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British Airways First Class and a 9 seater in Costa Rica w/pics

British Airways First Class and a 9 seater in Costa Rica w/pics

Old Sep 7, 10, 11:07 am
  #16  
 
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Originally Posted by baggageinhall View Post
Comparison

I've now flown First Class on BA (747), Swiss (A332 and A340), Singapore Airlines (747), Lufthansa (747) and Thai (747). In my limited experience, here is how I would rank the various facets of their First Class product. Whilst I appreciate that the sample size is small, there is something to be said for First Class delivering consistently.

Lounges
1. Thai Royal First Lounge, Bangkok. Massive, spacious, quiet, top notch food and drink.
2. The Concorde Room, Heathrow.
3. The Lufthansa First Class Terminal, Frankfurt. Excellent food and drink complimented by a very well stocked bar.
4. Swiss First Class Lounge, Zurich. A little disjointed and industrial
Many thanks for your entertaining trip report. How owould you rate the Singapore Airlines lounge in your list?
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Old Sep 7, 10, 12:30 pm
  #17  
 
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Good report.

The Fog's Head Chardonnay listed on the outbound wine list can also be found in the Galleries Club lounge at T3 and retails for about $10 a bottle.

Not acceptable for a F wine IMHO.
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Old Sep 7, 10, 1:00 pm
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Superb report :-: - thank you! ^
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Old Sep 7, 10, 2:40 pm
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Great Trip Report. Fantastic pictures, spot-on comments
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Old Sep 7, 10, 3:52 pm
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Thanks for the report.

I was surprised to see that you ranked TCR over the FCL with LH. I can't see it! The Do & Co food is much better quality at the FCL, with a much better selection, and TCR at LHR is often too crowded and noisy.

BA's F meals just do not look appetising. They've been going downhill for a few years. They need to improve the presentation of their meals as well, and their wine list. A $10 a bottle of wine in F is beyond ridiculous (how much do they want for that seat?). And as for the old tatty seats with the 14 inches of space for the feet in the "bed" position, well............they're past it. Even the new seats they chose do not come with much additional space over the old (well, at least the armrests come down now), still with the same number of seats in the nose of the 747.
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Old Sep 7, 10, 4:43 pm
  #21  
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Originally Posted by mkjr View Post
Very nice read. Enjoyed all of it. Too bad that it cost you more miles in the end. They could have been put to good use. I love the comment that your wife is now going to be more diligent about using her CC for everything....my wife has not used cash for months...
Originally Posted by jlsw7 View Post
Lovely trip report. Thanks for putting in the effort to share this.
Originally Posted by QF Lad View Post
What an interesting and detailed trip report.

It is a real pleasure to read a piece of writing by someone who writes so well.
Originally Posted by jlemon View Post
Superb report :-: - thank you! ^
Originally Posted by palermo View Post
Great Trip Report. Fantastic pictures, spot-on comments
Thanks everyone for the kind comments.

Originally Posted by Betteronacamel View Post
Thank you BiH.

Mind boggling that after all this time that they can't present something as simple as a steak that's edible; once upon a time it was a fillet of beef carved on a trolley, but if they persistently can't provide a decent, basic steak, why are they bothering? BA, bear in mind that passengers in F are potentially paying $ 000s. Pathetic

I've only seen the laminated F seat plans at SFO which I thought was quite a nice touch.

I don't entirely get the whole 'amuse bouche' thing. Being BA it is obviously a cost cutting thing over the previous canape 'selection' of 3 items. At least with 3 small items there was a chance that non-seafood, vegetarians etc etc might actually get something they could enjoy. This way it is 'take it, or leave it' with a high chance that many passengers just don't want what's thrust at them (and who wants to eat with a plastic spoon?)

I am going to start a campaign to bring back a tray of various canapes that are passed around with drinks after take-off so that passengers can actually choose what suits them.

