I have reviewed more than 10 British Airways Club Europe Business Class flights. If you travel around Europe on British Airways, their European Business Class is the highest class of travel offered on these short-haul flights.
But please be warned; Business Class within Europe is nothing like British Airways Business Class worldwide. There are no lie-flat seats, in fact, the seats on offer are currently the same as those in Economy. However, on most European British Airways planes, the Economy seats are 3×3 across the plane whereas Business Class seats tend to be 2×2 on most short-haul planes, as British Airways have wedged a small into the middle seat which gives you room to breathe, plenty of elbow room as well as an alternate platform to sit your drinks.
Watch out for European planes flying out of London City airport as the Club Europe seats on these planes can be inferior to the rest of the British Airways fleet. The pitch or legroom on all British Airways flights, wherever they originate, remains pretty cramped on in Club Europe, but for 2 hours, it’s not unbearable.
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On European Business Class flights you get a hot towel before your drink and meal, a drink (or as many drinks as you like including alcohol) and a choice of meals delivered by less stressed more attentive air stewards. The air hostesses are less stressed as they tend to be less busy than those battling with credit cards and the M&S food offering at the back of the cabin. It is always nice to be given a hot towel, a meal, and a drink during the flight. It helps to pass the time and if the food isn’t much good in the airport lounge, this is a nice way to fill yourself up.
Beyond the seats being the same pitch as in Economy class, there are some other ways British Airways Club Europe falls short. There are no charging points for your laptop on the A319, for example. I am not sure if this is the same across all Club Europe flights. There aren’t charging points in Economy OR in Club or Business Class, which is extremely frustrating if your laptop is hovering at about 10% battery life and you are only halfway through the flight! Thankfully, most European flights aren’t that long so this tends not to be a dealbreaker when choosing which airline to fly with.
I book most of my flights on Avios. My most regular route is London to Nice which costs me 9,000 Avios Peak each way in Club Europe and 4,500 in Economy per person. The fees on this Club Europe are £25 GBP per person in each direction so it costs me 27,000 Avios and around £75 GBP in fees for myself, my husband, and my boy to fly back from Nice airport. Fees are slightly less on Economy seats and if you fly off-peak, you save a few Avios too.
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I usually book my flights for free on air miles and American Express Rewards which convert directly to Avios (along with other airline miles). The free Amex Gold Card is an incredible deal with a huge free bonus of Membership Rewards and even more if you apply through our referral link. You also get limited free airport lounge access with this free card. You can apply for the UK & US card right here.
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My flights in Club Europe are consistently great. The air hostesses always welcome us on board with great warmth, they are immaculately made up and I have no idea how they keep delivering those smiles all day and keep their makeup still looking good at 9 pm, but they do.
Cabins vary between the new more densified cabins (with more seats squashed in) and the older more spacious cabins with slightly more room. The decor is a Royal blue and light blue with grey tray tables. These cabin interiors are not new or special but they seem clean and functional and not desperately worn like the cabin on my most recent and rather horrendous Easyjet flight.
European flights on the British Airways tend to be on their Airbus A319, A320 & A321’s and the experience is very similar as they all have the same in layout 2-2 in Business Class and 3-3 in Economy, with the main difference being whether the plane has been refurbished recently or not.
Row 1 is the best seat row in the cabin of the non-densified planes as all the seats have a wall in front of them and loads of legroom. On the refurbished BA planes, being in the front row means that you have people pushing past your legs during boarding which isn’t ideal. This is a major problem if you are seated in row 1 to the left-hand side of the plane but is less of a problem to the right.
The front row is undoubtedly the best row to pick on the plane with the best 4 seats because of the sheer amount of legroom. So seats A C D & F in row 1 are by far the best seats on this A320. On BA’s refurbished, densified short-haul planes, I would always opt for seats D & F in row 1 because of the problem of passing human traffic during boarding in seats A & C. That said, the seats themselves are all the same throughout the cabin including the Coach seats at the back, with exactly the same width. By booking into the Business Class seats on the flight, nobody sits in the middle seat (it is converted to a table), so you have plenty of elbow room if you want to work.
