Review of British Airways flight London Toulouse in Business

Airline British Airways
Flight BA378
Class Business
Seat --
Aircraft Airbus A321neo
Flight time 01:50
Take-off 27 Dec 23, 13:25
Arrival at 27 Dec 23, 16:15
BA   #62 out of 94 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 963 reviews
KévinDC
By SILVER 443
Published on 25th March 2024

Introduction


Welcome to the third review in this transatlantic series of flights. 

Like every year, we flew back to Europe for the Holidays. After making a few days' pit stop on the East Coast, we continued on to the Motherland via London, as we so often do. 


routing


Reviews in this series:


Routing


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transit & lounge


Getting off the flight from New York, I received a notification from BA that our connecting flight to Toulouse was running about a half hour behind. No big deal and I'm always thankful when the BA app actually works, considering how so very buggy it is. 


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Needless to say we were in no rush. Transit security was pleasantly uncrowded and we were through quickly using the far right lane with the new machines allowing all liquids and electronics to remain inside cabin baggage. 


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We made our way to the South Lounges, going through the usual nonsensical routing taking us downstairs to the main level to force passing through the shopping area before taking the escalators back to the same level we were to end up barely 100 metres from where we started. 


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There was an impressive long mural or original artwork created for the Holidays between the Galleries First Lounge and the Elemis Spa. Just gorgeous!


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The famous horse lamps were all dressed up for Christmas. 


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It wasn't terribly crowded on this Wednesday afternoon between Christmas and the New Year. It was apparent that they'd rearranged the seating again. Even though we come through here regularly and had been through less than 2 months earlier, they seem to change the layout and seating configuration every time we're through. It appeared to be a little less dense this time, which was nice. 


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It was nice to grab an English breakfast in the lounge as I'd skipped breakfast on the flight from New York to maximise sleep. 


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As usual, our son spent some time playing in the children's area. 


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Our flight to Toulouse was no longer showing delayed. Checking on Flightradar24 it seems there was a tail swap that moved us back on time. We were lucky as there were quite a few delays and cancellations due to the stormy weather. 


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boarding


As the flight had moved back on time, we headed to the gate for the regular boarding time and boarding began just a few minutes later.


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As is often the case in Heathrow, we were waived to the podium to pre-board with our child. We never ask to pre-board as we already have Group 1 boarding, but it's always nice to be asked by proactive gate agents in London.


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The Club Europe cabin was surprisingly long that day with 11 or 12 rows. 


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As most are aware, seats in short-haul Business class on European carriers are generally the same as in Economy except that the middle seat is blocked and there may be an inch or two of extra legroom. Particular to the Airbus narrowbody NEO fleet, BA have fitted these newer aircraft with two different types of seats. In the forward rows, which may be used for Business class, you'll find the same seat model found throughout the BA A320 family CEO fleet, the Collins Aerospace (formerly B/E Aerospace) Pinnacle seat, which features upholstered leather, four-way adjustable headrests, better padding, AC power and USB ports. In the rear of the cabin, BA have installed very basic non-reclining Recaro SL3510 slimline seats with a tighter seat pitch–this seat model is more commonly seen on low-cost carriers. 

Legroom in Club Europe isn't great with 30-31" seat pitch, but still better than the 29-30" seat pitch further back in the Economy section with Recaro slimlines. 


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Another particularity of the BA NEO fleet is that they've removed the cocktail table between the seats in order to save weight. The tables will be re-introduced with new cabins coming later this year on newly delivered NEOs. 


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As mentioned, each seat in Club Europe has access to a 110v AC outlet as well as a USB-A port. Power isn't usually turned on until after takeoff as devices must remain unplugged from power during taxi, takeoff, and landing for safety reasons. 


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the flight


Despite the stormy weather we ended up pushing back on time.


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Views of Terminal 5 on takeoff. 


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The Wi-Fi was turned on once we reached 10,000ft in altitude on the climb out. 


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On these shorter flights, I find the Wi-Fi pricing to be a worse value than on long-haul flights with 1-hour passes starting at £4.99 and whole flight at £6.99. But I am glad that all BA narrowbodies are fitted with Wi-Fi as it comes in handy in many situations. 


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You can browse the High Life Shop and High Life Café from the Wi-Fi portal page.


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You can also find the local weather at destination on the main Wi-Fi page. 


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The in-flight service began shortly after levelling out with drinks. 


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There was no printed menu on this flight—which can be hit-or-miss on short-haul—but I remember there were 3 options. I went for the salmon, which was fresh and delicious. 


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catering is a bit lighter on these shorter flights under 1.5 hours, but still much better than anything you'd get in a premium cabin in the U.S. on a flight of comparable length. 

Christmas themed dessert. 


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Knowing there's no in-flight entertainment on BA narrowbodies, I always make sure to have some content downloaded. It would be really nice to see BA introduce streaming entertainment to personal devices in order to differentiate themselves from the Low-cost competition. 


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Although BA recently announced new cabins for upcoming deliveries of Airbus narrowbodies, the lack of device holders on those brand new cabins seems to indicate BA have no intention of adding streaming entertainment any time soon—though, hopefully I'm wrong about that. 

