By the time we made it to the Concorde Lounge, we barely had enough time for a shower and a light bit of breakfast, so we didn’t really take much time for photos. We did snap a photo of our morning beverages as we waited for our breakfast at the dining area. Service was a bit slow, as the server informed us that her colleague called in sick that day, she was apologetic in that fact, and working quite hard.
The Concorde lounge is broken up into a number of areas. They have a spa, a cabana area, a dining area, a lounge, a bar area, and an “open air lounge” area, for lack of a better term. The “open air lounge” overlooked the rest of the terminal, and had reasonable views of the nearby gates.
Before we knew it, it was time to hustle on to our flight. We took a train to one of the other parts of T5, and from there, went through the gate and down to a bus which took us to our 777-200, which, upon boarding, an extreme let down the old first class cabin.
British Airways – BA Flight 217
Aircraft Type: 777-200
London-Heathrow (LHR) to Washington-Dulles (IAD)
Depart: 10:45am; Arrive: 2:05pm
Jan 15, 2013
Upon entering the plane, we were directed toward the nose, and found our seats. Again, the seats weren’t anything to write home about (but writing about them on a blog is different, right?).
Figure 79: BA Old-First Class Seat (P1020492)
The cabin definitely looked dated, but, after a moment or two in our seats, a member of the cabin crew came by with amenity kits and offered us pre-departure beverages. Of course we ordered champagne.
Soon after, they returned with pajamas. We had both read other trip reports about how comfortable the British Airways First Class pajamas were. We can report – they really are comfortable! But they shrink in the dryer.
Taxi and take off were fairly uneventful, although we were reminded how powerful those engines (not sure if they were Rolls-Royce or others.
Before long, the cabin crew were about, and I ordered myself a Kir Royale (made of champagne and Cassis liqueur), purely because I had never had one before and thought it meaningful to try it, since is British Airways’ signature cocktail. It was accompanied with warm nuts.
While the initial drinks were being served, I decided to fire up the bleeding edge InFlight Entertainment, and watch a movie. I also broke out an issue of Business Traveler and spread out, just to get a feel for how roomy the seat really was.
Soon after the lunch service started, and our tables were set.
For the first course, the Mrs. had a Loch Fyne classic smoked salmon:
I skipped right to the soup and had the parsnip cream soup which was quite good.
We both opted for the beef, which was described as a “Seared fillet of British beef with red wine and tarragon sauce, pied de mouton mushrooms, creamed leeks and fondant potatoes.”
We skipped the dessert and decided to get some sleep. I’ll take a moment here and just note that, while the cabin was dated, the good was good, although unfortunately, the service was more the caliber of United (if that). For example, British Airways notes a turn down service, and have seat/mattress pads, blankets, etc. Now maybe I was spoiled with Qantas and Singapore, but when I got up to use the restroom after dinner, and had my seat in the “almost lay flat” position, I kind’ve thought someone might offer. Alas, no one did, but that was ok, I had no problem doing it myself, which, I ultimately did. The Mrs. commented after the flight that she was curious where I had gotten the mattress pad (from the overhead compartment), because none of the other first class passengers had them. C’est la vie.
I got a few hours of sleep before it was time for afternoon tea. I have to say, the afternoon tea was quite enjoyable. Some finger sandwiches, crumpets, jam, clotted cream, and tea: what more could you ask for?
Before long it was time to change back into our street clothes, stow are carry-ons and prepare for landing. Landing was swift, we were off the plane, walked to the Dulles’ “people mover” that takes terminating international passengers to Customs and Immigration at the main terminal, and waited. Eventually we made it there, and were through Immigration in light speed thanks to our Global Entry, our checked bag had already made it, although it was worse for wear (the plastic structure inside that separated the rollers was shattered, we’re still pulling pieces out). We were through immigration and to our waiting ride home.