Flown: British Airways Dreamliner business class

THE ROUTE

London (Heathrow) to New York (Newark).

THE PLANE

Boeing 787 Dreamliner. 

THE LOYALTY SCHEME

Executive Club (oneworld).

UP THE BACK OR POINTY END

Business class, seat 2J.

TIME IN THE AIR

Seven hours, 10 minutes. 

THE SEAT STUFF

In business class, 35 capsule-like seats spread over two cabins in a 2-3-2 arrangement. Alternate seats face each other, which is ideal for gazing at your partner but a little unsettling if you're opposite a stranger. A divider screen provides more privacy but is lowered by staff during mealtimes. Seats have adjustable neck and lumbar support and recline to a 72-inch (183-centimetre) fully-flat bed.

BAGGAGE

Three checked pieces up to 32 kilograms, one carry-on bag up to 23 kilograms plus a laptop or handbag.

COMFORT FACTOR

This was my debut on the Dreamliner and the larger windows and quieter cabin make for a much more pleasant flying experience. I didn't notice a difference in the air quality (it's supposedly less dry) but I liked the cabin's more intimate feel compared with the A380.

THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT

An enormous selection of movies (nine new releases on this flight), TV shows, CDs, audio books, radio channels, games and podcasts, not to mention BA's new Slow TV channel where you can while away the entire flight by watching a 7 hour, 16 minute train journey from Oslo to Bergen. Delivery is via a responsive touch-sensitive 30-centimetre screen and noise-cancelling headphones.

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THE SERVICE

A welcome glass of Taittinger sets the scene for excellent, fuss-free service throughout the flight. Drink top-ups are frequent and meals are delivered and cleared away promptly. Business class passengers have access to the British Airways Galleries Club lounge in Heathrow's Terminal 5, which is spacious and well-equipped, if a little difficult to find. An adjoining Elemis spa provides free treatments but these can't be pre-booked and there were none available when I arrived 90 minutes before departure. 

FEEDING TIME

A menu handed out before take-off gets tastebuds salivating with an impressive range of options for a relatively short flight. My starter of Scottish smoked salmon with capers is delicious, as is a main of seared fillet of British beef with bearnaise sauce and a dessert of summer berry cheesecake with mascarpone cream. An unexpected treat is an afternoon tea of sandwiches and a warm fruit scone with clotted cream. In the unlikely event you're still hungry, there's a self-service Club Kitchen with an assortment of snacks including fruit, biscuits and ice cream.

ONE MORE THING

Well-stocked his and hers Elemis amenity kits come in a handy shoe bag.

THE FREQUENCY

British Airways has dozens of flights between London and New York each week but at the time of writing uses the Dreamliner for 13 of them from Heathrow to Newark. A business class return starts at $3531 including taxes.

THE VERDICT

The combination of departing from Heathrow's sleek Terminal 5, flying on the Dreamliner and arriving in Newark (which is an infinitely less stressful proposition than JFK and offers easier transport options into Manhattan) makes this an unbeatable option for getting between London and New York.

Tested by Rob McFarland, who flew courtesy of British Airways.