Aim Higher, Fly Supersonic

Passenger Experience

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Tickets

The price for transatlantic supersonic tickets was naturally higher priced than a first class ticket from BA and Air France. There was a simple relationship between speed, time and price. Essentially a journey time that was halved allowed more time on the ground for valuable business meetings or the enjoyment of the destination. Passengers travelling supersonic also arrived in a fresher state of mind with reduced jet lag due to less time being airborne. To the Concorde passenger, the value of time was highly important and worth the extra pricing premium of the ticket. BA also created additional prestige by the flight numbering system: Flight 001 from London to New York and Flight 002 from New York to London.

Lounge

The pre-boarding experience of Concorde was rather unique as the lounge was called “The Concorde Room” and was separate from First Class. It was commonly understood in the travel world that supersonic services were the very highest level of air travel. This was quite literally the case with cruising altitudes of 60,000 ft compared with around 40,000 ft for a Boeing 747. The lounge normally included a glass of champagne and Concorde could be viewed directly outside where it could be boarded straight from The Concorde Room.

Flight

Cuisine

Concorde was well known for its superb cuisine. Ingredients included such luxuries as caviar, lobster and a great selection of cheeses.

Wine cellar & champagne

Concorde passengers expected the best and it normally met expectations with an incredible array of vintage wines from a specially selected cellar. Champagne was also heavily demanded since Concorde flights were often used to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions in life. Each flight carried 21 bottles of champagne, 17 bottles of white wine, 17 bottles of red wine and 4 bottles of port wine.

Music

Ironically for the ultimate in transatlantic travel, Concorde had no movie services. Flights were generally so quick, they allowed for a drinks service, the meal and a small amount of time to relax and read. To compensate, the music selection was generally excellent.

Seating

The passenger seating was arranged in the form of a double seat either side of a central aisle. There were 100 passenger seats in total with 40 in the forward cabin section, where there were 10 rows of seats, and 60 passengers in the rear cabin, which had 15 rows of seats. However, there were 26 rows in total to accommodate the missing row 13. This was eliminated to cater for superstitious people who boarded their dream flight only to find they would be in row 13.

Seats changed over the years where the first editions of Concorde were covered in cloth in colours like burnt orange and crimson red. This changed to grey, part leather and part cloth. The last refit saw an BA install an all-blue leather seat. The seat size was similar to a sports car whereas a Boeing 747 seat was similar to a comfortable home arm chair for longer journey times.

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