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British Airways Business Class London to New York Trip Report – Boeing 747-400

20th December 2015
British Airways Flight 113
Depart : London (LHR)
Arrive : New York (JFK)
Departure time : 11:20am (Actual 11:41am)
Arrival Time : 2:04pm (Actual 2:02pm)
Boeing 747-400
Seat : 14A
Flight Time 7h 21m
Meal Service : Lunch & Afternoon Tea

Today we would be Flying British Airways from London to New York on one of their 747’s. We would be flying in the Club world cabin on a high J configuration 747. The high J 747’s have 70 club world seats compared to the usual 52 that you find on a 747 with BA. Even though there are more seats the cabin is split into three sections. You have 20 seats on the upper deck, 18 seats in a mini cabin where premium economy normally is and then the rest of the club world seats in the usual large middle section cabin.

As it was Christmas time we arrived at London Heathrow with plenty of time to spare for the large lines and this would also give us some time to check out the lounges.

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Terminal 5 was pretty busy and we wasted no time and proceeded to the club world check in at the far side of terminal 5. To our surprise there was a fairly significant line at the club world check in area.

The wait for check in took about 15 minutes and we soon had our boarding passes and then proceeded to the security line, Terminal 5 had a nice Christmas tree just before the security lines.

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Security was quick, though when being met with the large lines it looked like it might take a while, but the entire process probably took about ten minutes.

After security we decided to try the Galleries North lounge

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The North lounge was packed, so packed we decided to just grab a cup of coffee and then leave the lounge, I only snapped a few pictures from the lounge, but it was fairly disappointing for a business class lounge.

View from North Lounge

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We decided to try out the lounge that was located near out gate, thankfully there is a galleries lounge located at the remote B gate terminal that is just a short train ride away.

 Thankfully this lounge had a lot more space and very few people, so we decided to spend our time here. One thing did surprise me was that even though this was a business class lounge there was not a drop of champagne in sight, yes there was plenty of wine, but that was it.

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After spending some time in the lounge it was our time to board our flight, so we decided to head down to the gate.

I was able to snap a picture of our plane for today’s flight

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Boarding was called on time, with First class passengers being called first, and followed by Club world flyers and One world elite card holders.

Today I had picked out seat 14A which is a window seat, I had picked this seat specifically because it was in the smaller club world cabin and I wanted to enjoy the experience more in a smaller, more private cabin.

I was lucky enough to turn left when entering the plane and found myself in the smaller cabin. The other great thing about this cabin is that it is located behind First class, and in front of the other Business class cabin, so the foot traffic in the cabin is very low. Also when the plane is boarding everyone from Economy does not have to walk past you towards the back of the plane.

From seat guru you can see the location of the cabin

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Seat 14A is marked yellow on seat guru for a pointless reason.
They list that it is close to the toilet and might be bothersome to some. Well on our 7 hour flight I probably noticed about two people use this toilet, the reason being, the club world section behind has two toilets at the front of its cabin and the first class cabin has two toilets ahead of you. So no one really uses the bathroom near seat 14A.

The other BIG factor that seat guru fails to mention is that 14A is one of the only window seats on the plane that has direct Aisle access. You don’t have to step over the person in the aisle if their seat is reclined or if they are sleeping. I had this problem on the A380 on our flight over and even though it does not sound like much of an issue, trust me it is, trying to step over a really wide seat with someone sleeping below you can be fairly tricky. So in my view seat 14A is one of the best seats in club world.

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I relaxed into my seat and the friendly crew came by and I wished them a Merry Christmas and we had a chat about the aircraft and the A380 which was a great experience. We were then offered our pre departure drink and I picked champagne.

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It was nice to have a few windows to look our during the flight

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I do love the Boeing 747-400, it is still one of my favorite airplanes in the world, but apart from the -800 of which only a few have been made, the planes are finally starting to show their age. Don’t get me wrong the cabin was very clean, but you can’t hide the yellow aging that happens to planes. This 747 was also fitted with BA’s older in flight entertainment system, a smaller screen with more glare can be annoying, and it is definitely not great if comparing to the newer system they have on their newer planes, but for this flight I was happy with it.

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Before push back I checked over or menu for today and the following was available, I did take some Menu photos but they turned our blurry.

