British Airways Club Europe Review 2019

British Airways Club Europe Review 2019



This was our first time flying on British airways Club Europe Business Class in 2019, so we had high expectations for this flight.

During our Review we will cover the BA Business class dedicated check-in zone, fast track security, BA club europe lounges, priority boarding, Catering, menu inc breakfast & lunch, seats, luggage & hand baggage allowance.

Using the Google Flights search facility, we found London to Tenerife at the lowest point on the price graph with availability was coming in at £330 each, a whopping £660 for the two of us. Time to switch to using avios points instead, availability in early March – 68k avios plus £98.00 Taxes, clicked and booked.

British Airways Club Europe flights in the regular BA Sales can be bagged for as little as £200 Return, per person. When you find a Club Europe flight that cheap we strongly recommend booking immediately as these sale fares sell out fast.

Another advantage of paying cash for Club Europe flights are you will be credited avios points for all flights and earn Tier Points from BA which after only two cash flights and earnt 300 x tier points will automatically gain your Bronze membership.

Gatwick to Tenerife flight map
Gatwick to Tenerife South flight map

Gatwick to Tenerife South is the only direct BA flights available in March from London taking approximately 4 hours, 20 mins consisting of 1,572 nautical miles using the Airbus A320 aircraft. Tenerife North is available from both Gatwick & Heathrow also but stops in Barcelona for 1.5 hours and the shortest flight takes approx 6 hours, 30 minutes.

BA Club Europe Dedicated Check-in Zones

BA Gatwick Dedicated Check-in
BA Gatwick Dedicated Check-in

When flying BA Business class in Europe, you receive as part of your flight package the use of the BA dedicated check-in zone.

From the main BA check in area,  we entered via an entrance signed as above. As we walked through we found ourselves in a queue awaiting service. Many Business Class luggage drop off booths were open and staffed but still some long queues.

We were directed to the First Class check-in booth on this occasion. The staff member was very attentive and chatty and attached a yellow First Class luggage label to our suitcases. Normally in Business Class you get an Orange luggage label which means your luggage receives priority within the baggage system.

BA Club Europe Fast Track Security

After our luggage drop off, we headed our way to the fast track security which is also part of your package if you fly BA Club Europe.

To find the fast track security lanes, you enter through the normal security area but then keep to the left through a dedicated fast track lane. There was one conveyor system for checking your hand baggage but the system worked efficiently and after only a few short minutes, we found ourselves already through. 

Normally, the security gate system at Gatwick can at times be long and a frustrating wait. Fast track security is definitely a benefit in our opinion and highly recommended.

Once through fast track security, we made our way to the BA Business Galleries Lounge, our full Review found by clicking here BA Gatwick Lounge

British Airways Club Europe Baggage Allowance



Checked in luggage allowance is 2 x 32kg baggage allowance per person. The hand baggage allowance is 1 x laptop bag of 23kg and 1 x cabin bag of 23kg.

Extra baggage in size & weight can be booked in but will incur additional charges.

Please refer to the BA Baggage allowance dedicated page below:

https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/information/baggage-essentials

Does BA Club Europe have lounge access?

All British Airways Club Europe flights automatically provide all passengers lounge access to any BA Business Class Lounge throughout Europe. These lounges will be either run by BA or by another airline in the One World Alliance.

Access to all BA Business Class Lounges Will have certain restrictions such as opening & closing times, some lounges will have restrictions on the amount of time can be spent in the lounges also.

BA Club Europe Priority Boarding

Also part of the Club Europe package is Priority boarding of the plane.

By the time we had reached our boarding gate we just caught a Tannoy message requesting that all Business class passengers to board the plane now. 

BA a320 priority boarding
BA CE A320 Priority Boarding

It appears that Short haul boarding is a lot quicker process than in Long haul.

Priority boarding is definitely a benefit in our opinion, just to be able to board the plane first gives you enough time to place your hand baggage away and be seated and settled before the bulk of passengers enter the same aisle.

British Airways Club Europe Cabin & Seats

As we entered the plane we were warmly greeted by the Cabin Crew who checked our tickets and directed us to our seat location/s in the front section of the plane.

On first impressions, the Club Europe Cabin looks exactly the same as in Economy.

There are no notable differences to us with the decor inside this Cabin unlike the differences between long haul Business & Economy class.

