It’s five years since BA launched its double-daily all-business A318 service from London City to New York JFK.
Outbound flights stop in Shannon airport for refuelling and, in the case of BA001 (reviewed here), US customs and immigration pre-clearance, allowing you to land in the US as a domestic passenger.
I arrived at LCY at 0805 for my 0945 departure. There was a dedicated check-in desk. Passengers can check in for this service at LCY up to 20 minutes before departure (15 minutes with hand luggage only).
There was no security fast track, and quite a queue. I was airside at 0830.
There is a 32-seat lounge at Gate 24. Immigration forms were given out and there were newspapers to read.
A cold breakfast buffet of fruit, yogurt, pastries and juices was on offer, along with wine and champagne.
The flight was called at 0925 and we walked on to the tarmac. I was warmly welcomed on board and there was a hanger for my jacket at my seat (8A), which was then stored for me.
As I didn’t have my own overhead locker, I put my bag above 8J-K.
The A318 has 32 seats across eight rows, configured 2-2 (A-B, J-K). They are spacious and comfortable with a width of 25 inches and a bed length of 72 inches.
Upholstered in fabric with leather arm and headrests, they recline fully-flat within a glossy white curved shell, meeting a footstool with a leather lid, under which you can store a small bag.
Seat controls are in the individual armrest, and there are additional controls for adjusting when you are reclined.
The central double armrest contains the tray table, which folds in half and slides in and out. It also has a cocktail table, a small storage space and one of two universal power points (the other being at ankle height).
Preloaded iPads provide in-flight entertainment. Mobile phone and internet connectivity is available via Onair and charged as if you were roaming – I used it to send and receive text messages (voice calls are not allowed).
WHICH SEAT TO CHOOSE?
While window seats have no direct aisle access, you will not be disturbed when reclined. They are also more tucked away for night flights.
People at the front are served and disembark first.
We took off at 0950. Drinks and canapés were provided; being seated at the back, I didn’t get my drink until 1025 and only had half before it was collected up.
My lunch order for the next flight was taken and we landed in Shannon at 1100.
We disembarked swiftly via an airbridge and walked a couple of minutes to the departure lounge. There was a roped-off area for those with hold luggage.
As I had only hand luggage, I proceeded to the pre-clearance area; there was a short queue but BA passengers were given priority. I went through security, then immigration, and took a seat by the BA gate, directly ahead as I exited.
The flight was called at 1125 and I was back in 8A minutes later – pretty seamless.
We pushed back at 1145. Elemis amenity kits were handed out.
I was given a drink at 1240 and my meal just under an hour later. It comprised a salad and a choice of rack of lamb, grilled king prawns with saffron dill korma, garganelli pasta with oxtail ragoût (tasty), or truffled potato and cucumber salad with chicken. Wines included Taittinger Brut Réserve NV, Sancerre 2013 Château de Thauvenay, and Cartlidge and Browne Pinot Noir 2012.
After dining I did some work before reclining for a snooze – I had ample room. Afternoon tea was served later on.
We landed at JFK ahead of time at 1340 and disembarked quickly. Arriving as a domestic passenger, I was kerbside by 1400.
A fantastic way to travel. While this flight won’t necessarily save you time, the luxuries of an intimate aircraft, attentive service and skipping immigration on arrival make it a must-try.
- DEPARTURE TIME 0945
- JOURNEY TIME 9hrs 30mins
- AIRCRAFT TYPE A318
- CONFIGURATION 2-2
- SEAT WIDTH 25in/63.5cm
- SEAT LENGTH 72in/182.9cm
- SEAT RECLINE 180 degrees
- PRICE Internet rates for a midweek return flight on the A318 Club World London City-New York service in December started from £3,237 (non-flexible)and £7,161 (flexible).
- CONTACT ba.com