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British Airways, C Class - A319: Basel To London  
User currently offlineknightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1793 posts, RR: 18
Posted (1 year 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 7192 times:

PRELUDE

The evening before I am scheduled to embark on my journey I call my mum to remind her that I’ll be gone in the morning and won’t be back for another two weeks. The conversation runs smoothly, right up to the moment when my mother makes the mistake of asking – ‘So remind me, where is it again you’re off to this time?’ – and I make the evening bigger mistake of telling her, in all detail and glorious Technicolor, exactly where I’m going. All thirteen flights.

And then there is silence. In real time it probably lasts no more than a split second, but the silence is so heavily laden with my mother’s disapproval that it feels like an eternity. Until eventually the silence is broken by her stoic proclamation: ‘You’re nuts!’

Well admittedly, the whole thing is perhaps a tad over the top, even by my standards – thirteen flights in fourteen days. But I can explain everything and in all honesty, when I started planning my vacation, I never intended it to grow into such a monumental excursion. I just wanted to get away from it all. As far as way as I could possibly go. It’s just that somehow, somewhere along the line things got out of hand and I got a slightly carried away.

British_Airways_Logo

INTRODUCTION

But we will come to all that in due course. My first flight is with British Airways from Basel to London Heathrow. It’s the morning flight, my favourite because of the lovely English breakfast they serve you on BA.

Airline: British Airways
Aircraft: Airbus A 319
From: Basel
To: London Heathrow
Cabin: Business Class
Seat: 1A
Date: 13. August 2013
Departure:
07:25
Arrival: 08:05


GETTING TO THE AIRPORT

Tuesday morning. It’s just a bit over a week since our team excursion to London and the Imperial War Museum at Duxford and I’m on my way to the airport again. The bus line 50 is nearly empty today, now that the school holidays are over. There are just a handful of passengers with blank looking faces heading for work.

CHECK-IN

Ah yes, check-in. Not one of BA’s finest moments for sure. It takes repeated attempts for me to check-in for the flight to London before eventually my inbox rears its ugly head to inform me that I’ve got mail. But alas, all I receive is the boarding pass for the flight to London. So I’m not really sure if I’m actually checked in for my onward connection. But never mind, like this I have a good excuse to check out BA’s First Class check-in area when I arrive in London.

THE LOUNGE

What can I say? It’s the same one that Swiss uses. I suspect I may have singlehandedly succeeded in making it Europe’s most photographed airport lounge. Well probably not quite, but you get my point. So I’ll spare you the details and the pictures.

BOARDING

When eventually my flight shows up as ‘boarding’ I exit the lounge and go through passport control. The young officer is obviously eager to not let any unsavoury looking characters get away. But eventually he decides I’m okay and lets me through.

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Much to my surprise the gate area is already empty when I arrive and I am the second last passenger to board.

Behind the gate there is a mobile newspaper rack for passengers to help themselves as the board the aircraft.

P1090048

THE CABIN

All in all I rather like the BA cabin. In particular I like the little trays they have protruding from the armrests in the Business Class section. The seat also makes a welcome change from those flimsy Recaro seats most airlines have these days, which are tremendously tough on the backside.

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SERVICE

This is where BA really shines on this flight. Service in the Business Class cabin in done by a middle-aged gentleman and he is truly outstanding. Very friendly and accommodating. Nothing seems too much for him and throughout the flight he keeps coming back to check the passengers are all right and have everything they need.

DEPARTURE

Departure is on time. As we push back the Cabin Service Manager – such a fantastic word – passes hot scented towels to all passengers.

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We take-off towards the south on runway 15 and shortly after take-off we do a sharp right turn to point us initially towards Paris and London beyond. But it’s hazy today and so the beautiful Alps remain hidden from view behind a veil of grey and white cloud.

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THE MEAL

The highlight. I just love BA’s hot English breakfast. It certainly beats Swiss’s offering on the flight to London City. The breakfast includes a cheese omelette, Cumberland sausage, bacon, grilled tomato and button mushrooms. There is a huge selection of breads, buns and croissants from the breadbasket to choose from. With that there is a choice of either marmalade or strawberry jam and butter.

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To drink I have a coffee and a glass of still water. Although there is a cream already on the tray, the CSM asks me if I’d prefer some fresh milk instead, which I gladly accept.

