Travel Advice

BA Euro Traveller Flight Review Revisited

Last November we flew British Airways Euro Traveller from London to Budapest. Things have changed since then, “no free meals’ on short haul flights. So what, you may ask. You’re only on the plane for under 2 hours but how does the overall service compare, especially as the latest British Airways CEO has come from the Spanish low-cost airline Vueling?

Arriving At Terminal 5

We were flying from London Heathrow airport, T5 (the British Airways hub) to Hamburg, Germany. It was an early afternoon departure with a scheduled flight time of 1 hour 40 mins.

We were using the POD parking service – these are little driverless cars which transfer you from the business car park to the terminal. These little cars are great fun and despite using them a number of times before, they still make us a smile.

Heathrow Pods

The Heathrow driverless Pods always make us smile

The self-service check-in was quick and easy and there were plenty of staff available to help.

There are a number of zones where you can check-in, the ones by the entrances are busy but just walk through the terminal and you should be able to find a quieter check-in zone.

Heathrow Airport T5

British Airways check-in at Heathrow, Terminal 5

After check-in, it was the dreaded security channel. Shoes on, shoes off, what was it this week? Which line will be the quickest? Will we be stuck behind the man smuggling goldfish in his pants? Luckily the security was quick and the staff were actually quite polite, so no problems there.

The T5 Deaprture Lounge
Terminal 5 Departures Lounge

The busy departure lounge of Heathrow Terminal 5

Heathrow airport is busy and the departure lounge reflects this. Unless you have access to an airline lounge it is quite difficult to find a quiet space. However, if you want to do some shopping then this is the place for you. It will be very easy to spend your holiday money before even leaving the airport.

Baording The Plane
Airbus A319

Oh no! We had the bus transfer to the plane.

Unfortunately, although we were departing from T5 our plane didn’t actually appear to be at T5. We had to take the dreaded airport bus which is always a bit shambolic. It wasn’t really the best way to start a flight.

The plane was a trusty old Airbus A319 (17-years-old) with a small business section. The flight wasn’t going to be long so the limited leg space of this plane wasn’t an issue.

Rush Hour At Heathrow
Queueing Planes

Rush hour at Heathrow airport

As mentioned, Heathrow is very, very busy and there was a queue of planes trying to get to the runway. They obviously build this time into the schedule as the published flight time was 1 hour 40 minutes but the actual ‘flying time’ was only 1 hour 10 minutes.

Planefinder App

Watching ourselves driving around the airport

Finally, after a little drive around Heathrow airport, we were at the front of the queue and quickly taking off, hurray!

The In-Flight Service
Marks and Spencer Food

The Marks & Spencer in-flight menu

The in-flight food service is no longer included instead, you have to buy food from the M & S menu. As our flight was so short there wasn’t enough time to try it out. Luckily we didn’t want anything as they only managed to serve about 8 rows in 50 mins so we didn’t get a chance anyway. As there is a larger menu and you have to pay, the whole process is extremely slow. They definitely need to find a way to speed things up as if you are sitting at the back, at the current speed, we can’t see you getting any drinks if the flight time is under 2 hours.

Apart from the food situation, everything was fine with the flight and we arrived in Hamburg on time.

Our BA Euro Traveller Summary

Overall we thought the service was fine although I don’t understand why they cut the free drinks. It was a negligible amount of the price and the service was quick.

BA is not a budget carrier and we feel they should not follow some if their practices, especially when some of these are smartening up their service for the business customer.

The fares were reasonable especially when you choose the 23kg baggage option.
The number and times of the flights around Europe are still quite good.

The staff representing BA at Hamburg for our return were a bit disorganised. They were late opening up the check-in and crowd control at the gate was a bit of a mess. If I was returning business class I would not have been impressed.

We are still unsure about BA, they used to be the flagship airline but it didn’t really feel like that on the European service. We have to try their long haul and business service to really make up our minds. Hopefully, these will not be taken down the budget airline route.

What was your best airline experience (or your worst), let us know below?

 

British Airways Flight Review

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  • Michaela Williams
    May 12, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    We used to think British Airways was the top airline, used long haul mainly to LA, New York etc.
    However after flying with Singapore Airlines from Manchester to Houston few weeks ago, BA fell long way down in my eyes.
    Singapore were by far the best flight we have been on. We have flown in Economy, we always do, and the service was just fantastic, everything from food to cleanliness of toilets with hand cream, tooth brushes, mouth wash and eau de cologne available to everyone.
    The 9.5 hr flight was a pleasure, I wish they had more of the US destinations from the UK.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      May 12, 2017 at 10:34 pm

      We haven’t recently flown with Singapore but have a very, very long time ago. Their current service does sound good, it’s always good to have special touches, whatever your class.