The real differences became apparent when we arrived at our seats.

The seat layout in Club Europe are the same as in economy consisting of three seats either side of the main aisle. However, the notable difference is that the centre seat is not used for a passenger, but utilised instead as a tray table.

This tray table in the centre seat enables passengers both sides to enjoy more width to stretch out and place cups / glasses or personal items on the table.

For a single traveller, this set up would also provide more privacy.

Club europe seats
BA Business Class Seats A320

We purposely choose seats as close to the front of the plane in the CE cabin as possible and managed to secure row 5, seats D/F.

This was due to us experiencing on our last BA Club World flight an unsatisfactory level of service by being unfortunately seated in the last row. It is common for meals to run out by the time the cabin crew have reached passengers in the last rows on BA.

If you’re not already aware, seat selection is not free even for Club Europe passengers.

To read our New article on whether you should pay or not to reserve BA Seats click here – BA Seat Selection. 

The legroom of the seats in Club Europe are 30 inches with a seat width of 17 inches. This according to the official information provided by British airways is the same as an economy class seat.

Club Europe cabins do not supply any in-Flight entertainment of any kind. We were a little surprised to discover this as we were on a flight lasting nearly 4.5 hours. 

Do you get food on BA Club Europe?

Yes, all BA Club Europe passengers receive a complimentary three course meal as part of their flight package. Meals will vary depending on the time of day at departure and the flights duration. 

Breakfast dining service can include hot, cooked food, cold selections and muesli or pastries. All breakfast servings come with tea or coffee or Champagne / Wines.

Usually all meals will be accompanied by fresh bread rolls & butter / fruit juices. Most flights will also serve Tea or Coffee separate servings with a snack.

British Airways Club Europe Menu

Our outbound flight departed Gatwick at 9.20am to Tenerife so was within the time slot of the Breakfast serving.

I had already indulged in a cooked breakfast that morning at the Hampton by Hilton hotel – Gatwick North review found here – Hampton Hilton Gatwick North so decided against the full English again and opted for a lighter breakfast of continental meats and cheeses.

This dish came with meats, egg, olives & selection of different cheese’s such as Brie & Mozzarella. Also accompanying the main dish was a fresh fruit salad and a shortcake style dessert with the usual Bread roll, butter & jam. We were also handed hot towels to clean and refresh our hands. 

BA CE Breakfast

My wife choose the Omelette which came with mushrooms, a cooked tomato and potato style Rosti.

This was also accompanied by the same fruit salad and a cheesecake style dessert. My wife enjoyed the Omelette, I tasted some and was impressed.

Both our breakfasts were served with either fresh coffee or Twinings tea.

BA Club Europe Omelete breakfast

On our return flights from TFS, we were on the afternoon service so had the opportunity to experience the Club Europe lunch menu.

On this occasion, I opted for the Beef Massaman curry and my wife choose the macaroni cheese.

British Airways Club lunch

I found the Massaman Beef curry actually quite good and tasty. It used a creamy style, mild curry sauce with braising style beef chunks and a Khichdi rice with vegetables.

This dish also came with antipasti including stuffed peppers with feta, olives and Sun dried tomatoes. A dish of a selection of cheese which were delicious including Somerset brie and coastal cheddar, black grapes & crackers then for dessert an Orchard fruit crisp.

BA Europe Business Class lunch

My wife enjoyed the macaroni cheese pasta dish. I also sampled some and was impressed for a pasta style dish on a plane, not dry and chewy.

Her meal also came with the antipasti, cheese selection and Orchard fruit crisp dessert, all accompanied by a bread roll and butter.

All meals were served up on Bone China crockery and accompanied by steel BA branded cutlery with Dining menus provided to all passengers in this Cabin.

Club Europe Drinks & Refreshments

Before departure, drinks were offered to all passengers by the Cabin Crew. This included any soft drink, spirits, still wine or Champagne. All drinks are served in BA branded glassware. 

I still like to take every opportunity to have a glass or two of Champagne either in the Lounge, pre-departure or during the flight.

During lunch I decided to try the White Chardonnay which I found pleasantly drinkable.

Tea by Twinings and Union roast coffee was regularly offered by the cabin crew to all the Club Europe passengers.

