Review of British Airways flight London Manchester in Economy

Airline British Airways
Flight BA1398
Class Economy
Seat 34A
Aircraft Airbus A321
Flight time 00:40
Take-off 08 Dec 17, 18:30
Arrival at 08 Dec 17, 19:10
BA   #71 out of 115 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 807 reviews
livingthejetlife
By SILVER 735
Published on 17th December 2017
Having arrived from Amman on Royal Jordanian flight RJ111 ( see report ) , I got the transfer bus from Terminal 5 to Terminal 3,cleared security and sat down in the communal departure lounge in the A gates area of Terminal 5.

I freshened up and charged my devices and was dismayed to see that BA1398 to Manchester had been delayed to 1753pm ( STD was 1730pm).

I was trying to use Heathrow's free wifi and kept having the screen crash on my mobile. Maybe it was fate as when I did eventually get online ( my own Data didn't work either ) I saw that BA1398 would be operated by an A319 which had arrived from Paris CDG at 1611pm ? The registration was G-EUPI. Looking at online seatplans there wasn't even a row 34 !

Great. But to be honest I just wanted to get home - I was a bit dismayed that,as it was the second last flight of the night to Manchester,it would be full ( previous experience on British Midland many times ! ).

So I sat and waited and at the next gate to where I was sat, a female BA groundstaff member, with a very EastEnd London accent suddenly started doing a a preboarding informational announcement. What made me look was the fact that she sounded like she was having a conversation with a friend; here goes " Ladies and Gentlemen, can I have your attention please, Welcome to the flight to Milan,that's the BA580……?? THE flight to Milan ? As if BA only has1 flight a day to Milan !

Surely British Airways have standards on how to do announcements ? And if that wasn't bad enough she then struggled to complete the next sentence for Club Europe and equivalent oneworld members to come forward for boarding.

I then look to my right and the crew for the delayed ( why the delays this evening ? ) Belfast bound Cabin Crew were at the gate eating,drinking,chatting on mobile phones. It just looked very disorganised and certainly didn't look great in front of the huge queue of passengers flying to Belfast ( eventually )

Poor standards and sometime later ( 1705pm) I look up the Information Screens to see that BA1398 is departing from gate A23. I made my way to the gate ( way over on the other side from where I was sat ).

I got in a queue as I wanted to get some nice cabin shots for my FR friends. By now I had seen that the operating aircraft was an A321, registration G-EUXI which had come in from Dublin just after 1600pm.

Charging Points - save yourself headache and don't plug in a device if the blue light on the socket panel isn't on !
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We are codesharing with TAM - TAM or should I say LATAM from London Heathrow to Rio and Sao Paulo
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Codeshares and Alliances explained



Airlines use Alliances and Codesshares to expand their reach without placing additional aircraft in the sky. Passengers benefit from alliances and codeshares via baggage handling agreements between airlines, particularly on International routes – enabling them to through check their luggage at their initial departure point and getting them automatically to their final destination - even if changing terminals & carriers in various countries along the way. They also benefit by being able to accrue and redeem miles on partner carriers.

An Alliance refers to the business agreement between two or more carriers sharing the same flight for example ; if your ticket states Finnair operated by JAL you would be on a JAL aircraft – in which case Finnair is the marketing carrier selling seats & promoting routes under its own name. There are three major Global Airline Alliances at present ; StarAlliance, Oneworld and Skyteam.


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Around 1722pm, a lady made an announcement that the aircraft was being cleaned ( what exactly has the aircraft been doing for almost 90 minutes ? ) and that as it was a very busy service ( no surprise ) handluggage to be put in hold as it was a very busy flight. Quite a few passengers opted to do this and in doing so earned themselves the chance to board !

