Preparing for our second First

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Old Jan 14, 19, 6:55 am
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Preparing for our second First

Following our experience in First last year to JFK we'll be taking our second First flights in a couple of months - this time overnight to CPT (revenue flights booked during the 241 promotion).
As our previous flight was so short, and operated during the daytime (return flight was in J from YUL) we had no need to change into pyjamas. Also, as the last flight was our frst experience of First I think we probably looked at some things with rose tinted glasses and didn't really know what to do/expect.
So, I have a few questions to make our next First experience even better:
  • On an 11+ hour overnight flight, when do people change into their pyjamas? Before take-off or once in the air?
  • On our last flight we were pretty much the last people to board (wanting to send time in the CCR), but felt that we should probably have boarded earlier in order to settle into our seats and enjoy a PDB or two. Mrs B. is suggesting that we board as early as possible this time (I'm guessing that's 60 minutes prior to departure). Is that necessary?
  • Having got changed in the WC, where do most people store their own clothes? Should we take an empty bag? I remember the VERY slim wardrobe in our seats last time (5E/F on the 747) which was just about big enough to hang our jackets, but I can't imagine that we would be able to fit anything else in there.
  • On our previous flight we were told that we could not leave our shoes on the floor (even within the seat area) - do we take a bag for these and put them in the overhead locker? Given the recent thread on using "other people's" lockers - would it be frowned upon if we put our shoes into the locker above 5A or K?
  • The 'shared' cupboard between 1A and K - does this have hanging space for jackets?
  • Our flight to CPT will be on the 747 in seats 5E/F again, but our return will be on the A380 in seats 3E/F - are there any significant differences in wardrobe or overall storage space?
  • The CC on our flight to JFK were brilliant, and ensured that my wife and I were always served togeher, resturant style, even though we were on different sides of the plane (seats E and F being servered by different CC), but I understand from reading other reviews that this is not the norm. Is it something that can be requested?
  • Other than the single First flight to JFK we normally fly J and are used to the CC walking through the cabin at regular intervals taking drinks orders, handing our ice cream etc.which we did not see in F. I get it that F is much more personalised, but it seams that if you don't ask you don't get (e.g. we did not get offered any cholocaltes after our main meal on the flight to JFK, but I remember seeing somone in front of us selecting some from a box) - is there a list anywhere of things that can be requested?
  • Our flight is scheduled for a 21:30 departure. Does this mean that they will try and serve dinner asap and then switch the lights off for sleep and therefore less likely to be able to request anything else from the CC?
  • Is pre-flight dining in the lounge supposed to replace the onboard meal or in addition to? I still see flying as a unique event and as an integral part of our holidays which I look forward to as much as the destination - so really enjoy the onboard experience, but understand that more frequent flyers may see it as a necessary evil and I don't want to unnecessarily disturb anyone trying to rest.
NB. As I no longer fly on business (moved jobs last year to improve the work/life balance) we only have infrequent leisure flights - therefore no status with BA, so unable to grab 1A/K and as travelling as a couple we prefer the centre seats over two window seats.

sorry for all the questions. I promise to complete a TR afterwards in return.
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Old Jan 14, 19, 7:08 am
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I would not over think this - do whatever feels right, that is the whole point of First.

Regarding changing: In the very remote chance that you need to evacuate, you really want your shoes on your feet (fire, debris, run). I always keep fully dressed until after take off.
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Old Jan 14, 19, 7:09 am
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Originally Posted by bakera View Post
On an 11+ hour overnight flight, when do people change into their pyjamas? Before take-off or once in the air?
I personally change in the lounge before boarding the plane. Less classy, but it works for me, as I am pretty big and the lavatories in the plane are too small, even for a regular-size person. Then if there's an arrival lounge I'll change there, otherwise will try to get it done on the plane.

Originally Posted by bakera View Post
On our last flight we were pretty much the last people to board (wanting to send time in the CCR), but felt that we should probably have boarded earlier in order to settle into our seats and enjoy a PDB or two. Mrs B. is suggesting that we board as early as possible this time (I'm guessing that's 60 minutes prior to departure). Is that necessary?
It is entirely up to you. I think 40 minutes is a good time to aim at if you want to board early, if you don't mind standing in line for a few. I personally enjoy getting there early and getting my things ready in my seat and starting up a movie on my tablet.

Originally Posted by bakera View Post
Having got changed in the WC, where do most people store their own clothes? Should we take an empty bag? I remember the VERY slim wardrobe in our seats last time (5E/F on the 747) which was just about big enough to hang our jackets, but I can't imagine that we would be able to fit anything else in there.
I don't wear anything that can't be folded away in my backpack or duffle bag so I might not be much help here

Originally Posted by bakera View Post
On our previous flight we were told that we could not leave our shoes on the floor (even within the seat area) - do we take a bag for these and put them in the overhead locker? Given the recent thread on using "other people's" lockers - would it be frowned upon if we put our shoes into the locker above 5A or K?
That sounds like bollocks. Or some kind of weird First standard.

