British Airways operate a single return flight which gives passengers an experience akin to a private jet. The flight is operated by the Airbus A318 and features just 32 seats in an all business class configuration.
Looking at a timetable will show the flights listed as BA 1 and BA 2. Do the flight numbers ring a bell? Concorde frequent flyers will recognise them instantly.
Origin and Destination
These flights operate between London City Airport and New York JFK. On the flight to New York, the aircraft stops in Shannon in Ireland after an hour for fuel, while the return flight is non-stop. Canapés and drinks are served during the short flight to Shannon.
Passengers leave the aircraft in Shannon and proceed through US Immigration Preclearance. This means the aircraft lands in New York like a domestic flight, expediting the arrival experience.
Ground time in Shannon is just 30 minutes and it all passes quite quickly before you head back on board. The Shannon stop over evokes memories of a time when all aircraft had to do this so it is nice reliving a bit of history.
A Private Cabin
Club World seating on the Airbus A318 is completely different to other aircraft in the British Airways fleet. All seats face forward in a two by two arrangement. Seats are lie-flat and provide a comfortable sleep.
Entertainment is offered on iPad devices which are distributed by the cabin crew. These feature the usual entertainment choices from the main system, though not as many options.
Check in times are very short – 15 minutes at London City (20 minutes with baggage) and 45 minutes in New York. At London City there is an arrivals service offered by the Radisson Edwardian New Providence Wharf. You can shower and have some breakfast if you wish.
OnAir connectivity is offered on board however the speed is comparable to GPRS which is virtually unusable. Cabin Crew are always very senior and professional on this trip and provide a stellar service.
Those that wish to fly between New York and London should try this service. The fact there are 32 seats on an aircraft that can seat over 100 gives a very private jet like feeling. The service is unique at British Airways and is unusual in the industry overall.
If you expect there to be a price premium over the usual business class, there isn’t. This keeps the service within reach of the usual business class passenger. Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
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Featured image via British Airways.