• Airline: British Airways
  • Aircraft: Airbus A320 (ex-Bmi)
  • Cabin Crew: Eurofleet
  • Route: London Heathrow to Istanbul Ataturk
  • Cabin: Club Europe (European Business Class)
  • Flight Duration: 3 hours 35 minute
  • Purpose: Tier Point run


Club Europe/Club World check in desks at Terminal 5 were empty at 4:55am which was a breeze, having done online check-in the night before bag drop was completed in 4 minutes (new record for myself).

Walking to North Security from the South side you could see the long queues for Economy bag drop, god only knows how busy it’ll get later on.

Fast Track Security

Fast track security at Terminal 5 is nothing glamorous, there are two fast track areas separate from the normal queue.

Overall as it was still early in the morning it took 5 minutes to go through the scanners and exit the security area.


Having reviewed the Galleries South Lounge previously it was time to head to the Galleries North Lounge where I was welcomed by the grumpy lounge dragon (she did not even notice it was my birthday after checking my passport!).

The North Lounge is laid out with the food area the first thing you walk into, this morning it was the usual BA bacon roll or the BA cheesy omelette roll. This is where lounge regulars get creative and start to do a bespoke breakfast (lots of empty rolls were evident with the filling taken out).


As you can see I decided to get creative with the breakfast in the lounge with a “healthy” egg on toast (plus Tabasco for that kick in the taste buds).


Is it too early to ever have a drink? Well it is 5pm somewhere in the world.

The drinks selection in the lounge are surprisingly good but champagne is rare due to budget cuts. When you do find a lounge attendant they will bring it out by the glass (boo to this BA).


I settled with a very appealing Johnny Walker Red Label on the rocks. As it’s self pour in theory one could pour generously but today I decided to be sensible and have a single.


Time in the lounge always flies by quickly and soon it was time to head to gate A9 to board the Airbus A320.

Priority boarding is available for Club Europe as well as Oneworld status members, I used to look on in envy few years ago while being stuck in a long queue for economy passengers. How times have changed!

Upon boarding it was evident that this was not the refurbished Airbus fleet that BA use on their intra-Europe flights.

For today’s flight I was sat in seat 4C which is an aisle seat, lucky today’s load in Club was light so the entire row was mine.

One of the frustrations with British Airways is the inconsistency within their fleet with regard to the hard product. While the new seats have a shorter pitch they are vastly comfortable over the park bench comfort the above gives.

Nevertheless it was time to settle into the flight, pushback occurred within minutes of doors closing and off the plane went towards Runway 27 right.

Air Traffic Control, knowing it was my birthday, held the plane at the threshold next to Concorde. Talk about a birthday gift for an Avgeek!

Once Concorde soared at 60,000ft across the Atlantic, now she resides at Heathrow where passengers are reminded of the fastest passenger jet ever made.

After an Ethihad Airbus A380 flew over and landed it was time for this flight to get airborne.



After a very quick take off roll down the runway, the cabin crew sprang into action ready to deliver the Club Europe service.

Menus were handed out 10 minutes after getting airborne, given the 7am departure from London it was breakfast.

The options available were limited, it was either a full English breakfast or a “vegetarian” option.

Normally I would choose the full English but on the Berlin flight it was the worst meal I had in the last 5 years. With that memory still fresh I opted for the cheese and mushroom omelette.

Looks very appetising doesn’t it? The bread was fresh but the tomatoe looked quite sorry. As BA are cost cutting, a solitary spinach leaf made me laugh.



As I alluded to earlier in the post today is my birthday. As a treat for choosing to fly on this day Castelnau Champagne was the ONLY drink of choice for this flight.

Castelnau has a bad rep on the BA flyertalk forums. The major complaint of BA re business class is the lack of choice for the fizzy stuff. Personally I don’t mind it, it’s not the best champagne I’ve had (thank you Krug in First on Cathay) but it’s not the worst either.



Overall it was not a bad flight, cabin crew were professional in their delivery and the other passengers took the opportunity to catch upon 40 winks for the duration.With 80 Tier Points banked it was a good start to the Road To Gold.

Travel With H