Dubai Marathon Trip - British Airways First Class (Part 13) - Running with Miles
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Dubai Marathon Trip – British Airways First Class (Part 13)

Written by Charlie

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This part will quickly cover my economy class flight from Paris to London and then will cover the British Airways first class from London to JFK.

dubai marathon trip – introduction

dubai marathon trip – cathay pacific first class (part 1)

dubai marathon trip – cathay pacific business class (part 2)

dubai marathon trip – colombo airport / serenediva hotel (part 3)

dubai marathon trip – araliya lounge / qatar airways business class (part 4)

dubai marathon trip – doha premium terminal / qatar airways first class lounge (part 5)

dubai marathon trip – dubai (part 6)

dubai marathon trip – four points sheraton sheikh zayed road (part 7)

dubai marathon trip – the dubai marathon (part 8)

dubai marathon trip – emirates first class lounge (part 9)

dubai marathon trip – emirates first class (part 10)

dubai marathon trip – paris and british airways (part 11)

dubai marathon trip – hilton paris charles de gaulle airport hotel (part 12)

 

British Airways – Paris – London

[box style=”none”] British Airways Flt # 303

Paris (CDG) – London (LHR)

Departure 7:50AM (CET) / Arrival 7:54AM (GMT) – 1 hour and 4 minutes

Plane – Airbus A320 / Seat 9C (and 9A and 9B!)[/box]

This was a fairly full flight since they moved so many people to this flight when the previous night’s flight was cancelled. They do not have a first class or business class per se on this flight – like other inter-european flights, business class is basically a blocked off middle seat and they move the curtain to accommodate the needed number of business class seats for the route. The main advantages of booking a business class ticket on an inter-european flight is for the priority access on the ground (security lines, check-in, baggage, boarding, etc) and any extra baggage you would get. You do get a better level of service in the air as well, but for such a short flight as this (1 hour), it wasn’t so important.

In my case, they had placed me in an exit row and there was no one else in it! This was nice to allow me to stretch out a bit (after all, it is kind of hard to be in economy after flying in such luxury the last couple of days!) and it was also good since my assigned seat had some parts missing from my headrest. ??? I just made mention of it to the attendants on my way out since it was not a bother to me since I had the whole row. The seats, while very thin, were quite comfortable in comparison to many domestic economy seats. The flight boarded quickly and arrived on time. What can you really say about a 1 hour flight? It was quick!

British Airways First Class

[box style=”none”] British Airways Flt # 303

Paris (CDG) – London (LHR)

Departure 7:50AM (CET) / Arrival 7:54AM (GMT) – 1 hour and 4 minutes

Plane – Airbus A320 / Seat 9C (and 9A and 9B!)[/box]

This was a fairly full flight since they moved so many people to this flight when the previous night’s flight was cancelled. They do not have a first class or business class per se on this flight – like other inter-european flights, business class is basically a blocked off middle seat and they move the curtain to accommodate the needed number of business class seats for the route. The main advantages of booking a business class ticket on an inter-european flight is for the priority access on the ground (security lines, check-in, baggage, boarding, etc) and any extra baggage you would get. You do get a better level of service in the air as well, but for such a short flight as this (1 hour), it wasn’t so important.

In my case, they had placed me in an exit row and there was no one else in it! This was nice to allow me to stretch out a bit (after all, it is kind of hard to be in economy after flying in such luxury the last couple of days!) and it was also good since my assigned seat had some parts missing from my headrest. ??? I just made mention of it to the attendants on my way out since it was not a bother to me since I had the whole row. The seats, while very thin, were quite comfortable in comparison to many domestic economy seats. The flight boarded quickly and arrived on time. What can you really say about a 1 hour flight? It was quick!

British Airways First Class

[box style=”none”] British Airways Flt # 175

London (LHR) – New York City (JFK)

Departure 10:00AM (GMT) / Arrival 12:45PM  –  7 hours and 45 minutes(EST)

Plane – Boeing 747 / Seat – 5A[/box]

London Heathrow airport is a very large airport. I had to go to another part of for my next flight so rushed through since I noticed that my original flight to JFK was running late and I wanted the chance to catch that one instead. As I mentioned in a previous part, that did not work out, but at least it made me move quickly!

I was able to go through the Fast Track security lane, though it didn’t move that much quicker than the regular line. I think that is more of a testimony to the general security line than a negative to the Fast Track line – the officials kept all lines moving so well that, even though it took a while, the lines were continuing to move.

