For my next big adventure, my world cruise with Fred. Olsen cruise lines, my first step was flying with British Air. There are many options to fly to the UK from Boston and since they’re a partner with American Airlines, it seemed only natural to fly in Club World to London. My first stop at Boston Logan International Airport on my way out before the crazy blizzard expected in Boston was the British Airways Lounge.
The new British Air lounge in the recently expanded Terminal E has an abundance of seating and food options. There’s even a bar at the far end with great views overlooking the airport. My only problem with the lounge was that they had the temperature set to the equivalent of a walk in refrigerator. It was so cold that I couldn’t get comfortable. Brrrrr.
My solution to this problem? Have some miso broth with veggie dumplings and veggies. The soup is prepared specifically for you at the buffet counter with your choice of steamed chicken dumplings or fried veggie dumplings. Unfortunately, there wasn’t any steamed veggie dumplings available, but I made do. Also, since they serve the soup without chopsticks or large spoons, eating it can be quite difficult. I somehow was able to slurp most of it up and even added a big dollop of sriracha to warm me up on the inside.
Earlier in the day I received notification that my flight was going to be delayed. The original flight time was 9:15 pm and we were now scheduled for 9:58 pm. I was glad to have somewhere to pass the time in an overall relaxed and comfortable atmosphere.
My absolute favorite part of the lounge is the dedicated gate within the lounge. The convenience of not having to walk to another part of the terminal is definitely a bonus.
When it came time to board, all I had to do was line up and head down the escalator to the gangway. Unfortunately, they were also boarding coach customers at the same time from the regular gate in the terminal. This meant waiting in the cold gangway until people were seated inside the plane.
My seat on the British Air 777-200 was in the Club World cabin in seat 16A. This aircraft has four cabins: First, Club World, World Traveller +, and World Traveller. I was most excited about having a lie flat seat so as to maybe get a few hours sleep. However, as soon as I boarded the plane I had issues.
Turns out the family in the adjacent seats had taken the overhead locker over my seat and their child’s seat as well as the one over their seats on the opposite side of the aisle. They had placed just about everything, including jackets, and that would’ve meant nowhere to put my bag. Not one to avoid speaking up, I had to ask the mother to move her items out of the way so I could put my bag up. She reluctantly did so, but not enough to get both my roller bag and my backpack in the locker. I had to find another bin to put that into, so thank you so much lady.
I’ll never understand the selfishness and entitled attitude of others. On many occasions I’ve given up my seat so families could sit together and have really tried to always be nice to others. But it’s situations like this that just leave me completely dumbfounded. How hard would it be considerate of others?
Seat 16A in Club World on British Air Flight BA214
Once I got the bag situation in order, it was time to settle into my seat. Seat 16A is a rear facing seat, which may sound strange, but really isn’t. While I can’t stand sitting in a rear facing seat on a train, with a nighttime flight, I didn’t really notice which way we were flying.
But the best part of this British Air seat is that it affords a little more privacy with no one seated by your feet. When the footstool is in the down position, it can be a little difficult to maneuver around, but you’re not milling about the cabin anyway, right? Combine that with the privacy screen that goes up after takeoff and you’re completely secluded in your own private cocoon.
Club World Menu
Immediately upon getting seated, the flight attendant provided me with a menu and the offer of a glass of champagne. I’m not one to ever turn down a glass of champagne and this one in particular was quite good. I quickly looked over the beverage menu to see what British Air was offering on this flight.
Since I had pre-ordered a vegan meal, I only perused the food menu for entertainment and research purposes.
My Club World Vegan Meal
Shortly after takeoff, the flight attendant came by and asked if I wanted anything to eat or if I had eaten already. I mentioned my pre-ordered meal and he offered to bring it by with something to drink. I really wanted to get a few hours of sleep in, which led me to ordering another glass of champagne with my meal. I was served a salad with peppers, spinach, and sunflower seeds and lemon dressing and a starter of Israeli couscous and peppers. The salad and the starter were quite tasty and a considerable step up from vegan starters I’ve had from other airlines.
The entree was carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, and rice. Nothing terribly fancy, but for someone who was really hungry, a decent option. By the way, if you weren’t sure, I was definitely that hungry person.
When they handed out the menus before takeoff, the breakfast options were also included. Passengers were advised to complete and return immediately, which I did. I planned for the earliest option so I could organize my bags in the two overhead lockers while everyone was still sleeping. See — I’m always thinking ahead. Of course, I completely forgot to take any pics, but all I had was fresh fruit, coffee, and a mango banana smoothie.
Stretching Out in Club World
I never ended up putting the seat into complete lie flat mode. Why? If I did, I would never have been able to access storage or to get up and out of the seat. I had it nearly flat, which was more than fine for my 5’4″ frame.
The little storage drawer near the floor was nice to stow things during the flight, but impossible to reach when the seat is down. I ended up having my phone, glasses, and other things on top of the duvet while in my seat.
Club World Amenity Kit
The British Air Club World amenity kit on this flight was a small black bag from The White Company with travel socks, a sleep mask, ear plugs, a pen, toothbrush and toothpaste, and SPA lip balm, gentle moisturizer, and a relax pulse point roller ball applicator. I do love amenity kits and this was a nice one although not terribly original. What was original on this flight was the safety video, which definitely made me laugh. I don’t know how they got Gordon Ramsay and other celebrities to do it, but I enjoyed it and it did make me watch.
My Arrival Into Heathrow
My six hour flight from Boston finally arrived at London Heathrow airport at 9:22 am. No arrival card for me as I have a frequent traveller card and was able to go through Customs with UK residents. Once through, I only had to wait for my luggage at carousel 7. After my last visit to Heathrow where my bags were delayed, I kept my fingers crossed that I’d not experience déjà vu. Luckily, my extraordinarily large and heavy bags arrived and soon I’d be off to my hotel. Or so I thought.
My transfer from the airport to my hotel had been arranged by Cruising Excursions and I was told to look for my name in the arrivals hall. I circled the area for almost an hour before calling to find out what happened. Turns out the driver was there, but left.
I grabbed a coffee at Costa Coffee and waited for him to return. That meant I could do a little people watching while I waited.
Finally my driver, Nezat, arrived and I was no on my way into London. The drive was smooth, Nezat from Airport Pickups London offered intelligent and thought provoking conversation although I don’t know how awake I was or what I said. After a long flight with so many bags, this was definitely an easier option than taking Heathrow Express. Up next is my review of my hotel in London, Club Quarters Hotel St. Paul’s London.
Have you ever flown in Club World on British Airways? What did you think of it? Share your thoughts in the comments below. Then don’t forget to read other flight reviews here on the Travel Shop Girl website.