Contact Air
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BA Club Europe STR-LHR-STR (+pics)

Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:00 pm

I had decided to go on a short visit to London, one of my favourite cities in Europe. I opted for British Airways to take me there. BA offers three daily flights between my home airport Stuttgart (STR) and London Heathrow (LHR). As I found the fare difference between Economy Class and Club Europe acceptable I decided to afford the upgrade.


Saturday, 07 November 2009
Stuttgart (STR) – London Heathrow (LHR)
Airline: British Airways
Flight number: BA 917
Scheduled departure time: 07:25
Scheduled arrival time: 08:20 (time difference was -1hour so scheduled flight time was 1:55)
Type of aircraft: Airbus A 320-200
Registration: G-EUUX



This aircraft was built in 2008 and delivered to British Airways in July 2008.


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Photo © Christian Waser
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Photo © Thomas Schwitalla




I used the online check-in option on the day before my flight and secured my window seat 4F but I decided to print my boarding pass at the airport in order to get a “real” one. On Saturday morning I arrived at Stuttgart Airport about two hours before the departure of my flight and went straight to Terminal 1 where the BA-flights are handled:



I got my boarding pass at one of the check-in machines. The BA check-in machines, like those of most other airlines serving STR, have recently been replaced by some multi-airline machines offered by Stuttgart Airport in order to get rid of the many different check-in machines in the terminal buildings. Only LH and AB have kept their own ones. I got my boarding pass which was in fact just a thin piece of paper:



Then I proceeded to a bag drop counter (all in all three counters were staffed) where a very friendly lady tagged my luggage, checked my passport and told me the way to the BA Executive Club Lounge. After passing security check quickly I went to the lounge which was open but unstaffed:



At that time I was the only passenger in the lounge which is small but quite nice:






Hot and cold drinks were available, as well as some small packed snacks:



One German newspaper from the present day (Stuttgart’s local newspaper “Stuttgarter Zeitung”), three British newspapers from the day before, two financial papers also from the day before and some magazines were obtainable. I found it interesting that the selection of German newspapers was bigger at the gate than in the lounge.

Within the next time six more passengers joined the lounge. At 6:00 a lady wearing the uniform of a security service company arrived and checked the boarding passes of all passengers in the lounge, and then she took a seat at the reception desk. Later I wend downstairs to the gate area again where I passed customs and proceeded to gate 113:



The aircraft for my flight to LHR had spent the night at STR. It was G-EUUX, one of the newer A320-aircraft in the BA-fleet, delivered in July 2008:



Boarding started 25 minutes before scheduled departure time and I walked down the jet-bridge to the aircraft where I was welcomed by a very friendly and cheerful cabin crew, consisting of a male purser and three female flight attendants. The first five rows were reserved for Club Europe. BA has returned to the concept of wider seats in Club Europe where the B-seat (which isn’t given out of course) is reduced to a minimum:



On the right side the seats are made wider as well while the middle seat remains free here, too (cabin pictures were taken later during flight):



I took my window seat 4F. Only three passengers were sitting in Club Europe while load factor in Economy Class was between 80 and 90%. The captain made a welcome announcement as well. The purser spoke German extremely well, so all announcements from the cabin crew were made in two languages.

Welcome message from the screen:



View out of the window: other aircraft are waiting for the first departure of the day as well:



The safety video was shown in English language with German sub-titles. We went off-block on time and taxied the short way to runway 07 where we took off in eastern direction:



The Town of Neuhausen:



Morning fog in the valley of the River Neckar:



Beautiful sunrise:



Then we were up in the clouds and there wouldn’t be much to see outside before we would reach the UK. Here is a photo of the Club Europe cabin during flight (note the nice pictures on the walls):



I realized that the hot towels service has been abolished since my last flight in BA Club Europe in July of this year on the same route. Not a big thing for me but still something to notice that there are small cuts in Club Europe as well.

Cabin crew served a hot English breakfast; hot bread, croissants and other bakery items were available from a basked:



It tasted very good and was just the right quantity for the length of the flight and for a good start into the day.

Our flight route led us via Brussels and Oostende towards Maidstone:






We were reaching Britain near the mouth of the River Crouch, north of the River Thames:






The Town of Burnham-on-Crouch:



The Town of North Fambridge:



Hanningfield Reservoir:



We were reaching the London area:



The captain made an announcement and told us that we would have to circle for around five or ten minutes due to high traffic at LHR. We did this in the east of London. Here you can see the Millennium Dome (now called The O2) and the River Thames:



Preparation works for the Olympic Games in London 2012:






We were circling above the departure route of London City Airport (LCY). An Avro RJ was departing just below us. Simply amazing:



City overview with Tower Bridge in the foreground:



Houses of Parliament and the big wheel “London Eye”:



Hyde Park:



Fulham:



Barn Elms Water Works:



Kew Gardens:



Syon House:



The suburb Hounslow:



Final approach:



We touched down on runway 27L. I realized that the landing was a bit harder than usually. We taxied towards Terminal 5 where we passed by Terminal 3:



We came to stand on a parking position on the apron, not too far away from T5A. Obviously all jet-bridge positions were occupied. We were on-block at 8:00 which was 20 minutes ahead of schedule, despite the circling. The captain made an announcement and informed us that the bus was present but the stair hasn’t arrived yet so we would have to wait a few moments. He took the opportunity to inform us that this had been a completely automatic landing which was done from time to time for practice of the crew.