This is a major reason for me to choose Club Europe over Economy. When you try and type on your computer in Economy, you are liable to knock your neighbor as these seats do not have a generous width. In Club, you can work your way through the flight. 2 hours of my time makes it worthwhile for me to upgrade, particularly if I upgrade on Avios air miles!
Food in Club Europe
The offering tends to depend on the time of day you are traveling. As I mainly travel in the afternoon and evening, I usually get their afternoon tea or evening meal which are both very good. My last flight was an evening flight and I enjoyed a salad to start with tomatoes and cheese on a bed of lettuce. It wasn’t great, the tomatoes were cherry ones and had a vague taste of tomato. The lettuce leaf was swimming in oil and floppy. The cheese didn’t taste of much at all.
The main was a choice between salmon or a mushroom something, I didn’t quite catch what the air hostess said, but not being a fan of mushroom, I didn’t go for that.
The salmon was on a bed of lentils and was pretty tasty, with bits of tomato and other flavors in the lentil bit and broccoli and olives to the side. This came with a soft roll and a chocolate cheesecake which was quite rich and filling even though it was small. I tend to thoroughly enjoy my evening meal on British Airways.
Their afternoon tea offering is usually a selection of sandwiches and scones which is also usually delicious. You can see more details of the afternoon tea in my flight reviews below.
British Airways Lounges
For me, a major reason to fly Club Europe is to get access to the British Airways airport lounges which are very good when flying out of London Heathrow and London Gatwick. These are the same lounges that you get access to if you are flying in Club World (flying Premium Economy does not give you club lounge access).
Out of Heathrow you get access to the Heathrow Galleries Club South Lounge or the Galleries Club North. Out of Gatwick you get access to the British Airways Business Lounge. All three lounges are excellent and are used by travellers flying Club Europe and Club World. For me, the use of these lounges makes it worth flying Club Europe on outbound flights from London.
Below you will find my most recent flight reviews of British Airways European Business Class, you can draw your own conclusions.
There is something very disorientating about flying late at night in the dark. You look out of the window and into blackness, with no idea where you are, particularly if you are on a British Airways flight without drop-down screens… Read More.
I regularly fly on British Airways out of London Heathrow to Nice, just have a read of my European British Airways Flight Reviews to find out what the Heathrow route is like, but today I flew from Gatwick. Read More.
I love a British Airways afternoon tea. Even when it’s not the greatest in flavor, it fills my stomach and passes the time on the flight. Well, my dear traveler, British Airways scones are officially back! Read More.
Yesterday, I flew from London to Geneva on a short haul British Airways Airbus A319 in Business Class or Club Europe. I promised to review and feedback from my latest Club Europe flight regarding the afternoon tea scones situation. Read More.
In this trip report, I review British Airways B767 in Business Class, Nice to London Heathrow. Usually, when we fly between Nice and London, be it on the Gatwick or the Heathrow route, we fly in British Airways Business Class… Read More.
Having reviewed my usual afternoon flight on the British Airways A231 from London Heathrow to Nice in Business Class on a previous occasion, I will keep this review short and sweet. The seat and the plane has not changed, although… Read More.
In this trip report, I review my flight on British Airways in European Business Class from London Heathrow (LHR) to Nice Airport in France. I am very very happy to report some good news. Read More.
In this trip report, I review short haul Club Europe or Business Class on my flight within Europe on an Airbus A320 from London Heathrow to Nice. British Airways offers a fairly consistent Business Class offering throughout Europe which means… Read More.
I have also reviewed a number of my British Airways First Class flights and my British Airways Business Class flights. British Airways also features in our 5 best airlines to fly to Europe in Business Class.
Note: Benefits offered correct at the time of writing but may be amended at discretion of the vendor.