British Airways First class to Nairobi review – what’s travel like now?

New British Airways First suite with electronic blind, ambient light and job seat control.

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With Boris’s announcement that we may be able to start travelling again soon, I have a timely review from regular contributor, reader Howard. Howard is a courier and is required to travel for his job before anyone starts trying to travel shame him!

Kenya “day trip” with BA

Another courier run from T5, this time to Nairobi with an hour and a half turnaround, on Tuesday 23rd March.

The previous day, I made a quick trip The Regenerative Clinic in Thayer St to take a PCR test, with same-day result. They now do testing at Manchester’s Picadilly station as well.  All good thankfully!

First Class check-in at Heathrow’s T5 was empty and the lounge moderately full. Usual order at-seat service in still in operation but there is no alcohol currently. 

On arrival at the gate, I was informed by the ground staff that the plane was u/s and we were to be unloaded and another plane made ready. Some 3.5 hours later we boarded the B777 which has the older style seats. You can read reviews of the seat in more detail here. 

The crew were aware of my presence and upgraded me to First Class. I was given the bulkhead seat and was the only passenger in the cabin. Great crew.

Food was back to normal and I sampled the Grand Siecle champagne. Canapes also back.

Here is the menu:

No more food boxes! It’s interesting to see that this menu features several of the dishes currently included in BA’s First dine at home box. 

Beef carpaccio with truffle creme fraiche

chicken with rosemary jus

I didn’t partake of the smaller second meal offered before landing.

The flight went quickly and I was on the tarmac quickly to hand over my consignment. BA ground staff took me through transit to the departure lounge (no lounge available). The departure gate was in the newer part of the airport, the older part having suffered a fire a few years back.

On boarding, I was again upgraded but this time the plane only had about 7 seats spare across business and First.

Another good meal and off to sleep in my provided sleepsuit.

The 3.5 hours was made up slightly and we landed 3 hours later than booked at T5. Immigration was quick (exempt category).

So 2 x 8 hour flights plus turnaround, etc, a good 22 hours in a mask. I put in a good word (via Golden ticket) to the Purser on the outbound flight.

Nice to see food back to normal since my Washington DC trip almost a year ago.


12 Comments on "British Airways First class to Nairobi review – what’s travel like now?"

  1. Care to give some more info re the courier service? Sounds interesting.

  2. Yes a courier service that pays for business class seats! Also what does he mean ‘put in a good word to the purser?’. Also what is the abbreviation u/s? Undersold?

  3. I won’t be flying until masks are not compulsory ( even if it was free) I’ve a few flights booked to New Zealand, Sydney & Singapore, I cannot think of nothing worse than wearing one for a long time especially when you’ve paid thousands for what should be a nice experience, if by the time the flights are near & it hasn’t changed I shall cancel. What’s the point of a vaccine if we can’t get back to normal?

  4. Curious George | 7 April 2021 at 9:05 am |

    How does one get into such a courier career?

  5. Greg Morgan | 7 April 2021 at 9:34 am |

    Did you manage to speak with any other passengers about why they were travelling to/from Nairobi ? 7 free seats in Club / First seems pretty busy

  6. Howard Pitfield | 7 April 2021 at 10:40 am |

    I did wonder why the return leg was full – mix of passengers from all walks of life. Since Kenya has been added to the Red List I can only assume it will be quieter from now on. As regards giving the purser a mention – i used my Gold Reward to nominate him.
    AS for the courier service I have to remain tight-lipped. Next week Niamey in Niger with Air France, then Washinton day trip followed by Virgin to Tel Aviv… busier than usual.

    • I’ll be honest Howard, I’m 90% sure this “courier” business is just a cover for being a spy or hitman.

  7. Whilst “no box meals” will be a relief to those spending thousands for the pointy end I think I speak for most of us ( and I know Michele will agree with this) that THE most important thing is that there is no chocolate mousse in sight!

    On a more serious note. Great to hear a hands on LH experience. Has EC261 remained in place or been suspended? I’m guessing it going tech would mean this flight wouldn’t count but have you had any valid claims denied due to ‘the event’? ( Obvs you may not be allowed to claim under your courier contract) just curious.

    Thanks.for an honest and great review Howard.

  8. Alarmed! No alcohol in 1st lounge…. this must be a typo? Please advise…?
    – By the way this is a serious question..

    • There is currently no airside alcohol at all at Heathrow (and I presume other airports) due to government regulations. This should change shortly as government regulations change. We think it will restart from 12 April but nothing has been confirmed yet.

  9. Queen’s messenger is the gig, apparently.

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