Reflecting on Las Vegas
Before we get to discussing business class with British Airways in the Coronavirus Era, we need to reflect a bit on the past (close to) two weeks. As with all trips, they eventually come to an end. Nine days in Las Vegas experiencing the re-opening of Las Vegas and one (unplanned) day in Beverly Hills before returning to London.
Slight Negative Vibe – Vegas
This was a trip of many firsts. First time I have been in Las Vegas for more than five days. This was the first time I had ever worn a mask in a casino, not that this would have been considered at other times. This was the first time I witnessed a Las Vegas that always had an underlying “slight” negative vibe. Yes, sometimes, you forget, but then there is still some reminder of Covid-19. Drinking copious amounts of bourbon, cognac, and Champagne helps.
Side Trip to Beverly Hills Before London
This was absolutely the trip that keeps on giving. It was also the first time I have missed a long-haul flight in memory. Perhaps, I did once many years ago. In any case, it gave me an opportunity to see the iconic Beverly Hilton during coronavirus. (More on The Beverly Hilton later in the week.) It was absolutely surreal. Especially the empty porte cochère, which no longer allowed access to vehicles. These photos were taken just after 12 noon on a Sunday.
COVID-19 Thoughts While Traveling
Do the reminders take away from the experience. Perhaps, but I guess that depends on how your mind works. I am decent at compartmentalising things, to a point. And I did that, but sadly, it was always there. Still, it was a fantastic trip, and reflecting I am glad I did it (well, perhaps, ask me in two weeks).
British Airways at LAX (Los Angeles)
What can I say, it is always the people that make any airline. The British Airways staff at LAX are tops. I can’t say enough about their extreme professionalism, and kindness. Even though I was running extremely late for my flight, I received a professional and humble call to my mobile asking if I was in the vicinity of the gate area. They had just completed boarding BA280.
Sadly, I was on the Avis bus. Due to a number of crazy circumstances (I felt like Chevy Chase in Vegas Vacation), my drive from Las Vegas to LAX took a bit longer than I planned. Yes, I did really accidentally drive into a car wash. What can I say, I thought it was a “short cut.”
BA Take Note – Your Have Great Employees At LAX
I know a lot of employees have been furloughed at LAX. It’s unfortunate, but BA has gone from numerous flights a day on the premium LAX-LHR down to one flight which is currently a 4 class Boeing 787-9.
I certainly hope that British Airways appreciates Vincent and his team at LAX. These are the folks the travel industry needs for us to have help with the challenging travel recovery process.
Also, Great Flight Attendants on BA280
And while we are talking about great employees, all of the flight attendants serving my cabin on BA280 were stellar. Warm, gracious service. Just imagine, if they really had a premium service (soft product) to serve.
COVID Club | Business Class With British Airways Coronavirus Era
Since a bunch of this trip was “live” tweeted, the tweets share a lot of the story. I will also produce a few galleries to share the entire pictorial narrative.
Suffice it to say, the big story here is that British Airways has dramatically altered the inflight service for Club, business class. Dramatically. Some of the changes include:
- ✅ Club Seat 12k 787-9 ✈️ BA280 LAX-LHR
- ✅ #CovidClub
- ✅ no glassware
- ✅ no ice 🧊
- ✅ no alcohol
- ✅ BYOB Bulleit – flight ✈️ crew said “fine” (I asked)
- ✅ sanitisers mine, BA does not provide sanitisers or masks 😷 (too cheap)
For those that are unfamiliar with premium cabins (business class and first class) on airlines, these are huge changes. Over the past few years, the major long-haul carriers have been improving their product. While British Airways has been slow to implement their new Club Suite hard product, they have aggressively rolled out new soft product (which includes food and beverage) for Club (business class) and First Class.
Be aware, this extreme soft product (food and beverage service) is due to be modified this week to an improved service. Rob at Head for Points talked about this new service last week: “BA unveils its new coronavirus catering – it’s an improvement on the plastic bags!” This new service will be cabin specific (economy, premium economy, business and first-class). Even with this improvement; this service is still a far cry from the Club Service we had in March 2020.
Live Tweeting LAX – LHR
Business Class on British Airways during the Coronavirus Era
Back at LHR – After Covid Club from LAX
Arriving back at at LHR (London Heathrow) is always a strange experience these days. It’s just surreal to be in such a large airport with so few people. Immigration was seamless, and I had my quarantine documents printed out and handy. This allowed me to proceed immediately to immigration. After immigration, the baggage claim area was barren.
You’ll notice a number of COVID-19 friendly features in baggage claim, which includes a baggage trolley handle cleaning station. Then, off to the car, which is a Wheely (my preferred premium car service). Ride home was also pretty seamless with no traffic. A very smooth ending to a most epic experience I will never forget.
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Home At Last
It was great to be home. I was thrilled to see my girls, and of course, I was also thrilled to see Mr. Leo, the most epic rescue dog. Now, it’s time to live the “quarantine life” for the next two weeks.
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