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Airbus A380. British Airways (BA) has 12 in the fleet.
London Heathrow to Singapore Changi
THE LOYALTY SCHEME
Executive Club. BA is part of the Oneworld alliance
Business class, seat 56K
13 hours, 14 minutes.
BA operates daily flights from London Heathrow (LHR) to Sydney (SYD) via Singapore. The plane from Singapore to Sydney is a Boeing 777.
There are 97 Club World (business class) seats – 53 of which are in the upper deck where I am seated. If you want some extra space, opt for a window seat on the upper deck where side storage – which doubles as a bench – runs the length of the aircraft. The upper deck is a 2-3-2 configuration where alternate seats face each other. The privacy screen that separates seats is welcomed but it whooshes up and down at mealtimes (for ease of service), which can prove awkward when forced to look into the eyes of a stranger while feasting on bread rolls and red wine. The seat converts into fully flat bed (183cm).
Generous, with two checked bags up to 32 kilograms each, plus a carry-on bag (up to 23 kilograms) and one handbag/laptop bag (up 23 kilograms).
The comfort factor kicks in at Heathrow Terminal 5 Club World Lounge with a free "Runway Ready" 15-minute facial at the Elemis Spa. Or you can opt for a massage, it's part of the service. On board, the drawstringed Elemis amenity kit includes handy tips on staying refreshed (who knew that putting moisturiser on the tips on your fingers and pitter pattering it in a raindrop fashion would be so invigorating!) The fully flat bed with memory foam pillow and doona makes for a good sleep, and the noise-cancelling headphones in an already quiet A380 cabin are an added bonus.
While the touch screen could be a little clunky, the choice of entertainment was perfect for those who enjoy a good boxed set, and it's not just four episodes to get you hooked. They were difficult to find though: all the HBO series, for example, were hidden under the "Branded Channels" subcategory. There's a good selection of new releases and documentaries, too. There's ample in-seat power should you wish to watch or listen to your own devices.
Service is always attentive, but not overly so, which for this reviewer is just the right amount. When a cabin crew member noticed a line for the toilet she whispered that there was a much more spacious washroom in the upper forward area of the plane. She was right, it was palatial in size as far as airline toilets go. Use this one for changing into your pyjamas, but it's strictly BYO, unfortunately BA doesn't dole them out.
From the welcoming Bucks Fizz to the seared filet of British beef with honey-roasted parsnips, the food and beverage experience was excellent. The menu features fresh farm-to-traytable fare from the Severn and Wye Scottish salmon and Cumberland pork sausages to brie from the Cotswolds. The retro sweets selection from the help-yourself Club Kitchen in between meals was an added treat. Wines from Europe, New Zealand and Australia feature and as expected from a British carrier, there is a good selection of teas available.
ONE MORE THING
British Airways offer exclusive discounts for passengers including shopping discounts, VIP passes and complementary Champagne at some of London's best hotels. It's worth a look when in London. See britishairways.com/en-gb/destinations/london/london-discounts
THE LAST WORD
The experience begins as it means to go with a pampering session at Heathrow terminal 5 and continues in comfort all the way to Singapore, with a bonus option for a shower in the new Club World lounge at Changi Airport terminal 1. Round-trip fares departing Sydney on Club World business class fares starts from $6880, all inclusive, to the UK and Europe. The fares quoted were accurate at time of publishing. Prices are subject to change and availability. Terms and conditions apply. For bookings and more information, see ba.com.
OUR RATING OUT OF FIVE: ★★★★½
Andrea Black travelled as a guest of British Airways.
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