Flight-Report

Review of British Airways flight Amsterdam London in Economy

Airline British Airways
Flight BA429
Class Economy
Seat 17F
Aircraft Airbus A320neo
Flight time 01:25
Take-off 26 Mar 19, 10:05
Arrival at 26 Mar 19, 10:30
BA   #49 out of 129 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 671 reviews
ThomasDutch
By SILVER 855
Published on 26th March 2019

Introduction


While my job was required to give me another week of holiday due to nearing my resting limitations, I was given a choice by them to take a week off right now or the last week of april. Knowing that end of april was going to be a period of national holidays in the Netherlands and I would be travelling again in May to Aruba with KLM for a wedding of my best friend, I opted to take off right now.

While I wanted to go to Thailand once again, I scanned the internet for a good hour to find a very cheap price with British Airways to Bangkok via London Heathrow. The timings were good, though I am not sure I would make my connection back to Amsterdam on my return leg as BA10's time reputation isn't the best over the past two weeks.

Check my routing below. 



The Journey of BA 429


While I decided to use my car to the airport, I booked my parking spot in P3 in advance as it would save me a good 50 euro. (Expect to pay 120 euros for a week if you do not reserve, which is very steep).

As Amsterdam Airport is about a good hour to drive for me. I decided to leave home at around 6.30 am, which would leave me with about 2.5 hour to spare at Amsterdam. While the ride started comfortable, it turned out to become a rather stressful ride as I hit morning rush at several points along my ride due to a number of crashes which I usually don't really face… 

It is quite a task to find a free spot here as some drivers parked their car in such a way that you could not occupy the spot next to him.

   *The parking garage of P3 on the right side had it's official opening last week. 


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The very crowded shuttle ride took not more than five minutes to terminal three.


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While I approached the check in counters of British Airways, there was still a line of about 8 people checking in and the service offered by ground staff was rather slow to be honest. It took a good ten minutes to clear 8 people with four counters open. I asked for a boarding card in paper format too and was off to customs and security.


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Received my boarding card, I went up to pass security which took only about five minutes to clear as I had only a small bag with me as carry on. Amsterdam has a regulation that you will get priority at security when you carry only a small bag with you instead of a trolley and this definitely reduces the process time to clear it. Another five minutes and I passed border control too.


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The terminal was rather packed for the morning rush and according to the screens, my flight would depart from gate D26. While BA check in counters are in a quiet corner in T3, one of the negatives of them having their counters in T3 is that you need a solid walk across the international (non schengen) to pier D. Screens say 16 minutes, but expect it to be longer.


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About 15 minutes later, I indeed reached the D pier and from here it would take another 5-10 minutes to reach D26… Just look how crowded it is…


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OO-JAF, A Boeing 737-800 of Tuifly Belgium in Family Life livery that was waiting for it's clearance to push back for a flight to Hurghada for it's sister company Tuifly Netherlands. Probably being used to cover the groundings of their MAX 8.


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By the time I reached my gate, our aircraft was already parked at our gates. Today's flight would be performed by G-TTNH, an 0.2 year old Airbus A320neo delivered to BA in January 2019 and the first time I would be flying on a NEO.


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Boarding was called on-time and in an orderly manner by group no.. While walking through the jetbridge, I managed to capture a picture of PH-BGN too. A Boeing 737-700 that would shortly depart to Aberdeen. KLM is currently in a procedure to phase them out and replace them by -800s to increase capacity. 


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Greeted by two flight attendants, I proceeded to my seat 17F in a neat looking cabin. When I eventually sat down, I was not amused by the poor legroom offered for such a carrier and the tray table was very very small. While it isn''t much of a hassle on such a short flight, I could understand it being troublesome for a lot of passengers on longer flights…. 


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And I highly doubt whether this cabin has been cleaned previously or not as there was an empty cup of coffee laying on the floor with coffee stains in the carpet and my seat pocket contained about 10 sick bags….


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The window view from my seat however was not too shabby with another Boeing 737 of KLM parked next to us.


