"Never" flying First again!

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Old Apr 3, 19, 2:09 am
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"Never" flying First again!

Strangely enough, this is not a post about how horrid everything was when I flew First last week.

In fact, having only flown BA in First (and one trip in WT) I was refreshing the award calendar every day trying to find award availability to upgrade from CW to F on my recent trip to Dubai. Previously I have avoided BA when I've had to fly business, choosing Qatar or Cathay over it. But Qatar is not an option to DXB, so I thought I would finally give BA a try.

I have to say I was very impressed - to the extent CW was nicer than some (most?) of my BA F experiences. The upper deck of the 747 by the window was both more private and more spacious than in F. I was always addressed by name by the two crew members working upstairs, and the service was attentive and friendly. I even told them they gave F a bad name, because this was so nice, both in terms of hard and soft product.

I guess this is no secret to those of you who regularly fly BA in different travel classes. Having flown F I have not been too impressed with the ground product at LHR (CCR, lack of private transfers between terminals, transfer security), nor the inflight product. My return flight on the 777 was not as nice given you don't get the same kind of privacy or attention as on the 747 upper deck, but I slept better than on QR as there is no footwell and no traffic by your seat (admittedly only 2 of 8 seats in each row offer this kind of privacy for a solo traveler). I did not get any special welcome from the purser on any of these sectors, but frankly when I got that on QR it was to complain how poor the service was and how the crew had forgotten everything (amenity kit, menu, drink orders etc).
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Old Apr 3, 19, 2:13 am
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UD 747 is certainly something special!
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Old Apr 3, 19, 3:07 am
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Agreed - Upper Deck on a 747 with a good window seat (ideally 62A/K or 64k...) and a good crew plus the new catering (especially on the JFK route with Do & Co...) - I'd struggle to even want an upgrade to First
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Old Apr 3, 19, 3:30 am
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We decided a while ago that we find CW a better deal overall for us than F. In my experience it is consistent and comfortable with limited opportunity to really delight or disappoint. F trips have varied from outstanding to poor and while the good experiences are well worth the extra cash or Avios, the poor are indeed worse than a typical CW experience. So for me/us, it's not worth the risk.

I realised I was wasting money/Avios when I realised I spent more time wondering what kind of experience I was going to get on an upcoming F trip, than looking forward to it.

Now I would only take F if CW was more expensive or not available. CW is a good, comfortable way to travel. And the privacy in a window seat is second to none.
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Old Apr 3, 19, 3:54 am
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F has just changed on 31/3 (see relevant thread) and seems significantly nicer than it was in terms of onboard soft product. I think that the ground service is still weak especially when connecting, but it seems that BA are currently keen on identifying weaknesses and trying to address at least some of them so I'm hoping we'll get a good surprise at some point sooner or later, and I suspect that the seat will also change soon now that the J seat is being upgraded significantly from the Autumn.
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Old Apr 3, 19, 3:58 am
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Originally Posted by ratypus View Post
Agreed - Upper Deck on a 747 with a good window seat (ideally 62A/K or 64k...) and a good crew plus the new catering (especially on the JFK route with Do & Co...) - I'd struggle to even want an upgrade to First
That has long been my position, and though BA keeps upgrading me to First, I've never paid or redeemed for it. I would add the right seats on the A380 in particular, and maybe 787s as well. Do&Co is now on quite a few routes on the Eastern Seaboard (including PIT it turned out) and places like HKG. The way to find out is whether you get a 3-in-1 bread roll or not - the Do&Co defined standard is network wide, but actual Do&Co provision can be identified by the roll.
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Old Apr 3, 19, 4:01 am
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I agree with the joy of the UD, although CW in the 777 dormitory is another matter. But one key difference for me is the quality of the bed, even with the new(sih) CW bedding, I find the F bed considerably better and will always get a better night's sleep. So daytime UD, followed by red eye F is the way to go for me.
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Old Apr 3, 19, 4:24 am
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Sounds like the OP will be one of the few who will be considering upgrading to F, as opposed to vice versa, once the new seat comes out!
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Old Apr 3, 19, 5:10 am
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If you werenít aware (OP) as @orbitmic has pointed out, F is going through a regeneration programme, so to speak. With new soft product launched this week and talks of a evolution of their best F seat to come later in the year, F should be a much better experience overall come 2020. There has also been subtle improvements (that I have read) on the ground product (mostly T5) and it seems there will be more to come according to Cruz as they limit F class to 8 seats in the future.

So whilst it currently sounds a bit hit and miss from what you have experienced and other vocal F posters on here, I think we can be hopeful for the experience in the near future and one I definitely hope to experience too. Iím no F traveller but itís quite impressive and enlightening the info you can get from here, all taken with a nice pinch of salt of course

No doubt BA are very aware of the impact on F that the CW improved experience will and/or is having. It will be unbalanced for a period of time but no doubt will be a clear difference eventually between the 2 classes, we hope.
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Old Apr 3, 19, 5:10 am
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Problem with the upper deck is that one time I tried it it was so incredibly hot that I could barely stay in my seat never mind sleep.
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Old Apr 3, 19, 5:58 am
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Originally Posted by Smid View Post
Problem with the upper deck is that one time I tried it it was so incredibly hot that I could barely stay in my seat never mind sleep.
A recurring problem IME.
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Old Apr 3, 19, 6:27 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
That has long been my position, and though BA keeps upgrading me to First, I've never paid or redeemed for it. I would add the right seats on the A380 in particular, and maybe 787s as well. Do&Co is now on quite a few routes on the Eastern Seaboard (including PIT it turned out) and places like HKG. The way to find out is whether you get a 3-in-1 bread roll or not - the Do&Co defined standard is network wide, but actual Do&Co provision can be identified by the roll.
I had the roll last night LHR-HKG in J, and did wonder about it! The food was indeed decent.
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Old Apr 3, 19, 7:01 am
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Originally Posted by SecondGo View Post
I had the roll last night LHR-HKG in J, and did wonder about it! The food was indeed decent.
And I flew HKG-LHR on Saturday and had the 3-in-1 roll departing HKG, so Do&Co must have a kitchen in Hong Kong too.
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Old Apr 3, 19, 7:23 am
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A week ago I was flying out of LHR T5 in F cabin. To my surprise I felt that CCR is not impressive anymore like it used to be in the past!

I felt CCR need an urgent refurbishment and upgrade to all the facilities to match other airlines F class lounges like CX and SQ and QR

Also they need to add space to the CCR as it is becoming crowded and the space is not enough to handle the increase in traffic during peak hours.
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Old Apr 3, 19, 8:11 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
That has long been my position, and though BA keeps upgrading me to First, I've never paid or redeemed for it. I would add the right seats on the A380 in particular, and maybe 787s as well. Do&Co is now on quite a few routes on the Eastern Seaboard (including PIT it turned out) and places like HKG. The way to find out is whether you get a 3-in-1 bread roll or not - the Do&Co defined standard is network wide, but actual Do&Co provision can be identified by the roll.
CWS - the 'right' CW seats on the A380 - is 59A on that list?
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