Flight Date: 09APR2013— On this leg of my Oneworld Global Explorer journey—SIN-SYD—British Airways was my only option. I’ve always had good experiences with BA in the past though and since I had never flown their B777-300, this worked out perfectly. Although Qantas still fly the SIN-SYD route, their new partnership with Emirates means they no longer fly their A380s to London via Singapore. So as it currently stands, British Airways is the only Oneworld member with a first class cabin flying direct between these two cities.
Singapore’s Changi Airport deserves its reputation as the world’s best. I only had an hour and 15 minutes as I was connecting from Kuala Lumpur, but this is one of the few airports in the world where I actually enjoy spending time—easy to get around, shopping galore, restaurants, bars, gym etc. It’s all there at Changi.
I wanted to catch up on some e-mails though, so I headed for the British Airways Lounge. This is the lounge they used to share with Qantas. It’s seen better days, but British Airways have recently announced a full renovation and the current lounge will close in September.
Boarding was called for BA 015 to Sydney and I gathered up my stuff and headed over to Gate C24. This was the first time flying the newly introduced BA F-class cabin and it was stunning. Navy blue, grey, beige, and white blended perfectly with the unique window treatment and subdued cabin lighting– very posh, yet not over-the-top. Bravo! To the designer, you really hit the ball out of the park.
Like the old British Airways first class seat, the new ones are a tad narrow at the toe and you do feel a bit boxed-in. Controls on this new seat though were easy to use and a friendly Scottish flight attendant brought me a nice glass of Laurent-Perrier “Grand Siècle” Champagne and the tasteful amenity kit and dinner menu.
Take-off was smooth and I immediately switched on the in-flight map and noticed we were headed in the wrong direction…if only for a few minutes. The pilot made a hard right and we were on our way to Sydney after all.
For dinner, I chose the lobster and salad for starters and the snapper as the main dish. Similar to my experience I had with Qantas a few days back, the in-flight catering on tonight’s flight left a lot to be desired. The service started with a roasted duck and mango chutney amuse bouche. (a little big for an amuse bouche?)
The lobster starter consisted of a few slices of cold lobster meat, mayonnaise and some lettuce.
The salad was fresh, but smothered in too much dressing. You can’t tell from the photo below, but it’s swimming in it! ewww.
The main dish of pan-fried snapper in ginger sauce was entirely edible, but far from delicious.
Dessert was vanilla panna cotta with mixed berries and again nothing to write home about.
The service was very good though and BA always has nice wines on-board; so with a glass of the Chateau Petit Village 2004, Bordeaux in hand, I settled in to catch up on some reading.
Something about planes always makes me sleepy and only halfway through the first Chapter of Kate Atkinson’s ‘Life after Life’, I started dozing off. I awoke right as the crew were serving breakfast, which I decided against for fear of waking up the fish from last night’s meal…
With British Airways new first class offering, it’s all about the cabin. And a stunningly beautiful cabin it is. In hindsight, I would have preferred to have flown during the day to better enjoy the cabin itself. The seats are very comfortable in the seated position, but a little too narrow at the toe for taller passengers when fully reclined. British Airways have a very extensive in-flight entertainment line-up and the Anya Hindmarch designed amenity bag is cool and the amenities therein plentiful. The pajamas provided on-board fit perfectly and were of high-quality fabric as well. In-flight crew were attentive, friendly and understated. Only gripe was the food which is not up to first class standards such as the likes of Cathay, JAL, Malaysia, SQ or Lufthansa. Can’t wait to try the new British Airways A380 service later in the year and hopefully they will beef-up their in-flight catering in the meantime.
For more information on British Airways First Class
British Airways B777-300 First Class Photo Gallery