#920704 by hiljil
01 May 2016, 23:16
As the day approached I did have a few worries that my dream flight might disappoint, but at the end of the day, I reasoned, I could at least say that I had finally done it !

We stayed overnight at the Hilton T4 , had breakfast in the Executive lounge and then had a taxi to T3. I say "taxi " but what drew up, seconds after my request at reception, was a gleaming Mercedes, so the day started well. The sun was also shining ...

Entering T3 I could see queues for BA over to the right, but we were directed to the left and a screened off area. A smile greeted us as we entered and there was no one in front of us. We were directed to Fast Track which lived up to its name and soon found the lounge. We were welcomed and told it was possibly Gate 32. Of course it is no CH, but for a short wait it was perfectly comfortable and reasonably empty at 7.50 am. Our Gate was called at 9.40 and it was indeed 32. So began, not the long walk to freedom but the very long walk to fulfillment. ( Why are BA flights so far from the Departure lounge !)

Boarding started at 10.10 am and I was welcomed on board by name and escorted to my seat 2K. It felt comfortable, roomy, reasonably private and I loved the personal wardrobe where I could store all my bits and pieces. The electric blinds lived up to expectation ! The cabin had a quiet elegance . There was an understated air of luxury. First class had two empty seats and overall it was a full flight. Champagne was offered and soon after the cabin crew introduced themselves and shook my hand. Sleeping suits, menus, slippers and amenity kits were handed out with more champagne. Just before the doors were closed the Senior Member of the crew came and introduced herself and shook hands and had a chat.

We were off stand at 11am and took off 11.15am. I already felt that the flight was going to be all I hoped for and I was going to cherish every moment. Delicious warmed nuts were served with pre lunch drinks and on my return from the washroom I found my empty glass had been refilled.

The large table was set for lunch and I so liked having the space to the side so I didn't have to put anything away or in a pocket. I had chosen the scallops to start and they were delicious. Despite all the warnings of fellow v-flyers I went for the seared fillet of Aberdeen Angus beef and it was tender, cooked how I like it , and full of flavour. The Voignier was excellent. For dessert I enjoyed an apple parfait with pecan nuts and a wonderful dessert wine. With my coffee I was offered a selection of chocolates. The service was attentive without being obsequious and with impeccable timing. I felt pampered .

I reclined my seat , it was very comfortable, & settled down to watch the Steve Jobs film . Goodness I didn't realise it was so short... Oh no, I had fallen asleep just as it had started and woke to the credits at the end !!! More importantly I had missed all that time luxuriating in my mini heaven.

We flew at 590 mph with an average tail wind of 36mph. I was asked when I would like afternoon tea and I requested it about an hour and a half before landing. Again the service was attentive and always with a smile. The sandwiches were tasty and moist ( crayfish with mango, egg mayonnaise, roast beef, and cheese with onion. ) The scone was warm and I declined the cakes . I particularly relished having my own pot of tea ( like the good old days in UC) so I could pour a second cup when I wanted it.

Now, somewhere in my chat earlier with the SCM I had mentioned that today was a dream come true for me and she had wished me a particularly good flight. Just before we landed at 2.50 pm Florida time the SCM came and presented me with a copy of the Duty Briefing Pack with maps of our route & the weather conditions en route , " For your Memory Box !" Across the top sheet the Captain had written that they all hoped I had enjoyed my First First Class flight and sent best wishes and signed it. I had tears in my eyes at their thoughtfulness and kindness. The flight had actually gone so quickly. I couldn't believe it was over. And no turbulence !

We landed but had to wait for another aircraft to vacate the gate. Amazingly passengers sat down again in their seats as requested until we came to a halt . The stampede was merely delayed .Then I girded up my loins for the horrors to come at immigration. When the plane doors open it always reminds me of the start of the Grand National as everyone surges forward and gallops off but gradually folk fall by the wayside and only a few can keep up the pace as far as the home straight. Miami gates are a long course to the immigration hall. But goodness - my wonderful day continued. The Hall was empty. We were shown to the machines and had no queue either to hand in our forms. I was carrying my luggage out of the hall by 3.15pm and in my hotel room at the Miami Hilton within an hour of landing.

