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Review: British Airways Club World Business Class A380 London to LA
The pattern with One World flights has been to route through Dublin, Stockholm, etc to find discount business class, so this itinerary started in Stockholm and routed me through London. The discount by routing through one of these cities amounts to thousands of dollars per roundtrip, and still puts you on a direct flight from London to LA. Now, if I were to choose on product alone – I’d fly American, no questions asked. American’s product dominates BA. However…since I’m after Alaska status this year and not One World status I’ve pushed my flights to BA. Why? Alaska Air announced insane partner earn rates. How insane? This roundtrip will earn 50k redeemable Alaska Miles. That’s enough for a one way flight back to Europe. So yes, not only am I flying for thousands less, I’m earning a one way for every roundtrip I fly. Pretty crazy, huh? Let’s take a peek at British Airways Club World Business Class A380 London to LA
My First choice wouldn’t be the A380.
- I reviewed British Airways Club World Business Class A380 LA to London last year so in terms of giving you guys a different review…it’d be better to do a different plane, but alas, the timing didn’t work out, nor did the price.
- I’m not a huge fan of the A380. I’d say I’m unique in this position – see, I like airplane noise. I sleep with a fan, and the A380 is UBER QUIET. It’s a beast of a plane, beautiful, spacious, but too quiet for me. If you don’t like ambient white noise…you’d love it.
The Cabin Layouts, courtesy of SeatGuru.
- When: May 2017
- Where: London to Los Angeles ( LA )
- Cabin: Club World
- Seat: 14 J
- Loyalty: Alaska Air
- Miles Earned: 20,460 RDM, 8184 EQM
I didn’t get the best seat on the plane. You have to pay in advance and I’m just not into that. If you’re interested which is best…read here.
I ended up with 14 J. The way that the seats are configured create a situation where you’re basically staring the person sitting next to you. As you can see in the picture below, the seats are head to toe with a space in between that features a privacy screen that can be raised and lowered.
You can also see in this picture that you don’t have a pod ( like you would on American) and that the passengers sitting on the inside have to step over those on the aisle. The windows seats definitely have more privacy, light, and I think it’s arguably better stepping over, than being stepped over, but that’s personal preference. The window seats also have more storage.
Other than the lack of direct aisle access for every seat…the lack of storage is my second biggest complaint.
If you look closely in this picture you can see that there is just one drawer for storage that is beneath the IFE. For someone who wears glasses…there isn’t anyplace to put them in bed mode that safely prevents you rolling on top of them or falling into the aisle, seat, etc.
Sitting in the middle section. You’re far better off upstairs, than downstairs.
As you can see, downstairs the cabins layout is 2-4-2. This means that those middle seats are VERY close together. If you’re together, that’s great. If not…you may have an unwanted cuddle mate with some bad turbulence.
The Service and Food.
I don’t eat any meat other than seafood. When I flew over last fall, the options were very mehhh. I actually found an improvement in the food and the service, well the service, is fantastic. That’s a wonderful thing about BA – no matter if it’s intra-europe, or transatlantic, the crew is always very friendly and accommodating. This was no exception.
My Dinner and Breakfast…
The IFE and Amenity Kit
Both are fairly basic and standard for business class. However, I will say that while I like the Elemis products, the actual physical kit is more of a shoe bag or dirty laundry bag than something I would use again for toiletries. Maybe this is the design, but I find myself using other airlines amenity kit bags on short trips and not once have I used a BA kit.
The IFE needs improvement to compete. Bose/Beats headphones and a much better remote would help immensely. I found the interface to be quite clunky compared to the competition that is out there for the same price point.
You can see in the this picture that it is a completely lie-flat product. Kudos for that! However, it’s very narrow and, if you’re on the aisle like me, VERY exposed. I was bumped a couple times by passengers walking by, or getting stepped over. I wasn’t really looking to sleep on the flight as it was a west-bound flight, but it did disturb me. If I had my druthers I’d take a window seat, but as long as I wasn’t trapped in the “middle, middle” I wasn’t that particular. If you’re looking to get shut eye…go window
Shortly after the meal is served a snack bar is set up in the galley. It’s pretty basic, but has ice cream, chips ( crisps 😉 ) , etc.
If I wasn’t earning A TON of Alaska Miles every time I flew…I would opt to fly American – no question. However, despite the product being inferior, the service was great, the food was better than expected, and the crew was outstanding. Attitude is the most important part of a flight…if the crew is great, it can make up for so many other things. Business Class isn’t about luxuriating as much as it getting sleep – I mean, the whole point is for businessmen to be able to land and go to work.
If British Airways is looking to truly compete, they have to change the seat.