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ARRIVAL

As soon as I finish the meal, the CSM whisky away my tray and asks me if there’s anything else I’d like. So I order a glass of sparkling mineral water and start writing the first chapter of this epic trip report.

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Just a short while later though, old Blighty comes into view and we begin the descent. As we make our way towards Heathrow I suddenly notice Gatwick appearing on our left.

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As we turn off the runway I look back to see if there's anything coming in behind...

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We arrive at T5 on time and I get the chance to try out my new biometric passport.

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I still have a few hours before my onward connection, so I figure I might as well drop my suitcase in one of the lockers at T5 and head to Windsor to get me in the holiday spirit. There are two bus lines that run from T5 to Windsor. The 71 takes about 10 minutes longer but runs along a more scenic route. The 77 is 10 minutes faster and takes 35 minutes to make the journey from the airport to Windsor.

Windsor looks like a nice little place, even though it's crawling with tourists!

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CONCLUSION

One down, twelve to go. I thoroughly enjoyed this short flight with BA. Of course it helped that the flight was not full, with only sixty nine passengers in total and only seven in Business Class. The meal may not look as pretty as the one served on Swiss on this route, but it’s certainly more substantial. Moreover, the crew on this flight were simply excellent.

17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineeccc From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2009, 60 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (1 year 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 7106 times:

Thanks - I enjoyed your report. I do think that in Business Class BA could manage to transfer food offerings from the foil tray on to the plate. It surely isn't too much to ask in their premium European cabin! (Bit of a pet peeve that, I'm afraid). Anyway, glad you enjoyed your breakfast and thanks for posting your report.

User currently offlinelukeyboy95 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 1091 posts, RR: 31
Reply 2, posted (1 year 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 7035 times:

Hi William,

A very nice report for quite a solid performance from BA. Glad of that. I really believe W.Walsh is steering the company in the right direction.

You are giving nothing away of your remaining 12 flights, so I am interested where that will be to !

Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Behind the gate there is a mobile newspaper rack for passengers to help themselves as the board the aircraft.

Daily Mail or Daily Mail.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
The highlight. I just love BA’s hot English breakfast. It certainly beats Swiss’s offering on the flight to London City. The breakfast includes a cheese omelette, Cumberland sausage, bacon, grilled tomato and button mushrooms.

Yeah, I think BA knows it has many loyal followers of the Full English. One will feature in my next report.

Good luck with the rest of the journey!

Luke



Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
User currently offlinelychemsa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1185 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (1 year 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 6680 times:

About 1960 I flew to Zurich on BEA and we landed in Basl on a Vickers Viscount. Not all flights were nonstop to Zurich in those days.

BA C meals look a ton better on AM early flights than on the 9 PM flight I took from GVA. All we got was a plate of cold turkey, smoked salmon and a horrible strawberry mousse.


User currently offlinemusapapaya From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2004, 1086 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 6597 times:

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 3):
BA C meals look a ton better on AM early flights than on the 9 PM flight I took from GVA. All we got was a plate of cold turkey, smoked salmon and a horrible strawberry mousse.

Take BA for their morning flight and LX for any other times - LX is a lot better in terms of service, at least newspaper is delivered at seat!



Lufthansa Group of Airlines
User currently offlinejwhite9185 From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 1273 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (1 year 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 5738 times:

Nice little report there on BA's club Europe service. Something that I have experienced myself quite a few times actually, including just over two weeks ago - where the economy cabin was completely full, yet There were only four of us in Club! Made for a very personalised service!

The breakfast is pretty good, but i found it to be better from LGW - despite being the same items. Still want to try out their Club lunch and Dinner services though!



A300,A319,A320,A321,A333,A343,A346,A388,732,733,734,735,738,741,742,744,752,763,772,77W,788,Q400,DC10,E145,E170,E175,E19
User currently offlinelychemsa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1185 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (1 year 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 5451 times:

Yes Swiss are also better in Y from GVA to LHR. You at least get a sandwich. But they don't offer reasonable "one way fares."

User currently offlineknightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1793 posts, RR: 18
Reply 7, posted (1 year 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 5111 times:

Hi Richard

Quoting eccc (Reply 1):
Thanks - I enjoyed your report.

My pleasure, glad you enjoyed it.

