Tried & Tested

British Airways short-haul B767 Club Europe

24 May 2011 by BusinessTraveller

BACKGROUND BA operates eight flights a day on this route (seven on Saturdays and Sundays). Earlier this year, the airline also launched flights from London Heathrow to Paris Orly airport, and now operates the route twice daily.

CHECK-IN I arrived at Heathrow Terminal 5 at 0700 for my 0905 departure on flight BA306, having already checked in online. I headed to zone H, where there was no queue, and used mobile boarding via BA’s new Microsoft app, which is available to Executive Club members. It was very efficient – no need to search through my emails, as the boarding pass can be summoned simply by selecting the app. It then took only a couple of minutes to get through fast-track security.

THE LOUNGE I had plenty of time to enjoy the BA Galleries Club South lounge, located a quite a walk away from security and up an escalator. I made use of the extensive breakfast buffet, which included bacon rolls, pastries, fresh fruit, juice, and tea and coffee. The lounge was busy at this time in the morning, but not crowded, and there were plenty of available seats. A decent selection of magazines and newspapers was available.

BOARDING I boarded at gate A08 at approximately 0855, which was a less than five-minute walk away from the BA Galleries, after taking the lift down. The boarding process was organised, with business class passengers invited to board first. We were greeted by friendly cabin crew and were in our seats by 0900.

THE SEAT This B767 was divided into two classes – Club Europe (short-haul business) and Euro Traveller (economy), and seats in Club Europe were configured 2-3-2 with the middle seat kept free. For a seatplans of this aircraft click here. I was in window seat 8K in the penultimate back row of the nine-row business class, which was separated from economy by toilets.

Legroom was generous and my leather seat was comfortable, with a headrest, a good-sized fold-down table with a magazine rack beneath it and a coat hook on the seat in front. This being a short-haul flight, there was no in-flight entertainment. The business class section was about half-full.

WHICH SEAT TO CHOOSE? Being near the back of the business section, my row was one of the last to be served breakfast. Washrooms were at the back of the business section, and the front rows were the first to disembark, so on balance, a seat nearer the front would have been preferable, particularly if the flight had been longer.

THE FLIGHT While we were in our seats on time, aircraft queues meant we didn’t take off until 0940, 35 minutes behind schedule. Once we were in the air, a tasty hot breakfast consisting of scrambled eggs, sausages and tomatoes was served promptly, with plastic cutlery, along with fresh fruit, warm bread, pastries and tea or coffee. The passenger next to me had a lactose-free meal, which looked appetising. Service was very good, and cabin crew were happy to answer questions.

ARRIVAL We landed at terminal B in Paris Charles de Gaulle at 1145, only 15 minutes later than the scheduled arrival time. We were off the aircraft swiftly and the walk to immigration lasted no more than five minutes. We were through immigration before midday.

VERDICT Very good service during the flight. The efficient boarding was enhanced by the smooth new BA app for Windows 7 phones.

PRICE Internet rates for a return business class flight from London to Paris Charles de Gaulle in Club World started from £384.10 in June.


Rose Dykins

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