Whilst checking in online for this flight on ba.com, I saw a strange note ( bear in mind the 2017 laptop ban has been lifted so BA either have an ongoing rule or need to update their website ). The notice stated that for certain Middle Eastern countries including Jordan, personal devices larger than a mobile phone were not allowed as handluggage. After fretting for a few moments,I breathed a sigh of relief as Royal Jordanian still allowed mobiles/tablets/laptops and it is Royal Jordanian I was flying from Amman to London Heathrow not BA ! Still I do wonder if this policy is still in place, how difficult this must be for travellers who need to work. As a Flight Reporter I often need to transfer photos and files from moy mobile phone to my tablet. If this hadn't been allowed ; well you wouldn't be seeing these lovely reports. Going forward I may start saving photos directly in provisional flight reports !

At 1740pm boarding commenced for Club Europe and upper level oneworld equivalent members ; I couldn't believe it when around 30 people started coming forward to scan their boarding pass and begin boarding. I thought maybe they hadn't paid attention. I would later find they were indeed for Club Europe !

The flight load itself reflected Manchester's ethnic makeup as I saw Jamaican,Pakistani,Malaysian,English,Irish passengers.

I tried to scan my Royal Jordanian issued boarding pass but it wouldn't ; a very kind gentleman kindly printed a BA one and didn't take my handluggae ( thank God as I had porcelain items which would have been broken if checked into the hold ! )

I stepped onboard at 1750pm and was welcomed by Customer Service Manager Marcin ; classical music played throughout the cabin,the first ever time I have heard boarding music on a BA flight.

A Steward and Airhostess located by the ClubEurope / Eurotraveller cabin divide smiled very warmly and I said Good Evening to them

I got to my row ( seat 34A) ; the legroom was tight , the guy next to me moved to seat C so the middle became free ! A nice EuroBusiness for my last flight of the year !

My neighbour said he had connected from San Diego and landed on time but sat on the tarmac waiting for the gate ! ( dejavu from what happened to me on RJ 111 ! )

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Doors closed at 1800pm and drop down tv screens with a route map and departure/destination info appeared.

I thought we would get airshow later - we pushed back at 1805pm

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Not the last time we shall see an Emirates A380 tonight ! Not easy to photograph aircraft when you are in a moving aircraft !
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Avianca Colombia - the first time I have actually seen an Avianca aircraft !
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First Officer Claudia came over the tannoy ; she advised the crew were here but had no aircraft hence the delay.

Marcin did a nice welcome announcement. I looked at my mobile for all of 2 seconds when I felt someone had shouted at me ! Fortunately it was the start of the new Comic Relief safety video directed by Chabuddy from BBC Three's People Just Do Nothing !

I haven't watched a safety video before with such fascination ! See and enjoy !
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGlVLUg0qys

The Cabin Crew were International Polish,Irish,German or Scandinavian and English ! And yet we are having Brexit ( UK leaving Europe ) !

Aftar an SAS 737-800 took off ahead of us, we eventually turned onto the runway to take off 1830pm. We blasted into the night sky and immediately there was an announcement advising that Eurotraveller payments for refreshements can be made by card or Avios points. ( see the menu on the BA1395 review ).

The Inflight Service - nada unless you pay !
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What is it with grown men and women needing the washroom as soon as the trolley comes out ? A guy was waiting behind crew for ages whilst they carried out service - one female passenger was actually sent to Club Europe's washroom.

The inflight "service" lasted from 1835pm-1850pm

Due to no Airshow, it was more SkyView with nice views of the UK. Apologies for some shaky shots ; it is very hard to get a still photo in a moving aircraft !
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First Officer Claudia came on again stating that she hoped we were enjoying the nice views of the UK and that it was a lovely night for flying. She further advised the weather in Manchester was zero degrees ( she wouldn't be exaggerating ! )
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The service began from the front of Eurotraveller.

I saw my pet hate ; a Steward's fingers touching the beverage cup rim, the area where a passengers mouth will drink from . Beverage cups should be held at the bottom for hygiene reasons.

At 1853pm there was a "10 mins to landing " announcement.

