Review: BA Club World DFW-LHR-AMS (Surprisingly Good)

I will not go into great detail here with my BA Club World review as I have already written about it a couple of times here and here. Unfortunately, I did not get a Boeing 777 equipped with the new BA Club World seats with doors and direct aisle access.

We left the CapitalOne Lounge around 6:30pm to get to our gate (D11) for the boarding process.

Boarding:

As usual the BA boardingpass was a bit of a pandemonium with families with children boarding first and premium customers assuming they can board, only to be sent to the back of the line. The line ended up being not so single file and there was a decent amount of pushing and shoving when the actual boarding began for Club World. I still find it disappointing that BA boards oneworld elites in any cabin alongside Club World. It just seems like it makes the initial boarding process all the more chaotic and the business experience not so premium.

Anyway I was able to work my way onboard and finally got to my seat: 2K which is the most private seat you can find in this BA configuration.

Waiting for me at my seat were a pillow and comforter by The White Company. I find these to be quite exceptional as far as business class bedding goes. The pillow is of a very good size and the blanket is certainly big enough unlike those provided by other airlines.

I was offered the choice between some champagne and orange juice, which I declined after which it took another 30 minutes to be on our way to London. Views from the window of the DFW Airport and the Metroplex were stunning to say the least.

And this is pretty much why I’m always a window seat on any flight to anywhere.

 

About an hour after takeoff, the purser came around with his mask below his nose to ask what I would like to drink. And at that point I quickly glanced at the menu and ordered the only vegetarian option: the wild mushroom and green pea risotto.

I comment about the mask below the nose because some of the crew reprimanded others for having their masks off. I don’t know what it was with the man, but he couldn’t seem to talk without putting his face within inches of my own. But I have got to say he was clearly very enthusiastic about his job and kept my diet coke glass full throughout the meal service.

As meal service began, I turned on my iPad to see what the internet service was cost and how fast it was. This is where BA truly shined in my eyes. For around ~$22 I was getting high speed internet for the entire flight. This wasn’t just some mediocre, click and wait 30 minutes for the page to load stuff, but streaming level fast. And there were no apparent data caps on this service, which meant I could get some serious work done.  Color me surprised because the last time I was on board, there was no wifi to speak of on this aircraft.

The only real downside to the service was that you couldn’t switch devices. I unfortunately bought it on my iPad and couldn’t transfer it to my phone or laptop later on during the flight.

 

Anyway, dinner service was underway pretty quickly and I got the veggie risotto I had ordered off of the inflight menu alongside everything else all on one tray. I have to say that I love that they did this. I find it absolutely annoying waiting for food on a transatlantic flight on a course by course basis. These flights to London tend to often be short to take a nap if the meal service is delayed or is stretched on into the flight. For the record the risotto was flavorful and the white chocolate mousse alongside the cheese and crackers hit the spot.

Just as dinner service was under way, the plane hit some really bad turbulence as we were flying over the U.S-Canadian border. How bad? One of the flight attendants actually fell over while serving drinks to the passenger next to me. My fellow passenger had to actually help them up.

This actually went on for a good 3 hours of our transatlantic journey and really only subsided as we were approaching Ireland. Since I couldn’t really sleep with my meal tray still in place and my iPad out next to it. I decided to open the window shade and enjoy the moon lit scene.

I’m not sure how turbulence works in scenarios where the plane is outside the clouds, but it looked a lot calmer outside than it was.

Anyway, I couldn’t get much sleep on the flight, but I did get a lot of work done so that I could enjoy my week off. With wi-fi speeds like this, I would probably fly BA again and again.

Eating breakfast after the heavy dinner just a few hours ago seemed like a bad plan of action so I skipped it altogether. Of course the enthusiastic FA  insisted I order something, so I ordered an English breakfast tea (aka “hot brown water”).

Anyway, before we knew it, we were on our descent into Heathrow. It was a lovely morning and the views outside the window were great if not a bit hazy.

