First Time Flying Business

Feb 7th, 2008, 02:59 PM
  #1  
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First Time Flying Business

My husband and I will be flying business class for the first time this May on British Airways. I have to admit that I am really excited about this, as our last flight from Los Angeles to Africa in coach made me a little crazy!

This may sound absurd, but what should I know in advance about business class services? I'd like to take advantage of all the great perks (and not do anything embarrassing!)
uscmolly is offline  
Feb 7th, 2008, 03:01 PM
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What route?
Gardyloo is online now  
Feb 7th, 2008, 03:08 PM
  #3  
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We'll be flying LAX to LHR, then LHR to Nairobi.
uscmolly is offline  
Feb 7th, 2008, 03:39 PM
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Nothing, just enjoy the ride.

Visit the lounges, enjoy the seats, service. BA has one of the best J in the airline business.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Feb 7th, 2008, 03:40 PM
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Enjoy! We rode in Business class from Rome to LAX - it was a world of difference then coach!
dawnnoelm is offline  
Feb 7th, 2008, 04:14 PM
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You can expect a separate check-in line at the airport for business class. From AAFF's response I take it that you will have access to a business class lounge somewhere, LHR I suppose.

There should be an amenity kit at your seat - a pouch including eye mask, ear plugs, toothpaste & brush, hand lotion, maybe mouthwash, maybe face moisturizer.

Some seats have a lumbar support that you can turn on or off or to oscillate. The button icons for those features might not be obvious. Your headset might have a little switch on it to turn on/off a noise cancelling feature. The FAs will help with those and other features at your seat. You could go to ba.com to see what to expect for hardware.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Feb 7th, 2008, 04:28 PM
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Visit their website and find out what movies they are playing ahead of time. See if you can sit in the upper deck. More room, more private and away from the babies in economy in the first row. Yes, check out their lounges, especially if you drink alcohol.

What is great about BA is that you will have facing chairs (one of you will face the back of the plane) and the seats are totally flat--180 degrees. No slant, like Continental and American's new seats.

Enjoy your flight.
wally34949 is offline  
Feb 7th, 2008, 04:33 PM
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You will have lounge access in LAX, LHR and NBO.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Feb 7th, 2008, 04:38 PM
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Just curious, what was the difference in PRICE between Coach and BC?

With such a L... O... N... G flight, you certainly made the right choice!

If I had the money to spare I sure would always be flying across the pond in Business.... And BA's is exceptional, no question about it!

BTW, Wally, isn't the upper deck only FIRST class?
Mamamia is offline  
Feb 7th, 2008, 04:43 PM
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You will have access to the new (shared) British Airways/Qantas/Cathay Pacific lounge at the Bradley International Terminal at LAX.

The seats will be the newest version of BA's lie-flat seats. If you're seated on the lower deck, there are two seats together, both aft-facing, that are great for couples traveling together (try for I think row 20 - you don't need to crawl over anybody to get to the aisle etc.)

You will get the newest version of BA's on-demand video. It's been extremely buggy since the rollout last year, but hopefully by the time you fly they will have corrected the glitches.

You'll get an evening meal and a breakfast snack before landing. BA doesn't seem to offer a hot breakfast any more in business.

However do not despair. If you arrive early enough, the BA arrivals lounge at Heathrow offers a full breakfast buffet, as well as spa services and quite wonderful showers. You'll probably have plenty of time to wait around LHR before your flight on to Kenya. By May you'll be in the new Terminal 5, where evidently BA will be using a new concept in its lounge designs and services. Ought to be pretty interesting; in general BA's lounges are excellent (if occasionally overcrowded.)

Some months, Nairobi is served using Boeing 767 aircraft (747s at other times.) If so, you might find the business class cabin a bit claustrophobic (we do) - you might try for the center section, where each person gets aisle access. In May I think you'll get the 744s.

I think you'll find it to be a very pleasant - is in addictive - experience.
Gardyloo is online now  
Feb 8th, 2008, 04:04 AM
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Upstairs is Business. Check www.seatguru.com One must be able to walk up the stairs to get there, tho.
wally34949 is offline  
Feb 8th, 2008, 07:19 AM
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Seats are 2-4-2 on lower deck.
Upper deck is quieter (so long as you avoid the last row closest to the loo), though it is more popular and you may not be able to get 2 seats together. The only reasons to avoid upstairs (IMO) is if you have short connection time or if you have heavy carry-on that you don't want to schlep upstairs.

