Afternoon tea on British Airways in Club Europe is always a treat.
This is part of my India – Maldives trip report. You can read the intro here. Note, this is a bit of a “vintage” trip report from the final days of 2015 and first weeks of 2016. Still, it has never been published before and I hope you will find it enjoyable reading.
Basel – the airport that sits in two countries – is one of my favorites in Europe. It is close to my in-laws, clean, efficient, and has a great lounge.
Check-in was relatively easy. My wife and I were traveling to India with electronic visas on arrival and the British Airways agent did ask for a copy of the visa authorizations, of which we had only one. After some discussion, a supervisor used his camera phone to photograph the papers and we were issued boarding passes all the way to Hyderabad, despite the overnight layover in London.
We left the lounge about 15 minutes prior to departure, clearing passport control (exiting the Shengen Zone) in under a minute and reaching the gate just as the final boarding call was being made.
British Airways 310
Basel (BSL) – London (LHR)
Saturday, December 26
Depart: 03:10 PM
Arrive: 03:50 PM
Duration: 01hr, 40min
Seat: 4D (Busines Class)
Onboard, our A319 had British Airways’ Recaro slim-line seats, visually very appealing but not very comfortable for any journey more than an hour in length. A FA cordially greeted us and we found our seats in row six. Like most Euro carriers, intra-Europe business class is the same 3—3 seating configuration as economy class with the middle seat blocked and a special tray installed to place beverages and snacks between seats.
Gone are the faded paintings of scenery from Great Britain in the front of the cabin, now replaced by sleek, silver-colored British Airways logos. As I mentioned, the seats are not as comfortable as before, but the cabins are now free from wear and tear. The flight was not full today in business class, with the seats across from us remaining vacant.
We took off on time and shortly after surpassing 10,000 feet FAs began their service, first closing off the curtain between cabins and then offering each business class passenger a hot towel.
As is customary on afternoon British Airways flight, a tea service was offered, with sandwiches, scones and tea. I had eaten a light lunch of soup and salad in the lounge prior to the flight, but was still hungry and enjoyed the meal, particularly the scone with clotted cream.
If you take this same fight today, you’ll still get afternoon tea, though it will look a little different:
> Read More: Testing Out New DO & CO Catering On British Airways
British Airways also has great almonds from Kenya which my wife and I each had a couple bags of.
Not long after finishing our meal, we began our descent into London, eventually landing 30 minutes early. Fast Track cards were handed out, which came in quite handy for me (my wife has an EU passport, so did not need one):
How I Paid For It
I fly British Airways between Basel and London often (4.5K Avios for economy class or 9K Avios for business class is a great deal when a last-minute ticket is needed) and very much enjoy the extra little touches in business class, despite the same seat. This flight was part of a 40K mile redemption (now 62.5K) on American Airlines from Basel to Hyderabad via London and Abu Dhabi. By starting in Basel instead of London, I saved several hundred dollars in taxes/fees, more than making up for the flight fuel surcharge on the BA flight.