BA Club Europe drinks menu

BA Club Europe In-Flight Cabin Crew Service

BA cabin crew service in our experience is unpredictable.

On one flight you can experience a great cabin crew, then on another flight can be not so good which we feel is a real shame and does not portray we feel the correct customer service level to all BA passengers.

On our outbound flight the cabin crew were just ok, they completed the basics of their job and nothing else.

On our return flight,we experienced a much more customer focused crew with an on-board cabin crew manager present. The cabin crew manager made conversation with every passenger on our flight whilst serving customers with a smile.

We struck up a conversation with the Cabin crew manager during our flight on a few occasions and he shook my hand and wished me an onward pleasant journey when we departed the plane.

BA Club Europe Benefits vs BA Economy Class

Flying on British Airways Club Europe does certainly come with some Perks.

In comparison to Economy class on the same flight we received a better seat in our opinion. This was due to the layout of our seats with the middle seat reserved by a tray table. Just having the tray table located in the middle seat provided us both extra space to relax, spread out a bit rather than almost rub shoulders with a stranger if were seated in Economy class.

The Club Europe Dining options were in our opinion actually quite good including a 3 Course Meal & Drinks inc Champagne.

In Economy you have to buy your food which includes sandwiches, snacks & drinks and that is if your lucky and your sandwich or snack has not run out.

Club Europe providing Business Lounge access at Gatwick on British Airways Airways is definitely a big bonus.

You gain complimentary access to the prestigious BA Galleries South Lounge, economy class receives no lounge access unless you pay £25.00 each and with paying you do not get access to BA Gatwick South lounge, but a lounge nearby and not as good in our opinion.

Club Europe passengers receive priority boarding, economy class passengers have to wait until Business class passengers have boarded and settled.

Flying BA Club Europe can cost as little as £200 per person, Return.

This Business class flight will also come with extra Tier Points & additional BA Avios Points.

After only 2 Club Europe flights at 80 TP’s each way on the longer european routes, you will receive automatic British airways executive club Bronze membership which provides free seat selection 7 days before departure and an increased avios point earning level.

When you take into consideration all the extras associated with BA Business Class,Club Europe including free BA Lounge access &  Priority Boarding, dedicated check-in, additional luggage allowances at 2 x 32kg each, 3 Course Meals, Free drinks and more room in your seat allocation you can start to see why it is worth paying extra.

In our opinion there are not a lot of difference in the prices between Economy & Business Class.

Our Verdict / Recommendations on Club Europe

British airways Club Europe is “as good as it gets” for BA short-haul European flights unless your lucky enough to be flying on one of the very few, long haul aircraft used on some European routes in which case you would be lucky enough to be sitting instead in a Club World cabin.

The cabin & seats are the same as in Economy except for the middle seat being reserved & used for a tray table. The real difference is the meal & drinks selection served and being seated in the front cabin of the plane, fast track security, priority boarding & the extra baggage allowances and don’t forget access to the Premium Business Class Lounges throughout Europe.

Is it worth paying extra?

This all depends on how much you place a value on those extra benefits you receive in Business Class towards Economy.

We will always go out of our way to fly Club Europe now if flying short-haul but would always research the cheapest way possible. Remember we only paid 68k avios points plus £98.00 in taxes towards a cash fare price of £660, this makes 68k avios valued at £562 in our eyes.

If you would like to learn how to earn almost 50% of the avios points required to fly direct to Tenerife just by signing up for a UK credit card, please click the link provided here Amex Preferred Rewards Gold Card

Our other recommendations would be to keep an eye on the regular BA Flight sales for discounted business class flights as some bargains can be found.

Another option would be to always try a “Dummy Run” booking using BA Holidays. The dedicated holiday package site regularly displays packages potentially making the Club Europe flights cheaper than purchasing your basic flight & hotel separately.

We strongly recommend to Definitely reserve your seats as close to front of the cabin as possible as this almost guarantees that you will receive your preferred meal choice. 

If you have any questions or would like to express your opinion on Club Europe, please leave a comment below.

British Airways 777 Business Class Review 2019

British Airways 777 Business Class 

Review 2019




British Airways (BA) Club World, also known as Business Class on the 777 consists of 48 Lie Flat Beds located in a separate Cabin at the Front Section of the Plane on the Boeing 777-200. Club World was the highest cabin class on the 777-200 we flew as there are no First Class Cabin installed on this plane, Read on for our Full Review below.

