A First Class Passage To India – British Airways – (New) First Class – London to Mumbai, India
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This is a continuation of our recent First Class trip to India, a journey where we had Big Travel with Small Money!Trip Report Index:
- American Airlines Admirals Club Lounge and Flagship Lounge – Kansas City & Chicago
- American Airlines Flagship/First Class – Chicago to London
- British Airways Concorde Room – London Heathrow
- British Airways – (New) First Class – London to Mumbai, India
- An Indian Wedding Extravaganza
- InterContinental Lalit – Mumbai, India
- Park Hyatt – Goa, India
- Jet Airways, First Class – Mumbai, India to London
- Jet Airways, Business Class – Mumbai, India to London
- American Airlines, First Class – London to Chicago
- American Airlines, Business Class – London to Chicago
As we entered the plane, the flight attendant looked at our boarding passes and escorted us to our seats. Emily was in seat 1A and I was behind her in seat 2A.
Seat 1A is the first seat on the left side of the plane (as you walk towards the nose of the plane) and has a larger storage area by the seat which Emily found very useful for her purse, boots, and sweater.
I knew that there was a very high likelihood of experiencing the “New First” seats on our Boeing 777 , but I did not tell Emily about it.
She was very surprised to find that we had a brand new first class cabins. So new, that you got that “new plane smell” from the leather!
The crew helped us put our bags in the overhead bins.
My favorite part of the experience was the electronic window shade. This spanned 2 windows and was illuminated in different shades of blue. I found this very cool and kept on playing with the electronic shade controls!
The electronic window shade made the journey much more enjoyable, since the cabin felt very luxurious, modern, and secluded. It really made you feel that you weren’t flying!
As we were getting settled, we started chatting with an English gent about the new first class cabin. The conversation was veering into technical details about the aircraft, when the gent asked me if I was on FlyerTalk.
I nodded and we got chatting some more. Most embarrassingly, I can’t remember his FlyerTalk handle. I want to say his handle was “tees,” but I could be wrong. Anyway, if you’re reading this, be sure to let us know!
The cabin crew were very friendly and brought us our pajamas and amenity kit. The pajamas had “First” embroidered on them were neatly wrapped with a bow!
The slippers were a little flimsy, but soft and comfortable.
We got noise reducing headphones.
Did I really have to take a picture of the blanket? Do you really like seeing these types of pictures?
The amenity kit was extremely sophisticated and elegant. It was a gray leather Gladstone style bag designed by Anya Hindmarch (a famous designer whose name I heard for the first time).
The amenity kit had high quality products and was worthy of a First Class offering, unlike the pathetic offering on American Airlines Flagship Class. The kit contained an eye mask, socks, facial crème and body lotion, a toothbrush, toothpaste, and lip balm.
For a much better review of the British Airways amenity kit than anything I can come up with, check out Frequently Flying’s review together with some awesome pictures!
It was soon time for a drink, and I had a Kir Royale and a glass of water.
The flight was delayed, but that was fine by us, since we were being pampered by the terrific cabin crew.
Each seat had a little reading lamp.
The knob to control the seat recline and lamp was designed in classic British style. Understated, but got the job done in the most elegant way possible.
There was a little storage area in front of my seat and a LCD screen which swiveled out.
Emily’s seat had fresh flowers on top, but mine did not!
The seats were gorgeous 2-toned leather, and brand new. I was smelling new leather for 8+ hours!
The attention to detail was very evident in the new first class cabin.
There was more leather paneling by the window and soft mood lighting
There was a writing desk as well.
The desk could open out to a large table.
We took off and soon it was time for some food! The wonderful flight attendants laid our table, and I sat on the footstool in front of Emily.
I have a hungry look on my face!
We started with “tandoori paneer and pepper kebabs.” The paneer was okay, but I can’t really blame British Airways for not having a tandoor (clay oven) in the galley.
We then moved on to the Butternut squash and sweet potato soup. The soup was velvety and delicious!
We got 3 different kinds of bread.
I had “lamb masala with pine nuts and onion rice served with tarka dal” for my main dish. The menu described it as “Seasoned lamb with pine nut and onion rice served with lentil curry”
The rice was high quality basmati rice, and the lamb was not chewy. Very nicely done!
Emily had the roast corn-fed chicken with creamy garlic mushroom pie and pureed potatoes. That was pretty yummy too!
We had chilled clementine souffle with orange jus and basil and almond tuile for dessert.
We also nibbled on some cheese – Thomas Hoe Red Leicester, Butler’s Secret, Fourme D’Ambert, and Tomino.
After the meal, we browsed through Highlife entertainment system which had hundreds of movies, tv shows, and music albums to choose from.
We decided to sleep for a bit, and our delightful flight attendant Sharon made our beds.
We got up close to landing time.
We missed the afternoon tea service, but Sharon got us some delicious sandwiches which included cucumber with cumin cream cheese, ham hock with piccalilli, prawns with dill and lime mayonnaise and roast chicken with mustard mayonnaise.
We were so hungry that we ate the sandwiches without taking any pictures.
We also got served some more treats.
It was a smooth landing and we were among the first to leave the plane.
We cleared customs and immigration and on our way out, Emily fell in love with an outfit on display at the airport. She made me take a picture of it, so that we could find something similar later!
The British Airways flight was memorable, but the next 14 days in India were even more memorable!Bottom Line:
The British Airways First Class experience was much, much better than the American Airlines First Class experience. We filled out our comment cards with lots of positive feedback for the folks who took the effort to make this a terrific flight.
The crew was very warm and friendly, and did their best to make us feel welcome. This was in stark contrast to the American Airline’s crew who made us feel as if we were trespassing on their private aircraft and intruding upon their down-time.
Seriously, if you’ve spent well over a year accumulating miles and want to travel in first class, splurge it on BA First Class instead of on AA’s first class. Sure you’ll have to pay a little extra in fuel surcharges, but it is well worth it, in my opinion.
What do you think of British Airways’ fuel surcharges? Worth it for a once-in-a while splurge or not?
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