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Push backs was only a very few minutes past our departure time and made me spot this WOW A321. A common sight at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, but for how long? They are struggling and can't find any investor as of date.


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As 24 was in use for departures in a southeasterly direction, I thought it was going to be a short ride to our runway…. Unfortunately our flight was not scheduled for that runway and we had to make our way to 36L, which is a very very long taxi and we were finally rolling for take off about 21 minutes past our departure time with a long line of KLM planes.


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Airborne at 10.29 with the usual grey depressing weather of the Netherlands…. followed by a left turn towards England.


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The moment we cross the border to England, a blue and cloudless sky greets us… How typical? 


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The flight path our flight took with a holding near London.


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The magazine's edition for March 2019. While British Airways is celebrating their 100th anniversary, I still have my doubts about that validity of their claim.


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A shot of the cabin with our two flight attendants. British Airways service is a buy-on-board service like many of you know already on European routes and I can't say I agree with that…. What's the difference between RYR and BAW nowadays? Both have BoB and poor legroom.


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Pilots informed us that we would start our approach into London Heathrow and told us that we would have a splendid view over downtown London, which I can totally agree with. A nice interaction from the Pilots.


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Fully configured on short final for touchdown.


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with a very short taxi ride to Terminal 5 (A gates), while spotting a few Virgin birds.


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Parked within three minutes after landing, the deboarding of the plane started only a few minutes later in which we were waved off by both flight attendants near the door.


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With about 4 hours and 30 minutes to spare, it was now time to explore terminal 5. It was not known yet as to what gate was going to be used for our flight to Bangkok, but I don't understand the theory of airports in the UK to not reveal the boarding gate in advance….. It has the tendency for UK airports to have their central point being overcrowded, while some parts of the terminal are completely empty.   


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While I wrote this flight report during my layover in London, I will continue from here in my next report which will be published in a later stage which will continue from my time past the 2nd security.

See more

Verdict

British Airways

4.6/10
Cabin5.0
Cabin crew6.5
Entertainment/wifi4.5
Meal/catering2.5

Amsterdam - AMS

6.5/10
Efficiency7.0
Access6.5
Services8.0
Cleanliness4.5

London - LHR

7.0/10
Efficiency6.5
Access7.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness7.5

Conclusion

While the cabin was brand new, I was shocked about the poor legroom offered by BA on their new neo. The seat width could have been better too and it seems that my seat was not cleaned as I found a cup of coffee, lots of sick bag in my pockets. The cabin crew was not really personal and involved either, while the flight itself was good and the flight crews did an excellent job on informing us about the departure, approach and the view over London. Yet I found it very disappointing that BA is continuing reducing their service and continues on BoB combined with poor legroom.... What's the difference between BA and FR now?

Information on the route Amsterdam (AMS) London (LHR)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 17 reviews of 3 airlines on the route Amsterdam (AMS) → London (LHR).


Useful

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

The average flight time is 1 hours and 19 minutes.

  More information

10 Comments

  • Comment 494946 by
    ISTFlyer GOLD 181 Comments

    Hi Thomas Dutch and thanks for sharing this report on the BA A20N which I would fly within 45 days.

    When I eventually sat down, I was not amused by the poor legroom offered for such a carrier and the tray table was very very small. While it isn''t much of a hassle on such a short flight, I could understand it being troublesome for a lot of passengers on longer flights….

    - Actually I find BA legroom not that bad, as the seats are slimmer than the past. Maybe because I had the chance to get an emergency exit row or row 1 on all my BA shorthaul flights in the past two years.
    What's the difference between RYR and BAW nowadays? Both have BoB and poor legroom.

    - Completely agree to this statement for short haul flights. One of them is a member of oneworld and offers privileges to their elites, that's all.
    With about 4 hours and 30 minutes to spare, it was now time to explore terminal 5. It was not known yet as to what gate was going to be used for our flight to Bangkok, but I don't understand the theory of airports in the UK to not reveal the boarding gate in advance…..

