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Review: British Airways Business Class 747 Nairobi To London

Review: British Airways Business Class 747 Nairobi To London

Introduction: To Nairobi For 13 Hours
Evaluate: Kenya Airways Business Class 787 New York To Nairobi
Evaluate: British Airways Business Class 747 Nairobi To London
Assessment: British Airways Membership World 747 London To New York

I used to be departing Nairobi for London the identical day I arrived in Nairobi from New York (properly, technically I used to be departing simply after midnight, however shut sufficient). I spent the day on the 4 Factors by Sheraton Nairobi Airport. I’ll be reviewing that in my subsequent journey report, since on my journey every week later I spent a full night time there, somewhat than simply a day.

I arrived at Nairobi Airport at round 9:30PM for my 12:15AM flight, and located a very lengthy line to even get into the terminal, as there’s a safety checkpoint once you enter the terminal. The road barely moved for about 10 minutes.

All of a sudden a man got here strolling close to the road yelling “Emirates business class, British Airways business class.” I flagged him down, after which he introduced me in by way of a aspect entrance. I’m unsure if this can be a commonplace factor they do or what, although I think about it saved me a big period of time.

Line to enter Nairobi Airport

I had already checked in on-line for my flight, so might bypass the British Airways check-in desk, which was in any other case abandoned.

British Airways check-in Nairobi Airport

I then headed via immigration, which took no time. On this a part of the terminal safety is at every particular person gate, so I didn’t should undergo that but. Nairobi Airport is completely advantageous. Whereas some areas of the terminal are good, others aren’t. Regardless, I discovered it to be a principally calm airport.

Nairobi Airport terminal

My British Airways flight was departing from gate 10, although I first headed to the Turkish Airways Lounge, which is what British Airways makes use of for his or her premium passengers in Nairobi. The lounge is situated close to gate three, so it’s a 5-10 minute stroll from the gate.

British Airways departure gate Nairobi Airport

Turkish Airways Lounge Nairobi Airport

The lounge was packed, and barely had an empty seat, so I didn’t really feel snug taking too many footage. Luckily I returned the next week and the lounge was utterly empty, so I’ll be reviewing that as nicely in my subsequent journey report.

Turkish Airways Lounge Nairobi Airport

Slightly bizarrely, my boarding cross indicated that boarding began at 9:15PM, three hours earlier than departure. I think about that was a glitch. Because the lounge was so crowded I made a decision to go to the gate at round 10:20PM.

Most passengers hadn’t but arrived on the gate, so I used to be by way of safety fairly shortly. As soon as previous the safety checkpoint your boarding move is scanned, after which premium passengers are pointed left, whereas financial system passengers are pointed proper.

British Airways departure gate Nairobi Airport

Boarding ended up beginning at 11:40PM, 35 minutes earlier than departure. Top notch and oneworld Emerald passengers have been invited to board first, adopted be enterprise class and oneworld Sapphire passengers.

British Airways 64
Nairobi (NBO) – London (LHR)
Wednesday, October 31
Depart: 12:15AM
Arrive: 6:15AM
Period: 9hr
Plane: Boeing 747-400
Seat: 62Okay (Business Class)

I boarded by way of the second set of doorways, the place I used to be greeted by the customer support supervisor and pointed in the direction of the steps, which have been proper by the door. Ah, there’s nothing fairly like going up the slender staircase on the 747. It’s a sensation that’s turning into far too uncommon these days, given what number of airways have retired the 747.

British Airways 747-400 stairs

Whereas I’ve been a troublesome critic of British Airways’ Membership World cabins on their 777s and A380s, the higher deck of the 747 felt like an entire totally different expertise.

The cabin has a complete of simply 20 enterprise class seats, unfold throughout 5 rows in a 2-2 configuration. Examine that to the decrease deck, the place there are as much as eight seats per row in enterprise class.

