Review of British Airways flight Frankfurt London in Business

Airline British Airways
Flight BA903
Class Business
Seat 12D
Aircraft Airbus A380-800
Flight time 01:50
Take-off 21 Nov 21, 11:25
Arrival at 21 Nov 21, 12:15
BA   #62 out of 94 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 961 reviews
Matthevv
By 1758
Published on 17th December 2021

Before I start, just a little warning. In the last few reports I was enthusiastic about the new Speedbird Cafe offering at British Airways. Never again! Don't fall into the trap. I mean, if they deliver the order, it's fine, very tasty - but on my last flight they didn't load it onto the aircraft, and so I didn't get my order. Customer services refuse to refund the money, while it's obviously their fault. It's an ordeal to contact them.


Greetings!


Hello again,

A lot of BA reviews recently in Flight-Report, here is another one. My flight back from Frankfurt to Heathrow T5, on the A380 of course :) This time, I will give you a thorough review of the Club World cabin and also a bit more detail on the First cabin. Look out for the photos of empty Primeclass lounge at FRA as well.

Hope you'll enjoy! 


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Flight details:
Flight number BA903
Route Frankfurt T2 - London Heathrow T5
Flight date 21st November 2021, 1125-1215
Scheduled flight time 1:50
Aircraft model Airbus A380
Aircraft registration G-XLEF
Seating configuration F14C97W55Y303
Aircraft age (at the time of flight) 7.9 years
Seat number 12D/3K
Departure gate E2 (jet bridge)
Load factor (approx.) 25% 


frankfurt airport


Gloomy morning in Frankfurt, it was a gloomy weekend - to be specific. I took the S-Bahn from Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof to Frankfurt Airport (around 20-minute ride, for less than 6 Euros).


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The connection between the railway station and Terminal 2, from where my flight departed is not the most convenient - requires taking a super crowded shuttle bus. Did there not use to be a train connecting the terminals?

Terminal 2 didn't look particularly overcrowded, though there were a few passengers here and there. 


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And the longest queue was of course to whose check in…? Yes, you guessed it correctly! British Airways - they are notorious for super long check in queues anywhere else than at Heathrow.


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Soon after I arrived, someone came to manage the queue and divide it between Economy and Business passengers. Though I guess, the waiting time for either was still similar, and about 20 minutes.


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The check in agent for Business line was unkind and unhelpful. Forgot to inform passengers in front of me that they were downgraded to Economy. Forgot to print a boarding pass for me. No priority tag added on my luggage either. When asked whether the lounge is open, he said - I don't know but it's supposed to be Japanese Airlines lounge (yes, not JAPAN AIRLINES haha).

Then I got lost, joining the security check queue for Schengen departures. Turned out I had to go upstairs for my departure gate. What a day! But I finally managed to get to the airside.


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It wasn't particularly busy. In fact very empty. I walked towards JAL Sakura lounge, which was in the opposite direction from my gate, just to check if it's open. Though I was hopeless, OneWorld website said it only opens at 4pm, 3 hours before JAL flight.


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Of course it was closed. In fact, all airline-owned lounges were closed. How funny, that all private ones were open. Does the virus not infect in pay-to-use lounges?


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As a result, I decided to take one entrance off my Priority Pass account and use the Primeclass lounge. I wanted to eat breakfast and also had some work to do so I thought it was a good idea.


primeclass lounge at fra


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Very weird experience to start with. At the reception there was a man, who barely spoke any English. I had to switch to German which is only my third language, but still it worked better than English. The registration of my visit was performed on a piece of paper?! Not on a computer and we've got the 21st century. Now, 4 weeks later, the visit still hasn't been registered on my Priority Pass account. The lounge was absolutely stranded - 2 people inside and I was the third one.


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While the design is quite interesting, and I though I liked it at first, after 1.5 hours spent there I changed my mind. There's too much going on with the design, not particularly relaxing.



