Flight Review: BA268, First Class on Friday, February 19, 2016
I got unlucky and lucky in the same day. When I went to check in at SFO they were oversold and needed to move business class customers off of flight BA286. Since no one was volunteering, I was unluckily “selected” – but luckily upgraded to take the journey in first class instead, on a newer A380 out of Los Angeles.
The first class one world lounge in LAX is run by Qantas. I didn’t have a lot of time before my flight boarded, so I could only grab a quick drink and a soup in the sit down restaurant before it was time to head to the gate. The lounge was nice, but no where near the quality you’d find in the Pier or Wing first class Cathay lounges in Hong Kong.
I was incredibly curious as to how the first class seat is better than the business class one on British Airways. A number of things: it’s much more private, there is a duvet with full turn down service, pajamas (yay!), and flight attendants that don’t make you wait for anything! The service was truly excellent. I didn’t have to wait long for service, and they even made my bed when I got up to use the restroom after dinner. The bed was super comfy and it was nice to stretch out and sleep on an actual duvet instead of directly on the seat. The pillow was nice and puffy too.
Ok – so they have a tasting menu! A real, life tasting menu in the air! Unfortunately, I don’t eat meat other than chicken so I couldn’t partake in the whole menu. I did ask if they would let me have the red and golden endive starter (if there were any left overs) with the a-la carte selections I made for dinner.
I started with the amuse bouche – which was a panna-cotta like goat cheese, honey, walnuts and figs. Yum!
Then came the endive salad, which actually turned out to be a bit of a disappointment. Overall, the blue cheese and mushrooms with the bitter endive wasn’t well balanced and felt to earthy. I sort of regretted asking for it as a favor, but it was nice that the flight attendants were able to get me squared away. Then came the tomato tart starter – it was terrible: really dry, tasteless, nearly inedible. I had a bite and then just sent it back. I selected the chicken roulade for dinner – it was ok, not too dry, but not as good as the amuse bouche.
I was so tired after dinner (the flight had been delayed about 1 hour) and pretty full, I passed on dessert.
I woke up about 7 hours later, hungry for breakfast. I picked the omelette and a raspberry danish. Raspberry danish was delicious – I wish I had one more! The omelette was exactly what you’d expect – nothing special but not awful either. Unlike any other class of service, in First Class there is no disclaimer stating “Apologies if your selection isn’t available”. It’s nice to get exactly what you want.
The nice thing about being on the British Airways A380 is that the entertainment system is upgraded compared to the 747’s. There was a decent selection of movies and a number of sitcoms and boxed sets – enough variety to stay engaged on the flight if you planned to not sleep.
It’s definitely better than business class – but I’m not sure I’d pay for first class over business class on British Airways, even on an A380. But it’s a great option if you get comp’ed or looking for an opportunity to use miles.
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