British Airways higher deck 747

British Airways 747 higher deck

As you possibly can see, British Airways enterprise class seats alternate between dealing with forwards and backwards. Whereas I don’t have a lot of a choice there, what’s essential is that you simply snag a window seat, as these are far more personal.

British Airways Membership World seats 747

British Airways 747 Membership World seats

The higher deck of the 747 even has some particular seats. Many individuals love 62A & 62Okay, that are the 2 rear dealing with window seats within the exit row (which is the third row of enterprise class on the higher deck).

British Airways Membership World seats 747

What makes these seats so nice is that they function direct aisle entry, since there’s nobody it’s a must to step over because of the exit row.

British Airways 747 enterprise class seat

On this flight I had assigned myself 62Okay, the exit row window seat on the proper aspect of the cabin.

British Airways 747 Membership World seats

British Airways 747 Membership World seat

I really like that the 747 higher deck has storage lockers. In any other case British Airways’ Membership World seats lack storage, so these are incredible, since you’ll be able to toss every part you need in there through the flight. I used to be additionally impressed by how huge the overhead bins have been on the higher deck, as they have been capable of match my full measurement carry-on.

British Airways 747 storage lockers

British Airways’ present Membership World seats function some flimsy ottomans. Throughout takeoff and touchdown the ottoman is within the vertical place.

British Airways seat 62Okay legroom

Then through the flight you possibly can decrease it. The catch is that it’s actually flimsy, so it should collapse if somebody sits on it, and even in case you apply an excessive amount of strain together with your legs.

British Airways Membership World ottoman

Ordinarily the one storage within the Membership World seat is a small compartment on the backside aspect of the seat. That is additionally the place the facility outlet is.

British Airways Membership World storage

Folding out from the best aspect of the seat have been each the tray desk and private tv.

British Airways Membership World leisure controller

The leisure controller was in that space as properly, and was tremendous outdated. British Airways is refreshing the leisure methods on a few of their 747s, however clearly this one hadn’t gotten the brand new system but.

British Airways Membership World leisure controller

The seat controls have been additionally to the appropriate of the seat.

British Airways Membership World seat controls

Throughout boarding I discover British Airways’ Membership World seats to be awkward in the event you’re touring alone. You’re primarily sitting throughout from somebody, and your faces are fairly shut collectively. It’s virtually awkward to not speak.

British Airways Membership World (lack of) privateness

Fortuitously the seats have a privateness partition. This may be raised after the security demonstration, and may also be stored up for touchdown, so it’s solely the very starting of the flight the place it’s worthwhile to cope with the awkwardness of the seating association.

The privateness of British Airways 62Okay

Sadly these seats don’t have particular person air nozzles.

British Airways just lately revamped their enterprise class bedding, which is now offered by The White Firm. There was an enormous pillow on my seat, after which a pouch that had the remainder of the bedding.

British Airways Membership World bedding

British Airways’ new bedding is superb. There’s an enormous, thick pillow, a cushty cover, a light-weight blanket, and a mattress sheet. I’m very impressed by what British Airways has accomplished right here.

British Airways Membership World bedding

There have been additionally actually low high quality headphones ready at my seat.

British Airways Membership World headphones

This flight was operated by a “mixed fleet” crew. British Airways has flight attendants at Heathrow engaged on two kinds of contracts. This was as a consequence of a labor dispute a number of years again.

British Airways’ combined fleet flight attendants are paid much less, keep at worse resorts, and usually don’t have the identical circumstances as British Airways’ extra senior flight attendants. So I usually discover that they’re excited and pleasant, however not essentially probably the most polished.

Anyway, a second after settling in one of many pleasant flight attendants taking good care of me got here by to provide me an amenity package and bottle of water.

British Airways has two flight attendants working the higher deck, so a 10:1 passenger to flight attendant ratio is fairly good, for those who ask me.

The amenity package was fairly good, and featured eyeshades, socks, earplugs, a pen, a toothbrush and toothpaste, lip balm, and a few lotion.

