CHECK-IN From October 7, BA started charging passengers £10 per person to select economy class (Euro Traveller) seats in advance (and £20 per person per sector in Club Europe, World Traveller and World Traveller Plus, £60 per person per sector in Club World). Customers in World Traveller and World Traveller Plus are charged £50 to secure exit row seats, from ten days prior to departure. However, when I took this flight, this feature had not come into effect. It’s also worth noting that BA Cityflyer flights are not liable for these new charges.
I tried to check in online for my 1350 flight to London City from Nice with BA Cityflyer but the website informed me that more information was needed and that I needed to check in at the airport. I arrived at Terminal 1 at 1210 and headed to Zone D, where I used a self-service kiosk to check in and print my boarding pass. I accepted my pre-assigned seat, 10F.
After taking the escalators up to the mezzanine level, I entered a cramped security area where my bag was given a quick search after going through the X-ray machine. From here, I turned right into departure Zone B, and then through passport control, into a spacious waiting area. There wasn’t much to do here, with only a bar and a couple of shops selling expensive snacks, drinks (€2.70 for a Coke) and souvenirs, so I took a seat and read my book.
BOARDING The announcement for boarding came at 1320, at which point I went down a set of escalators on the far side to Gate B15, where a shuttle bus was waiting. There was only a handful of people with me, and once on board I could see the aircraft was going to be almost empty.
THE SEAT Economy (Euro Traveller) seats are configured 3-3 (A-B-C, D-E-F) on board the Avro RJ100 and are upholstered in BA’s navy blue leather. I was in window seat 10F underneath the wing but as the flight was far from full, I probably could have moved to a different one if had wanted to. Business class (Club Europe) went up to row eight, but there wasn’t anybody sitting in this section, and economy went up to row 19.
WHICH SEAT TO CHOOSE? Middle seats B and E are generally best avoided unless you are travelling with a companion. On this small aircraft, the only real decision you have to make is between a window and an aisle seat, as they are all much the same. Those sitting nearer business class will usually be served food and drink first, so this is an advantage of choosing seats in forward rows such as nine and ten. Seats E and F in row 18 could be good choices as there is no D seat, so more space.
THE FLIGHT Take-off was a little late, at 1410. At 1435 hot lunch option was offered, consisting of a fairly tasty warm ciabatta roll with cheese and roasted vegetables or ham and cheese. Passengers were also given the choice of an alcoholic or soft drink from the bar, and tea or coffee.
ARRIVAL Landing was at 1515 local time and disembarkation was very quick, given there was hardly anyone on board. I was at baggage reclaim within a few minutes and my case arrived shortly after.
VERDICT An efficient, stress-free service into London City airport.
PRICE Internet rates for return economy class flights with BA from London Heathrow to Nice started from £151.