Seldom have I ever seen the point in paying what is often triple the price of an economy ticket to fly short-haul business class (>5 hours) with British Airways, or as BA call it “Club Europe”. You don’t get a seat that turns into a bed, in fact, the seats are pretty much the exact same as economy. Why bother then?
Flying in Club Europe has its perks, you get to board in group 1 who are the first people on the plane. Don’t worry though, there’s no need to rush from all the free food and drink that business class lounges have to offer. Take your time with a leisurely stroll, head straight to the front of the queue and board with ease.
One of the very few times where flying older planes with older seats has an advantage. The newer A320NEO’s have the exact same seat as economy with the same amount of leg room. The older A320’s on the other hand, well they have custom buisness class seats that may be on the older side but are thick and comfy and they offer a decent bit of recline. Don’t get me wrong, they are poor when you compare it to most other airlines who offer fully flat beds on business class short haul flights. None the less this is the best a British airline has to offer.
Whilst it may not look like much, the extra width you get from having the centre armrests offset is very much welcomed. It’s probably only a 4-inch difference but it transforms the seat from any other carrier to a seat that feels limitless. A difficult one to put across in words, you know when your sat in an economy seat and you have an empty row so you put the armrest up, that’s nowhere near as the armrest still protrudes from the seat. Here, it’s just out of the way.
Also unique to business class onboard BA’s A320 are the fixed tables taking up the middle seat which are almost a good design. Sure they’re handy for you complimentary drinks, snack or perhaps a game of chess, but they aren’t very well thought out. Imagine, if you will, the back seats in a car that has an armrest built into the middle seat. You can guarantee that the bottom of the armrest touches the back of the seat. Unlike in a well-designed car, the table has a gap at the back between it and the back of the seat which causes issues when things fall down there, which is a common occurrence due to it being a smooth plastic surface.
If you’re into your olympic lifting or strongman stuff, having a table as a middle seat instesad of a person is a god send. as you wont have to worry about rubing shoulders with anyone.
DO&CO always seem to knock it out of the park when they provide food for BA. As it was a mid-day flight there was a choice of either Super Food Salad or Coronation Chicken Salad. Served just 13 minutes after takeoff was a double vodka and orange with the Coronation Chicken Salad alongside a strawberry jam and chocolate topped yoghurt. The drink was okay, I’m not sure what OJ BA use but it isn’t Tropicana. As for the chicken salad, it was just as beautiful as the yoghurt. You may spot something missing, the bread. After asking towards the end of the meal why we got served butter the flight attendant realised she had forgotten to serve bread to the cabin. She tried to quickly rectify it but the majority of people had finished eating. What wasn’t missing was the silverware, there’s something to be said about eating a meal with proper cutlery from a proper plate in the air.
Pictured above is the Super Food Salad along with a bottle of red. I’m lead to believe that the superfood salad wasn’t that great, the bottle of wine was though.
Lol, next slide please. There’s no entertainment what so ever. There is WiFi fitted though it isn’t free, for anyone. You’ll be paying between £4.99 and £9.99 depending on the length of your flight for what BA call their “Streaming Package”. In my oppinion this should be free for Business class customers if not severely reduced. I mean the fact that back in the day AirTours used to have a movie on their cheap economy flights. If you have to provide your own screen in the form of a tablet/laptop/phone you should atleast be able to stream stuff for free.
A mixed bag but ultimately dissapointing from BA. Here’s a little insight, being a British Airways Executive Club gold member, Cabin Service Director or Cabin Service Manager will typically come over to your seat and personally great you and thank you for your loyalty and for flying with BA. We were both gold and no recieved no recognition what so ever. Another point, I hit a big x0 birthday whilst flying, the norm is perhaps another pudding or a bit of fiz or something. Once again, nothing. From seat 1F, aka the front of the plane, it took a grand total of 42 seconds from when the service button was pressed until some one came. I’ll go out on a limb and say i can walk from the front galley to the back of the plane and back again in less that 42 seconds without anyone noticing im in a rush…
When you book business class, you should be expecting a bed regardless of the airline or where you’re flying. The fact that a lot of European airlines including BA don’t offer a bed is a bit of a joke. None the less, Club Europe onboard BA’s Airbus A320 is as good as it’s getting for short-haul flights in Europe. Starting with not having long to queue to check-in, walking through to unwind in the lunges, boarding the plane first or when you stroll up to the gate. On the plane with the silverware tucking into DO&CO at 30,000 feet in a comfy spacious seat with your 2 complimentary 32kg checked bags underneath. It all adds up to a pleasant way to fly. Is it worth the premium over economy? Probably not if you have status or you don’t need to take lots of luggage.