So my dream has come true and it lived up to expectations. I haven't sampled First Class on the more touted airlines so I don't know what I may have missed but for me I loved the dignity without bling, the exclusive feel without any crassness, the attentive service that was so unobtrusive.

Already it all seems a long time ago - did it really happen or was it just a flight of my imagination !?

No - I lived my dream and had " Such a perfect day."

( Sorry I concentrated on filming my experience on my camcorder (( how old fashioned !)) so I didn't take lots of photos . )
#920705 by Bretty
02 May 2016, 00:30
Wow, what a great glowing TR for BA F. And I'm so glad it lived up to expectations for you; I'd have been mortified if there'd been any problems, you've been looking forward to it for so long. And what a thoughtful and unusual gift from the crew.

Thanks for sharing this with us Hiljil, you're excitement and contentment shine through. I hope the rest of your trip was just as good and I look forward to the return TR.

Thanks :)
#920706 by Blacky1
02 May 2016, 05:48
Sounds like you had a fantastic day hiljil !
Pleased to hear everything was spot on for you and what a lovely touch by the crew with the gift ,hope the holiday is also going well . :cool:
#920707 by buns
02 May 2016, 06:01
hiljil

Thank you for such a splendid TR.

Your intial sense of apprehension comes through loud and clear as does that fulfillent of your dream of flying BA First. i have to admit I too had a little tear when you recounted the gesture of the CSM at the end of the flight.

i do hope your wonderful experience does not tear you away from VS ;-)

Thanks once again

buns
#920710 by whiterose
02 May 2016, 07:59
Wonderful TR hiljil, loved all the interesting detail, the quiet elegance is something many of us would love. The extra space, the wardrobe, all add to the attraction. And that thoughtful touch by the crew, that must really have been the icing on your cake. Did the amenity kit live up to its plush surroundings?

Great to hear that your dream came true in every possible way.
#920711 by David
02 May 2016, 08:58
Hiljil,

Sounds like an absolutely "1st class" trip - from your taxi (I had one of these from that Hilton as well :D ) to the sterling service from the crew.

I sometimes find expectation outways reality, but when its the other way round, isn't it just wonderful :D

Hope the rest of your hols was just as nice, along with your return trip.

Thanks for brightening up a cold dreary Monday morning.

David
#920712 by marshy11
02 May 2016, 09:23
This has been a most anticipated TR. I worried too that the TR might not live up to my expectations, but much like your perfect day, it was a thoroughly perfect TR. Especially now you've told us you filmed it all and will post the link later. :cool:

Let's hope this is the First of many.
#920714 by Hev60
02 May 2016, 11:46
Brilliant, so glad you have lived the dream and your trip came up to your expectations.
Some very nice gestures from the crew and the icing on the cake "an empty immigration hall" at the dreaded Miami airport.

Hope your holiday has been as enjoyable for you :cool:
#920716 by hazban
02 May 2016, 12:38
I have been waiting with baited breath and some trepidation for your report! So pleased that it all lived up to your expectations although I had some confidence that your dream would be realised.
As is often pointed out on this forum "there is no going back!". I have been fortunate, or foolish enough, to have experienced a few BA First flights in the last 12 months to SFO and like you, MIA. Greatly impressed with the standards especially on the A380 which I am sure you will find offers slightly more room, though why they still skimp on the bathrooms is beyond me.
Try one out if you can and also find a route from T5 where you can try out the Concorde Lounge.
Off to Washington in UC in June so on a diet to give me just a bit more room in those A330 suites!
Well done with your gift from the crew, that is certainly something to bring back happy memories.
#920717 by pjh
02 May 2016, 12:42
Sounds like all you could expect from a trip in F, from the handshakes through edible beef to the parting gift.

I liked the description of the runners and riders for the race to immigration, that played out like a movie in my head.

Thanks for putting this together.

