It was a few days before Christmas that I was at Heathrow Terminal 5, travelling to New York. In fact the terminal was so quiet that I thought think that almost everyone must already be home for the holidays.
I had purchased a cheap business class ticket from Dublin and upgraded using Avios – 20,000 – for the short journey as a special treat. The cabin, it turned out, was quite empty with a number of crew members and families travelling.
I don’t like the BA 777’s – the cabin tends to be much busier than on the 747’s or A380’s as crew go to and from the from the front galley.
We boarded on time from a gate at the end of the B gates at Terminal 5, along a long walkway. Boarding was what seems to be the new BA normal – all premium classes and elites in one big scrum. Not a great experience, but I did know that I had my favourite seat on this plane.
Arriving at Door 2 I was escorted to my seat, 1A. There is plenty of overhead space on the 777 and I settled in to the seat. It is narrower than the A380 seat and you can tell as you sit down. The crew quickly came around with amenity kits, pyjamas, slippers and menus. Champagne or soft drinks followed. I popped to the loo to change in to the dark blue pyjamas, usually a sure fire way to guarantee a delay. But not this time.
We were soon ready to go, with First Class only having about 6 passengers.
Shortly after take off the crew brought round drinks and nuts with a glass of champagne as the sun set ahead of us.
The menu was as normal, but with turkey and a Christmas dessert loaded to make it more festive.
I selected the Asparagus, Soup, Turkey and Bread and Butter pudding:
They were all pretty good – tasty, the right temperature and full of flavours. The soup was a little odd – how often does one eat black food – but perfectly serviceable. The turkey was unusually moist so a good effort at 35,000 feet.
The crew came around with a box of chocolates after dinner.
The 777 had the old BA entertainment system so I grabbed my bedding from the overhead bin and set up my seat for a nap. The Cabin Service Director noticed this and asked the off duty staff in the row behind to quieten down so that I could sleep. This was a lovely move and meant that I napped well for 2-3 hours. The cabin was the right temperature – cool – for a decent sleep.
I skipped the afternoon tea, as I usually do, but this was the offering:
People often ask about the wine list and I include below for completeness:
As we came in to land at I changed back to my street clothes and we were slightly early. After a long taxi to the gate we were followed in to the pier by a Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong. Leaving by door 2, we were in the Customs and Immigration Hall after a five minute walk. With Global Entry I was out in about 5 more minutes and off to the AirTrain. I was glad that I was not at the back of the BA flight as arriving at the same time as Cathay normally means long lines at Terminal 7.
Overall a good enough flight, with a friendly crew who were responsive to my requests.