[Click above for the video review.]
Airline: British Airways
Flight Number: BA285
Class: Club World (Business Class)
Aircraft: Boeing 747-400
Delivered: May 1998
Flight Duration: 11 Hours
Distance: 5,367 Miles
British Airways is regarded as one of the better airlines for trans-Atlantic travel, but is it better than the competition? You decide!
What I liked:
The Friendly Service – The in-flight service from the crew was warm and the flight attendants really did look like they liked what they do. They were also very efficient and delivered professional service during the flight.
The plane! – There are fewer and fewer passenger Boeing 747 jumbo jet service these days, as the airlines opt for modern, more fuel-efficient planes. So, it was such a special treat to being riding in one, let alone being on the upper deck.
What I didn’t like:
The antiquated seats – British Airways recently refurbished their Business Class seats on the 747, but the original seat design dates to 2006! I still think the configuration is horrible as not all seats have direct aisle access. Not to mention the seats are narrow. We got lucky as the layout on the upper deck is only 2-2. Sadly, the Club World on the main deck is configured as 2-4-2.
Long Security Lines at LHR – Heathrow is notorious for having long wait times at security, and this trip was no different. I really do hope that this improves soon.
The BA Galleries Lounge at LHR – The BA lounge at Heathrow is huge with plenty of seating, sadly the lounge tends to get packed during peak times. I think the food and drink selection is adequate and quite good.
The onboard Catering – The catering was actually pretty good on this flight. The highlight was the chicken tikka masala dish, as it was perfectly seasoned and spiced. Though the steak sandwich during the pre-landing meal was pretty bad, as the bread was hard as rocks!
The Amenities – BA does not do pajamas in business class, not even slippers but I am happy that they’ve upgraded their business class amenity kit from a reusable drawstring bag to an actual leather pouch by “The White Company London”. The noise canceling headphones is not the best, but sound quality was acceptable.
Overall, I still think BA offers an OK Business Class product. Their flight attendants are friendly and delivered professional service. The food is OK, it’s not the best I’ve had in the sky, but I’ve also had much worse.
Their business class seats really need to go. And although they did release much better seats on their new Airbus A350s, these seats are only available on select routes; most of their business class seats are still the old ones.
The ground experience in Heathrow is a mixed bag. Security was pretty bad, but the free-flowing champagne and food offering in the BA lounge more than made up for what was lacking.