Just returned from Hawaii where LHR-LAX was with BA and LAX-HNL was AA. LHR-LAX we were lucky and had New First and LAX-LHR was ‘old’ First so good to do comparison. So what’s different? NF is nice and new(!), a bit more personal space. Your own little (it is!) locker is a nice touch but only if you have a light jacket to hang up. Nice little space for your shoes in the bottom of the locker. Although I like the bigger IFE screen, I wonder why they couldn’t have better picture quality. Movies seemed slightly fuzzy. With these brand new systems I thought they might be able to offer HD quality? I found the new window ‘system’ a bit of a gadget. It certainly did not enhance my First experience! The new colour scheme in the cabin is modern, clean and elegant………. and that’s about it! The old First is beginning to look a bit tired, but I was no less comfortable than in NF. In fact, when dining with my wife, I found the the ‘buddy’ seat in old F better. The NF ‘buddy’ seat has less width at seat and shoulders (due to inside screen of new window system), so had to sit a bit hunched up.
The day before LHR departure I called You First to see if we would be getting the NF cabin. They said no and I felt quite disappointed. Great surprise to once onboard though. Now that I have flown both however, I can say that I would be very happy with either.
I agree with previous posts – what really makes the difference between First and the rest is the service. Maybe we were lucky but service on our flights was excellent. Personal and attentive without being snobby or intrusive. Although we were not greeted by name on boarding, we were addressed by name during the flight. I’m not going to complain about that! The food was very good. No problems with selection availability and the First cabin was full in both directions. Also, the Concorde Room at T5 is the best ‘lounge’ I have ever been in (now if the NF seats were like those armchairs….!!!) and I totally agree that it should be reserved for First customers only (no matter how many Exec Club Gold cards you have!).
Is NF worth the extra £’s over CW? If someone else is paying – yes! If my money – no. I would, however use BA miles to upgrade from CW to First anytime.
To Vintage Krug, who ages ago, in a reply to me in this forum, said that I would not be disappointed if I did not experience the New First – you were right. I found flying First in ‘old’ and ‘new’ equally enjoyable.
Thanks BA too!
PS. AA’s First from LAX-HNL-LAX really is not worth mentioning!