British Airways (Heathrow T5 to Boston)

The British Airways 747-400 service from Heathrow T5 (B Gates) to Boston Logan Airport. It had 22 crew and is aircraft G-CIVE, which has been operating for the airline since 1994. The boarding was well managed, with a staff member guarding access to the desks and checking that customers boarded in the correct group.

I did hear a few customers complaining that they weren’t allowed to board whenever they wanted, but if someone has Group 5 on their ticket and they’re calling Group 1 only, it shouldn’t come as a complete surprise to them. The person behind me was also extremely displeased at the queue of customers who needed priority boarding for whatever reason. I heard a “he doesn’t look ill” and “that one definitely isn’t ill, he must know the pilot” with lots of tuts.

My seat was 40D, which is a bulkhead aisle seat, and there was also no-one next to me, so the whole arrangement was spacious and comfortable.

The first drinks service, which was my only alcoholic drink of the flight (and indeed day) which was a gin and tonic. British Airways have done away with Tribute ale and instead have the slightly ridiculous products of Heineken and Tiger. Ridiculous given that BA is British and quite why it isn’t serving anything British is a mystery to me. The lady in the row behind asked for Tribute and rejected the other beer options, and quite right too.

The other drink was a sparkling water, and a water which the crew member accidentally poured. Best to stay hydrated though.

I think it’s fair to say that British Airways don’t serve the most beautifully presented food in World Traveller. One half of the cabin was advertising the choice as “chicken chasseur or pasta with a pesto sauce?”, the other was offering “chicken or pasta?”. I’m not sure that this really is chicken chasseur in any traditional sense, but it tasted much better than it looked. The chicken was tender, the sauce had a decent flavour and the vegetables retained just the slightest of bites.

As for the rest, the posset actually contained lemon and was satisfactorily sharp, the cheddar cheese was excellent and the starter was tolerable. The roll was soft and the two portions of butter were, well, butter and not margarine. For the cabin, I thought that this was a perfectly good meal.

The mid-flight ice cream.

The second meal was basic, but this is an east coast flight, and this is better than it was for a while on British Airways when Cruz’s first cuts came in. The seeded roll had some tender chicken in as well as some tomatoes, which I wouldn’t have guessed were slow roasted. That might be over selling just a little. The chocolate bar was, well, chocolatey.

The in-flight entertainment system, which now has the seat number handily showing on the front of the screen. Saves looking up I suppose.

This was a highlight, a film that I had wanted to see last year. Free Solo is the incredible documentary of when the free climber Alex Honnold ascended El Capitan. He did this climb up what looks to me like a sheer rock face and it’s 3,000 feet high. He did this without any ropes, so if he made a single mistake during his 3 hour and 56 minute climb then he would have died. Brave isn’t the word for it….. On reflection, if he had made a mistake in the first few minutes, he wouldn’t have died as he wouldn’t have fallen very far. But the rest was very dangerous indeed.

A mid-flight view.

One important thing to note about this flight is that it cost £128 for a single trip (which includes the positioning flight from Newcastle), plus I received back around £5 back in Avios. Taking into account it cost BA £78 in air passenger duty, it cost £56 in Heathrow charges and about £26 in US airport arrival charges. They then had to cover the costs for my lounge access at Heathrow T5. It doesn’t take a Labour Shadow Home Secretary to work out that this is more than the ticket cost I paid……

Taking into account the cost of the ticket, this flight was IMO excellent value for money. The flight arrived on time, the crew were helpful, the seat was comfortable and everything on board worked as it should. All very lovely.