Review of British Airways flight London Los Angeles in First

Airline British Airways
Flight BA281
Class First
Seat 2K
Aircraft Boeing 787-9
Flight time 10:45
Take-off 21 Apr 19, 11:45
Arrival at 21 Apr 19, 14:30
BA   #68 out of 115 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 803 reviews
Rewardflying
By GOLD 2129
Published on 3rd September 2019

Routing


For years the bloggers would post British Airlines First Class was the best Business Class in the skies. Well they certainly weren’t on this flight. British Airways 787 in First Class for this blogger any day.


photo ba281-cover

I avoid LHR like the plaque. Why? Taxes, insane taxes out of LHR. Airline Passenger Tax (APD), which is a departure tax to leave England. Waived if transiting less than 24 hours. Brilliant idea for encouraging people to stay and spend some tourist money. 


photo ba281-ap1

First Class customers on British Airways have a grand entrance at the south end of Terminal 5. 


photo ba281-ap2photo ba281-ap3

.


photo ba281-ap4photo ba281-ap5photo ba281-ap6

Upon exiting the walk of lights and advertisements I found myself in the Galleries lounge. This is a combined First and Business class lounge adjacent to the Concorde Room which is for First Class only.


photo ba281-lg1photo ba281-lg2

.


photo ba281-lg3photo ba281-lg4photo ba281-lg5

After a quick walk around I headed to the Concorde Room.


photo ba281-lg6photo ba281-lg7

Inside the Concord room I walked up to the Elemis counter. It was about this time I remembered I forgot to make my Elemis Spa appointment. I asked if they have any openings and was advised in Terminal 5B there was an opening. But my flight’s gate hadn’t posted so I didn’t want to venture over to B and have to come back to A, therefore I declined. My flight ended up being from B. 


photo ba281-lc1

Hungry I headed straight to the Dining Room. 


photo ba281-lc2

.


photo ba281-lc3aphoto ba281-lc3b

I had an Egg Benedict and commented that my first Egg Benedict in England was not on an English Muffin, rather sourdough bread. While popular in Northern Europe for centuries, arguably sourdough was made famous in San Francisco. The waiter didn’t get it. 


photo ba281-lc5photo ba281-lc6

A redeeming factor of this lounge (as well as the Galleries) is plane spotting. 


photo ba281-lc16

.



Once my flight was posted I ventured over to Terminal B and found a British airways 747 in retro Landor livery a few gates down from my gate.


photo ba281-plane-1aphoto ba281-plane-1b

Tried to catch the All Black New Zealand 777 from LAX landing, but just missed the shot. 


photo ba281-plane-2aphoto ba281-plane-2b

After Landor and All Blacks, my 787 looks rather undistinguished. 


photo ba281-plane-3aphoto ba281-plane-3bphoto ba281-plane-3c

My guess is this cabin would have vaulted the 787 to the top in any overall comparison of the 3 aircraft.


photo ba281-cabin-1photo ba281-cabin-2

.


photo ba281-cabin-3photo ba281-cabin-6

.


photo ba281-cabin-5photo ba281-cabin-4

This 787-9 has a typical Boeing small lavatory and it was not stocked with amenities like you might find on other first class carriers. 


photo ba281-cabin-lav

A quick look at Business Class. What a difference between First Class. Seven across, fully exposed on the aisle and look at me during take off and landing. 



Much preferred, seat 2K.


photo ba281-seat-1photo ba281-seat-2

One could opine that this First Class pod looks more like an oversized reverse herringbone J class seat and they would have a point. However the multi-position footrest can be moved forward enough to have a second seat for another person to visit or dine. The seat itself is very comfortable as this flight was 10 hours and I was not restless one bit. Being a day flight I didn’t try the bedding but extended the seat to a bed and could easily be comfortable sleeping. Of course my last airline sleeping point of reference was American’s Concept D, so my opinion could have been jaded.


photo ba281-seat-3photo ba281-seat-4

With slide out ottoman.


photo ba281-seat-5photo ba281-seat-6

.


photo ba281-seat-7photo ba281-seat-8

Other seat features.


photo ba281-seat-9photo ba281-seat-10

.



There is a closet for your clothes and a door for privacy. 



A full guide to the BA 787 First Class seat, apologies for the window glare.



Much fanfare has been made over British Airways safety Video featuring some of Britains famous stars. I found parts to be very funny, but overall the video tried too hard to be entertaining. 



Another beautiful day in London, sorry to go.


photo ba218-away-they-go

The Amenity kit is attractive but the contents were very basic, oops Washbag. Apparently these pajamas were part of the changes and they are really nice.



My main FA was Kyle. He was great. I wouldn’t say he made the flight special but he sure was attentive. He started with an oshibori. British Airways went with all black glossy surfaces, even on the tray table. 


photo ba281-serv-1

A perfect time for Grand Siècle. 


photo ba281-serv-2photo ba281-serv-3

Instead of a small Amuse-bouche and salad offering, a 3 Canapé plate began lunch service.   


photo ba281-serv-4

Smoked salmon and caviar was probably my favorite of the trio. 


photo ba281-serv-5photo ba281-serv-6

Salami with olives was my least favorite, but would enjoy it again. 


photo ba281-serv-7

The complete Beverage and Food menu.