Soon the stairs arrived and passengers could leave the aircraft through the front door (the back door was not in use). The captain was present at the door as well. I thanked the crew for the great flight and left the aircraft:









Two busses took all passengers to the arrivals facilities of Terminal 5. I passed immigration without any waiting time and proceeded to the baggage claim facilities where my luggage arrived quickly:



Then I took a bus to my Hotel which was the Renaissance London Heathrow Hotel. Here is a picture taken from my Hotel room (LCY was closed due to fog on Monday, that’s why the LH Regional ATR is present at LHR):



The demolition of Terminal 2 has begun with the demolition of Queens Building:



Terminal 2 itself is still in use but is only used by very few airlines, among them AF and AZ who will move to Terminal 4 during November:



For those of you who are interested, here are a few non-aviation snapshots as well:

River Thames and the big wheel “London Eye”:



Views from London Eye:



Big Ben, in the background Westminster Abbey:



“Little Venice” in the Northwest of London:



London Transport Museum:



I also visited the Town of Windsor and Windsor Castle which is only half an hour by bus away from Heathrow:



The Round Tower:



The River Thames at Windsor:



After three days it was time to go back home.


Tuesday, 10 November 2009
London Heathrow (LHR) – Stuttgart (STR)
Airline: British Airways
Flight number: BA 920
Scheduled departure time: 13:40
Scheduled arrival time: 16:20 (time difference was +1hour so scheduled flight time was 1:40)
Type of aircraft: Airbus A 319-100
Registration: G-EUPK



This aircraft was built and delivered to British Airways in 2000.


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Photo © Christel Sinsen Photography - Female Spotters!
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Photo © Bianca Renz




I took a bus from my hotel to Terminal 5 where I arrived at the bus station on the ground floor. Interesting wall decoration outside T5:



I used the escalators to get upstairs to the departure level:



The departure level is divided into different check-in zones, each of them is equipped with several check-in machines and bag drop counters:



Zone H is reserved for passengers travelling in Club World or Club Europe; in the background you can see the separate First Class check-in area:



I checked in at one of the machines and chose seat number 6F. Then I proceeded to a bag drop counter (baggage drop off is possible three hours before the departure of each flight) where a friendly lady tagged my luggage quickly. I passed through security check which took some time (shoes off) and decided to visit the South Galleries (there are two Business Class lounges in T5A and one in T5B) because of the better view to the departing aircraft with the actual runways in use. Entrance to the Southern lounge area:



Interesting lampshade at the entrance (well, as always a matter of taste…):



Coming soon (or not so soon):



My boarding pass got scanned and I got inside the lounge. It was around 11:00 am so breakfast was still available:



Besides, a buffet with salads and other cold food items was offered as well:



Wine selection:



Sitting area:



Cinema (at that moment a news programme was shown):



Seats with view to the security check area (not so interesting):



…and with view to the apron and one of the two runways (much more interesting):



British and international newspapers were available, among them also a German one (Sueddeutsche Zeitung). I took a copy of the newspaper and something to eat and drink and watched the traffic outside. When it was time I left the lounge and proceeded to my gate A12 (gates are usually announced 50 minutes before departure):



The aircraft for my flight to STR had arrived from GVA on time and was already present at the gate:



Boarding started 20 minutes before departure and I walked down the jet-bridge to G-EUPK. This time there were seven rows reserved for Club Europe which was two rows more than on the outbound leg. Load factor in Club Europe was much better as well; there were 16 passengers. I took my window seat in row 6 while the rest of the row remained empty. Load factor in Economy Class was around 70%. Cabin crew consisted of four female flight attendants. After a welcome announcement from the captain the safety video was shown. Then we went off-block on time and taxied to runway 27L. There were two or three aircraft ahead of us, then it was our turn to take off:



T5B:



…and T5A:



The motorway M25:



Shortly after take-off we made a sharp left-turn towards the Southeast. The weather was extremely bad so we disappeared in the clouds and there were no more views. But at least the air-show was in progress. Leaving the London area:



…and leaving the UK:



A cabin picture during flight:



Cabin crew distributed meal trays with a plate with salad, ham and different cold vegetables. Various kinds of hot bread were offered from a basket. For dessert there was a chocolate candy. I had an orange juice with it:



The meal was delicious. Bread was offered several times followed by a tea and coffee service after lunch. Cabin crew was very friendly and attentive, like on the outbound flight. As there was nothing to see outside I read a bit in the in-flight magazine while we were coming closer to STR again:



We approached Stuttgart Airport from the East. The City of Esslingen and the River Neckar:



The headquarter of the automatisation company Festo AG:



The Town of Ostfildern:



Final approach:



We touched down on runway 25 and taxied to the BA-typical parking position in front of Terminal 1 where we were on-block 15 minutes ahead of schedule. When passengers left the aircraft the first officer who had operated the flight was present at the front door as well. I walked up the jet-bridge into Terminal 1. G-EUPK waiting to its flight back to LHR:







After passing customs I proceeded to baggage claim where my trolley arrived quickly. Then I took a train home. When I checked my e-mail account I found a mail from BA with an online-survey asking me about my experiences on my flight STR-LHR which I gladly filled in.


