Journey: Heathrow to Charleston – British Airways – Economy
THE FLIGHT: British Airways has just started a new route from Heathrow to Charleston, on Thursdays and Sundays, and I took third departure, BA221, leaving from Terminal 5.
CHECK IN: Check in was polite and efficient. I asked for and was given an aisle seat.. The shuttle journey to Gate B45 took 20 minutes, but when we arrived, boarding had been delayed due to non-arrival of the aircraft. We finally took off an hour late at 18.30.
THE SEAT: I had 32H in Economy, an aisle seat in this B787 with nine seats across and two aisles. The interior was light and airy with good headroom. The seat also had acceptable legroom, which was vital on this eight-hour flight, with a nine-inch seatback IFE screen and USB power for charging your tablet or phone. The IFE included a new selection of 20 Award Worthy films, including The Favourite, Mary Poppins Returns and A Private War. There were also 43 New Onboard, 39 New Releases and 12 Best of British films, plus TV, games, Disney and kids’ channels. There was a good selection of audio description and closed caption films available. Sadly, there was no wifi on this flight.
THE SERVICE: The cabin crew were smartly dressed, efficient and friendly, and attentive. The drinks service came promptly after takeoff, but the Italian Merlot was nothing special. I had pre-ordered the gluten-free meal, which came before the others, and was pretty good. The salad was lettuce and tomato, but with no dressing. The main course was a large chicken breast with roasted vegetables and rice. There was also cheese, a bread roll and Nairns oatcakes. Dessert was a tiny, light jelly with two blueberries and one raspberry on top. A second meal was served one-and-a-half hours before landing. This was more of a snack, and less successful: a turkey and cheese spread sandwich, with some more oatcakes and soft cheese, plus orange juice and coffee.
THE VERDICT: We landed around 21.15 local time, around 45 minutes late. It was a good flight, well-catered, with tasty and plentiful gluten-free options. The staff were a major plus point: they were friendly and did not seem to mind people getting up to chat and stretch their legs. The entertainment was good, with the Award Worthy section full of movies I had not seen, and BBC World News also available. There was no wifi and the moving map (3D maps by Geofusion) did not appear to work on my screen.