YVR to LHR

Steps: 12,521

This is my first time flying in first class, so I’m devoting a whole post to the experience. It is a way more happifying experience than I ever thought it would be and I’m so grateful to Hide for making it happen.

Warning: this is the longest post ever because all I did on the flight when not sleeping or eating was blog (except for a brief tetris interlude).

We’re on flight BA84, which is a once daily flight between Vancouver and Heathrow. The aircraft is a Boeing 747. It’s probably getting on in years, but I’m still plenty impressed by the first class cabin.

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This is our plane. First class passengers got their own jet way! We’re on the lower level, at the nose of the plane. Takeoff involved some scary noises.

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This is my throne. It’s really comfortable. My back and legs are happy.

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This is the other half my suite. Footrest etc.

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Hide and I chose the center suites so we could asit right next to each other. We’re close enough to talk and hold hands. It’s perfect for couples! But the privacy screen can be pulled across for when you’re mad at each other. 😛

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One of my favourite features of the suite: side table for all the things. Hair tie, watch, cell phone, and drinks. Lots and lots of drinks. I never had to worry about being dehydrated in first class. Tea and water whenever I wanted and no lines for the lavatories.

Speaking of which, what fancy lavatories! Automatic faucets with temperature control knob, fancy soap and lotion, face towels, and a flip down changing seat to help you pull on the provided pajamas. Also extra counter space.

Also in the side table picture is the control panel. Three sources of light, recline angle, adjustable headrest and adjustable lumbar support. The last being my absolute favourite thing about the seat, which is even more comfortable than I expected.

Other things I didn’t know about first class that I love

  • Private coat hook, for my AC armour (aka cardigan).
  • Amenity kit that includes lip balm (and lots and lots of other things, even though they didn’t have a women’s one for me)
  • Remote control that quadruples as a phone, game controller and credit card scanner.
  • Superior sound proofing, so that Hide and I can actually talk to each other quietly and comfortably.
  • Noise cancelling headphones so I can watch Top Gear on the lowest volume setting and still make out every word.

Things I knew I would like about first class

  • Leg room, so the passenger behind me doesn’t kick me in the kidneys every time I’m about to fall asleep.
  • Power at the seat, so I can continuously blog throughout the flight. 😀
  • Lie-flat seats, because how else would you get a good night’s rest?

Things other people would love that I don’t care about

  • Extensive drink selection, including goodies such as Laurent-Perrier Grand Siecle champagne

Dinner

Amuse Bouche fish and chips

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Mediocre execution, cute concept.

Starter red-beet cured salmon with fennel salad and creme fraiche

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Lovely delicate flavours that harmonized well together.

Starter vegetable and goat cheese tart with sundried tomato pesto aioli

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Delicious! Super tasty aioli, incredibly tender and airy tart, delicate goat cheese, yummy! My favourite dish of the meal.

Main course paneer-crusted lamb with wild rice and grain medley and dried fruit relish.

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Delicate and relatively tender lamb, lovely delicate Indian spices, perfectly cooked asparagus (!!). Dried fruit relish was too strong and sweet, as I expected. (but figs!)

Main course nicoise salad of grilled tuna with potatoes and green beans.

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Refreshing lemon vinaigrette dressing, melt-in-your-mouth tuna texture, sweet and nutty potatoes (best potatoes ever?), deviled quail eggs (!!). Eggs were bland, olives were too salty, dressing was overwhelming in quantity and flavour, tuna was fishy (as in, not that high quality). Still enjoyable.

Cheese plate triple cream brie

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Brie was pretty disappointing but shortbread and grapes were yummy!

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I don’t know why, but I was also offered chocolates when I got tea after my meal.

I went for the single origin. The ganache filling was wonderfully smooth, but the sweetness overwhelmed any nuances that might have been present.

Lie-flat experience

Ahhh… This is the way to travel on red-eyes. After dinner, I asked them to make my bed, and while I brushed my teeth and changed into the provided pajamas, they transformed my throne into a bed.

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Apologies for low light, low quality photo. There’s basically a quilted base sheet with a comforter on top. Plenty comfortable.

I slept very well, except for getting too hot in the middle of the night (!!). I threw off the comforter and proceeded to pass out again.

As the flight is only 9 hours, it’s hard to sleep for long between take off and landing and meal service. Hide was one of the last to wake up in the first class cabin, and he didn’t get any service (not even coffee!). In any case, what sleep I did get was very restful. I feel great, with none of the aches and fatigue I normally associate with air travel. Hide looks like he can’t wake up though.

Breakfast

Starter Fruit

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It’s not in this picture, but I felt terribly English having toast with jam and tea with milk. The fruit was a mix of good and mediocre. Earl Grey was great.

Main course Crepes with mascarpone and apricot.

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Yummy mascarpone filling. Crepes were nice and light, definitely in the category of crepes and not pancakes. The toast was pretty terrible, honestly.

Last part of the first class experience was deplaning. Sanctioned line cutting!

Actually not quite the last. Also priority tags on our checked bags. We barely had to wait, after getting through immigration.

A satisfying experience, some pleasant surprises coupled with a few disappointments.
Next stop: London!

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2 Responses to YVR to LHR

  1. Kristin Chan says:

    How does one manage to make disappointing toast?

    First class international is apparently a very different experience then first class domestic. I’m pretty impressed with all of the extra fancy.

  2. Clara says:

    Apparently by making it before the flight and then letting it sit around until near the end of the flight. So yeah, it was tasteless, stale, and brittle rather than crispy. You know how bread is supposed to have gluten? Which gives it that wonderful chewy mouthfeel? Yeah, no chewiness. It just crumbled in your mouth and turned into mush. Like shredded up cardboard.

    And yes, Hide tells me that first class domestic is glorified business class domestic, neither of which come close to competing with their international counterparts. And the BA international first class product is like a particularly nice variety of other airlines’ international business class product. So the fancy just keeps on going…

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