Review of British Airways flight Washington London in Business

Airline British Airways
Flight BA216
Class Business
Seat 62A
Aircraft Boeing 747-400
Flight time 07:25
Take-off 09 May 19, 18:30
Arrival at 10 May 19, 06:55
BA   #50 out of 130 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 672 reviews
ISTFlyer
By GOLD 1712
Published on 2nd June 2019

Report No: 2019-501E


Ladies and Gentlemen,

Welcome to this new short series, which would contain two British Airways flights onboard their Club World and Club Europe cabin. As British Airways had a smart Business Class fare for $899 (o/w on a mixed class booking) for the entire journey to Istanbul from the USA, I have decided to fly British Airways and after this trip back home, I was going to retain my BA Exec Silver status for another year.


The first report of the series would be my first time onboard the upper deck of a 747-400. ( In the past I have flown on the upper deck of a 747-8i but not a 747-400 ). This flight would be on a special aircraft with a special livery of BOAC due to the 100th year of British Airways. Also, it would be my second time on BA Club World. ( You could find the report of my first BA CW flight here. ) Obviously, I also had access at the dining room at the Galleries Club in Washington Dulles Airport so I would also be able to report that section of the lounge for you.


I have flown this exact route and flight several times in Economy Class ( World Traveller ). If you want to take a visit to those reports please click here.


The routing for this short series would look like this.


Routing


Pax for this flight

First: %100
Club World ( Business ): %100
World Traveller Plus ( Premium Economy ): %100
World Traveller ( Economy ): %100

The check-in agent had told me that today's flight would be a full flight with no empty seats.


ONLINE CHECK-IN


I have started the check-in process exactly 24 hours before the scheduled departure time of my flight.


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I was going to check-in for both of my flights at the same time. I had already have pre-reserved seats which could be considered as the best windows seats at the respective cabin.


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So, I haven't changed my seats and sticked to my pre-reserved seats.


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The boarding pass that I would use for this flight


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The early morning of my flight, I have checked the incoming aircraft on Flightradar24 and what a surprise. G-BYGC in the retro livery was going to pick me up from DC. It would be my first time on that specific registration.


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The day of the flight, I have decided to take bus 5A to Dulles Airport as I had time and didn't want to pay Uber/Lyft or any kind of taxi product. As I've missed the 15:25 bus by 2 minutes because of the late arrival of the Circulator bus that I was inside, I have taken the 15:55 bus which took about an hour. Interestingly, the card reader of the bus was not functioning, so my ride from my address in DC and the airport was free of charge.


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As I've mentioned before, we were arriving to IAD around 16:55-17:00


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Washington Dulles AIRPORT - IAD


The Saarinen building of Dulles Airport where check-in and baggage claim takes process.


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As you could see, there was nobody at the check-in desks and most of the check-in positions were closed at that time. There was one desk open for all premium passengers and two for Economy Class bag drop at that time. The friendly check-in agent has told me that the flight is fully booked and most of the passengers had already checked-in. I simply dropped my bag and I was asked if I want to stick with my mobile boarding pass or would I wish a printed version. I was OK with the mobile version.


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Before heading to the West Security Checkpoint, I have realized something. Usually there was a Qatar Airways aircraft, but that day there was a Brussels Airlines A330 instead. As usual, the West Security checkpoint was empty and with several open lanes, the document check and the screening process took around 5-10 minutes.


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FIDS after clearing security


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As I like to stretch my legs before a long flight, I have used the walkway to concourse AB before heading to the Galleries Club Lounge.


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The AB concourse


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While on my way to the lounge I have spotted this aircraft that I would fly with. At the same time, I have asked the gate agent when would boarding start as the boarding time doesn't appear on my mobile boarding pass. I have got the answer that boarding was going to start 40 minutes before scheduled departure time so I would have 15-20 minutes to spend in the lounge.


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BRITISH AIRWAYS GALLERIES LOUNGE - WASHINGTON DULLES AIRPORT


While I was entering the lounge, there were some passengers heading to the gate. This meant that the lounge got emptier. After taking the elevator upstairs, I was welcomed by the friendly BA agent and I was told that I could have used the dining room.