Now to the buffet, unfortunately, as it was breakfast time, only a limited selection of cold cuts, bread and croissants was available, alongside some pickled vegetables and drinks: tea, coffee, water, orange juice and alcohols (including sparkling wine free of charge).


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I opted for some cold cuts, tea and orange juice to fulfil my breakfast appetite.


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Interestingly, in the lounge there were still magazines from the early 2020, as well as this advertisement (look at the validity lol).


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Finally, here's a picture of FIDS for you. Not a very busy day at FRA T2.


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Soon it was time to leave the lounge to board the whale again! Security check is just before the gate for non-Schengen gates at FRA T2. The good news is that BA reintroduced priority boarding, so as a Club passenger I was able to board in group 1 and spend the few more minutes on the A380 :)



Although 2 jest bridges were attached, only one was in use. It was so hard to take a decent picture of the beast…


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At the entrance, I was greeted by James, the Inflight Manager and some more crew members. The boarding music was played, and it's not the Flower Duet as some people think. Its rather the Serenade for strings in E major from Antonín Dvořák (if you ever wondered).



Passing through one of the galleys to get to my seat 12D.


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And here it is, my seat for the next 1.5 hours more or less.


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And one more picture. It wasn't too easy to take pictures in the busy Club World cabin (47 out of 48 seats taken, the only free being next to me).


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I actually asked the IFM, whether I could sit in First for this short flight, since this cabin is so busy but he said he can't do this. They just let the two guys who had been downgraded to Economy, do this. But… stay tuned.

On the seats, there were waiting for us: noise cancelling headphones and a Flying Start envelope for any donations. 


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The seat itself unfortunately doesn't feature too much storage. I only found this little drawer, which I think Is supposed to be for shoes (?). I put my headset there.


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The screens are quite small and designed in a way that must be folded away for taxi, takeoff and landing.


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However, they were more responsive than these in Economy.


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And here's the legroom, unlimited. And that footrest, which is supposed to be the extension of a seat to give a bed. But unfortunately it was not the sturdiest…


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While people were still boarding I could spot one empty window seat (it will later be occupied) so I took the opportunity to take a picture of the massive wing.


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Because that's the only window view I will have later :(


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One more look at the seat cushion. Personally, I found it very comfortable.


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And the cabin overall with BA logo at the back.


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And the safety card:


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In the meantime we started taxiing, late as on the previous flight, but again - I didn't really mind - extra minutes on the A380! Takeoff was in the westerly direction. Wonderfully quiet and smooth… the A380. Let me show you some photos outside my "window".


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I was surprised how quickly after departure the fasten seatbelt signs were switched off - not even 5 minutes I think. I quickly went to the lavatory to wash my hands before the meal, which would be served shortly. The toilet was pretty standard, not that big, but it was clean.


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Clean and tidy but nothing extraordinary, looks like on many other airlines.


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A nice soap and hand cream from The White Company were present, like in all BA Business Class toilets.


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On the way back I took a photo of the whole downstairs Club cabin. Is it big? - Yes. But does it feel big? - not really, I don't know why but it's nice and spacious.


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I then took a look at the IFE content and started watching a show about some luxurious hotel up North in Scotland.


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The noise cancelling headphones working fine.


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Between the seats there are also little plastic dividers to give more privacy, but - to be honest, the look quite cheap. Don't you think so? 


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As it was a short flight, very quickly after departure the crew started service in Business Class - 4 crew members, each serving 2 seat strings. There was a choice between tapas and quinoa salad. There are no menus in Club Europe at the moment, but a friendly crew member did a good job explaining the options, and at the same time keeping up with the pace of the service!



I went for the quinoa salad served on cream cheese with some beetroots, radish, cucumbers and feta cheese. In addition, some warm bread (with olives I think). For dessert, a white chocolate mousse with strawberries. While the main course was very tasty, the dessert was a bit bland. To drink I opted for apple juice and champagne.


