There's nothing quite like the feeling of that very first international business class experience. Flat beds, champagne, lounges and total luxury. It feels pretty damn special. First class, however, in the nose of the Boeing 747 Queen of The Skies with British Airways, is a whole new level. With celeb sightings, expensive champagne and total comfort it lived up to the hype...
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Upon entering Terminal 5, stick to the right of the terminal where you'll find this lovely screen, ushering you through the velvet ropes for first class check in. No lines, no problem.
BA First Check In LHR Far #theta360 - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA
Lounge: The Concorde Room
Directly after "Fast Track" security First Class passengers can access the Concorde Room via British Airways "million pound door". It's the only door in Heathrow which lets you bypass Duty Free and head straight into tranquility.
Concorde Room Terrace #theta360 - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA
The Concorde Room features a really nifty terrace area, like an outdoor rooftop allowing you to reap all the benefits of First Class service while observing the terminal and tarmac and feel the vibe. I loved it.
For anything from a little bite to a gargantuan meal (and the drinks that go with it), Concorde Dining offers a beautiful area with warm tones and secluded spaces to chow down and chill out.
Concorde Dining #theta360 - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA
When Laurent Perrier Grand Siecle and Johhny Walker Blue are complimentary, you enjoy yourself...
For those just looking to unwind, the lounge offers a few very peaceful, restful areas offering everything from a fire place to a television. As a matter of note, someone fell asleep in these chairs during our visit and very likely missed their flight.
Concorde Room Seating #theta360 - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA
I'll admit, the 360* is totally staged. We only sat there for a minute. We had somewhere else to be...
Ah yes, for those wise enough, you can reserve private rooms with en suite shower and restroom, cable TV and a couch and working area. For those coming off a connection or who are just Hollywood mega stars, it's pretty divine.
Concorde Room Cabana #theta360 - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA
After a quick lay down we headed back to the Concorde Room's main areas. After all, Sting was there drinking champagne like a rockstar. Oh wait, he is one...
Here's the stunning bar, featuring only the finest, as illustrated by the minimalist wall display. I love the chandeliers.
Concorde Room Bar #theta360 - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA
This is a situation where you literally can't go wrong. After all, you can try each, they're free!
The Seat + Bed
The British Airways First cabin is utterly stylish, with excellent use of cream tones, warm light and an inviting seat.
BA First Upright Boarding #theta360 - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA
Within seconds we were greeted by name and offered (yet another) glass of delicious champagne as well as pajamas and tailored amenity kit for men and women.
Window seats are the way to go. Offering seclusion, added space and two windows which can be dimmed using British Airways swanky curtains, which motor down at the touch of a button, you'll feel like a VIP...
BA First Upright Foot View #theta360 - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA
Settle in, grab something cold and enjoy the space, featuring over 6'7'' of length while fully flat...
If it looks glamorous, it's because it is. Business class is always a great privilege, but for a special trip First really does add the feeling of exclusivity, not to mention personal space. Our crew was wonderfully attentive and personable, ensuring topped off glasses, friendly service and anything else (within reason)...
BA First Sitting Together #theta360 - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA
Though it's perhaps best for two supermodels (without broad shoulders) to share, those traveling together can also have tea time and dine together using the ottoman (foot rest). Just a bit tight for me...
When it comes to settling down, the First seat excels. The armrests recline down to elbow level giving added width, while the bed offers one of the longest setups in the sky. Even Kobe can stretch out in a seat like this.
BA First Bed #theta360 - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA
After an indulgent (see below) meal, it was time for bed. After peering around the 360* above, I'm sure it's not hard to imagine why I managed to sleep soundly for the duration of the flight...
Using just 20,000 miles to upgrade a discount business fare, this first class luxury was worth every mile...
Food + Drink
When a table's built for two, it's more than enough for one. With my favorite British sitcom "Peep Show" racked up, it was time to settle in for a meal in my private dining room.
BA First Eating #theta360 - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA
Thumbs up, all systems go. All bread gone. Champagne missing, wine, unaccounted for.
The thick cut smoked salmon with chive cream cheese and grape fruit was full of bold flavor, exactly what you need at 33,000 feet where your taste buds are weakened.
The same could absolutely be said for the lamb in tikka spices, with mint and coriander chutney and some stuff I can't remember. Apologies (champagne).
Expectation is key to happiness when traveling. I knew what to expect from the seat, the lounge and the service and now you do too. I found every step to be attentive, tailored and attractive.
Speaking of attractive, I find the blue dimmed windows with motorized blinds absolutely stunning...
Almost as stunning as the Queen of The Skies, the Boeing 747. Here's our beauty just before take off.
I leave you with yet another time lapse, taken from the Concorde Room Terrace. It's a hell of a way to travel...