By booking a mid-afternoon flight, I avoided having to get out of bed at such an unsociable hour, like I have been used to on many of my recent trips. We arrived at Heathrow shortly after 10am and walked over to the British Airways First Class check-in area. We were met by a member of staff, who had approached us before we had even reached the counter. He asked where we were flying to, and took us to the next available check-in agent who checked us on to our Miami flight quickly and efficiently.
British Airways First Class
Once we had checked in we went through the fast track security. Fast wasn’t the word – we had passed through security in just 3 minutes. From security we turned to the right and walked through millionaires’ door, this is the door to the Concorde Room – British Airways‘ most luxurious lounge. The Concorde Room is located in the Terminal 5 South Lounge complex. It can be accessed either by the millionaires’ door, or from inside the main lounge complex. The Concorde Room has a main lounge and bar area, a formal dining room, business suite, terrace area as well as private cabanas and shower rooms.
Concorde Room, British Airways First Class
We passed through the bar area and headed out towards the terrace area, that overlooks the terminal below, and gives a panoramic view out over tarmac to the rows of British Airways aircraft parked up at Terminal 5. I started with a glass of Laurent Perrier Grand Siècle and a fresh fruit salad for breakfast while I waited for my spa appointment in the Elemis spa.
The Elemis Spa in Terminal 5 offers complimentary 15 minute treatments for Club World and First passengers on a first come first served basis, although First passengers are able to pre-book treatments a month before their flight. I had pre-booked a back and shoulder massage. From reading some online reviews I had been expecting 15 minutes on one of their massage chairs, but I was pleasantly surprised to be seated on a proper kneeling massage chair, and I received a full back and shoulder massage from a therapist. The experience started with a hot stone treatment before moving on to a full massage. Afterwards I felt very relaxed but took a break from the champagne for a while though in case I fell asleep!
Our next stop was the Concorde dining room for some lunch. The dining area in the Concorde Room is set out in individual 2 seat booths, with high walls between each creating a sense of privacy and intimacy. Rather than the full 3 course lunch that was on offer, we skipped the dessert and just opted for a starter and a main. I chose the Scottish smoked salmon followed by the sea bass, accompanied with a glass of Pinot Noir. After lunch we had just under an hour until boarding, so we relaxed in the bar area of the Concorde Room with a cocktail or two. Rather than my normal cocktail of choice, I chose a Kir Royale, followed by a Cosmopolitan.
Once our flight was due for boarding we made our way from the Concorde Room to T5B satelite, gate B36. Because we had stayed in the Concorde Room until the very last minute we were amongst the last passengers to board the plane, but this wasn’t a problem as we were in first class. We boarded the plane and were shown personally to our seats by Helen, our cabin service director. I was seated with my feet up, and a glass of champagne by my side in no time at all.
British Airways First Class
After take off our cabin service director and purser, Helen and Ricky, introduced themselves to us and took our lunch order, they also brought me over another glass of champagne. As we had eaten in the Concorde Room a few hours before we weren’t overly hungry, so we decided we would eat about 2 and a half hours into the flight. For the next couple of hours, until our meal was served I just sat back, relaxed, and enjoyed the flight. The service on board was outstanding, the staff were professional, yet friendly – nothing was a problem!
The new suites in British Airways First Class cabin are more private than their predecessors, elegantly finished in dark blue, silver, and cream with neutral and blue subtle mood lighting. At the far end of the suite, the foot stool doubles up as a buddy seat, which enables you to sit with a companion during the flight – for a meal, drink, or just a chat. In my opinion this is a great idea as it eliminates the feeling of being totally isolated in your First suite, and also brings a social element to the flight – that is unless you would prefer the isolation. The choice is yours!
When dinner was served we used the buddy seat and dined together, I thought it might be cramped but the new First suite has more than enough room. I was served 2 pieces of Sushi for my amuse-bouche, this was followed by my starter of terrine of goose and old style mustard. For my main course I had British Airways’ signature dish, seared fillet of Aberdeen Angus beef, accompanied with a glass of Bordeaux. To finish we shared a selection of cheese, with a glass of Tawny Port.
Once we had finished dinner I went to the washroom to change into my First sleeper suit, whilst my seat was being transformed into a full 6ft 6in bed with mattress topper and luxurious crisp cotton duvet. I had a Gin and Tonic, Tanqueray 10, before drifting off to a few hours of undisturbed sleep.
Dinner & Afternoon Tea, British Airways First Class
I woke up about two hours before landing and although the local time was about 6pm, we were offered afternoon tea. We didn’t go for the full afternoon tea, but had the sandwiches and cake selection along with another glass of champagne. With just a short time now until landing we decided to make use of the buddy seat one last time, and we played a couple of games of cards. A short while later we arrived in Miami. We landed 45 minutes ahead of schedule, and this was very impressive as we had taken off 20 minutes late!
I had heard horror stories of excessive immigration queues at Miami airport, however at this time of the evening it wasn’t an issue, we were through almost straight away. For our first night in Florida we stayed at the Sheraton airport hotel, as we arrived quite late and were collecting a hire car the next morning. We caught the MIA mover from the terminal to the first stop that serves the car hire depot and airport bus and train station. The Sheraton is also located here. We checked in and went straight to bed to get some rest ahead of our two week adventure in Florida.