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The dining room was actually designed for Concorde Club and First Class passengers but I don't know why, in IAD, the dining room is open to Club World passengers as well.


The food options starting with the veggies.


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Meat dishes that was served inside a bun or separately.
In addition, there was a fish, a potato dish and a vegetarian dish that I haven't photographed. 


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Chicken and rice option


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Desserts and cheese


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The dining room has a magnificent view of the apron. I was able to watch the push-back process of this Austrian 767-300 while I was enjoying my meal.


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Later on, I have headed to the main area of the lounge to have some coffee. As I have previously covered the main area food options in my previous reports, I haven't taken photographs of them. You could find a more detailed report of the main area over here.


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Magazines available that day.


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The terminal from the lounge


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GATE AREA & BOARDING


According to the BA app, boarding had started 35 minutes before departure. I had arrived to the gate 31-32 minutes before departure and they were boarding group 2. As I was invited to board at that time, I only had the chance to take a photo of the aircraft while waiting at the jetbridge. Gates B42 and B44 were both used at the same time for boarding.


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BA 216 - WASHINGTON DULLES AIRPORT TO LONDON HEATHROW AIRPORT


After being welcomed by the crew, I have taken the stairs to the upper deck and took my seat 62A. A pillow, the White Company bedding set ( which contains a blanket, a duvet and a mattress ) and headphones were present at the seat.


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As I was seating in the exit row, the seat had enormous legroom in addition to a direct access to the aisle.


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Shortly after the cabin crew responsible from the upper deck realized that I was at my seat, they have handed me a personal amenity kit and a bottle of Harrogate water.


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Also as a PDB, I was offered a glass of champagne or a glass of water. I opted for the water option.


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IFE - BA 216 Washington Dulles AIRPORT TO London Heathrow AIRPORT


This aircraft was equipped with the Panasonic ex3 IFE system.


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I don't know why but some BA aircraft has IFE in 4 languages and some only have in English. I guess that they are updating every aircraft individually.


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The main menu of the IFE system


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Unlike the World Traveller cabin, the Club World cabin had a remote control for the IFE system.


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Power sources and USB ports were available at each seat


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The route map estimated that our flight would take 7h23mins.


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Flight information


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And the total route


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The seat pocket content, including the High Life magazine, the seat guide and the safety card


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The content of the seat


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BA has introduced their new Business Class product: The Club Suite which would be tested on their Madrid route this summer and be released on their Toronto, Dubai, Tel Aviv and Bangalore routes as announced.


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BA North American destinations


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And the list


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Inflight Wi-Fi was available shortly after take-off


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However, the prices are a little bit expensive so I haven't bought any of the packages. BA doesn't offer any free Wi-Fi for their premium cabin passengers


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Shortly after boarding was completed, menus were distributed alongside with breakfast cards that the cabin crew was going to pick up.


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The bar selection and beverages


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Menu for dinner


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And for breakfast


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This exact menu is available on these flights throughout the month of May.


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The breakfast card


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We had started our push-back on schedule and at that time the safety video was monitored from the personal screens.


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As we've pushed back, this UA 737-800 was heading to the runway for it's flight to SFO.


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While we were taxiing, I have noticed this QR 777-300ER in a remote stand. It's really rare that a flight in the USA boards from a remote stand. However, today's QR 708 service to Doha was going to depart from gate B81 which is a remote gate.


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Shortly after we reached the runway, we had took off.


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The AB building


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And the CD building


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Shortly after takeoff, hot towels were distributed


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Shortly after the seatbelt signs had been turned off, I have visited the lavatory which was clean at that time. However, the sinks of the 747-400 make me crazy as you could wash one hand at a time as you need to press the handle while washing your hand.


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Shortly after takeoff, drink orders were taken and they were served with some snacks. I have opted for a port.


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Later on, the cabin crew came once again to take meal orders and if passengers would like to take the express or the full option. I asked for the full service and the starter instead of the soup. While I was waiting for my meal, I have decided to watch something and as I would rest after the meal, I decided to watch two episodes of Family Guy instead of a movie.


