Reply To: British Airways B747-400 High J

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Ciprian Hirlea
Keymaster

Having fallen in love with Delta Connection on the connecting flight, Cupid clearly thought his work was done for the evening and snapped his arrow in spite. In case anyone thinks some of the comments below are in anyway sexist, they reflect the views of Mrs and Miss Hermes1964 as well, who had much to offer by way of feedback on this flight.

Checkin
As our bags had been checked through from our previous flight, and we had pre-printed boarding passes we proceeded straight to the Lounge, having pushed our luggage up hill in the premium security line.

Lounge
The lounge attendant was cool and simply asked “can I help you?” Did we look as if we were in the wrong place – I don’t think so? She then warmed up and asked to see our luggage receipts so that they could be input them on to the system. The Lounge was at its busiest as we had arrived some 2 1/2 hours before our departure and it took a while to find three seats together. The Galleries lounge is a pretty un-prepossessing space, but certainly preferable to the rest of Terminal 7 which is no place you’d want to hang around, and with a fairly poor set of shops. After an hour or so we proceeded to the dining room, which by now had cleared and had a reasonable chicken dish with salad and baked potatoes, followed by cheese. Its not gourmet by any means, but perfectly adequate and importantly avoids the need to waste sleeping time on inflight dining.

Boarding
We went to the gate before boarding was shown in the lounge as we needed to move to keep ourselves awake. In actual fact a slightly chaotic boarding had started and we joined the line. Once on board we were directed upstairs, where a couple of pretty unimpressive and scruffy F/As stood nattering – something that became the overriding feature of the night. While the male F/A had had time to bath in Aramis, he’d obviously run out of time to brush his hair, as had his female colleague, who looked as if she’d just pulled her head through a hedge. And who goes to work when the seam of their skirt has split half way up and the lining has fallen down at the front by two inches. Wouldn’t you have the wit to pin it up?

The Seat
Its all been said before and this 747 looked much like the others – greying plastic and yellowy lighting. The seats were, however, reasonably intact/padded and direct aisle access for night flights is always handy for springing up for that “first to the washroom” race that always kicks off as soon as the fasten seat belt sign goes out. Despite it being past most people’s bed time, the cabin crew had clearly decided that we would all be much happier if they talked noisily to each other and at us from the moment we got on to the moment we got off. They were beyond irritating!

The Flight
We pushed back with all window blinds shut and taxied for some time. Eventually the Captain announced a delay of a further 30 minutes due to the length of the queue for take off. This did, however, enable us all to catch up on the crew’s roster for the past month and month to come, who was about to retire, views of past girlfriends, crew hotels, etc, which of course we all needed to know. Eventually one noticed that no blinds were open and raised one next to each of the exit doors, one of which was closed again by the neighbouring passenger, but reopened again shortly after takeoff. I thought they all had to be opened for takeoff and landing – does anyone know the rule? Certainly on the upper deck there's no way to no whether an exit door is usable unless blinds are up.

Menus were handed out prior to takeoff, but having eaten I only checked out the breakfast options. The menu advised that breakfast could be ordered by completing a card, but as none was provided, I went to sleep assuming that this would be served in the normal way.

The flight was relatively smooth, although the cabin was freezing cold, and the cover provided was insufficient to make things bearable. I already knew that blankets were in short supply as a neighbour had asked for one and unfortunately I never woke up properly enough to get up and do something about it, but it was an uncomfortable night with poor sleep as a result.

Breakfast was served about 45 minutes before landing. Hurrah to the removal of the horrible plastic fruit punnet! And the dried up bacon roles have been replaced by an oily but tasty panini. I managed to get two cups of reasonably strong tea, though my wife subsequently recounted that the crew were referring to the passengers as “this one” throughout the service, i.e. “this one wants tea”. I removed my earplugs in time to hear a passenger behind me being woken by the steward with a loud, and I quote, “wakey, wakey – its time for you to wake up so that we can land”, which just left me thinking what kind of joke service we were being subjected to. I would not want to be woken up like that!
Finally, not sure what happened to hot towels on this flight – perhaps I had my eyes shut when they came around.

Verdict
My needs on an eastbound overnight flight are very limited. The priority is to be able to sleep in the knowledge that should you need anything you will be well looked after. This service was downright poor. Some F/As clearly need to be reminded that their voices carry, particularly if they are the only ones talking in what is a relatively small cabin. And newsflash – we are no more interested in your roster than we would expect you to be in ours. I was left seriously questioning whether my past obsession with collecting Avios points now needs to be stopped and my priorities reconsidered.

Review courtesy of Seatplans.com. Original review by user Hermes1964 can be found here

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