Airlines Reviews

Review: British Airways First Class London to Los Angeles on an A380

a person standing in a row of seats

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 British Airways First Class London to Los Angeles on an A380

It had been several years since I had flown British Airways First Class on the A380 ( my first time was back in 2017 ) and I was delighted to see 2 award seats release on the exact day my wife and I needed to fly from London to LA. My wife and I have flown it several times before on other aircraft, the retired 747 and the 777, but the not the A380. While I don’t really think British Airways First Class is better than their Club Suites, it’s a big time upgrade from their old Club World seats which the A380s still have.

 

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The Details

  • When: January 2023
  • Where: London to Los Angeles
  • Points Used: 85k Iberia Avios and $800
  • Benefits: Concorde Room Access

Check-In

When you fly first class, or have One World Emerald status, you get to check in for your flight in the first class section of Terminal 5 at Heathrow. Usually, this is very fast, and it includes an expedited security point where you can quickly, and directly, access the first class lounge ( note that this is not the Concorde Room – you will pass through the First Class Lounge first.

people standing in a large room

However, this was not the case for us. There was some kind of odd delay and we queued up for 10 mins before seeing a gate agent. This is the exception, not the rule, in my experience having checked in several times here.

people standing in front of a counter

The Lounge: Concorde Room

The Concorde Room is a special place, albeit feeling a bit dated. They serve restaurant style food, inside or outside, and you can only access it when flying BA first class in or out of London…or those holding a concorde room key. So, the lounge is far less crowded, and has a great feeling of exclusivity. You can read our full review here.

The Cabin

I do think BA nails the mood of the First Class cabin. It’s fairly large with a blue hue and small lamps in each seat. It’s also on the first floor of the A380 which means it can fit 14 seats…that’s a large first class cabin, similar to what you’d find on Emirates First Class . It’s sexy, understated, and the blue hue handsomely compliments the pod design. You’ll be greeted immediately upon entering and I was offered Champagne.

a room with tvs and windows on the side of it

The Seat

It’s a reverse herringbone, lie-flat, pod.

a seat in a plane

If you’re traveling on your own, I’d highly recommend the window seats, but the middle are best for couples. We chose the last row of the cabin – which I usually choose because it’s the best for filming.

a room with a tv and a screen

Storage is good with one large bin and a closet, but there isn’t any overhead storage, not really any under ottoman storage.

The ottoman can be placed into two different positions: one as a seat for a visiting passenger or where your feet go in bed mode – the other as a footstool in a lowered position.  This means the mechanism that moves the ottoman takes space and you can’t stow your bags under it during take-off/landing.

IFE and seating controls

 

Amenities

The Temperley kit, slippers, PJs, and champagne are all offered when you sit down.

a couple glasses of wine next to a bag and a shirt

The Food

The champagne is very good – Grand Siecle. And they offer Johnnie Walker Blue. Outstanding. The most fun aspect of flying BA on the A380 is the fact that you can dine together. I snuck over to my wife’s side to dine.

a man sitting at a table with a glass of wine

The food is also catered by Do&Co :a move they did several years back to improve what was definitely sub-standard food. Nowadays it is quite good; however, I’m not sure it’s that much better than business class.

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The Bed – TURNDOWN SERVICE

Such a luxurious perk. Finish dinner, tend to your gums, and BAM! Your bed is made.

a bed with a seat belt and headphones on it

BA upped their game several years ago in bedding as well and you’ll find White Company comforter, pillow, etc. I would not recommend my seat tho, it has a basinnet attachment that kind of sticks out and pokes your feet. I found an angle that avoided it, but not the best seat.

Is First Class that much better than Business Class ( Club World ) or Club Suites.

Club World

Since we are flying on a plane that still has Club World seats. Uh. Yes. First Class is a truly a notch up.

a stuffed animal on a chair

You get guaranteed aisle access, better food, service, and Pajamas. Not to mention a much better bed and if you like Scotch…your inner Ron Burgundy may make an appearance.

a screenshot of a computer

Club Suites

Honestly no. I wouldn’t pay the premium to have a better lounge and champagne. British Airways Club Suites are just really good, in fact, I’d say they are in the conversation for best business class between the US and Europe. You can read our full review here

a seat with a screen and a pillow on the side

Overall:

I had a great time in BA First, but would I pay the premium to fly it again? This isn’t the best first class that BA offers. Those you can find on the retrofit 77Ws + 787-10s that feature the brand new first class with doors. I’d like to try those at some point as well, but if I were to be on an A380 again, and it still had the old Club World, I’d certainly look to upgrade. If I were on a plane that had Club Suites…I’d choose those over first every day of the week. It’s not worth the money, or points, for the first class experience when business is so good.

