Tracey Bond flies from London Heathrow to Tokyo's Narita Airport aboard British Airways flight BA5.

The plane:

Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. The airline has 18 787-9s, and 11 of the shorter 787-8s.

Check-in: At kiosks in Terminal 5 (the home of BA) which was pretty speedy, but then there were long queues to drop off the bags. Everyone seemed to be having luggage woes.


On time: At check-in we were told there was a 45-minute delay on our 3.45pm flight but as we sat waiting in the lounge just before the original flight time, a message came over the speakers saying our flight was closing. The ground staff did an awesome job of turning the flight around quickly (although their efficiency did nothing for my blood pressure as we ran to make the flight).

The seat: 40J: the dreaded middle seat, in a side row, well towards the back of the plane. Enough said.

Price: Part of a multi-stop ticket taking in Los Angeles, the United Kingdom and Japan. All up the price was approximately $2500 on special, purchased six months before travel.

Flight time: 11 hours.

How full: Pretty much at capacity although the mid sections seemed to have been given some spare seats (jealous middle-seater here).

Food and drink: A good selection of snacks on the vegetarian meal option including Graze barbecue snacks, bulgar salad, a hot pasta dish, cheese and biscuits and a sinfully delicious chocolate orange pot.

Entertainment: The back-of-the seat entertainment system featured television categories like Best of British and Trending and a smattering of new release films including Thor Ragnarok, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and the action flick Black Panther.

Toilets: Basic and clean.


Service: The staff went above and beyond. When the passenger next to me didn't receive his pre-ordered vegan meal the stewardess put together a tray of vegan friendly bits and pieces and even went so far as to cook a baked potato in First Class for him.

Nice surprise: Mini Magnums midway through the flight for those still awake (which I was, because: middle seat).