British Airways, First Class
THE FLIGHT: Flight BA184, scheduled to depart New York's Newark at 6.25pm, arriving into London Heathrow at 6.25am local time. It was operated by a Boeing 777 and departed a little late but tail winds ensured we arrived on time.
THE CHECK-IN: Newark is not the most stylish airport and there was a lot of work going on at the time of my trip, but having checked in online, the baggage drop was efficient, with a friendly personal escort on hand to usher me through the process and direct me to security and the lounge.
THE LOUNGE: After the hubbub of the terminal and security, the lounge was an oasis of calm and style with a long wall of floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the runway. There was plenty of seating, charging docks were plentiful, there were several snack and drinks bars and a sit-down dining room was available for optional full pre-boarding dining.
THE SEAT: I was shown to my seat (1F) and quickly welcomed by the friendly crew with a glass of Champagne. Magazines, amenities and pyjamas quickly followed. The seat was pod-style for privacy and very roomy, with possibly the largest TV screen I've seen onboard. The IFE choice was immense with easy, intuitive selection via remote control or touchscreen. The sound quality was excellent through the noisecancelling headsets. Two USB charging ports were useful for my phone and laptop. The footrest connected to the full lie-flat seat to create a roomy bed, easily adjusted with a simple twist switch.
THE SERVICE: The crew were attentive and the menu choice extensive. I took the salmon starter and seabass, supplemented by a duck amuse bouche and the mango and chocolate dessert, all beautifully presented. It set me up nicely to sleep for most of the flight once the crew had laid out my seat liner, crisp linen pillow and duvet. Breakfast options were also available later.
THE VERDICT: An extremely comfortable and effortless way to cross the Atlantic. Many fellow travellers in fact slept the entire flight, having dined in the lounge at Newark and we all certainly arrived refreshed.
THE DETAILS: British Airways operates to Newark and JFK from Heathrow and Gatwick with a journey time of under eight hours. Return fares in First start from £1,894 including taxes and charges. www.britishairways.com.
Reviewed by Julie Baxter (2016)