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Review: British Airways Club World A380 LAX-LHR

a plane with seats and a person walking

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Review: British Airways Club World A380 LAX-LHR

The NFL plays a few games every year in England. This year… my COLTS were going to be playing. I brought the idea up to my parents about making this an excuse to go to Great Britain and they loved it. We used the Colts game as an anchor and then started building the trip around it. My parents have also always wanted to tour Scotland and England annnnnnnnd, it just so happened that, a tour using Marriott Club points departed Dublin the Friday after the game. So we planned on seeing some of Scotland from Mon-Fri until tour started. We ended up laying down the groundwork back in January and filled in gaps as availability opened up. I used the Dublin trick for discount Business Class when I attended a wedding back in August (  you can read about that here ) to book a roundtrip from Dub to LA and back. This is my return trip across the pond and it put me on BA’s A380: My first A380 experience. Here’s my Review: British Airways Club World A380 LAX-LHR.

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My Big Bird awaits

The British Airways Club World A380 LAX-LHR Review is part of the NFL in London, Scotland, and Dublin Trip Report:

In case you didn’t know: British Airways calls their business class Club World

I’ve been really lucky that in the past year or so to fly several business class cabins from some of the leading airlines in the world. Most of these flights were achieved using Points. This flight was purchased, but could have been booked for 57.5K AA plus taxes and fees ( which can be heavy for BA – $400+).  Here’s a list of the other flights for comparison.

And now: British Airways Club World on their Flagship A380. It’s an absolute beast of a plane and I had never flown on it. It was one helluva experience, very quiet, and I had purposely chosen this plane and this class of service to try it out for comparison.

The Deets on British Airways Club World A380 LAX-LHR

  • When: Sept 2016
  • Flight: BA 282
  • Route: LAX-LHR
  • Duration: 10 hours 30 mins
  • Class: Business Class / Club World
  • Seat: 58D
  • Program: Aadvantage Platinum
  • Miles Earned: 11,440 Aadvantage
  • EQM earned: 16,368

A couple things to point out

  1. I was rebooked onto this flight because my Original flight on the 29th was delayed by almost 24hours. I wrote about how a flight delay ended up netting me 3x EQM. It’s the reason I netted over 16k EQM on this flight. It’s also why I didn’t return to Dublin. Because of the delay, I was able to have them change my flight and route me to London as a final destination.
  2. I earned 11,440 Aadvantage. I purchased this flight after AA went revenue. I bought a roundtrip ticket from Dublin to LAX to Dublin for roughly $1800. However, AA was running a promotion and I netted an additional 5k AA because of it. That boosted the RDM for this leg up to 11,440 from what would have been 6440 ( I’m Platinum and earned at 8x…so the value of this leg was roughly $800)

Looking at Seat Guru we can see that the upper deck Club World is 2-3-2 vs the lower is 2-4-2.

I would highly recommend sitting in the forward section on the upper deck – Rows 50-53 – because it is far quieter and calmer. You’re also next to two HUGE bathrooms which are ideal for getting ready for bed, changing into pajamas, and just having extra space. The staircase is also blocked off because it leads down to the lower deck’s first class cabin. You don’t have to worry about people traipsing past you. I was rebooked onto this flight and that cabin was completely full, which is why I ultimately chose 58D.

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And then the lower deck – it’s a wider cabin, but IMO also more crowded do to it being 8 seats wide.screen-shot-2016-10-12-at-11-56-31-am

Boarding the A380 – UPPPPP the escalator. HOW COOL!

Club World was the 2nd group to board and for those of us on the upper deck we had to take an escalator up to the second deck. BYAW. HOW FLIPPING EXCITING!!!!

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escalator to the 2nd deck of the Big Bird A380

And then we rounded the corner…first to board. Got a clean shot of the cabin

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Upper Deck Club World Rear Cabin

And my seat – 58D. Part of the center section. I would highly recommend taking a window seat.

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Seat 58D

The foot stool – the seat reclines down to meet this. Also…if you’re sitting in the middle seat you have to step over this to get out

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foot stool
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A grown man with a Monkey never gets any weird looks. Ever.

Miles taking a view of boarindg =)

A clearer view of the configuration. You can see here…very little storage space at the seat. Also…not everyone has direct aisle access

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Different Angle of the middle portion of the cabin

Here you can see the only storage at the seat…a drawer that fits shoes, Miles, and your amenity kit. I found this to be really annoying actually. Once your seat has reclined into bed mode the drawer is inaccessible. On one hand that’s great because it’s secure, but when you compare this to AA’s business which has TONS of storage, it’s very obvious that there isn’t anywhere to put your stuff. For instance…I had no place to put my glasses and water when I went to bed.