Conclusion: Once again BA offered a great product in Club Europe. What I particularly appreciate is the constantly friendly and professional service delivered by the cabin crews and the very good information from the flight deck which can be enjoyed in all classes. The meals in Club Europe were delicious and the Galleries lounges at LHR are worth a visit. BA will stay one of my favourite airlines and I will definitely fly them again when they are present on a route I’m travelling on.

Thanks for reading my report. Questions and comments are always appreciated.

Regards

Christoph
 
FLIEGER67
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RE: BA Club Europe STR-LHR-STR (+pics)

Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:17 pm

Hey, Christoph,

superb pictures from London, both aviation and also destination wise.
A good reminder around my stay there in August.
And you doing the London Eye, good choice.

Well, BA is despite all the problems also one of my favourite airlines around Europe.

Greetings,
Markus (FLIEGER67)
Tripreporter.net
 
Ps76
Posts: 1015
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2004 7:52 pm

RE: BA Club Europe STR-LHR-STR (+pics)

Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:18 pm

Hello(!),

Just to say merci for the report etc. Some great aerial views (you're a much better aerial photographer than me!) and was especially cool as you had the placenames of the towns etc. you were passing over too. I too like British Airways quite a lot although in economy last time they had replaced the normal sandwiches with just a cookie but that was maybe because it wasn't mealtime but still good service etc.

Would be cool to visit Stuttgart sometime too (although maybe I might try Lufthansa because I've never flown them before and I quite like Swiss airlines who give you pretty good food and a chocolate of course).

Many thanks (excellent trip report),

Pierre.
 
PlaneHunter
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RE: BA Club Europe STR-LHR-STR (+pics)

Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:21 pm

Hi Christoph,

great report with many absolutely stunning pictures, enjoyed reading a lot!

Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
It tasted very good and was just the right quantity for the length of the flight and for a good start into the day.

The thick sausage doesn't look very appealing, but good to hear the meal tasted good.

Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
Cabin crew distributed meal trays with a plate with salad, ham and different cold vegetables. Various kinds of hot bread were offered from a basket. For dessert there was a chocolate candy.

The salad plate looks delicious, but the dessert could be bigger.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
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Vasu
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RE: BA Club Europe STR-LHR-STR (+pics)

Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:42 pm

Very good trip report! Just a couple of questions...

Do you know if they're putting the new inflight moving map (like you had on your flight STR-LHR) onto all planes? It looks nice!

Also, did they only seat four people in each row in Club Europe, or was that middle seat on the right just empty by chance?
 
JFKMan
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Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2007 8:46 am

RE: BA Club Europe STR-LHR-STR (+pics)

Fri Nov 13, 2009 9:29 pm

Great TR!

Thanks for the look into Club Europe. It looks great.
AA - LGA
 
ba319-131
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RE: BA Club Europe STR-LHR-STR (+pics)

Fri Nov 13, 2009 9:56 pm

Hi Christoph,

Great report & pictures, really enjoyed your trip, where was the 'Venice' photo taken?

Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
I used the online check-in option on the day before my flight and secured my window seat 4F but I decided to print my boarding pass at the airport in order to get a “real” one.

- I do that too!

Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
I got my boarding pass which was in fact just a thin piece of paper

- Yes, a shame, though some stations still have card, LGW is one of them.

Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
I realized that the hot towels service has been abolished since my last flight in BA Club Europe in July of this year on the same route. Not a big thing for me but still something to notice that there are small cuts in Club Europe as well.

- I noted that too, not a big miss though.

Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
Cabin crew served a hot English breakfast; hot bread, croissants and other bakery items were available from a basked

- Interesting you got potato & a smoothie, we don't get these on flights from Heathrow.

Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
We were circling above the departure route of London City Airport (LCY). An Avro RJ was departing just below us. Simply amazing:

- Amazing shot!

Really enjoyed, made me feel right at home.

Thanks

Mark
111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
 
Comeflywithme
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RE: BA Club Europe STR-LHR-STR (+pics)

Sat Nov 14, 2009 12:50 am

Great report with super pictures......many thanks for posting.

BA looked as if they delivered the goods on your two flights.......I still say they are one of the best in the short haul European market and T5 has made a tremendous difference - the lounges are superb.
Loved the pictures of London - it's one of my favourite cities as well. The shot of the Olympic stadium was appreciated as I hadn't seen it before.
 
B747forever
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RE: BA Club Europe STR-LHR-STR (+pics)

Sat Nov 14, 2009 10:23 am

Good TR

BA looked excellent on your flights. Also looks like you had a good time in London.


Thank you for sharing

B747forever
Work Hard, Fly Right
 
Phen
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RE: BA Club Europe STR-LHR-STR (+pics)

Sat Nov 14, 2009 12:12 pm

Wonderful report! Excellent pictures too. A great read.
 
