Review: British Airways Club Europe A320 London Heathrow To Amsterdam

Introduction
Delta Sky Club Los Angeles LAX
The Club At SJC
Delta First Class CRJ-900 San Jose To Los Angeles
Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse Los Angeles LAX
Virgin Atlantic Upper Class A340 Los Angeles To London Heathrow
British Airways Galleries Lounge London Heathrow
British Airways Club Europe A320 London Heathrow To Amsterdam
Garuda Indonesia First Class 777-300ER Amsterdam To London Gatwick
Andaz Liverpool Street London
Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse London Heathrow LHR
Virgin Atlantic Upper Class A340 London Heathrow To Los Angeles


British Airways 432
London Heathrow (LHR) to Amsterdam (AMS)
Thursday, July 2
Depart: 2:50pm
Arrive: 5:00pm
Duration: 1h10min
Aircraft: Airbus A320
Seat: 2A

I boarded the aircraft, which had a fairly light load, and took my self-assigned window seat, 2A. It’s worth noting that even in business class, unless you want to pay British Airways will not let you assign yourself a seat until check-in on intra-Europe flights [**Edited to add: Unless you’re a BA elite (which I’m not)], which I find not only bizarre, but a little chintzy. Luckily, however, everyone’s in the same boat, and since we’re talking intra-Europe “business class,” it’s not exactly like there’s a winning seat out there that is up for grabs.

The Airbus A320 felt gleaming new and my seat was actually comfortable and modern, though of course, not anything resembling US domestic first class.

British Airways Club Europe seat
British Airways Club Europe seat 2A

However, unlike US airlines, you get a meal on intra-Europe business class even on an incredibly short hop flight. At this point, I was a bit “peckish,” as the Brits would say, so I was looking forward to something to eat.

Shortly after takeoff, flight attendants came around with a hot towel service, and then just a few minutes thereafter, they came by and offered “tea service,” which, again, was both very British and very perfect for what amounts to a 45-minute flight.

The attendant set a tray in front of me with a selection of tea sandwiches, a scone, some jam, a little pound cake (which I passed on, as I wanted to go light on the sweets), and she poured my tea cup with some delicious black tea, which did a good job of reviving me.

Tea sandwiches
Tea sandwiches

The sandwiches were actually incredibly tasty, and hit the spot.

Scone and jam
Scone and jam

As for the scone, it, too, was just what I needed. I added just a bit of jam and clotted cream to it, and it reminded me of all the things I do love about the British.

Tea!
Tea!

I’m not much of a tea drinker at all, really (I prefer coffee), but when in Rome, as they say. And the tea was lovely. I had two cups.

By the time I finished my second cup of tea, we were already beginning our final approach into Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, so the flight attendant collected my tray and I gazed out the window at the gorgeous scenery of green countryside, miniature villages, windmills and canals, and the beaches of the North Sea beyond, that were splayed out in front of me. The approach into Holland has really got to be one of the prettiest in the world, if you ask me.

Bottom Line

London Heathrow to Amsterdam is a very short flight. You can’t really ask for or expect much, but my flight on British Airways was really quite lovely for what it was. The tea sandwiches were light, but totally satisfying, and I appreciated the tea service that reminded me I was on the UK flag carrier.

Of course, there are fancier ways to fly from London to Amsterdam and back, as you’ll see in the next installment. But BA got me where I needed to go on time and satisfied, which is all I could ask for that day.

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Comments

  1. Nick,
    You can choose your seat for free before check-in with BA and for all classes of travel only if you are an Executice Club bronze,silver, gold, or Oneworld emerald and saphire.

    And what did you think of the seat pitch in 2A?

  2. “even in business class, unless you want to pay British Airways will not let you assign yourself a seat until check-in”

    That’s only true if you are a nobody* or travelling on a cheapo or redemption ticket.

    *In the eyes of the airline and their OW partners.

