[Click above for the video review.]
Airlines: British Airways (BA)
Aircraft: Airbus A380-800
Delivered: February 2015
Flight Duration: 10 Hours 5 Minutes
Distance: 5,456 Miles
Flying in British Airways’ Club World Business Class is not an experience I particularly look forward to. The Club World seats are cramped and uncomfortable, particularly on a long-haul flight lasting over 10 hours. Unfortunately, BA still uses these outdated seats on their Airbus A380s, and they have no plans to replace them with the newer Club Suite seats. Although the crew working in business class were friendly and courteous, there was nothing particularly exceptional about the service on this flight. The first meal service was served in courses, which has improved from our previous long-haul flight with BA, where everything was served on a single tray. Due to the flight’s late departure, the usual after-takeoff bar service was absent. The in-flight meals, which were catered by DO&CO, were of high quality and consistent with our previous flights with BA.
What I Liked:
The Qantas First Class Lounge at LAX – As Oneworld Emerald Status holders, we were granted access to the Qantas First Class Lounge at LAX, which turned out to be my favorite lounge at the airport. Although not very expansive, the lounge offered plenty of comfortable seating options and showers for those wanting to freshen up before their flight. However, what truly sets this lounge apart is the restaurant-quality meals served in their dining area. We enjoyed a comfortable stay and indulged in a delicious 3-course meal before boarding our flight.
The Food – The catering provided by DO&CO on this flight was excellent. The food tasted fresh and delicious, and the starter dishes we ordered were particularly noteworthy. The Chicken Malai Korma and grilled swordfish we had for our main course during the dinner service were both scrumptious and flavorful. To cap off the meal, the toffee tart and sweet crepe we ordered for dessert were a decadent way to indulge our sweet tooth. The pre-arrival Full Breakfast dish that I had was generously portioned and equally delicious, while my companion enjoyed the ricotta omelet. Although there was no mid-flight meal service, the crew kind enough to set up the “Club Kitchen” snack bar near the galley, which offered a wide selection of snacks to choose from. Overall, the catering on this flight exceeded our expectations and made the journey more enjoyable.
What I didn’t Like:
The Seats – Unfortunately, British Airways’ Club World Product, which was introduced in 2006, has not aged well. While the seat can be converted into a full flat bed and provides ample legroom, its narrow width can make it feel cramped when trying to relax or enjoy a meal. Additionally, most window and center seats do not offer direct aisle access, requiring passengers to step over their neighbor’s ottoman to get to the aisle. There is also a lack of easily accessible storage space, which can be frustrating during a long-haul flight. Overall, the Club World seats are in need of an upgrade, as they fall short of current business class standards.
No Personal Air Nozzles – Another disappointing aspect of British Airways’ A380s is the absence of personal air nozzles. This omission is unfortunate, as it makes it difficult to stay cool during the flight, particularly since BA tends to keep their cabins rather warm.
It was OK, I guess…
The in-flight Service – The in-flight service on this flight was pleasant, but the mixed fleet crew did not come across as particularly warm or engaging. While we were offered hot towel & pre-departure beverage service, and the crew who interacted with us during meal times were friendly enough, there was nothing particularly noteworthy about the service. Overall, while the service was adequate, it did not go above and beyond our expectations.
The Amenities – It is worth noting that British Airways does not provide pajamas or slippers for business class passengers, which may be disappointing to some travelers. However, I appreciated the black mini leather pouch provided by The White Company London. The bedding was also of high quality and included a comfortable mattress pad for making the bed. Additionally, the lavatories located in the front of the upper deck cabin were spacious and kept clean, with a good supply of toiletries available.
In summary, while the catering and amenities on British Airways’ Club World Business Class were commendable, the outdated seats and lack of personal air nozzles detracted from the overall comfort of the flight. The in-flight service was pleasant but unremarkable. However, the Qantas First Class Lounge at LAX proved to be a highlight of our journey with its comfortable seating, shower suites, and exceptional dining options. Despite some drawbacks, our overall experience was still satisfactory, and we were able to arrive at our destination feeling rested and refreshed.