British Airways Club Europe A320 Review: Edinburgh (EDI) - London Heathrow (LHR)
In the days where 95% of intra-European business class is automatically assumed to not be worth the money unless flying routes like British Airways 777 route to Madrid, the Iberia A340/A350 route to Madrid, or some of the Turkish Airlines 777 routes out of London, I've had many messages myself asking if I'd give my opinion of British Airways Club Europe on their A320 family of aircraft, and I'm pleased to say it's finally here!
At Edinburgh, Club Europe has its own dedicated check-in desk which makes checking in a lot quicker. Unfortunately though regardless of what cabin you're in, if you've booked special assistance, you have to first check in with the airline, and then go to the assistance reception which is outside the terminal. It's tedious and annoying, as usually at check-in I'm able to ask the agent to phone special assistance and ask them to meet me at the gate.
Travelling in Club Europe means being able to use the fast track security without paying extra, and was most welcome. The queue for the standard lanes was huge, and despite an x-ray malfunction which meant that my bag had to be rescanned, I was able to clear security in under 20 minutes. After that, it was onto a quick spot of shopping and into the BA Lounge at Edinburgh.
The BA Lounge at Edinburgh is one lounge that I definitely recommend to anyone who has access to it. The lounge itself is spacious with areas to relax, do some work, and there are even tables in some areas big enough to do some socialising if travelling as a group. There's plenty of plug sockets around, free Wi-Fi of which the password could be found in both the lounge itself and on the BA app if you have it. Considering that all British Airways flights from Edinburgh only go to London, the food and drink selection was extensive with very good options compared to some other lounges on the network. The staff in the lounge were also very happy to help, and when I needed to go back out of the lounge for 5 minutes, getting back in was easy with no need for rescanning of passes. There are unfortunately no runway views for those who prefer it in this lounge, and the disabled toilet door is extremely heavy and difficult to open if you're a wheelchair user.
On British Airways, Club Europe on their A319/A320 aircraft is like most other European airlines in a 3+3 configuration with the middle seat blocked out. British Airways do also offer a 777 route from London Heathrow (LHR) to Madrid (MAD) which gives you a Club World seat with Club Europe service, and some A321s are in mid-haul Club world style configuration whilst others are in the 3+3 configuration as well. For this flight I chose 1F, it's a great seat as if you have a relatively small width wheelchair like mine, you can get to the seat without needing an aisle chair. The same applies to all seats in row 1, and unlike some other airlines, British Airways doesn't class row 1 as an emergency exit row, meaning that even if you require special assistance, or are pregnant, you can still sit there. Row 1 also has plenty of leg room, so if you're on the taller side then I'd definitely recommend this row for you as well.
With the Tiga FX and my cabin bag stowed in the overhead locker, it was time to buckle up and settle in. Before take-off, we were handed a hot towel which was a welcome touch however, British Airways doesn't offer a pre-flight drink in their Club Europe cabin. The curtain separating Club Europe from Euro Traveller is open for take-off and landing but closed during the cruising phase of the flight. This was also when I decided to see if I'd been lucky enough to get Wi-Fi on my plane, as most of the short-haul fleet now have Wi-Fi installed. For short-haul flights, Wi-Fi costs £1.99 for the basic package or £4.99 for streaming regardless of what cabin you're travelling in.
The food on the just over 1-hour flight down to Heathrow was really nicely presented, and in my opinion, was more than enough for the flight. The crew came around with a choice of warm white or brown rolls to go with our 3-course meal, of which I chose a brown roll to go with my option chicken salad. The food on this flight was from DO&CO who are considered to be one of the best airline caterers in the world, and I can honestly say that the food tasted amazing compared to previous flights I've done in Club Europe. There were plenty of drinks options too including hot and cold drinks, wine, champagne and one I can definitely recommend - Brewdog's Speedbird 100, which was made to celebrate British Airways' Centenary year. After the main service was complete, the crew offered another drinks service along with almonds.
To do this flight, I decided to take a cheeky Avios redemption on my BA Executive Club. The redemptions are pretty reasonable and start from 4300 Avios + £65 and go up to 7500 + £25. However, if you keep an eye on the app, you can often find flights in Club Europe from Edinburgh to London from a very reasonable £130 which considering that gives you lounge access, fast track security, priority boarding and 2 checked bags amongst other things.
Overall, I really enjoyed this flight, the crew were extremely helpful and attentive, the food was great and even with a couple of downsides that the lounge had, I still enjoyed my time in there before the flight. The London - Edinburgh route is becoming a regular one for me, and considering that I usually bring checked luggage to Edinburgh and prefer to be away from the loudness of the main departure lounge, it's a route that I will frequently fly Club Europe where I can, especially when I can get flights for £130 and rack up Avios just by being careful of where I shop to get the reward flights quicker. British Airways are close to my heart anyway for various reasons, but they're also the only airline happy to have my chair in the overhead on every flight which in my book has put them top of the list not just for the long-haul, but for my short-haul flights too.