Always fun to catch an air-to-air–Looks like a Volotea A319 passing below us. 


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It was a very clear day allowing views all the way across France from our vantage point at 35,000 feet!


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Even though we were flying over the southwest of France we could see all the way to the Alps at the eastern edge of the country.

The first snowy peaks are the highest parts of the Massif Central, while the Alps can be seen on the horizon. It does not show up great on photos, but was much clearer to see with the naked eye. 


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Towards the end of the short flight, cabin crew distributed chocolates and thanked every passenger in the Club Europe cabin, which was a nice touch. 


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I'm very fond of the rolling hills and farms of the southwest of France, the region of my birth. 


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The beautiful historic city of Cahors seen as we began our descent into Toulouse. This small Medieval city is the capital of the Lot Department and the center of a wine region of the same name. The main varietal in Cahors wine is the Malbec grape, which has been popularised in recent years by the Argentinians. 


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The city of Montauban, one of the larger cities near Toulouse. 


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The river Garonne. 


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Views of the massive Airbus manufacturing facility as we landed. 


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We landed on time and arrived at the gate after a short taxi time. 


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Welcome to Toulouse "La ville rose"


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Verdict

British Airways

7.3/10
Cabin7.0
Cabin crew8.5
Entertainment/wifi6.0
Meal/catering7.5

British Airways Galleries First - 5A

7.8/10
Comfort8.0
Meal/catering7.5
Entertainment/wifi7.5
Services8.0

London - LHR

8.5/10
Efficiency8.0
Access8.5
Services8.5
Cleanliness9.0

Toulouse - TLS

8.1/10
Efficiency8.5
Access8.0
Services7.5
Cleanliness8.5

Conclusion

An overall good flight in Club Europe on this BA A321neo. The lack on central cocktail tables on the NEO fleet, makes the Club Europe experience feel a bit less premium, but service was very good and attentive as usual. Food being the main differentiator with Economy, I am rarely disappointed with BA's Do&Co catering in premium cabins. Even on short flights like this, there are quality ingredients and a decent wine selection. The only thing missing is some form of streaming in-flight entertainment to personal devices. More and more legacy carriers need to differentiate their product from Low-cost carriers, and IFE is one way to do that.

Information on the route London (LHR) Toulouse (TLS)

Les contributeurs de Flight-Report ont posté 6 avis concernant 1 compagnies sur la ligne London (LHR) → Toulouse (TLS).


Useful

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

La durée moyenne des vols est de 1 heures et 48 minutes.

  More information

2 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 647388 by
    NGO85 SILVER 1972 Comments
    Hi Kevin, thanks for sharing this FR!

    Our flight to Toulouse was no longer showing delayed. Checking on Flightradar24 it seems there was a tail swap that moved us back on time.

    Not often you see a delay reverted. I wonder how many people originating from LHR got caught out by this news having planned their arrival to the airport based on the communicated delay.

    Views of Terminal 5 on takeoff. 

    Always like seeing those long crazy jetways off the satellites to reach the distal gates.

    catering is a bit lighter on these shorter flights under 1.5 hours, but still much better than anything you'd get in a premium cabin in the U.S. on a flight of comparable length. 

    Yeah, AC is about as good as its going to get since they will at least cater almost all shorter trans-border flights. Do&Co catering looks excellent as always with a nicely presented salmon. They even have the Christmas themed napkins rings.

    It would be really nice to see BA introduce streaming entertainment to personal devices in order to differentiate themselves from the Low-cost competition. 

    It’s sad when Chinese carriers beat you to these type of things since they are usually 10 years behind the times when it comes to entertainment offerings.

    Great aerials on arrival into southern France on a sunny winter afternoon.
    • Comment 647555 by
      KévinDC TEAM SILVER AUTHOR 6718 Comments
      I wonder how many people originating from LHR got caught out by this news having planned their arrival to the airport based on the communicated delay.

      Yeah it's so rare and I'm always afraid of getting caught off guard by that so I usually show up earlier still just in case. Luckily it was only a half hour delay so I imagine not too many local originating pax were too late for the flight.

      Always like seeing those long crazy jetways off the satellites to reach the distal gates.

      They are soooo long! Flying from one of those gates feels like you'll never reach the end haha.

      Yeah, AC is about as good as its going to get since they will at least cater almost all shorter trans-border flights

      Yeah AC definitely does better than the US carriers. On any of the US3 you'd maybe get a snack basket, but probably not.

      It’s sad when Chinese carriers beat you to these type of things since they are usually 10 years behind the times when it comes to entertainment offerings.

      BA is still being run like an LCC having had 2 CEOs from LCCs in a row, you can feel that cost-cutting influence. I don't know why streaming IFE just hasn't taken off in Europe, whereas it's the norm in the US. Weirdly it seems the majority of airlines that do that it in Europe are LCCs or smaller regional airlines. Then there's the rando Discover Airlines narrowbody with actual seatback IFE (all other Discover narrowbodies have streaming IFE), so an LCC/Holiday subsidiary has better IFE offering than the parent carrier, same for Air Nostrum and Iberia Express who both have streaming IFE while mainline IB don't. EU legacy carriers need to do better in this space!

      Thanks for stopping by!

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