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December 31, 2014 / oneworld82

London BA Galleries South (Business Class) Lounge and LHR-NCE on BA Club Europe

I like London Heathrow. I like connecting in Heathrow. I don’t know why many people hate it. I think, honestly, that this is a great and fun airport. I have transferred from T3 to T5 many times, and while the bus ride is, to put it mildly, somewhat archaic, I do like the British-ness of the airport and the feeling to it. Walking through the endless hallways and corridors you can’t help but feeling you really landed in one truly global place. Even more so than New York City. In its own way, London still IS the most global city on Earth. With class.

Once we landed I quickly made my way through the terminal to the bus to Terminal 5. The line was longer than I had imagined, but two buses came at once and in ~5 minutes I was on my way. After a 10 minute ride I was at T5. Since  I was flying business class to Nice I had express lane access, which was not necessary today as lines wer epretty short. Security was much less painless than my last visit to T5, and in no time I was heading to the Galleries South Lounge.

On my way, I noticed some nice additions to the stores offering: new Louis Vuitton and Bottega Veneta stores had opened up since my last visit in November. Once at the lounge I headed straight to the Elemis Spa to take a shower. There were no lines, and I was on my way to freshen up in no time. It’s fun to see how in the last three years the same lady is still the shower main attendant – kudos to European job security! As I have reviewed before, British Airways shower stalls are not as fancy as some other airlines’ and rather small in size, but they are perfectly functional. They are in need of some upgrading though, even compared to American Airlines showers (very good, in my opinion).

I then headed to the lounge itself, where breakfast was still being served. The breakfast spread here is pretty good, but unfortunately the bacon sandwich – the single most-amazing piece of food at any lounge in the World for breakfast – is now gone. A spread of appetizing pastries plays king these days, as well as porridge and toasts and yogurt and fruit and juices. The (alcoholic) beverage selection is as good as always.

After about one hour it was time to go board my flight to Nice, so I proceeded to my gate. I went through the Club World boarding and took my seat in row 7. The flight to Nice – roughly two hours long – is operated by an Airbus a320. As you know, European Carrier intra-Europe’s business class is simply a normal economy class seat with the middle seat blocked. Nothing fancy, but perfectly acceptable for a short flight when the service is good.

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After taking off the lunch service started. Choices for the day were salad with a prawn skewer or grilled chicken with steamed rice and veggies (if I remember correctly). I opted for the salad, which was fresh and came with boiled potatoes and hard-boiled egg. The prawn skewer (which had a piece of white fish as well) was really good. Bread rolls were offered, and the meal was completed by a chocolate mousse with tangerines and crumbled nuts on top (pretty tasty). A full drink service was operated, and I got some champagne, followed by tea and a glass of Bailey’s on the rocks.

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As planes from London usually land in Nice coming from the West, I selected a seat on the left hand-side of the plane hoping to take some good pictures of Nice upon landing; unfortunately, this time we landed from the East, and so I couldn’t take any breathtaking pictures of the French Riviera. Yet, landing in Nice is always spectacular, as the airport is built on reclaimed land right on the coast.

Overall, I had another positive experience with British Airways. The service on this short-haul flight was as excellent as always, and this really makes all the difference in the World.

Kudos to BA, which I will fly in First from IAD to NBO via LHR in February.

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