  3. BA allows free seat selections for its elites, which is quite a nice thing actually. If you’re silver or above, you can do it the moment you book your ticket.

  4. I recently flew BUD – LHR in business with BA without being at that time executive or anything, and could choose my seat right after booking.

  5. You can choose your seat immediately after booking as a silver/gold executive club member or travelling on a non discounted ticket.

  6. Yes indeed you can choose your seat if you are Sapphire or Emerald oneworld – but not on hand baggage only fares. These economy-class fares are approx £15/$22 per segment cheaper than the regular economy fares. It doesn’t matter what level you are with BA/oneworld, you are treated like everyone else and you NEVER get to choose your seat on these fares. At check-in, the system auto-assigns the seat, and if you want to change it – tough, you will have to pay. I suspect that the denial of lounge access for elites on these fares is next on the ‘to do’ list for BA.

    Also note that the Club Europe seat is IDENTICAL to the economy seat. It is no wider (18″), and the very tight 30″ seat pitch is the same. The only accommodation for comfort is that they leave the middle seat open. This is a ‘poor man’s’ business class.

    BA have really shafted their most valuable customers in the past year … a huge Executive Club devaluation (on earning and redemption), downgrading the Club Europe seats to economy class configuration, and removal of elite status advance seat reservations for their cheapest fares. This is what you get for loyalty?

  7. Even though I love tea and coffee , Still to this day after watching an airplane documentary I have not drank any tea or coffee on a plane after seeing the state of water tanks on planes. I think they should heat up bottled water to serve tea and coffee with.

    But great trip report, though club europe is often over priced, it can sometimes be a better start to a European vacation than flying easyjet or ryanair.

  8. Nick, every good afternoon tea begs for champagne! Did you not get a baby bottle of Piper? 😉

    I love BA’s afternoon tea. It’s simple for them and works so well up in the air.

  9. Did you fly this on a cash fare or award ticket? If the latter, what miles did you use and how many?

  10. will be interesting….flying from ORL to LHR this fall….and then on to SEA in first via BA….Been a long time since I have flown BA……Obviously from Paris/London will be in business although the rest of the ticket is first….and then flying on to Anchorage…..also in first with Alaska…..This is award travel, but even with everything else in first, I still had to pay $66.00 to select 2 seats…next time I fly to Europe on award tix, think I may fly through Dubai….and see how that is. talk about being nickled and dimed…BA also managed to screw up my tix and although I used first class miles….and the British taxes which are pricey dompared to everyone else…..they changed my tix and put my husband and I in coach on the long haul….I had a cow…..literally….It was fixed, but it took a week…..at least I think it will be fixed…..Come November, we shall see…..may never fly them again…..Award or not…..

  11. I recently traveled BA A321 to Milan from Heathrow, it was a new A321, with a much better staggered style Club Europe, British Airways in no way advertise this anywhere, however they are in the process of changing Club Europe on the majority of their A320s. Euro Traveller also have an updated cabin with seat back IFE screens. It is good to see that BA have realised the poor quality of their short haul business class!

  12. @ Will — This is actually one of the few ex-bmi A321s, which are mostly flown on slightly longer flights. That’s definitely the exception and not the norm, as they don’t usually fly those on routes within Europe.

  13. @Lucky. That is a shame, they could do with changing their Club Europe, it is a poor excuse for a short haul business class, and in my opinion, a waste of money! At least they are changing their Club World, from late 2016/early 2017, beginning on their a350.

  14. I have a friend who works for BA, they said that the new product isn’t decided yet, however it will be a much bigger improvement over the previous product! It is was quite amazing to see the test equipment in the A350, when we had a tour around it!

  15. Flew same aircraft configuration LHR-AMS this week – stunned at the economy seat width and pitch, literally exactly the same with the exception of the cheesy “desk” across the center armrests. It was tight and uncomfortable, and I am not a large-sized human. Will use my Avios to try a different OneWorld carrier next time.

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