Club Europe is the British Airways business class product for flights within Europe. European airlines have a business class cabin where the seats are the same as in economy class. In Australia and the United States there is dedicated business class seating featuring wider seats that are spaced further from the seat in front.
The European model allows for a greater degree of flexibility. It is not unusual to see the first ten rows set aside for business class passengers and the product differentiator is the middle seat is kept free and of course the cabin service is substantially better.
BA835 – Dublin to London Heathrow (DUB-LHR)
25 June 2016
Airbus 319 G-EUPL
Seat: Club Europe 1F
Departure: 12:55 Arrival: 14:30
Dublin to London Heathrow is one of the shortest Club Europe routes at British Airways with a flight time of around 55 minutes. People might think that business class on such a short flight would not be very popular however I find the flights to always be well patronised up the front.
I arrived at the airport earlier than anticipated as my original flight had been cancelled. The Club Europe check-in agent asked one of her co-workers to get everyone out of her line who was not on my flight so I was second to be seen. Fast track security comes with Club Europe in Dublin and I was through and in the lounge in short order. After enjoying some food, I proceeded to the 200 series gates for boarding.
Priority Boarding at British Airways is a little bit of a joke. The top two tiers in the oneworld alliance, Sapphire and Emerald, offer priority boarding. British Airways go a step further and offer it to Ruby card holders as well which usually means a great deal of passengers have priority boarding.
Once boarding was announced, we walked out onto the tarmac and up the stairs to our aircraft. I was glad it wasn’t raining! The British Airways cabin is relatively new and it looks fantastic.
Club Europe features a chic table in the middle seat, part of which has a leather finish. This means you can put your mobile phone beside you and not have to worry about it sliding anywhere. The table is well thought out though on more than one occasion it has been a little grimy around the raised Speedmarque.
Boarding was very swift even though it was a full flight as European passengers have been well trained by budget carriers to get on fast and without fuss. Hot towels were provided and collected prior to take off and this was followed by a manual safety demonstration. The demonstration is usually a video but on this flight it was manual. We headed for the runway and were soon in the air.
The crew were released from their seats and began the general bumping and clattering associated with the food service preparation. The invention of quiet galley equipment must be the next revolution in air travel!
Lunch was delivered and it was a cold chicken salad. The short flights usually feature a cold salad for the lunch and dinner services. I was offered bread from the basket and for my drink order. Champagne for me of course!
British Airways provide proper cutlery and of course the trays feature the ubiquitous Club Europe mug. The salad was quite fine with the vegetables offering a bit of taste to offset the general inoffensiveness of the chicken. Dessert was a tiramisu type sweet which was tasty enough.
The cabin crew made a very long announcement for the British Airways charity which is called Flying Start and did a collection through the cabin. The crew member made an announcement later thanking people for their generosity. His announcement about it was one of the best I had heard so I am not surprised so much money was collected.
After the meal we had an announcement from the cockpit that we would be holding for 15 minutes before landing at Heathrow. I ordered another Champagne and it seems half the Club Europe cabin ordered a second or third drink in response to mine being delivered. The Castelnau Champagne is quite okay for such a short flight and I certainly don’t mind it. When it was time for cabin secure prior to landing I was given a plastic cup to finish off my drink as we landed.
When you are landing into London Heathrow I would suggest getting a seat on the right hand side of the aircraft. You will get some spectacular views of the City of London on your approach which is basically a free sightseeing tour!
We landed uneventfully and proceeded to Terminal 5 to disembark.
British Airways offer a perfectly acceptable service in Club Europe for such a short flight. The salad for lunch is tasty and well presented and the Champagne and other drinks are freely available. The crew are courteous but very busy as they sometimes have a lot of meals to deliver in a short space of time. I recommend sitting as close to the front as possible as the meal service is front to back. Club Europe is a great option for flying to London and I would recommend it. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.