Flight-Report

Review of British Airways flight Washington London in Economy

Airline British Airways
Flight BA216
Class Economy
Seat 30A
Aircraft Boeing 747-400
Flight time 07:05
Take-off 14 Feb 19, 17:50
Arrival at 15 Feb 19, 05:55
BA   #49 out of 128 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 664 reviews
ISTFlyer
By GOLD 1000
Published on 21st February 2019

Report No: 2019-201E


Hi and welcome to this new series of reports which would consist 6 flights. Four of them would be on British Airways in the World/Euro Traveller Cabin and the other two would be exclusive reports that no hint would be given until the report is published. 


The first flight of this series would be a flight that I have reported in the past. Washington Dulles to London Heathrow on the British Airways 747-400 in the World Traveller cabin. This report would also include a visit to the British Airways Galleries Lounge in Washington Dulles Airport. You would also have the chance to compare this report with my previous IAD-LHR experiences on British Airways by clicking on the appropriate link below the routing.


Just a reminder that as I have already reported the first flight and a similar one to the second, I had used the chance to video report the first part of this serie for a test of YouTube flight-reports that I would start to post soon but things didn't go as well as I expected. It's really hard to capture good quality videos on a phone camera so I won't compile them as a video and present it to you, but I would share some parts of the flights as a video as well. Because that some photos were taken from the videos, they are not in their usual quality. However, these reports are complete Flight-Reports and I apologize for the bad photo qualities in some images and give the signal that I would start video-reporting soon as I have the chance to buy a motion camera. Once again, thanks for your understanding.


The routing for this serie would look like this
First Part


Routing


Second Part



Third Part



Trip Overview ( First and Third Part ):

As I was going to head to Europe for a small vacation due to the Presidents Day long weekend, I was intending to fly the cheapest to my destination. As I also need some Tier Points to maintain my Oneworld Sapphire status BA was my top choice. BA.com showed a round-trip price of $699 for Basic Economy and $799 for Regular Economy. As, passengers holding Oneworld Sapphire or higher status could use all their status privileges except checked luggage while flying Basic Economy on BA, I was OK to buy a Basic Economy ticket. The next day I have checked WOWAir and I have received a $586 round-trip quote including cabin baggage. However, later on, I've found a sweet-deal on momondo for $530 for the original BA flights that I've planned to book and it included checked baggage. I have directly reserved the ticket by one of the online travel agencies. I was suspicious that something was going on but everything went perfectly fine. I have called the BA hotline to confirm my booking was real and yes, it was a real e-ticket and the agent told me that the OTA had already paid the price of the ticket to BA. However, the same OTA, does have lots of comments on the internet that they don't pay ticket fares to airlines on-time so reservations automatically get cancelled and passengers gets rebooked to another airline. Even though the stress of my reservation to be cancelled without notice at anytime, I took a deep breath after creating the mobile boarding pass for this flight.


Pax for this flight

First: %95-100
Club World: %95-100
World Traveller Plus: %95-100
World Traveller: %55-60

The aircraft had changed from a high-J 744 to a low-J 744 few days ago the flight.


ONLINE CHECK-IN


I have completed my online check-in for both of my flights, 24 hours before the scheduled departure of the first one.


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I have sticked to my seat for the first flight.


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As well as the second one


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Check-in summary


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Later on, that night I have checked my expertflyer and realized that seat 30B was blocked.


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And spotting the incoming flight from flightradar24


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On the day of the flight, I have utilized the free Circulator bus to Rosslyn from downtown DC


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And then waited for the bus 5A, the airport express, to arrive


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The bus had arrived on schedule


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It takes around 30-35 minutes from Rosslyn, Arlington to reach Dulles Airport


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Washington Dulles AIRPORT - IAD


The terminal


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And the directory, as I didn't need to check baggages I have directly headed to the East Security Checkpoint.


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Unfortunately, the priority lane was closed for the K-9 dog inspection process and it took 5 minutes to wait for the TSA document check and 5 minutes for the screening. I don't know why but, at that time, all passengers were treated like TSA Pre-Check passengers and we were only requested to empty our pockets.


