Review: British Airways Dreamliner (Boeing 787) on the way to Toronto YYZ in Club World (BusinessClass)
(Deutsche Version) It’s time for another airplane review, as the last one is almost 6 weeks old. So I went to visit the canadians on September 19th, starting in Berlin Tegel as always.
As usual check-in proceeded fast and uncomplicated, as I was already checked in and just needed a boarding ticket. I could have used the BA App for my smartphone, but as the energy was low I took the ticket. The lounged opened at 5:30 so I could give it a visit even though I was on the BA0981 that takes off on 6:55, but this was the only way to make it to the connecting flight with the BA787 in London. So I took a quick glimpse at the lounge, a coffee and went on to boarding. Everything went fine and I was first on board, though it wasn’t really packed.
BA 981 to London
A comfortable but totally unspectacular flight passed by, I ate something and we were already approaching landing. Weather was beautiful above the clouds and there are some pictures in another post.
London T5 and lounge
As well as at passport control as at fast track security control there was nothing going on. I thought about weekend or the wrong day but it was Thursday. So I went to the Elmis SPA in the lounge. Even though I had a business class ticket I could enter BA First Class lounge, which is surely the better choice because of the terrace (while the other also have one). The food and beverage offer in the first class lounge is a little better, plus you can order egg meals or complete breakfast a la card. So I ate a little something and went back to the SPA, where I got a face treatment with a massage.
After working a little I went on to Area 5C of the terminal, which is reached belowground in a couple of minutes. Arriving at gate C57 I saw her, the new 787, the third British Airways has gotten, to be recognized by the C in the registration. G-ZBJC is the “name” of the good piece and so we went on.
Wir boarded on point and have a race ahead. Wie fly Real and the #RaceThePlane team with twitter follows tries to be in Toronto faster than us.
Flight BA 0093 toToronto
I was able to already take a look at the 787 and the A380 at the Launch Event in July and therefore the first impression is not that new. The business class (named ClubWorld at BA) cabin is divided into two areas. Three rows in the front and 2 more in the back behind the Galley. The seats are arranged in a 2-3-2 seating while the middle seat (E) and the window seats are positioned backwards.
By this arrangement and the accelerating walls you have a good load of privacy and you feel like having your own “area”. Even though I usually prefer to sit at the window I chose 3E by purpose to experience the middle seat, which has a shelf for shoes besides one aside the seat.
It also has a drawer for notebooks and small parts, like the other seats. A new feature is the 2 USB sockets: one under the “normal, international” sockets and another above the remote. Here you can recharge devices and plug the in, but more about that when it comes to the inflight entertainment.
The seat itself is coated with cloth, seems of high-quality and comfortable during long flights. Another improvement towards “old” seats at BA is the adjustable “Z position” with which you can skew the foot pad for comfortable sitting and movie watching. Which seat you prefer depends on you. If you don’t want to fly backwards you should choose a seat at the corridor; if you don’t travel alone you choose seats at the window + corridor.
When travelling with children who like to sleep in silence, it makes sense to give them a middle seat. The cabin is extremely silent compared to other airplanes, but as nice as it seems it doesn’t avoid snoring of seat neighbors, so make sure you bring your ear plugs. The most silent part of the cabin is the second part because there are fewer noises caused by Gallay and service. So the best seat is 7A/ E/ K for example.
If you don’t want to work are watch a movie during a meal, airlines provide multiple possibilities: the screen functions as touch screen and replaces remote controls in many ways, with which programs can be controlled.
Beside an extensive offer of movies, shows and documentaries in preferably English language, you can also use it to plug your own cam, phone or other devices.
When they’re connected you can see the documents on screen. Also new is the chat function which allows you to chat with other travelers or join diverse chat rooms. For small and big gents you find some games to be played alone or in multiplayer mode.
You can recharge your devices before they are out of power. Even though I hardly use the IFE, there is nothing wrong with watching a movie during a meal.
Before takeoff in London we had a little selection of water, orange juice, Champaign or coke as for me. Since we had to unload some luggage due to missing passengers we didn’t take off on time, but service started immediately. On the flight we got two meals, one for lunch and an afternoon tea before landing.
I posted the menu as picture like always. Today I had salmon with capers as starter, coming with delicious salad and nice dressing.
The main course was a more tough decision. Beef should come first, but then I decided for pumpkin and didn’t regret that decision, followed by chicken with mushroom sauce and creamy mashed potatoes. For my taste it wasn’t salty enough, but luckily you can add that by yourself and have a tasty meal.
Positive for me was that dessert didn’t come on a tablet (which was the case in-between) but served from a wagon. The selection of cheese, ice cream, fruit and lemon-raspberry cake was relatively easy: cake and ice cream. I tell you, that cake was really delicious! And since nobody else wanted some I had a second piece.
If you become hungry in between there is the so called “Club Kitchen” between row three and five in the Gallay. It’s a small area with fridge for self service. You can have a little snack, fruit, ice cream or potato chips and chocolate. It you prefer something warmed up there is pizza, which the crew heats up for you. This concept of self service can also be found at other airlines like Qantas or American Airlines. It’s free for business class guests only, and they can get drinks at any time without getting up their seat. Interestingly is that economy guests are being told to feel free to get a drink in a Gallay at any time.
The amenity kit
Especially when flying long distance it’s comfortable to not have to carry everything with you. Therefore airlines hand out small kits, such as British Airways. Inside you find utensils like socks, eye mask and tooth brush but also cosmetics plus lip balm. Though I find the design could use a “renovation” I’m satisfied and it fulfills its purpose. Have a look at the picture to get an idea.
It surely is a matter of my status the Pursurette introduced herself personally before the connecting flight, asks me whether everything is alright and if there is anything that could be done for me. Aside from that the friendliness and service of employees is outstanding. Whether asking for a sheet, a second pillow or just simply asking whether on needs anything make you feel well taken care of, which is why I really enjoy flying with the royal airline.
Again and again you hear from others (who usually don’t travel that much or have never been in T5 in London) how intricate it is to get a connecting flight. I can really not agree to that, especially when flying with British Airways. T5 is surely one if not the most modern terminal in the world and makes transfer really easy and uncomplicated. If you travel in premium class you find nice lounges, spas, shower possibilities and much more to make the waiting time more comfortable. Asking whether to take a direct flight (e.g. with air Berlin from Berlin-Tegel straight to New York) or flying with British Airways via London can be answered by me easily: London. Even if I’d live in Frankfurt my choice between Lufthansa (new or old business class) and British Airways would be clear. You should notice that I’m a passionate BA client in my recent posts.
There was another interesting thing about my flight. British Airways organized a little race on Twitter between flight BA93 and a virtual flight on September 19th. Result: we were a little slower in the real world, but it was interesting anyways.
If you want to take part on the race the next time, it will be repeated next week Thursday (September 24th) with the first flight of British Airways A380 on the way to Los Angeles, flight number BA 269. Since I will take a closer look at the new product on this flight (no, it’s not an invitation) you can read my report on 25th or 26th here.
Note: since I usually pay for flight, hotels and other cost myself (link to explanation of travel cost) I don’t want to leave it unmentioned that I received an invitation by British Airways for this particular flight. But this doesn’t influence my opinion about this at all!