FlyingFinn76
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RE: BA Club Europe STR-LHR-STR (+pics)

Sat Nov 14, 2009 12:45 pm

Hallo Christoph,

What a thoroughly entertaining report with great pictures! Thanks for this, really enjoyed it.

I wish more airlines in Europe would do the same as BA and offer reasonably priced business class flights. For most airlines all the business class fares are flexible, very expensive ones. BA offers some good I-class fares that are not changeable, just like the el cheapo economy ones. Sadly not ex-HEL, of course. We never get the good deals.

I haven't been to LHR T5 yet - will arrive there in December but depart from T3.

Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
The captain made an announcement and told us that we would
have to circle for around five or ten minutes due to high traffic at LHR

I'd be surprised if that didn't happen! The quintessential Heathrow expreience.

Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
We were circling above the departure route of London City Airport (LCY). An Avro RJ was departing just below us. Simply amazing:

That's a great photo!

Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
We taxied towards Terminal 5 where we passed by Terminal 3:

I like this picture - the QF tail blends so well with the Virgin ones.

Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
…and leaving the UK:

I was confused by the placement of Stansted in that map - until I realized that there actually is Stansted, Kent in addition to the airport that is on the other side of the city.

The Air Berlin map is funny as it puts both Helsinki and Tallinn some 30 kilometres norther than they actually are, which results in Tallinn lying half way across the Gulf of Finland  Smile
 
ewrkid
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RE: BA Club Europe STR-LHR-STR (+pics)

Sat Nov 14, 2009 4:09 pm



Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
On the right side the seats are made wider as well while the middle seat remains free here, too (cabin pictures were taken later during flight):

Being from America, I'm used to the usual 2 seats in first class, why do European Airlines have the middle seat in first class??

Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
Morning fog in the valley of the River Neckar:

Took a riverboat ride there!!

Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
Beautiful sunrise:

Indeed, very nice!!

Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
Cabin crew served a hot English breakfast; hot bread, croissants and other bakery items were available from a basked:

Looks awesome, it makes me hungry!!

Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
Cabin crew distributed meal trays with a plate with salad, ham and different cold vegetables. Various kinds of hot bread were offered from a basket. For dessert there was a chocolate candy. I had an orange juice with it:

Both meals looked great!!
 
Contact Air
Topic Author
Posts: 1143
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2001 4:13 am

RE: BA Club Europe STR-LHR-STR (+pics)

Sat Nov 14, 2009 4:31 pm

Thanks a lot to all of you for your replies and your kind words!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 1):
A good reminder around my stay there in August.
And you doing the London Eye, good choice.

Yes, I like London Eye a lot as it offers some great views to the City of London. A nice start of a London-visit.

Quoting Ps76 (Reply 2):
Some great aerial views (you're a much better aerial photographer than me!) and was especially cool as you had the placenames of the towns etc.

Thank you!  Smile But to be honest, the map system from the air-show as well as some searches on Google-Maps after the flight helped a lot to identify the towns and places.

Quoting Ps76 (Reply 2):
Would be cool to visit Stuttgart sometime too (although maybe I might try Lufthansa because I've never flown them before and I quite like Swiss airlines who give you pretty good food and a chocolate of course).

Lufthansa is very good as well, although food service on LHR-STR is limited to a very small sandwich as well.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 3):
Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
It tasted very good and was just the right quantity for the length of the flight and for a good start into the day.

The thick sausage doesn't look very appealing, but good to hear the meal tasted good.

The sausage tasted indeed better than it looked like.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 3):
The salad plate looks delicious, but the dessert could be bigger.

Dessert has also been reduced on that route since my last flight in summer when I still got a "real" dessert. For those of you who want to compare, here is a picture from the meal on the same route in July 2009:


Quoting Vasu (Reply 4):
Do you know if they're putting the new inflight moving map (like you had on your flight STR-LHR) onto all planes? It looks nice!

The A319 on my return flight didn't feature the 3D-animations, probably because it was an older aircraft. I have no idea if BA will put this system on all aircraft or if the older aircraft just stay with the old system.

Quoting Vasu (Reply 4):
Also, did they only seat four people in each row in Club Europe, or was that middle seat on the right just empty by chance?

Both middle seats remain always empty on BA Club Europe. Only the window and aisle seats A, C, D and F are given out. So you have even more space when you are sitting on the right.

Quoting JFKMan (Reply 5):
Great TR!

Thanks for the look into Club Europe. It looks great.

Thank you, Tommy!

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 6):
where was the 'Venice' photo taken?

It was taken just a few steps away from the tube station "Warwick Avenue". I then walked to Paddington Station which isn't far away as well.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 6):
Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
I got my boarding pass which was in fact just a thin piece of paper

- Yes, a shame, though some stations still have card, LGW is one of them.

Obviously they still had a larger supply there.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 6):
- Interesting you got potato & a smoothie, we don't get these on flights from Heathrow.

Interesting to hear that there are different varieties of the English breakfast depending on the departure airport. I had thought it was a fixed standard.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 6):
Really enjoyed, made me feel right at home.

