Review of British Airways flight Washington London in Business

Airline British Airways
Flight BA216
Class Business
Seat 9A
Aircraft Airbus A350-1000
Flight time 06:40
Take-off 30 Sep 23, 18:43
Arrival at 01 Oct 23, 06:23
BA   #62 out of 93 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 931 reviews
By 1212
Published on 5th November 2023

Hello and welcome to another trip report!

 For this one, I'm highlighting a completely new experience for me - I've flown domestic first class lots of times, business class on the AA A321T a few times, but this will be my first time (so far) flying internationally in a premium cabin.  And it's a good one, featuring BA's latest and greatest Club World Suite product.  Lets see what I thought on this trip to Barcelona!


  • BA216 : Washington (IAD) - London (LHR) : Business : Airbus A350-1000 You are here
  • BA484 : London (LHR) - Barcelona (BCN) : Business : Airbus A320 Coming soon

Dulles Airport

Despite having ridden the very first Metro train to serve Dulles airport in November 2022, my preference for National airport has meant that this trip would be the first time I've actually ridden Metro to catch a flight.  It's a fairly long trip, but you can't beat the $6-capped fare ($2 on weekends!) to get all the way to Dulles.  Top tip: if you're comfortable taking the escalators down with whatever luggage you have, board a car towards the back of the train (specifically the 6th car) and you'll exit right at the escalators on the airport platform.

The view from Metro of the main terminal is very impressive.

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After arriving on Metro, it's about a 10 minute walk to checkin. The Metro entrance is connected to an underground walkway that connects one of the parking garages to the terminal (the walkway has moving sidewalks). The British Airways check-in area is towards the west end of the main terminal, right near the escalators up from the arrivals level if you go right at the Y coming from Metro.

The agent in the priority line quickly tagged my checked bag through to Barcelona, and told me where the BA lounge was located.

Heading for pre-check.

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Luckily I had arrived pretty early for my flight, as I had yet another poor experience with the TSA's fancy new bag scanning machines. The bag before mine in the queue got stuck in the machine - and this happens often enough that every machine has a boat hook on stand by to fish out bags to send back through.  I think I waited about 20 minutes for my bag to be screened after walking through the x-ray machine.

With some extra time in hand, I decided to walk to the A/B concourse rather than take the train.  This affords some good plane spotting opportunities, including G-XWBD which had just arrived on-time from London.

The A/B concourse (except the lower-level A gates) is a bright and open area.

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BA Galleries Lounge, Dulles

I made my way pretty much directly to the BA lounge, which is in the concourse B atrium, where the escalators from the train come up to concourse level.  I presented my boarding pass and quickly entered the lounge.

I had been in this lounge once before, in February 2020 via Priority Pass.  On that occasion, the ramp-facing part of the lounge was blocked off, so this time I made a beeline over there, and immediately got some great aircraft views.

The food offerings were quite good in my opinion.  The buffet had a substantial spread, the drink options were quite extensive, and the a-la-carte ordering worked well via a QR code on the table - the crab cake was delicious.

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About 15 minutes prior to boarding time, I left the lounge and meandered around the concourse a bit before heading to gate B42.


I was bit surprised that BA's boarding process used so many different physical barriers to separate the groups. As an AA flyer, I'm used to having a million boarding groups, but AA only has two physical lanes. As one of the BA flights to Dulles at the time was operated by an A380, the boarding sign posts also included "upper" and "lower" deck, which I thought was interesting. Club World boards with group 2, and since the A350 does not have an F cabin, the only passengers in group 1 were top-tier OneWorld emeralds.  

Groups 1 and 2 boarded at gate B42, while I believe all other groups boarded at B44. This meant that there were two distinct boarding areas, to effectively utilize the dual jet bridges, which was nice.

This was my first time experience boarding using my face rather than a boarding pass. While still weird to me, it worked seamlessly and I was quickly into the jet bridge.

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Entering through the 1L door, I was immediately struck by how nice the entire cabin seemed. It was bright and airy, and I really enjoyed the color palette the BA chose for the Club World cabin.

However, once I made it to my seat (9A), I was a bit disappointed to have my first impression be a cabinet that refused to close because the latch was broken.  Bummer.  I know the cabin is going on four years old, but it was still not a great look.

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At my seat were a pillow, blanket, menu, amenity kit, and a bottle of water.  Just like my experience on the A321T with AA, the immediate problem is where to put all this stuff. Having stored both my backpack and carry-on bag in the overhead bins, I was able to put the headphones in one of the side cubbies, menu tucked in above the broken cabinet, and bedding beneath the ottoman.

I also hadn't realized in reading other reports about this cabin that it features a shoulder-strap seat belt. This was my first experience with that on a plane.

The crew member who would be serving me on the flight came around and introduced themselves to me, which I thought was a nice touch.  Pre-departure beverages were offered, with a choice of orange juice or champagne - I went with champagne.

A look at cabin during boarding.

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One benefit of the window seats in row 9 is that you get two full windows.