  • Natasha
    May 13, 2017 at 7:21 am

    Those pods are so cool! I never even realised they had those. I haven’t used that airport before only the surrounding ones! I cannot believe they serve M and S inside ! Most plane food is terrible, looks like quite the experience

    • Mr and Mrs W
      May 14, 2017 at 9:32 am

      The food does look better than the standard but as the service was so slow we didn’t get a chance to taste it.

  • Kavey Favelle
    May 13, 2017 at 11:46 am

    I would be not be impressed if I were on a flight where only 8 rows were served during the flight and the rest of the passengers not, even though I can see it’s because of the time taken to take payments. The budget airlines that charge for food and drinks manage to work more quickly, so no reason BA can’t. But another way might be for them to sell a basic package food and drink add-on during booking or before boarding, so people can pay with a voucher, much quicker. I don’t know. I’m with you though, I think for the cost they’re looking at, better to add Β£5 to the cost of the flight and keep food and drink included.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      May 14, 2017 at 9:38 am

      Yes, a drink and a snack would be fine on a flight like this, like the voucher you mentioned. They always used to be able to get round the whole plane. We had service on even shorter flights in the past. They need to differentiate themselves from the budget airlines (who are actually improving their service).

  • Bintu - Recipes From A Pantry
    May 13, 2017 at 11:46 am

    They changes they have made do make them seem like a budget airline these days. Wonder what they are like long haul and if their service there has changed?

    • Mr and Mrs W
      May 14, 2017 at 9:39 am

      We hope to try the long haul service soon and see how it compares.

  • Wiebke Siemering
    May 14, 2017 at 6:43 am

    Yeah it’s all a bit weird. The big airlines complain about low cost carrier taking their business share and now they cut down on the things (service, food etc) which sets them apart from budget airlines…Don’t really get it

    • Mr and Mrs W
      May 14, 2017 at 10:24 pm

      Hopefully, they will sort themselves out over the next few months. We want to try the long haul to see how they compare to the competition.

  • Susan
    May 14, 2017 at 9:17 am

    I’d love to try one of those driverless pods! We have been on the new planes a few times and found them to be extremely cramped. I think the reduced aisle width is a real issue and also the fact that if you’re flying in economy you have to go to the back of the plane to use the toilets as they draw a curtain across the front one now. This results in lots of people banging into your aisle seat if you’re sitting near the back. Luckily we bought our own food each time as it took staff over an hour to get to us at the back and then they had run out of food. I felt very sorry for the people next to us who could only buy nuts!

    • Mr and Mrs W
      May 14, 2017 at 10:27 pm

      Luckily we only had a short flight so the lack of space wasn’t really an issue. When we go long haul we try to upgrade, failing that we get the exit rows. Those pods are fun, it makes the trip from the car park quite exciting!

  • elisa
    May 16, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    Too bad! Air France has always a free snack and there is always free wine on board! Actually last time the hostess was very kind with us and we got a second mini bottle of wine πŸ™‚

    • Mr and Mrs W
      May 16, 2017 at 10:28 pm

      Air France – Then I bet the wine is actually quite good too.

  • Cat
    May 17, 2017 at 4:28 am

    I have not flown with BA before, but next week we’ll be flying with them from Canada to France. Your review prepares me on what to expect! It sucks that they cut on the free drinks – this is definitely not a common practice for a non-budget airline. We are flying long-haul so hopefully, that will not be the case!

    • Mr and Mrs W
      May 17, 2017 at 8:04 am

      The long haul flights are not affected by these changes so hopefully you will have a good flight. It would be interesting to hear about your experience.

  • Megan Jerrard
    May 17, 2017 at 5:42 am

    OMG the pod parking service is so cute!! Made me smile πŸ˜€ Heathrow is SUCH a big airport, I always give myself 3-4 hours if I’m catching a flight, even though that’s probably overkill, the amount of screwing around and transport between terminals can really take up time. Sounds bit stupid to even offer a service for meals and drinks if they only have time to get through 8 rows. But I guess on a short haul flight like that you can probably make do without. Thanks for the overview πŸ™‚

    • Mr and Mrs W
      May 17, 2017 at 8:06 am

      The PODs always make us smile. I agree, if they can’t service the whole plane on the trip then they shouldn’t really bother although I have been on other airlines with only an hour flight time who still could get you a drink in time.

  • Swati & Sam (The Tales of a Traveler)
    May 21, 2017 at 8:25 am

    I have been a loyal customer for years now. The flights are quite clean and spacious. The food served in the Business class is really good.

    POD’s are really cute, haven’t seen them though. Will be in London next month πŸ™‚ The British airways lounge and food is also quite good.