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February 21, 2016

Review: British Airways First Class B787-9 London to Muscat via Abu Dhabi

British Airways First Class B787-9

After my AZAL flight to London, I have to return to Abu Dhabi the next day. BA recently deployed their latest aircraft type, Boeing 787-9 on Abu Dhabi and Muscat route. So this naturally became my choice of flying back.

Early morning at Heathrow Terminal 5 First Class check-in

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The Concorde Room

Check-in was a breeze, passing through the fast track security and turn right immediately to the Concorde Room, which is used by First Class customers.

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The lounge is divided into outdoor terrace (below) and indoor section which consists of the Concorde Bar, dining room and more lounging area.

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First Class customer is entitle to free Spa.

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One of my favourite breakfast is at BA’s lounge. I stop counting how many calories!

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Today’s flight to Abu Dhabi and Muscat is boarding at gate C53, I have to take the train to reach the satellite pier.

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The flight attendant at the door showed my seat 2K in First Class cabin.

I was impressed how intimate and cozy the cabin feels. It has a very luxury finish.

Notice all the window is dimmed (black) at boarding.

The window eventually turned to normal during push back.

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Pyjama, amenity kit, newspaper and magazine were handed out swiftly.

I chose Mimosa as my welcome drink.

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Plenty of storage

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Everything is controlled by turning this stylish dial.

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Unfortunately, the spot light is already broken.

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The seat itself is extremely comfortable in lounging position although the legroom at the end is very narrow.

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Excellent privacy as you don’t see the passenger.

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Very Dreamliner isn’t? Cruising initially at 31,000 feet. The cabin looks immaculate.

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In-flight Service

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Hors d’oeuvre, not on the menu and I forgot what it was!

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For starter I chose the Brie Souffle

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Seabass for main course

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Well, the food is all right for BA. But still nowhere near its European competitor offering in First Class (Air France or Lufthansa)

I skip the cheese and dessert and went for a nap.

The bed is very comfortable but very narrow at the feet.

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I’d say the pilot is the greatet asset of BA. They’re really the nicest in the industry. Everytime when I send my log book to them, they return with full of useful information. The captain even gave me his B787 navigation map, printed latest ATIS and a “Future BA Pilot” sticker 🙂

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A rare line up of 6 BA Concorde photo in High Life Magazine.

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Before landing into Abu Dhabi, I have the English Afternoon tea set, which consist of finger sandwich, scone, dessert and tea.

This is something BA always very good at.

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After a quick 6hr25mins flight, we touched down on RWY31R of Abu Dhabi International. We eventually taxied to hard stand 133 for arrival. Captain Ibrar Ul-Haq came out of the cockpit and showed me the cockpit. Out of particular interest is the head-up display (HUD). One can only read it while sitting down on the pilots seat.

Captain Ibrar Ul-Haq is extremely nice. He is in fact the first Muslim pilot at BA. His story can be read here.

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Continue to Muscat

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Passengers continue to Muscat to remain onboard while the cleaners and caterer worked hard for the 1 hour turnaround.

The purser Stuart, took this opportunity to give me a full tour of the BA B787-9 Dreamliner.

I was shown Business Class, Premium Economy, Economy and crew rest located at the end of the plane, access by stairways.

BA’s motto To Fly To Serve painted on the bulkhead in First Class

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Club Class, feature 2-3-2 configuration. The window and middle seat is in reverse facing.

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During the turnaround, the crew were very proactive chatting with fellow passengers.

The flight to Muscat is a short 40 minutes cruising at 19,000 feet.

A quick snack is served.

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Final approach into Muscat

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Conclusion

BA has a solid and respectable First Class product. i enjoyed the short hop from London to Middle East with them.

The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner is a pleasure to fly with, one can notice the higher humidity cabin makes it more comfortable to the skin. While the seat many has argued it looks like glorified Business Class seat, I think the privacy, ambience and service level are all real First Class. BA should continue to improve the food onboard. Thank you for the great flight deck crew for their warm hospitality.

Comments

  1. I conceive you have observed some very interesting points, thanks for the post.

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