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British Airways are retiring their Boeing 767 aircraft this year, after more than 20 years of service. There are just a few remaining in the fleet and all of them are scheduled to be gone by the end of 2018.
These aircraft feature the old European fleet seats, meaning they are convertible in the middle to make larger seats and they have a drinks tray at the end of the armrest. Widebody comfort on European flights won't be as common once these are retired.
My flight is from London Heathrow to Stockholm Arlanda, meaning the catering in business class is the full service. This means Club Europe passengers get a starter, main, dessert and a cheese plate. Let's have a look at the 767 and how good BA can be!BA780 – London Heathrow to Stockholm Arlanda (LHR-ARN)
4 May 2018
Boeing 767-300ER – G-BNWZ
Seat: Club Europe 2B
Departure: 13:20 Arrival: 16:55
After some time in the Galleries lounge, it was time to head over to the gate to board. This proceeded swiftly and we arrived at the aircraft and turned left into Club Europe.
We were seated in the bulkhead row which I would recommend only for short people. My feet just touched the bulkhead when I stretched out and I am not tall by any means. My friend continually decided to harass me amusingly throughout the flight by making out he couldn't stretch out properly as I had moved us from row 3 to row 2.
While the aircraft is certainly old it was not uncomfortable. It features the old Club Europe seats which have the nifty little drinks tables on the ends of the armrest. Soon after boarding, hot towels were offered by the crew.
Today's flight was completely full in Club Europe. Scandinavian Airlines had a flight to Stockholm cancelled before our flight, so I suspect some of their passengers were moved to my British Airways service.
Menu's are provided on the long flights which is a nice touch. It's just a small piece of card, but it gives you all the information you need so you can order what you want. They always list all the flight numbers the menu applies to as well, which is interesting. Flipping the card over shows the bar menu which is arguably more important to some people.
After lounge food and Champagne it's always a good move to make a pre-emptive toilet visit. This is just in case there is a long taxi to the runway which is not unheard of at London Heathrow Airport. For years British Airways have used Elemis products in their aircraft but it seems these have been switched for The White Company. They are also providing the bedding on long haul services. Happily the toilet was in good condition and I was in and out in a couple of minutes.
Eventually we headed into the air and the crew started the service. Drinks and nuts were provided and as usual I chose Champagne which I alternated with water throughout the flight. Following up from the drinks was delivery of the starters. British Airways include the dessert and cheese plate with the starter, just swapping out the larger plate when it's time to move to the next course.
The salmon is refreshingly nice and drenching it in lemon adds a pleasant tang. My friend is not a fan of horseradish so I had his as well as mine which suited me perfectly. Of course, it doesn't take long to eat such a little dish. As the crew were busy serving the full cabin - at least 51 passengers in Club Europe - it took a little while for the next course to be delivered.
We nabbed a passing crew member at one point who just gave us the entire bottle of Champagne. Before you blanch at this breach of standards, it only had two glasses left in it. He correctly judged we were the types of people who would be quite okay pouring our own.
For the main meal to Stockholm, we both chose the Herb-grilled chicken supreme with thyme jus, truffled linguine and root vegetables. I tend to like eating vegetables on a flight as they're always good. What nobody ever mentions is that the quality of the British Airways food is fantastic. I invariably find the food bursting with taste and with the mains on these long flights, they don't skimp on quantity either.
Delighted with the taste of the main, I elected to try to eat it slowly to savour the flavours. Quite impressed all round! After that I had my dessert which was fine enough too, though I don't love coffee sweets. Mango chutney is now included with the cheese course which makes a huge difference. Previously there was none which meant the oat cakes tasted very dry with the cheese but now it all matches and is quite lovely. Well done to BA!
What will I miss the most about the 767 apart from its widebody cabin on European flights? The main thing for me are the drinks tables at the end of the armrest. They save so much space, especially since the tray you are given is crammed with items. It is a shame they couldn't integrate these little tables into the new seats really - a definite step backwards.
British Airways provide a world class product when it comes to the on board catering and Champagne in Club Europe on longer flights. Quality and taste of the food is faultless and the bubbles are fine for a flight. Cabin crew always provide a decent service even when run off their feet as they were on this flight. Nobody missed out on anything despite the full load which smacks of good training and experience in the crew.
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