Additionally the power and alternate usb port are located here. When in bed mode…it’s blocked and unless you string your device through/around the seat…you can’t use it. Little things like this show the lag that BA has to its competitors.

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in seat storage, usb, and power
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with contents

IFE control – I found it to be difficult to use.

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IFE controls, headphone jack, and second USB

Nice to have a usb port for charging.

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safety manual

A380 Safety

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seat controls

Bed controls

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Me and Miles kickin it.

We’re ready for our pre-departure drink =)

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IFE

IFE

A little juice to start the flight off…we were under the weather a bit.

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Juice and Headphones. My 2nd pair. First were busted

Looking around the cabin – we snuck a few pics while we sipped. You can see here – the window seats provide MUCH MUCH more storage and privacy. Only downside is you have to step over the aisle passenger. A great trade off IMO.

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seat on the window if you can…much more storage and privacy

You can see here all of 58D. While the tray is great because it slides back and forth a lot, it’s so low slung, and maybe i’m just too big, but in bed mode I couldn’t fit underneath it when on my side. Usually they give you water before going to bed and without the tray down I basically had to cuddle the bottle lol. I know…high class problems. But STILL – compared to AA, Cathay, and Air Berlin…it’s a big let down.

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better shot of 58D

Bed Mode – with and without Miles.

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I found the bed and seat in general to be quite tight. I’m 6′ and 170lbs for reference. Miles is 2lbs and 20 inches. He had no problems.
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58D bed mode

You can see here that there is a sliding partition.

After take off – you can put the partition up. This’ll save you some awkward looks…from Miles. He never blinks and always smiles. Speaking of Take – off. HOLY SCHMOLY. POWERFULLY SMOOTH.

We may have felt better and ordered Champagne shortly after take off.

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privacy glass and Miles smelling my feet

Once we were airborne they brought around the amenity kits

I really liked the design and the packaging. I used the bag throughout the rest of my trip to store dirty laundry and it was uber useful.

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amenity kit
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relative size of amenity kit
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elemis products

Elemis products

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and a model

I’ve become a big fan of eye masks…but this one was a little small for my big NOGGIN

Shortly after we received our amenity kits – Dinner Service started

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Prior to food being served I had some champagne.

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Champers and Fast Track – you feeeeeeel like a balla
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Explanation of Fast Track

I also set aside my Arrivals Fast Track. In case you aren’t aware of Fast Track…it’s given to business and first class customers ( as well as some elites) to bypass the long lines at immigration. It is truly a luxury.

I chose the Crab Cakes and the Ravioli

The food was ok. The salad was very fresh and the bread was VERY tasty actually. The rest of it was pretty typical plane food. When compared to AA, BA has some work to do across the board to catch up.

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App and Salad
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Pasta Entree
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Yes…I cut the cheese

I had the cheese for dessert.

After dinner it was time to wind down and try and get some sleep.

Unfortunately, this flight departed at 3:30pm and it was barely after 6 when this was all said and done. So I was some flicks, tossed, turned, and went to go look for some more snacks. =)

Mid Flight Snack Bar – GNOM GNOM GNOM

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snack bar

Then I went for a walk to check out the forward bathrooms – LOOK AT THE SIZE! If you didn’t mind rolling around in a bathroom, you could do Yoga in there. Namaste-away-from the fluids.

The staff did an excellent job at keeping the lavs clean. Bravo!

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big ole bathroom. I stretched in here.
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part deux

And then the staircase down to First Class

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i thought this was emblematic

Sorry for the blurry pic…it was pitch black

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be careful it’s DARK in HERR

I managed to sleep for about 90 mins. The seats are very narrow and I always felt like I was going to fall off the ottoman. Oh well…sooner breakfast was served.

I have to give it to the flight attendants because they went out of their way to get me a veggie meal. Thanks guy!

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nothing like beans and spinach for breakfast. literally, nothing
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ahhhh juice, fruit and pastries….that’s more like it

Overall: It’s a lie-flat product with A LOT of availability

Would this be my first choice of business classes to hop the pond? Not by a long shot. But was the staff super nice? Yes. Did I lie flat? Yes. Is the plane incredible? Yes…although I think it’s too quiet ( I’m weird and LOVE a lot of white noise), but for the normal person…I think they’d love how silent it is.

Speaking of Avail…This is looking at Nov/Dec –

and almost all of this avail is on BA. I’d be down to try this cabin out again, but find a cosy window seat with my storage, preferably a bulkhead with easier aisle access, and see how much different the experience is =)

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Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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