 

a person standing in a row of seats

 

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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15 Comments

  • Johannes Bols September 18, 2023

    I liked to joke about flying First to my co workers years ago, but I never went out of my way to brag about it incessantly. Once a fellow was talking about his experiences in economy on the 777, how comfortable the ride was, and engine noise was quiet compared to other wide bodies. On and on he went. I nodded and agreed, provided some (fellow) airline geek details. He asked me if I’d flown a 777 before. Yes, I told him SEA – LHR return. Did I find the noise to be diminished when compared w/other wide bodies? Yes, I replied. What row were you sat in? Um, row one…
    I found the First experience to be just fine. This was back in 2008 when they hadn’t installed the new wifi and the audio was still the tube style. The food was really good. The wine literally made my blood sing! My assisigned cabin crew made it plain to me I wasn’t to even imagine she was there to do anything above what was expected. I tend to rely on books and writing letters for my inflight entertainment, so I didn’t find the paucity of up to date IFE worrisome (I’d flown Northwest World Business Class SEA – AMS return three years earlier w/wifi that was state of the art).
    The turndown service and subsequent long sleep I had was delightful. The ten hour flight felt like three hours. A year later I flew SEA – LHR return in 62K on a 747-400. Funnily enough the ten hour inbound flight felt like ten hours…

  • […] Or…for 60k you could fly on BA First Class from Chicago to London […]

  • […] Or…for 60k you could fly on BA First Class from Chicago to London […]

  • […] Or…for 60k you could fly on BA First Class from Chicago to London […]

  • […] Or…for 60k you could fly on BA First Class from Chicago to London […]

  • […] August, I went to a wedding in England, and to get home booked a roundtrip leaving Stockholm in a mix of FinnAir business and Club World. […]

  • […] cabins and have a few videos in the can that I will start releasing shortly. My first video reviews British Airways First Class that I nabbed back in September. Check it out and tell me what you think…A big is one is […]

  • James September 10, 2017

    You want the flights to book on BA metal, but the best business class is on American. Try and find flights on BA’s website operated by AA metal. This means they’ll have a BA flight number and BA ticket stock, so you’ll get credit as a BA flight, but you’ll earn as if it were BA. You’ll get the best of both worlds.

    This information/suggestion is NOT correct. In the terms and conditions for each Partner Airline it clearly indicates that the flights must be Marketed & Operated by the partner and lays out the eligible flight numbers that will credit to Alaska.

    In theory, your BA Marketed, AA Operated flight would be ineligible based solely on the marketing and operating carrier being different, additionally the BA Codeshare flight number would not fall within the eligibbe flight number range for BA credit.

    In practice however, Alaska will be lenient on the T&C because both BA & AA are partners and will credit based on the OPERATING carrier. Credit will not be automatic. You will need to retain your boarding passes and submit them with a request for manual credit.

    Bottom Line:

    In your example of a BA flight number on BA ticket stock operated by AA will NOT credit as a BA flight to Alaska. After submission of borading passes for manual credit, Alaska will credit based on the earning chart for the metal you actually flew on, in this case AA.

    Sad to hear AA business is better than BA as AA is so poor to start with.

  • john September 8, 2017

    I m ean no disrespect but do you have to put the monkey in every picture?
    We get the idea.

  • Mark September 8, 2017

    Just curious how many avios it would have cost to upgrade? Also can upgrade from an award ticket. Meaning if I had used Alaska miles to book the flightcould I upgrade using avios?

    • Miles September 8, 2017

      For this specific flight it would have cost 25k, but they range. They charge the difference of what it would have cost in business to first. And, you can only upgrade on revenue tickets with Avios. Sadly, if you booked with AS you would have to use AS to change the cabin. Thanks for reading!

  • Mser September 8, 2017

    So, how much did this cost? Miles or gasp, did you pay for this flight?

    Hard product not better than AA 77W. Ouch.

    • Miles September 8, 2017

      Mser – This was a revenue ticket that originated in Arn and I was on the return. I think the underlying ticket was $1600-1700 roundtrip in Biz. I was offered a paid upgrade to First upon check-in for $709. I pulled the trigger. It did credit to Alaska as First Class “A” so I earned extra EQM and RDM

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