Gina Baksa reviews BA’s Club World business class from London Heathrow to Newark Liberty International Airport.
Let’s be honest, British Airways’ track record isn’t quite what it used to be. Has the ‘world’s favourite airline’ lost its lustre for good?
I’ve always enjoyed flying with BA and can remember feeling proud to be ‘flying the flag’… So I was hoping my return business class flights from London’s Heathrow to Newark wouldn’t be cause for another poor review.
Waiting until check-in before I could choose my complimentary seat was an initial bugbear. If you’re not a Gold or Silver member of BA’s Executive Club (like me) you do have the option of using your AVIOS to reserve a seat – or stump up £80! Bronze members can reserve a free seat a whole seven days before departure.
I arrived extra early at London Heathrow so I could make full use of BA’s Galleries Lounge at Terminal 5 – and received a complimentary 15-minute neck and shoulder massage at the Elemis Spa. There’s an extensive range of face, body and grooming treatments here and the staff were efficient and polite. My massage was very good.
The Galleries Lounge is divided into work, entertainment and eating zones and feels spacious and clean. And surprisingly calm. There’s a good selection of food for breakfast: fresh fruit, yoghurt, nuts croissants, toast as well wines, beers and even champagne. I especially liked the work zone which had a good printer, powers sockets and a number of headphones. Osborne and Little fabrics look smart and functional on the seating and there’s even a 20-seat cinema. After stocking up on breakfast and coffee I charged my phone, watched some videos and perused the magazines. A most relaxing and enjoyable start to my flight to Newark.
My plane was a 777 with a 2:2:2 configuration with seats slightly adjacent. I’d managed to secure Seat 14D (aisle) on check-in. However this felt very exposed, and the 17-inch monitor didn’t stay in position, so I jumped ship across to the adjacent E and F seats, which were both free and made the most of this cocoon-like space, activating the frosted screen and enjoying the space and privacy. Facing backwards was novel, but it felt great having my head higher than my feet. We were offered orange juice or Champagne before take-off.
The seats are easy to recline and move into a flatbed position (heaven). And the privacy screens are wonderful – you can be completely cut off from neighbouring distractions. My pillow was comfortable and there’s a seat cover as well as a blanket. It’s always fun checking out amenity kits. BA’s is produced by The White Company and contains the retailer’s Restore & Relax Spa Collection, as well as a soft jersey eye-mask. There was also a useful Spa Relax Pulse Point Oil which helped me relax, a Spa Restore Gentle Moisturiser skin-conditioning cream with Vitamin E and jojoba oil (actually very good and did make my skin feel softer), plus a Spa Lip balm which was is useful as my lips tend to dry out at altitude.