Once the general service was finished, the crew kept being attentive and continued to serve anyone who wanted some extra drinks. Can I just note at this point, that there is a serious issue with sturdiness of tray tables in these seats. Whereas mine could still hold the drinks, one of my neighbours unfortunately spilled a tonic because of this issue with the tray table.


Once the meal service was fully over, once again I joined the tour around the A380, mainly to experience the top deck again. First - trying to get some pictures of the wing… not easy! 


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We started from the front and continued towards the back. While the crew was happy to show us around, they weren't as enthusiastic as the ones we had two days earlier.

One of the upper deck business class cabins, felt less spacious than the one downstairs due to lower ceiling:


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And the Speedbird logo in the business cabin:


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Next - World Traveller Plus - the premium economy, which is veeeery large on this A380. To be honest, I think this section is bigger than the economy cabin sections. 


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While it looks premium, it doesn't look that much more premium than the regular economy, in my opinion.


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Behind premium economy there are 2 sections of regular economy, which I haven't taken pictures of. But I've got one of the downstairs economy. I met my fellow passengers from the previous flight. So I had a little chat with them before the final descent. A very kind and friendly British couple. I referred them to this website - If you're reading this, I hope you're well and I am sending greetings!


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Since we've started to approach the UK, I took my seat, but not for too long. The cabin manager approached me shortly and asked if I would like to sit in First for the landing (he asked a few more avgeeks from business cabin). The answer was easy. I grabbed my things and moved to seat 3K for the last 15 mins.


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Here is what a first class seat looks like:


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And this is my specific 3K. We were on the final approach, and I still kept playing with seat functions… I couldn't resist :P (well, I didn't make it a full lie-flat)


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There's a little table which extends to a sturdy, leather-covered tray table.


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And windows through which you can barely see anything, but they have nice fancy blinds.



I didn't notice when we made a 180-turn, but quite unexpectedly, we landed on RWY 09L, I expected landing in the opposite direction. This meant a longer taxi = more time spent on the A380 = more time spent in the first class.

We passed Terminal 3.


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To dock into our gate at Terminal 5C (the furthest satellite). We parked next to this G-ZBKM 787, not quite as good as our A380 ;)


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Disembarkation was carried out in small groups, starting with passengers seated in rows 1-4 (first class). For the first time ever, I was the first passenger to leave the aircraft! This ensured that I will be one of the first at border control and that I will make it on time for my train.

Just the last picture of the seat area: each seat has a little closet, which is definitely very convenient.


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When disembarking, I managed to take two more pictures of our jet. While not perfect, I wasn't able to take any better pics of it :(


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I then quickly ran down the escalators.


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To catch a shuttle train to Terminal 5A, where the border control is.


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Thankfully, as I was there quickly, there was no queue. But guess what… I waited for my luggage another 40 mins due to some system failure at Heathrow… It's not the first time my baggage delivery is delayed at LHR. But thankfully I made it on time for my train.


Thanks a lot for reading my both A380 short-haul reports. I hope you enjoyed them :)

Have a wonderful Christmas time and till soon.

Matthevv 

See more

Verdict

British Airways

8.5/10
Cabin9.5
Cabin crew7.5
Entertainment/wifi9.0
Meal/catering8.0

Frankfurt - FRA

6.2/10
Efficiency7.5
Access5.0
Services6.0
Cleanliness6.5

London - LHR

6.1/10
Efficiency3.5
Access6.0
Services7.5
Cleanliness7.5

Conclusion

Even though the flight and the cabin had their downsides, I rate them as a short-haul experience, hence the high notes.

Information on the route Frankfurt (FRA) London (LHR)

Les contributeurs de Flight-Report ont posté 27 avis concernant 2 compagnies sur la ligne Frankfurt (FRA) → London (LHR).


Useful

La compagnie qui obtient la meilleure moyenne est Lufthansa avec 7.3/10.

La durée moyenne des vols est de 1 heures et 45 minutes.

