Hiya from Chicago, as I simply completed my wild evaluation journey, after flying British Airways’ Airbus A380 first-class from London to Chicago.
Whereas I’ll have a full journey report quickly, on this submit I needed to share my preliminary impressions of the expertise on this eight hour daytime flight. Some could do not forget that earlier this yr, I flew British Airways’ new 777 first-class, and it was a fairly dangerous expertise. By comparability, my impression of this flight was largely favorable.
The A380 first-class laborious product may undoubtedly use a refresh (particularly with tech), however the meals was tasty, the facilities have been good, and the service was effectively intentioned and pleasant.
British Airways’ A380 first-class seat is comfy however outdated
Very similar to on Qantas, British Airways has first-class on the decrease deck of the Airbus A380. The cabin is sort of giant, with 14 seats, unfold throughout 4 rows in a 1-2-1 configuration.
Whereas there are advantages to being on the higher deck, there are additionally advantages to being on the decrease deck, together with the considerably wider fuselage, which makes the cabin really feel extra spacious.
British Airways’ A380 first-class seats have a well-recognized design. They’re much like the service’s outdated first-class seats, however with a bit more room, although don’t have the upgraded tech you’ll discover on the 787s and up to date 777s.
I feel the largest draw back to the seat was the outdated inflight leisure system, which was moderately low definition, and never very responsive. Then once more, it’s no worse than Lufthansa’s A380 first-class leisure choice.
I additionally respect how British Airways has Wi-Fi on all of its Airbus A380s these days, and it’s even free for first-class passengers.
British Airways’ first-class facilities are nice
British Airways has very good facilities in first-class. The amenity package needs to be one of the crucial densely packed ones on the market, with Elemis skincare merchandise, plus all of the fundamentals, from eyeshades to earplugs.
British Airways additionally has very good pajamas in first-class, in addition to sturdy and comfy slippers.
British Airways’ first-class meal service is tasty
On this flight, lunch was served after takeoff, whereas afternoon tea was served earlier than touchdown. If you will get over the shortage of caviar in first-class, British Airways has a fairly aggressive meal service. I respect the number of dishes obtainable, because the airline has fairly an in depth choice of appetizers and major programs to select from.
The principle meal service started with some canapés, together with bresaola with melon, smoked salmon with cream cheese and cucumber, and crimson pepper roulade and goat cheese. Whereas British Airways’ normal first-class champagne is the respectable Laurent Perrier Grand Siecle, I made a decision to combine issues up and take a look at the service’s featured English glowing wine, which was the 2018 Hattingley Valley Blanc de Noirs Brut.
I then had a carrot and ginger soup with a ricotta croquette, which was flavorful.
Subsequent up was smoked salmon with wasabi dressing and avocado.
For the principle course, I chosen the pasta choice, which was a ricotta ravioli with kale, asparagus, and peas.
Lastly for dessert, I ordered the Christmas choice, which was the chocolate yuletide log.
Earlier than touchdown, there was a day tea service, which was after all tasty.
All-in-all, the meals on this flight was fairly good. I appreciated that not like on my final British Airways first-class flight, some effort was put into the presentation.
British Airways’ first-class service was effectively intentioned
The service on this on this flight was higher than the service that I’ve had on latest British Airways first-class flights. The customer support supervisor was pleasant and greeted every passenger upon boarding and previous to deplaning, whereas the flight attendant working my aisle was additionally variety and effectively intentioned.
I also needs to point out that this British Airways A380 flight was actually empty — there have been a complete of below 175 passengers, with seven of the 14 first-class seats taken. Regardless of the sunshine load, service didn’t really feel significantly attentive or polished.
For instance, after the preliminary service of canapés, it took practically an hour for the starter to be served, and that leisurely tempo didn’t appear to be intentional (within the sense that there wasn’t a relentless test to see if folks needed drink refills). Equally, with the pre-arrival snack, I requested for a cappuccino as my drink, and that ended up exhibiting up quarter-hour later, after I had completed the meals.
I simply discovered that puzzling when the cabin was solely half full, as a result of I ponder how gradual service would have been if the cabin have been truly full. There was a flight attendant working every aisle, in order that they every had three to 4 folks to care for.
In the end I feel it simply comes all the way down to being reasonable with benchmarking service. British Airways affords service that’s extra in step with what you’d get on a US service than what you’d get on an Asian service. And that largely comes all the way down to how traditionally British Airways hasn’t specifically educated crews working first-class, although it’s my understanding that that is beginning to change.
I’d say service was higher than what I’d anticipate in American Airways first-class, however that’s about it. I’ve discovered service to be higher in first-class on Air France, Lufthansa, and SWISS, and on nearly any Asian airline.
Simply for instance, whenever you fly Singapore Airways first-class, they’ll principally refresh the bathroom after each use, fold the bathroom paper into an ideal triangle, and so forth. In the meantime in British Airways first-class, they’ll simply put an additional roll of bathroom paper on the counter at the start of the flight, and hope for the very best. 😉
My British Airways A380 first-class flight was fairly good. The seats are comfy (although are undoubtedly exhibiting their age), the facilities are good, the meals was good, and the service was pleasant.
Nonetheless, this additionally isn’t a globally aggressive first-class product. The A380 is unquestionably exhibiting its age, and the service degree on British Airways isn’t corresponding to what you’ll discover on the earth’s prime first-class merchandise. However that’s additionally completely truthful.
British Airways’ promoting level is that the airline affords an enormous community out of one of many world’s most profitable, slot managed markets. It’s not like there’s a extra comfy strategy to fly nearly anyplace throughout the Atlantic in first-class. So for British Airways, “adequate” does the trick, and the airline appears to embrace that actuality.
What do you make of British Airways’ A380 first-class?