BA: London to New York, JFK First Class

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I was lucky enough to secure an award ticket with British Airways from London to New York JFK in First Class. Despite nearly £340 of taxes and carrier imposed charges this was my only option due to meetings at work earlier in the day.

CHECK IN
I did online check in and received an electronic boarding pass. However, I missed the mandatory passport check and so was rejected by the automatic readers, and had to return to have it. Suitably chided by the agent, I go through the South Security check in about 10 minutes.

LOUNGE
The reason for going through the South Security is that just beyond it is the special door to the Concorde Room. Of course once inside the experience was poor – read the Poor Show in the Concorde Room post from a couple of days ago.

BOARDING
Although the BA app stated that the flight was delayed by an hour, at 6am that morning, this kept changing and when I arrived at the airport it was on time. I slipped over to the BA gates assuming an on-time boarding only to find the crew had not yet boarded. Not a good sign.
An announcement told us of about a 40 minute delay so I popped to the B Gates lounge. Having not eaten in the Concorde Room (read the post above as to reasons), I had a bit of pasta here and then went back to the gate.
We boarded about 10 minutes later and I was greeted at the door with a “How are you this evening Sir?’. I took the moment to vent a little about the Concorde Room fiasco and the flight attendant said ‘It’ll get better now Sir’.
I nipped off to my preferred seat on the 747 – 2K. Quickly the same flight attendant appeared and asked me to explain more about what had happened. This was pretty amazing as he had found somewhere to man his door position to seek me out to ask.
He promised that the Cabin Service Director would come and see me and log my complaint.

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SEAT
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2K is a great seat, private yet with plenty of space from seat 2A. The cabin was full, but felt quiet and calm, partly as it was the late flight and most people wanted to sleep.

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The passenger in 2A quickly wanted to sleep and the bed was made up by the crew.

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MEAL
Despite the pasta I was still pretty hungry. Many of my other BA flights in First had been passed sleeping so I was looking forward to eating.

Place Setting
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Bread
A wide range of rolls and breads were offered – these were super tasty and served warmed:

amuse-bouche

Starters / Soup
Severn and Wyke Balik-style smoked salmon

Leek and potato soup with truffles and chervil

Fresh seasonal salad with choice of dressing
Baked spiced paneer with a slightly curried cauliflower, pine nut and raisin salad

Main Courses
Seared fillet of Aberdeen Angus beef with grain mustard and herb sauce, beef hash croquette, Romanesco cauliflower celeriac and carrots

Smoked haddock with a shellfish chowder, cocotte potatoes, autumn vegetables, parsley and chive sauce.
Braised shoulder of British Venison with red wine and dark chocolate sauce, red cabbage, carrot and fondant potatoes
Salad of warm corn-fed breast of chicken with celery, pecans, roasted butternut squash, pumpkin seeds and dried cranberry.

Dessert
Vanilla and blackberry cheesecake with almond and cinnamon crust, blackberry tuile and apple foam

Moist fig and cranberry tart with creme anglaise
Madagascan vanilla ice cream

Also available was a cheese plate, fresh fruit and chocolates.

After food I slept until about 45 minutes before landing when afternoon tea was offered. I declined and got changed ready to land.

SERVICE ON BOARD
True to his word the CSD came to see me early on in the flight and used her iPad to take details of what had happened in the Concorde Room. 24 hours later I received a confirmation email from BA HQ, so it’s good that this works.

The crew were GREAT – and I really mean that – every one of them went out their way to top up glasses, ask if things were OK and were around the cabin in an unassuming way to make sure everyone was happy. I loved the service from this team – they were what I always hope a First Class crew will be like.

LANDING and IMMIGRATION
We took a fair amount of time to taxi and arrived at Gate 5 which is a good ten minute walk from Immigration. The bridge came to door One, so I was off pretty fast and on the way to the Global Entry machine. 5 minutes later I was on the Airtrain to Federal Circle and on to my hotel. An hour late but still before midnight.