British Airways Membership World amenity package

Then 5 minutes later I used to be provided a pre-departure drink, with the selection between water and orange juice.

British Airways enterprise class pre-departure drink

A few minutes later I used to be introduced with the menu, together with a request to fill out the breakfast card ASAP.

British Airways enterprise class menu

All of the higher deck seats have been taken, and there was some amusing drama relating to seat assignments.

There was an aged British couple that wasn’t seated collectively. They have been each in aisle seats, and the flight attendant advisable they ask individuals to modify.

Right here’s the factor — British Airways costs additional to assign seats in enterprise class, and there’s an enormous distinction between aisle and window seats. So whereas I’m usually all for accommodating individuals in conditions like this, that is an exception. It’s not a good commerce, given the distinction within the high quality of the seats.

A gentleman seated in row 61 ended up agreeing to modify in order that they might sit collectively. He gave up his window seat for an aisle, which positive was a pleasant gesture.

However my gosh, he needed to make certain the couple knew the sacrifice he was making (which I type of don’t blame him for, however…). He was like “I just want you to know, my lady, that I’m giving up the best seat on the plane for you.”

“Oh I’m sorry, now I feel bad.”

“No, no, no, it’s okay, I’ll do anything for a lady.”

“Well that’s very kind of you.”

“I know, I made a huge sacrifice.”

This continued for some time. Then the flight attendant got here by and thanked the gentleman, and stated “well at least there aren’t any views on this overnight flight you’ll be missing.”

“Ah but you don’t understand, it’s not about the views, it’s about how much better the window seats are than the aisle seats.” He then went on to elucidate the distinction to her.

So I don’t blame him one bit, and he was being beneficiant, however for no less than 5 minutes we heard him educating the remainder of the higher deck concerning the relative seat high quality.

At round 12:15AM the primary cabin door closed, and across the similar time the captain made his announcement informing us that we’d have a fast taxi and a flight time of 8hr25min.

At 12:20AM we started our pushback, at which level British Airways’ security video screened (which I nonetheless discover hilarious):

Our taxi was comparatively fast, and at 12:35AM we have been cleared for takeoff. I’ll say the one draw back to seat 62Okay is that the flight attendant jumpseat is instantly throughout from it, so it’s the place each flight attendants sit throughout takeoff and touchdown. For that purpose I’d want seat 62A, the place you haven’t any jumpseat throughout from you.

As we climbed out I took a take a look at the leisure choice, beginning with the shifting map.

British Airways leisure choice

No, I didn’t take dangerous footage, British Airways’ leisure system on the 747 is so low high quality. Like, it’s unbelievable, and I really feel prefer it hasn’t been up to date because the seat was launched.

Map for flight to London

Map for flight to London

The leisure choice was alright however not nice, as there have been a number of dozen films and TV exhibits.

British Airways leisure choice

British Airways leisure choice

I ended up watching Blockers (or no matter you’d wish to name it), which was amusing(ish).

British Airways leisure choice

Whereas British Airways is progressively rolling out wifi all through their fleet (and lots of 747s have already got it), they didn’t but have it on this aircraft. Usually the “high density” enterprise class 747s are most certainly to have it (these are those with 86 enterprise class seats).

The seatbelt signal was turned off 5 minutes after takeoff, and at that time the crew sprayed the cabin, as is seemingly normal on flights from Kenya to the UK.

Shortly thereafter the service started. The menu learn as follows:

The drink listing learn as follows:

I used to be provided a heat towel 15 minutes after takeoff.

British Airways enterprise class dinner — heat towel

I used to be served my first drink 50 minutes after takeoff. Since British Airways just lately revamped their catering, I used to be wanting ahead to experiencing it. The drink was served on a cute little tray with some nuts. British Airways serves Champagne Canard-Duchene in enterprise class, which is sort of good.

