Pat's Travel Reviews

British Airways A320 Club Europe Review Prague to London LHR

I actually took this flight last year and have been meaning to write a review since I took it. British BA Club EuropeAirways flights depart out of Terminal 1 (non-Schengen flights) at Prague’s Vaclav Havel Airport (formerly known as Prague Ruzyne International Airport). There is a dedicated line for Club Europe and Executive Club elite members at PRG which made check-in quick for my mid-day flight. Passport control was equally as speedy which left me plenty of time to relax in the Menzies Aviation Lounge, which BA BA Club Europeuses for Business Class passengers and Oneworld Sapphire and Emerald members. Despite not having the best selection of food, the lounge was very nice with friendly staff, great views of the runway, ample drink selections (both alcohol and non-alcohol), and a few new computers. Free WiFi was also available.

I forgot that security at PRG is conducted at each gate prior to entering the gate area. So while the 20/25 minutes I gave myself turned out to be cutting it a little close, it also meant there was no wait at security. I was one of the last passengers to board and luckily the cabin was only half full, so there was plenty of room in the overhead for my rollerboard suitcase. I was seated in 1F, the bulkhead window seat. Like most European Airlines short-haul (intra-Europe) Business Classes, British Airways can adjust the size of the Club Europe cabin based on load factors. On this flight rows 1 through 5 comprised Club Europe. The seats are the same as Euro Traveller and are in the traditional 3 x 3  configuration. The only difference is that the middle seat is not sold in Club Europe and there is a removable tray table in-between each Club Europe seat. The seat width and pitch (17 & 30 inches according to seatguru) are the exact same as the Euro Traveller seat.

BA Clubb Europe

This A320 was either new or the interior had been recently renovated. I assume it was new because it was very clean and the lighting inside the plane was light blue (similar to Boeing’s Sky Interior or 787’s). This, along with the smart looking dark grey leather seats (with small BA Club Europeheadrests) made for a modern and fresh look. In Club Europe there were light green protectors over the headrests and a curtain to separate the cabins. There were no blankets or pillows on the seats nor was a pre-departure drink offered. In fact, I do not think a flight attendant acknowledged any of the passengers in Club Europe before departure. This didn’t bother me as I had enough to drink in the lounge and was BA Club Europebusy writing down notes for this review, however, I can see this being upsetting to some people. I was surprised for such a new looking product that there was no power port plug at the seat. There was also no WiFi and the only entertainment was a small screen that came down over the seats that was primarily used for the safety demonstration and a nice moving map (but only showed that for the final 30 minutes of the flight). There was no audio either, so I guess you could not really use the overhead monitors for anything else.

The bulkhead seat certainly had more knee room than the other rows, but I was not able to completely stretch out my legs like I would under the seat in front. Also, the armrest is solid BA Club Europebecause the tray table is there, thus making the seat slightly narrower. Fortunately or unfortunately, the seat recline is limited so no worries of the seat coming into your lap if seated in a non-bulkhead seat. All that said, I was still happy I sat in the bulkhead. The aisle seat was unoccupied and because you are really sitting in a Coach seat it is less claustrophobic.

We departed on time and shortly after take-off the flight attendant handed out hot towels and landing cards for LHR. This was followed with drinks and a small package of mixed nuts (which were quite good). Lunch was served by cart (without beverages). There was two choices; Salad with Prawn Skewers (the BA Club Europeflight attendant would remove the prawns onto the salad at your seat) or Chicken Parmesan with Gnocchi. The flight attendant asked for my choice by my name (which I thought was a nice touch) and offered a nice selection of breads. No surprise, I opted for the Chicken Parmesan and Gnocchi which I enjoyed very much. The meal was not only tasty, but nice and hot. The presentation of the entire meal was simple, but appetizing. The dessert was also very good (light and refreshing). There were three flight attendants serving this flight and a second flight attendant came to offer tea after the meal service had been completed. For a 1 hr 45 min flight, I was very impressed with the meal service.

BA Club Europe

Despite the initial lack of interaction, the flight attendants were very pleasant and helpful. All announcements were only made in English, and I am not even sure if there were Czech subtitles on the BA Club Europesafety video. The weather was clear the entire route and it was a beautiful day in Southern England so that kept the usual holding pattern down to a minimum. We were treated with a great view of London as we approached Heathrow and arrived into Terminal 3 right on time. British Airways still uses Terminal 3 for some flights and since I was staying at the Hilton in Terminal 4, it didn’t effect me one way or the other. However, it would be a little extra hassle if connecting to a flight out of Terminal 5.

As someone who predominately flies within the US, I am always disappointed that Business Class seats on almost all European carriers (Air Serbia & Aeroflot are two exceptions that I know of) are the same as Economy Class seats. The blocking out of the middle seat does provide some extra room and privacy (and storage space) and an even greater benefit is the cabins are almost always less than full (of the 50 or so intra-European flights I have taken in Business Class the last 20 years, maybe two were full). So by having the entire bulkhead to myself, flying on a clean plane with a nice interior (even lavatory was nice), receiving attentive service, and most importantly, an enjoyable meal, more than makes up for the seat width and pitch and made for a very enjoyable flight on British Airways in Club Europe.The only thing I would take issue with is the lack of entertainment options, WiFi, and power ports. In this day & age you would expect those on a new aircraft. It would be safe to say that the Club Europe experience from PRG to LHR would be similar to most European destinations to and from the UK (other than Moscow; http://patstravelreviews.com/british-airways-first-class-review-moscow-dme-to-lhr/ ).

 

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Pat's Travel Reviews

Pat's Travel Reviews