Again I ordered beef. I know that the chances of success are slim but I continue to do it. 


photo ba281-serv-8

The goat cheese appetizer sparked my interest and it was a good choice. Nicely presented as well. 


photo ba281-serv-9photo ba281-serv-10

Champagne then Red Wine, like clockwork.


photo ba281-serv-11

Perfect.


photo ba281-serv-12

As was the beef. Okay, it more well done that I would ordered in a restaurant but at 40,000 feet job well done.  


photo ba281-serv-13photo ba281-serv-14

Like I needed more cheese. The quince jelly was delicious and so much better than a piece or two of dried fruit. 


photo ba281-serv-15photo ba281-serv-16

Then to the star, blueberry and nectarine charlotte. My only complaint is the bowl is big enough to fit a bigger charlotte. 


photo ba281-serv-17photo ba281-serv-18

While Anthony hated airline food, I think he would have been impressed with the food on this flight.


photo ba281-ife-2

The IFE systems was excellent. Great monitor and excellent content. 


photo ba281-ife-1photo ba281-ife-3

Mid-flight Kyle brought about some coffee and cookies. 


photo ba281-serv-19

Before arrival I decided to have Sliders from the anytime menu. 


photo ba281-serv-20photo ba281-serv-21

.


photo ba281-serv-22photo ba281-serv-23

They were excellent but this stole the whole show. Rhubarb and Ginger timbale. I can’t describe….


photo ba281-serv-24photo ba281-serv-25

In LAX I flew through customs and circled back upstairs to take a shower in the Qantas lounge. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to eat as I was off to a connecting flight. Opportunity missed. 


photo ba218-lax-lounge-1photo ba281-flight-path

.


photo ba281-serv-26
See more

Verdict

British Airways

8.1/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment/wifi8.5
Meal/catering8.0

London - LHR

7.8/10
Efficiency8.0
Access8.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness7.0

Los Angeles - LAX

7.5/10
Efficiency7.5
Access7.5
Services7.5
Cleanliness7.5

Conclusion

The First Class cabin on a 787 in British Airways fleet is likely their best offering. Eight seats and you don’t feel cramped. I’ve not been in their 747 but can only imagine 14 seats in the nose of a 747 not being ideal. The seats are very good. The best? No, useful yes. Comfortable with storage space and decent privacy provided with a sliding door. Boxes checked.

Food/Amenities: Amenities were good, with the washbag maybe below par for First Class. The new pajamas are great but I don’t have a reference to the prior ones. The food was equal to many first class flights I’ve had, most importantly it was good.

IFE: The monitors were great and content was as good.

Flight Attendants: The crew was attentive and didn’t miss a beat. Are they as polished as say Singapore FA’s in First Class? No, but if you never flew SQ you’d give high marks to this crew on BA.

Information on the route London (LHR) Los Angeles (LAX)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 22 reviews of 4 airlines on the route London (LHR) → Los Angeles (LAX).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Air New Zealand with 7.8/10.

The average flight time is 11 hours and 13 minutes.

  More information

2 Comments

  • Comment 523312 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5319 Comments

    For years the bloggers would post British Airlines First Class was the best Business Class in the skies.

    Haha, yeah, but to be fair, I believe this is mostly in reference to the dense 744 F configuration, where the BA F seat feels more like an oversized Cirrus J seat
    But yes, BA F is a true F product and distinct from J...at least the current J...with the new J suites rolling out, BA will need to upgrade F seating to have more differentiation in the products.

    Upon exiting the walk of lights and advertisements I found myself in the Galleries lounge. This is a combined First and Business class lounge adjacent to the Concorde Room which is for First Class only.

    Correction: The Galleries lounge on the same level at the Concorde Room is the "Galleries First" lounge and is a First class lounge for non-British Airways First class pax and oneworld Emeralds, who have access to First class lounges. The Business class Galleries lounge is one level above.

    But my flight’s gate hadn’t posted so I didn’t want to venture over to B and have to come back to A, therefore I declined. My flight ended up being from B

    I really hate that about British airports. Also, it's a pain to get out to B and then back to A because you end up at arrivals when you get back to A and have to go back through security again.

    Most carriers operating 787-9s don't have an F cabin so I'm glad BA decided to put a small F cabin on this aircraft, especially as it turned out to be the best First cabin in the fleet. A very sleek, modern, and spacious design making good use of space. Personally, I like open suites.

    Though I appreciate the canape service (which was taken away for a while for cost-cutting), and the fact that there is a bit of caviar on the salmon, a real caviar service would make for a more truly First class experience, especially on a 10+ hour flight, where you expect the works.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Comment 523493 by
    Rewardflying GOLD AUTHOR 494 Comments

    Correction: The Galleries lounge on the same level at the Concorde Room is the "Galleries First" lounge and is a First class lounge for non-British Airways First class pax and oneworld Emeralds, who have access to First class lounges. The Business class Galleries lounge is one level above.

    -Noted Thanks Kévin

Login to post a comment.