New York’s JFK –> London Heathrow on British Airways Flight 172

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In Flight Reviews, Flung writers provide key information about flights they take in order to leave the flying public better informed in an age of frustration, obfuscation and increasingly unfriendly skies.

 

JFK –> LHR on BA172

Flight: British Airways Flight 172

Date and Time of Flight: Thursday, December 1, 2016 at 8:50pm

Terminal: JFK’s Terminal 7 leaves a bit to be desired. The bathrooms were old, with broken hooks on the stall doors and motion sensors on the hand dryers that only sporadically responded to motion. There’s a food court with a McDonald’s, Red Mango, Wolfgang Puck Express, and other outlets. A few shops serve to pass a bit of time, but the offering is not extensive.

Check In: When I booked the flight one week prior to departure, I paid an extra $34 for the privilege of reserving an aisle seat (at the time, none of my preferred window seats came up as available). When I checked in 24 hours before departure, BA had opened up a good number of window seats that I could have reserved for free. Consider yourself warned that on at least some flights there is no need to pay for a seat you don’t really even want. After paying for the aisle seat, I switched to a free window seat at check in.

Boarding: Some crew members arrived late, which delayed boarding by just a few minutes. Passengers with elite status boarded first. From there, boarding began with the back rows, which is the logical way to do things and also the way we seldom experience anymore, making this a welcome surprise.

Seats: It could have been me, but the seats seemed unusually uncomfortable. The headrest wings did not bend, although they were adjustable vertically, meaning I could slide them up and down. The space under the seat in front of me was filled largely by a metal box, making for a difficult situation with my carry-on bag. On the bright side, the seat-back tray folded out only halfway if I chose, enough to rest a drink but still have room to maneuver. There was a completely non-functioning USB port on the seat back in front of me, as well.

Entertainment: Entertainment options were decent. I watched the new GhostbustersDavid Brent: Life on the Road, and The Nice Guys. On the down side, my earphones only worked in one ear, and the touch screen was not very responsive. Luckily there was  remote control below the screen.

Food and drink: I chose the vegetarian option for dinner ahead of time, which turned out to be a pretty decent cheesy pasta, along with a small salad, dinner roll and chocolate cake. Beer and wine were complimentary.

Staff: The staff was friendly. The only weird hiccup came when mine was the only dinner tray not to be collected at the end of the meal–I eventually had to wave someone down.

Arrival: Arrival was on time and de-planing was straightforward. Heathrow is organized so that long walks are necessary to get to the arrivals hall from most gates.

The author purchased an Economy Class ticket one week prior to departure using points accumulated on a Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card. She paid an additional $34 to reserve an aisle seat. She does not have elite status on British Airways.

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Sarah is the founder and editor of Flung, the author of Process: The Writing Lives of Great Authors, and a widely published travel and culture writer. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram.