LCY when flying business class

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  PeterCoultas 27 Sep 2019
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  • Swissdiver
    Participant

    Landing at LCY is great in general. As a policy however I was not departing from this airport. Since I had almost forgotten why, I decided to give it another try. Well, actually policy confirmed! This is why.

    It took me one hour to get there from St James (bloody London traffic). So unless the DLR is an option, Heathrow is probably closer, time-wise.

    Check-is was fast. But there are no fast-track lane at LCY. With only two lines, it was a disaster. Then, of course, there is no lounge there, only packed bars (got there at 5pm).

    The new gates are an improvement. Still, there is not much space.

    Finally, BA Embraer flightsdo not offer a free seat in business (contrarily to SWISS, Lufty & co). This is quite bad.

    Bottom line: Landing at LCY is great, preferably flying Swiss. But to take off, LHR it will continue to be.


    DavidSmith2
    Participant

    Hi,

    I travel from the St James’s area variously to LHR, LGW and LCY. Assuming I have luggage with me, my preferred methods are LHR: taxi door to door. LGW: Taxi to Victoria then Gatwick Express, LCY: Jubilee Line from Green Park to Canning Town then taxi to the airport.

    Obviously it does depend on time of day and day of the week, but these options balance speed and cost with practicality (avoiding too many escalators with a suitcase etc.)

    But of the 3, I would definitely opt for LHR, if there is a choice. Usually its a reasonably smooth run down the A4.


    Bullfrog
    Participant

    Based in Hampstead, I find City a perfect choice over Heathrow & Gatwick. The small airport, small planes & short taxi-ing make for a much easier experience than LHR or LGW for European trips.

    I appreciate it’s not ideal for everyone, but it’s a gem of an airport, if it works for you.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    Living quite close to you Bullfrog, I used to take the same line, to Bank then DLR – 50 minutes max, £4.50 I think. Flight times into Europe generally 20 – 30 minutes quicker than Heathrow with the occasional delay outbound. Inbound I cant recall ever going into the hold.

    Clear downside is no business class facilities inside the terminal, except for the New York flight – and then its not exactly a lounge area.

    I don’t think LCY envisaged the success it now has when it first opened. I may be wrong but wasn’t it originally a Monday to Friday airport?

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    I don’t think LCY envisaged the success it now has when it first opened. I may be wrong but wasn’t it originally a Monday to Friday airport?

    Correct MartynSinclair – As someone who has followed LCY closely before it even opened in the 1980s I would like to stress that it was originally designed as a business airport handling 50-seater aircraft.

    Its main focus was on Monday-Friday services plus the odd flight at weekends. It was that way because LCY occupies an environmentally sensitive area and today those weekend flight curfew restrictions remain.

    Originally only business class fares were sold. There were no economy excursion fares sold at all.

    However in the 1990s when the jets were allowed to operate at LCY (originally only turbo-prop used LCY) the capacity on offer (per aircraft) doubled and that is when LCY started to encourage leisure users with normal economy excursion fares.

    Since then LCY has become a victim of its own success.

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    SimonS1
    Participant

    Commenting only on the airport, well it is what it is.

    If a short check in and minimising time in the airport is your goal then it generally works. If doing the ‘business class passenger’ routine is important to you then probably not.

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    Swissdiver
    Participant

    Commenting only on the airport, well it is what it is.

    If a short check in and minimising time in the airport is your goal then it generally works. If doing the ‘business class passenger’ routine is important to you then probably not.

    And there is a bias here: the First Class wing at LHR that is a game changer.

    That said, I spent about 1/2 hour in the security queue at LCY on Thursday. Not good.


    SimonS1
    Participant

    Commenting only on the airport, well it is what it is.

    If a short check in and minimising time in the airport is your goal then it generally works. If doing the ‘business class passenger’ routine is important to you then probably not.

    And there is a bias here: the First Class wing at LHR that is a game changer.

    That said, I spent about 1/2 hour in the security queue at LCY on Thursday. Not good.

    Indeed, they are two completely different things. And different people enjoy different things.