Thank you, Mark.

Quoting Comeflywithme (Reply 7):
T5 has made a tremendous difference - the lounges are superb.

Indeed, T5 brought BA way ahead.

Quoting Comeflywithme (Reply 7):
The shot of the Olympic stadium was appreciated as I hadn't seen it before.

I hadn't seen it before as well and I was quite surprised how far the development has gone, regarding that it's still nearly three years time. It looks like they keep their schedule quite well.

Quoting B747forever (Reply 8):
Good TR

BA looked excellent on your flights. Also looks like you had a good time in London.


Thank you for sharing

Thank you, Gabriel. Yes, I enjoyed my time in London.

Quoting Phen (Reply 9):
Wonderful report! Excellent pictures too. A great read.

Thanks a lot, Phen.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 10):
I wish more airlines in Europe would do the same as BA and offer reasonably priced business class flights. For most airlines all the business class fares are flexible, very expensive ones. BA offers some good I-class fares that are not changeable, just like the el cheapo economy ones.

Yes, that's a great advantage of BA, especially for private travellers. I would never be willing to pay more than EUR 1,000 for a European Business Class flight on LH, for example, but the prices charged by BA are in a range I might afford from time to time. The missing changeability doesn't disturb me on a private travel.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 10):
Sadly not ex-HEL, of course. We never get the good deals.

That's really a pity.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 10):
Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
The captain made an announcement and told us that we would
have to circle for around five or ten minutes due to high traffic at LHR

I'd be surprised if that didn't happen! The quintessential Heathrow expreience.

Yes, you nearly already wait for it.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 10):
I was confused by the placement of Stansted in that map - until I realized that there actually is Stansted, Kent in addition to the airport that is on the other side of the city.

I still wonder who decided to put this little village onto the map. It will always cause confusion with the "real" Stansted (STN).

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 10):
The Air Berlin map is funny as it puts both Helsinki and Tallinn some 30 kilometres norther than they actually are, which results in Tallinn lying half way across the Gulf of Finland

That's indeed quite funny - it shows that the people who develop these maps make mistakes as well...

Regards
Christoph
 
Contact Air
Topic Author
Posts: 1143
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2001 4:13 am

RE: BA Club Europe STR-LHR-STR (+pics)

Sat Nov 14, 2009 4:38 pm

Thanks, EwRkId, for your reply as well.

Quoting EwRkId (Reply 11):
Being from America, I'm used to the usual 2 seats in first class, why do European Airlines have the middle seat in first class??

It is because of the flexibility. The number of rows used for Business Class varies from flight to flight, depending on booking numbers. They just have to adjust the curtain. On domestic flights, BA doesn't offer any Business Class at all, so the same aircraft can be used with a single-class cabin as well.

Quoting EwRkId (Reply 11):
Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
Morning fog in the valley of the River Neckar:

Took a riverboat ride there!!

Great, that's always a lot of fun.

Quoting EwRkId (Reply 11):
Both meals looked great!!

Yes, and they were quite delicious.

Regards
Christoph
 
PlaneHunter
Posts: 6512
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:17 am

RE: BA Club Europe STR-LHR-STR (+pics)

Sat Nov 14, 2009 4:42 pm



Quoting Contact Air (Reply 12):
Dessert has also been reduced on that route since my last flight in summer when I still got a "real" dessert. For those of you who want to compare, here is a picture from the meal on the same route in July 2009:

That's indeed a significant difference. Thanks for posting!


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
ewrkid
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Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 11:13 pm

RE: BA Club Europe STR-LHR-STR (+pics)

Sat Nov 14, 2009 4:43 pm



Quoting Contact Air (Reply 13):
It is because of the flexibility. The number of rows used for Business Class varies from flight to flight, depending on booking numbers. They just have to adjust the curtain. On domestic flights, BA doesn't offer any Business Class at all, so the same aircraft can be used with a single-class cabin as well.

Ahh I see makes much more sense now.
 
FlyingFinn76
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RE: BA Club Europe STR-LHR-STR (+pics)

Sat Nov 14, 2009 6:32 pm



Quoting Contact Air (Reply 12):
That's indeed quite funny - it shows that the people who develop these maps make mistakes as well...

Heh, I just remembered a classic moment on a AY HEL-ZRH flight back in July 2006 - we were peacefully cruising somewhere over southern Germany between FRA and STR when the airshow all of sudden decided that we were flying somewhere in Nigeria instead - for five minutes it showed us flying to the same direction just a bit inland from the Nigerian coast until the crew shut it down and it never returned.

I could just barely understand if it would show our location as a negative - on the southern hemisphere around the same degrees, but this was really bizarre.
 
reifel
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RE: BA Club Europe STR-LHR-STR (+pics)

Sun Nov 15, 2009 6:02 am

What a great report! Nice to read that BA is doing well, especially because their Biz-Class is very cheap from German gateways. Indeed, R-Class (if I remember right) is not much more than the eco fare.
Which is also strange with BA is, that it is cheaper to book 2 one ways (in 2 tickets) to LHR than a return ticket. Of course this only applies if you pay no service charge (since 2 tickets would mean 2 times service charge making the whole sum higher than booking only one ticket). Never knew why this is like this.