British Airways enterprise class dinner — champagne and combined nuts

65 minutes after takeoff my first tray was served. I ordered an appetizer and soup, and boy was it an enormous portion.

The tray had seafood tartare and grilled prawn, mushroom soup, and a recent seasonal salad, together with some bread. Wow, that’s fairly a meal. The meals was distinctive — whereas the salad was a bit boring, the appetizer and soup have been each actually good.

British Airways enterprise class dinner — appetizer, soup, and salad

For the primary course I ordered the pan-seared breast of hen with mushroom sauce, herb orzo pasta, broccoli, courgette, and honey glazed carrots. The dish was wonderful.

British Airways enterprise class dinner — primary course

Lastly for dessert I had espresso mousse cake with white chocolate.

British Airways enterprise class dinner — dessert

The meals was unimaginable throughout the board. I couldn’t consider I used to be flying British Airways.

The crew was pleasant and environment friendly, and the meal was utterly finished lower than 90 minutes after takeoff. I think about that is one other advantage of the higher deck, as they solely have 20 passengers to care for, and it appeared like at the very least half of the passengers went straight to sleep.

By the point I completed the film we had about 6hr30min remaining to London, so I attempted to get some sleep.

Shifting map for flight to London

Shifting map for flight to London

Shifting map for flight to London

I first checked out the rest room. There are two on the higher deck — one on the entrance and one on the again — they usually look historic.

British Airways 747 toilet

That they had some primary merchandise from The White Firm within the toilet.

British Airways 747 toilet facilities

With the divider up and the direct aisle entry because of being in 62Okay, this was a very cozy cocoon. The one problem is that the ottoman wasn’t fairly on the similar peak as the remainder of the seat, so there was an odd hole when laying down. This wasn’t an enormous drawback, however did make it barely uncomfortable in mattress mode.

British Airways Membership World flat mattress

I acquired some strong sleep, and awakened about 90 minutes earlier than touchdown.

Map enroute to London

Map enroute to London

Inside about 15 minutes a flight attendant appeared with my breakfast tray. On brief in a single day flights I like once they take meal orders prematurely, because it minimizes the period of time between whenever you get up and if you’re served.

The breakfast card learn as follows:

I wasn’t that hungry provided that I had dinner just some hours earlier. I did actually benefit from the smoothie and the yogurt parfait. British Airways has wonderful espresso as nicely. For my principal I ordered the sun-dried tomato ciabatta with mushroom and tomato chutney, which was simply alright, so I didn’t end it.

British Airways Membership World breakfast

Over the subsequent 30 minutes extra individuals began to get up and order breakfast. At round 5:20AM in London, the primary officer introduced that we’d be touchdown at round 6AM. 15 minutes later the cabin began to be ready for touchdown. Whereas it was nonetheless darkish outdoors, I might see the dawn within the far distance, which was lovely.

Solar slowly rising approaching London

We ended up touching down on runway 9L at 5:55AM, and from there had a 5 minute taxi to our arrival gate at Terminal three, the place we arrived at 6AM, and parked subsequent to Cathay Pacific and Finnair planes.

View at Terminal three arrival gate Heathrow

The primary officer introduced that we had a sick passenger onboard and requested everybody to stay seated till medical employees boarded. That took just some minutes, after which the captain was on the door to say goodbye to everybody and thank them for his or her endurance, which was a pleasant contact.

British Airways 747 enterprise class backside line

I’ve been a harsh critic of British Airways’ enterprise class prior to now, although this flight actually impressed me.

To begin with, flying on the higher deck of the 747 felt like a totally totally different expertise. The cabin feels a lot extra intimate, the storage lockers make a world of various, and generally I simply love being on the higher deck of the 747.

On prime of that, I feel British Airways kind of hit it out of the park with their new tender product. The brand new meals, bedding, and amenity kits are prime notch, and such a distinction to my previous experiences with British Airways.

Now we’ll simply should see what their new enterprise class seat is like.


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