The airline with the best average rating is British Airways with 7.3/10.
The average flight time is 2 hours and 38 minutes.More information
And very warm welcome to this brand new report. After spending half a year on COVID holidays in Poland it was finally time to head back to the UK, to re-start the university. And how lucky were I, that this flight back to the UK was actually supposed to be my 100th flight. Hence, I decided, I need to celebrate it by doing something special.
I was initially booked onto a business class of SWISS on their A220 and A330 (WAW-ZRH-LHR) - a decent celebration, on the throne seat, in my opinion. But 2020 definitely taught us all how to be flexible with plans. And because UK introduced self-isolation for Switzerland, I was forced to rebook that flight and search for a direct one. The decision was easy. My second favourite airline in Europe. British Airways. In Club Europe. (Full stop)
The ticket was booked using my eVoucher, issued back in March and I upgraded myself to Club with Avios. The upgrade cost 8250 Avios. I went for BA847 which departs conveniently at 1150, so that you don't have to wake up early, and it also arrives in the early afternoon leaving plenty of time before the sunset.
As I was really excited about the journey, I took a tremendous amount of pictures (a bit too much) so please bear with me. At the end, I will also be a bit generous with marks, but to be fair, this flight deserved it!
With that being said, I can start the report.
The flight details for you:
Flight number BA847
Route Warsaw Chopin - London Heathrow T5
Flight date 21st September 2020, 1150-1335 (actual 1200-1252)
Scheduled flight time 2:45 (actual 1:52)
Aircraft model Airbus A320neo
Aircraft registration G-TTNF
Seating configuration CY180 (4 rows = 16 seats in Club Europe)
Aircraft age (at the time of flight) 2 years
Seat number 2F
Departure gate 21N (jet bridge)
Arrival gate A19 (jet bridge)
Load factor (approx.) Euro Traveller 95-100%, Club Europe 85%
A day before departure I received that email from BA. Normally, I won't be happy with my flight being busy… but nowadays it's actually quite reassuring that the flights are getting busier.
My trip started in the morning on Monday, as I wanted to have lot of time to both say goodbye to my parents and enjoy all the business class perks at the airport ;) My parents drove me to the airport and I already knew this was going to be an amazing day. Beautiful sunny weather, clear skies and a wonderful flight perspective.
The parking in front of the airport seemed quite busy but it's the best place to stop your car for a while if the relatives want to wave you off.
I decided to take a photo of all my luggage - 65 kgs in total.
And my lovely luggage tags <3
Today, I'll be checking in in zone B. BA always has the same counters for check in at WAW. In terms of COVID measures, the body temperature of each person entering the terminal is still being checked BUT for a few days now, everyone can enter the terminal building (and not only passengers as it was previously). As you can see, I arrived at the terminal quite early, the check in was still closed but it opened exactly on time, at 0950.
I joined the priority queue this morning and if you look at picture 3, showing the queue for Euro Traveller check in, it was a great perk of flying Club! The queue to Economy check in was around 1 hour long if you were the last person. And it was not even because they didn't open enough counters (they opened 4 which is more than they usually do for BA). It's because everyone arrived at the same time, at 9:50… But anyway, I didn't bother this time. I said goodbye to my parents and proceeded to the security check which was quick. Although the agent was extremely unpleasant. Btw. no fast track for BA in Warsaw.
Most (but not all) shops and restaurants remain open in Warsaw. And the choice is actually wide with cheaper and more expensive options available. I can clearly recommend you The Flame Restaurant in the last picture. I didn't go there today, actually. Instead, I headed downstairs to the Preludium lounge - which you can now use as a BA business class traveller (pre-COVID you'd use Bolero lounge in the non-Schengen area).
Preludium is one of the 2 currently (end of September 2020) opened lounges at WAW, alongside Polonez which is dedicated to LOT passengers. The entrance to the lounge is ok but the welcome agents didn't seem too friendly. The lounge itself is cosy and welcoming, although it doesn't have any windows and the ceilings are quite low.
