We had spent last Christmas in New York, Toronto and Niagara Falls, this year my Wife wanted somewhere a little warmer, so I opted for San Francisco, Los Angeles, Beverly Hills & San Jose.
We started with a lovely breakfast in the Concorde lounge then the kids did a little playing in the boardroom whilst I went down to buy my wife a few gifts…it was Christmas Eve after all!
We headed out to the C gates leaving 10 minutes before boarding was to commence. The flight was showing on time and upon arrival they were just about to start pre-boarding. On this occasion the flight was only half full and as we had a 5 year old in the party with all having elite status…and we were travelling in First we pre-boarded.
My initial impressions of the cabin were that it simply put was one of the most stylish and elegant I’ve seen on an aircraft. BA really does have a keen eye for how a premium cabin should look and feel (with the exception of the A380 which feels too cold and bland).
The suite was well designed and amply spacious – the only negative is with such a huge media screen that is fixed you unfortunately loose the companion dining seat; however you do get gate-gate entertainment. Whilst I am a huge fan of British Airways and I do actually like their First product, I always thought that there were too many seats for such a premium cabin (14 or 12). With the 787-9 finally BA have reduced that number to a much more credible 8.
I was travelling with my wife and two children so we occupied 50% of the First cabin, which would make the trip even more special.
The Captain came out to welcome us on board, as did the First Officer and the CSD. They do this in First frequently because of Elite traveller status, having kids who want to visit the cockpit (and they did) etc but part of the reason was the First Officer was called Phil Dewhirst! (Later in the flight my kids would laugh each and every time he made an announcement).
We departed on time and I managed to get a lovely shot of the runway.
BA crew do make exceptional Bloody Mary’s & the warm nuts are a nice pairing.
After departure I opted to eat as soon as possible. As it was the festive season I could have Christmas dinner, it was lovely. I started with the smoked duck and followed it with a hearty three bird roast.
I finished it off (nearly finished me off!) with the best Christmas pudding I have ever eaten…washed down with Laurent Perrier.
After lunch I decided to watch a film and then get some sleep on my large bed!
Some fantastic views over Canada indeed!
The second meal service was just right. Starting with a mushroom quiche and then followed by a rustic chicken sandwich with vegetable chips.
The crew were very attentive as you would expect from First, I did feel however they were particularly good today, drinks were constantly offered, beds made, food served well and the kids were looked after to a professional non-condescending standard.
Great view of San Francisco Bay area on approach to San Jose.
The smaller cabin is of course part of the reason, two crew (plus CSD occasionally) to look after just 8 of us (6 on this particular day) is a ratio that BA need to keep for First Class. I would absolutely recommend the 787-9 in First. This was an excellent start to our California Christmas and as we departed the plane we looked forward to the same cabin on the flight back in 10 days.
The whole Christmas was fabulous from the flight (always more fun with my family) to Christmas on a beach finishing with New Year’s Eve in Beverly Hills.
P.S. this was the first time I had checked in luggage in nearly 3 years…at my Wife’s behest, happy to report they were the fifth or sixth bag off the carousel, maybe I should check in more?