Royal Brunei Airlines B777-200ER Business

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  • Anonymous
    Guest

    croomes30
    Participant

    Check-in and Lounge (LHR – DXB – BWN): I checked in online 24 hours before my flight which was 2-stage affair from Heathrow to Dubai, followed by Dubai to Brunei; online check-in was simple and easy to follow and I was easily able to change my seat from 11D to my preference of a window seat in 14A. As this was my first flight with RBA I was required to insert my passport details and was unable to print my boarding pass so was required to head to the check-in desks upon arrival at Heathrow Terminal 4. When I arrived the following morning the terminal was busy but the RBA desks were relatively quiet, so I headed straight to the Business Class line and was seen to immediately by a member of staff. Despite being slightly over the require weight of 7kg for cabin baggage, I was allowed to take my bags onboard and was issued with my boarding pass and invite to the Etihad Lounge within 5 minutes. Although flying Business Class I was not issued with a Fast Track Security tag, but even though security was busy, I was through to airside within 10 minutes. After some duty free shopping I quickly found my way to the Etihad Lounge, which shares an entrance with the SkyTeam Lounge near Gate 10; the Etihad Lounge being downstairs. The lounge was welcoming and I met my travelling colleague for a buffet breakfast and coffee served by waiting staff; spa treatments and showers are also available for clients.

    Boarding (LHR): Flights are not called in the Etihad Lounge so we made our way to the designated gate for the boarding time stipulated. Boarding was delayed some 10-15 minutes past the designated time, but when it commenced was undertaken with incredible swiftness, with parents with young children and elderly requiring assistance being announced prior to Business Class passengers. Although a little chaotic at the gate, passengers not in those categories were ushered aside and asked to wait until called for boarding.

    Seat (LHR – DXB): RBA’s Business Class seats on their leased Boeing 777-200ERs are set out in 2-2-2 layout and are of the angled flat variety. The cabin and seats are in a pale lilac colour with the facia around the seat back TV’s in mock polished walnut. The seat backs have a 10 inch screen and two side pockets, one either side of the screen for storing things, the seat back pocket being somewhat limited; there are also handy hand-holds running across the top of the seat back so you grab onto it as you extract yourself from your seat to get to the aisle – particularly helpful if in the window seat. The armrest on one side houses the entertainment system handset and the other houses the table for dining; there is also a reading light and 3-pin power socket and headset sockets just over the passenger’s shoulder. The seats were prepared with a cushion, blanket and amenity kit comprising of socks, eye mask, ear plugs, tooth brush and toothpaste. The seats are wide and comfortable with a massage function, and leg rest and seat back tilt functions as well as the lie-flat function. My seat would only work with the lie-flat button, but when I mentioned this to the cabin crew during the flight, they took little time in finding a crew member who could adjust the seat for me manually (as they could not fix it in the air) and were most apologetic about the fault. I will comment about the comfort of the seat in the lie-flat mode in my trip report for the Dubai-Brunei overnight leg.

    Flight: Despite the delay in boarding the aircraft, we pushed back on time at 10:10hrs and were airborne at 10:30hrs. The flight time to Dubai was quite quick at 6hrs 40mins and was exceedingly comfortable.

    Food & Drink (LHR – DXB): Menus were handed out before we left the gate and we were also offered pre-flight drinks. Bear in mind that RBA has a ‘no alcohol’ policy, but you can take your own duty free alcohol on-board which you can either serve yourself, or they will keep in the galley for you. Lunch orders were taken about 40 minutes after take-off along with your non-alcoholic drinks choice and were served approximately 10-20 minutes after. I chose to have a starter of olive oil dressed smoked chicken which was served with a small side salad which unfortunately had wilted a little in the chiller, followed by stir-fried beef noodles which was exceptionally tender and very tasty. I chose to have the cheese platter as dessert followed by a jasmine tea. Bottled water was issued after the lunch trays were removed. A light snack was also available prior to landing at Dubai, but I chose not to have this.