The toilet area and the seating area - both are actually nicely designed, especially the latter one. I especially like the half-partitions and the real moss (not fake!!). There was also plenty of comfortable seating places and not too many guests so I could take a few pictures :)
The buffet has been adapted to COVID times. All the food is pre-packaged and there are no hot meal options, which is a pity. Apparently, the sweets and drinks menu were wide. I went for the non-vegetarian option which included different cold cuts. To place your order, you need to tell it to a very friendly lady at the bar and she prepares it on one tray which you can later take to your chosen table.
And that's my table, next to the lovely moss-wall and with a view on the TV (although I'd prefer a view on the apron). The food was hmm… the cold cuts were okay, breakfast paste tasty and vegetables fresh. But the bread was stale and even a little warm food accent would be appreciated. At least we could still have metal cutlery and real glasses and cups for drinks :)
And here's a some information on the real moss in the lounge, although only in polish :(
In terms of WiFi in the lounge, it was working pretty much fine. Other facilities/services didn't really exist. No newspapers because of COVID although you can download ePress, the showers weren't working as well.
At 11:10, it was time to leave the lounge. And although the FIDS monitors didn't showed it (for some reason?), the boarding has already commenced when I got to the gate. In those strange times, there is however no priority for Club Europe passengers and everyone was boarded in 3 groups: rows 21-30, 11-20, 1-10.
As I went towards my gate, I could see how empty or even stranded WAW was that day! Some shops and areas were closed as well. After an additional check at the Schengen border, I directly proceeded to my gate 21N which was conveniently located and had quite a big gate area.
That's the best picture of our jet that I could take, unfortunately. Although it's beautiful anyway, isn't it. I love the BA's livery, especially when the paint is fresh and glossy like it was here!
The gate area itself. I have to say, the boarding was well-organised, no gate lice whatsoever. The staff from WAW also made sure everyone boarded in the right group, great :)
Finally it Wass time to join the queue in the jet bridge. Passengers seemed to keep more distance than they usually would but that's still not 2 metres. But anyway, nice views on LOT's Dreamliners as I entered the glass part of the jetty. The Dreamliner on photo 3 is actually SP-LRG, the one I was flying to Nice, a month earlier.
When I stepped on board, I could sense a really friendly atmosphere… I already knew it's going to be an absolutely amazing flight. Out of excitation, I said to the crew at the door, Curt and Jack, something like "Hello, it's really nice to see you" - I could see them being really happy as well. Jack was giving out self-protection pack in a basket. I helped myself, of course.
A quick look at the seat area: you'll perhaps all be familiar with those older types Pinnacle seats at BA. I actually like them a lot. Thats because of their stylish design (including BA's logo on the headrests), comfortable padding, coat hooks, big tray tables and of course the adjustable headrests, that actually stay in place. Club Europe also has white, fresh and clean antimacassars on the headrests. The legroom, although isn't perfect, was more than enough for me on this 2-hour flight (I'm 1.87m).
You'll also be aware that in BA's Neo aircrafts, including this one, all the seats from the middle towards the back are slimline Recaro seats which are a big downgrade. But fortunately, I only had the dubious pleasure to try them once, and not this time ;)
At first I was seated in 3D next to a not very talkative British lady. But I will later on be reseated. Wait for it.
The personal protection pack given out at the entrance included: a plastic bag to store the face mask if unused, an antibacterial towel to clean seat areas and hand sanitiser gel. Decent offering in my opinion. No hot towel service in business however - the antibacterial stuff is supposed to be a substitute.
As we started our short taxi to RWY 19 (quite unusually), the crew did the safety demonstration manually (no overhead monitors in the Neo aircrafts). Curt (customer service manager) did the demonstration for Club Europe and two other stewards in the Economy cabin.
The takeoff was just 10 mins behind our schedule and was also very smooth, and quick - judging on our load today (full airplane plus nearly everyone had a checked luggage, or 2 like me). Unfortunately, I had an aisle seat because I knew I would stand up quite a lot during the flight to take some pictures etc. and I didn't want to bother others. So it was hard to capture the take off. Those are the best photos that I could take.
