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British Airways Economy Class Flight Review London Heathrow to Nice return

CABIN FLOWN

Economy Class

ROUTE FLOWN

London Heathrow to Nice return

DATE

23rd September 2010

REVIEWER

Michael Edwards

FLIGHT RATING

British Airways British Airways customer 2010
3.0 Star Rating: Average

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British Airways Economy Class Flight Review London Heathrow to Nice return


DEPARTURE SERVICE

London Heathrow Terminal 5 check-in was quick, having already checked in online and printed boarding passes. Bag drop here required about 3-4 mins queuing, and staff did not seem bothered about the odd extra kg in hold baggage. Boarding was from the main terminal area at T5, and just a 3 mins walk from the central shopping area. Fairly quick and efficient service.

On the return, check-in at Nice was similarly easy, printing off boarding cards at self check-in kiosks, and then just a 1 min wait to drop the bags. Staff did not want any form of verbal engagement, but got the job done.


CABIN APPEARANCE

Outbound an A319, return from Nice an A321. Both aircraft were basically clean - certainly not to the pristine standards you find on many Asian carriers, and probably put cleanliness levels below those of Lufthansa. Grubby windows everywhere, with long-standing handmarks not very pleasant. Seats with leather covers were clean, although showing signs of wear, and headrest pads that are supposed to be adjustable have long lost this function and could not be moved. Washroom not inspected.


SEATING COMFORT

Got the first row in Euro Traveller cabin on each flight, and these were seats that are occasionally integrated into the Club Europe cabin. Seat pitch is fine for such a short 95 mins flight, and thankfully nobody seemed to recline seats - quite unnecessary on short hops. This front row is configured 2x3 instead of the normal 3x3 with these adjustable seats - seat position A and C meant the same room as those paying a lot more in Club cabin 1 row forward.


ONBOARD CATERING

British Airways offers a complimentary hot or cold beverage (tea, coffee, juices, wines etc) and this is served with a sweet or savoury snack - cheese nibbles that were simply disgusting, or packet of 2 chocolate flavoured biscuits. Again, having regard to low-fare paid, one should not expect anything more on this flight length. A recent shorter BA flight from Brussels served a soft cheese and salmon roll which in contrast was inedible. One sad inditement for snack foods that BA serves in Economy class, is that their catering dept seem to have a love-affair with "E" numbers. Never seen snacks, filled rolls etc with such a long list of added ingredients!


INFLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT

Drop down screens show the safety video and used for Airshow inflight. Rather tatty copies of the BA Highlife magazine in the seat pocket. British Airways do at least still offer some newspapers for self-service in the boarding gate / airbridge.


CABIN STAFF SERVICE

Perfunctory is the most apt description. The staff do offer a greeting at the main door on boarding, some very occasional assistance was offered to customers looking for overhead bin space to stow luggage. In Economy class, there is only 1 service with a cart that seemed to take approx 25 mins to appear to distribute the beverages, and then 45 mins later staff returned to clear debris. Certainly none of the staff were rude, but some of them could have tried a little bit more interaction and courtesy.


FLIGHT ARRIVAL

Both flights arrived ahead of schedule and deplaning was quick at both Nice and T5 Heathrow. In Nice, the baggage handling was terrible, especially for such a small airport, and had to wait 35 mins for bags to appear - so all benefit of early landing disappeared. Then, arrival into T5 LHR had exactly the same issue, and a wait of 25 mins for the first bags to appear.


CUSTOMER TRIP VERDICT

After trying Air France, easyJet (and several years earlier Ryanair) to Southern France, British Airways delivers an efficient and generally trustworthy service. No hassles about baggage with 23kg allowance for checked luggage, and 2 pieces of hand luggage permitted. The fare levels were approx GBP20 per person more than easyJet, but we travelled in confidence of departing and arriving on the correct days - not something one can rely on with easyJet nowadays.

 





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