British Airways Concorde Room New York JFK
British Airways First Class 747 New York To London
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British Airways Club Europe A319 London to Brussels
Sheraton Brussels Airport
Brussels Airlines Business Class A330 Brussels To Frankfurt
Brussels Airlines Tomorrowland Flight Frankfurt Gate Party
Brussels Airlines Tomorrowland Flight Frankfurt To Brussels
TGV Train Brussels To Paris
ICARE Lounge Paris Charles de Gaulle
La Compagnie Business Class 757 Paris To Newark
Andaz Wall Street New York
I arrived at my departure gate, A20, at around 12:05PM, and boarding was already underway. British Airways is one of the few European airlines that at least does a decent job with enforcing priority boarding, as they do have a dedicated “Fast Track” lane that I could use to cut the queue.
Once my boarding pass was scanned I proceeded down the escalator and onto the super long jet bridge.
British Airways 394
London (LHR) – Brussels (BRU)
Wednesday, July 23
Aircraft: Airbus A319
Seat: 3F (Club Europe)
At the door I was greeted by the customer service director, Michael, who was actually extremely friendly.
I quickly settled into 3F. As is the norm in intra-Europe business class, the cabin simply consisted of coach seats with a blocked middle. On this flight there were a total of four rows of Club Europe, and the cabin was half full, with eight of the sixteen seats taken. The aisle seat next to me remained empty.
At the moment British Airways actually does have marginally more legroom in the first few rows of the cabin (which are usually used for Club Europe), though they’ll soon be installing slimline seats, and in the process will have the same seat pitch throughout the cabin.
British Airways Club Europe A319
Shortly before scheduled departure time the captain came on the PA to introduce himself and the “senior first officer” (I don’t know what it is with BA and every first officer seemingly being referred to as a “senior first officer”), and informed us of our flight time of 45 minutes. He explained that due to congestion at Heathrow we’d be pushing back about 10 minutes late, and then would have a bit of a wait for takeoff as well.
Sure enough we pushed back at 12:45PM sharp, and began our taxi to our departure runway, 9R.
The traffic ahead of us for takeoff was quite interesting to look at, including a British Airways 767, Transaero 737, Thai Airways 747, etc.
At 1PM we were cleared for takeoff on Runway 9R, and rocketed off after a quick takeoff roll.
As is the norm on these short intra-Europe flights, I was glued to the window for the entirety of the flight.
About five minutes after takeoff the cabin crew sprung into action. The curtains were drawn between the galley and the cabin, and a couple of minutes later the CSD emerged with the “snack.” He referred to it as “chicken served three ways.” It was actually quite tasty, along with the dessert and roll.
I should note that the CSD was an absolute delight, first and foremost because he actually smiled and was friendly, but also because he was extremely attentive. The amount of drink refills he offered on a 45 minute flight was impressive.
A couple of minutes after leveling off at our cruising altitude of 19,000 feet we began our descent, which was bumpy due to quite a bit of cloud coverage.
Before I knew it, the gear dropped and we were on our final descent into Brussels.
We touched down on Runway 1 at 2:40PM.
From there we had a roughly five minute taxi to our arrival gate. Brussels Airport is one of the more civilized and pleasant airports in Europe, in my opinion, and I was happy to see we got a gate rather than a remote stand.
Upon deplaning I headed towards immigration, which was quick enough. However, it took quite a while to get through customs, as they were pulling a lot of people over.
British Airways Club Europe bottom line
Intra-Europe travel leaves a lot to be desired. I’d take a US first class seat with no service over the coach seats with a blocked middle and service offered within Europe. That being said, British Airways does deserve credit for offering a bit more legroom in Club Europe, though that’s going away soon.
This was one of my better intra-Europe flights, with a great flight attendant and actually edible snack.