Immediately once the seatbelts sign was switched off, I went straight to the front lavatory to check its condition at the beginning of the flight. On my way, I also exchanged a few smiles with the crew… I was in a really good mood that day!
The lavatory, actually felt premium, even though it was pretty standard. But the dark grey parts and wooden-like floor did make a difference. It was also impeccably clean - it was definitely cleaned after the previous sector LHR to WAW, despite the short 50 mins turnaround. Needless to say, the size of the front toilet in A320neos is also much better then that of the rear ones which are absolutely tiny. In terms of amenities, there were 2 types of soaps (the regular BA soap and one from The White Company) and a hand cream from The White Company as well. All in all, good job here, BA.
When I came back from the toilet, the lady seating next to me, decided to go there as well so I sneaked quickly into the window seat to take a wing shot… and I don't regret it ;)
Suddenly, when I was taking those pictures, Curt, the customer service manager came to me and offered me a seat in row 2, saying the whole row is vacant. I didn't hesitate with this decision. Quite surprisingly, he also asked whether I am from the BA crew :) I had to deny, unfortunately but I said I'm an aviation enthusiast and that's my 100th flight… to make things clear!
So yeah, I was reseated to row 2 and from then on I kept enjoying the flight with the whole row to myself.
As we reached the cruising altitude, the curtains behind Business class were closed and the WiFi & in-seat power were turned on.
A universal power outlet and an USB were provided at the seats in Club section. And although you only should use them while using the device being charged, the power outlets proved useful anyway and are a nice additive when the overhead monitors are not available.
About 15 mins into the flight, the crew started onboard service which is of course adjusted "due to COVID" but it was still very decent. Moreover, it was really efficient and professional. Curt greeted every passenger and served the pre-packaged food box, whereas Jack gave us a little snack and drinks from the bar.
I really appreciate the personal service from the cabin manager. "Hello Mr. XXX, how are you. Would you like a chicken caesar sandwich or a ham&cheese croissant?". And as they knew I only booked the oneway flight, he also asked me how long I'm staying in London for. I was really impressed.
I could also hear how the lady behind me was greeted: "Hello Mrs. XXX, it's nice to see you back on board etc." so was presumably her return flight, back to LHR. I would also like to point out that neither Curt nor Jack seemed fake with their courtesy and kindness, they were very professional.
Ok, so now it's time to talk a bit about the food and drinks. As I said, normally on this route, you'd get a warm lunch with a starter and a dessert, served on porcelain. But the COVID offering was also very good, and I appreciate that although served in plastic and paper, they made an effort so that it looks premium(ish).
1. The starter: Greek yoghurt with some hot spices, chickpea, cherry tomato, tender stem broccoli, olive and a bit of parsley top - the taste was interesting and well-balanced. I liked it a lot.
2. The main: Chicken caesar sandwich with lettuce. It was amazingly fresh, succulent - absolutely very tasty and decent main course!
3. The dessert: Best part of the meal, in my opinion. A chocolate mousse - fluffy and irresistible, it actually seemed as if it had a bit of caramel in it as well.
4. Snack: Socca mix of nuts, very good actually, as well.
5. Drinks: The lunch box included a tiny 250ml bottle of water which I took with myself home. Apart from that, I went for a champagne (from Nicolas Feuillatte) and some coke with ice and lemon. I was actually offered a second bottle of champagne to take home, and even though I tried to refuse, Jack insisted that I take it :) So the drinks offer was wide as well.
To sum up, amazing job, DO&CO and British Airways!
After the lunch (or actually during the lunch as well) it was time to check out the WiFi service. It was only made available 15 mins after takeoff, so the first photo shows that WiFi is currently inactive. Later on, when it started to work, I decided to buy the messaging package for 2.99 pounds. The purchase was easy to do and the service was working really well, for what it was designed, i.e. messages (and not photos but that was clear from the description).
