[Click above for the video review.]
Airline: British Airways
Flight Number: BA284
Class: Club World (Business Class)
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Delivered: July 2010
Flight Duration: 9 Hours 55 Minutes
Distance: 5,367 Miles
Compared to its US counterparts, British Airways is considered a more elegant and refined way to get across the pond, but is it?
What I liked:
The Friendly Service – The in-flight service from this mixed fleet crew was warm and the flight attendants were eager to please. The crew were also polished and delivered professional service during the flight. We were offered a pre-departure beverage service and the crew made sure our drinks were always full during the meal service.
The Catering – The food tasted fresh and presented a tad better than most meals on US carriers. The beef shortribs that I ordered during dinner service was moist and flavorful, while the seared salmon dish that my companion ordered was also delicious. The pre-arrival full English Breakfast dish was generously portioned and hearty.
What I didn’t like:
The IFE – BA Inflight Entertainment system is very old and slow. The IFE screen is a small 12″ compared to bigger and brighter screens on newer planes. Also the media selection was rather limited. The noise canceling headphones was not the best quality compared to AA’s B&O headphones, but sound quality was OK.
The seats – British Airways refurbished their original Club World seats a few years back and recently introduced the new CLub Suite suites in business class. Sadly this flight still operated with the old seats that were originally introduced in 2006. The configuration is very tight at 2-4-2 with 56 seats in business class. One huge problem for me is the lack of storage space around the seat. You literally have to get up to stow your things in the pull out storage box. The seats turn into a fully flat bed, but they are quite narrow and uncomfortable for sitting and lounging. The window seats are private, but may feel claustrophobic especially for bigger folks. While the aisle seats are more open, but you are completely exposed to the aisle when people are moving about the cabin. If you’re seated by the window or one of the honeymoon seats in the middle, chances are you’ll need to hop over someone’s leg to get to the aisle. The dealbreaker for me though is the lack of personal air nozzles. BA typically keeps their cabins very warm in-flight and it’s hard to sleep without anything to keep your cool.
The British Airways Galleries Lounge at SFO – BA recently renovated their lounge at SFO and it’s beautiful! The lounge offers plenty of seating, with light a la carte dining via QR Code. There was also full bar and champagne service, as well as a decent buffet spread. One unique feature, and for me probably the best part of the lounge is the direct access to the jet bridge.
It’s OK, I guess…
The Amenities – BA does not offer business class passengers pajamas or slippers in business class, but I liked the black mini leather pouch by The White Company London. The bedding was also very good and included a mattress pad for when you make your bed. The lavatories were small, but they were clean and nicely stocked with toiletries.
If you’re a OneWorld flyer looking for a less casual and more refined service with decent food in business class, then British Airways is the way to go. However, BA really needs to retire these tired old club world seats. These seats are probably the most uncomfortable business class seats I’ve been on. It’s hard to move when you’re seated and you’ll have to get up to stow your belongings or convert your seat into a bed. Also the lack of air nozzles was disappointing.If seat comfort is more important to you, I would definitely go with the competition. American for example, offers much better seats in business class. Just don’t expect the service and food to be stellar.
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