Last week I was due to fly back from New York on the first evening flight to London, with BA.
The day before BA in the US called my UK mobile phone and told me that the plane had changed from a 777 to a 747 resulting in me losing my nice, upper deck exit row window seat. The seat I had held for months is especially nice as it is quiet and you do not need to climb over your seat mate to get out.
BA offered me a change to the next flight and could offer me a nice window – not as nice as I had, but OK. The lady explained something about not seeing this seat on the web site, but I didn’t pay too much attention. I did check my reservation and was not holding the same seat as they had promised, so thought I would go to the airport early especially as the web site said my ticket needed to be re-issued.
At check-in it turned out I did have the promised seat, and whilst it was near the loo, it was a window seat where you do not have to be a mountaineer to exit.
I went to the lounge, used the pre-departure restaurant for a meal and went for my treatment at the Elemis Spa! When walking back from the Spa to the Lounge I was paged – well this usually means one of two things – there is a problem, or there is good news.
There was good news! Stunned that I just strolled up to the desk the agent asked – ‘Would you like this seat instead of your current one’ offering me a seat in First Class, albeit in the centre of row 5. She apologised that they didn’t have any of the single window seats available!
The plane, and I think everything else that night was full – a combination of the plane change and it being the end of the half-term childrens holidays in the UK.
The surprise got better when I boarded and found that the plane had new First! I haven’t flown BA First for several years and never new First.
It was great to turn left and I boarded early so had the chance to take some pictures:
The crew were very welcoming and offering slippers, pajamas, wash kit and of course, a glass of Champagne!
The seats in Row 4 and 5 in the centre are clearly the poor relation of the First Class Cabin. They have a much smaller closet, they are much less private and have no control over the window shades. Not that I was ungrateful for the upgrade.
The TV screen is pretty large and you have both the moving map and the entertainment on screen at the same time. The video system had to be reset for the whole aircraft in flight.
We left on time and arrived on time. I limited my consumption to champagne, the cheese plate and great tomato soup.
We landed on time, but at the end of the B gates at T5 which is a long walk to the train. I managed to get on the first train but no one was allowed to go up to the escalators to immigration but rather we had to use the lifts owing to overcrowding at immigration. I managed to persuade the staff that I could use IRIS and so was out in ten minutes. Had IRIS not been there I would have been in line for an hour I would estimate.
So, an unexpected upgrade and a nice flight home. Thanks BA!