Tuesday, May 8, 2012

British Airways Club World & World Traveller Plus on the Londow Moscow Route Review

British Airways recently introduced long-haul aircraft configurations to their London Heathrow - Moscow route. This three hour flight used to feature their intra-european product with Economy (Euro Traveller) and intra-european business class (Club Europe). As of now, British Airways offers long-haul seats on these flights with World Traveller (Economy), World Traveller Plus (Premium Economy), Club World (Business Class) and First cabins. This is, in my opinion, a great improvement. As I was travelling on award tickets on my recent trip to Moscow, I had the chance to fly Club World from London to Moscow and then World Traveller plus on my way back. So here is my humble trip report!

As a OneWorld alliance Emerald member, I was entitled to use British Airways Galleries First lounge in London and I must say I was impressed. The design of the lounge is contemporary and original. I like their lamp/horses at the entrance as much as I like their champagne and wine offering:

Bollinger Rosé Champagne pictured below:

Wine cellar:

Wine cellar up-close:

That is what I call an Open Bar:

Menu for table service (everything is of course free for those who have access to this lounge):

Nice food buffet in addition to the menu:

Another picture taken inside the lounge:

As for my flight to Moscow, here is a picture of the Club World Cabin. I was a bit disappointed to realize that this was the "old" Club World cabin (I like the new one a lot better!) but then I reminded myself that I could have been sitting in Club Europe (which is comparable to Economy seats and of course doesn't feature lie-flat seats like in this configuration) had I flown a month earlier :

Of all the business class seats I had the chance to try, my favorite is BA New Club World and, I must say, the Old Club World isn't bad at all. I would even go as far as to say that it probably is better than current Air France Business Class seats (which aren't horizontal lie-flat seats in contrast with BA Old and New Club World seats). Please note that 767s operating on this route feature the old Club World seats whereas 747s (which I flew on my flight back) feature the new Club World seats AND a First Class cabin as well. No First Class on the 767s.

I also find the fact that seats are facing opposing directions a plus and it definitely adds to the cool-looking factor of the cabin!
 The ottoman at the back of the front seat is very comfortable and when pulled down constitutes the end part of the lie-flat seat.

I like this little tray for drinks too:

Here was the menu:

 Caviar and Salmon for starters (unfortunately the caviar was more or less tasteless):

I, then, had the beef which was only ok:

All in all, my visit to the Galleries First lounge combined with the comfort of BA Club World seats was extremely pleasant. It did make up for the lack of taste of my food!

So what about my flight back? Well, it started with a visit to the BA Business Class lounge at Domodedovo airport in Moscow. As in all British Airways lounge, there was a good choice of snacks and drinks in contract to the lack of any decent snack in most Air France lounges.

Pictured below is the World Traveller Plus cabin layout. We were the only passengers flying in that cabin. This is probably due to the fact that it is not easy to realize that this route features this cabin. I believe that most passengers weren't aware that it was possible to book Word Traveller Plus seats (I had to call reservations to ask when I booked our tickets):

World Traveller Plus menu:

My food was not very good but then this wasn't Club World. Red Wine was not good at all.

All in all, I really like flying British Airways. The crew is always nice and helpful. As our return flight was late, we were met upon arrival by BA ground staff and were rushed to our connecting flight departing 20 minutes later. I still can't believe we made it!

British Airways new cabin configuration and particularly their Club World seats are probably the most comfortable ones when flying from Europe to Russia.


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