Hi, let me show you my journey back to the Uk with British Airways. This time I'm travelling with my father who had to go to London for business. Since our dates were similar, we decided to fly together.
Checked in online and was pleasantly surprised that my mobile boarding pass was showing seat 4G rather than than 44H (well, not quite but I had a window on the bulkhead in World traveller plus). Checked the seat. Checked the seat map and it seemed I had indeed been upgraded. Score!
However, there was an issue here. My dad who was on a different PNR was still in world traveller plus. I checked again multiple times throughout the next day in hope of that his seat changed for something up front, but that didn’t happen. I tried upgrading him online but wasn’t possible. The BA contact centre wasn’t picking up the phone and never got a reply back from them on twitter. Talk about how anxious I can be when it comes to travel! Oh well, we agreed that he was going to try and upgrade at the airport, otherwise I would logically give him my seat.
We ended up leaving for the airport extra early since I wanted to sort this upgrade thing as soon as possible. BA counters were full of people checking in the economy line (and the line seemed to progressively grow as we checked in), however the Club line was empty with just one couple ahead of us. We were checked by an extremely nice and helpful agent which sure knew how to do his job. He confirmed that my upgrade had been assigned in London given that I got it quite in advance and he was able to sell an upgrade to my father which he ended up purchasing. There were a few empty seats in Club so he asked me to take a look at the seat map on his screen to choose our seats. There were some seats together, however there were all in the middle section. I ended up choosing the pair of seats in row 4, which ended up being a smart choice as you will see later on. He gave me a lounge invite remarking that I had access thanks to my Silver status rather than for the fact that I was flying Club. He stated that I could go to either of the two contract lounges in the international section of the airport but that he recommended we go to the Sumaq lounge. I’m being honest here, he made me feel that my “loyalty” was appreciated and pleased that I was flying with them this evening.
Off to security which was a bit packed but immigration was empty. I assume it would later fill up from all of those people that were still checking in for the bunch of Europe bound departures (LA and IB to MAD and KL to AMS aside from our flight).
Then it was off to the lounge passing through the obligatory duty free maze. Out of all the things the airport concessionaire could have done to speed things up or improve the airport experience with the limited infrastructure available at the moment, they chose to expand the duty free section. Really smart, heh!
Some pictures of the terminal before 6pm. Not much going on except some LA short hauls, a Sky and a Latin American Wings couple of flights to Santiago.
The Sumaq lounge was packed to the grills however my father would rather still go there rather than the lounge next door since he think that one its awful and decorated to very bad taste, oh well! There were only seats available in the outdoor section so we stayed there for a while until some seats opened up in the main part of the lounge.
Food options are really basic limited to crisps, nuts, some sad looking pastries and you are really lucky if you are able to grab some stale looking sandwiches they put from time to time.
I had a small snack since was hoping to grab dinner on the plane. We left the lounge a bit earlier than we had to, so that we could stretch our legs before the long flight.
The gate area did not feel packed at all despite the flight being overbooked in economy. We were among the first to board and it seemed that all the elites had been bumped up since there was no call for frequent flyers below emerald.
We were left standing for ages in the finger since the crew was not ready to authorize boarding, and guess what everyone did? Yes, trash talk about BA and all the disappointed experiences they’ve had with them lately. One guy was saying he didn’t get enough avios as compensation for being left stranded at CUN, a girl complaining about the new M&S buy on board service in short haul flights, etc. Spoiler alert, now they can complain about the fact that boarding was a bit chaotic and that they were left without IFE on a 12 hour flight.
Club world seats.
Finally, we were allowed to board and glad we chose those seats because given the fact there is no seat “in front” they offer direct aisle access (as well as the rear facing seats in row 11) while in the rest of them you have to climb over your seat mate to get out which must be really annoying.
The crew came around distributing PDB's. Champagne for me of course!
We took off slightly late due to the boarding situation and the first officer came on the PA announcing a flight time of 11hours and 20 minutes, which I think it’s a bit quicker than what the route normally takes.
I made myself comfortable and start listening to some music since the IFE wasn’t running.
I got up to use the lavatory and when I came back, the menu had been placed on my seat.
Is it me or both of the starters are basically the same thing?
The meal service took a bit to start. The crew came doing a drinks rounds with the classic out of Africa nuts while asking for meal orders. I took a glass of champagne to celebrate the upgrade. Also, I thought it would go well with the starter but ended up finishing it way before it was time to eat.
Now, I like how BA cabin crew is often generous with pouring drinks.
