British Airways A320 UK Domestic04/10/2012
BACKGROUND British Airways uses A320 and also A319 aircraft on this busy shuttle route. The seating configuration is a single-cabin Economy class with a 3-3 configuration. BA flies between London Heathrow and Glasgow International Airport eight times a day during weekdays and five times a day on weekends, with flights from London Gatwick four times a day during weekdays and three times daily at weekends. The Gatwick flights currently use B737s. There are also twice daily flights between Glasgow and London City Airport by BA CityFlyer using Avro RJ100s. The flight code prefix for Heathrow is BA1XXX, Gatwick is BA2XXX and London City Airport is BA8XXX, etc. BMI also flies the Glasgow-Heathrow route and Easyjet operates flights from Glasgow to Gatwick, Stansted and London Luton airports.
CHECK-IN After I was dropped off at the specially designated zone, created after the botched terrorist attack on the airport in 2007, I headed straight to the BA desks. I was considerably over the 23kg limit on baggage and initially the very sympathetic and apologetic check-in clerk said I would have to pay several hundred pounds in excess fees. I did point out that I was travelling on to Hong Kong on fellow Oneworld partner Cathay Pacific, and that the BA-operated GLA-LHR flight was actually the first leg in a codeshare. I argued therefore that this should have entitled me to a larger allowance through my frequent flyer status. However, I was told that Cathay Pacific and British Airways do not always honour each other’s baggage allowances in such situations, which is a chilling thought if true. Another suggestion put to me was to check in the bags only as far as London, then retrieve them and check them in there with Cathay Pacific, which would have been a dreadful waste of time. However, a supervisor made some calls and I was allowed to check in the bags all the way through to Hong Kong.
LOUNGE Although the BA lounge at Glasgow is designated as a Galleries lounge, this is really a cramped and unimaginative space that bares no relation to its Heathrow T5 namesake. The drinks selection is passable but the daytime food selection is fairly poor. There is complimentary wifi. The lounge is located just beside Gate 19.
BOARDING The flight was called in the lounge about 30 minutes before departure. Since the departure gate was 19, next door, I left it to exactly 20 minutes before departure and joined the boarding queue.
WHICH SEAT TO CHOOSE? I chose 26A, since I prefer the final window seat, but some might see that as a disadvantage since the galley and toilets are behind. Those with tight connections might prefer the front rows, say 1-5, to speed up disembarkation.
To see the seatplan click here.
FOOD AND DRINK Since this was a daytime flight you are only offered a snack menu, as well as drinks. On early morning flights you can get a hot breakfast with coffee and tea.
ARRIVAL Take-off was on time and tailwinds meant the 90-minute flight was closer to 80 minutes, which was a help since I was connecting to my flight at T3.
VERDICT BA’s connections and frequencies and, in this particular case, codeshare and baggage allowance were the major advantages for me. The BA check-in staff were especially helpful. No complaints about the flight but BA need to put a lot more effort into the lounge facilities given that this is a major domestic business route.
PRICING Lowest internet pricing on this route in January 2010 was £81.60 for a return.