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DINNER - BA 216 Washington Dulles AIRPORT TO London Heathrow AIRPORT


The tray was handed with the starter, bread, salad, butter, vinaigrette and a glass of still water. Usually, I was asked if I would like still or sparkling water but that day still water was handed. I was already going to ask for a still one but it seemed a bit strange that the crew forgot to ask my choice.


Asparagus and prosciutto ham with truffle dressing, quail egg
Freshly seasonal salad


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I have opted for the beef option that day. It tasted really good but it was a bit overcooked. Interestingly, the crew didn't come to offer water refills by themselves, however, they have come in several times to ask if we need anything more.


Short rib or beef  
Roasted potatoes, green beans, butternut squash, béarnaise sauce


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For the dessert, I have opted for the cherry pudding option which was small but tasted really good. 


Warm Sticky Cherry Brioche Pudding with cherry coulis


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Alongside with my dessert, I have also asked for a coffee with Bailey's.


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Before I slept for the next 4h-4h30mins, I have taken a photo of the route map one more time. Before sleeping, I have put my breakfast card on the lockers next to my seat.



BREAKFAST - BA 216 Washington Dulles AIRPORT TO London Heathrow AIRPORT


I have woke up 40-45 minutes before departure and I was asked if I wanted breakfast. I have asked the same things that I have written on the breakfast card. I usually requested to be wakened up 1h10mins before landing, however, I have realized that my breakfast card had fallen on the floor so the crew couldn't see it. However, I was served the full breakfast alongside with a smoothie and a peppermint tea.


Greek yoghurt  
Smoked salmon and scrambled egg wrap


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A last view of the route map before landing


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And we had landed to Heathrow before our scheduled arrival time


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A6-EDX had just arrived from Dubai


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G-BYGA was heading to the runway for the morning flight to JFK


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G-ZBKB parked at Concourse B after arriving from Tokyo the previous day


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G-YMMG had arrived from Bahrain that morning


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G-EUPK, the A319 below, was heading to the runway for his flight to Amsterdam as BA 428.


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And we had parked to gate B32 in Heathrow, next to this Boeing 777-200ER.


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LONDON HEATHROW AIRPORT - LHR


After saying goodbye to the crew, I have left the aircraft and take this last photo of this Queen of the Skies.


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Later on, I have checked the FIDS for my next flight and the indication was "Go to A gates". So, I have used the walkway to reach A gates instead of taking the transit.


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This report has come to an end.
Thanks for reading and hope to see you in another report.

See more

Verdict

British Airways

8.4/10
Cabin8.5
Cabin crew8.5
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Meal/catering8.5

British Airways Galleries Lounge

8.8/10
Comfort8.5
Meal/catering9.0
Entertainment/wifi8.5
Services9.0

Washington - IAD

8.0/10
Efficiency8.5
Access8.0
Services7.5
Cleanliness8.0

London - LHR

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

Conclusion

Starting this trip by missing a bus in downtown DC was not the best way to start the trip, however, no-wait in the check-in desks had made this journey more comfortable, in addition to passing security within 5-10 minutes. Regardless of the short amount that I was able to rest in the lounge. The offerings in the dining room, which is reserved to Club World and First passengers, was great and had a decent amount of food compared to the regular section of the lounge which only has finger sandwiches. Boarding was made on time with the respect of priorities so it was kind of organized, however, the lack of seating areas in gate areas throughout IAD makes the process a bit messy as queues stretch through the hallway that could block the flow of people. The seat was comfortable with a great legroom in the exit row, which also had a direct access to the aisle. The bedding set provided by BA is really good and I was able to have a comfortable sleep throughout the flight. The High Life entertainment system is not the best throughout the airline industry, but it has decent content so I consider is as OK, however, the Wi-Fi on British Airways is super expensive and not worth to buy on these transatlantic flights where people want to maximize their sleep. The meals onboard the flight were also great. Despite the meat being overcooked, the whole dinner tasted really good, however the offering was a bit light compared to a main meal service on a Business Class cabin. The breakfast was alright in the concept and it tasted really good. The strange thing during these services was that drink refills was not offered at any service, however, the crew kept checking passengers if everything went alright throughout the services. Unlike my other BA experiences, the crew haven't asked if passengers would like any wine during the meal as well as if they preferred still or sparkling water, still water was given to every passenger in the upper deck. Also, as it has been fallen to the floor, the crew couldn't find my breakfast card, but it wasn't a big issue as they have served me what I exactly wanted from them. During the time I was awake, I haven't seen the crew making any attempt to ask the menu cards from passengers. However, the crew was friendly and they made the experience pleasant. After landing to Heathrow on time and being nothing special to mention, I had followed the signs to Flight Connections for my next flight.

