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
It 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 Lounge
The 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.
We 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.
There 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.
The 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 Service
The 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.
One 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.
Arrival 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.