Club World: British Airways, London to Mumbai in a Boeing 747-400 on the Upper Deck (LHR-BOM)

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I connected in to Heathrow with an early morning domestic flight from Manchester, better than average as it was nice to see the sun coming up above the clouds.

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Upon arrival at T5 I headed to the galleries First lounge, it is in my opinion a very spacious, well-appointed and luxurious offering for those with BA Gold and Oneworld Emerald Status.

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I enjoyed eggs benedict from the A la carte menu and later a few glasses of Taittinger Vintage 2008 on the terrace overlooking the gates and watching a few take offs.

My flight to Mumbai would be departing from Satellite C – with no secondary lounge at C, I waited until around 30 minutes until boarding closed to leave the lounge (at a slow pace it takes 15 minutes to get to the gate via the monorail).

747’s are just gorgeous in my opinion and I always look forward to flying in them. Club World Upper deck Seat 63B today; on day flights I prefer aisle seats. Boarding was on time and swift, I was welcomed back by the staff upon boarding and pointed in the direction of the stairs. This ‘mini’ cabin is a very quiet and spacious offering by British Airways with only 20 Business class flatbeds – 11 of which were empty today…with two designated cabin crew.

The crew today welcomed us all on-board with a glass of Champagne water or juice…you can decide which I went for! Menus were distributed and I noticed the Indian flair BA had put on the choices – this is something I think BA do very well by tailoring parts of the menu to the destination taking into consideration the native needs of the population where we land. I must also say I love the Traditional Indian uniform BA have for staff – very functional and corporate yet still feminine.

After take-off cabin crew started a drinks service and I pondered if I wanted to have more familiar British food or to go for Indian food.

On the basis that I would be eating local cuisine for the next few days I decided to play it safe and I opted for two wonderful choices of Chicken Caesar terrine with Quails egg and Pressed Lamb shoulder. Dessert was a little cold for my liking but was well balanced and flavourful.

After dinner I had a little walk downstairs to peruse the offerings of the Club kitchen and take a great shot of the massive Rolls Royce engines powering us over Europe.

When I came back to my seat a passenger approached me and asked if I minded if he used the exit area in front of me to do his prayers. Not something I had been asked before on a flight, I obviously obliged (I think to his surprise) and he did this three or four times over the course of the flight. It reminded me that we are all different and that celebrating each other’s beliefs and respecting them is key to a harmonious future.

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About two and a half hours into the flight the lights were dimmed for us all to get some rest. I normally struggle on a day flight to sleep – but as I had endured a very early domestic connection that morning it wasn’t going to be a problem.

I woke up after 3 hours sleep with around 3 hours left in the air. I was a little peckish so I asked for some bubbly and I got some fruit and sorbet from the kitchen.

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Our route to Mumbai takes us over Europe then over places like Iran…not where I would like to encounter engine troubles! There wasn’t much to see due to it already being dark in this part of the world. Shame because I would imagine some of the scenery could be interesting.

The rest of the flight proceeded as expected and rather than opt for afternoon tea I went for the traditional Indian warm savoury pastries followed by mini cakes – yum!

The cabin crew kept me continually stocked with libations and all in all I can say I felt nicely relaxed.

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Landing was on time and as I disembarked the aircraft I realised I had left my hat on my seat…wanting to press on to immigration I resigned myself to buying a new one later. As I cleared immigration I heard “Mr Dewhurst!….Mr Dewhurst!” as I looked round I could see one of the BA crew that had been so diligently taking care of me for the last 9 hrs. She had run from the aircraft and through the immigration hall trying to reunite me with my hat…service above and beyond in my opinion and right there is when I gave out my very first Golden ticket – a very worthy recipient indeed. ( a golden ticket is something BA top tier flyers can award to staff for exceptional levels of service.)

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Brilliant flight, exemplary crew…now off for a curry!

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