Director boarded a British Airways Boeing 777 en route to San Francisco
San Francisco’s vibrant technology sector makes the city a natural draw for UK entrepreneurs, with missions such as UKTI’s FinTech trade delegation – arranged to allow six UK companies to showcase the ‘best of British’ – becoming increasingly common. Arriving sharp and ready to wow Silicon Valley’s finest after the 11-hour flight can be a challenge though, so Director took a trip with British Airways from Heathrow Terminal 5 to see if the national flag carrier could keep us bright-eyed and ready to hit the ground running…
As we arrived for our 8.30am check-in, we found the self-service machines not working. But, despite a long queue, we reached a check-in desk within minutes – and the attendant informed
us that our 11.30am flight was to be delayed by an hour. Security also had a deceptively lengthy queue, but again we cleared it within minutes and headed through to departures well before 9am.
A new flight time of 12.19pm was announced and, after filling the time with help from the diverse range of shopping and restaurant offerings at Terminal 5, we made the 10-minute journey by transit to gate B40. The flight crew were impressively communicative regarding the lateness, which continued with an air-traffic delay once we had been swiftly boarded.
The flight was full so we had been allocated World Traveller aisle seat 37H at check-in. We had no trouble storing all of our belongings and found the seat in perfect order, with the usual headphones, pillow and blanket in place. Leg-room is fair for an economy flight, and overall the seat proved very comfortable.
There was plenty to keep us busy during the 10-hour flight, including the entertainment system with a selection of recent movies, including Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Food options during the flight were good and we enjoyed a delicious mushroom risotto, along with plenty of snacks.
Despite landing 15 minutes late, we disembarked quickly and sped through passport control surprisingly swiftly. After a 20-minute wait for bags at the carousel, we were out of the airport within five minutes and heading downtown.
Initial delays aside, communicative staff and seamless operation of the flight made this long-haul trip a relaxed one. 44/50
British Airways info
British Airways flies to San Francisco from Heathrow twice daily. Return prices start from £567 including all taxes.