FLIGHT REVIEW: British Airways 747 from LHR to IAD
My favorite aircraft is the Boeing 747 — the “Queen of the Skies.” The unfortunate part about what I believe is a marvelous plane is that many airlines are retiring it, or planning to do so in the coming years. British Airways plans to retire the last 747 in the fleet by 2024.
For that reason, I wanted to make sure I got the chance to experience flying in the upper deck of the aircraft before it gets retired. So my husband and I booked our return flight on miles from Helsinki for New Years with the leg from London Heathrow to Washington Dulles on British Airways’ 747. We both booked our seats in the upper deck — an amazing experience if I do say so myself.
Boarding was largely fine. BA had it setup where you lined up before boarding actually begun by zone. Once they opened boarding, we swiftly boarded the aircraft and were directed up the stairs to our seats on the upper deck.
Cabin and Seating
Here’s a picture of the cabin (upper deck).
The most amazing thing is that there are only five rows in the upper deck, which seats 20 people. I was seated across the aisle from my husband in 64J and he was in 64B. Once the boarding was complete, 64A next to my husband was left open, so I was able to switch seats over to sit next to him.
Here’s a picture of 64J:
Here’s a picture of the 64K, the window seat next to my aisle seat:
Keep in mind that the individual in the seat is rear facing, so they’re actually looking at you. This is a little awkward if you don’t know the person in that seat. There is a privacy screen to take away the awkwardness, but keep in mind that during taxi, takeoff, and landing, the privacy screen has to be down. The footrest is a separate part of the seat and for the aisle seat, comes down over the walkway to the window seats.
The last row is also good if you’re flying with somebody because it doesn’t require you to inconvenience a stranger to get out of the window seat.
Also notice the compartments in the below photo for the window seats. This is pretty nice because it gives sizable storage for the person in the window seats.
If you’re in an aisle seat, you won’t get that same storage and will have to rely on the overhead bins to store any items that don’t fit into the small storage container pictured below:
This is a picture of the kit that includes two blankets:
Important to note that the kit did not include a seat cover like you may be use to on American Airline’s business class. That’s a minor complaint I’d have because it’s nice to be able to put a sort of sanitary cover over the seat before sitting.
Here’s a picture of the menu below:
I have to say, the presentation of the menu is very nice. This flight included the meal and an afternoon tea, which was a snack shortly before landing at Dulles.
This is my meal. I got the Gnudi. Overall, I have to say it was pretty tasty and I enjoyed the meal. I paired it with the rose champagne, which I have to say was a delicious choice.
This is the venison stew, which was what my husband got.
Don’t forget to pay close attention to the warning included on the menu for the venison stew:
I got the tapas plate for the afternoon tea, which was also a pretty good choice. Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of that choice, but I can tell you the presentation on it was fine and it tasted good.
Inflight entertainment was pretty standard for what you would expect on a flight like this. I watched Alpha and Game Night and then some episodes of Modern Family.
The flight attendants were very nice and attentive. They were always there to get a refill and ask you for whatever else you needed. I have absolutely no complaints about the flight attendants and the service they provided. They always had a smile on their face and were ready to assist with anything that was needed.
First off, I was incredibly happy to get to experience the upper deck of my favorite aircraft. The cabin is really quiet and the fact that there are so few people upstairs makes it feel like you are on a small aircraft. That’s a huge plus, and is much better than being downstairs in the large and less spacious seating of the lower deck business class.
The food was good. I thought my meal was actually better than many of the meals I’ve had in international business class on American Airlines. My husband says it was about the same as an AA meal for him. Regardless, we tried two of the three choices and they were enjoyable.
The entertainment was new and had various options. I was able to keep myself occupied with new movies I wanted to see and towards the end of the flight switched to old episodes of Modern Family (always a safe choice).
The seating itself was not as comfortable as an AA business class seat. It didn’t seem to have the same comfort that I’m used to on other international AA business seats.
If you get the chance to fly on the “Queen of the Skies” before its retirement from BA, I would definitely seize the opportunity. The experience is different than business class on a one-deck cabin and it’s well worth the experience.