[Click above for the video review.]
Airline: British Airways
Flight Number: BA287
Class: Club World (Business Class)
Aircraft: Airbus A380-800
Delivered: February 2015
Flight Duration: 10 Hours 50 Minutes
Distance: 5,367 Miles
British Airways (BA) changed business class travel back in 2006 when it introduced the Club World seats that turn into fully flat beds. It is now 2022 and BA still have these 16 year old seats installed on all of their Airbus A380 planes. How does BA’s seat compare to the competition on this route? Well, other than the generous leg room, I found the seat to be very uncomfortable for the almost 11 hour flight across the pond. Other than that, I found the service to be friendly, but it appears BA has yet to go back to pre-pandemic level of service in business class. That being said, is it still worth flying BA in business class these days?
What I liked:
The plane – This flight was operated by an Airbus A380, which is one of my favorite planes. I’m glad that BA reinstated these birds back into service.
The Catering – The catering by Do&Co was actually very good on this flight. The food tasted fresh and delicious. The chicken pot pie that I ordered during dinner service was delicious, while the beef short ribs dish that my companion ordered was was also delectable. The pre-arrival chicken and pasta dish was generously portioned and equally very good.
The BA Galleries First Lounge at LHR – BA has brought back the self-service buffet at this lounge along with the made to order dining via QR code. There were still plenty of seats available during our stay, but I did notice that the lounge has been a lot more busy these days, almost to pre-pandemic levels.
What I didn’t like:
No personal air nozzles – Sadly BA did not fit their A380s with personal air nozzles, which is very unfortunate. It was hard to keep cool during the flight, as BA usually keeps their cabins rather warm in-flight.
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 2-3-2 on the upper deck, and 2-4-2 on the main deck of the Airbus A380. 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 and may offer more storage, but can 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 legs 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 cool.
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.
It’s OK, I guess…
The 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, which was nice. However since the beginning of the pandemic, BA serves the entire business class meal on a single tray instead of being in courses. I hope BA changes this soon.
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 2 lavatories at the front of the upper deck of the A380 are huge, clean, and nicely stocked with toiletries.
I’m usually an American Airlines, so how does British Airways compare to the competition? 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.
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