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February 24, 2016 / oneworld82

British Airways Bonanza: DFW-LHR-FRA in Club World/Europe (BA J 744/A319)

Flight BA192, DFW-LHR

02/08/2016

Club World (Business Class), Seat 64A

Boeing 747-400, Upper Deck

New year, new business trip to London. While I meant to fly AA 77W, I noticed that the chances of clearing an upgrade of this particular day were slim to none, so I decided to opt for BA straight away. The airplane today was a 747-400, which meant I could get the chance to seat in the upper deck once more (after my first time back in 2012).

As soon as check-in opened up online, I was able to grab one of all but three seats left upstairs, a window one nonetheless, and so off we went to London!

BA check in

BA check in

Today I go upstairs!

Today I go upstairs!

After spending half a hour in the Centurion Lounge with a couple of coworkers (and having one of their always-good margaritas plus a bowl of chicken tortilla soup), we made our way to gate D14, where our fly would be departing from. Perhaps I have not reviewed the Centurion lounge in detail before, but there are plenty of reviews out there and all of them are right: this is hands down the best lounge in DFW!

Centurion Lounge DFW bar

Centurion Lounge DFW bar

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Boarding was smooth (we were among the last passengers to board), and once aboard  I was directed to the upper deck, where I took my seats. It was one of the rear-facing window seats, that offered extreme privacy (once the divider between myself and my neighbor was raised). I love the 747 upper deck because it only features 4 seats per row in a 2-2 configuration, and because the window seats have a lot of side storage space (as you can see from my old post).

After seating down, one of the crew members came offering a pre-departure beverage: champagne, water, or orange juice were the options. I got myself a glass of bubbly and then I read some Wall Street Journal waiting to take off.

The seat, as I mentioned, is very private, and not as narrow as many people say is. The Elemis amenity kit, while it has very useful items (and while I like Elemis skin products), looks pretty cheap, as it’s a simple bag (but perhaps it’s better than other cheap, pouch-like kits). A blanket, pillow, and noise-cancelling headphones completed the picture.

After taxing for quite a while, we were finally en route towards Europe – I was kinda excited to be fair, as this was my first international trip in about two months. While I was excited about leaving, this was also the first time I left after my daughter Olivia was born, and I started missing her and my wife right away! Being a parent really changed my outlook on a lot of things, but of course traveling is always my number one passion 😉

About half an hour into the flight, dinner orders were taken and the first round of drinks were offered. I got myself a Johnny Walker (black label) and Club soda and I enjoyed some Kenyan nuts (I still prefer AA’s, whenever they don’t have 90% cashews at least).

I started watching Straight Outta Compton, but I quickly realized that was not the type of movie I was in the mood for, and so I switched to the much-lighter Pixels. I find Adam Sandler very consistent – never good, never bad, always average.

Dinner then came. The menu read as follows:

BA190 Club World Menu

BA190 Club World Menu

And here’s the wine list:

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I started with the smoked trout, which was good simply because it wasn’t too cold (it takes so little!). Bread was offered twice from a basket, which was appreciated since I love bread (and since it was warmed up!). Together with the appetizer there was a green salad, which was fine.

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As main I opted to stay light (Taittinger kept me full…), and so I went for the fettouch salad with grilled chicken. Let me say this: it was very good, and I was very happy with my choice.

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Service was good, attentive, but not particularly warm. My champagne glass never went empty. The pace of service was good – not too rushed, not too slow, and the overall service (including dessert) took perhaps 75 minutes from when the first drink was served.

Dessert, I mentioned. Well, I usually skip sweets and go straight to the cheese… but this time, BA ran out of cheddar! L So I had to settle for the mango and chocolate bar, which to be fair was good.

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After finishing watching the movie I reclined my seat in lay-flat position and I quickly fell asleep (I thank my daughter and Taittinger for that!). I woke up halfway through breakfast service, which I was planning to skip anyways. Nevertheless, I was able to grab a bite, as the crew set up baskets with fruit, pastries, and smoothies/juice. Also, when the flight attendant saw I was awake she came by to promptly offer me tea or coffee – good service indeed.

We ended up landing around ten minutes ahead of schedule, without the need to circle around London.

Overall, this was an enjoyable BA flight. While I find BA Club World to be very consistent, my last couple of flights had been somewhat disappointing in the food section. This one was a bit better, but I do not know if it was because the quality of catering actually improved or because I ordered a simple chicken salad.

If I had to choose between business class on American Airlines’ 77W and BA Club World, I would chose AA anytime though. The hard product (including IFE) is much better on AA, and I think that AA catering has improved dramatically in the last couple of years (although the drinks selection is still poor). Yet, BA Club World is a very solid product – one that I always enjoy flying.

———-

After a couple days of intense work in London, it was time to fly back home. Still, I needed to make good use of all my AA miles, and so after speaking with some friends who tried it, I decided to book myself on a LHR-FRA-NRT-DFW itinerary (using miles all the way to NRT) to try JAL new SkySuite (and new 789 airplane). Quite the long way, but why not?!

Flight BA908, LHR-FRA

02/11/2016, 2:10p – 4:50p

Business Class, Seat 7F

A319

For the short hop across the “Sleeve” strait I was today in Club Europe, on a window seat. BA uses a variety of equipment on this route, ranging from 767s to 319s (this is definitely a  high-frequency, business-heavy connection).

I got to the airport about one hour before departure, got my boarding pass from the self-service kiosk, and then proceeded through fast-track security – it took me 10 minutes overall to be through. I shopped for a bit (ending up buying some new Prada sunglasses – so much cheaper than in the US!), and it was soon time to board from gate A11, right in the middle of T5.

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As I was flying Club Europe I used the priority lane and I was quickly seated in my rather-uncomfortable 7F seat (it’s not a criticism to BA, rather than to European carriers in general for their joke of a business class seat…).

I won’t post pictures, as I posted some before and as nothing really changed (the cabin is just as uninspiring as before); but I will point this out: no pre-departure drinks were offered, and no one offered to hang my coat. No one.

We left on time, and the captain announced a flight time just under two hours. I fell asleep during taxiing, and I woke up ~45 minutes later, right when the afternoon tea service started. You gotta appreciate BA for serving Afternoon Tea (yes, capitalized!) on its afternoon flights! The meal service was attentive, warm (in a very British way). The sandwiches – egg salad, chicken, and salmon – were ok, nothing spectacular (yet again, Brits consistently make bad sandwiches despite their insistence in trying), but the scone with Cornish clotted cream was a winner. I washed everything down with some coffee and a couple of glass of champagne (note the new brand: no Monopole anymore -_-)… and shortly after we were about to land in a snowless (and rather warm, given the season) Frankfurt.

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Overall, this was a consistently-BA flight: good, but not excellent. The fact that no one offered me to hang my coat was annoying, especially because my coat was clearly on sight and it was clear that I was trying to have someone helping me with it.

One Comment

Leave a Comment
  1. Moritz / Mar 4 2016 12:24 pm

    Really sounds like the typical BA flight. Totally fine, but nothing more 😀

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