Originally Posted by bakera View Post
Is pre-flight dining in the lounge supposed to replace the onboard meal or in addition to? I still see flying as a unique event and as an integral part of our holidays which I look forward to as much as the destination - so really enjoy the onboard experience, but understand that more frequent flyers may see it as a necessary evil and I don't want to unnecessarily disturb anyone trying to rest.
You can have either or both - generally I have a starter in the pre-flight dining area so that I don't run hungry until they start serving food on board. Eating on board is perfectly fine.
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Old Jan 14, 19, 7:28 am
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Originally Posted by bakera View Post
On an 11+ hour overnight flight, when do people change into their pyjamas? Before take-off or once in the air?
It's entirely up to you. On short overnights when I will be going to sleep immediately then I change before departure, otherwise on long flights there is no hurry. If you do change before departure, remember to put your shoes back on for takeoff. You don't want to be running over aircraft wreckage and burning jet fuel in your bare feet should the need arise.

Originally Posted by bakera View Post
On our last flight we were pretty much the last people to board (wanting to send time in the CCR), but felt that we should probably have boarded earlier in order to settle into our seats and enjoy a PDB or two. Mrs B. is suggesting that we board as early as possible this time (I'm guessing that's 60 minutes prior to departure). Is that necessary?
Haha, no BA flight has ever boarded at STD-60 mins. On longhaul it is more like 30 ish, maybe slightly earlier if they have their act together. If you want to board last minute, turn up at the gate at T-21, if you want a bit more time on board turn up at T-35 ish.

Originally Posted by bakera View Post
  • Having got changed in the WC, where do most people store their own clothes? Should we take an empty bag? I remember the VERY slim wardrobe in our seats last time (5E/F on the 747) which was just about big enough to hang our jackets, but I can't imagine that we would be able to fit anything else in there.
  • On our previous flight we were told that we could not leave our shoes on the floor (even within the seat area) - do we take a bag for these and put them in the overhead locker? Given the recent thread on using "other people's" lockers - would it be frowned upon if we put our shoes into the locker above 5A or K?
I always have a handbag containing a couple of days of clothes etc, so just store them in there. Shoes can be put at the bottom of the cupboard in your seat, yes it is slim, but even on the B744 it is big enough to hang clothes and put shoes there.

Originally Posted by bakera View Post
  • The 'shared' cupboard between 1A and K - does this have hanging space for jackets?
Yes it has a hanging rail and coat hangers, although I'm not sure I've seen it used for that very often because you can just hang it in your own cupboard, and anything put in the wardrobe at the front is liable to fall and get messed up amongst the bags, pillows, fire extinguisher, 200 old copies highlife and other detritus that rattles around in the bottom of there.

Originally Posted by bakera View Post
  • Our flight to CPT will be on the 747 in seats 5E/F again, but our return will be on the A380 in seats 3E/F - are there any significant differences in wardrobe or overall storage space?
Slightly bigger cupboard on most of the A380 seats but it's not a huge difference in storage.

Originally Posted by bakera View Post
  • The CC on our flight to JFK were brilliant, and ensured that my wife and I were always served togeher, resturant style, even though we were on different sides of the plane (seats E and F being servered by different CC), but I understand from reading other reviews that this is not the norm. Is it something that can be requested?
If you sit side by side in your own seats then you will not be served together unless you get a VERY good crew. 95% of the time you will be served separately according to the pace of the crew on your respective side. If you want to eat together then one of you should move to the buddy seat of the other so that you are sat at the same table, and then you will be served together.

Originally Posted by bakera View Post
  • Other than the single First flight to JFK we normally fly J and are used to the CC walking through the cabin at regular intervals taking drinks orders, handing our ice cream etc.which we did not see in F. I get it that F is much more personalised, but it seams that if you don't ask you don't get (e.g. we did not get offered any cholocaltes after our main meal on the flight to JFK, but I remember seeing somone in front of us selecting some from a box) - is there a list anywhere of things that can be requested?
Yes F is very much ask for what you want, if you don't ask then you are not likely to get it. The list of things that can be requested is the menu, which you will be given at the start of the flight.

Originally Posted by bakera View Post
  • Our flight is scheduled for a 21:30 departure. Does this mean that they will try and serve dinner asap and then switch the lights off for sleep and therefore less likely to be able to request anything else from the CC?
  • Is pre-flight dining in the lounge supposed to replace the onboard meal or in addition to? I still see flying as a unique event and as an integral part of our holidays which I look forward to as much as the destination - so really enjoy the onboard experience, but understand that more frequent flyers may see it as a necessary evil and I don't want to unnecessarily disturb anyone trying to rest.
F is dine on demand, so you can have a full service on board, at a time of your choosing. On overnight flights with little time zone change like these then it's a fairly routing service order for everyone, and unless you say something then the crew will assume you just want to get to sleep soon and get the dinner going ASAP. If you would like it served later then say something.


