GodAtum View Post
i am very surprised HKG doesn't have any premium security lanes. Was the plane noisy because of the engines?
I was surprised too!

And yeah. It was not terribly noisy but more than the A380.
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