Direct flights from London to San Diego are one of the newer additions to British Airways’ offerings and both Californians and Brits are enjoying fewer layovers because of it. But, it’s still an 11-hour flight which is much longer than most of us ever want to be on an airplane.
For international travel, you’re probably considering business class to make the trip a little less painful. We totally understand.
Here, we’re sharing what you can expect from a British Airways Club World business class ticket – from the seats and the food to the lounge and other perks that come with the distinction. Let’s dive right in.
Apparently, the seat situation on British Airways’ Club World has an underwhelming reputation. The overall consensus is that these seats are a little too close together.
They’re configured in a 2-4-4 pattern which means they can fit one or two more seats in this section when compared to other business-class seating arrangements on other airlines. So, perhaps the complaint is understandable.
Near the windows, the seats are situated head to foot meaning that one passenger is riding backward. In the middle, you’ll find two Club World seats facing the same direction in the same “pod.” This could certainly be awkward if flying next to a stranger, but for families, it’s a popular choice.
The window seats are quite secluded and can cause irritation if you tend to feel claustrophobic. And, in these seats, it can be harder to get your flight attendant’s attention. However, it’s also nice to have the privacy, especially when flying solo.
Sure, you do end up quite close to the traveler next to you, but overall, these seats have everything you could ask for.
Club World seats on British Airways include an adjustable headrest and lumbar support, making the upright seats themselves quite comfortable. In addition, each seat reclines to become totally flat, creating a six-foot bed.
The screens are a little smaller than you might expect in business class but the entertainment options are plentiful. Keep in mind though that their options are chosen based on British audiences. So, double-check the entertainment list online and download extra entertainment on your own device if you feel it’s necessary.
There is a small storage drawer near your feet at the seat, but most bags won’t fit inside and they’ll likely need to be stored overhead. So, pack a smaller bag in your carry-on for essentials you’d like to use during the flight.
Once at your seat, you’ll also receive an amenities bag filled with toiletry items from Elemis, an eye mask, earplugs, a pen, toothpaste, a toothbrush, and slippers.
Your Club World business class seats also come with power outlets and a USB port. But, if you’re from America, make sure you have a power adapter.
Let’s just preface this section with, airline food is airline food. Of course, business class meals will be better than what you get in the economy section. But overall, there’s only so much you can do when serving food at 20,000 feet. So, always keep that in mind.
When flying British Airways Club World from London to San Diego, you’ll receive two three-course meals. The meals depend on the time of day your flight was departed. If you had a morning flight, you’ll be served lunch and dinner. If you have an overnight flight, you’ll be served dinner and breakfast.
Your meal will start with an appetizer and salad that are served simultaneously. Then, the main course followed by dessert. When you book your ticket, you’ll have the option to adjust your menu based on dietary requirements or to choose kid’s meals, if necessary.
British Airways does its best to give business class guests a restaurant-style experience. So, forget the plastic silverware and paper napkins. You’ll be wiping your hands on cloths and using a real fork and knife.
It’ll come down to your tastes and preferences when deciding whether or not the food is up to par. Generally speaking, past Club World passengers prefer other larger airlines’ business class meals. So, the jury is still out whether you’ll have a good experience eating on board.
If you do get hungry throughout the flight, Club World guests have open access to the galley where you can grab snacks and beverages. Plus, you’re always welcome to alcoholic drinks, too. Most passengers agree that the wine on British Airways is fantastic.
British Airways has such great airport lounge options that some travelers get to the airport early just to take advantage of everything they have to offer.
A full bar complete with deluxe coffee options are available, although probably expected, and the selection of light meals will hold you over if you have a quick connection.
You’ll also find a kid’s play area, power outlets, showers, large bathrooms, and, perhaps best of all, an Elemis spa where you can receive a massage or facial. Not a bad way to prepare for your 11-hour flight to San Diego.
From the start, you’ll be able to check-in for your flight at a dedicated Club World check-in desk, presumably skipping any long lines. Plus, at London Heathrow, London Gatwick, and JFK, Club World travelers are able to fast track through security, even without an EU passport.
The British Airways Terminal at London airports is also one of the best with great shopping and restaurants. Plus, there’s always the lounge that we mentioned earlier.
Finally, those flying Club World business class on British Airways will receive a priority luggage tag for their luggage prior to boarding. This means your luggage will be the first to make it to the pick-up carousel when you arrive in San Diego.
This is a fantastic perk as no one likes to wait for luggage after a long flight. But to be realistic, it’s not an exact science and for some travelers, the priority tag didn’t help with these wait times.
Once you do collect your bags though, it’s easy to find a secure place to store your luggage in San Diego, in the event you have some downtime before your hotel check-in.
The bottom line is, British Airways Club World business class may not be the gold standard when it comes to a first-class ticket. But, it’s likely you’ll have an enjoyable flight.