At some point in the process the captain came on the PA apologizing for the IFE not working. He said the crew had attempted to reset it a few times, however it didn’t seem to be working. They were getting in touch with the engineers in London to see if they came up with a different solution. After some more attempts to get it going, the crew came back distributing starters.
our non-functioning IFE
Some weird veggies and cream cheese rolls along with a decent salad. I switched to a really nice Portuguese red wine at this point since I was going for the beef as the main.
Again the main took some time to come. The beef came with rice and some cooked veggies. The meat was as hard and definitely overcooked, however the sauce helped trying to add some flavour with the meal. I also took some Heinz mustard to try and make things tastier. My dad took the chicken which looked as unappealing and apparently wasn’t any good at all.
The prolonged dinner and lack of IFE and the fact we were seating next to each other did made up the perfect scenario for a nice conversation. Along with some drinks, we managed to have some quality time in the air. I was glad we were managed to seat together and in Club world!
Dessert choices were a either a Tiramisu, a cheese plate or some fruit. We both went for the former, which tasted very artificial. I had a cup of peppermint tea to finish off the meal.
While we were finishing our puddings I believe, the crew came back on the PA saying that on-demand entertainment wouldn’t be working on the flight, so they would recur to their alternative system instead, which is basically playing a movie at a time. This wasn’t much of an issue for me other than the fact that there was no way to see where we were flying. However, I assume that it must be for those travelling in Y who can’t think of something else to do after numerous attempts to get some sleep.
Overall we were quite disappointed with the meal. It looks like BA offered the cheapest out of all of the options offered by the caterer in LIM. It was seriously below the standard a business class meal should be and believe me or not but also below some meals I’ve had in economy.
Now let’s have a look at the Elmis amenity kit. It included some hand cream, a toothbrush with toothpaste, some eye shades, ear plugs and a pen. Basic, but I am not to fussed about those anyway. Although my father later said that BA offers “kind of a low cost business class” and that he prefers the Tumi kit that Avianca gives out, ah and that he thinks their cabins are better too!
I appreciated the fact I was able to lay flat. In fact, I dozed off for a couple of hours. I rarely remember my dreams, but this time I dreamed that something disastrous happened mid-flight, with dozens of health professionals trying to revive a baby in Club world, the pilot telling us we weren’t able to land and that the cabin was running out of food (or something like that). After realizing that thankfully that was in fact a dream, guess what I did? Yes, I went to check out Club Kitchen and grab a bite to eat.
The cabin in the dark while most passengers were asleep.
Club Kitchen. Offerings were quite basic, but I guess enough not to go hungry until the next meal service.
After finishing my snack and asking where I could leave my mess (perhaps not worded correctly) to an inattentive flight attendant that was much happier scrolling through facebook on her phone despite there not being wifi, than giving a polite answer, I returned to my seat and went back to sleep until the crew came back rolling the carts spreading the smell of breakfast around the cabin. The lovely lady serving on my aisle took the time to describe the options with some detail, which was appreciated. They were Full English, some sort of veggie omelette with Andean cheese or some continental style offering.
We both took some fruit to start followed by the full English. The fruit was quite nice, however the eggs were a bit soggy. I barely touched them since I had a bad experience with eggs on a plane not long ago. To drink I had a smoothie and a cup of tea. I presume the water tanks were quite dirty, because my tea looked quite grim and to be fair tasted disgusting. I still can’t figure out why on earth I ended up drinking that.
The first officer came back on the PA saying we were 40 minutes away from landing. I went to the lavatory to freshen up, but logically everyone else also thought that was a good idea so there was some wait. I asked one of the crew members if there were any fast track passes for immigration, but apparently they don’t give out those at Gatwick.
Seats before landing. I did like the fact they offer a lot of privacy, as opposed to the aisle seats, which are quite exposed.
I presume we had a bit of a hold because we landed a bit later than what was thought. Being on the front of the plane we got out in a jiffy. Fortunately, immigration was not as bad as I had thought and our bags didn’t take long to come out.
Our plane in Gatwick
Thanks for reading!
Lima - LIM
London - LGW
In my opinion British Airways has some of the things that make a great airline while missing many others. The service on this flight as almost always was friendly. Most members of the crew were very attentive, proactively offering drink refills and interacting with passengers, without being overly intrusive. During meal times they would occasionally check on us to make sure we were not missing anything, which is appreciated. The food on this flight was way below standard, but I guess that can be solves easily if BA wants to do so. The Club world cabin is dated and those ex-LGW 777’s are looking really tired. I did found the seat to be quite private and comfortable to sleep in, but just make sure you don’t end up in those if travelling on your own, because it must be really awkward seating that close to a complete stranger. All in all, given that this flight is virtually almost on “sale”, I think BA offers good value for money, just make sure that you don’t set your expectations too high and you will be alright.
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