    Entertainment: The entertainment system is quite old and although there are many channels to choose from including up to 25-30 film and TV channels, they operate on a loop and although there is the ability to pause, rewind or fast forward, if you’ve missed the start of the film you have to rewind to find it and then start watching. Movie and audio choice was also a little limited and had not been updated from the October schedule, even though the date of the flight was 5th November.

    Arrival: We arrived at Dubai airport on time and announcements were made which made it clear that those passengers continuing the journey to Brunei had to leave the aircraft taking any valuables, but that you could leave any other carry-on luggage in the overhead lockers. On disembarkation, all transit passengers went into a separate queue where we were issued with transit boarding cards which also gave us entry to the Dubai Airport Hotel business class lounge opposite gate C8.

    Boarding (DXB): Flights are not called in the Dubai lounge so we made our way to the designated gate for the boarding time stipulated. Boarding was swift and again announced for parents with young children and elderly requiring assistance prior to Business Class passengers.

    Seat (DXB – BWN): As mentioned in the report on the LHR-DXB leg, my seat would only operate in the ‘lie-flat’ function, but on this overnight sector of the flight this was the only function I needed. On pressing and holding down the lie-flat switch (nearest to the armrest portion which houses the entertainment handset) the seat transitions into an angled lie-flat bed and the armrests either side of the seat also lower to a suitable height to give the sleeper more width. Although the seat is not overly angled and I did not feel as if I was slipping down the seat at all, I fiddled with the switch for a while until I found a flatter position with which I was more comfortable. The cabin crew provide passengers with a pillow and a duvet for sleeping and once I was settled I managed a clear 4hrs of sleep with little disturbance or discomfort, awakening when the cabin lights were switched on for breakfast.

    Flight: We pushed back on time at 22:45hrs and were airborne at 23:00hrs DXB time. The flight time to Brunei was quick at 7hrs 40mins and was very comfortable.

    Food & Drink (DXB – BWN): The applicable menus were handed out on the LHR-DXB leg and again and we were offered pre-flight drinks before push-back from the gate. Dinner orders were taken about 40 minutes after take-off along with your non-alcoholic drinks choice and were served approximately 10-20 minutes after. Having already eaten the lunch on the previous leg and wanting to get some sleep on this leg, I chose to have a main course only and opted for a pedang beef curry with rice, which was excellent and very tasty. Bottled water was issued after the dinner trays were removed. Breakfast was served about 2 hours prior to landing at Brunei, but not being an airline breakfast fan, I simply chose to have a strawberry smoothie and a cup of tea.

    Arrival: We arrived at Brunei airport on time and arrival through passport control and customs was easy and smooth, probably because most passengers appeared to be transit passengers for the onward leg to Melbourne and Brunei airport is rather small.

    Overall: Whilst certainly not the best business class product on the market and having heard personally from other people and read other trip reports on the Royal Brunei Business Class product, it can still seem a bit hit and miss in terms of service, food quality and menu choice availability. On the basis that RBA do not offer First Class, the Business Class product could do with some updating to standards and layouts similar to that used by United Business First, Virgin Atlantic Upper Class or Air Canada Executive First. However, for the additional comfort of a lie-flat seat, reasonable choice of entertainment and food and albeit ‘non-alcohol’ policy, the price of a return ticket paid by my company of £2,100 is excellent value for money compared to twice that price being charged by British Airways and Qantas for their Business Class products, through Singapore at the time we booked the tickets.


    FormerlyDoS
    Participant

    Thanks for the interesting and well written report, Croomes 30.

    It’s always good to read about an airline that features little on here.


    Inquisitive
    Participant

    Croomes30, for departure you do not need a fast track card for fast track security lane. You can just show your business class boarding pass to the entry point keeper and he/she will allow you forward.


    Inquisitive
    Participant

    Croomes30, for departure you do not need a fast track card for fast track security lane. You can just show your business class boarding pass to the entry point keeper and he/she will allow you forward.

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