Our British airways plane departed from London Gatwick to Male airport otherwise known as Velana International Airport, the exact Nautical miles for the entire journey is 5,290 mi.

BA London to Maldives route map
British Airways Club World 777 Gatwick to Maldives

British Airways only fly this route direct between October to March and the entire journey takes approximately 10 hours, 15 minutes. You can however fly from London to the Maldives every month of the year via one of the BA alliance member airlines such as Qatar but this will not be a direct flight, these routes make a stop over at Doha airport where you change planes to Male airport. 

The direct seasonal route fly’s three times a week from London Gatwick, departing on a Sunday, Wednesday and a Friday. These flights due to the departure time will land the following day at Malé airport. The return direct BA route from Male to Gatwick departs on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays and arrives the same day.

What does Business Class mean on British Airways 777?

British Airways Club World or otherwise known as BA Business Class is the next upgraded cabin class from Premium Economy. You receive dedicated Check-in desks at the airport, Lounge Access, Fast Track Security, Priority boarding, Premium dining with free Drinks including Wines / Champagne. A generous luggage allowance, White Company Amenity kit, White Company Mattress topper, Blanket and Pillow.

Club Kitchen access where you can help yourself to soft drinks, Crisps, Chocolates etc throughout your flight. Hand roasted Union coffee, In flight Entertainment with on demand controls, afternoon tea, Scones & Jam or Sandwiches.

Is British Airways Club World Same as Business class on 777?

British Airways Club World is the official airlines terminology for its long haul Business Class cabin. Passengers flying in Club World will receive free seat selection 24 hours before departure, lounge access at both outbound & inbound destinations. Priority boarding before Premium & Economy passengers, lie flat seats, three course dining & free Champagne / wines / spirits throughout the flights.

Club World Dedicated Airport Check-In:

On arrival at London Gatwick airport we made our way to the Dedicated Check-in desks with anticipation of starting our First ever Club World experience. We had already checked in online 24 hours prior to our departure and had managed to select a great pair of seats situated next to the Window / Aisle.

The dedicated British airways Check-in desks were fairly quiet, with only one couple in front of us so we didn’t have to wait long. As we approached the desk we were greeted professional by the Check-in staff with big smiles and friendly chat about our destination. We noticed that our luggage was attached with Bright Orange luggage labels. We believe the labels are part of the Priority package and your luggage is sorted and returned to you faster at your destinations.

BA Club World Business Class 777 Checked Baggage allowance

All Adult Passengers of British airways Club World receive a generous baggage allowance of 2 x 32kg checked in luggage per person.

BA 777 Business Class Hand Baggage allowance

All Club world customers are allowed one piece of hand luggage and one small additional item such as a handbag or laptop on board, both items can weigh up to 23kg each.

Dress Code Requirements in BA Club World:

After researching online and the Conditions on our Tickets, we could not find any stipulations over a Dress Code whilst travelling in CW. We dressed Smart but Casual, we noticed many people in our Cabin dressed for comfort wearing leggings, T-Shirts, Jeans and Trainers.

Does British Airways 777 Business Class have WiFi?

BA Club World Business Class does not offer at present a Wi-Fi service on all its flights. However, it has been stated by 2019 up to 90% of the aircraft fleet will be connected. All Passengers will be notified whilst on board if their flight is enabled for a Wi-Fi service and fees may be applied.

Business Class Gatwick South Lounge Access:

British Airways Galleries North Lounge Gatwick Review

To Read our Full Review on the BA Galleries Lounge, North Terminal at London Gatwick, Click Here – BA Galleries South Lounge Review.

777 Business Class Passenger Priority Boarding:

We spent a considerable amount of time in the BA Galleries Lounge enjoying the Free Champagne, Latte’s and indulging in the food on offer. After three hours, our Boarding Gate displayed our Flight number, it was finally time to make our way to the Boarding Zone area…

We arrived at our Boarding Zone and quickly noticed it was looking very crowded. We managed to locate some seating and waited to see what happened next. After about 15 minutes a message came across the Tannoy asking for all Club World passengers to now make their way to the Boarding desks. This was very different to sitting around for ages when your seated in Economy and was a very good benefit in our opinion.

