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Recent history has seen British Airways deploy some of the most exclusive aircraft to New York from airports across the UK capital. Most notably, the Concorde served the route for nearly three decades.

Tim Matsui/Getty

The COVID-19 pandemic, however, forced British Airways to downsize and retire its most iconic aircraft, including the Boeing 747 and Airbus A318. Now, only its Boeing 777 aircraft fly between London and New York.

A British Airways Boeing 777.
Reuters

I flew British Airways from London to New York in August. Here’s what it was like.

Flying on a British Airways Boeing 777-200 from London to New York.
Thomas Pallini/Insider

My British Airways journey started a bit chaotically at Heathrow Airport after arriving from Doha, Qatar on Qatar Airways. Our inbound flight had been delayed by an hour leaving Doha and the chances of making my connection to New York appeared quite slim.

Flying on a Qatar Airways Boeing 777-300ER from Doha, Qatar to London.
Thomas Pallini/Insider

I rushed through the terminal but it was too late to make my original flight as Heathrow Airport requires international transit passengers to go undergo a security screening before boarding onward flights.

Flying on a British Airways Boeing 777-200 from London to New York.
Thomas Pallini/Insider

The next flight to New York was scheduled for three hours later and I was easily able to get a new boarding pass at the transfer desk.

Flying on a British Airways Boeing 777-200 from London to New York.
Thomas Pallini/Insider

And after enjoying some of the lounge’s Indian cuisine, it wasn’t too long before it was time to jet off to New York. I gave myself some extra time to navigate the airport to ensure I wouldn’t miss this flight, as well.

Flying on a British Airways Boeing 777-200 from London to New York.
Thomas Pallini/Insider

Heathrow Airport, in the three times that I had visited during the summer, was quiet as international travel had yet to fully rebound. The flight, I was told, was going to be decently full even though non-US citizen UK residents were still barred from entering the US at the time.

Flying on a British Airways Boeing 777-200 from London to New York.
Thomas Pallini/Insider

Taking us to New York was a Boeing 777-200 aircraft with British Airways’ latest seat products. But even with an upgraded interior, no twin-engine plane could ever beat the Boeing 747 for me, especially on this route.

Flying on a British Airways Boeing 777-200 from London to New York.
Thomas Pallini/Insider

Seats were not blocked in the terminal but British Airways did have hand sanitizer stations throughout the gate area.

Flying on a British Airways Boeing 777-200 from London to New York.
Thomas Pallini/Insider

And gate agents distributed health declaration forms required by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ensure that travelers had required COVID-19 documentation to travel to the US.

Flying on a British Airways Boeing 777-200 from London to New York.
Thomas Pallini/Insider

Boarding commenced around 45 minutes before departure. First class and frequent flyers with elite status boarded first followed by business class and eventually economy class.

Flying on a British Airways Boeing 777-200 from London to New York.
Thomas Pallini/Insider

Gate agents briefly checked each traveler’s documents and then it was a short escalator ride down to the jetway.

Flying on a British Airways Boeing 777-200 from London to New York.
Thomas Pallini/Insider

Boarding the aircraft was split between two jetways, with the eight first class travelers boarding through the first jetway and the rest of the aircraft boarding through the second.

Flying on a British Airways Boeing 777-200 from London to New York.
Thomas Pallini/Insider

Flight attendants greeted each passenger with a small plastic bag containing two hygiene wipes to be used to clean the seat or just freshen up.

Flying on a British Airways Boeing 777-200 from London to New York.
Thomas Pallini/Insider

I turned the corner towards economy class and found British Airways’ latest business class product, named the “club suite,” that’s being deployed on its wide-body aircraft.

Flying on a British Airways Boeing 777-200 from London to New York.
Thomas Pallini/Insider

Flights to New York will see the club suite on every aircraft as part of British Airways’ commitment to serving New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport with its latest seat product, the airline announced in October.

Flying on a British Airways Boeing 777-200 from London to New York.
Thomas Pallini/Insider

Source: British Airways

A total of 49 seats can be found in the cabin arranged in a reverse herringbone configuration. Seats along the cabin wall all face the window while seats in the center aisle are angled inward.

Flying on a British Airways Boeing 777-200 from London to New York.
Thomas Pallini/Insider

Each seat has all the standard amenities including an 18.5-inch in-flight entertainment screen, extra storage space, USB charging port, and 110v AC power outlet.

Flying on a British Airways Boeing 777-200 from London to New York.
Thomas Pallini/Insider

It’s a massive upgrade from the business class product found on the 747 and offers every passenger increased privacy and direct aisle access.