    Personally if I had a choice between minimising time in the airport, or using the F lounge for a couple of hours, I would take the first option. The attraction of lurking around airports and lounges left me long ago.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    Swissdiver
    Participant

    Simon,

    For me the First wing is mostly about access, not lounge… That said, I prefer to come earlier to the airport essentially for the peace of mind. Hence I end up in lounges.

    3 users thanked author for this post.

    SimonS1
    Participant

    Simon,

    For me the First wing is mostly about access, not lounge… That said, I prefer to come earlier to the airport essentially for the peace of mind. Hence I end up in lounges.

    Sure….though in my experience 30 minutes in security at LCY is unusual. In fact I think minimum check in is T-20.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    StephenLondon
    Participant

    Being Wharf-based, I use LCY often. I rarely wait more than four or five minutes at security at the most, and that includes peak morning and afternoon flight times.

    The new gate areas certainly offer more comfort and quiet if waiting for a flight, although it is no lounge. Thankfully and the Bloomberg computer screens and adverts have been removed from the main departure lounge, which has reopened the spaciousness and re-added light. Sadly, the Gate 24 Lounge for the BAbyBus to JFK has been removed as space was needed for the LX Bombardier passengers.

    There is a business option of going via the private jet terminal for a fee (I think £95pp) prior to a commercial flight. You get a lovely lounge, food appropriate to the time of day, alcohol, newspapers and magazines, private security and you are then placed in a van and driven to the aircraft and boarded first before other passengers.

    LCY is building a proper taxiway, which will add needed flexibility to the operation, and a new terminal is also being constructed. Plans for this were unveiled a few months ago and look good…it still will remain a boutique airport.

    I find it fast and efficient to use. I’m generally hopping onto the DLR or into a cab within 7 minutes of landing, and if I retrieve baggage, that seems to be fairly quick, too. You can’t say that for LHR or LGW. I think the lavatories at LCY could really use an upgrade (both at departures and arrivals) and the long arrivals corridor is quite grim (grey walls, no colour, not much air conditioning either). And buying food at LCY can be very expensive for somewhat mediocre offerings.

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    wingcommander
    Participant

    I was a regular user of LCY (less so now since retiring) and always found it easier and quicker to get to (than LHR and LGW) from Camden where I worked. Indeed, I could very often do the journey to LCY in less than one hour. 20 minutes on the northern line – Camden to Bank, then 25 mins DLR Bank to LCY. Security I found, like others, 4 or 5 minutes max and this was at peak times. So whether flying out, or arriving in, it was easy to get to and quick to get through. I would agree with comments re toilets, space / capacity for sitting in some peace and quiet, but the recent works and expansion are helping. In working-mode this ease of reach and transit wins hands down for LCY and would be my preference. Now on a leisure trip and to different destinations that’s a different story and LHR or LGW and lounge access would be my preference.


    TheMackem
    Participant

    Living quite close to you Bullfrog, I used to take the same line, to Bank then DLR – 50 minutes max, £4.50 I think. Flight times into Europe generally 20 – 30 minutes quicker than Heathrow with the occasional delay outbound. Inbound I cant recall ever going into the hold.

    Clear downside is no business class facilities inside the terminal, except for the New York flight – and then its not exactly a lounge area.

    I don’t think LCY envisaged the success it now has when it first opened. I may be wrong but wasn’t it originally a Monday to Friday airport?

    Correct Martin, it has grown tremendously. LCY used to operate flights until c1200hrs on a Saturday with the next flight departing for ZUR at c.0600hrs Monday, giving locals residents a rest from the.noise of the turbo props and the RJ80/100 BAE 146’s. Not any more!


    PeterCoultas
    Participant

    Living in Swiss Cottage I found LCY ideal for my trips to and from Switzerland even managing to be on the plane in under an hour from leaving the house on one occasion. Much better than LHR. Now down in Kent it is still vastly more convenient than LHR or LGW when using the train to get to London. Jump off at Stratford and it is minutes away, much better than struggles to LHR fromSt Pancras.

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