Boarding the British Airways 777 Business Class Plane:

As we entered the 777 Business Class, we were directed Left by a Stewardess into the Club World Cabin. It was a pleasant experience to enter an empty Cabin and not have to navigate busy aisles with lots of people in the way putting hand luggage into the over head storage lockers. As it’s a small cabin in Club World it didn’t feel crowded or busy and we could easily find our seats and store away our hand baggage quickly. The Cabin gave a good first impression and had a Smart, Classy interior look & feel with Grey / Cream Panel fittings, large round lighting from the ceiling and Mood lighting throughout the Cabin.

What is a Club World Seat on the 777 British Airways?

Our 777 Business Class Lie Flat Seats were located towards the rear of the cabin. I had the pleasure on our Outbound journey of the Window seat which in my opinion is one of the best seats in this cabin.

You enter your personal seat area behind the seat paired with yours next to the Window. The Window Seat faced backwards which was a first for me. It felt a little strange sitting backwards on a Plane but after a few mins I felt accustomed to my surroundings already. The Window seat feels more like a Pod, it’s a very personal space as you are separated from the aisle by the seat paired with yours. The seat felt very large in comparisons to Economy or Premium Economy we had previously flown.

You have a separation, privacy screen between you and your pairing seat. This can be left down to chat or up for complete privacy. However, the Cabin Crew do ask for this to be in the down position when serving food / refreshments.

A fold away footstool is located at the end of your seating area. This acts as the final section when you make your seat into the fully flat-bed for sleeping. Fold away table, a compartment at the bottom for storing items during your flight & power sockets. The CW seat converts into a 183cm or 6ft long fully flat-bed. It comes with fully adjustable headrest and lumbar support. This was by far the most comfortable airline seat I had experienced so far.

BA CLUB WORLD 777 200 SEATS

For anyone who has never flown BA Club World 777 and not familiar with the layout of the cabin on the 777, the 48 Business Class seats on this plane are arranged in a 2-4-2 layout.

Consisting of 2 pair seats on the outside of either aisle, next to the windows. Then double seats immediately next to each other in the middle with a single Club World Seat attached each side to the middle pair.

The layout for a first time flyer in CW is somewhat unusual due to some seats facing backwards and some forward facing for the aisle seats. For couples travelling together then the middle seats are probably best as your seated immediately next to each other.

Unfortunately, due to the configuration of the seats you will have to climb over passengers legs or feet unless your seated at the rear of the plane. This can be interesting if the other passenger have their seat fully extended position and you need the toilet. 

Quickly after sitting down, a Steward made their way though the Club World Cabin handing out glasses of Champagne. On the seat, when we arrived there was a pair of Noise-cancelling headphones, White Company blanket, mattress topper and pillow as our flight was overnight.

BA White Company Amenity kit

Also we were handed a new style BA Amenity Kit made by the White Company of London. This Amenity kit came in a small, black leather effect holdal. It resembles to me a large, make up bag with contents including a Toothbrush, Toothpaste, eye mask, flight socks, Elemis toiletries such as lip balm, moisturizer etc.

British Airways 777 Business Class Dining

The Food in CW are all served up on Bone China Crockery accompanied by real Cutlery. Tea & Coffee are all served in China cups with saucers and all drinks served in glassware.

About an hour into our journey we were handed the In-Flight Dining Menu. These Menu’s looked similar to what you receive in a Restaurant, Club World Branding and a full description of each selection with an extensive Drinks list.

I opted for a Smoked Salmon starter, it came up beautifully presented with a small side salad and dressing. I found this dish tasty and certainly a massive step up from any food I had ever experienced on a plane before.

Premium dining on board – Smoked Salmon Starter

For my Mains I opted for the Steak with a Peppercorn sauce, New Potatoes & Seasonal Vegetables with a bread roll of choice & Butter. This arrived promptly and looked on First Impressions very appetising. The Steak was a disappointment, to me it tasted just like Braising Steak which had been boiled in Liquid, not the quality of steak i expected in this class of cabin.

For Dessert I choose the Milk Chocolate with a Passion Fruit crisp with Chocolate sauce. This was Tasty and the Passion Fruit crisp refreshing. Very well presented accompanied by a lovely glass of white wine.