I got these paperthin thermopaper boarding passes with LH in Barcelona too. Here in Asia Tiger Air, Air Asia and Batavia Air are using the same paper but making it even worse (you just get receipts like in the supermarket).
 
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robffm2
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RE: BA Club Europe STR-LHR-STR (+pics)

Sun Nov 15, 2009 11:11 am



Quoting EwRkId (Reply 11):
Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
On the right side the seats are made wider as well while the middle seat remains free here, too (cabin pictures were taken later during flight):

Being from America, I'm used to the usual 2 seats in first class, why do European Airlines have the middle seat in first class??



Quoting Contact Air (Reply 13):
It is because of the flexibility. The number of rows used for Business Class varies from flight to flight, depending on booking numbers. They just have to adjust the curtain. On domestic flights, BA doesn't offer any Business Class at all, so the same aircraft can be used with a single-class cabin as well.

I fail to see how they get the flexibility when the middle seat is actually smaller then the others. It doesn't look like that they can make the seat any bigger.
And the seats, especially on the right hand side, look worn. And the plane is just one year old!

Glad you enjoyed your trip, all your pics remind me of my business travels to London.
 
akhmad
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RE: BA Club Europe STR-LHR-STR (+pics)

Sun Nov 15, 2009 5:01 pm

Hi Christoph,

Great report of BA Club Europe. It reminds me on my own experience during the spring holiday. I must say BA has still got the strongest C product in Europe. I just love their English breakfast! It always contains sausages and I am fond of it.

Thank you for sharing.

Cheers,
Suryo
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Contact Air
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RE: BA Club Europe STR-LHR-STR (+pics)

Sun Nov 15, 2009 7:48 pm

Once again thank you very much for all your replies!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 16):
Heh, I just remembered a classic moment on a AY HEL-ZRH flight back in July 2006 - we were peacefully cruising somewhere over southern Germany between FRA and STR when the airshow all of sudden decided that we were flying somewhere in Nigeria instead - for five minutes it showed us flying to the same direction just a bit inland from the Nigerian coast until the crew shut it down and it never returned.

I could just barely understand if it would show our location as a negative - on the southern hemisphere around the same degrees, but this was really bizarre.

Very strange indeed - I can't imagine how this could happen.

Quoting Reifel (Reply 17):
Which is also strange with BA is, that it is cheaper to book 2 one ways (in 2 tickets) to LHR than a return ticket.

Interesting - I didn't know that as I never surched for one-way fares with BA. I might try it next time I use BA.

Quoting Reifel (Reply 17):
I got these paperthin thermopaper boarding passes with LH in Barcelona too. Here in Asia Tiger Air, Air Asia and Batavia Air are using the same paper but making it even worse (you just get receipts like in the supermarket).

I somehow fear that this might be the future with all airlines sooner or later. It saves some money and I guess most ordinary passengers wouldn't really complain about it.

Quoting Robffm2 (Reply 18):
I fail to see how they get the flexibility when the middle seat is actually smaller then the others. It doesn't look like that they can make the seat any bigger.

The seats can be made bigger (otherwise it wouldn't make any sense indeed). The seats are flexible and can be pushed together or pulled apart so the same seats provide either 6 full-size standard seats for Economy Class or 5 wider seats for Business Class (while only 4 seats of them are given out to passengers). This can be done very quickly between two flights. On my flight STR-LHR there were only 5 rows for Club Europe in the A320 (with a very low load in Club) while on my flight back LHR-STR there were 7 rows for Club Europe in the much smaller A319 because of the higher load in Club on that flight.

Quoting Robffm2 (Reply 18):
And the seats, especially on the right hand side, look worn. And the plane is just one year old!

I realized that, too - the seats seemed to be older than the plane. I guess these seats might have been used in another aircraft before they were installed in G-EUUX.
Here are some details about the seating:
http://www.britishairways.com/travel...jsp/wider-club-europe/public/en_de

Quoting Akhmad (Reply 19):
I must say BA has still got the strongest C product in Europe. I just love their English breakfast!

I agree (although I haven't flown too many C-Class products in Europe) - BA's service is really great. I like the English breakfast as well - a great start of a day and of a holiday in Britain.

Regards
Christoph
 
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BasilFawlty
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RE: BA Club Europe STR-LHR-STR (+pics)

Mon Nov 16, 2009 1:55 am

Hi Christoph,

Great report with nice pictures, that's how I like it! The salad on the return flight reminds me of one of my own flights a few years ago from EDI to LHR. At that time they served similar salads in economy class on domestic flights.

Quoting Reifel (Reply 17):
Which is also strange with BA is, that it is cheaper to book 2 one ways (in 2 tickets) to LHR than a return ticket.

I've noticed this as well a couple of times on several flights.
'Every year donkeys and mules kill more people than plane crashes'
 
infodesk
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RE: BA Club Europe STR-LHR-STR (+pics)

Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:23 pm

Hi Christoph,

Great read! There have been a few reports BA European flights recentlz, many of them positive. It's nice to hear this despite their financial situation. You certainly packed a lot onto your stay and I enjoyed all your photos, particularlz those coming into land at LHR.