I marked in RED what I picked to eat,

Starters
Seared king prawns with avocado & marinated aubergine
Buffalo mozzarella with oven roasted tomatoes and basil pesto

Both options served with fresh seasonal salad

Mains
Slow braised beef steak with roasted potatoes and vegetables
Tandoori style chicken with Rice and Broccoli
Pasta with pumpkin filling

Desert
Passion fruit and vanilla cheesecake
Warm apricot ginger pudding
Cheddar and brie cheese plate with crackers
A selection of fruit

After reading the menu the captain gave an announcement that our flying time would be around seven hours and that after clearing UK airspace we would be in for a fairly smooth ride today and that maybe the last hour might have a few bumps coming into the US.

We then pushed back and made our taxi to the runway, in the usual LHR style this took around 20 minutes to make our way to the runway from terminal 5, we passed the star alliance terminal on the way

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And then we passed Concorde

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We then lined up for take off, the one thing I do find interesting when flying BA club world in a window seat is that you face backwards the entire time, and I still find it a strange feeling when taking off.

Take off was pretty quick and we passed through a few layers of cloud cover

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We soon cleared the clouds to wonderful blue sky

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Shortly after reaching cruise altitude I checked out the amenity kit

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It contained the usual items, eye mask, ear plugs, toothbrush, toothpaste, hand cream, body lotion and some socks.
I still find a few of these items fairly pointless, but nevermind

The crew than started the drinks service, BA still has a fairly limited choice for Champagne in Business class

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Even though Tattinger is the better champagne, I wanted to give the rose a try, and asked for a glass, it being Christmas and the crew being so friendly, they asked if I just wanted a full bottle and that way would not need to ask for another glass, I was more than willing to do that.

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It was then time for lunch and I was served my starter

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I really enjoyed the cold started, the mozzarella tasted good and the pesto was great, the side salad was fairly dull, but then again it is just salad.

After my plate has been cleared I was handed my main, the other bad design on the BA seats is the crew have to serve you from either the end of your seat, or through the divider between you and the passenger next to you.

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My main course was fantastic and really tasty, this was probably the first time in a long time I ate the entire main meal that was handed to me.

After clearing my plate, I took a look at the map and we were just under Iceland

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At this point we had been hitting a fairly strong headwind, despite this the flight was still incredible smooth

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I then finished with the passion fruit cheese cake and the cheese plate, I do love cheese

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The cheese cake was very tasty. The cheese plate however was a little bland and I could have used a few more crackers with the dish.

After the meal service was complete I took a quick walk around the plane to stretch my legs and view the other cabins
I checked out the upper deck and then the economy cabin.

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I then reclined my seat and had some snacks and watched some TV shows

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Even though the Club World seats on British airways can be a bit awkward when facing a random passenger you don’t know, they can be fun when flying with someone you do know as you can talk to them with ease and don’t have to turn you neck a lot.

The club world seat is fairly wide and rather comfortable when reclined into the flat-bed position, the one thing it could use is a mattress pad to make it a bit more comfortable.

After watching a few shows and gazing out of the window for a few hours I checked the map again and we had just over one hour and thirty minutes to go.

The crew then started to come around to offer the afternoon tea service

Afternoon tea consisted of a few small sandwiches and cakes served with a warm scone and clotted cream and jam, all served up with a cup of tea which I can honestly say I really enjoyed.

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I know people compare British Airways to other airlines and say that the seat and service on board is terrible, but I honestly think it all comes down to the crew you have on the flight and the experience they provide. This flight is probably one of the best business class flights I’ve been on in a few years with a great crew who did not bother me that much, but were attentive to just the right level.

The entire flight across the Atlantic was also incredible smooth, not one bump at all and clear blue skies the entire way making for a completely relaxing experience.

We touched down at JFK in good time and made our way to our gate and passed another BA 747

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It was a wonderful sunny yet crisp day and New York and I was looking forward to enjoying the rest of the day.

Overall a very very god flight from British Airways

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One Comment on “British Airways Business Class London to New York Trip Report – Boeing 747-400”

  1. aeparker81 December 29, 2015 at 9:00 pm #

    The champagne is on request in the business lounges, no idea why it is still like this but now you know you won’t miss out!! I guess it is because the lounges are so busy that they don’t leave it out… B gate is definitely the nicest lounge, I always breathe a sigh of relief when my flights from B or C!!

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