Quoting eccc (Reply 1):
I do think that in Business Class BA could manage to transfer food offerings from the foil tray on to the plate. It surely isn't too much to ask in their premium European cabin!

I really do see your point. However, I also think that if I have the choice between a full English in foil or two measly slices of cheese from a proper plate (Swiss' offerings), then I think I'd still prefer to go with the full English. But I admit it would give the whole thing a bit more style.

Hi Luke

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 2):
A very nice report for quite a solid performance from BA

Thank you.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 2):
You are giving nothing away of your remaining 12 flights, so I am interested where that will be to !

Well, reports two, three and four are out. The questions is, how am I getting home.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 2):
Yeah, I think BA knows it has many loyal followers of the Full English. One will feature in my next report.

Excellent, look forward to reading/seeing your beautiful pictures.

Hi Lychemsa

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 3):
About 1960 I flew to Zurich on BEA and we landed in Basl on a Vickers Viscount. Not all flights were nonstop to Zurich in those days.

Ah yes, those were the days. It's like when my mum tells me about travelling from Malta to London with BEA on an overnight that only took about eight hours to make the journey and stopped about four times at least on the way.

Hi Musappaya

Quoting musapapaya (Reply 4):
Take BA for their morning flight and LX for any other times - LX is a lot better in terms of service, at least newspaper is delivered at seat!

Blimey Swiss certainly has one very loyal fan. To be honest I think I've simply had too many flights with Swiss to still be objective.

Hi James

Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 5):
Something that I have experienced myself quite a few times actually, including just over two weeks ago - where the economy cabin was completely full, yet There were only four of us in Club! Made for a very personalised service!

Yeah that is nice, isn't it. It's not just that they have more time for each passenger, the crew also seem generally less stressed.

Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 5):
The breakfast is pretty good, but i found it to be better from LGW - despite being the same items.

In what way better - better prepared?

Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 5):
Still want to try out their Club lunch and Dinner services though!

Last time I had a lunch on BA it was basically just a large salad. At least though, since they've started working with D0&Co they seem to have introduced desserts. A vast improvement in my opinion.

Thanks for taking the time to post, all. It's much appreciated.

Cheers,
William


User currently offlinejwhite9185 From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 1273 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (1 year 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 4903 times:

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 7):
Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 5):
The breakfast is pretty good, but i found it to be better from LGW - despite being the same items.

In what way better - better prepared?

The food just seemed to be higher quality - and had less of a microwaved feel to it.



A300,A319,A320,A321,A333,A343,A346,A388,732,733,734,735,738,741,742,744,752,763,772,77W,788,Q400,DC10,E145,E170,E175,E19
User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 15
Reply 9, posted (1 year 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 4783 times:

Hello William

Great report, thanks for sharing.
BA seems to have a good intra-Europe J product.
However seats look a bit dated

Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently onlineadamspotter From Netherlands, joined Feb 2011, 1144 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (1 year 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 4705 times:
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Hi William!

Great beginning to what looks to be another epic series of reports, I sure hope I have time to read them all!
BA Biz looks quite nice here and glad to hear the CSM treated you well!
Great idea to quickly head over to Windsor, nice pictures  
Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
thirteen flights in fourteen days

Nothing wrong with that, I've done crazier haha  
Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
I just love BA’s hot English breakfast

Definitely agree with you there, The hot english breakfast is great except for the mushrooms of course  
Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
I suddenly notice Gatwick appearing on our left.

Nice catch!

Looking forward to reading the next one when I have the time!

cheers,

Brendan


User currently offlineknightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1793 posts, RR: 18
Reply 11, posted (1 year 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 4500 times:

Hi Marc

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 9):
BA seems to have a good intra-Europe J product.

They certainly do. The whole operation comes across as being very professional.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 9):
However seats look a bit dated

They definitely are. But that also means that they're softer than the new style of seats.

Hi Brendan

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 10):
Great beginning to what looks to be another epic series of reports, I sure hope I have time to read them all!

Thank you. Yeah, it'll take you a while to work your way through the whole thing.

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 10):
Great idea to quickly head over to Windsor, nice pictures

Windsor is a lovely place, as long as you're not in a hurry. It's hard to get a move on with the place crawling with tourists.

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 10):
Nothing wrong with that, I've done crazier haha

My sentiment exactly. When eventually I realised what I'd done, I decided that I know people who have done stranger things. So then it's not so bad.