  More information

6 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 589355 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6712 Comments
    Fantasting report as always! So nice to keep seeing new reports on the BA A380

    I actually asked the IFM, whether I could sit in First for this short flight, since this cabin is so busy but he said he can't do this.

    LOL, it doesn't hurt to ask

    On the seats, there were waiting for us: noise cancelling headphones and a Flying Start envelope for any donations.

    It's nice that they actually give out noise-cancelling headphones on short-haul

    While it looks premium, it doesn't look that much more premium than the regular economy, in my opinion.

    Oh but the seats are sooo much more comfortable. The recline is very deep for a W seat and conducive to decent sleep on night flights in my experience, more so than other W cabins I've flown.

    The cabin manager approached me shortly and asked if I would like to sit in First for the landing (he asked a few more avgeeks from business cabin).

    That's awesome! I hope they were discrete about it so not to have any jealousy around haha

    Thankfully, as I was there quickly, there was no queue.

    That never happens, lucky you! I guess the e-gates were working for once. Seems they are broken every other day haha.

    Thank for sharing!
    • Comment 590983 by
      Matthevv AUTHOR 163 Comments
      Hi Kevin, thanks for your comment and apologies for delay replying.

      Oh but the seats are sooo much more comfortable. The recline is very deep for a W seat and conducive to decent sleep on night flights in my experience, more so than other W cabins I've flown.


      Oh, good to know for the future! I haven't actually sat in any of these W seats - the only cabin I haven't tried haha.

      That never happens, lucky you! I guess the e-gates were working for once


      Omg always some problems with these eGates - as you say I was lucky that time... but on the other hand the baggage sorting system was not working properly :P

      I wish you a Happy New Year!
      Mateusz
  • Comment 589390 by
    Jett Tyler GOLD 361 Comments
    Nice report of the BA Business Cabin on this Airbus A380!
    Hopefully it won't be long before we see these back in full swing on the long-haul network.
    • Comment 590984 by
      Matthevv AUTHOR 163 Comments
      Hi Jett!

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Hopefully it won't be long before we see these back in full swing on the long-haul network.


      Agree, hopefully things will only be getting better!

      All the best in the New Year,
      Mateusz
  • Comment 590960 by
    Chibcha SILVER 551 Comments
    The check in agent for Business line was unkind and unhelpful. Forgot to inform passengers in front of me that they were downgraded to Economy. Forgot to print a boarding pass for me. No priority tag added on my luggage either. When asked whether the lounge is open, he said - I don't know but it's supposed to be Japanese Airlines lounge (yes, not JAPAN AIRLINES haha).


    Something so simple as providing decent service at check-in can make or ruin your flight, at least make it a bittersweet experience. It's a shame BA is so lousy at this.

    At the entrance, I was greeted by James, the Inflight Manager and some more crew members. The boarding music was played, and it's not the Flower Duet as some people think. Its rather the Serenade for strings in E major from Antonín Dvořák (if you ever wondered).

    Now that's another level of mis-en-scene for boarding!

    Clean and tidy but nothing extraordinary, looks like on many other airlines.


    It looks way more premium than IB's on the A350s though!

    Since we've started to approach the UK, I took my seat, but not for too long. The cabin manager approached me shortly and asked if I would like to sit in First for the landing (he asked a few more avgeeks from business cabin). The answer was easy. I grabbed my things and moved to seat 3K for the last 15 mins.


    Again, lucky you! I wish I could have taken those flights between MAD and LHR...but I had to come to South America for the end of the year :(


    Thanks for sharing, it was quite a read for a short haul flight!
    • Comment 590985 by
      Matthevv AUTHOR 163 Comments
      Hello Chibcha and thank you for your comment,

      Something so simple as providing decent service at check-in can make or ruin your flight, at least make it a bittersweet experience. It's a shame BA is so lousy at this.


      At least at Heathrow they provide decent and kind service at check in (at least from my experience).

      I had to come to South America for the end of the year :(


      I hope you managed to get there without major problems... it's a bit complicated from some countries :P

      Take care and Happy New Year!

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