British Airways First JFK to LHR, 1st January 2018, + Concorde Room JFK

This is a review of my BA first flight as well as the Concorde Room at JFK, The lounge is suprising, but also the views.

  • AIRCRAFT: BOEING 747-400
  • SEAT: 3A
  • ROUTE: JFK TO LHR
  • FLIGHT NUMBER: BA172
  • CLASS: FIRST

Onto the review!

Concorde Room JFK:

We got out of a taxi, we went into JFK and went to First check-in, and got our boarding passes. We just showed our passports, and they printed the boarding passes. We then went to the “First Class Security”, which wasn’t first class, because there was a queue. After that you go through a sliding door, and show your boarding pass and they let you into the lounge. I’m not sure which lounge wins, because the Heathrow one probably has more spaces to sit, but the JFK one has better furniture. Where I sat down I had a view of an OpenSkies 757, and 1 Latam plane, as well as some American planes. The one I could most easily see was an American 777. To my left, there were some things producing massive smoke, so you couldn’t see anything to your left if you were at the back part of the lounge. I’m not sure if that’s normal, but there might be a photo of it later. There was also a jet bridge, which looked like it was leading straight into the wall of the lounge. I still had about 4 hours left. Then I watched some YouTube videos, and then a waiter came to give us a menu and take our order. I forgot to take pictures of the menu, but there wasn’t much of a choice. If you want an idea of the menu, then look at the menu from my outbound BA flight. I ordered a salad thing, but realized I didn’t like it. There were those leaf things that all salads have, some orange thing and some purple things. Then I got some fries, and then my pudding, which was the only pudding, an ice cream. I did have a mystery OpenSkies 757 in front of me, which didn’t show up on Flightradar24, even though I’m a gold Flightradar24 member, or JFK’s website. The jet bridge I talked about earlier, that was leading to the 757. Then they took my tray, and I had even more orange juice. Then it was time for some more YouTube videos, and then some X-Plane. I then found out that our flight was going to be operated by a April 1996 747. I knew it was going to be a 747, just not that old. The registration was G-CIVH.

 

The Flight:

We left the Concorde Room at around 8:00 PM, and got to gate 10, where they were making final boarding calls. We then showed our passports and got into a queue to board the plane. Once we got on the plane, at the door I saw the stairs leading to the upper deck of the huge 747-400. I knew this plane would be 21 years old, but it looked as if it had been delivered maybe 2 years ago. We then went through a mini-business class cabin, and found First Class. We went to 4A and 3A, and I took 3A. We were then handed out amenity kits and pajamas. I use the British Airways headphones, because I don’t want to get my own out. The pilot then made an announcement saying that all doors are now closed and we were waiting for our cargo door to close. I was not sure how they would do the safety briefing, because the screens have to be folded away for take-off and landing, but you can’t see the crew from a first class seat. The crew then handed out water, and collected headphone wrappers. Then the crew handed out hot towels, which had a tasty smell. We then started to taxi, and the crew were told “All doors automatic and crosscheck”. I saw 2 Virgin America A320s, 2 JetBlue A320s, an Delta plane of which model I’m not sure, but registration N178DN (It was a 767), an Emirates A380, a Singapore Airlines A380, and a TAP Portugal A330.  The crew then announced they were doing a safety video, but I’m still not sure about there rules about stowing screens for take-off and landing, if you need to watch a safety video. It turns out they just show it on the stowed screens. Then we took off and the seat-belt signs were turned off almost exactly 5 minutes later. The main power port is not well placed, as it’s towards the front end of the seat, and on the bottom part of the fuselage. The USB port though is very well placed, as it’s right next to you. The entertainment device is touchscreen, but there’s also a remote. The crew then started making beds. The crew was a great crew, as they were friendly, and they smiled alot. Then I found that the airshow confirmed something suprising I heard in an earlier announement, that our flight time was only 5 hours 30 minutes, which is about 3 hours shorter than our outbound flight. Even though the west-bound flight, the flight time expected when we booked was 7 hours 5 minutes. They would’ve gotten away with a big delay! I like the 747 airshow more than the 787 one sooooo much more. It moves by itself, and you just watch it. Even though the 747 has 14 seats and the 787 has 8, you don’t feel like there a nearly double the seats. I’m writing this while in my seat at 11000 meters in the sky, and the crew are taking food and drink orders. I don’t eat a lot of food, and since I had 3 or 4 orange juices in the Concorde Room, I didn’t have anything. The seats are in a forward facing staggered confighuration, so it’s pretty private. Then I browsed the entertainment selection, which was different from the 787 selection, but it only had 1 episode of Top Gear compared to 2 on the 787 :(. Then I filled in a book called “100 Things to do on a Plane”. I then watched Despicable Me 1, which I think was better than the 2nd one and the 3rd one. The rest of the flight was just me playing with the seat controls. I found out after the flight that we had been assigned altitudes of flight level 350 (35000ft), Flight level 370 (37000ft), and Flight level 390 (39000ft). After we landed at Heathrow, we had a long taxi to a gate. Then I did one of the best things possible! After landing, I got to go to the upper deck, and go into the cockpit. I wore the co-pilot’s hat, and I sat in his seat. After that, the main pilot, let me press the button which disengages autopilot. Then it beeped for 2 seconds and then went back to normal. That was the best part of this flight! Here are some photos from this review:

Me at JFK
My salad at JFK
My fries at JFK
My ice cream at JFK
The seat
The best part!!
Bye 747

Ground experience at Heathrow:

We went from the gates to a lift that led us to the shuttle train. The shuttle took about 2 minutes to get to the station, and about 2 minutes to get to A gates (exit). When we got there there was a massive passport control queue, and I don’t see why they can’t put fast track in the EU lane. Then we went on a 5 minute walk to the arrivals lounge, where we got breakfast invitations and were let into the lounge. The lounge was alot smaller than the Concorde Room, just a tiny bit smaller than the Galleries lounge at the B gates at Heathrow, which I reviewed earlier. We didn’t really use our breakfast invites, because I had nearly nothing, and my mum just had some coffee. The lounge has seating with powerports, and then a huge sofa near the back, next to the shower rooms. That’s where I’m writing this review from. We didn’t actually use the invites at all, since to use them you need to go to the First Breakfast Room. The reason this lounge isn’t a match to the Concorde Room is because also business class can access this arrivals lounge. Then we got a train home, which was the easiest option. Byeeeee!

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