Trip Report: British Airways (A320) Club Europe VIE-LHR

The Details

  • Flight: BA699
  • Aircraft: A320
  • Class: Club Europe
  • Seat: 7D and F
  • Route: Vienna (VIE)-London Heathrow (LHR)
  • Distance: 793miles
  • Duration: 2hrs 14min
  • Departure: 8:02AM
  • Arrival: 9:16AM

The Preflight

After a wonderful weekend in Vienna, it was time for my fiance and me to head home to the United States with British Airways. We were flying to London Heathrow then with an onward connection to Boston. From downtown Vienna, we took the OBB Railjet service to the airport which took approximately 40 minutes.

We arrived at Terminal 1 at 5:50AM, just under two hours prior to the scheduled departure time of 7:40AM. There was a single dedicated Club Europe check-in counter. Thanks to our business class tickets, we also used the Fast Track lane for security. There was a bit of confusion with the Fast Track staff as they were unsure if BA passengers could access the Fast Track lane. I convinced the lady to let us try our tickets and they worked.

Club Europe passengers were given access to the Vienna Lounge located on the second floor of the terminal building.

It was a very nice lounge that felt modern and spacious.

There was a variety of tables and sofas separated into two buffet areas.

Along the windows were individual chairs with nice views of the apron.

The centerpiece of the lounge was the drink island.

There was a variety of medium-self liquors, beer, and sparkling wine available. Sparkling water, juice, fountain drinks, and espresso machines were also available.

Food options included cold cuts, cheese, and a large selection of pastry items. There was also yogurt and cereal.

Hot food options included potato rosti, delicious runny scrambled eggs, and roasted bell peppers. The scrambled eggs were some of the best I have had in an airport. Fresh fruit was also available.

The second buffet area had two large glass containers filled with desserts. There was the famous Vienna apple strudel, cream strudel, and other sweets.

From the lounge, we could spot the A320 taking us to London today. Thankfully, boarding was not going to be done by air stairs.

We headed to the gate ten minutes before boarding was scheduled to begin. Since the UK left the EU, we had to clear customs and leave the Schengen area. This process took just a minute as our passports were quickly examined and stamped.

Our A320, registration G-EUUK, was delivered to British Airways brand new in December 2002.

While boarding was supposed to start at 7AM, it got pushed back 15 minutes without any clear explanations.

The Flight

British Airways offers a total of 180 seats onboard their A320s arranged in a standard 3-3 configuration. As with most European carriers, Club Europe (business class) consisted of a blocked middle seat. The size of business class could be adjusted to go back all the way to row 12, but today business class went to row 8 for a total of 32 seats. Club Europe went out entirely full today with 32/32 seats filled. We were in seats 7D and F.

I appreciated that British Airways placed a small tablet in the blocked middle seat which many other European carriers do not offer.

The B/E Aerospace Pinnacle seats are 17.7″ wide and offer 30″ of pitch. Each seat can recline about three inches.

There was a literature pocket, a simple tray table with a cup holder, and a storage pouch. Each seat also had its own USB port and 110V outlet.

Upon boarding, each passenger was provided a hygiene wipe.

Boarding was completed at 7:40AM, our scheduled departure time, due to us holding the door open for a few late arriving passengers. We pushed back at 7:53AM and took off from runway 29 eight minutes later.

Service began 40 minutes after takeoff with a beverage service. I had a glass of the Nicolas Feuillatte champagne which was served from a bottle. Only a small single pour of lukewarm champagne was offered.

Breakfast was served 10 minutes later from the front of the cabin to the back. Options included an egg omelet or a full English breakfast. The omelets were all claimed by row 5 leaving me with the only choice of the full English breakfast. I found the sausage and egg tasty but the bacon was very chewy. There was a side of fresh-ish fruit and a breakfast bar. For some reason, the crew had also run out of croissants. Having tasted the subpar champagne, I decided to switch to a Bloody Mary which was not too bad.

The remainder of the flight to London was uneventful until we neared Heathrow. Due to congestion, we were to enter a holding pattern for about 15 minutes. Luckily, it was a clear day in London and we had amazing views of the River Thames and London City.

I did have a chance to use the forward Club Europe lavatory which was average. There was Elemis branded hand balm, wash, and soap available.

At 10:10, we were cleared to land and approached Heathrow from the East. The views on the approach were stunning.

We landed at 10:16AM, six minutes late, on runway 27R.

However, after landing, our flight was not over yet. We taxied to the gate for ten minutes only to find an aircraft occupying the gate. The captain came over the intercom and told us the wait would likely be another 30 minutes until we could deplane. Twenty minutes later, we began to taxi again and made our way to a remote gate and deplaned by air stairs.

It took another 12 minutes from the time of the aircraft parking at the remote gate to us being bussed to Terminal 5. This left us with very little time to spare until our flight to Boston would depart. Thanks for the ride!

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