Surprising to find the lounge unstaffed. What would happen if when the lady checked your boarding pass she found you weren't eligible? Could they really force someone to pay?

The cabin looks smart (well, so it should on such a new plane!) and I like the look of the cup you had for your coffee on the return leg. It seems to have some kind of picture on it.

The fact that bagdrop is only open 3 hrs before departure surprises me. IMO it shoudl be possible throughout the day.

I like the fact BA offer sensibly priced single fares. More airlines should follow this example.

Happy flying!
Infodesk
"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
 
Contact Air
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RE: BA Club Europe STR-LHR-STR (+pics)

Tue Nov 17, 2009 7:08 pm

Thank you, Jeroen and Hannah, for your nice replies!

Quoting BasilFawlty (Reply 21):
The salad on the return flight reminds me of one of my own flights a few years ago from EDI to LHR. At that time they served similar salads in economy class on domestic flights.

Yes, BA used to be really superb on domestic flights. They are still very good today, although meal service has been reduced a bit.

Quoting Infodesk (Reply 22):
Surprising to find the lounge unstaffed. What would happen if when the lady checked your boarding pass she found you weren't eligible? Could they really force someone to pay?

I don't think they would force anybody to pay - I think a person without a valid lounge access (boarding pass or frequent flyer card with status) would just have to leave the lounge. I was surprised as well to find the lounge completely unstaffed, but maybe it is cheaper for BA to have no lounge staff in the early morning hours and accept that from time to time a passenger who is not entitled might enter the lounge and grab a free drink or some peanuts.

Quoting Infodesk (Reply 22):
The cabin looks smart (well, so it should on such a new plane!) and I like the look of the cup you had for your coffee on the return leg. It seems to have some kind of picture on it.

Yes, there was a picture of some city silhouette on the coffee cup. It was fitting with the napking ring and looked quite nice. Unfortunately I didn't take a separate picture of the cup.

Quoting Infodesk (Reply 22):
The fact that bagdrop is only open 3 hrs before departure surprises me. IMO it shoudl be possible throughout the day.

Indeed, this would provide more comfort to customers. But maybe storage space is limited at LHR with so many flights leaving within a day.

Quoting Infodesk (Reply 22):
I like the fact BA offer sensibly priced single fares. More airlines should follow this example.

I totally agree.

Regards
Christoph
 
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airbuseric
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RE: BA Club Europe STR-LHR-STR (+pics)

Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:02 pm

Hi Christoph,

thanks for this read. I'm just back home myself, so couldn't reply earlier  Wink

I also think the BA product is a good one. The seats are movable. By clicking a small button under the aisle seat, the left side will extend to 2 normal seats, while the righthand side will decrease to 3 normal seats too. So, it's easy to configure it back to an all economy lay-out.
I still remember changing cabins on the BA 757's when I was working with the cabin supply company in AMS, in my student years.
Pictures are great of course, and meals too. I really hope that BA can keep up the good work!

Regards,
Eric
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
 
WNCrew
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RE: BA Club Europe STR-LHR-STR (+pics)

Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:15 pm

As an American who's never seen these convertible seats.... if anyone has any more info (specifically photos) because even though you all have provided some details, it's still difficult to grasp how these seats operate.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
HOOB747
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RE: BA Club Europe STR-LHR-STR (+pics)

Wed Nov 18, 2009 9:31 pm



Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 6):
I used the online check-in option on the day before my flight and secured my window seat 4F but I decided to print my boarding pass at the airport in order to get a “real” one.

I suspect we all do this (haa)! I always love the nostalgic feeling of that thicker card-stock. Thank you so much for the air to ground photos of London, they were breathtaking! Brings back great memories. Thanks for all the effort in posting an enjoyable trip report.
I love dem planes....
 
Contact Air
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RE: BA Club Europe STR-LHR-STR (+pics)

Thu Nov 19, 2009 7:38 pm

Once again thanks a lot for your comments!

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 24):
thanks for this read. I'm just back home myself, so couldn't reply earlier

No problem - maybe we will read a trip report from your side soon as well?  Wink

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 24):
The seats are movable. By clicking a small button under the aisle seat, the left side will extend to 2 normal seats, while the righthand side will decrease to 3 normal seats too. So, it's easy to configure it back to an all economy lay-out.
I still remember changing cabins on the BA 757's when I was working with the cabin supply company in AMS, in my student years.

Thanks a lot for this additional information. Interesting to read how it works.

Quoting WNCrew (Reply 25):
As an American who's never seen these convertible seats.... if anyone has any more info (specifically photos) because even though you all have provided some details, it's still difficult to grasp how these seats operate.

I'm afraid, I don't have any pictures of the seats, apart from the cabin views I posted in this report.

Quoting HOOB747 (Reply 26):
I suspect we all do this (haa)! I always love the nostalgic feeling of that thicker card-stock.

Yes, as long as they are available, I will always take them.

Quoting HOOB747 (Reply 26):
Thank you so much for the air to ground photos of London, they were breathtaking! Brings back great memories. Thanks for all the effort in posting an enjoyable trip report.