Great report that just about sums it up for BA F which can be described as a Curate's Egg. Saw the news about Jancis Robinson - watching from here to see if there is a further descent in quality in the wines, which IME have tended to be a high point on BA. We can't afford to splash out willy nilly on F travel; we enjoyed LX recently and will probably keep a watch on BA to see if we can get the new F cabin but will stay away unless we hear that ground handling and Food/Beverage are enhanced (in the true meaning of the word).

MIA - the pits
A little money spent on better food and wine would perhaps paper over some of the other cracks.

Originally Posted by NickB View Post
Thanks for the report, BIH. Did you enjoy the flight to Quepos? I know the novelty would wear off quite quickly but I really enjoyed it compared to the more plastic experience of ordinary commercial flights. You really get a sense that you are flying in those wee planes...
That sums it up neatly. It feels like flying in its purest form. I really enjoyed the flight and would actively seek out an opportunity to do something similar again.

Originally Posted by GodAtum View Post
Many thanks for your entertaining trip report. How owould you rate the Singapore Airlines lounge in your list?
Well spotted. I left SQ off the list as the sector I did was JFK-FRA and so I experienced the VS Clubhouse rather than an SQ lounge.

Originally Posted by BahrainLad View Post
Good report.

The Fog's Head Chardonnay listed on the outbound wine list can also be found in the Galleries Club lounge at T3 and retails for about $10 a bottle.

Not acceptable for a F wine IMHO.
It's not acceptable as an F wine but it was one of the better ones on the list and actually quite drinkable.

Originally Posted by Flyingfox View Post
Thanks for the report.

I was surprised to see that you ranked TCR over the FCL with LH. I can't see it! The Do & Co food is much better quality at the FCL, with a much better selection, and TCR at LHR is often too crowded and noisy.

BA's F meals just do not look appetising. They've been going downhill for a few years. They need to improve the presentation of their meals as well, and their wine list. A $10 a bottle of wine in F is beyond ridiculous (how much do they want for that seat?). And as for the old tatty seats with the 14 inches of space for the feet in the "bed" position, well............they're past it. Even the new seats they chose do not come with much additional space over the old (well, at least the armrests come down now), still with the same number of seats in the nose of the 747.
I did waver between the CCR and the FCT. In retrospect, I didn't like being so isolated in the FCT and not having the option of wondering around the terminal if I wanted to. In addition, the CCR was quiet when I visited whereas the FCT was packed. There were a few cultural differences too. The FCT's absolute lack of English reading material when I visited was irksome, as was the attitude of some of the staff who fawned over middle aged German men and ignored anyone else. The CCR may not be some people's cup of tea, but it is mine.

In respect of the seat, I didn't find any issue with it coming to a point at the end but then I suspect that very much depends on your height and sleeping position.
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Old Sep 7, 10, 4:57 pm
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Thanks for a fantastic trip report, particularly relevant to me as I am making my F debut on a 241, with Mrs B, in October on LHR-MIA.
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Old Sep 7, 10, 6:11 pm
  #23  
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Great Trip Report! BA first is something on my list of things I want to do.

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Old Sep 7, 10, 8:17 pm
  #24  
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Originally Posted by baggageinhall View Post
I didn't like being so isolated in the FCT and not having the option of wondering around the terminal if I wanted to.
The alternative would be the FCL, with the same facilities as the FCT (minus the car to the plane, depending on where the flight leaves from) but, as it is inside the main terminal, you can still wander around.
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Old Sep 7, 10, 11:08 pm
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Geat report, thanks for sharing!

I did seem to have missed the pictures from the inflight catering on your
SJO-XQP-SJO leg

Will be following your blog as well, so keep the stories coming!
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Old Sep 8, 10, 3:48 am
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Great report. Good detail.

It also annoys me when food in F is mediocre. I usually fly EK F. Their menu's are a lot more extensive then BA F, but the food is always a hit and miss.
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Old Sep 8, 10, 6:31 am
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Fantastic report! Great read. ^
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Old Sep 8, 10, 8:02 am
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Thanks for a great report!

