The arrival of British Airways back on the Gibraltar to London Gatwick route has been greeted with joy for many business and leisure passengers alike. Fed up with being squeezed in by low cost carriers, many people are relieved to have a quality and premium carrier back on the route.
So is British Airways really better? Taken in terms of leg room with a seat pitch of 34 inches in Club Europe and 31 inches in Euro Traveller, your long legs are the first to realize the difference. The ex-British Airways franchise carrier, GB Airways, had in fact added an additional 20 seats to their planes resulting in a real squeeze in Business Class. Next you will note the difference of impact on your wallet when you realise you do not have to pay for bags up to your permitted weight allowance.
Your patience will not be tried during your check–in experience, which is either on line or with dedicated desks for Club Europe, Gold or Silver cardholders. Club Europe passengers with Gold Cards can pre-reserve their seats online; this prevents any unseemly scenes at the check-in queue. There is also a rather cute and intimate lounge at Gibraltar airport. Club Europe passengers can board when they please.
The in-flight experience is a hot meal in Club Europe complete with sticky toffee gourmet chocolates, complimentary bar inclusive of champagne, liqueurs, coffee and tea. Passengers in Euro Traveller enjoy a complimentary all day deli sandwich with coffee or tea. There are no newspapers served on board so be mindful to purchase reading material prior to boarding in Gibraltar.
At London Gatwick British Airways do provide newspaper racks at the boarding gate with a selection of the major national dailies.
Indeed, it is on the return journey that the British Airways experience really shines. There are at least 20 check-in desks to choose from, inclusive of First Class check-in for Gold Card holders. Club Europe passengers may then FAST TRACK to two fantastic lounges, terraces for all Club Europe passengers and Gold and Silver card holders.
These bright, airy and spacious lounges complete with fountains are a perfect respite from the hustle and bustle of the main airport lounge. The First Class lounge is open to all Gold Card holders where you can order an entire meal prior to your flight and simply flop into the generous sofas as you sip a glass of chilled champagne.
Boarding in Gatwick is normally on a nearby gate and one has to say the in-flight teams do their utmost to make your journey really comfortable. Above all, British Airways and its team know that they have to fight harder for your business and impress you more.
Apart from a more customised passenger experience, the airline’s Executive Club scheme more than rewards the regular passenger with many little privileges that have simply vanished in the lower cost skies. Overall, in this harassed business world, British Airways is now the only pampering option and with fares often as low as £174 one way (Club Europe excluding taxes) it is by no means always the most expensive.
Current departure times are 11:55 hrs from Gibraltar and 07:00 hrs from Gatwick. These
are to be changed in October with a tad more civilised 13.30 departure from Gatwick and 20.20 departure from Gibraltar.