Thank you!  Smile

Regards
Christoph
 
Islander
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RE: BA Club Europe STR-LHR-STR (+pics)

Sat Nov 21, 2009 8:05 pm

What an interesting report Christoph with magnificent photographs.

I have a couple of questions about customs. You say that on your outward journey you went through customs in Stuttgart before going to the gate. I have never had to go through customs when leaving a country. Is this a new procedure and do you know whether it happens only in Stuttgart or at any other airports?

You say that when you arrived back at Stuttgart you went through customs before going to baggage claim for your trolley. Again I have never been able to go through customs before I picked up my case at baggage claim. Is this also peculiar to Stuttgart?

Many thanks.
 
Contact Air
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RE: BA Club Europe STR-LHR-STR (+pics)

Sat Nov 21, 2009 8:51 pm

Hi Islander and thank you for your reply!

Quoting Islander (Reply 28):
I have a couple of questions about customs. You say that on your outward journey you went through customs in Stuttgart before going to the gate. I have never had to go through customs when leaving a country. Is this a new procedure and do you know whether it happens only in Stuttgart or at any other airports?

Maybe my expression was a bit unclear here. What I meant was the passport control which was done by German federal police. This happens at all German airports and (I think) in other European countries who are part of the Schengen-agreement as well. It doesn't happen in the UK or the USA where the passports of leaving passengers are only checked by the airlines.

Quoting Islander (Reply 28):
You say that when you arrived back at Stuttgart you went through customs before going to baggage claim for your trolley. Again I have never been able to go through customs before I picked up my case at baggage claim. Is this also peculiar to Stuttgart?

Maybe some misunderstanding here as well. I also meant the passport control / immigration here which I passed before entering the baggage claim, like at most other airports. Customs itself has to be cleared after you got your luggage. I guess I used the wrong expression here, too. I hope I could make things clear.

Regards
Christoph
 
Islander
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RE: BA Club Europe STR-LHR-STR (+pics)

Sat Nov 21, 2009 9:30 pm

Thank you Christoph for clarifying about customs. It all makes sense now!
 
StefanPAD
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RE: BA Club Europe STR-LHR-STR (+pics)

Sun Nov 22, 2009 12:59 pm

Hi Christoph!

Interesting report and great pictures from the flight and the city. Last year I was on Club Europe as well. BA offers a great product for a reasonable fare in both classes. The Galleries in T5 are setting standards.

Thanks for sharing.

Stefan
 
Contact Air
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RE: BA Club Europe STR-LHR-STR (+pics)

Mon Nov 23, 2009 9:43 pm

Hi Stefan,

thank you for your reply.

Quoting StefanPAD (Reply 31):
The Galleries in T5 are setting standards.

I totally agree. I haven't experienced too many lounge products, but compared to what I know (for example LH's Business Lounge) BA Galleries offer a fantastic product, especially regarding the food selection. But also the many different zones for sitting, eating, cinema, bar etc. make it really unique.

Regards
Christoph
 
gjunnar
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RE: BA Club Europe STR-LHR-STR (+pics)

Thu Nov 26, 2009 7:46 am

Yet another great trip report of yours, and yet another great BA performance. It really amazes me how they manage to consistently deliver such a high standard.
By the way I don't really like those 3D air shows, I just prefer the simple maps.
 
Contact Air
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RE: BA Club Europe STR-LHR-STR (+pics)

Sun Nov 29, 2009 9:13 pm

Hi Gjunnar and thanks a lot for your reply!

Quoting Gjunnar (Reply 33):
another great BA performance. It really amazes me how they manage to consistently deliver such a high standard.

Yes, I really can't remember having had any bad flight with them.

Quoting Gjunnar (Reply 33):
By the way I don't really like those 3D air shows, I just prefer the simple maps.

The "simple" maps are the most informative feature, of course. For me the 3D air show is OK for a change as long as the "normal" map is shown often and long enough. But I guess that's a matter of personal taste.

Regards
Christoph
 
Ndebele
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RE: BA Club Europe STR-LHR-STR (+pics)

Sat Dec 12, 2009 4:21 pm

Outstanding report with some excellent pics - well done! I particularly liked the "hidden" BA aircraft in your photos of Windsor Castle, and of course the meal pics - it's always nice to see what they serve in the front rows of the aircraft (me always sitting in the back) and it's interesting to see how they reduced the Business Class meals since your previous BA flight in summer.
 
Contact Air
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RE: BA Club Europe STR-LHR-STR (+pics)

Sun Dec 13, 2009 7:59 pm

Thank you, Alex, for your comment.

Quoting Ndebele (Reply 35):
it's interesting to see how they reduced the Business Class meals since your previous BA flight in summer.

Yes, Business Class passengers have to deal with some small cut-backs as well in these days.

Regards
Christoph
 
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readytotaxi
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RE: BA Club Europe STR-LHR-STR (+pics)

Mon Dec 14, 2009 5:34 pm

Great report, wonderful pics of old London.
Don't the seats of Club World look cracked and tired.
Great food. Hmmm
you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!

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