Tea or Coffee was served during the Dinner Service and Drink orders taken.

Overall, my opinion of the Dinner Service was Good except for the below average steak served as part of the Main course.

The next Course due to our Flight being Overnight was the Breakfast Serving. Feeling still a little bloated from the Three course Meal the night before, Instead of a cooked Breakfast i decided to opt for the Muesli with a Berry Compote. This was pleasant and very creamy in texture. Union roast coffee was served and Orange juice.

BA 777 In-Flight Entertainment (IFE):

BA Club World In Flight Entertainment

The In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) in Business Class 777 consists of a flat screen with touch controls or can be used in conjunction with a separate controller which stores away neatly next to your seat. The controller is connected by a retractable cable so can be a little temperamental to use so I stuck to using the touch screen for most of the journey.

You have a selection of hundreds of films, Documentaries, Music, Audio Books and episodes of popular TV series to choose from. I quickly scanned the Movies section under Latest Releases and found a Movie Blockbuster just out on release in the UK. The screens in my opinion could be upgraded to a better Clarity but they served the Movies fairly well with no interruptions to service & worked seamlessly with the Noise Cancelling headphones provided.

After the Movie, I used the Popular sections and found a number of my favourite sitcom’s and even Watched clips of the Glastonbury Music Festival.

I also used the IFE screen to watch the Flight Map regularly which displayed our route and our current location. It’s interesting to fly above countries of the world you have never visited and good to see the Flight duration left until destination.

Morning View from my CW Window

With only a few hours left until we touched down at Male Airport in the Maldives, the Sun was rising and the distant sounds and smells of Breakfast filled the cabin. A flurry of activity from the Cabin Crew taking Tea & Coffee orders and then Breakfast requests.

Breakfast was over fairly quickly and we settled into our last hour until our destination. This last hour I found to be a great opportunity to get ready for arrival. I got changed in the CW toilets which are of a good size and have quality Elemis Hand wash and Hand Moisturisers. A quick freshen up and I was ready for the Maldives.

On arrival, the Club World Cabin passengers were allowed to leave the plane first to board the airport shuttle buses.

Our Opinion / Verdict on the BA 777 Business Class

This was our first ever BA Club World Business Class flight taken on the 777,  the highest class of cabin we had flown up to this point was BA Premium Economy. We had extremely high expectations of the Club World experience and on the whole we would recommend CW to anyone flying Long Haul.

However, we did take a closer look at the Cabin interiors in Business Class and our Seating areas and we did notice signs of ageing and wear and tear. Unfortunately, the Boeing 777-200 aircraft used on this route are getting fairly old now and we believe the CW cabins could have been fitted nearly 15 years ago. We also believe British airways are investing in a Cabin refresh but only on some aircraft at present.

The Dining experience was Good but let down by the standard of our Mains. We also believe a new Club World Dining Menu has been introduced so that would be a positive improvement.

The Cabin crew on our Outbound journey were Professional, Courteous and competent in their role. However, we found completely the opposite on our return flight from the Cabin Crew. On our Return, No real apologies were given to passengers for the lack of choice of preferred main meals & missing amenity kits. The Cabin Manager only asked for feedback of the service down one aisle of passengers which was poor in our opinion.

The seating layout and facing backwards whilst flying was a first for us. The middle pair seats if not seated next to your partner in our opinion was uncomfortable as you are sitting immediately next to a stranger for 11 hours. 

We paid 200k Avios points plus £1200 in Taxes for our Return flights. The average cash price of these tickets were £5500. We feel for that amount of money we should have received a better service from the airline crew on board on our Return journey, food standards should be excellent at all times and in stock for all Business class passengers or atleast allow pre-ordering of meals on all routes. The plane interiors need to refreshed or maybe use newer planes on premium routes like the Maldives. 

British Airways 777 Business Class is a good product and far superior to BA Premium Economy. We would recommend Business Class to anyone despite of some drawbacks. 

Learn about BA First Class vs Business Class >> First Class vs Business Class <<

Read our Trip Report on our 5 Star Maldives Resort Stay, Click Here > CONRAD MALDIVES RANGALI ISLAND REVIEW

 

What do you think of BA Club World – Good or Bad?

 

We would love to hear your views and experiences or questions by posting below in our Comments Section.