British Airways A320 (Domestic) UK DomesticBack to Forum
Anonymous16 Nov 2012
LHR-Manchester (UK Domestic)
Booking and check in
This was only my second British Airways flight for some time. Since BA ceased flying from Dublin, their schedule didn’t really meet my needs. However following IAG’s takeover of BMI, I was now a Gold member of the BA Executive Club, and was curious to see how the airline performed on this former BMI route. I needed to fly LHR to Manchester, and decided to have a look at what British Airways had to offer on this short route.
http://www.ba.com is an easy site to navigate and selecting a flight for my preferred date and time was no trouble. BA offer an advance check-in facility up to 24hours before travel, and complimentary seat selection to BAEC Gold card holders: I chose my preferred seat, which was 1D. Within a few minutes, I received my confirmation email.
I arrived at London Heathrow Terminal 5 just after 9.30am for my 3.20pm flight and proceeded straight to security. BAEC Gold allows use of the Fast track lane and I was airside within a minute.
Terminal 5 is vast, and is very bright and airy. There is a good range of shops and cafes, most of which are of a high quality.
Due to a last minute change of arrangements, I found myself with several hours to kill before my flight, and I was looking forward to unwinding in the BA Lounge with my book.
My Gold Status meant I could use the BA First lounge in south end of T5. On approaching reception, I was warmly greeted and welcomed to the lounge.
It is a very large and impressive lounge with several seating areas, excellent views of the apron and a wide selection of international newspapers and magazines. There is a huge choice of seat types too: finding a comfortable spot is certainly not going to be an issue!
There is a business centre which offers complimentary internet access, fax and printing facilities. I took advantage of this to send a few emails, and printed a few documents which I needed to read.
There was a vast range of food on offer: savoury nibbles, Walkers cake slices and biscuits, cheese, crackers and a full bar service.
There is a dedicated champagne bar which had a choice of Bollinger Rose or Tattinger 2005. I had a couple of glasses of the latter and thoroughly enjoyed them!
As well as the aforementioned range of food, there is a hot buffet self service area. Up to noon, breakfast is available, with lunch after noon. Given my longer than planned visit, I was in a position to sample both meals, much to the detriment of my waistline!
The breakfast includes:
• Fresh fruit salad
• Fruit Coulis
• Breads, scones, pastries
• Cold meats
• Cumberland and Vegetarian sausage
• Scrambled egg
• Black Pudding
• Herb potatoes
The lunch menu included:
• Chicken Stew
• Mashed potato
• Beef ribs
• Mini Steak and Ale pies
• Extended range of cold meats and salads
Additionally a number of items are available to order from a menu and are served on request. There are a number of very friendly attendants who regularly ask of there is anything further they can fetch.
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the BA First lounge. However, as the time for my approached, I asked where the departure gate was in relation to the lounge. It was Gate 7, which is the opposite end of the terminal. There was a small delay in boarding, I decided to pay a fleeting visit to the Galleries lounge, which is just above Gate 7.
It is a large bright lounge with a variety of seat types, and good views of the apron. Even though the lounge was quite busy, getting a seat was not a problem. The range of newspapers & magazines was very good, and there was a number of computer terminals for those who had work commitments.
There is a surprisingly good range of food in Galleries:
• two types of soup with a variety of bread rolls
• baked potato
• pasta with choice of sauces
• crisps, savoury nibbles
There is also a full bar with a good choice of wines.
As I was only there for a few minutes, I limited myself to a glass of sparkling water. However this is a lounge in which one could quite happily spend an hour or two waiting for a flight.
Boarding is through an airbridge and there is a dedicated queue for BAEC Silver & Gold members. Boarding began almost as soon as I arrived at the gate, and I was on board very quickly.
The Airbus 320 was immaculate and cabin crew warmly welcomed passengers. I was greeted, and on leaving the aircraft was thanked for my custom: a very nice touch indeed. The seats are upholstered in Navy blue leather. UK Domestic is a single class service and seats are configured 3-3 throughout the cabin. I had selected 1D which I particularly like at there is no seatback in front of me. Unlike Club Europe, the middle seats are occupied, and it was a very full flight.
The Captain gave a brief welcome, apologised for the delayed departure, and details of flight times, followed by a safety video shown on a drop down screen. This later displayed ground speed, temperature, distance from destination, etc. We pushed back on time and were airborne quickly. The captain managed to make up the lost time, and we landed on schedule
Given the short flight time (45minutes) the service is basic but quite acceptable. There is a full bar service and a choice of crisps, nuts, etc.
A very impressive flight. Excellent service on board, magnificent lounge, good booking process and very good value for money. I truly enjoyed this BA flight. I was particularly pleased with the BA First lounge: having such a long layover in LHR was made quite bearable.16 Nov 2012
Great review PJ – and the F lounges are very nice. I always find the gate areas for the domestic flights quite crowded and if there’s any delay it can be a bit of a bun fight – the last time we flew LHR- ABZ, the fast track queue was longer than the regular queue, so we nipped in the reg queue. We Brits love a good queue don’t we??? 😉 🙂16 Nov 2012