I checked in online, which British Airways allows on its website as early as 36 hours before departure. Having only carry-on baggage with me, it made the airport experience a cinch.
British Airways now finds Philadelphia to be an important hub in its route network given new oneworld partner US Airways, which is a part of founding alliance member American Airlines. This means that there will be far more connecting passengers in the future. In light of this, British Airways has invested in a full Galleries lounge for both first and business class customers in Philadelphia. With two daily flights, the lounges are open during the evening hours and showcase the same style as the airline’s London lounges. Since my flight was a Sleeper Service (meaning it departs at a later hour with a limited inflight meal), there is a full dinner buffet available in the lounge. If you still feel peckish, there is a light meal offered immediately after takeoff. Don’t tell, but I indulged in both.
The flight was completely full, but lounge staff assured us that we need not leave until boarding was underway. With a dedicated line, I was on board one of the world’s newest airplanes in no captain gave a nod to the new plane in his welcome as well.
The cabin is set up in a 2-3-2 configuration so that window seats face backward while aisles face forward. The seat unfolds into a full 180-degree bed. The entertainment screen fold out from the divider creating a small office of sorts with plenty of space for my laptop. I especially liked that there were individual air vents, which many widebodies do not generously provide.
Since this is a Sleeper Service, most passengers have already dined in the lounge so they could rest. The inflight buffet included a cook-to-order stir fry area, and I jumped at the chance to have a Thai dish while on my way to Thailand. On my flight, however, it seemed everyone wanted to experience the onboard light dinner. Service began almost immediately with a glass of wine and prawn salad served within minutes of takeoff. Dessert and warm bread were on the tray, and it was collected shortly thereafter allowing me to sleep quickly.
Dreamliner has a lower cabin pressure permitting a more humidified cabin. This is supposed to help reduce jetlag. I did