Review of British Airways flight London Manama in Business

Airline British Airways
Flight BA125
Class Business
Seat 13K
Aircraft Boeing 777-200
Flight time 06:25
Take-off 03 Dec 18, 13:00
Arrival at 03 Dec 18, 22:25
BA   #49 out of 123 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 623 reviews
FlyAlex
By GOLD 1123
Published on 4th December 2018
Hi,

Being on transfer at Heathrow I decided to use the Galleries Club lounge located in Terminal 5 A gates (south).
The lounge is on the highest floor and the entrance is decorated by a nice BA Airbus 380 model.

This specific lounge is huge but was nonetheless very busy this morning. It was very hard to find a good empty seat.
Luckily I spotted a nice quiet seat next to the window front providing some apron views.



The lounge is nicely decorated but in most areas in my opinion it simply is too dark and damp looking.

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The buffet was in christmas decoration and featured a rather big selection of food & drinks.

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However I just had a small snack not being hungry at all.

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I really liked the separate toilet cabins that featured retro style BOAC posters.

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About 2 hours later I took the transit train to head to my gate in Terminal 5 B gates satellite.

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Here you see some views of my splendid looking Boeing 777 bringing me to the Middle East this afternoon.

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Boarding started on time and in a very professional and orderly manner by groups in different lanes. This felt unstressed and helped for a good start. Boarding process is something that BA does a great job in my opininon.

Two friendly flight attendants welcomed us and I reached my window seat 13K soon.
The seats looked inviting and rather well maintained.

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Waiting on the seat was a huge and very comfortable pillow and a huge bag containing bed linens and blanket.

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Also available was a noise cancelling headset.

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Soon after settling in a flight attendant distributed a bottle of water and an amenity kit.

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The amenity kit provided the key essentials including some cosmetics like lip balm and moisturizer. Only the design was a little bit boring in my opinion.

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Some minutes later I was offered pre departure drinks from a tray and I had some champagne and water.

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Club World ended up totally full without a single spare seat.
One thing which is really strange with the cabin layout: As long as the privacy divider between the seats is down (normally until after take off) you are basically looking your neighbour directly into the eyes wich is very strange if a stranger is sitting next to you like in my case. So I was happy when the divider was up shortly after take off. Then the cabin offers good privacy.
However in the window seat you feel quite trapped and I really missed stowage space. I never knew where to place my mobile phone as an example.

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Next to your head area there also is a personal reading light which is adjustable in brightness.

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We powered into the cloudy skies for a flight of 5 hours 50 minutes to come.

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Shortly after take off hot towels were distributed.

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The two male crew members serving me on this flight were both friendly but not exceeding any expectations or also never proactive in asking for drinks or anything else.
So service felt very unpersonal actually.

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Service then took really long to continue: Only ca. 45 minutes after take off I was asked for my drink choice as aperitif.
I ordered a Gin Tonic that was delivered on a nice small tray beside some excellent tasting nuts (actually some of the best I ever had in my life).

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Until now I wondered if I missed the distribution of menus as it was already 1 hour into the flight. One major factor that I did not like with this Club World seat product is that you never see the flight attendants passing by in the aisle - so you always are surprised by them and have the feeling of maybe been forgotten by them…

But then suddenly a menu was handed to me. This flight would feature a full lunch and afternoon tea before landing.

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Some minutes later I was asked for my starter and main dish choice plus preference of still or sparkling water.
Only moments after that I received the meal tray with a glass of water plus warm bread already placed on the tray.
Please note that there is no separate table cloth apart from the one that is already placed on the meal tray - also a rare procedure in Business Class cabins.

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When I was handed the tray I was asked for any more drink choices and ordered a glass of red wine which was quickly served to me out of the galley - trolleys were never used in the cabin.

The starter tasted very nice and I liked the presentation. Only the cheap salt & pepper paper bags should be replaced by something more stylish.

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About 20 minutes later my main dish was served and I asked for a side salad with it.
Both tasted excellent - especially the salad was really outstanding.

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One very bad aspect of the service flow was that drink refills were never offered again and as you are trapped behing the divider wall you also have no chance at all to order more as you never see the attendant passing by.

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When the main dish was cleared away I was asked for my dessert choice where I ordered the cheese board, a lemon raspberry slice and a glass of port wine.

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Also the cheese and the dessert tasted very good.

Once everything was cleared away I finally ordered a cup of peppermint tea. After that the cabin lights were switched off and it was already dark outside.

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I watched one movie on the private screen which offered a reasonable choice of entertainment. However I have seen much more modern entertainment systems with a far better choice of entertainment on other airlines.

The flight passed by quickly and about 1 hour out of Bahrain cabin lights were switched on again and I was asked if I prefer the sandwiches or tapas plate. Also I ordered my drink choices of tea & cranberry juice at this moment.

All was quickly served on this nice looking afternoon tea tray . The snacks tasted nice and rounded off the flight perfectly.

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Only 20 minutes later cabin was prepared for landing and we touched down 20 minutes ahead of schedule at Bahrain.

Thanks for reading,
FlyAlex
See more

Verdict

British Airways

7.6/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew7.0
Entertainment7.0
Meal/catering8.5

British Airways Terminal 5A Galleries Club (South)

7.5/10
Comfort7.0
Meal/catering8.0
Entertainment7.0
Services8.0

London - LHR

8.0/10
Efficiency8.0
Access8.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Manama - BAH

5.8/10
Efficiency8.0
Access4.0
Services5.0
Cleanliness6.0

Conclusion

Somehow I have a mixed feeling about this flight:
In general the Club World product had many positive aspects: The seat in general is quite comfortable and has a very good pattern and offers privacy once the divider is up. Also the meals tasted very good and were served with a nice presentation.
On the other side I felt trapped in the seat and always had the feeling of missing the flight attendant serving something. Actually this cabin setup let to a service flow that was very unpersonal without drink refills, extra wishes or interaction with the crew. Instead you often were handed meals or drinks from the attendant over the divider wall without any eye contact or interaction possible. Anothr bad aspect of the seat: almost no stowage around the seat.
Conclusion: I would definitely fly BA Club World again but most likely pick another airline if I have a choice for the route and price would be similar.

Related

2 Comments

  • Comment 478817 by
    ThomasDutch SILVER 72 Comments

    While I flew BA's business many years ago, I do see little to no improvement to their business class ever since. To me I dare to say that BA is serving one of the worst business class for an European legacy carrier. Thanks for sharing this detailed report though! It was a pleasant read.

  • Comment 478930 by
    KL651 TEAM 4182 Comments

    Thanks for this FR.
    Interesting opinion on those reverse facing seats, I would have thought you still could see what's going on in the aisles or that crew would ask you to lower your partition during meal service.
    In any case the meals remains of good quality and more than enough for such a flight.

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