x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Executive travel: special treatment starts from the ground with BA’s business class

From the moment you check in at London Heathrow's Terminal 5, comfort and ease of travel are in abundance when flying business class with British Airways.

Terminal 5 at Heathrow has been the home of BA for six years. Courtesy British Airways
Terminal 5 at Heathrow has been the home of BA for six years. Courtesy British Airways

The pleasure of flying business class should start long before you reach your seat, and this is assured when taking a British Airways (BA) flight from London Heathrow.

Terminal 5 at Heathrow has been the home of BA for six years and is a state-of-the-art environment. There are more than 100 desks for bag drop off and within minutes passengers are free to head to security. Despite being thorough, this stage was also refreshingly swift and soon I was airside.

Flying from Heathrow to Las Vegas with BA’s business class option, Club World, offers access to six airport lounges, known collectively as the Galleries. Hosting up to 2,500 people and constructed at a cost of £60 million (Dh377.2 million), it’s the ideal way to luxuriate before boarding. I opted for a complimentary massage at the Elemis Travel Spa.

On board, BA’s flatbed seats can be both forward and rear facing, aisle and window, and are designed with a divider screen for optional privacy.

BA was the first airline to install full flatbeds in 1996 for first class cabins, with business class flatbeds following in 2000. My seat is an updated version rolled out in 2006 and available out of the UAE to a broad range of destinations. Measuring 183cm in length and adjustable via preset buttons in the left-hand wall, it’s comfortable from take-off to touchdown.

The storage facilities are located in overhead bins and at foot level there is a handy drawer – ideal for a laptop and/or shoes. The electricity is standard 110v US style and will require a suitable adaptor.

Once comfortable, I indulged in some “binge viewing” with the in-flight entertainment system, which has more than 100 films and TV programmes. The 10.4-inch screen is a good size and can be angled to your preference and seating position.

Next was the food. Interestingly, it wasn’t only flatbed seats that BA launched first, the airline also introduced the first in-flight meal service on a commercial aircraft in 1927.

I enjoyed a chilled salad of tiger prawns, wild rice and quinoa with bitter orange dressing followed by Barber’s Cheddar and Somerset Camembert cheese served with quince jelly and biscuits. In between meals Club World offers the Club Kitchen – a selection of snacks and treats.

For reading, a small light overhead is handy and there is a wide magazine selection. For audio entertainment, there are music playlists especially compiled by famous artists such as Mick Jagger.

When it’s time to switch off, the complimentary washbag includes cotton eyeshades and Yuan Zhi Pulse Point Balm, a relaxation aid to help peaceful sleep.

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