Tried & Tested

BA A320 Euro Traveller (economy) class

5 Oct 2009 by BusinessTraveller

First Impressions BA's service from Heathrow to Barcelona is one of the routes that still departs from T3 rather than T5. I arrived at 1645 for my 1820 departure on flight BA482, and having checked in online and only travelling with hand luggage I headed straight for security, which was fairly swift. I was travelling in economy, but had been granted a pass to the recently-opened BA Galleries lounge at the terminal to have a look at the new facilities (click here for more information).

Boarding The flight was departing from gate 24A which was very busy when I arrived. I had been advised by the lounge staff to be at the gate 30 minutes before departure as we would be taken by bus to the aircraft. The bus left at 1755, and having boarded we were in the air at 1830.

The seat BA A320 is configured 3-3 across in Euro Traveller, and 2-2 in Club Europe, using the new Club Europe layout introduced in September (see online news August 26). When I had checked in online I had noticed that the left hand side of the first row in economy (row 5) only had two seats instead of three, so I chose to sit in 5A. When I sat down I realised that it was actually a Club Europe seat in the Euro Traveller cabin. This anomoly was effectively the same on the return flight (click here to read the review), albeit with two seats on the other side of the plane this time. I have since had the reason for the seating confirmed by BA (see online news October 5), but the result is that there are two seats in the first row of economy on most of BA's short-haul network that are now well worth seeking out, as you will enjoy a Club Europe offering (albeit with Euro Traveller service). Note that this will not be the case with the new Embraer aircraft from London City, as they are configured 2-2 throughout.

The flight The flight was almost completely full in both Club Europe and Euro Traveller. Drinks and a snack (in this case a “mixed cocktail of savoury bites, sultanas and sunflower seeds”) were served soon after take off, and the rest of the one hour 45-minute flight was smooth and uneventful.

Arrival We touched down at Barcelona at 2105, and were quickly at stand at the airport's brand new Terminal 1 (see online news August 1 for more details and images of the terminal). I was through immigration and on the Eurobus (which serves the city centre every six minutes, costing €5 one way) by 2125.

Verdict Comprehensive lounge facilities at T3, a smooth flight with good service, and a modern, airy arrivals terminal at Barcelona T1.


Mark Caswell

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