My final thought... you seem to be massively overthinking things, try and relax a bit and actually enjoy your flight the way you want to rather than worrying about doing things a certain way
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Old Jan 14, 19, 7:39 am
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Thanks guys (or gals). You're right that I'm ovethinking things. That's me, always trying to do the right thing and forgetting to slow down and enjoy meyself.
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Old Jan 14, 19, 7:44 am
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With regard to pre-flight dining note that if you are flying from LHR you'll be using T3 so you can do a lounge crawl, eating and drinking in all of them. See the threads on T3 Lounges for more info.
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Old Jan 14, 19, 9:24 am
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I never use the pajamas as I find them far too hot. If I want to sleep I will change into lightweight shorts and a T-shirt. On an overnight I will normally change prior to take off.
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Old Jan 14, 19, 9:56 am
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I always get on the plane and change straightaway into the PJ's. And get comfortable. Though I always keep a t-shirt on underneath the PJ top as I find the label of the PJ scratches me and is really uncomfortable.

The locker is plenty big enough to hold your shoes and also hang your clothing. But I have never been told I can't put my shoes in the seating area? I usually just chuck them underneath the small opposing seat.

What you need to understand is that this is First. You can tell them exactly how you want to be served - whether that is together or separately. You tell when what and when you want to eat.

You could have a desert just after take off, 2 hours later have a main meal and then just before landing have the starter. It is food on demand and for me this is the reason why First so so good. This food when I want to eat it really helps with combating jetlag.

I never get disturbed by other people eating when they want - so I wouldn't worry about it.
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Old Jan 14, 19, 10:01 am
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Oh lord is this the beginning of a new trend for 'Second First' threads!

(Glad you got the advice you needed OP)
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Old Jan 14, 19, 10:19 am
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You will need to set your expectations, as CPT gets the Mid-J 747's which may or may not have the Panasonic IFE. The crew are Mixed Fleet, and from my experience in CW UD to CPT very hit and miss, hopefully you'll get a good crew and won't notice any drop in services levels

At T3 I would spend most of my time in the Cathay First lounge, as that is by far the best of the Oneworld offerings and there are some threads on this

Best T3 OneWorld Lounge

If you like gin, the gin bar in the Quantas lounge maybe OK, and if you want a Spa treatment, it is the BA first lounge
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Old Jan 14, 19, 10:32 am
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As it is your second first a bit of a swagger helps!
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Old Jan 14, 19, 11:44 am
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Originally Posted by escape2sun View Post
At T3 I would spend most of my time in the Cathay First lounge, as that is by far the best of the Oneworld offerings and there are some threads on this
This!

Yes forgot about this. I never go to the BA lounge ... I always hit Cathay. However I prefer the standard lounge rather than the First!

I like the small dim sum and noodle dishes etc. But then I am Chinese and I crave this food. But it is amazing and reminds me of home. It is quickly and freshly prepared and they have around 6 different dishes whilst they are small I just keep ordering!

Lovely.
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Old Jan 14, 19, 1:33 pm
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But... green ant gin... #Qantas .

Just about as close as I am ever going to get to eating insects.
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Old Jan 14, 19, 2:21 pm
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Being an old peasant, I only fly CW to CPT. I don't change into my First PJs,I just kick my deck shoes off and sleep in my crumpled travelling Cargoes.

I like to keep life simple
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Old Jan 14, 19, 3:09 pm
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Originally Posted by bakera View Post
Following our experience in First last year to JFK we'll be taking our second First flights in a couple of months - this time overnight to CPT (revenue flights booked during the 241 promotion).
As our previous flight was so short, and operated during the daytime (return flight was in J from YUL) we had no need to change into pyjamas. Also, as the last flight was our frst experience of First I think we probably looked at some things with rose tinted glasses and didn't really know what to do/expect.
So, I have a few questions to make our next First experience even better:
  • Our flight to CPT will be on the 747 in seats 5E/F again, but our return will be on the A380 in seats 3E/F - are there any significant differences in wardrobe or overall storage space?
  • The CC on our flight to JFK were brilliant, and ensured that my wife and I were always served togeher, resturant style, even though we were on different sides of the plane (seats E and F being servered by different CC), but I understand from reading other reviews that this is not the norm. Is it something that can be requested?
...

as travelling as a couple we prefer the centre seats over two window seats.
I would suggest you look seriously into sitting in 3 or 4A and 4E (or the same idea but with F and K) on the 744, and 2A/E, 3A/E, 4A/E (or same but F/K) on the 388. We have found from experience that these pairs are close enough to feel next to each other but make meal service much easier to manage with the crews (and you can still buddy-dine for a more intimate experience - which we always do). The middle pairs are not that near each other anyway, and the other advantage is that one of you gets a window (my wife likes that).

The crews will always serve you together if you ask, even if you are in E/F - its just that their standard routine puts A/E with one FA and F/K with another.

All just my own opinions, based on some experience.
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