Flight Review: Intra-Europe Business Class, British Airways A320 (London-Munich)

  • Date: 6/30/19
  • Airline: British Airways
  • Aircraft: Airbus A320
  • Flight Number: 948
  • Origin: London, England (LHR)
  • Destination: Munich, Germany (MUC)
  • Flight Time: 1 hour, 46 minutes
  • Cabin: Business Class
  • Seat: 6F

Introduction:

After spending a great week in London, I was off to meet my sister and nephews in Germany. I had used Alaska Mileage Plan miles to book my flight on British Airways from Tampa to London, so I was able to utilize the tremendous free stopover benefit, and continue on to Munich a week later on the same ticket.

Flights on British Airways are not the most optimal use of miles because of their ridiculous fees, but for a last minute trip to Europe during peak summer travel, it worked out well for me.

My flight to Munich was an early morning departure so I had stayed the last few days in London at the Hilton London Paddington so I could jump on the first Heathrow Express train in the morning to the airport.

The hotel is connected to the train station and the first train leaves Paddington at 5:10am and arrives at Terminal 5, which is the furthest terminal, at just about 5:30.

Watching the big board at Paddington Station to see which track the 5:10am Heathrow Express will leave from.

We boarded the train at 5am, and the trip to Terminal 5 took 21 minutes. If you are taking the Heathrow Express to LHR and flying out of T5, just be aware that it’s a pretty long hike to many of the gates, so give yourself some extra time. When I was reading up the night before on what to expect at the airport I noticed that LHR has a pretty nice website, with lots of helpful information. You can check that out here if you’re interested.

Since I got off the train at about 5:30, and my flight was due to start boarding a little after 6, I didn’t want to waste any time, so I quickly followed the signs to my gate. Security was a breeze and I arrived at my gate with some time to relax for a few minutes.

An interesting side note – Spike Lee was right behind me in the security line. He had been at the Yankees/ Boston game the day before at London Stadium, and was headed back to New York.

Boarding:

The gate agent started the boarding process about 6:20am and I was in the first group to board the plane. Our flight to Munich wasn’t full at all so boarding was completed easily within about 15 minutes.

A British Airways 747! Unfortunately not my plane, but cool to see as I walked down the ramp to my plane.
Only a few other Business Class passengers on BA948.

Boarding Grade: A

Seat:

Here is where it gets interesting! This was my first intra-Europe business class flight, so being ever curious I had done my research and was aware of it, but anyone considering spending extra money or miles to ride in “comfort” on one of these flights – BEWARE!

British Airways intra-Europe Business Class seating. Notice the permanent tray table on the middle seats.

The seat is exactly the same seat as the seats in the back of the plane, including the 17″ width, and the ridiculous seat pitch of 30″. I know it could be worse especially with these European airlines competing with each other to see who can stuff the most seats into a plane…but come on!

The only real difference between the Coach seat and the Business Class seat is that in Business the middle seat is blocked off with a sort of permanent tray table across it, so you do have a little more privacy.

Being above average in height makes me a little more sensitive to the leg room issue, but at least I had a little extra room with no one seated next to me, and the flight was fairly short.

If I’m looking for a silver lining in the seat category, I guess I can compare this one to a Vueling flight I took from Barcelona to Amsterdam a couple years ago. The seats on that plane had even less leg room, I was seated in economy, the flight was completely full, and the guy in front of me reclined his seat almost all the way into my lap. My knees were already jammed against the seat in front of me, so I was basically paralyzed for almost 2 1/2 hours.

Compared to that seat, this one was a dream! 🙂

Seat Grade: C-

Service:

Once we were at cruising altitude about 30 minutes into the flight, the flight attendant came around and took drink orders, and shortly afterward served breakfast. I hadn’t eaten anything since I had gotten up and headed out early in the morning, so I was hoping for a nice breakfast.

I had a glass of orange juice, and the meal consisted of scrambled eggs, a slice of ham, sausage, roasted tomato, mushrooms, a breakfast roll with fruit spread, and yogurt with strawberries.

Excellent breakfast!

Other than not being a big fan of mushrooms, I really enjoyed the breakfast. I especially enjoyed the roasted tomato. For some reason that really hit the spot.

The flight attendant was very friendly and offered me a refill of my orange juice once I finished eating. All in all, no frills, but a very good breakfast served with a smile. This was easily the highlight of this short flight.

Service Grade: A

Entertainment:

None. Totally up to you to entertain yourself.

Can’t beat this for free entertainment!

Entertainment Grade: Incomplete

It was a beautiful summer morning, so after breakfast I listened to some music and watched the awesome scenery out the window, and after a very quick and uneventful flight we touched down in Munich about 9:45am.

Munich Airport in the distance as we get ready to make our approach!
On the ground at Munich Airport!

Once off the plane I staked out a spot and waited for my sister’s flight to arrive.

Overall Flight Grade: B

Final Thoughts:

The seat was definitely a little disappointing, but luckily I knew the situation going in, so because of the friendly service and excellent breakfast, this flight experience gets a solid “B”.

If you decide to fly Business Class on a intra-Europe flight on a regional jet just be sure to temper your expectations and chances are you’ll enjoy it like I did! I would never pay the premium on one of these flights to upgrade from Economy, but since it was an add-on flight using miles I was happy to get a good breakfast.

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