British AirwaysBritish Airways

By Gary Dickson

My how times have changed! I remember the first time I went to London…1985 it was. My route was staggering by today’s standards. Auckland

– Brisbane – Perth – Bombay (Mumbai as it is now) – London. It seemed to take forever.

But I still recall the service and staff to be simply fantastic. That much for certain hasn’t changed. And the one stop in Singapore is a “doddle” – especially if you are like me and love the island nation. The only issue is that you now have to fly to Sydney, as BA stopped flying in to Auckland years ago…more’s the pity.

My plane was a brand new (less than a year old) Boeing 777-300…Club World. This is BA’s Business Class and the food, wine, entertainment packages, staff and service all reflect the halcyon days of flying. I can’t really fault anything…try as I did.

The flights were always on time. Actually we were early on the homeward leg, but with Sydney’s archaic “lock out” times we had to circle a few times before our early arrival in to Sydney was authorised.

My seat was 10J. The configuration is 2 – 4 – 2, with alternate rear facing seats and privacy screens in between. Thank goodness – couldn’t think of anything worse than staring at some person’s ugly mug (who I’ve never met) for 10 – 12 hours. I’m sure they had the same thought!

I must admit to not being a fan of rear facing seats. I spoke to the person facing me over a meal about it and, as she pointed out, it’s actually a better experience…in her humble opinion.

“Planes fly at a slight upward angle. So, once you are in full lie flat mode, you are actually sleeping with your head slightly above your feet – instead of the other way around, as on more conventional flights.”

Point taken – might try it myself next time, but I’ll have to have a couple of nightcaps first. The plane was fairly empty on the leg from Heathrow to Singapore (surprisingly) so everyone managed to get the seating they wanted anyway.

The pamper kits that are handed out, whilst nowhere near as good as some of the ones I have been given on other Business Class flights, are certainly more than sufficient and are restocked each leg anyway.

As anyone who has travelled with me on long haul will tell you…I don’t sleep that well on planes. So a great entertainment system is a must for me when choosing my flights. BA has a large selection of very recent movies – some I hadn’t seen previously – even with the amount of travel I do. “Wolf of Wall Street” and “Dallas Buyers Club” – sorted.

As I alluded to earlier the staff are extremely well presented and who doesn’t love all those beautiful English accents running around the place. Nothing was a problem. In fact this carried through to their ground staff at Heathrow – as I had a connection/baggage issue in Sydney and they sorted it quick smart.

Here’s a turn up for the books – and this isn’t said lightly, but the breakfast on board was THE best airline breakfast ever. Unsolicited – the full English breakfast was superb. The other meals were more than satisfactory and the choice of drinks more than ample.

Finally…if I’m being picky here – I did have one problem with my BA flights. The toilets are a little on the small side… but I’m no Twiggy!

I look forward (pun intended) to flying with BA again, sooner rather than later…

www.ba.com