In this trip report, I will be reviewing the British Airways Club Europe product on the Airbus A319 and the British Airways Lounge at Manchester Airport Terminal 3.Due to the weather and flight cancellations the previous days, we decided to change our flight from 17.15 to 12.15 on 3rd March 2018. It would mean spending an extra five hours at Heathrow Airport. However, we were fly First Class on the next leg of the journey, so spending additional time in the British Airways Concorde Room would soften the blow. Unfortunately, nothing went to plan and changing the flight time ended up being a wrong decision.
British Airways Club Europe Review
- Departure Date: 3rd March 2018
- Departure Airport: Manchester (MAN)
- Scheduled Departure Time: 12.15
- Arrival Airport: Heathrow (LHR)
- Aircraft: Airbus A319
- Flight Number: BA1387
- Airline Class: Club Europe
- Seat: 5F
Check-inIt was quiet when we arrived, so it was only a short wait to check-in our bags through to Dubai. The British Airways desks are not far from Airport Security, so with our fast track tickets the process was going to be smooth for a change.
British Airways LoungeThe British Airways Lounge at Manchester Airport Terminal 3 is located past Dixons and up the lift or stairs on the left side up to the entrance on Level 3. I’m going to keep the lounge experience brief on this trip report as I will be doing a separate review due to the appalling service provided by the British Airways Reception Staff on the day. The food and drink offering has not improved since our last visit three years ago.
BoardingWe were finally called to board at 15.40, four hours later than scheduled. The gate area was full, and most passengers were standing up waiting to board due to the long delay. British Airways have introduced a new group boarding system. When flying short haul, the following group system applies: – Priority Group 1 – Business (Club Europe), Executive Club Gold Members & Oneworld Emerald members Priority Group 2 – Executive Club Silver Members & Oneworld Sapphire members Priority Group 3 – Executive Club Bronze Members & Oneworld Ruby members Groups 4 and 5 – Economy (Euro Traveller) I don’t have a problem with the system, but boarding seemed to take forever when groups 4 to 5 started boarding. It would make sense to board the Economy passengers from the rear rows first and not have a free for all that happens on low-cost airlines.
CabinThere were 132 Standard Economy Seats on the Airbus A319 in a 3-3 configuration. However, the Club Europe section had six rows of 3-3 with a space saver seat in the middle making the first six rows 2-2.
SeatThe seat was a standard economy class seat with an approximately 30-inch pitch and 18-inch width. The middle seat does not get used in the British Airways Club Europe configuration.
Food & Drink ServiceThe Cabin Crew had to be quick with service as the flight time was going to be about 35-40 minutes after takeoff. Therefore, there was just enough time to have a bite to eat and a drink. The food offering consisted of a simple chicken salad, bread and a chocolate sponge cake. The food wasn’t great, but it was edible. Unfortunately, the First Officer announced that we would be in a holding pattern for 30 minutes, so a member of the Cabin Crew offered me a glass of champagne which I willingly accepted.
CrewOne thing you could not get annoyed about was the crew. The cabin crew serving the Club Europe passengers were outstanding and tried to reassure passengers who were on contacting flights.
ArrivalArrival time was 17.40 over four hours late. Flight BA1387 was the only flight of five delayed more than 30 minutes on 3rd March 2018.
BA Club Europe YouTube Review
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British Airways Customer ServiceThe response from British Airways Customer Service was what I expected. Although I can except the weather was a factor in the delay, all the other BA flights to Heathrow either left on time or were no more than 30 minutes late. The lounge staff said there was a technical issue with the aircraft and the cabin crew said the delay was due to staffing issues. You can read the email received from British Airways below.
'Thanks for contacting us about your EU compensation claim and the staff in the lounge at the airport. I'm sorry for the delay in replying to you. I can understand how frustrated you and your wife must have been when your flight was delayed, particularly as you had a connecting flight to Dubai. I realise your further disappointment with the way Shelly spoke to your wife. This is not the service you would expect to receive when travelling with us. Please accept my apologies. Our staff are highly trained and we’re really proud of the service we offer. So, I’m sorry to hear our staff weren’t as helpful as we expect them to be. I’ve sent a copy of your email to the line manager of the staff member you’ve mentioned, who’ll certainly take on your feedback. I'm sorry to hear there was no updates or announcements about your flight. It’s common for the information we have about your delayed flight to change quite often, so we try to only give you details that we feel are relevant and that you will find beneficial to your trip. We need to make sure what we tell you isn’t going to change again but I know this doesn’t change how difficult your journey was. We always want to maintain a stable operation and we’ll only delay an aircraft if we really have to, particularly as it affects our customers and their plans. From what you’ve told me, I absolutely agree we’ve let you down and I’m very sorry. Your claim for EU compensation has been refused because BA1387 on 03 March 2018 was delayed because of adverse weather conditions which prevented the aircraft operating as scheduled. Under EU legislation, I’m afraid we’re not liable for a compensation payment in this situation. We take all reasonable measures to avoid delaying a flight and we always consider if there are any operational options available before we make a decision. We’re very sorry the delay was necessary in this case. Thanks for following this up with us. We value your support as a Bronze member of our Executive Club and I hope we can welcome you and Mrs Milford on board again soon. Please feel free to contact us if we can help you any further and I hope we have the chance to welcome you on board again soon. Best regards Elaine Cumberland British Airways Customer Relations'