On March 25th 2017, British Airways began operations to Madrid with a Boeing 777. I was on the inaugural flight. I was eager to arrive at London Heathrow early enough to spend a good amount of time in British Airways’ Galleries Lounge before departure.
Our flight departed from Terminal 5’s B gates so we hopped on the transfer train and arrived within minutes. Our aircraft had been changed the night before from a 777-200 to the 300ER variable which was great news for us as it offered the experience to witness the huge GE90 engines in action. They put on quite a show. The aircraft was G-STBD.
G-STBD seen at her gate before boarding for Madrid
We boarded punctually and took our seats ready for pushback. The Boeing 777-300ER is configured in a four class layout. The newly designed First Cabin takes up rows 1-4 in a 1-2-1 configuration allowing plenty of privacy and new electronic blind windows. BA have received some criticism for their First product with some comparing it to the high end business products used on other airlines. The Club, or business, cabin is unique to BA with its alternating forward and backward seating allowing for a 2-4-2 configuration while still allowing some kind of privacy and a lay flat bed. British Airways’ new Premium Economy or World Traveller cabin is featured with an enhanced seat and a larger personal television. World Traveller features a new slimmer seat, with a hard back. Rows 21-50 are configured in a 3-3-3 economy layout.
The views from the club cabin were fantastic! Our 777 was fitted with GE90 engines which delivered a fantastic sound on takeoff and some amazing pictures during the crossing. The crew onboard were friendly and apart from one crew member, were happy for us to roam through the Club and First cabins taking pictures. It was also very nice to be recognised onboard by one of the crew members themselves!
The flight offered me the opportunity to experience one of British Airways’ long- haul jets for an affordable price and gave me a good insight into the service BA are offering onboard their 777s.
It is hard to fully complement BA on this product, however. The Club seats may be comfortable and tick boxes for being lie-flat but still come up short of other airlines because of the forward/backward layout. Passengers are faced with the decision to draw the centre blind in order for some privacy or lie awkwardly close to another passengers heads. This is the only drawback of a well organised B777-300 product.
The day wasn’t over yet! Our return leg was operated by one of Iberia’s A340-600s.
Until Next Time!