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Review: British Airways 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 ( booked into British Airways Business Class ) started in Paris and routed me back through London to Los Angeles. We started this adventure with a trip on the Eurostar and a night at the gorgeous Hotel Marignan booked via a train + hotel package.
The money saved 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 ( aside from their new Club Suites ). However…since I’m after Alaska status this year and not One World status I’ve pushed my flights to BA. Why? Alaska Air has 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
We also reviewed the entire experience on our YouTube channel:
- When: November 2019
- Where: London to Los Angeles ( LA )
- Cabin: Club World
- Seat: 58 J
- Loyalty: Alaska Air
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 + best places to sit.
Seating – Upstairs:
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’ll add, if you have status with British Airways or One World ( Sapphire + ) you can access the seats ahead of time. I’d highly recommend doing this, and it’s really a shame that it’s not opened up to Alaska MVPG+ as well.
Here’s where I believe the best seats are located on both decks:
Here’s a look at the upstairs and downstairs club world
I ended up with 58 J. The seat configuration creates 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 – in fact, there are some that not only offer the combined space, but also aisle access. See the diagram above. If not…you may have an unwanted cuddle mate with some bad turbulence.
The Service and Food.
British Airways has taken big steps to improve the soft product on flights. They now have White Company bedding, and the food is catered by Do and co.I’ve always had tremendous service on BA flights, and that was consistent here as well.
White Company Amenity kit:
My Dinner and Breakfast…
I have to say….the food was very good. My only complaint would have been the dessert – it was far too small!
The IFE and Amenity 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 and food was great, 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. The new club suites are a massive improvement, but for the vast majority of people flying BA, you’ll get something very similar to this product. Choose you seats wisely, and don’t get pinned in an awkward situation.
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