After a nice nap at our day room in the Sofitel London Heathrow, we headed over to Terminal 5 to check in for our British Airways flight to Cape Town. Below is the entranceway to the hotel from Terminal 5 as seen from our room.
Once inside Terminal 5, we were reminded how spacious this terminal really is, as it’s been a few years since we were here.
Since we’re traveling in First Class, we had hoped to visit the Concorde Lounge, but unfortunately as our flight departed out of terminal 3 we were told we had to use the Galleries First Class Lounge there. A bit disappointed, we felt better knowing we could us the Concorde room on our return flight home as w depart from terminal 5. We did check in for our flight in Terminal 5 and our check-in agent was happy to take a couple photos of us at this exclusive First Class check-in area.
We then took the train over to Terminal 3. This train also continues on to Paddington Station in London, but is complimentary between the terminals – but only in Coach class. Hmmm – a five minute ride in Coach! LOL! I’m glad DOS know this as I saw the Business Class car and started to get in it!
Once at Terminal 3 we used the Fast Lane for security, and then headed for the Galleries Lounge. It was a fair bit of a walk to the Lounge past what seemed like a zillion Duty Free and other shops and restaurants.
The Terminal 3 Galleries Lounge is actually quite nice. They have a Business Class Lounge, and a separate First Class Lounge. At 7pm it was not very crowded either. I had a glass of Bubbly at the entrance classy Champagne station with the fancy chandeliers adorning the room overhead.
At the gate, we took a few photos before boarding our slightly delayed flight.
It was a cool and rainy night as we boarded our flight to Cape Town, but we were warmly welcomed aboard by our young British Airways crew. We were personally shown to our seats in the very nose of the Boeing 747 – seats 1A and 1K.
The decor with the mood lighting, large sleeper seats, double wide motorized windows, and lamp, provided an elegant setting reminiscent of a luxury train.
At our seat was an amenity kit, slippers, and headset, and pajamas, which I immediately changed into. I was then served a pre-departure drink, and chose British Airway’s signature Grand Siecle, which was delicious!
Seats 1A and 1K are the best seats on British Airways 747, and offer a private feel to them as no one can walk in front of you, being that you are in the absolute front of the aircraft.
On this 12 hour flight, we had outstanding service provided by the 3 dedicated Flight Attendants for the 14 First Class passengers, which on our flight was fully occupied.
Like on our American Airlines flight to London, we were served our meal in a course by course fashion. British Airways had the better choice and selection of wines, and as it was a long flight I had time to try some nice vines with you meal, and still gets full night’s sleep. The First Class menu is shown below:
I watched the movie Nottington Hill with Gena Davis as I had my multi-course meal, finishing it up with a nice cheese course and glass of Port. The
I woke up about a hour and a half before landing in Cape Town, just as breakfast was being served. I opted for the full English breakfast, which was quite substantial.
.As we descended into Cape Town, we had a beautiful view out the window.
Landing in Cape Town was very smooth, and we were soon off the plane and on to immigration. US citizens at this time do not need a visa to enter South Africa and we quickly cleared immigration and our luggage was already waiting for us when we arrived at baggage claim. With nothing to declare, we were through Customs where we were met by our AMA Waterways driver, there were two other couples on our flight being met as well so as we waited I took a couple photos.
Welcome to Cape Town!