British Airways, First Class

THE FLIGHT: BA016 from Sydney to Singapore operated by a B777-300 and departing at 16.30 local time.

Check-in was handled by Qantas staff who were friendly and efficient for me but were suitably assertive with an obnoxious passenger on the next desk along. Boarding was on time and all was on schedule until two passengers failed to board and caused a delay while their bags were offloaded. Sydney is now a ‘quiet’ airport with no announcements. Perhaps improving the environment has increased such no-shows.

THE SEAT: I was in seat F1 – one of the two centre seats with an optional seat divider for privacy. A cushion and large pillow were on the seat, plus blanket and headphones. Pyjamas and a Liberty amenity kit were personally offered by the crew. The roomy seat was wide enough to curl your legs up into, with plenty of elbow room to the right where a wide shelf doubled as a small drinks table and open storage area. The seat’s side wall included a wardrobe with hangers and net racks for storage. There was also an additional coat hook and magazine rack. Seat recline to fully flat was easily adjusted with a swivel switch rather than buttons and worked smoothly. The IFE screen was huge and the controller, headphone socket, two USB ports and three audiovisual sockets were all easily accessible.

THE SERVICE: The crew were smart and business-like, offered a cheery welcome and then personally introduced themselves. Welcome drinks came quickly and on hearing of a delay a second round of Champagne muted any moaning. Dining was impressive, with my choices including a prosciutto appetiser, Tasmanian salmon as my starter and pan-seared fillet of beef for my main. Desserts included coconut panna cotta, sticky toffee pudding or an impressive cheeseboard. A second service of cake and sandwiches was offered two hours before landing.

THE VERDICT: This was a daytime flight so lights weren’t dimmed and no mattress liner was added but the seat was roomy and I felt nicely cocooned by the wrap-around walls. The dining was excellent and the service was attentive.

THE DETAILS: British Airways flies daily between Sydney and Singapore. One-way fares are from around £2,500 in First Class.

Reviewed by Julie Baxter (2019)