JOURNEY TO OCEANIA: BRITISH AIRWAYS B777-300ER CLUB WORLD BUSINESS CLASS
Me and my family went on a family vacation to Sydney & Auckland last month. It has been years we went to overseas as a family hence i was really looking forward to this trip.
In this new series "Journey to Oceania", i will bring you along my journey with British Airways Club World Business Class, World Traveller Plus Premium Economy & Qantas A330 Business Class.
What's the deal?
After confirming our holiday destination, i decided to run a search hoping to find a good deal.
We are comfortable with paying for something more comfortable but not Business Class as it was way too pricey.
So we went ahead with Premium Economy.
ITA Matrix search results returned positively with Premium Economy & presumably a free upgrade to Business Class between Australia & New Zealand.
Best of all, it's priced as Premium Economy ticket. Until today, i still don't know what's the deal with this. Hopefully you readers can enlighten me if you know something about it! Real Curious about it!
As oneworld sapphire member, i went for the priority check in lane. Over the counter, the agent recommend us the upgrade offer of $699 per person. We were in deep discussion before agreeing to the upgrade with assurance that we will get the couple seats onboard.
British Airways has its own lounge in Changi Airport Terminal 1. It's practical for BA to have their own lounge here as they do operate flights between London to Australia with Singapore as Stopover. I guess this route is pretty lucrative for them to have the budget to build a lounge.
Feel free to browse thru the photo slideshow.
Boarding G-STBA, a 8 years old Boeing 777-300ER(77W)
So here's my couple seats for tonight.
Everyone passes by Business Class section during boarding hence it was indeed really busy.
Here are the 2 seaters on the side. It's staggered and designed as front & rear facing seats.
Here's the window seats and by far the best you can get. In fact on this flight, all window seats are occupied. It's that popular.
This is also by far the most private seats onboard. Plus you have 3 windows all to yourself.
At the footwell area, you can find your private compartment to store your valuable. I must say that this is really out of the box idea.
Flight attendant came by seat by seat distributing the Amenity Kit by The White Company.
Duvert & blanket can also be found in this specially packed bag.
Soon we were offered the menu for today. Dinner & Breakfast will be served on this flight.
First impression of the menu : High Quality Thick Material with really nice texture to them.
You were given a breakfast card to indicate your option to have full breakfast or just a cup of coffee which means you get more sleep time considering that it's a red eye flight.
Even though this is the couple seat, you are able to pull out a privacy divider to have your own personal space. Personally, i won't like the idea of seating next to a stranger in these seats. It's just too intimate.
Fortunately, the seat next to me is empty for the flight.
Even if it's occupied, this retractable privacy screen will work perfectly!
After takeoff, dinner service begins with a cup of nuts and drink. They also took this chance to issue the Express Arrivals pass.
Starter for tonight. The Goat's Cheese Panna Cotta. Extremely delicious but sinful. Goes well with the bread!
My brother had the salad option. For unknown reason, i wasn't able to choose the bread. It came with it without them asking.
Both of us had the Seabass option for tonight. Tasted just average to me.
After the main course, i asked for 2 options of the dessert. Warm Pineapple Cake & Cheese Board. Nice closure to the meal service.
My brother had the Raspberry & Chocolate Cake.
BEAUTY SLEEP TIME
With 4 hours to go after the meal service, we tried to go in to sleep but unfortunately wasn't able to. Ended up tossing around.
But if you asked whether this product is comfortable. I say yes. The seat width and length is good and spacious.
WHERE TO SEAT
It takes a while to digest what you are seeing here. I think it's in a complete mess don't you think? But if you take some time to study, it's actually a 2-4-2 configuration.
I have not seen another business class in such configuration and i am not believing what i am seeing.
I do see direct aisle access for all passengers but you have to sort of climb over someone to get out! That's a joke! Especially for those seated in Row A,E,F & K, you will have to climb over row B, D,G & J.
For solo travellers, you are in luck because there are a total of 42 solo seats but not all solo seats are good.
I say Row A or K are the better solo seats you can find onboard. It's private & no one climbs over you when you are sleeping! In fact you are the one who need to climb over someone to get out.
Row 16 A/K are one of the solo seat as you aren't required to climb over anyone but proximity to the lavatory might cause disturbance.
For the remaining 28 solo seats, good luck to you. Row B,D,G & J is where you can look forward. You are not getting one bit of privacy at all and worse of all, you might be awaken by the people seated along the window as they need to climb over you to get to the lavatory or random people passing thru the aisle. These seats are suitable for Wheelchair Bound Passengers however.
The good thing is, you are not required to climb over anyone to get to the lavatory(if that sounds like a good thing to you).
For couples looking to travel together, Row E&F is what you need. The good thing about these couple seats is that they are really private(with the both side privacy shades up). The only bad thing is having to climb over your fellow passengers if you need to get to the toilet.
Row 16 E/F are one of the couple seat as you aren't required to climb over anyone but proximity to the lavatory might cause disturbance.
I am very disappointed with the service onboard and regret forking out $699 dollars per person for this upgrade.
I am not a hard to please person. I pay for business class and i expect service standards. We would have expected better service.
Meal service was slow. There was a long moment of awkwardness between dishes & tray collection was slow. Flight Attendant weren't attentive, they don't keep your glass full. Neither do they ask if you like to top up your glass. They misplaced 2 of my family member's breakfast order form. They don't attend to attendant call.
In my personal opinion, they smile and treat caucasian well but doesn't do the same to us asians. My family & i don't feel welcome at all.
To think that i am now half way towards my British Airways Gold Status, i am really having second thoughts and much regret. I am fearful and not looking forward to travel with them every year to recurrent my status.
Maybe i was just at the wrong place at the wrong timing or maybe just no luck with this particular group of crew.
I also wrote in to British Airways 1 month before the flight asking if i could board the plane slightly earlier to get some photos for my blog but none of the emails came back. My review today doesn't have to do with the fact that they don't reply to my emails. It's fair and exactly what i felt about them.
Next up, Qantas A330 Business Class between Sydney & Auckland.