THE FLIGHT: Flight BI0003 from Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, to London Heathrow T4. Departing at 00.15 and arriving at 07.20 the following morning, this new direct service is operated by B787 Dreamliner aircraft with a cabin of 18 business class seats ahead of the economy cabin.
THE PRE-BOARDING: Royal Brunei Airlines has a separate open check-in lounge for their Business and Royal Skies members featuring comfortable seating and magazines. There were no queues so check in was swift and I was handed a pass to access the newly upgraded Sky Lounge. After quickly passing through security and passport control I went straight to the lounge. Due to the late hour only a snack menu was provided which included savoury pastries, sushi and sandwiches, plus fruits and desserts. Showers, free wifi and charging points were all available.
THE SEAT: The first impression on walking into the business class cabin was just how generous the space is. The 18 larger-than-average business class seats are in a 2-2-2 configuration and each contoured seat converts to a fully flat bed. Passengers were offered a plush duvet, fluffy pillow and a mattress topper for added comfort. An amenity kit contained the usual items along with some Harnn products, while slippers and noise-reducing headphones were also provided. Inflight entertainment was on offer through the 15.4-inch touchscreen monitor. There was some storage at seat level and ample overhead cabin space too.
THE SERVICE: Once seated I was offered a fresh juice or mineral water (no alcohol is served onboard) and a steaming hot towel. An on-demand menu was presented so you could order from this at any point during the flight, up to 90 minutes prior to landing. Due to the late take off I enjoyed soup with accompaniments and, prior to arrival, a full hot breakfast from a menu featuring several choices. The service was ultra-polite throughout the flight.
THE VERDICT: This was the final leg of my journey with the airline and I felt like a VIP throughout the journey. The spacious set up of the business class cabin ensures you arrive as relaxed and as refreshed as possible.
THE DETAILS: Business class return flights from London Heathrow to Bendar Seri Begawan start from £2,948 inclusive of taxes. flyroyalbrunei.com.
Reviewed by Kirsty Hicks (2018)