Downstairs, if you want to sit in the same direction, you're more likely to get two seats facing backwards. Some people find it odd sitting backwards during take-off/landing, but I heard somewhere it is actually safer position, and you won't really notice difference once you're in the air.

LHR lounge is excellent, though can be sometimes crowded. Good drink/food services. While they do have a mini-spa services, they don't take advance booking.

Meals--usually 3course, 2 choices for appetiser, 3 choices (incl vegetarian) for the main, cheese or pudding.
W9London is offline  
Feb 8th, 2008, 09:17 AM
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Thanks for all the great replies! I know that flying business will make a world of difference for us, especially on those long flights.

I think we will try to the upper level, but since we won't be able to pick our seats until check-in and I'd like to sit together, we'll likely be on the first level.

Mamamia--We upgraded from premium economy, so we didn't have to pay full price for a business ticket. But for this route (LAX-LHR-NBO), I think economy was about $1,700, premium economy was about $3,330pp, and biz was about $11,000pp. Huge difference between PE and biz!
uscmolly is offline  
Feb 8th, 2008, 09:19 AM
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Addictive is the right word. We have had access to the BA lounge at LHR when using our AA code-share, tranferring to BA, and it is quite an amazing place. Hot and cold buffets, open bar, and given the hub status at LHR, just fun to people watch, and listen to languages.

Enjoy, enjoy.
socaltraveler is online now  
Feb 8th, 2008, 09:22 AM
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Regarding the spa. If you have a long layover, head immediately to the lounge to make any bookings you may want, lest you get shut out.

If you can, try to get seats on the upper deck, as it is much nicer than the lower deck, where the 8 abreast layout tends to give off a dormitory feel. On the upper deck, note that the bins are smaller, so if you like to use a roll-aboard, this will have to be stowed by the crew, and it is best to pull anything you might want out of it and keep it by your seat.

Enjoy. BA business class is really great, especially for long flights, were the flat bed makes it easy to get some sleep.
travelgourmet is offline  
Feb 8th, 2008, 11:27 AM
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btw, you can pick your seats on www.ba.com

go to "manage my booking" plug in your record locator and last name and it opens up an amazing new page. Pick your seats, special meals, find out about the lounges you will be able to use, and any other info that may pertain to your booking.

AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Feb 8th, 2008, 02:36 PM
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Unfortunately, seat choice is only available on fully flexible tickets or those with silver or gold status (we are neither). BA changed this last year...a real negative in my opinion, but good motivation to check in right at the 24 hour mark!
uscmolly is offline  
Feb 9th, 2008, 03:53 AM
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You are flying businss class?

I'm sorry but I'm neither BA gold or silver nor is it a fully flexible ticket and yet I just picked my seat for a 2/25 flight.

I really don't understand why you're having problems???
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Feb 9th, 2008, 06:47 AM
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AAFF - I believe that only OW Sapphire and above (not just BAEC elites) can preselect seats on any but full fare (D and above IIRC) itineraries. The OP is apparently using MFU on this trip, and I seem to recall that any upgrades by non-elites don't qualify for advance seat selection. I could be wrong, and if I were the OP I'd certainly phone BA about this, rather than trying to use MMB.

OW elites can pre-select business class (and WT+ I think) seats regardless of the fare class. I just booked 62K (the exit row upstairs - best seat in the house) for YVR-LHR on an award ticket.

A little birdie in the back of my brain (a virtual aviary some days) is also telling me that you can't use the BA lounge spa services if you're not on a paid business or first ticket (again, as distinct from upgraded WT+.) The showers are okay, just the massages etc. are out of bounds. Again, could be wrong on this.
Gardyloo is online now  
Feb 9th, 2008, 07:53 AM
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I have to disagree about the best seat in the house....62A, CAI-LHR, is the one

I just assumed that any J or F ticket allows you to preselect seats.

The op should call BA and ask.

AAFrequentFlyer is offline  

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