Following up from my experience at British Airways' Galleries First Lounge (which you can read here), I was more than ready to get on the road with my first first-class intercontinental flight on British Airways' BA292 777-200 flight from Washington DC (IAD) to London-Heathrow (LHR).
The Round-the-World Series
- The Kickoff
- The Bookening
- The Lodging
- The Pre-Departurening
- British Airways Galleries First Lounge
- British Airways BA292 777-200 IAD-LHR First Class
So, as I said in my last review. Posh. Wow.
The 777-200ER is a four-class cabin, with 14 first class suites with lay-flat beds, 48 club world (business class) lay-flat seats, 40 world traveller plus (comfort plus) seats, and 122 world traveller (coach) seats.
I was lucky enough to be seated in 3K, which is a window seat. The first class lounge boards via its own gangway, so it was just me and my 13 other companions waiting in line for boarding to begin.
As we entered the aircraft, I was greeted by the first class purser and the flight attendants who showed me to my seat.
It really should be noted that during boarding, this was playing:
Can you get any more stereotypical? I loved it.
The first class cabin is set up in a reverse herringbone pattern, so if you're in a window seat you have a little privacy from your neighbors next door. If you're seated in the middle, the seats are turned towards each other, but there is a sliding divider to allow you to interact with your neighbor (or not!).
The seat was fitted with outlets of both US and UK varieties (as well as straight USB adapters, which I appreciated).
I have to say, the whole thing was very slick, but I took (probably too much) pleasure in the window blinds.
The flight attendants offered pre-departure drinks or tea, and I gladly took a champagne (which I needed after my two connecting flights).
Before too long the other cabins had finished boarding and we pushed back from the gate.
I have to say, the 777-200ER was a little whiney on takeoff, but after we reached cruising altitude, it was as quiet as could be expected.
The cabin crew came around again to introduce themselves again, and greet me by name (and again, I'm really impressed... though they had to check on my last name's pronunciation...) and go over the flight.
Though it was a short flight (7h15m) and takeoff was very late (10:24pm), they still offered dinner options. Unfortunately I was quite stuffed from the lounge, but I did take another champagne and a hot chocolate (my sinuses were a little raw from the Kansas City fall).
I also ordered breakfast, french toast with berry compote, for morning as we got close to LHR.
Not having any experience with first class, I was a bit uncomfortable with the routine for asking for turn-down service, but the flight attendant offered to do it while I waited for my hot chocolate and cookie.
I forgot to get a picture of the bed all made up, but I was surprised at the length of the lie-flat bed. At 6'3", I had no issues fitting on the bed without having to scrunch up. I started watching a movie (Magic Mike XXL... which was disappointingly kind of a snooze-fest) and eventually just turned it off to try to sleep.
I expected to have a hard time sleeping, as I don't normally sleep on planes, but within a few minutes I was asleep and next thing I knew I was being woken up to let me know that we would be landing shortly and whether I would like my french toast.
For what was essentially a recliner and a fold-out coach on a flying metal tube, I slept very peacefully. Color me surprised.
The french toast was just okay, but I still wasn't particularly hungry anyway. Shortly we were coming in for a landing on the LHR tarmac and my all-too-short first first-class experience was at an end.
The first class experience had one final perk, and that was expedited security screening for my onward journey to Paris-Orly. Unfortunately that flight only has business-class cabins, but I'll include that in my other write-ups.
All in all, the experience was incredible, although I have very little to compare it to. The flight attendants and ground crew took great care to ensure I didn't want for anything, but couldn't grant my real wish that it wasn't over quite yet :(
Next I'll be writing up my review of Etihad's A380 Apartment Suites. I'm super excited.