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FIDS for the day


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Using the AirTrain is one of the options to reach concourse B


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But, I have decided to take the walkway to do a little walking exercise before the flight.


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While using the escalators this Saudia 787 had appeared


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And I'm inside the concourse


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While passing by I had the chance to take a photo of our aircraft


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The podium


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And the lane that I would board the aircraft. The gate was already prepared 1h30 before the flight.


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Boarding Pass


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BRITISH AIRWAYS GALLERIES LOUNGE - WASHINGTON DULLES AIRPORT


As I hold an Executive Club Silver card, I was welcome to use the British Airways Galleries Lounge. As I didn't stop by the check-in counter, I've asked if my document verification could be made in the lounge. The employee kindly helped me and done my passport verification. A minute later, he came next to me as he had forgotten to check my visa for my final destination. After that, I was all set.


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The lounge was crowded that day. I have found a seat at one of the high chairs near the second coffee machine.


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The coffee machine and snacks offered at this position.


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As BA does not offer their elites flying in Y or W to access the dining room, which they serve hot food there, the only available food selection was this bar which contained finger sandwiches, cheeses, vegetables, snacks and a soup. The dining room is reserved for passengers traveling on British Airways to London on the Club World or First cabins.


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Magazines and newspapers are also available at the lounge


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Some other snacks


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The lounge also has a bar with a view of the apron


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This Alaska 737-900 was visible at that time, it was going to head towards Seattle.


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Because it was Valentine's Day, when I've flown this flight, strawberries covered with chocolate sauce was offered by the lounge staff.


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A view of the terminal from the lounge


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GATE AREA & BOARDING


Boarding had started at 17:15 ( 35 minutes before departure ) with priorities being respected. As I was in Group 2, I was able to board 5 minutes after the boarding had commenced.


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The door


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BA 216 Washington Dulles AIRPORT TO London Heathrow AIRPORT


After being welcomed by the crew I had took my seat 30A for the flight. Pillows, blankets and earphones were available at each seat. 


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The seat had decent legroom compared to the widebodies of US carriers.


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This aircraft was equipped with the Panasonic ex3 IFE system.


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Earphones


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Overhead panel


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A view of the apron


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IFE - BA 216 Washington Dulles AIRPORT TO London Heathrow AIRPORT


As I had time, I had taken photos of the IFE system and seat pocket content while boarding was still in process.


The first thing that I want to mention is that, now, BA offers 4 languages for its IFE system. In the past only English was available.


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The IFE menu


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And the route map before takeoff


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The seat pocket contained the High Life Magazine, High Life Duty Free catalogue and the safety card.
Inflight shopping was available during this flight. 


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BA North American destinations


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And the list of them


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Also, there was an article that the Queen of the Skies celebrated its 50th birthday. At the moment, British Airways is the largest 747 operator.


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Guess what happened, boarding completed


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I was really lucky and I wished that someone didn't came to one of these seats.


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And, we had pushed back on time.


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This United 752 had just arrived from Orlando while our pushback was completed.


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At that moment, the safety video was screened from the personal screens.


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As it was dark when we had took of, I haven't took photos of outside for that night.


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I have closed my window blind and took my resting position.


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At that moment, a package of pretzels and a choice of drink was offered as an aperitif service. As I've realized that airlines read our reports as probably my suggestion was approved by British Airways. This crew had started the aperitif service just after the seatbelt signs had been turned off for maximizing the sleep time. However, the crew in my last BA 216 hasn't done the same thing. In addition, snacks weren't served on that flight.


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Also wines were distributed for those passengers who wish to enjoy with their meals.


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DINNER - BA 216 Washington Dulles AIRPORT TO London Heathrow AIRPORT


There were two options for the day. The first option was chicken curry and the second one was pasta. I have wanted for the pasta and guess what, it was the same meal as my LAX-LHR flight last December. However, the meal was delicious.


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Cavatappi with Tomatoes, Olives, Capers & Mushrooms


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Route map while the meal was distributed.


Later on the cabin crew appeared once again for the tea and coffee service.


