Tried & Tested

British Airways A380 Club World

31 Oct 2015 by Marisa Cannon
BACKGROUND British Airways launched its A380 service in October 2013, operating two daily services between London and Hong Kong on a superjumbo and a 777-300.  The A380 departs from Heathrow at 1840 and the triple seven at 2200. CHECK-IN I arrived at Heathrow Terminal 5 at 16:45 and went straight to bag drop, having checked in online the night before. After inputting my details and scanning my passport at the electronic ticketing station, I was told to go to the counter anyway, where I was met by a short queue. After speeding through the Fast Track security stream, I was through to departures by 1710 and made my way to the Galleries Club South Lounge, the nearest to my gate at C64. THE LOUNGE For passengers in Club World, there are north and south lounges of the Galleries Club Lounge, also open to Executive Club Gold and Silver members as well as oneworld Emerald and Sapphire members. The lounge itself is vast and there is a generous spread on offer, although it was fairly crowded and I struggled to find a seat. BOARDING At 1745 I discovered my flight was delayed until 1900. I eventually left the lounge at 1815, took the shuttle train to Terminal 5C and arrived at my gate at 1830, where boarding had begun. There was no queue in the priority lane and I was in my seat by 1840. At 1850 I was given a menu and offered a glass of Taittinger. THE SEAT Club World on the A380 has 97 seats, with 44 on the main deck and two cabins on the upper deck containing 53 seats. I was seated in the main deck in 12J, an aisle seat. The main deck has a 2-4-2 arrangement, while the upper deck is configured 2-3-2. The seat extends into a six-foot flat bed and offers the comfortable option of a Z position for watching films in a nearly reclined position. A 12.1-inch touchscreen pulls out from the main unit, and an IFE control slotted into the seat’s side allows better access than having to reach all the way to the screen. A pillow, blanket, noise-cancelling headphones and amenity kit containing socks, eye mask, toothbrush and paste, and Elemis skincare products were provided. WHICH SEAT TO CHOOSE I’d choose the upper deck for the more spacious configuration and seats that have a side storage area. Avoid seats D, E and F as these are in the middle of the cabin; you’ll want the window, so seats A or K are best for privacy with only one other person next to you. If you suffer from airsickness, a front facing seat is a better choice. THE FLIGHT We were delayed a full hour, finally taking off at 1940. Drinks were offered and orders taken at 2015, and dinner was served at 2045. Flight attendants were friendly and accommodating, bringing round trays of water, orange and apple juice at regular intervals. For dinner, I opted for lobster and crayfish timbale with pickled romanesco and lemon puree followed by seared fillet of British beef with artichoke dauphinoise, braised cabbage and wild mushroom sauce. The beef was extremely tender, cooked to perfection, and was well paired with the creamy dauphinoise and mushroom sauce. Other main options included broiled pork belly with taro, fried Chinese greens with garlic sauce and steamed rice; penne pasta with red pepper pesto, basil and chilli sauce and tabbouleh with a mint and lemon yoghurt dressing accompanied by warm roasted corn-fed chicken. For dessert, I chose the decadent sticky toffee délice with vanilla mascarpone; there was also Croxton Manor mature cheddar and Shropshire blue served with quince jelly. After dinner and an hour of work on my laptop using the in-seat power, I reclined fully and slept through the night. I was woken for breakfast at 1225 Hong Kong time (0525 GMT), and was offered a blueberry and banana smoothie, fresh fruit and mixed berry granola with yoghurt to start. I opted for the traditional English breakfast afterwards, which consisted of Suffolk sweet-cured back bacon, Cumberland pork sausage, tomato, scrambled egg and hash browns. The scrambled egg was a little tasteless, but the sausage and crispy hash browns made up for this. ARRIVAL Breakfast wrapped up around 1300 and we started our descent at 1330 Hong Kong time and had landed by 1400. Passage through immigration at Hong Kong airport is always swift, and I was through to baggage reclaim within ten minutes of landing. My bag arrived quickly too, and with no hassle through customs, I made my way to the Airport Express terminal. VERDICT A seamless service, despite delays.   FACT FILE
  • SEAT PITCH 72 in/182.9cm
  • SEAT WIDTH 20 in/50.8cm
  • SEAT RECLINE 180 degrees
  • PRICE Internet rates for a return flexible midweek flight on business class in mid-December start from HK$20,268 (US$2,615) including taxes and surcharges.
Marisa Cannon
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