Mother-In-Law’s First Trip to India: British Airways First Class from London to Mumbai (Bombay)

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Emily:   Since our flight was delayed and we had to circle London’s Heathrow airport for a landing spot, we were going to have a tight connection in Heathrow. We got an orange express pass, and then were able to go into all of the Fast Track lines.  This seemed to save a lot of time, but we got held up at security.

British Airways First Class Review

Emily & Daraius in the British Airways First Class Cabin

Daraius:  I’m not sure if the orange colored express connection saved us any time because we were among the first out of the plane and could use the shorter lines in any case since we had a connecting flight which was leaving in first class.

Trip Report Index

Emily:  Unfortunately, I had to throw out my “allergy medicine” because the doctor prescribed “Benadryl” and we had purchased a generic brand to save money.  The security agent and his supervisor insisted they were different (despite having the same active ingredient). Aunt Judi also got hung up because they had to check some lotion in the liquids bag which she had prepared.  Daraius and I always get delayed at Heathrow security in one way or another.

After we made it through security, we immediately went to our gate.  It was a 20 minute walk which included a train ride!  We thought we might miss our flight, but the plane was still boarding when we arrived.  It turns out we had plenty of time because we were delayed another hour while sitting on the plane because the wings needed de-iced and a little boy got sick and had to get off the plane (and therefore the family’s luggage as well).

While we were waiting, we enjoyed the British Airways First Class cabin.  The seats are very nice and everything looks brand new and very modern.

Here’s a video of the cabin.

British Airways First Class Review

British Airways First Class Review – Seats

I love the blue shades for the windows and the stylish new cabins.

British Airways First Class Review

British Airways First Class Review – TV

Darius loved the electronic shades.  He’s such a little boy sometimes!

British Airways First Class Review

With His New Toy

There is also more space to hang your clothes and stow your shoes, but it isn’t very large, so I asked the flight attendant to hang my clothes after I changed in to my PJs.

British Airways First Class Review

Emily with the British Airways Amenity Kit

We also received British Airways amenity kits, which are my favorite of all of the airlines because of the smart and classy design.

British Airways First Class Review

British Airways First Class Review – Amenity Kit

In addition, we received the navy blue pajamas…

British Airways First Class Review

British Airways First Class Review – PJs

…and slippers.

British Airways First Class Review

British Airways First Class Review – Slippers

We also enjoyed champagne, a Kir Royal, and water (yay for trying to stay hydrated!) and showed my mom and aunt Judi the pictures from our wedding.

British Airways First Class Review

Connie Settling In

My mom & I sat in the center and we put the privacy divider down so that we could talk to each other.  Daraius and Aunt Judi sat in the same row, but by the windows on each side.

British Airways First Class Review

Connie & Emily

The seats had power outlets and AV jacks.

British Airways First Class Review

British Airways First Class Review – AV Outlets

The reading lamp was very stylish.

British Airways First Class Review

British Airways First Class Review – Reading Lamp

Though the closet was a bit small.

British Airways First Class Review

British Airways First Class Review – Closet

I settled in to my new digs for the next 8 hours.

British Airways First Class Review

British Airways First Class Cabin

After taking off it was soon time for lunch.

British Airways First Class Review

Lunch Entrees

There was a bistro selection as well, which included sandwiches, cheese, fruit, and dessert.

British Airways First Class Review

Bistro Selection, Cheese & Desserts

There was also an afternoon tea service.

British Airways First Class Review

Afternoon Tea

And a fair selection of wines.

British Airways First Class Review

Wine List

For lunch, we were first served a palette cleanser.

Daraius:  I don’t know if the flight attendant described it as a palette cleanser or not, but it is a dhokla!

British Airways First Class Review

Dhokla

Emily:  For the first time, Daraius and I didn’t face each other while eating since I was sitting next to my mom.

British Airways First Class Review

He Looks Hungry!

I ordered the butternut squash cream soup with sweet potatoes and ginger as a starter…

British Airways First Class Review

Butternut squash cream soup with sweet potatoes and ginger

Daraius had the tandoori fish and lamb samosa.

British Airways First Class Review

Tandoori Fish & Lamb Samosa

…and the kadhi murgh, or stir fried chicken with onion tomato gravy for the main course.

British Airways First Class Review

Kadhi murgh, or stir fried chicken with onion tomato gravy

I had the kadhi murgh as well, except that I preferred the butternut soup.  By the time I finished with dinner, I was exhausted, so I slept for a few hours.

Daraius ordered dessert which was a chocolate cake with kumquat sauce.

British Airways First Class Review

Chocolate cake with kumquat sauce

After I woke up, I had the fruit and cheese snack which came with an assortment of 4 cheeses, and some tea.