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After trays were collected, I have visited the lavatory and it was clean at that time.


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As I was near the galley, I have checked if there was any snack baskets but no, there wasn't one. The only thing available in the galley was the drink cart. So, I went back to my bed for the flight and slept until heavy turbulence started 2 hours before landing.


BREAKFAST - BA 216 Washington Dulles AIRPORT TO London Heathrow AIRPORT


I don't know why British Airways is insisting to not serve a suitable breakfast for this flight. This bagel was served like my previous BA216 flight and it's a bad sign of cost-cutting.  At the same time with this service, drinks of their choice were also offered to passengers.


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Route map after breakfast


Later on, the video about the Flying Start Charity project was monitored.


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Hint for Destination 21, in this map


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London from the air, before landing


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And we had landed ahead of schedule to London Heathrow Airport.


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The first visible aircraft was this BA A321


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And the second one was this BA A319


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And the third one was this A320 which was going to head to Amsterdam that morning.


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Another BA A319


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BA A321 parked at Concourse B


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G-EUYA waiting for it's flight to Dusseldorf as BA 936.


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And a BA 777-200


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Later on we had parked to gate C52.


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After the seat belt signs had turned off, the IFE system was deactivated.


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Later on, I had left the aircraft from door 1L as it was the only door connected to a jetbridge at that time.


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London Heathrow AIRPORT - LHR


It's a nice touch that BA offers free newspapers also for arriving passengers to Heathrow, alongside with those departing.


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As I was in C gates, I had checked the FIDS for my next flight.


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And, this report had came to an end.


Thanks for reading and hope to see you in the next part of this serie.

See more

Verdict

British Airways

8.2/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew9.0
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Meal/catering7.0

British Airways Galleries Lounge

7.9/10
Comfort7.5
Meal/catering8.0
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Services8.0

Washington - IAD

8.1/10
Efficiency7.5
Access8.5
Services8.5
Cleanliness8.0

London - LHR

8.5/10
Efficiency8.5
Access8.5
Services8.5
Cleanliness8.5

Conclusion

This is another report on one of the routes that I fly frequently. As I mentioned in the trip overview section, BA was the cheapest to fly to my final destination. Although the breakfast is not acceptable and the meals are repetitive, the crew was perfect and the seat allocation by BA was the best part of the flight. Some airlines should learn from BA about seat allocation that allowed to have an empty row due to my Executive Silver status. There are some airlines who asks money for alliance elites for seating. If we return to the airport experience in IAD, it was strange to have a closed priority lane for the TSA document check but it didn't take long to clear security. The lounge has one of the BA ground staff crews in the world but unfortunately the discrimination of J pax and Sapphire pax is not nice and does not fit to a legacy airline like BA. I know this application is actually because BA doesn't want to serve hot food to eligible AA passengers at airports which both have an Admirals Club and a Galleries Lounge. However, the finger food and the soup is tasty and even though I was traveling alone, the strawberry with chocolate was a nice touch. The arrival experience at Heathrow was good and it was nice to have an empty Heathrow early in the morning.

IAD
(+) Security wait time
(+) Organized gate area & priorities being respected while boarding
(-) Priority lane closed for TSA document check
BA Galleries Lounge IAD
(+) Nice finger food
(+) Snack selection
(+) The valentines day special: Chocolate strawberries
(+) Very friendly staff
(-) Discrimination between elite pax and J pax passengers
BA216
(+) Comfortable seats - Especially when you have 3 of them.
(+) The seat arrangement system of British Airways
(+) Tasty dinner
(+) Sufficient IFE for a 7 hour flight
(+) On time departure and arrival
(+) Lavatories were kept clean throughout the flight
(+) Cabin crew
(-) Breakfast service
(-) Repetitive meals for frequent travelers
LHR
(+) Free newspapers after arriving to Heathrow T5

Information on the route Washington (IAD) London (LHR)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 8 reviews of 2 airlines on the route Washington (IAD) → London (LHR).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is British Airways with 7.4/10.

The average flight time is 7 hours and 4 minutes.

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