Even without the purchasing the internet package, you could access the information on estimated remaining and arrival time (although that was really inaccurate). The High Life magazine was also available in the section below - it actually had a more friendly format than the usual paper magazine, in my opinion.
So actually, I'd rate the entertainment high, despite the lack of overhead monitors, or personal IFE.
Oh… and I nearly forgot, I took a photo of my Boarding Pass as always. But BA should definitely work on their Boarding Pass design.
Later on inflight, the crew came to each passenger a few times to ask whether they need something else, and to collect empty bottles, glasses and packages - like before the COVID era, you couldn't feel any difference in the hospitality by BA crew, except for that they were wearing a mask, like all passengers.
I actually felt even more special, as Curt, the cabin manager came to myself to have a bit of a chat about my studies, aviation etc. I even asked if I could have a photo with them, the Club Europe crew, for my memory and they said sure yes! (I'm not posting the picture here for privacy reasons), but just to reiterate, they were very hospitable. We then had a chat in the galley, before we started descent. I even took their names down to write some good words on ba.com/thankyou. Literally the best crew I've ever had! Now, we also made friends on Facebook with one of them, and hopefully we'll stay in touch :)
Okay, but with the time flying so quickly, we already started our descent. I made a last visit to the toilet, which was still in a good condition and then took my seat. Amazing weather, so hopefully we will get some nice views of London.
Just a few more looks at the seats: that's the recline - not that big but surely enough for a short haul flight. Although I never tend to recline my seat as I'm never sleeping on short hauls.
The headrest: is just beautiful - with or without the antimacassar. Plus ver firm and stays in place once adjusted.
The coat hook: always proves to be useful, and is actually located in a perfect place between the seats.
But it was already time to start the final approach into London Heathrow. Very smooth landing this afternoon and good landing path with amazing views over central London. I'm glad I sat on the right hand side and of course that I was allowed to change to a window seat :)
Some last shots before the touchdown - Kew Gardens and the BA maintenance sheds ant LHR.
And we landed at 1252, good 40 mins ahead of schedule, unbelievable for a flight to LHR and especially a full flight! A pleasant surprise.
Lots of different BA jets parked at the LHR T5.
The A350 at T5B, looks amazing in the BA livery. Hopefully, I'll be able to fly it soon. We parked however at T5A, gate A19 at a jet bridge which was convenient. The deplaning was really well-organised and everyone was asked to leave the aircraft in groups of 5 rows (and people really adhered to that!).
I was one of the first to leave the jet. Last smile exchanged with the crew, a nice "See you soon, hopefully" and I was ready to continue my journey.
Quite a few smaller jets parked at T5A, with G-NEOU A321neo in the front.
Immigration waiting time was okay, around 5 mins (I used the eGates), however I'd approximate the waiting time in the non-EU queue for 1.5 hours roughly.
The only bad experience that day was with the luggage reclaim. And although I love Heathrow, they didn't do a good job here, unfortunately. The first bags arrived about 40 mins after landing and surprisingly the delivery started with Economy luggage, followed then by Club Europe bags - quite contrary to what should have happened. :(
This was the first time, I waited for my luggage so long at Heathrow, and hopefully the last one!
I had some time to spare before my bus departure but Heathrow T5 is a nice place to wait at, especially in that beautiful weather, so I didn't mind!
Many of those destinations still waiting for me!!!
This priority tag is out of focus not without a reason, it was useless today.
So here, I need to finish my wonderful 100th flight experience report. Hopefully, the second hundred will be even more exciting and hopefully some more long-hauls coming soon as well.
Thanks for reading and experiencing my 100th flight with me
See you soon
What may seem a regular European Business Class flight, actually turned into an exquisite 100th flight experience, even in times of COVID. Even though I was already a BA fan before, this flight reassured me that flying with them is a sheer enjoyment and they surely will keep the status of the second best European airline for me.
Thank you, BA, for a professional, amazingly pleasant and spotless journey. You really made me feel special. Those points above are not far-fetched.