After I reached the gate of the first flight and was told that I would not be able to get on my original flight, I went to the British Airways lounge. I would have liked to enjoy the Concorde Lounge, which is available for British Airways First Class passengers. I didn’t have the time, so just ducked in the regular British Airways lounge to grab a drink, something to eat and check my e-mail.

After a few minutes, I made my way to the gate as they began the boarding process. When I entered the plane, a flight attendant met me and asked to see my ticket. When she saw that I was in first class, she asked me to wait for a moment while she “retrieved” one of her colleagues. In a moment, another attendant came forward and showed me to my seat (which was the back row of the first class cabin). One thing about British Airways attendants – they are extremely polite. It was really neat to see how many different ways there were to say something in a proper fashion. 🙂

Another attendant came by to see what I wanted to drink and if I wanted some “bed clothes”. It didn’t matter that I had just woken up a couple of hours ago – of course, I wanted some nice British Airways first class pajamas! I went to the bathroom to change and saw an unusual site – there was a window directly behind the toilet! It made it seem a little larger and made for a nice calmness without the terrible artificial lighting in the tiny stall. 🙂

British Airways First Class

Amenity Kit and Bed Clothes

One of the nice things about traveling in a premium cabin is that you really don’t mind boarding right away. On international flights, it may be an hour after boarding before the plane begins to push back. Because it is so comfortable and relaxing, its nice to just get settled.

In contrast to the Cathay Pacific 777 first class cabin, British Airways crammed a lot of first class seats into their 747 first class cabin (14). As a result, it is a lot smaller (you can tell I was getting jaded by this time as I was thinking how “small” a first class seat is 🙂 ). The “closet” was extremely small. There wasn’t that much space to put anything (especially any type of bag. There wasn’t that much storage space in the seat area either. Where it counted – the seat itself – it was roomy enough. One of the nice things about their seats (as is the case with Cathay Pacific) is that someone can sit at the foot of the seat area (if you are traveling with someone else). There was a couple in front of me who sat together the whole flight. The attendants made up the table for two also, so it can be a really nice touch if two people are traveling together (in my case, it would have to be my wife – I’m not staring at one of my friends for that long and that close!)

British Airways First Class

Slightly less width at the foot of the seat than the others

British Airways First Class

Another view of the “seat”

 

British Airways tried to go for some of a modern, technological theme with their cabin and it looked very neat. Each seat had two windows and they had electric, blue blinds that closed. That same techno blue was on the various controls in the seat. The control for the seat was a knob as opposed to the ancient looking buttons with the diagram of the seat.

British Airways First Class

The techno knob for seat control

British Airways First Class

The blinds over my windows

British Airways First Class

A view of the first class cabin

The food was quite good (what I had of it – I was still too full from breakfast and all of the food from the day before). I really wanted to try more but couldn’t bring myself to do it (I only burn around 3,000 calories in a marathon and I couldn’t consume all that again before I got home for our family pizza party!). Here was the menu:

Starters

Loch Fyne classic smoked salmon
Warm lightly curried cauliflower mousse with sultana, pine nut, cauliflower and coriander salad
Parsnip cream soup with honey and grain mustard
Fresh seasonal salad with your choice of balsamic dressing with golden rapeseed oil or smoked salmon dressing

Main

Seared fillet of British beef with red wine and tarragon sauce, pied de mouton mushrooms, creamed leeks and fondant potatoes
Roasted Loch Fyne seabass with a crayfish, ginger and basil sauce, baby spinach and saffron potatoes
Breast of Gressingham duck with braised kohlrabi, parsnip mash and caramelised apple and parsley sauce
Lamb kibbeh salad with tabbouleh and yogurt and mint dressing
 

This was just the dining portion of the menu. They had some very nice dessert and cheese offerings as well. I did end up having a fruit plate and salad. All of it was very tasty, including the garlic bread that tasted very fresh and flavorful.

British Airways First Class

My salad and fruit plate

After I ate and got some work done, I asked for the bed to be made up (I needed a couple of hours so I would be back on NY time). It was very comfortable and I was able to sleep quite well for a couple of hours. They do put a mattress over top along with a duvet. If I had not just woken up a few hours before, I would easily have been able to sleep for most of the flight.

British Airways First Class

My made up bed

 

Summary:

I had heard many great things about British Airways First Class and had been looking forward to trying it out. It was missing some of the things that I had enjoyed on Cathay and Emirates but you cannot beat British hospitality and courtesy. I found the service to be excellent. The food was very good, the seat was comfortable, and everything else about the flight was enjoyable. I did really appreciate my first British Airways First Class flight and would gladly fly it again!

 

 

Editorial Note - Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

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About the author

Charlie

Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.

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