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 10):
Definitely agree with you there, The hot english breakfast is great except for the mushrooms of course

How can you not like mushroom?

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 10):
Looking forward to reading the next one when I have the time!

Two, three and four are up. Standby for the five and possibly six.

Thanks for taking the time to comment!

Cheers,
William


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6747 posts, RR: 77
Reply 12, posted (1 year 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 4127 times:

Hi WiIliam,

nice report with good pictures! BA's C Class product looks quite decent on these short hops.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
The highlight. I just love BA’s hot English breakfast. It certainly beats Swiss’s offering on the flight to London City. The breakfast includes a cheese omelette, Cumberland sausage, bacon, grilled tomato and button mushrooms. There is a huge selection of breads, buns and croissants from the breadbasket to choose from. With that there is a choice of either marmalade or strawberry jam and butter.

The breakfast itself is fine - but placing that container on the plate lacks style. BA should change this.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinebrilondon From Canada, joined Aug 2005, 4195 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (1 year 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 4065 times:

Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):

Windsor looks like a nice little place, even though it's crawling with tourists

Says the man with the camera....  



Rush for ever; Yankees all the way!!
User currently offlineRogerbcn From Andorra, joined Sep 2006, 1201 posts, RR: 20
Reply 14, posted (1 year 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 3795 times:

Hola William!

Nice to read the first part of this epic adventure, 14 days / 13 flights... a true a.netter by our standards, nuts by many other (including your mum). Great to follow you all around!

Impressive first part, I alwyas try to board flights that offer some substatial food, like the one presented by BA on this sector, it makes the flight much more enjoyable and clearly shows that you are getting something extra for the money you pay... I know it is just an illusion but it tricks your mind.

I had excatly the same breakfast some years ago when I flew TXL-LHR on my last BA C class flight, why change things that are working? No newspapers on that flight though, early departure from TXL so newspapers were still on the press.

Another thing I like about BA is the seat, different from the others, and comfortable IMO.

No circle around LHR? It was really something different as well.

Salut!

Roger



"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Travelling is Living)
User currently offlineknightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1793 posts, RR: 18
Reply 15, posted (1 year 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 3609 times:

Hi Udo

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 12):
The breakfast itself is fine - but placing that container on the plate lacks style. BA should change this.

I agree the presentation could do with a bit of improvement. One way or another, it tasted great!

Hi Roger

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 14):
a true a.netter by our standards, nuts by many other (including your mum). Great to follow you all around!

How very true, betrayed by my own mum. You'd think she'd be used to it - or me - by now...!

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 14):
Impressive first part, I alwyas try to board flights that offer some substatial food, like the one presented by BA on this sector, it makes the flight much more enjoyable and clearly shows that you are getting something extra for the money you pay... I know it is just an illusion but it tricks your mind.

Funny you should say that, because that's usually my reasoning as well. Even though, as you say, it's all just in the head.

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 14):
I had excatly the same breakfast some years ago when I flew TXL-LHR on my last BA C class flight, why change things that are working?

Well, they do sell it as a 'British Airways classic'. And indeed, I suppose the full English at 35'000 feet has become a bit of a signature dish for BA.

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 14):
Another thing I like about BA is the seat, different from the others, and comfortable IMO.

Yes, old fashioned but tremendously comfy.

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 14):
No circle around LHR? It was really something different as well.

Well, we did make a halfhearted attempt at a holding due south of London City but no sooner had the pilot announced that we'd be entering the holding because we were early, he came back on the blower to inform us we'd received and improvement and would only do one full circle.

Thanks for commenting gents!

Cheers,
William


User currently offlineSultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1678 posts, RR: 30
Reply 16, posted (1 year 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3472 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Good day knightsofmalta!

A nice read of the 1st flight in your epic adventure (or so I believe it wil be, given the intro  ). BA does a good performance once again, the meal looks tasty and the service offered by the CSM is excellent.
One question though: was the bacon crispy  

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlineknightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1793 posts, RR: 18
Reply 17, posted (1 year 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3273 times:

Hi Nils

Thanks for commenting. BA certainly do have a very decent product on short-haul. Actually, come to think of it I think they're short-haul product is probably more competitive than their long-haul product in the premium classes.

Cheers,
William


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