This is the second of a series of reviews of my trip to Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The following links will become clickable after each review becomes available:
- London Heathrow Terminal 5 Business Parking
- New York, New York Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas
- Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Anaheim, Los Angeles
- Universal Studios Hollywood, VIP Experience
- American Airlines Economy – Los Angeles to San Francisco
- Villa Florence Hotel, San Francisco
- Alcatraz Tour, San Francisco
- House of Nanking Chinese Restaurant, San Francisco
- British Airways Lounge San Francisco Airport
- British Airways Club World – San Francisco to London
- London Heathrow Airside Transfer T5 to T3
The BA0275 Las Vegas flight departs Heathrow Terminal 5 at 15:50 – there is sometimes an earlier flight and I’d recommend taking that if it is available as you don’t waste a day in England and then arrive at what is really early the next morning in Las Vegas. The flight arrives at 18:20 Las Vegas time. Flying duration: 10hrs 30mins. Aircraft type: Boeing 747.
I chose Premium Economy (World Traveller Plus) outbound to Las Vegas and Club World inbound from San Francisco. There are a number of reasons to choose a lower class out to the US and higher class back, apart from saving money:
- You’ll mostly be outbound daytime, where you don’t need a flat-bed seat.
- The Premium Economy meals on BA flights departing London Heathrow are the same as Club World.
- The taxes added for Club World are less for US-UK than UK-US.
- You’ll mostly be inbound overnight, when you can sleep all the way back in a flat-bed seat.
I’m not entirely sure if Premium Economy allows Fast Track Security and Lounge Access as I would get that as a BA Silver card holder anyway – yes I don’t do these reviews properly, take pictures of seats, food, the bathroom etc.
There were plenty of check-in machines and bag drop desks. I know that the check-in machines are supposed to speed things up (like online check in) but if they are so good, then why are there always several members of staff there having to assist passengers? I think that if you haven’t managed to check in on line and either, print, or, smartphone your boarding pass, you’ll probably not going to be much good using the check-in machine.
The BA Terminal 5 Galleries Lounge was better than I remember from my last visit. I think when flying long haul, you have time to go to the far back of the lounge where there are more comfortable chairs. Whereas on a short-haul flight, especially travelling alone, you end up on the boarding school style tables just grabbing a snack and drink before your flight.
The premium economy seats were comfortable, although there wasn’t much between them. So if you were next to a stranger, then you would be closer than is necessary, particularly when there is a lot of wasted space between the window seat and the window.
On arrival in Las Vegas, we were one of the first people off the plane and cleared immigration quickly. Then there was a 40 minute wait for our bags, despite them having Priority tags on them. We watched, along with some passengers I had seen leaving the First Class compartment, as hundreds of un-tagged bags arrived before ours. So that was pretty disappointing.
All in all, there wasn’t really much difference between the Virgin and BA Premium Economy offering to Las Vegas. I think it all depends on which airline you are collecting points and flight times.