IAD
(+) Quick and efficient check-in
(+) Acceptable security wait time
(+) Priorities respected throughout the boarding process
Galleries Club IAD
(+) Dining room food and beverage options
(+) Comfortable seating
BA 216
(+) Comfortable seats and a very good amount of legroom in the exit row
(+) The bedding set
(+) The dinner service, however, it was a bit light compared to a Business Class dinner
(+) The amount of breakfast ( second meal ) for a 7h flight
(+) Decent IFE
(+) Friendly crew
(+) Lavatories kept clean throughout the flight
(-) Expensive onboard Wi-Fi
LHR
Nothing special to mention

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

The contributors of Flight-Report published 9 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 7 minutes.

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4 Comments

  • Comment 505315 by
    757Fan 508 Comments

    Thank you for sharing. It looks like you had a really nice flight with BA in J across to LHR. The food seems to have been improved quite a bit, and I'm impressed by the look of those dishes. Great to also get a flight on the Queen as well too!

    Looking forward to seeing your next report!

    • Comment 505316 by
      ISTFlyer GOLD AUTHOR 188 Comments

      Hi 757Fan and thanks for stopping by,

      It looks like you had a really nice flight with BA in J across to LHR.

      - The flight, in overall, was better than my expectations.
      The food seems to have been improved quite a bit, and I'm impressed by the look of those dishes.

      - The dishes look really good and also the taste of the dishes was good. And yes, they have definitely improved their dishes compared to the past few years.
      Great to also get a flight on the Queen as well too!

      - 747 is one of the favorite aircraft types that I enjoy flying with, so it was a really pleasant 7 hour flight.
      Looking forward to seeing your next report!

      - Hope to see you there and once again, thanks for your comment.

  • Comment 505782 by
    ThomasDutch SILVER 305 Comments

    Hi ISTFlyer,
    Seems like you had a pleasant flight with BAW in J class, however BAW is somehow unable to impress me in terms of seating and catering. Their J seats are an absolute disgrace for a J product and luckily BAW is changing them on their upcoming A350s. Also I don't think that second meal service prior to landing is J class worthy. Very common, but those wraps or sandwiches they often serve look to me like it was bought in one of their local supermarkets. They even serve them in first class too.
    -
    Thanks for your report.

    • Comment 505804 by
      ISTFlyer GOLD AUTHOR 188 Comments

      Hi ThomasDutch and thanks for your comment,

      BAW is somehow unable to impress me in terms of seating and catering.

      - IMO, they are much better than when first Alex Cruz came and introduced cost-cutting.
      Their J seats are an absolute disgrace for a J product and luckily BAW is changing them on their upcoming A350s.

      - Obviously, they are not the best J seats with limited seat width and no direct access on regular rows but for the price that I've paid, it was OK but I won't pay $5000-6000 for a r/t on these seats. I am also waiting to try the new Club Suite product soon which I think is an improvement.
      Very common, but those wraps or sandwiches they often serve look to me like it was bought in one of their local supermarkets. They even serve them in first class too.

      - Agree for those served for flights from London and same for the sandwiches in the Galleries Club in London. However, I don't think they sell wraps with eggs in a supermarket. But in general, they look like supermarket sandwiches. It's a shame that BA doesn't pay for a proper breakfast option in First.

      Once again thanks for stopping by and hope to see you in another report.

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