Newest Review: ... I was delighted and pleasantly surprised to be greeted by an enthusiastic and friendly hostess who took the time to show me to my seat... more
Let's fly away, BA Style :)
British Airways in general
Member Name: nickbrown60
British Airways in general
Advantages: Fair Prices, Very Kind and Helpful Staff, Gets You To Your Destination!
Disadvantages: Nothing Major - Inflight Meals
There are so many airlines to choose from these days with all of the compare prices sites and what not. So we decided to make choosing an airline slightly easier this year for our USA holiday and went straight to British Airways after a family recommendation, this member of the family swears by British Airways for the best service and prices. He travels often so we took his word for it and booked our direct flights to San Francisco.
Booking the flights using BA's website was very easy and the website was easy to use. I just had to have a quick peek at the other airlines prices even though we were set on choosing BA as our airline, the prices turned out to be very good and they were not very much more expensive than any other airline and the flight times were ideal for us. We chose to fly back from Las Vegas and this was also easily arranged through the website with the same easy booking procedure.
The day had come rather quickly of our departure and we very excitedly headed to Heathrow Airport having already booked our seats using the British Airways website which was very painless. Check in was very smooth and the staff were very helpful and seemed generally friendlier than most other airlines that we have travelled with in the past. Usually we'd end up arguing with someone for having a case slightly overweight and the airline wanting to charge an extremely high price to complete the check in. I don't travel very light and neither do the rest of our family resulting in every case being slightly over the allowance of 20kg, oops! However the staff members were extremely helpful and did not seem too worried about the extra weight and happily let us off without any extra charges, hooray! Needless to say we were already extremely happy with the service and it seemed worthwhile choosing BA as our airline :)
Once we had boarded the aircraft which was a Boeing 747 we were very happy with the seating in economy class - or cattle class as some call it. It was obviously a rather old aircraft and it looked slightly tatty but it did smell clean and it was perfectly comfy with each seat being rather wide with the normal flip down tray table and armrests. These seats had something that I had not seen before, little flip down head supports on the side of the headrests to allow comfy sleep on the long haul flight, very handy for those that can actually sleep on an aircraft, I certainly cannot! Luckily there was also an in-flight entertainment screen built into the seat in front which was to keep me going on the 11 hour flight ahead.
The boarding process was painless and we even had a free newspaper to take on board with us, this was accompanied by a travel pack with a toothbrush, toothpaste and a blanket which I thought was nice. We certainly did not get a pack like that when we travelled to Orlando a few years back with Travel City Direct. The blanket was fabulous quality and I actually kept this to use at home, it was a rather large blanket comparable to ones that you buy in the shops, good on you BA ......
Once everyone was boarded the departure seemed slightly rushed compared to other airlines that I've flown with but there were no concerns. We departed about 15 minutes ahead of schedule and headed skywards for the very long flight ahead, we were constantly updated on the flights status by the captain himself and the crew were very friendly.
I had heard good things about the food on board of BA's flights and only three hours into the flight our food was served. There were only two choices, beef or lamb and beef was the obvious one for me as I'm not a fan of lamb. It was served with the usual bread roll and pudding as with any flight and looked no different to any other airline food I had eaten in the past. I'm not sure if other people I've spoken to about BA's inflight meals have experienced a different dining experience to myself as mine was rather standard, nothing special. It was just about edible and I was starving so it went down quite quickly, however I certainly would not want it again. The beef dinner was a rather strange one; the cook had obviously chucked a whole beef dinner into a blender and turned the thing on.... For a few hours! The meal was also served with tea or coffee but it seemed that the airhostess serving the passengers on my side of the plane could not be bothered to fill the coffee pot and insisted we all had tea, family on the other side of the plane were happily given coffee on request.
Drinks were served throughout the flight and the attendants had set up a little snack bar in the middle of the plane with drinks and snacks for us to help ourselves, this seemed a good idea to me and there was a good selection. Any drinks were available free with request and the attendants seemed happy to help and they were very professional. There was a rather long spell of turbulence that sent many of these drinks 'flying' into economy class and causing a slight mess but I guess that could not be helped.
The 'small bathrooms' as the crew called them were like any other toilet on an aircraft, just about big enough to shut the door behind you and the usual mirror, soap etc. The toilets were extremely clean and there were no odd smells around the area, also the crew members were often seen cleaning and checking the toilets regularly which is a good sign.
The inflight entertainment system was much better than I had ever expected and it had hundreds of TV programs and movies to watch, all of them were free and easy to access. The normal head phones were given out by the flight attendants and collected at the end of the flight. Usually airlines have a strange connection for the entertainment system so you often cannot use your own headphones; this is not the case with BA so feel free to bring along your own quality headphones for the journey. My only slight complaint about the entertainment was that there were no games on there at all, children obviously want to play games but luckily my little brother had his own games with him to keep him quiet. The entertainment system also has a touch screen which can be a pain for the person in front if the user is slightly heavy handed. The gentleman behind me was one of these users and he was hitting it so hard throughout the flight that I actually thought my head was going to fall off, luckily he fell asleep rather quickly and I could rest a little more. Unfortunately he decided to fill in the 'On screen surveys' halfway through the flight and I received another few hours of head bashing! :(
After a lot of turbulence and rough flying conditions the crew handed out the Visa waiver forms for us British residents to enter the USA legally, they were very informative and helpful and gave clear instructions on what to fill in and they were happy to lend pens to us.
I was impressed with the overall service that BA offered. It was nice to go on a flight and not be pestered with duty free catalogues and the crew trying to sell items continuously throughout the journey. I could be getting confused with short haul flights here but that always seems to be the case when we book with a package deal.
The seats were comfy and that made my journey slightly easier with having back problems from a recent accident involving falling off a wall. They were very supportive and I believe that they were very good considering we were flying economy.
After a long flight it was time to land in San Francisco and the disembarking was just as easy as the boarding. I definitely found BA to be very professional and helpful but I would not rate them all that much higher than all of the other airlines and travel companies that I've used in the last couple of years. The flights were almost identical to other operators and the only real improvement over other airlines were the ground crew and check in. The flight went well, meals were average and entertainment was rather good so I cannot complain really. We also arrived ten minutes early into San Francisco which was nice, a slightly longer holiday for me!
The return flight was almost identical to the outgoing flight except from the crew being even more helpful and professional, the American check in staff were also great and even friendlier than those at Heathrow.
I would definitely recommend that you consider BA as your airline for your next holiday but if you find a better deal with another company I would not put BA at the top of the list, they are good but not much different to most other operators. I think a four star rating is very fair.
Thank you for reading
Summary: A very nice airline but not much different to the others :)
More reviews in the field of Airline
- Totally unacceptable!
- Royal Brunei: London to Dubai
- Cheap flight, impressive for the price.
- Air India Express - Even Worse Than Air India
- Not impressed on return flight to US in August
- Go fly with them
- Pegasus airline - never again
- Not Perfect, But Not Too Bad Either!
- Unfair overcharging of luggage
- It's expensive to book early with Monarch