Our flight actually began back in Manchester where we flew from Manchester to London Heathrow, you can read more about this here. This article covers the second leg of our journey, from London Gatwick to Orlando International Airport. We were heading to Orlando as a party 11 – Something neither of us has ever done before, as regular readers know we usually only ever travel as a two.
Airline: British Airways
Date: Monday 25th March 2019
Depart: 11:35 (est 12:02)
Arrive: 17:18 (est 17:25)
Aircraft: Boeing 777-236
Seat: 38A & 38B
However, this is a special occasion. We’ve used what would have been our wedding fund for the entire family to head out to Orlando, Florida for the very first time. Where we’d have a small ceremony, followed by some dancing and singing with Mickey Mouse over at the Magic Kingdom.
The majority of our checking in had been done back in Manchester. In this case, we only used the British Airways bag drop to drop off our bags – much the same as if you had checked in online. This no doubt streamlined our check-in process and is something I’d recommend looking into if you’re travelling as a large party and are comfortable with the process.
Boarding started 45 minutes prior to departure with gold and silver members. We were one of the last parties to board and boarding completed 12 minutes early according to the pilot. Despite all of this, we were delayed on our way to the runway for no specified reason which led to us being around 30 minutes late taking off.
The economy cabin on this British Airways Boeing 777 didn’t contain the luxury leather seats you’d find on the short-haul routes. However, it was fitted with the new modern in-flight entertainment system which boarded a very large high-definition seatback TV.
The entertainment system included TV shows, the latest movies and games. The variety and the quality were without a doubt the best we’ve experienced on any long haul flight.
The seat featured an adjustable headrest and modest leg room. The personal seat-back tray included a half fold for drinks and additional space should they be required as well as a full-length for eating, or in the kid’s case, drawing, colouring etc.
We were seated across the back couple of rows of the aircraft (41, 42 and 43). However, upon being one of the last to board we were pleased to find that the middle four seats on rows 44 and 45 were also vacant which allowed us to spread out a little further –
ideal for the little ones to have some extra space who am I kidding, this was totally for me to sleep… These seats were not shown as vacant on the seating plan during check-in.
As I slept on and off through the flight I often missed the food and drink service. Being situated at the back of the plane I was able to go to the galley at the back of the aircraft and ask the incredibly helpful and friendly staff for drinks and snacks when required.
The flight was a little bumpy at times, especially during the first half – I was very surprised the pilot didn’t turn on the seatbelt sign. However, as I was sleeping on and off throughout the flight I did my best to leave my seatbelt buckled throughout the flight.
WIFI was set to be available on the flight, however shortly after takeoff, we were informed that the WIFI was not working. I was, therefore, unable to find out the pricing, speeds etc.
Menu & Meals
Around 1 hour after takeoff we had lunch which I forgot to photograph due to a mix of extreme hunger and extreme tiredness. From there the lights of the cabin were dimmed, until around one and a half hours prior to landing when the lights came back on for a light dinner.
Children and specific dietary needs had a different light dinner, however, everyone else had the same dinner which was a salmon sandwich. This isn’t something I’d expect the majority of people to love to it seemed like a strange choice when there was no variety to choose from – I’m not sure how common this is amongst long-haul BA flights.
The flapjack on the side, however, was absolutely delicious! Each meal was served with a soft drink, juice or a selected range of alcoholic drinks including red wine, white wine and beer. Complimentary spirits and mixers etc. were also available throughout the flight.
I would not hesitate to fly long haul British Airways again in the future. Despite the problems changing seats during the check-in process back in Manchester which you can read about here. The seat-back entertainment system was impeccable, and considering it’s an economy seat I can only wish for the leather seats as we found on the short-haul BA flight which I personally found much more comfortable.