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While boarding was concluding, the cabin crew came through the cabin to take drink and meal orders for the flight, and ask if I'd like to be woken up for breakfast in the morning.  So, lets take a look at the menu:

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The final safety check included a few new things for me. Cabin crew ensured that shoulder harnesses were properly secured and that the suite door was properly locked open.  With those checks done, we pushed back a few minutes behind schedule.


Departure this evening would be from runway 1R. During taxi we passed by a relatively new addition to the Dulles flight line up (Play Airlines) and a beautiful Etihad 787.

Another view of the cabin. I really like the BA logo on the forward bulkhead.

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One of Air France's daily flights heading out to CDG.

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And directly before us, a United 767 departing for Geneva, Switzerland.

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And with a wonderful growl from the Rolls Royce powerplants, we were off!

Looked like there was an A400M parked on one of the cargo ramps. Always some interesting aircraft around Dulles!

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We took a few meandering turns over Northern Virginia as the sun started to set in the west. I was mesmerized by the view. 

In Flight

After departure, I explored one of the main features of the new Club World Suite - the door.  In my opinion its a gimmick - but a very nice gimmick.  I say that because as you walk down the aisle towards the back of the cabin, you can stare directly down at people, even when they're reclined.  Yes its a nice touch and definitely better than not having a door, but its not exactly an enclosed suite. I think its telling that even though I was excited about the door, I didn't take a single picture of it.

After messing with the door, I got more acquainted with the IFE system. There was an absolute ton of content to pick from - I decided to finish Interstellar, which I had started on an American flight earlier this year but never finished.

Service started with nuts and my selection of after-takeoff drink - a gin and tonic.

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Meal service started a bit after the initial round of drinks. With dinner I tried the Speedbird IPA, which I enjoyed.

I selected the Carrot soup as my starter, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

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I selected the short rib as my main - it was also quite good although the picture doesn't do it justice.

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And finally, I finished with the chocolate lava cake for dessert.

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All in all, I was quite impressed by the food on this flight. I just wish the entire meal service had been a bit quicker. It took almost two and a half hours after takeoff for the entire service to be completed which definitely cut into sleep time.

Either way, the timing worked out well as Interstellar is a rather long movie. Service finished at about the same time as the movie, and it was off to bed.

I slept rather well - about 3 hours total. The bed is comfortable, and I had enough bed length for my 190cm (6'3") self.


Before takeoff, I had requested to be awoken for breakfast service.  The crew woke me up about an hour before we were expected to land and offered me the breakfast choices.  I went with the breakfast wrap and a coffee.

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A shot of the morning cabin mood lighting.

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The sun was just starting to rise to the east as we approached London.

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No holding patterns for us this morning - we were straight onto approach to runway 27R at Heathrow.

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We landed right on time and had a quick taxi to the C pier of Terminal 5.

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Deplaning was done via the L2 door.  The cabin crew was blocking the aft cabin from deplaning until the entire forward cabin had finished - so note that if you're booking a tighter connection.

Then it was off to flight connections in T5A via the train.

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And that's where I'll leave this report. I'll cover the Heathrow connection experience and BA Club Europe in the next one.

See more


British Airways

Cabin crew9.0

British Airways Galleries Lounge


Washington - IAD


London - LHR



BA really shined on this flight. The seat was very comfortable, the ground experience was quite nice, cabin crew were great, food was great, flight was on time ... I'm really not sure what else there is to say, this was an excellent flight.

The only small points to take off are for the broken cabinet latch in my seat. Everything else was excellent.

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

Les contributeurs de Flight-Report ont posté 11 avis concernant 2 compagnies sur la ligne Washington (IAD) → London (LHR).


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

La durée moyenne des vols est de 7 heures et 4 minutes.

  More information


If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 638988 by
    SDQBound 14 Comments
    Thanks for such a great report. I'm flying the same route in a few weeks, and wanted to ask you how was the connecting flight experience. Was the fast track line available or did you have to wait for a long time at security?
    • Comment 639033 by
      KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6427 Comments
      I transferred through LHR T5 just last week and Fast Track is open in the connecting flights hall, but once you go up the escalators it just dumps you at the regular security lanes. There are no dedicated Fast Track security lanes, so it doesn't really save you much time. Once upstairs at security I recommend using the security lanes on the far-right because they have the new system installed where you don't need to take anything out of your bags (leave liquids/gels/electronics in carryone). It makes a huge difference and goes super fast, even if there's a bit of a queue. All of the other security lanes have the old xray machines so you have to take everything out as normal and it takes forever. We got the new machines on the way out and were through in less than 5 minutes. We were forced to the regular lanes on the inbound leg and it took over 20 minutes to get through (which is pretty typical IME).
      • Comment 639034 by
        KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6427 Comments
        Note that this is for transit pax only--if you're coming from London from landside T5, there are dedicated Fast Track security lanes at both the North and South checkpoints...just not in the transit area
  • Comment 639032 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6427 Comments
    Great report! I love the BA 35K and it's become my shuttle to Europe from SAN. Club Suites are an enormous improvement over the old ying-yang Club World seats, and BA have really improved the catering since the end of the pandemic. My only problems with BA is their bad I.T. and how poorly they handle IRROPS in general. Other than that, BA and IB are my preference for TATL J.

    Thanks for sharing!

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