As my Qantas flight was unexpectedly cancelled, I was put onto the British Airways Boeing 747 service instead. Originally titled, “Slumming It Down In Economy On BA” because it was the only flight on my itinerary not in business class, I had a really good time, thanks to the people I was sitting next to. A bit of a party flight, really!

BA10 (sold as QF301) – Sydney to Bangkok (SYD-BKK)
9 August 2008
Boeing 747-436 – G-CIVL
Seat: Economy 35C
Departure: 16:35 Arrival: 22:55

I was originally booked on QF1 for this flight. When checking my upgrade requests for both Premium Economy and Business Class around midday (prior to the scheduled 17:00 departure), I noticed that my flights had changed. QF1 was delayed to 20:25! This meant I’d miss my Royal Jordanian connections in Bangkok.

Calling Qantas, I pointed out this not so small problem. I was immediately booked onto the QF301, which is the BA10. No problem – no upgrade, no seat request (apart from “Forward Aisle”), and no Qantas.

Check-In At Sydney Airport

When I got to the airport, the BA check-in staff said that one other Qantas flight was cancelled, and the QF1 was delayed – so my flight was absolutely packed with no seats to spare. This turned out to be true!

Happily, my baggage was through checked to Dublin, meaning I don’t have to see its 28kg until later. I was pleased that BA accepted the bag, even though it’s over their 23kg maximum per bag policy. Nothing at all was said.

Qantas Club Lounge Sydney

Once checked in, I passed through Immigration and Security and went to the Qantas Club. I decided to treat myself to some Champagne to begin with.

Shortly after that, it was time to get some snacks. From there it was off to use a computer. The view from the PCs is nothing short of stunning, facing directly to the city of Sydney.

Lunch time food options were pretty good. In addition to the cold options, there was hot food too – pies and quiches, as well as soup.

The toilets are also nicely fitted out.

Anyway, after a while there, I went and browsed the Duty Free selection to see if they sold models of Qantas planes. Alas, they don’t and as I was flying BA I lost my chance to grab one.

The British Airways Boeing 747 World Traveller Cabin

I walked down to the gate, and was one of the first on board, as I get priority boarding with my Frequent Flyer status. Here is a view of the British Airways Boeing 747 economy class cabin, something I hadn’t seen in quite a long time.

Oh yes, four seats in a row *shudder*… I am just kidding, or am I?

Surprisingly, the seat didn’t feel cramped – it helps that I am short and slim.

Happily, they even have a footrest, shades of the premium classes!

While people were boarding, my two and a half champagnes and bottle of water from the lounge began to make itself felt.

A Quick Pit Stop

I hit the facilities and as it was before leaving, they were spotless as you would expect.

… and of course I washed my hands afterwards! 🙂

Will I Have No-One Sitting Next To Me?

More and more people were boarding and no-one was sitting next to me. Was I to be lucky and have three seats to myself?

Some of the overhead lockers seem to have an extra mesh guard inside them, which I’ve only seen on BA. These can lock independently of the actual locker door itself.

The PTV is quite small, but considering it’s a foot in front of your face there is actually no problem with the size. Two guys from Manly going on a working holiday to the UK sat next to me – both of them quite heftily built. Both of them had their knees in the seat in front of them while sitting down, and I was glad of the aisle to move into to get more room.

Off We Go, And It’s Dinner Time!

Doors closed, safety demo and we took off to the north. Drinks served first, Gin & Tonics for my travelling companions and I. Once that was completed (and it took what seemed like ages), we were served dinner.

Red wine, water, some shockingly fatty and horrible beef, mashed potato, beans, a bun, some crumble thing for dessert, a salad and a Kit Kat. Overall not bad, but the meat was dire.

We had more Gin & Tonic’s, then the boys opened up a bottle of Bacardi that they’d bought Duty Free. I was Coke runner and we essentially went through two bottles of Bacardi on the flight between the three of us!

I watched “21” (great film) and “Cars” (great too!), and after that we were chatting away merrily for the flight. It’s much friendlier down the back than in Business Class, I have to say! I also popped down the back and had a great old chat with one of the Flight Attendants as well. We landed on time, and I was pleased the flight had gone so quickly.

Overall Thoughts

The BA Y seat is pretty comfortable for people of a certain size, but for really tall people, or fat people it would be a bit of a nightmare. Food was poor to average, but otherwise it was a good flight 🙂 Hope you enjoyed the report.

This flight always stuck in my memory, thanks to the Bacardi sharing guys I was sitting beside. Steady drinking over nine hours is not really recommended for travel as it does make you pretty tired. Even so, it was something different and I enjoyed it.

Have you flown in World Traveller on a British Airways Boeing 747 before? What was it like? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image by Alan Wilson via Wikimedia Commons.