Originally Posted by baggageinhall View Post

Lounges
1. Thai Royal First Lounge, Bangkok. Massive, spacious, quiet, top notch food and drink.
2. The Concorde Room, Heathrow.
3. The Lufthansa First Class Terminal, Frankfurt. Excellent food and drink complimented by a very well stocked bar.
These three lounges are some of the best in the world at the moment. While there isn't too much between them each one has its points of distinction.

1. The Lufthansa First Class Terminal, Frankfurt.

No lines guaranteed with private Immigration/security screening staff and tarmac transfers to the plane is just brilliant. A personal assistant so you never have to worry about missing your flight (or which gate your plane is at) round out a ground handling offering every bit as good as TG in BKK.

Obviously, the famous LH FCT rubber duckie (and novelty of taking a bath at an airport) gets bonus points! As does being able to get some quality sleep in a blissfully silent slumber room (I managed 3+ hours during a long layover).

2. The Concorde Room, Heathrow.

Small details like the Concorde office chairs in The Boardroom and bowls of fresh strawberries (how British!) add to the 'specialness' of this lounge. The airy terrace area with a nice view of the apron, private Cabanas and complimentary treatments at the Elemis spa are also notable.

While the back and neck massage was only 15 minutes long, it was really good (and more effective than the hour-long massage below).

3. Thai Royal First Lounge, Bangkok.

Outstanding ground service with buggy transfer from gate to lounge (and back if you are transiting). Plus the complimentary hour-long massage at the Royal Orchid Spa.

Bang & Olufsen televisions are a nice touch.
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Old Sep 8, 10, 9:08 am
  #29  
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Originally Posted by botham View Post
Thanks for a fantastic trip report, particularly relevant to me as I am making my F debut on a 241, with Mrs B, in October on LHR-MIA.
Enjoy! If I flew the route again, I would definitely take the later flight to Miami (as we did) but I would be tempted to take the earlier flight back if you want to eat at a leisurely pace and enjoy a glass or two.

Originally Posted by Delta747 View Post
Great Trip Report! BA first is something on my list of things I want to do.

Delta747
Thanks!

Originally Posted by NickB View Post
The alternative would be the FCL, with the same facilities as the FCT (minus the car to the plane, depending on where the flight leaves from) but, as it is inside the main terminal, you can still wander around.
True. That was my only trip on LH F via FRA and so I followed the hype and went to the FCT. I wouldn't bother next time.

Originally Posted by kglavimans View Post
Geat report, thanks for sharing!

I did seem to have missed the pictures from the inflight catering on your
SJO-XQP-SJO leg

Will be following your blog as well, so keep the stories coming!
Thanks. I didn't think you would want to see a pic of a Diet Coke bottle! I'm aiming to update the blog weekly from now on so keep reading.

Originally Posted by roadwarriorafrica View Post
Great report. Good detail.

It also annoys me when food in F is mediocre. I usually fly EK F. Their menu's are a lot more extensive then BA F, but the food is always a hit and miss.
Thanks. I've flow EK J and the food was very hit and miss ranging from okay to very poor.

Originally Posted by sobore View Post
Fantastic report! Great read. ^
Very kind, thanks.
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Old Sep 8, 10, 9:12 am
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Coathanger View Post
Thanks for a great report!
These three lounges are some of the best in the world at the moment. While there isn't too much between them each one has its points of distinction.
Many thanks for the compliment and your own analysis of those three lounges.
Out of interest, is that how you rank them; 1. LH FCT, 2. BA CCR, 3. TG RFL

In my ranking, I've ignored transfers to/from the aircraft but I suspect others will consider that part of the lounge experience.

For completeness I ought to add that I've also been to the Wing at HKG which I thought was nice but nothing special.
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