British Airways First Suite, New-York JFK – London Heathrow, Boeing 777-300ER : 2 seats out of 8 not working ?

While the boarding is announced with 20 minutes of delay on the schedule, I go to gate number 6, from which our flight boards today, the last one to leave terminal 7 to reach London Heathrow.

As a reminder, here is the itinerary followed:

1DiaryBack to school trips to Paris and the United States
2LoungeClub Aspire Lounge, London Heathrow T3
3FlightAir France Business, London Heathrow – Paris Charles-de-Gaulle
4HotelIntercontinental Paris Champs-Elysées
5LoungeAir France Business Lounge, Paris Charles-de-Gaulle 2E-K
6FlightAir France Business, Paris Charles-de-Gaulle – London Heathrow
7LoungeBritish Airways Concorde Room, London Heathrow T5
8FlightBritish Airways First, London Heathrow – Chicago O’Hare, Airbus A380-800
9HotelKimpton Grey Chicago
10HotelKimpton Monaco Chicago
11HotelIntercontinental Chicago
12LoungeAmerican Airlines Flagship Lounge, Chicago O’Hare T3
13FlightAmerican Airlines Domestic First, Chicago O’Hare – Charlotte, Boeing 737-800
14LoungeAmerican Airlines Admirals Club, Charlotte Concourse C
15FlightAmerican Airlines Domestic First, Charlotte – New-York La Guardia, Boeing 737-800
16HotelKimpton Muse, New-York
17HotelIntercontinental New-York Times Square
18LoungeBritish Airways Concorde Room, New-York JFK T7
19FlightBritish Airways First Suite, New-York JFK – London Heathrow, Boeing 777-300ER
Today’s itinerary


When I arrive at the gate, Zone 1 boarding has already begun and I can go directly to the boarding area. There is a bit of confusion and I have to make my way through the passengers of zone 2 and 3 who are already waiting at the entrance of the priority lane.


Cabin and welcome

The welcome is cordial and I am invited to enter the First Class cabin, configured in the BA 777 in 1-2-1.

This is the new First cabin, refreshed following the installation of Club Suite cabins in Business, adding a door to the already rather private seat.


So I am in seat 1F, adjacent to seat 1K where I was originally supposed to stay.


Immediately, I notice that the electronic controls of the seat are not all working. In particular, all the controls for adjusting the seat position do not work.


And indeed, neither the controls of the lights (except ceiling light), nor the switch to bed or relax position will work.

So the replacement seat is also broken. Thank you BA First! I must say that the crew will do everything to satisfy me and will adjust the seat manually, and with some “fix” will mask the lights as well as possible.


Zero points for BA and the catastrophic maintenance of the cabins.

Before takeoff, a welcome drink is brought, I will take champagne (Laurent Perrier Grand Siècle) which will be corked! When things go wrong…


Service and catering

The service starts almost 30 minutes after take-off.


A glass of champagne (not corked this time) will be brought to me with the appetizers which will be very good.


Broccoli soup will also look great on an elegant setting.


I will choose pasta as my main course, and give up dessert to focus on resting.

I will thus join in the tread my broken seat also but stretching manually, for 4 hours of rest.

I wake up about 40 minutes before landing, and ask for an espresso that will be served to me while I change back in the bathroom.


The service will be overall very slow, not at the level of a First.

Arrival and disembarkation

We arrive about 15 minutes late at Heathrow.

I will use the connection track to reach my flight to Paris, and will use the Concorde Room to wait.


Bottom line

It’s a shame to offer a broken seat to a passenger at the highest level of the loyalty program. Fortunately, the after-sales service was perfect, as I was given an astronomical amount of avios as compensation.

Olivier Delestre-Levai
Olivier Delestre-Levai
Olivier has been into airline blogging since 2010. First a major contributor to the FlyerTalk forum, he created the FlyerPlan website in July 2012, and writes articles with a major echo among airline specialists. He now co-runs the TravelGuys blog with Bertrand, focusing on travel experience and loyalty programs.

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