This will not be an extensive review since I’ve reviewed BA Club World a couple of times before and most recently in trips to Italy and Spain. And though the product was revolutionary about 10 or so years ago, it really hasn’t evolved in the least bit despite the airline adding new aircraft to the fleet.
Boarding on this particular morning was a swift affair because the 787-8 aircraft only carries 179 passengers in economy and 24 business class passengers. The flight goes out full most of the time, which always makes me wonder why they don’t use a larger aircraft.
Club World was entirely full on this flight and BA doesn’t allow Oneworld Ruby members to choose seats ahead of check in time without paying ridiculous fees so I was stuck with an aisle seat. There’s my seat on the right in all its glory:
The fact that BA has a 2-3-2 business class configuration on its 787s makes it marginally better than the 2-4-2 configuration it has on its 777. At least the passenger sitting in the middle can pick and choose which aisle seat to jump over 🙂
The best seat on these planes is the window because it pretty much feels like a private suite with walls. And then it is followed by the middle seat I mentioned above with walls on both sides of the seat. They aren’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination but if you don’t have to get up, it is the ideal seat in the sky.
I fell asleep immediately after boarding the aircraft and didn’t wake up until we were 2 hours outside of London. Despite its shortcomings, I generally find BA’s seat and cabin temperature extremely comfortable for sleeping.
It’s a pity that I completely missed the breakfast service because I would say BA catering out of Hyderabad is one of the best of any outstations (especially for AVML). And the AA meals are pretty lackluster or bland in the special meal department.
BA’s catering out of Hyderabad is done by Taj Krishna (an iconic 5 star hotel in the city) from what I read on a card so that might have something to do with it.
There was however a snack service before landing in Heathrow, which was very good. There was a salad, a paneer dish, dahi vada, and aloo paratha (an Indian bread stuffed with spicy mashed potato). There was also a palate cleanser at the end: a piece of chocolate.
Service was courteous and efficient while not over the top good. By the time I finished the meal, it was time for our descent into Heathrow. I didn’t have a window so there were no views of iconic London from the airplane this time :(.
I just finished up an episode of Doc Martin to close out the flight and we were in Heathrow.
British Airways Club World may not be the most revolutionary or aspirational product out there, but I can never get myself to complain about it. Awards and cheap business class fares are abundant I always seem to sleep pretty well on their flights because cabin temperature is fairly cool (unlike the others), and the seat has a good balance of comfort and lumbar support. Food is generally pretty good (some of the best AVMLs) out of Hyderabad and London.
There are shortcomings to this product however, best put forth in this list:
- Transfers at Heathrow are a pain, and without FastTrack security lines are crazy in T5
- Fuel Surcharges on award tickets are north of $600
- BA’s Lounge game is extremely subpar in comparison to its European and North American rivals (especially the showers)
- No direct aisle access for all seats
- IFE is ok at best with just a manageable amount of entertainment
- Finally, I do worry about bed bugs nowadays on BA flights (a big no no)
How do you feel about BA Club World? Especially after reports of bed bugs?
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Taj Lake Palace – Udaipur (PART 2): Sunrise to Checkout
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