FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

British Airways | Club World

by Francis X. Gallagher

Feb 1, 2019
Airlines

London (LHR) to Philadelphia (PHL)

On the Ground: I checked in online the night before and forwarded our boarding passes to the front clerk at the Corinthia Hotel for printing. I was traveling with my wife after crossing the Atlantic on the Queen Mary 2 and spending a few days in London to see friends. I arranged a car service to take us to Heathrow, which turned out to be a smart move, as the trains were all stopped due to an issue. Checking luggage was swift, as was security, and I was looking forward to spending some time in the British Airways lounge. However, a traffic delay did not allow us that luxury. Instead, we took the airport train system to the gate and waited for the plane to board.

Pre-Flight: Once the flight started boarding, we were both selected for an additional security check. It was rather detailed, involving taking the escalator down to the boarding tunnel (jetway), where a makeshift security team went through luggage and asked passengers to lift up clothing for review. Perhaps this was due to our one-way ticketing, but those selected hardly fit any profile. Once clear, we were directed back up the escalator to line up for the flight.

Getting all settled with carry-on bags stowed took a few minutes, then the crew passed around newspapers and served Champagne. We were offered the middle seats in a row of four business-class flat beds. As a couple, this was fine, but I imagine it might be awkward as strangers. I was looking forward to tasting BA’s award-winning wines from our annual Wines on the Wing survey (ranked fifth globally) and settling in for my flight.

In-Flight: I find the seating on BA’s business class a little awkward. My middle seat faced backward, so I looked directly in the face of the woman sitting on the aisle. We chatted for a while and she was pleasant, but we both agreed to pull up the privacy screen after takeoff. Fortunately, the gentleman behind her never fully reclined, so I had an easy path to the bathroom during the entire flight; otherwise, I would have had to step over him and straddle his feet to get in and out.

Once airborne, attendants distributed amenity kits, and the BA machine was in full swing as dinner orders and cocktails appeared. I ordered a scotch, served in a rather nice tumbler of cut glass and accompanied by warmed nuts. Unfortunately, this flight was not serving the second- and third-place wines from our survey — Oldenburg Vineyards Chardonnay 2016, South Africa, and Waimea Pinot Gris 2016, New Zealand — but as I ordered a seared filet of British beef, I selected Château de Ruth 2017, Sainte-Cecile Côtes du Rhone Villages, recommended by my flight attendant. By then we had become chummy. The crew offered cheeses and sweets after dinner and presented teas with sandwiches before landing.

As this was a day flight, I watched several movies including The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I also accessed BA’s WiFi for a reasonable fee and emailed my team during the entire flight, making great use of the time.

British Airways is excited about its new uniform designer, Ozwald Boateng, OBE. The new designs are rather smart and seem like a big hit with the crew. British Airways is investing approximately $5.7 billion over the next five years and will install higher-quality WiFi and power in every seat, outfit 128 long-haul aircraft with new interiors and take delivery of 72 new aircraft. Next year, BA will also introduce a new Club World seat with direct aisle access to really bring the airline up to speed with others as it reaches its 100-year anniversary.

TOP TAKEAWAYS:

◆ The new Club World seats will help one of aviation’s best innovators move back to the top ranking.

◆ Philadelphia International Airport can use some basic help with luggage delivery.

◆ A good selection of movies kept me entertained, and the WiFi was superb.

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Explore Excursions

#globility

Insta Feed
Daily
Jun 14, 2024

Former 1940s-Era Italian Bank Transformed Into Rome EDITION Hotel

It is hard to resist the pleasures of Rome, a city filled with world-renowned paintings; sculptures; thousands of colorful cafés; and hundreds of ancient buildings still standing and often used as offices, homes and museums. Certainly, Rome is the cradle from which all that is best about Italy emerged. It is difficult to open a new hotel in Rome without connecting it to the city’s history, art and culinary tradition. When Rome EDITION opened last year, it was the perfect fit for a city that lives and breathes all things extraordinary.

Welcome to Wyndham Monterrey Ambassador Centro

Wyndham Monterrey Ambassador Centro, operated by Aimbridge LATAM, opened its doors, welcoming guests to one of the most iconic and traditional properties in Monterrey, Nuevo León. Boasting 229 rooms and suites, the hotel, part of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, is ready for discerning travelers. Wyndham Hotels & Resorts is the largest hotel franchise company in the world with approximately 9,100 hotels in more than 95 countries.

June 2024
Jun 14, 2024

Loyalty Programs Revamp to Meet Changing Customer Preferences

Airlines and hotels consistently tweak loyalty programs to draw brand engagement based on shifting consumer habits, and the demands of younger generations make an impact. According to Chris Galloway, executive vice president, Strategy & Design, for brand loyalty experts Brandmovers, millennials are more active and engaged in loyalty programs than any other generation to date, and as Gen Z gains in buying/spending power, they also accelerate in their desire for loyalty and rewards programs.

Daily
Jun 14, 2024

Luxury Italian Farmhouse Launches 3 Seasonal, Hands-On Culinary Experiences

This summer, guests staying at Casetta Firenze, a luxury farmhouse in the Chianti region of Tuscany, can book three culinary workshops led by experts in the art of pasta making, traditional Tuscan dishes and vegetarian cuisine. Each workshop offers a multicourse meal, local produce and complementary wine.

L’Ermitage: Your Beverly Hills Self-Care Haven

Nestled amidst the palm-lined boulevards of Beverly Hills, L'Ermitage exudes refined elegance and unparalleled service. This haven, a Forbes Five-Star, AAA Five-Diamond and, most recently, Two Key MICHELIN Guide recipient, continues to captivate discerning travelers and Angelenos with its unwavering dedication to personalized hospitality and self-care.

Daily
Jun 14, 2024

Top U.S. States for Golfers

Relocation experts at My Baggage recently conducted a study to determine the top U.S. states for golfers by analyzing the distribution of golf courses, driving ranges, tournaments and golf coaches per 100,000 residents in every state, along with the number of platinum clubs. From there, each location was assigned a score and ranked accordingly.

Daily
Jun 12, 2024

Langham Hospitality Group Opens Cordis-Branded Hotel in Foshan, China

Langham Hospitality Group opened a new hotel under its upscale Cordis Hotels & Resorts brand, situated in the southern Chinese city of Foshan, a key urban center in the country’s Greater Bay Area. The Cordis, Foshan and Lingnan Tiandi Hotel is becoming a promising destination for both tourists and business travelers thanks to its planned upgrades and prime location in Lingnan Tiandi.

Why Buy Annual Travel Insurance?

One affordable plan can protect an entire year of trips: business or pleasure, short or long, domestic or international.

eFlyer Reviews
Jun 12, 2024

Hôtel des Grands Voyageurs Review

It’s often declared Paris’ Left Bank, or La Rive Gauche, the local side of the Seine —  where bohemian and chic are used superfluously, albeit with some veracity. It only makes sense that travelers looking to stay on the Left Bank would seek as local an accommodation as possible — Hôtel des Grands Voyageurs is the new kid on the block and certainly delivers this with its design following the likes of a Parisian art collectors’ residence.