Paul
#920718 by Amo
02 May 2016, 12:45
I am so pleased you had a wonderful flight. First Class is the ultimate dream and it's great to hear you weren't disappointed. What a lovely thoughtful gift from the flight crew!!
#920749 by ultreen1
03 May 2016, 05:23
I'm so pleased you had a great flight, as others have said you've been waiting for this experience for ages!!
Great TR, you've described what it's like on every flight I disembark...I'm normally red rum!
#920835 by hiljil
04 May 2016, 20:14
Thank you all for your replies. I am having a wonderful, relaxing ( at least until today) holiday but the days are simply flying by. Up until today we haven't had a hint of rain but a large swathe of storms has brought 3 inches of rain in a couple of hours and roads have been flooded. The Lightning was most impressive but I was amazed to see our neighbour mowing his lawn in the middle of it all.

Buns, VS will always have my heart.
Whiterose, I was impressed by the items in the amenity kit. The little tubes of cleanser, moisturiser, hand cream, eye serum etc lasted much longer than I expected. I loved the hairbrush with mirror - & a pen of course. The sleep suit makes me look like a Kung Foo fighter ...
Marshy11 - J Arthur Rank I am not !!

Don't want the holiday to end but am getting excited by the thought of my Second First ! :-D
#920837 by hazban
04 May 2016, 20:39
Great to hear that you are having a good holiday, I'm sure it's well deserved. Don't worry about a few inches of rain and flooded roads, it's par for the course here in Cumbria, at least it will be warm for you.
It is always sad when a break away comes to an end but at least you have the return in your own suite to look forward too. The terminal at MIA is a pretty depressing place but don't worry you will be isolated from the scrum in a reasonably comfortable lounge.
Enjoy the drinks and snacks but remember that you will be receiving the same level of meal service on your return so leave plenty of room. As I said before, you will now always looking for a good deal "there's no going back!".
#920938 by Brook100
08 May 2016, 00:53
Thanks for a great TR. I used to fly with BA a lot (before OH brought me over to the red side!) and your report has fondly reminded me of how good they can be; what a lovely gesture from the crew. The empty MIA immigration hall alone would have made my day!

Enjoy the rest of your holiday and your return flight.
#920940 by mallin
08 May 2016, 10:27
Thanks Hillary for the wonderful trip report, you have really whetted our appetites three weeks to go for us for our First first. We have just pre ordered our meals and they are really something hoping they will be as tasty as they describe, I have gone for the beef, hubby has gone for the stuffed Guinea Fowl with exotic sounding extras.

Our weather here has been very hot and humid last couple of days but is forecast to break later in the week with below average temps just in time for you to get home.(pity some of that rain can't go to Canada).

Hope your trip home is as good as the one on the way out, safe travels. Linda :cool:
#920946 by horburyflyer
08 May 2016, 16:36
Really impressive. I was actually a loyal BA fan until 2008 so it's tempting to go back and see how things have changed after a couple of recent poor experiences with VS. That said I'm very fond of VS and grateful for their renewed commitment to MAN so not just yet...unless my forthcoming flights continue to be disappointing.

Wishing you a wonderful flight home when it's time to leave.

Jon
#921075 by Maximus
11 May 2016, 17:13
Sorry hiljil, just read this, I have not being paying attention obviously!

Fantastic to hear you had such a great day, and all lived up to your expectations. I look forward to the homeward TR in due course :-)
#921228 by Concorde RIP
13 May 2016, 11:52
Hiljil,

Only just caught up with this as I don't check in or post here very often these days and was absolutely thrilled that you finally got your BA F flight.

I recall how much you were looking forward to it, and how carefully you read other TRs from the BA F cabin.

But, by the the best bit, you made it happen and it exceeded your expectations - that is just terrific to read.

That touch from the BA crew towards the end of the flight was amazing, almost reminds me of the old days of flying - what a wonderful thing to do, that crew deserve a lot of credit for that.

Just thrilled for you HJ!
#921294 by gfonk
14 May 2016, 08:46
what a fantastic TR.
I felt like I was there too.
From the mercedes start to the afternoon tea onboard.
The bit about the race to immigration was funny!
ah cant wait to hear about the return trip.
Our trip next year feels like such a long way away.
Virgin Atlantic

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