    - In the past years, most of the stores ( including Caffe Nero ) in T5B and T5C had closed due to the high costs and lack of passengers there. That's why Heathrow had increased rents in T5A and lowered rents in the concourses. That's why all passengers are tried to kept at the main building at Terminal 5A until 1h30 minutes before their departure. However, there is a method for learning your gate beforehand. If you're eligible for the lounge simply ask the lounge staff for your gate; they usually tell if your flight departs from T5B and T5C. Also you could check the computer screen of the lounge staff while entering the lounge. Your gate would appear on the top-left side of his screen. Or check the FIDS at the transit station at T5A. Only flights departing from T5B and T5C are listed there but the list is only for the following 3 hours.
    - Also be aware that the photo under "Parked within three minutes after landing, the deboarding of the plane started only a few minutes later in which we were waved off by both flight attendants near the door." is a shot from an A320, not an A20N so probably you've mixed reports.

    Also, thanks for sharing this report just after arriving Heathrow as I'm 12 reports behind at the moment.
    Hope to see you in the next parts of the series. Wish you a pleasant flight to BKK.

    • Comment 494947 by
      ThomasDutch SILVER AUTHOR 294 Comments

      Hey IST,
      Indeed it may say A320 on several occassions in the cabin, but this aircraft is really a NEO. I guess BA doesn't really differentiate them.

      • Comment 494948 by
        ISTFlyer GOLD 181 Comments

        I just noticed that the previous photos had a coat hook on the seat but not on the one that I mentioned. That's why I was a bit amazed.

        • Comment 494950 by
          ThomasDutch SILVER AUTHOR 294 Comments

          You've got some eye for details. The last photo I took from the seats was a few rows in front of me as I did not want to obstruct anyone while taking my photo. I didn't notice that the seats in the front did not have a hook, but I can tell you that all photos are indeed from that specific flight. An odd thing I must say. Anyway I hope you enjoy your Neo flight, but so far I have not been impressed by any new brand from either Boeing and Airbus yet in terms of comfort (Except the 350).

  • Comment 494949 by
    Scott05 564 Comments

    Thank you for this report! Actually the seats at the back of the plane are exactly the same as Easyjet's (the main competitor on the AMS-LON route I'd imagine), so I agree that adding to that the BoB there's really not much of a difference nowadays on point to point travel between the two airlines. Interesting however that they kept the older seat for the front of the cabin as they did previously on the 737s, I don't think many other airlines opted for this.

    • Comment 494964 by
      ThomasDutch SILVER AUTHOR 294 Comments

      There are over 50 daily flights between Amsterdam and any airport in London with flights from KLM, BA, Easy and Flybe. Only two of them are serving complimentary drinks and snacks. KLM and BA Cityflyer. Though I was not aware of BA doing such thing with their seats. Thanks for that info! Perhaps it has something to do with their J class?

  • Comment 495296 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 4742 Comments

    Hi Thomas, a nice and detailed report for such a short flight. Lucky you to be going to Thailand again so soon! I'm jealous 😊

    The legroom on BA short-haul is ridiculous. 30" seat pitch on a legacy carrier just seems wrong. The worse is when you pay for Business and have this same knee-crushing legroom!

    What's the difference between RYR and BAW nowadays?

    Not a whole lot aside from alliance/interline benefits

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Comment 495472 by
    Jett Tyler SILVER 157 Comments

    Good review! Its a shame BA seem to be missing the point when it comes to their service...
    I mean, they fly from LHR mainly into Europe, so I think the low cost service is a wrong move- especially when competiting alongside Aegean, Lufthansa, KLM, SAS, Finnair, etc.

    • Comment 495511 by
      ThomasDutch SILVER AUTHOR 294 Comments

      I could understand BA doing such thing when flying out of LGW where they face a lot of LCC, but LHR? A hub that is mostly used for business travelers with little competition from LCC I simply can't understand. Finnair is operating a kind of similar concept on shorter routes too, though with a bit more spacious legroom and some limited drinks for free. (Think of Water, coffee and tea). Though I surprisingly enjoyed their long haul flight with them despite the aged cabin.

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