These past few days I went to Barcelona to visit a few schools. Well honestly I also went becasue it was an excuse to hop on a plane. Anyway I decided to book a roundtrip flight to London from New York with AAdvantage miles and then pay cash for a roundtrip flight from London to Barcelona. I did this becasue I wanted to fly through London and award availability was a bit tricky by the time I got around to booking.
I was booked on the 8am morning flight to London. The checkin process was a breeze as they have a fancy dedicated first class check in area. The downside, however, was that the dedicated security lane was closed due to the fact that there are few morning departures. As you can see below those were the lines for security screening. Also no TSA Precheck with BA as of yet.
Once through security though I headed to the Concorde Room, which is British Airways first class lounge that is only available for British Airways First Class passengers and not other OneWorld first class or emerald members. JFK is the only Concorde Room other than the London Heathrow T5 location. This Concorde Room isn’t as nice by a long shot although the restaurant style dining was very nice and high quality food, breakfast at least.
I ordered the breakfast sandwich and a cappuccino. Both were very good. All in all I found the Concorde Room to be very adequate and I assume it never fills up as there aren’t that many first class passengers on each plane even if they have a flight leaving every hour in the afternoon/evening I doubt it’s ever crowded.
I made my way to the gate about 5 min before t=boarding was scheduled. When I arrived there was a chaotic ‘line’ of all passengers jostling to get to the pole position (very unlike my past experiences with British). Anyway when boarding commenced there were many group 5 passengers towards the front that just ended up clogging the lanes. Anyway lol.
Once we were airborne the breakfast service began. I choose the full english becasue after all that has to be my favorite breakfast in the world. Proper bacon (nicely browned pork belly not overly charred to the point of charcoal American style bacon), sausage, eggs, tomato, mushrooms. This plate was, however, missing the baked beans and the black pudding and the eggs were horrible. That being said I ate most of it and since I had just had a first breakfast in the lounge I was thoroughly stuffed.
As much as I love British Airways first class becasue it was the first one I flew. I understand that in reality it has fallen so far behind the curve. They cram in 14 seats in the nose of the plane. In comparison Lufthansa has 8 seats in the same space. And I’m not even comparing to the Eastern Airlines whose first classes are in another league entirely. All for comparable prices of course.
I choose the day time flight to see if I stayed awake the whole flight and then go to sleep asap in London, if the jet lag could be significantly reduced. The jury is still out on this one. I think it could work if London were my final destination but my morning flight to Barcelona kinda killed any gains I would have made.
I really do love the tea service on British. Every time you order a cup of tea they bring a fresh whole pot of tea for you with cream (sugar only if you ask).
British Airways hands out a pair of pajamas and a amenity kit which is well stocked with all the essentials.
I think that British Airways first class is just a small step above AA herringbone business class. The service is definitely better but the seat isn’t really. So you really have to decide how much you value all the little things. Transatlantic flights currently have world class business class options and decidedly sub par first class options. If British doesn’t up their game then the AA business class will cannibalize all the first class options. I’m going to make a more concerted effort to fly Singapore and Emirates on their transatlantic flights. From JFK to Frankfurt and Milan respectively.