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Interesting post and one that brings out some fairly strong and divergent views.
I flew back from Dubai yesterday on an economy award ticket, booked just a few days ago. This is the first time I have flown with BA from Terminal 1 Concourse D. Check-in was fast as I was able to use the First counter. Immigration queues are still very long (massive on arrive with Qatar on Friday) but I cheated as the Emirati friend I was with used her charm to get me through the GCC counter. The new BA Lounge is a big improvement and no problem in my friend joining me there even though she was flying Qatar (as should have been the case. No hot food in the lounge for the lunchtime flight – “they will give you a meal on the flight”.
I went to the gate early and was very pleased to receive an upgrade to Club World. Boarding was very orderly, even though the flight was full. To pick up on FDO’s point about UK – DXB flights, talking and listening to other passengers I would say that the vast majority of the (full) flight were Dubai originating – it is very unlikely that EK would have a similar profile. Given that the majority of EK passengers are in transit to/ from elsewhere, I am not sure what more BA could do to compete on that specific route. Close ties to QR will make this a much more realistic proposition via Doha.
I was directed to my Seat (14B) and was able to stow everything I need to stow in my aisle seat. . I had to remind my Mixed Fleet crew to take my jacket even though I was holding it prominently. The purser welcomed and talked to me personally at seat for an extended period. Overall, service was good and engaged – my neighbour had a number of specific needs which were attended to without fuss. I did not use the seat in recline or full flat during the flight as I was working – I do agree that the tables are not great, are ‘bouncy’ and do not really give sufficient room to spread out the stuff with which I was working. I did not make use of the IFE except to follow the map.
My lunch was very enjoyable – a mezze that was up there with the ones I have had in Qatar Business and a filet steak that was moist and tender. The pantry was fully stocked and re-stocked during the flight when raided regularly by young passengers. Tea was served before arrival – sandwiches which were a bit dry/ stale but a yummy strawberry cake!!
We arrived early into Heathrow and my jacket was ready for me at the door on exit (as agreed). The formalities through immigration and back into T5 for my connection were (for once) relatively painless. I see that the catering set up in the First Lounge in T5 has been revamped – seemed good to me and included some imaginative cold as well as hot offerings.
BA were not perfect but by no means the slide to oblivion that some seem to experience – and generally, for my routings, they are very much at the lower end of the pricing options.