Last week I flew from London to Denver to visit my little sister and meet her ADORABLE new baby daughter. Since I had a ton of work to do in Denver as well, I treated myself to a business class flight. In BA parlance, that’s Club World.
The BA Galleries Lounge in Terminal 3 is nice, but nothing to write home about. One of the cooler features of flying BA Business or First is that you can get a free 15-minute treatment, such as a massage or facial, but when I arrived at the lounge at 7:50am, it appeared the technicians were on a two hour break :/
Since my first choice of distraction was not viable, I settled down into the lounge to do a little bit of work.
It was pretty dirty, with most tables full of rubbish, and absolutely rammed!
The breakfast options were okay- you can definitely get something heartier in the First lounge, or out at the restaurants in the terminal, but I settled down with some OJ and porridge, knowing full well I was going to take advantage of the in-flight alcohol (which is a big no no, but hey, every once in a while its nice to treat yo’self).
It was of course entirely too early to drink anything, but I did investigate the wine selection for those flying at a later hour. They had a lot of white wines, nothing I recognised and nothing bubbly, but the selection was fairly vast, as was the selection of red.
As usual, I was pulled over for “extra screening” as the flight was a) to the US and b) I’m a little brown looking. I’m often pulled for extra screening and in fact pack my carry on lightly thinking of this.
Shockingly, in business class, I boarded in zone three, rather than two, as BA now seems to have one and two completely reserved for First class and multiple flying club gold and silver members. That kind of thing doesn’t bother me too much, but when you’re paying so much for a flight, it would be nice to not have to
Once onboard I went upstairs, as I was flying one of the older 747 two-floor models. I was in seat 60A, which is the final seat before the cockpit. It was cool because when I boarded the door was still open so I could take a peek inside.
This plane was quite old and pretty dirty, so the cabin atmosphere wasn’t amazing. Because it is an old plane, it also doesn’t offer things that are standard even in the economy sections of newer planes, such as USB charging capabilities. The TV screens are also quite small, so I just watched my iPad the whole way.
However, the seats were well prepared and there was a lot of storage space in the window seats.
I would really recommend seat 60A as it was very private– you sit with your back to the cockpit so no one is behind you, and once you put up your screen, you have a ton of storage space and loads of windows- like your own private little room on the flight. I can’t reinforce how important the seat storage space is given that if you’re in a window seat and have someone sitting diagonal, you’ll need to step over them every time you want to access your bag unless you can disperse your stuff in the storage bins prior to take off (which I would recommend).
As is noted everywhere, with the BA business seating plan, its a back/front formation where you are sat facing the person sitting next to you. Pretty awkward if the screen is down. Further, it means you need to step over the person sitting in the seat diagonal to you, so you’re either stepping over their feet or, even worse, if they’re reclined or sleeping, over their feet AND their bed. I lucked out because no one was sitting in the seat diagonal to me, so I could come and go as I pleased. This means I also had constant access to my bigger carry on, although I had already unpacked it prior to take off.
Once I’d settled in, they flight attendants, who were very friendly, came around and offered me a glass of water or champagne, and of course I opted for the champagne.
Ready for take off!
As soon as we took off I unpacked my computer and started working. The tray table was a little clunky, I think from years of use, so I had to use my knee to make sure it was properly balancing my computer (and later, my kir royale).
After a few minutes, I ripped in to my Elemis in-flight amenity kit, which was nothing special. I’ve had better kits on premium economy and even economy flights- standard socks, eye mask and toothpaste/brush, although there was a nice face cream, face wash and lip balm. Also, if you’re keen, a discount card for money off Elemis services (which I won’t be using since I couldn’t try the service in the lounge). I will say, the bag came in handy to put my sweaty yoga towels in once I was in Denver.
Prior to lunch being served, I was given a warm towel, which I usually love, but this one was really thin and scratchy, so I just wiped off the area around me as it was pretty dirty and called it a day.
In-Flight Club World Dining
This is pretty much the highlight of the trip for most people. I’m not wild about airplane food but I will admit everything was pretty good. Being a vegetarian, though, the options are limited, and I was surprised to find that although I noted my meal preference prior to the flight, they didn’t seem to have this on file. I was lucky that they had the veggie option for me though, because I heard other people order it and be told there wasn’t enough left.
The flight attendant gave me several tastes of the different wines offered, and I settled for the Italian, which was amazing. I then enjoyed the starter salad and the roll, which was fabulous, although the starter itself was a little odd and not very flavorful.
The main was better, a mushroom pasta that was really flavorful and honestly something I’d have happily eaten at a chain Italian restaurant. Not bad at all. I also helped myself to another glass of red.
For desert I opted for cheese, mostly because I’m obsessed with it. The cheese was a bit dry and accompanied only by crackers, which were tasteless.
After that, I settled in for a Netflix film fest for seven hours. Its funny how fast that can go by with a good TV series. (The French series the Frozen Dead, in case you’re wondering).
Afternoon Tea and Disembarkation
As soon as we started to fly over the frozen midwest, the cabin lights, which had been dimmed, came back on and we were served afternoon tea.
I was not thrilled by the selection, particularly since I could only have one of the three sandwiches, but the scone was warm and good.
I grabbed my suitcase prior to landing to pack everything back in it (since no one was sitting diagonal, I just brought my entire suitcase to my seat, packed up, put it back in the hold and then grabbed it upon disembarkation). The process was quick.
Overall I would say that if you upgrade at the airport or for a small fee, or find that the BA business class flight you’re about to take is significantly less than competitors’ prices, it is worth it. However, if you’re flying an older plane and you’re paying top notch, I would say look elsewhere. I know BA is investing a lot to upgrade its Club World offering, so maybe soon it’ll be worth the high price point, but until then, I’d say this is a business class flight you fly at a discount- or give a miss for another carrier.