British Airways (JFK-LHR)

Travelling on British Airway's (BA) renowed Club World defines what we've heard all along: it's the journey, not just the destination, that matters.

Check In: I arrived at JFK's Terminal 7 armed only with a piece of luggage and my backpack for BA Flight 178. The business class counter is in a separate area with just a handful of departing passengers checking-in for this morning's London-bound flight. BA staff is very courteous as I was handed my boarding and lounge pass.

Lounge: It didn't take me long to find BA's Terraces Lounge as I've been here on several occasions when I flew on Cathay Pacific (CX uses BA's lounge at JFK). What is truly pampering in this lounge is the complimentary services provided by Molton Brown Travel Spa - there's a selection of stress-relieving therapies provided for BA Club World passengers in both JFK and London Heathrow's departure and arrival lounges. I opted for Reflex Therapy, a 30-minute rubdown that made me forget I'm travelling! Feeling relaxed, I settled into one of the Terrace's computer terminals to check on e-mail. Wines and beverages are freely available along with snacks on three long counters.

Boarding: With nothing else to do, I decided to walk to Gate 6 even before boarding announcements were made. Economy class passengers were already queueing. There are two gates, one for First/Club World and Economy. It was a hassle-free boarding as First Class passengers were called first, followed by Club World and then elite members of BA's Executive Club and Oneworld passengers. BA utilizes Boeing 747's on most of its trans-Atlantic flights and today, I'm seated on the upper deck of the plane. As soon as I entered the cabin, the flight attendant offered to take my coat away as I was showed to my seat.

The Seat: As soon as I sat at 62K - a window seat - a steward came up offering a selection of drinks: champagne, water and juice. This being my first time trying BA's business class product, I'm already impressed with the seat. The arrangement first of all is very unique with alternating backward and forward seats. In my case, my seat faces backward and since it's on the emergency exit side, I have tons of space. There's a privacy screen if you don't want to see the passenger seated next to you. The seat turns into a lie-flat bed (as opposed to Cathay Pacific's "angled flat" business class seat) which means a more comfortable sleep. The personal TV is secured in a recess on the wall which can easily be pulled out. There's an extensive array of entertainment available via AVOD (audio-video on demand). Inflight amenity kits containing Molton Brown products were handed as well as menu cards before the doors of the plane were closed.

The only concern to those seated on the window side (except those at the emergency exits) is that once the aisle-seat passenger stretches out in the lie-flat position, one has to practically jump over the passenger's feet to access the aisle. Some airborne exercise huh? I also find the seat a bit cramped width-wise compared with other business class seats. I guess sacrificing a few centimeters in width was made in order to accomodate a longer seat pitch.

The Flight: We pushed out of the gate on time for the 9:00 a.m. departure. Flight time to London Heathrow is almost 7 hours as per the captain's announcement with little turbulence expected along the way. Turbulence for some connotes chaos but I tried to distract myself - I've experienced air turbulence in many flights and they were mostly mild. As always, I keep the seat belt on all the time just in case. The flight attendants started serving drinks and warm nuts as soon as the seatbelt sign was turned off. A full brunch was offered a little later: I had fresh fruit plate and smoked salmon with cream cheese for starters. Main course was grilled fillet steak with hash-brown potatoes plus a selection of warm breads and breakfast pastries. I finished off my meal with an apple and cherry flan.

While the meal service was going on, the flight attendants were hovering around without being too intrusive, refilling my glass of water without having to ask for it and removing my tray as soon as they see me done. As this is a day flight and I want to catch a regular sleep during my nighttime arrival in London, I decided to watch some movies. BA maintains a "Raid The Larder" service throught the flight where hungry passengers can help themselves to a selection of crisps and dips, biscuits/cookies, chocolate bars, fruits and drinks available on the Club World galley. An hour before our scheduled arrival in Heathrow at 8:40 p.m., the flight attendants served us warm snacks. It was truly filling that I told myself I'm not having dinner anymore once I set foot in London.

Arrival:We got out of the plane via airbridge and into the Immigration counters. Thankfully, there's a Fast Track service for arriving premium passengers and I breezed through the passport control in no time at all. My luggage took several minutes before it appeared on the carousel. BA has an Arrivals Lounge available for those who still want to prep up before heading out to London or elsewhere: showers, Molton Brown spa therapies and a snack bar. In my case, I'm just ready to hit central London again by taking the Tube all the way to South Kensington. My good friend Mel Lavarez lives nearby.

Overall, my experience with BA's Club World has been very good. Their product has set the benchmark in the airline industry. It has shown what it means to travel in a very competitive "full service" market, especially the trans-Atlantic route. British Airways flies to London Heathrow from New York JFK daily and other major cities in the US.


  1. Thanks dude, I shelled out the 2800 for the ticks from seattle based on your observations

    1. This was a flight taken with BA's old business class product although the current seating arrangement is pretty much the same. Have a safe and enjoyable journey dude!


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