Flying on a British Airways Boeing 777-200 from London to New York.
Thomas Pallini/Insider

Premium economy class directly follows business class with 40 seats across four rows in a 2-4-2 configuration.

Flying on a British Airways Boeing 777-200 from London to New York.
Thomas Pallini/Insider

Each premium economy class seat is a large recliner seat offering additional seat pitch and width compared to economy class, ideal for premium-minded passengers looking for an upgraded experience without having to pay for business class.

Flying on a British Airways Boeing 777-200 from London to New York.
Thomas Pallini/Insider

Economy class occupied the final with 138 seats in 3-4-3 configuration that’s standard for the Boeing 777.

Flying on a British Airways Boeing 777-200 from London to New York.
Thomas Pallini/Insider

I arrived back at my window seat, 34K, and settled in for the flight. I had flown from London to New York a few times in my life and always found it to be an easy flight.

Flying on a British Airways Boeing 777-200 from London to New York.
Thomas Pallini/Insider

Each economy class seat offered a reasonable 31 inches of legroom and 17.5 inches of pitch. I felt perfectly comfortable even as a larger traveler.

Flying on a British Airways Boeing 777-200 from London to New York.
Thomas Pallini/Insider

I also didn’t need to use the wipes for the seats because they appeared quite clean.

Flying on a British Airways Boeing 777-200 from London to New York.
Thomas Pallini/Insider

The seats did appear to be new but they had a noticeably older in-flight entertainment setup in the back of the seat. And each seat also has a hardshell back that doesn’t provide much comfort for those travelers that like to rest their heads on the back of the seat.

Flying on a British Airways Boeing 777-200 from London to New York.
Thomas Pallini/Insider

Other seat amenities included an adjustable headrest, coat hook, foldable tray table, tethered remote to control the in-flight entertainment system, and 110v AC power outlet. Pillow and blanket kits were also left at each seat.

Flying on a British Airways Boeing 777-200 from London to New York.
Thomas Pallini/Insider

British Airways also has a penchant for cloth seats which are incredibly comfortable.

Flying on a British Airways Boeing 777-200 from London to New York.
Thomas Pallini/Insider

Our flight was all set for an on-time departure but a few passengers were denied boarding due to not having their required documents to travel to the US. We waited around 45 minutes while their bags were offloaded from the cargo hold before pushing back.

Flying on a British Airways Boeing 777-200 from London to New York.
Thomas Pallini/Insider

Soon enough, though, it was time to fly and the flight time to New York was only six hours and 45 minutes. It’s comparable to flying from New York to Los Angeles except that this flight actually offers meals and alcoholic beverages in economy class.

Flying on a British Airways Boeing 777-200 from London to New York.
Thomas Pallini/Insider

This British Airways flight included a few public health recommendations including wearing face masks throughout the flight and avoiding wandering around the aircraft cabin.

Flying on a British Airways Boeing 777-200 from London to New York.
Thomas Pallini/Insider

Flight attendants quickly jumped into action after takeoff to begin the in-flight service. Drinks were served first, along with a snack of sour cream and onion-flavored pretzels.

Flying on a British Airways Boeing 777-200 from London to New York.
Thomas Pallini/Insider

Flying on a British airline called for having a British drink, a gin and tonic consisting of Tanqueray gin and Schweppes tonic water. The flight attendants were quite friendly and even let me move back a row so that I could have an empty middle seat.

Flying on a British Airways Boeing 777-200 from London to New York.
Thomas Pallini/Insider

The meal service soon followed and on the menu for the early evening flight to New York was chicken chasseur with mashed potato or vegetable lasagna.

Flying on a British Airways Boeing 777-200 from London to New York.
Thomas Pallini/Insider

I opted for the chicken chasseur with mashed potatoes that also came with a small salad and a pot of chocolate and salted caramel for dessert. The tray, however, was a bit lacking as normally there’s a dinner roll or cheese and crackers to accompany it.

Flying on a British Airways Boeing 777-200 from London to New York.
Thomas Pallini/Insider

But ultimately, the main dish was incredibly tasty and I was satisfied with the meal. The gin and tonic also proved incredibly refreshing as we continued over the North Atlantic Ocean.

Flying on a British Airways Boeing 777-200 from London to New York.
Thomas Pallini/Insider

I then turned to the in-flight entertainment system to see what could tide me over for the next five hours until New York.

Flying on a British Airways Boeing 777-200 from London to New York.
Thomas Pallini/Insider

The system included a good variety of content including movies, television shows, music, and games, as well as a moving map to keep track of our progress across the Atlantic.

Flying on a British Airways Boeing 777-200 from London to New York.
Thomas Pallini/Insider