British Airways First Class Review

Fruit and cheese snack

I liked 3 out of the 4 cheeses. I also paired it with mint tea with honey. It was delicious.  My mom was in the mood for a snack too, and ordered the same thing.

British Airways First Class Review

Connie having tea with a snack

Next, I ordered the scones with chamomile tea with honey.

British Airways First Class Review

Scones with chamomile tea with honey.

I really liked taking afternoon tea on British Airways flights.  The scones paired perfectly with the clotted cream and preserves.

British Airways First Class Review

Afternoon Tea

Daraius ordered the sandwiches which had both vegetarian (cucumber) and non-vegetarian options (roast chicken).

British Airways First Class Review

Sandwiches

My mom also got the sandwiches and loved them.  The flight was comfortable and the service was very good.

Since Daraius had eaten, it was now time for him to sleep (did I mention how like a little boy he is sometimes?!)

British Airways First Class Review

Time to Sleep

My mom and Aunt Judi both enjoyed the flight and the pampering.  It was so nice to see how excited they were!  Towards the end of the flight, my mom and I learned some Hindi words from the language tutorial on the in-flight entertainment system.

British Airways First Class Review

Aunt Judi

Daraius:  I don’t usually listen to music or watch TV on flights, but I was fiddling with the in-flight entertainment system and listened to Beethoven’s 9th symphony.

And as luck would have it, the intense chorale finale of this wonderful piece of music which celebrates the joy of brotherhood and equality, started as the plane glided down to the runaway in Bombay/Mumbai.

The combination of listening to such inspiring music together with the plane gliding down after flying for ~4,000 miles, reminded me of just how much humans can and have achieved.  I had a big smile on my face, and perhaps a tear in my eye.  And I can’t wait to do it again!

Emily:  Just before landing the cabin crew had gone around to a few passengers (including Daraius) asking them to contact British Airways ground staff waiting for them outside the plane.

Daraius:  It turns out that our bags hadn’t made it from London to Mumbai on the flight because of the cold weather in London.  So we waited for our bags in Mumbai.

British Airways First Class Review

Crowded Baggage Carousel

And, sure enough, there were no bags for us!

British Airways First Class Review

No Bags for Us.

But the British Airways representatives at Mumbai were really outstanding and they processed the paperwork for us relatively quickly by Indian standards (only ~ 1 hour).  They traced our bags and told us that we would receive 3 or 4 bags by noon the next day and the remaining bags within 24 hours.

I asked if there would be reimbursement for items which we had to buy until we got our bags, and we were each given a debit card with 75 pounds or ~$118.  I’d gladly go without my stuff for 24 hours for $118, but I can see how this can be a hassle for folks with connecting flights etc.

Before leaving the airport, I withdrew some cash from the ATM and soon we were on our way.

British Airways First Class Review

CIti Bank ATM in Mumbai

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11 Responses to Mother-In-Law’s First Trip to India: British Airways First Class from London to Mumbai (Bombay)

  1. We are flying into LHR terminal 3 on AA FC, then transferring to Terminal 5 to connect with Iberia to Madrid two hours later this June. The AAdvantage CSR said we didn’t need to go thru UK Immigration, since we aren’t staying in the UK. I mentioned it used to be they would bus you across the tarmac, without going thru additional security. She said they don’t use the buses anymore, and with the new terminal, it was only a “5 minute walk” to the other terminal, staying inside security the whole time. But that doesn’t seem to be how it worked for you. Did you ask if it was possible to stay “in transit”, and avoid immigration and additional security? Or was going out, taking the train, and then back thru security again the only option?

  2. @Robert Hanson - You don’t need to go through immigration since you are in transit, but you’ll have to follow the transit lines and then take a 15 minute bus ride to Terminal 5 and then go through security again.

  3. Fantastic pictures. Do other passengers give you guys dirty looks for taking so many pictures? I can feel your excitement of taking such a memorable trip with your family. One of the best things about flying first class is to be able to share it with other people you care for.

    BA product and food looks much better than AA.

    I can’t believe your luggage did not arrive on time. A real downer after such a wonderful flight from the states to India.

    I look forward to the rest of this exciting trip report.

  4. @Jonathan – Actually, we’ve taken pictures for other passengers as well, and everyone seems to be happy up-front!

  5. @ Jonathan- Glad you liked the pictures and are enjoying the trip report series. It was quite the adventure traveling to India with my mom! :)

  6. Frank Leonardo

    You have NO IDEA how helpful your posts are and the many pictures are great and really get me looking forward to my upcoming trip..On my flight to India many years ago was with Air India and in Economy and I was ill on the flight home,not good,and the flight just HAD to stop in Charles du Galle to make the flight just a little more “exciting”..Keep up the wonderful work both of you,and thanks for your hard work

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