JONAS
Jonas Rask Eilersen
British Airways A380 Club World
London Heathrow - Hong Kong, A380-800, Club World (Business Class)
25th November 2015

British Airways launched its A380 service in October 2013, operating two daily services between London and Hong Kong on a superjumbo and a 777-300.  The A380 departs from Heathrow at 1840 and the 777 at 2200. I tried out the A380 – read on for my review.

Check In
I started my journey in Milan (Linate), so I was only transiting at Heathrow. However, all formalities were quick and easy, and the transfer at Heathrow painless. With my boarding passes for both sectors issued at Milan, I could head straight to the lounge.

My trusty Rimowa suitcase was checked all the way to Hong Kong.
The Lounge
For passengers in Club World, there are north and south lounges of the Galleries Club Lounge, also open to Executive Club Gold and Silver members as well as oneworld Emerald and Sapphire members.

I picked the north lounge; it's a big space and there should, theoretically, be plenty of space to spread out. However, I found it difficult to find a seat, and I was not particularly pleased with the levels of cleanliness.

I finally plonked down at a long, white communal table, and tried to work a bit on my laptop (with a G&T from the bar within easy reach). There was a good selection of both food and drink - the only minuses being the slow cleaning efforts by staff, and that the lounge was so full.
Boarding
At 1730 I headed towards the transit which was to bring me to the C gates. It took a good 15 minutes to get there, and once at the gate, I was faced with a huge number of passengers trying to get onboard the plane.

Mind, there was a priority lane, but even this lane was fairly busy, and so I was only onboard some 15 minutes before scheduled departure.

If you haven't flown the A380 before, you need to be prepared for the sheer scale of everything - I will be honest and say that the boarding experience, in Club World, isn't quite as luxurious as you'd like it to be. One reason for this is that there are 97 seats in Club World - so it's a little more difficult to "stand out".

However, all was forgotten once I found my seat, which looked and felt new and comfy. Within a minute I was offered a nice chilled glass of Taittinger...things were definitely looking up!
The Cabin, Seat and Service
This being one of the newer aircraft in the fleet, the Club World cabin is the newest available - and it does look great (particularly when the mood-lighting is on).

In Club World, there are 97 seats, with the majority of these being on the upper deck (44 on the main deck and two cabins on the upper deck containing 53 seats). As customary in the BA Club World cabin (onboard widebody aircraft that is), seats are arranged in a herringbone pattern.

The main deck has a 2-4-2 arrangement, while the upper deck is configured 2-3-2. The seat extends into a six-foot flat bed and offers the comfortable option of a Z position for watching films in a nearly reclined position. A 12.1-inch touchscreen pulls out from the main unit, and an IFE control slotted into the seat’s side allows better access than having to reach all the way to the screen. A pillow, blanket, noise-cancelling headphones and amenity kit containing socks, eye mask, toothbrush and paste, and Elemis skincare products were provided.

I'd selected 52H, one of the "middle seats". I’d choose the upper deck for the more spacious configuration and seats that have a side storage area. Avoid seats D, E and F as these are in the middle of the cabin; you’ll want the window, so seats A or K are best for privacy with only one other person next to you. If you suffer from airsickness, a front facing seat is a better choice - although onboard the A380, you're unlikely to feel this (the calmness of flight being the A380's biggest advantage, in my opinion).

I found the service to be very polite and efficient, although not particularly polished (I noted that some of the staff had uniforms which did not appear very clean).
Food and Drink
The menu was described in a nice, white pamphlet handed out to each passenger. I was ravenous, and so went for the heaviest options - a Dukkah-spiced salmon with wasabi mayonnaise and the pan-friend sirloin. Both were good, without being outstanding. I had plenty of the fresh breads (all great), and asked for both the dessert (an Opéra cake) and the cheeses.

I was very pleased with the two Bloody Mary's (BA being one of the few airlines who actually know how to mix a proper one...) - and also with the red wine (a Weemala Shiraz 2012).

Breakfast was better than dinner - I really enjoyed the banana smoothie and the English Breakfast (it's quite decadent to be served breakfast in bed - and even more so onboard the A380....)
Inflight Entertainment
I was very happy with the entertainment system overall - the noise cancelling headphones, the quality of the screen itself, as well as the selection of films, and TV shows (many of the shows had multiple episodes): all great. Still, it's not up to the standard of e.g. Emirates.
Arrival
Around one hour before arrival, at 1300, the crew started tidying up the cabin - and they did a great job. Everything looked clean and neat on arrival. Crew saw us all off with a smile (no mean feat when there are that many passengers getting off the plane...).

Immigration was quick, and my Rimowa was already on the belt when I got there. Flawless.
Verdict
The A380 is a joy to fly, and the BA Club World product is solid - without too many surprises (and therefore slightly unexciting...). The Club World seat is very comfortable, the IFE very good and crew friendly and capable. I'd most happily fly BA's biggest bird again.