Tried & Tested

British Airways A320 UK Domestic

12 Jan 2010 by AndrewGough

BACKGROUND British Airways uses A320 and also A319 aircraft on this busy shuttle route. The seating configuration is a single-cabin economy class with a 3-3 configuration. BA flies between London Heathrow and Glasgow International Airport eight times a day during weekdays and five times a day on weekends, with flights from London Gatwick four times a day during weekdays and three times daily at weekends. The Gatwick flights currently use Boeing 737s. There are also twice daily flights between Glasgow and London City Airport by BA CityFlyer using Avro RJ100s. The flight code prefix for Heathrow is BA1XXX, Gatwick is BA2XXX and London City Airport is BA8XXX, etc. BMI also fly the Glasgow-Heathrow route and Easyjet operates flights from Glasgow to Gatwick, Stansted and London Luton airports.

CHECK-IN I landed at Terminal 3 just after 0600 from an international flight and followed the labyrinthine route to Terminal 5 for my much later Glasgow connection. The route is fairly well signposted throughout but those unfamiliar with the sprawling Heathrow terminals might want to be extra alert. Passengers in transit from Terminal 3 need to take a trans-terminal bus from the ground floor. It’s around 10-15 minutes between terminals depending on time of day. On arrival at Terminal 5 I passed through passport and security checks carried out very efficiently and courteously and headed for the BA lounge, which I reached around 0645. The lounge is heavily used at this time but I found a seat quickly. There’s a decent breakfast selection, fresh fruit, cereals and some hot options. I chose bacon rolls and orange juice, and then grabbed a selection of UK newspapers, although I didn’t see either The Guardian or The Times in the newspaper bins.

The lounge began to thin out around 0900. I decided to freshen up properly and took advantage of the shower options in the lounge. Afterwards I shifted to more comfortable seating and tried to work through emails using the complimentary wifi.

BOARDING Having spent over six hours in the lounge I was getting gate fever so I decided to stretch my legs before boarding, and took a brief walk around the shops before heading for the gate. Boarding had already started by the time I got there and I was processed quickly.

WHICH SEAT TO CHOOSE My seat, 26A, was the final window seat. This might be a disadvantage to some since the galley and toilets are behind but on a short flight like this it isn’t much of an inconvenience. Obviously for those needing a quick getaway should choose the front rows, say 1-5.

To see the seatplan, click here.

FOOD AND DRINK On this flight, which used to have decent sandwiches, the daytime options seem now to be limited to some kind of Bombay Mix and a drink. I chose a white wine, which was fine. Having had six hours of complimentary lounge food I was hardly ravenous. On early morning flights you can get a hot breakfast with coffee and tea.

ARRIVAL Take-off was on time and the 90-minute flight entirely uneventful. There is no in-flight entertainment on this flight, so take a book.

VERDICT BA is still my preferred choice on this route although it’s clear that it’s paring its onboard hospitality element down. BA’s superior connections and frequency keep it ahead of other carriers on this busy route.

PRICING Lowest internet pricing on this route in January 2010 was £81.60 for a return.

CONTACT ba.com

Kenny Coyle

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