This review is of the return flight on British Airways First Class from Moscow to London Heathrow. Thanks to my roving reporter for this report.
How to get 2 return First class flights for £110
This route is one of the cheapest ways to experience First Class, although obviously you don’t get as long to enjoy it as the flight is only 4 hours long. The flight was paid for using Avios and a British Airways Amex 2 for 1 voucher so the total cost was 68,000 Avios and £110 tax for 2 people. To get a 2 for 1 voucher you will need to get a BA Amex card. They do 2 versions – a free one where you have to spend an eye watering £20,000 a year to get the voucher or a paid version for £195 where you have to spend £10,000 to get the voucher. Remember you can get a companion card on the same account for your partner or spouse to help meet the target.*
The First Experience at Heathrow
If you go First both ways you will of course get to enjoy the Concorde lounge at Heathrow as well. You will also get access to the Elemis Spa treatments and unlike Club passengers, can book a treatment 28 days in advance. They have a range of 15 minute treatments including facials and massages.
We had lovely treatment from staff in the Concorde Room. Whilst there I had an early light breakfast washed down by a glass of the Gran Siecle (delicious as always) and a tasting of BA’s new bespoke gin (which was not to my taste).
British Airways’ First and Gold Executive Club customers travelling from Heathrow will soon have access to a new ‘First Wing’, creating a dedicated walkway from check-in to the lounges in Terminal 5. The First Wing, is set to open in April 2017 next to the BA First check-in area. It will create a private check-in zone where customers will use two new dedicated security lanes and then enter into the First Class lounge. This should allow you to get into the lounge much quicker than at present.
The on board experience
The flight was on the 4 class BA B777-200 which has 14 first class seats on the 4 class version with a 78 inch pitch and 22 inch wide. The configuration is 1-2-1 with the seats in the middle offering a privacy screen if you are travelling solo. I chose a window seat. On the B777 the toilets are at the front so if you are not bothered about having row 1, rows 2 and 3 are probably the best bets being the quietest away from both the galley and the toilet.
The First suite offers a number of features:
- Seat turns into a 198cm (6ft 6in) fully flat bed with quilted mattress, white cotton duvet and pillow
- First branded cotton pyjamas
- Aromatherapy Associates (women) & Refinery (men) amenity kits. Liberty designed bags coming Spring 2017.
- Personal power supply for laptops and electronic devices
- 15in IFE screen and noise-cancelling headphones
- a USB port and RCA jack for using your laptop, iPod or digital camera on the bigger screen
- A double window blind controlled with a button
The crew on this flight were excellent from start to finish. Friendly, professional and efficient and most importantly my glass was never empty! We had to wait on the ground for quite a while whilst we were de-iced and my Champagne was constantly topped up the entire time. It is unfortunate that this level of service is not consistent with BA First class as I have had a bad experience in First previously with rude and unprofessional crew.
I started with a glass of the excellent Laurent-Perrier Gran Siecle Champagne which retails at over £100 a bottle. This was accompanied with warm nuts and bottled water was also given out.
Dinner was served on this evening flight and there was a good choice on the menu:
I went for the smoked salmon and also the borscht soup. Both were excellent but we had one major problem with the borscht. My travelling companion is vegetarian and had started eating the soup before we discovered bits of meat in it. There was no mention of this on the menu but the crew were very apologetic. I accompanied the salmon with a glass of the Chablis Premier Cru Vaulorent 2013 La Chablisienne.
It was nice to see Lamb on the menu as beef is all too often featured on BA and is rarely that great unless you like it well done. The lamb was also delicious. I didn’t fancy the red wine so I switched to Bodega Garzon Albarino from Uruguay which was a bold choice for BA given that the wines of Uruguay are relatively unknown to most people.
For dessert I had the pistachio sponge accompanied by a glass of KWV The Mentors Late Harvest 2015 from South Africa. This was made from Sauvignon Blanc grapes so was an excellent accompaniment to the sour cherries.
In summary this was an excellent and enjoyable First experience if a little short and at a bargain price too!
Disclaimer: Turning left for less is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Reviews are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points and do not consider interest rates, service levels or any impact on your credit history.