Long-time readers might know that I’ve perhaps been a tad critical of British Airways recently.
However I was in need of a weekend away, so I’d booked flights using my Avios and an Amex voucher with a friend to Sao Paulo, travelling in First, and so was the first time in perhaps nine months that I’d been back there. I was travelling on the late flight, which was scheduled to leave around 21.05.
Check-in at the First Wing at the end of Terminal 5 was efficient, with no wait and a friendly agent who tagged my bag to GRU. The security arrangements were also their normal high standards, with both lanes open, and no wait there either. After no more than five minutes I was airside and wandering through the First Lounge and towards the Concorde Room.
I’d also got my act together, and via the GGL team, managed to book a spa appointment for before the flight. Appointments are in 20 minute blocks, although the treatment only lasts for 15. They’re open to anyone travelling business or first, but only people in first can pre-book. There’s a decent variety of treatments available, with the full list being on the BA website.
I do find it interesting that the Elemis branding is still there, especially given that their partnership has partially ended with the introduction of the very good White Company bedding in Club World.
Overall it does seem to have improved since I was last there. Being around 19.00 in the evening, it wasn’t too busy, especially when I was sat out on the terrace.
The staff were pro-active in coming around and offering drinks, so figured it would be rude not to have a glass of the rather lovely Laurent Perrier Grande Siècle.
After my treatment in the spa, we decided to have a bit of food as it would be a good 90 mins after take-off before we would be able to eat anything substantial.
Wandering over the to bar, asked for a Negroni.
“I’m sorry sir, but we don’t have any Campari.”
With that shock over, I asked them what else the recommended to drink and took their recommendation of a Cosmopolitan. Which to be fair was a nice drink, although a tad sweet for my taste.
When we did sit down to eat, again here, the food has improved; the plaice was a very nice dish and exactly the right size.
It wasn’t long before we had to leave and very luckily, our flight was leaving from gate A17, which is the single wide-body gate at T5A, meaning no need for a trip on the transit to T5B or C.
When we got to the gate at fifteen minutes before departure, boarding still hadn’t started, but after a short wait, Group 1 was called and we headed on to the 777-300ER.
This was the best British Airways ground experience at Terminal 5 that I’ve had in a long time. The whole experience was good.
The problem is the competition have innovated and improved. It’s nowhere near as good as the Lufthansa or Swiss experience at Frankfurt or Zurich for example. But it was a nice way to relax after a stressful week at work.