The best shots I got were right before landing at Heathrow.

Some the trees in the morning light, made the season (Spring) look almost like early Fall. The green grass was a nice contrast with the deep blues and oranges of the trees.

 

Oddly enough the roads and the clover leaf adjacent to Heathrow was probably my favorite part.

After landing we began our long taxi to our remote parking stand. Of course my nose was glued to the window with all the different airlines and aircraft that fly to Heathrow.

I feel like I am using “lovely” way too frequently but hey I just landed in Heathrow. We rolled right past this lovely row of Virgin Atlantic jets a couple of times.

I love how the livery on Virgin planes matches the tones on the control tower at Heathrow. Yes, call me crazy for liking images of random planes parked at the gate.

After finally getting to our parking stand, we were of course crowded into a bus. I didn’t see any dedicated buses for business class like they have in the Middle East or even Switzerland. I just don’t get why Europe does these remote stands when they could just have jet bridges and avoid the bussing of passengers. It seems like it takes more resources to operate a bus versus a jet bridge.

Heathrow Transfer: 

Let me just say that Heathrow must be the very worst European airport to transit. You have to go through security a second time and they really make you take all of your electronics out and put them in individual bins. The BA lounges are also uselessly crowded.

To add to the mayhem, a security officer felt especially empowered and sent me to the regular line despite my presenting my fast track eligible boarding pass. And so went my next 90 minutes before my flight to Amsterdam. The fast track line was absolutely empty.

After a quick sprint to the gate after security, I rejoined my family and we boarded our flight to Amsterdam. As usual, the middle seat was blocked off for business class passengers. I do appreciate that BA put a tray table on top of the seat though.

Despite an anticpated ATC delay, we were off to Amsterdam on time and our departure directly to the East, presented some incredible views of the Thames and Central London.

I should note that it was a bit of a hazy afternoon.

As we went further east, I captured some more London landmarks including the Shard and the Tower Bridge.

You have to love the snaking nature of the Thames here:

After flying over Central London, we turned a little North to head straight over the English Channel toward Amsterdam. It took about 20 minutes to make the crossing before we were greeted with views of far off windmills and container ships headed out of the port of Rotterdam.

We then flew straight over South Holland before turning north once again toward Amsterdam airport.

Again my nose was stuck to the window, this time on the look out for tulip fields. Slowly but surely they started appearing:

You got to love the lines they produce in the landscape and just how straight they are.

And of course there were tons and tons of windmills, which the Netherlands are known for.

And of course the Dutch have the finest roads in the world and you could see that just from the air. They are as smooth as a baby’s bottom.

 

After a quick taxi to the gate, we were on a mad dash to the immigration hall before it got too crowded. Fortunately for us, this was an afternoon arrival and we were pretty much the only ones in line. My uncle who arrived earlier that morning said it took them almost 2 hours to clear immigration so our experience was probably more to do with our time of arrival. We were through in a matter of minutes.

Bottom Line:

Given the great Wi-Fi on board (most of all) and decent dinner, I would definitely take British Airways over many other carriers. If you land a window seat, there isn’t too much to complain about despite the old seat. With that being said, transiting LHR continues to be a nightmare and getting to the aisle still so often involves hopping over the passenger next to you. This is really why BA gets low marks on many people’s scorecards.

What do you guys think of flying British Airways long haul?

 

Trip Report Index: The Tulips of Holland & the Heat of India 

Introduction: How everything was planned/booked
Capital One Lounge DFW Terminal D
British Airways Club World/Europe (DFW-LHR-AMS)
Hyatt Regency Amsterdam
Our trip to Keukenhof – The Garden of Europe
Our Marriott Homes and Villas Experience (Bruges, Belgium)
Residence Inn Ghent
The Westin Mindspace – Hyderabad
The Taj Bangalore
Etihad Business Class (AMS-AUH-HYD)
Air France Economy (BLR-CDG-DFW)

 

 

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