British Airways Avro RJ100 Euro Traveller (economy class)04/10/2012
Background Flights between London City airport and Edinburgh are operated by BA Cityflyer, a fully owned subsidiary of the British flag carrier. BA Cityflyer also serves Nice, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Madrid, Barcelona, Geneva, Zurich, and Glasgow out of LCY.
BA Cityflyer are in the process of phasing out Avro RJ85 and RJ100 planes and replacing them with Embraer E-Jet aircraft. Since this trip was taken, new Embraer aircraft have been introduced on the London City-Edinburgh and London City-Amsterdam routes, but the Avro RJ100 is still available on some flights. (See online news September 4)
From October 7, BA started charging passengers £10 per person to select economy class (Euro Traveller) seats in advance (and £20 per person per sector in Club Europe, World Traveller and World Traveller Plus, £60 per person per sector in Club World). Customers in World Traveller and World Traveller Plus are charged £50 to secure exit row seats, from ten days prior to departure. However, when I took this flight, this feature had not come into effect. However BA Cityflyer flights are not eligible for this new service.
Check-in There are up to seven flights a day from London City to Edinburgh, and I was on BA8700 at 0700. I checked online in the night before, accepted seat 7A and printed out my boarding pass. I arrived at London City by taxi at 0520 – as I was on one of the first flights of the day, the airport was almost empty. Bag-drop desks for BA (desks 13-14) opened at 0530.
After a ten-minute wait, I checked my luggage in and made my way up the escalators to security, which opened at 0545. I was the first person through, so no queue, and although I had to do the usual of taking my laptop out and shoes and jacket off, I was through in under two minutes. Boarding was set to begin at 0635 so I had time for a coffee and to catch up on some reading.
Boarding There are no announcements in departures so you have to keep an eye on the screens. Boarding began on time from Gate 10, right at the end of the corridor (a three-minute walk). There was a short wait by the tarmac in the holding area, where there was a selection of free newspapers available (Daily Mail, Metro and Financial Times). At 0645 we boarded the plane via a set of stairs at the back of the plane.
The seat Seats on the Avro RJ100 are configured 3-3 (A-B-C, D-E-F), and I was in 7A beneath the wing. The seat was the usual navy blue leather and on this occasion the flight was only about one third full.
Which seat to choose? Seats are much the same on this small aircraft and for such a short flight where you sit doesn’t make a lot of difference, although those in seats in the last row are nearest the exit at the back so will not have to walk far as boarding starts from the rear of the aircraft. However, they are narrower than other seats on board. Middle seats B and E are best avoided as you have no direct access to the aisle or view out of the window. Seats in row nine also have limited storage space overhead.
The flight Take-off was on time at 0700 and at 0725 tea, coffee and orange juice was brought around. A hot breakfast was served shortly after, which consisted of sausage, egg, bacon and a white roll. Service was friendly, fast and efficient.
Arrival The short flight was uneventful and we landed in Edinburgh at 0810, ten minutes ahead of schedule. We disembarked quickly and I had collected my suitcase from baggage reclaim by 0820. There were plenty of taxis waiting outside and I was in the city centre just after 0900.
Verdict A perfect short flight that got me into Edinburgh just in time for my morning appointments.
Price Internet rates for a return economy class flight with British Airways to Edinburgh started from £109 in December.