Our next major flight was from Singapore to London on a British Airways A380 in First Class. As you can imagine I was quite looking forward to this in order to compare it to what we had during our Korean Air trip. It all began when we entered the airport – we got there three hours early (earlier than planned, but my wife suggested we do it to maximize our experience of the lounges!).
Upon arrival we were immediately welcomed at the British Airways check-in counters. The gentleman told us there was a special area for First Class passengers but since we were there already with no line, we might as well check in. We did, then went to go see what he was talking about. It was quite a luxurious sight to see – comfortable chairs/couches while you wait and free drinks!
After being sent through a special exit to security we passed through in mere minutes. We then had an important choice to make: with our first class tickets (and Priority Pass to boot) we had access to three lounges (Qantas, British Airways, and SATS Premier) – which would we go to? Answer: we toured through them all first and then sat down in each for some time.
We started off in the SATS Premier Lounge, where we eventually decided to eat our dinner. The food there looked more various than the other two lounges and so we had a nice chat over some tasty dishes. I had a beer and my wife had some wine, if I recall correctly.
Then went to the British Airways Lounge to check it out as well. As mentioned before the food was not as exciting but there was the Concorde Lounge – an extra exclusive benefit of First Class passengers wherein they get table service in a quieter area. It required a passcode that the desk attendant informed us before we got to it.
Finally, the Qantas Lounge: we decided to come here for dessert as they had the most various offerings. So much fruit to choose from and a very comfortable seating area. There were also numerous magazines to choose from.
Since I had been touring around Singapore the entire day before our flight I wanted to make sure I was clean before getting onto the airplane. After our brief tour I decided that the Qantas Lounge had the nicest place to take a shower and so I just walked up and asked the attendant where to go. There was plenty of space in the bathroom, the shower water pressure was fantastic, and the soaps/shampoos were very usable.
The gate and entrance to the plane were as expected: three different areas to enter based on seating class. We went to door A as we were in row 3 in the middle two seats.
The seat itself is smaller in width than Korean Air and others but has more storage capacity on the side. We received an amenity kit similar to Korean Air as well as the pajamas we would wear for a majority of our overnight flight. Our flight attendant was very kind (with a British accent!) but not as attentive as on Korean Air. There was so much legroom (as usual in first class) and the in-flight entertainment was extensive and easily controlled from our handsets.
I ate a quick meal before heading off to bed that consisted of a very tasty soup, ratatouille, and chocolate brownie dessert. The courses were served nicely with all attention to detail and I enjoyed it quite a lot.
I spent most of the flight sleeping as it was an overnight experience. I had the flight attendant change the seat into its bed position while I put on my pajamas. They are very comfortable! My sleep was nice and uninterrupted. I set an alarm to wake up in time for some breakfast while watching a movie. It consisted of two courses: a cereal and toast course followed by some very yummy french toast.
During flight we received a small note that we had access to “Fast Track,” a service that allows you to get through customs and immigration faster than the average customer. We followed all signs and directions and were able to exit quite quickly. It was then that my wife suggested we check out the Arrivals Lounge, something I’ve never done before. Essentially, it is a space for incoming travelers to relax while they wait for their next type of movement. We picked up our bags at baggage claim and headed straight for it.
It was a nice space that had loads of food and another Concorde Lounge for First Class passengers. We availed ourselves of the amenity this time and had table service of another round of breakfast foods at it was only 6:30am or so. What we did not know in advance was that there was a spa we could use as well! Granted, it was probably not on the caliber of what we experienced in Southeast Asia but it was free. Unfortunately, their earliest appointments were around 9am so we opted to go to our hotel instead.
Overall, the experience was quite enjoyable, as expected. The service was wonderful but not up to what Korean Air offered us. We would definitely take this flight again, however!