At 1910pm , the A321 slammed and I repeat slammed down on runway 1 shaking violently side to side ( no exagerration ).

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G-EUXI's tail as well as another BA A321 which had arrived ontime !
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SWISS Bombardier CC pushing back for Zurich
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Terminal 2 snapshot ; PIA 777-300 AP-BHV preparing for departure to Islamabad as PK702 and Oman Air WY106 about to pushback for Muscat ! PIA's 777-300 AP-BHV is the same aircraft I flew as PK709 Lahore to Manchester in 2010and you can see the report in my collection of blogs !

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There was a nice welcome to Manchester announcement and I particularly liked the part of the announcement " those who live here welcome home ( similar to American Airlines ) as well us wishing us Good Evening ; we docked soon at gate 141 .

Whilst waiting for the airbidge Claudia again said sorry for the delay due to no aircraft - I felt this was now completely unnecessary.

The rear door was opened and disembarkation took place both at the rear and the front ; I had a nice souvenier picture with the crew and wished them a nice flight back to LHR !

As this was my last flight for 2017, I embraced this lovely news on 8th January 2018 that World Traveller ( BA's Longhaul Economy ) will be upgraded ! New options include pretzels with the welcome drink, a four-course meal with starter, main, dessert, and cheese and biscuits, and a second meal “or substantial snack” depending on the length of the flight.
Economy customers on daylight flights from London will also be offered Magnum ice creams, while a tuck box with chocolates and crisps will be available on inbound and overnight services, and a hot breakfast will be served on longer overnight flights.
A Graze movie snack box will be provided on the carrier’s longest flights to Bangkok, Beijing, Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Chennai, Hong Kong, Hyderabad, Johannesburg, Kuala Lumpur, Las Vegas, Lima, Los Angeles, Maldives, Mauritius, Mexico City, Narita, Oakland, Phoenix, Rio de Janeiro, San Jose (California), San Jose (Costa Rica), Santiago, San Francisco, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo Haneda / Narita.
Complimentary drinks will continue to be offered from the bar, and the current water cup will be replaced by a bottle of Highland Spring with the first meal service.

Menus will change every six months, with examples including a couscous salad for starter, chicken casserole or vegetarian tomato farfalle for main course, and Pots and Co salted caramel and chocolate mousse for dessert.
The second meal on shorter daylight long-haul flights such as New York and Dubai will consist of a sandwich (eg: egg and cress) and a chocolate or Nutri Grain bar, while longer daylight services such as Cape Town and Hong Kong will receive a second hot meal consisting of pizza wrap or a regional option, with a pot of pasta, a chocolate brownie and a drink as well as a smokehouse BBQ crunch Graze movie-snack box.
The new offering will launch on January 17, with the first flight being BA117 between Heathrow and New York. Menus will change every six months.

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So whilst BA's domestic and shorthauul Economy becomes Ryanairesque, the longhaul product remains committed to promoting BA's prestigious brand ! Time to bring back luxuries on UK domestic and EuroTraveller cabins - reducing free snacks and drinks has not reduced fares ! Apart from benefitting BA, there is no obvious incentive for BA.
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Verdict

British Airways

6.3/10
Cabin10.0
Cabin crew10.0
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Meal/catering5.0

London - LHR

6.3/10
Efficiency10.0
Access10.0
Services5.0
Cleanliness5.0

Manchester - MAN

10.0/10
Efficiency10.0
Access10.0
Services10.0
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

Again it is the cabin crew who are the saving face of BA. I continue to be unimpressed by the prepaid seat allocation policy as well as the buy on board.
All of which, if I wanted I would fly Ryanair. The legroom could be better and as for the humungous sized hand luggage BA allows onboard domestic flights,this needs looking at.

Information on the route London (LHR) Manchester (MAN)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 7 reviews of 1 airlines on the route London (LHR) → Manchester (MAN).


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The airline with the best average rating is British Airways with 7.3/10.

The average flight time is 0 hours and 55 minutes.

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