Many of us know what it's like to take a flight in economy class. Some service providers are better than others, but British Airways has long been known for the special amenities that their passengers are entitled to when flying first class. If you've ever wondered what it's like to fly British Airways first class, here's what you could expect if you splurge on an upgraded ticket.
The luxury begins before you even board the aircraft
British Airways maintains lounges for first class passengers that offer a comfortable place to rest, relax or get caught up on business tasks prior to boarding the airplane. If you have time to kill before boarding you can take a nap if you're sleepy or use the available fax machines, copiers, printers and internet access that is provided in the lounges. You'll also have your choice of a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages to choose from in the departure lounges.
The Arrivals lounge offers a full shower for guests who would like to freshen up before the flight. They also provide a variety of dining options, clothes pressing services and access to the Concorde Room. This lavish lounge offers private cabanas, fine dining, full waiter service and a bar that serves cocktails and champagne. If you'd like to take relaxation to the next level, there are also spa treatments available for first-class passengers. You can enjoy a massage or facial treatment before your flight.
No-hassles at the airport
You'll notice the difference between first class and economy privilege before you even step foot on the plane. First class affords you the benefit of avoiding long lines in the check-in process and the troublesome baggage restrictions do not apply to you. It's almost like being a VIP. Most of the time, you'll have access to a special check-in desk that is designated for first-class fliers only. You also get priority boarding. You can pack your bags as heavy as you want. You can bring a bag into the cabin, as many as three bags in the holding area and a handbag or laptop on board with you.
First-class treatment once you've boarded
Immediately upon boarding, each first-class passenger is shown to their suite aboard the plane. You'll have plenty of leg room once you arrive as the suites are spacious and luxurious. You'll be offered with a glass up champagne after you get comfortable. You're given your own British Airways bag that comes with what they refer to as "wellbeing essentials" prior to take-off. Each suite is equipped with a power supply for your electronic devices.
While in flight, you can relax and choose from a variety of TV shows, documentaries or films, viewing them on the 15-inch screen that's provided. You can also play games if you prefer and the noise canceling headphones allow you to listen to audio books or music. You can charge your devices while you nap. If you're fortunate enough to book a first-class flight aboard the 787-9 Dreamliner member of the fleet of aircraft, you'll enjoy the touchscreen handsets and even larger screens.
Comfort and luxury on long flights
If you're on a long flight, your seat folds into a bed that allows you to lie flat and get some deep sleep before you land. The bed is a quilted mattress that is 198 cm. and passengers are supplied with a white pillow and duvet made of cotton materials. New cotton pajamas are also available for first class passengers.
British Airways keeps an impressive collection of champagne and wine on hand for its first class guests. Instsead of the informal fish or chicken offerings made by flight attendants as they roll down the aisles, you're given a menu and the option of ordering your food from an a la carte menu. You can have your meal at any time you want during the flight. The airline offers these meal choices served to you in fine bone china and they're placed on white linen tablecloths. This is a radical upgrade from the plastic trays that are used for economy passengers. Breakfasts, lunches, and dinners are served and they are complete meals that include appetizers and desserts. A 24-hour concierge service is provided for first-class passengers.
As a complimentary service, first class passengers are also offered travel advise. The staff is available to point passengers in the right direction of the best restaurants, or to popular travel destinations. The services start before the flight starts and continue until the baggage is picked up and the passenger is happily on his or her way to their destination. The cost of a first class ticket aboard British Airways is going to cost a lot more than other flights. A roundtrip fare from Seattle to London costs $11,531, while a flight to Paris is $11,983 with some other destinations reaching more than $12,000 per person, per round-trip flight.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker