By Barbara Penny Angelakis
Photography by Manos Angelakis
British Airways Club World
On a recent quick in and out trip to London, British Airways was our carrier. Our limousine dropped us in front of the BA departure terminal at Heathrow several hours before our actual departure so that we could take full advantage of the Priority Lounge’s complimentary computer services and catch up on our emails. The process through check-in was painless and pleasant; no long wait lines and a smiling face and cheery greeting when we got to the counter. We checked one bag each so that we could be hands free navigating the extensive airport and in short order we had our Boarding Passes and were on the way to the lounge.
BA has a number of different lounges for their passengers depending on the chosen level of service. We were directed to the Galleries Club Lounge, a super large room with several service areas that were organized in such a way as to avoid the feeling of crowding. The room was divided into eating, drinking, and working areas, with comfortable lounge chairs set-up to accommodate business meetings, social conversations, or to simply rest. Along one wall were displays of warm and cold foods and drink, and on another wall was a separate help-yourself coffee counter. And for the ultimate travel luxury there is the Elemis Travel Spa offering complimentary mini-massage or facial to relax you before the flight or combat the drying effects of flying. The treatments are much coveted, so prepare to register at least several hours before your flight to insure a spot. There are also steam-and-shower facilities so you can refresh between waits for connecting flights, and the facilities are kept spanking clean.
We went directly to the computer area which was the most extensive from all the Priority Lounges I have been in. Counter after counter of computers for complimentary use or outlets to plug-in personal electronic equipment. I took special note that a smiling clean-up crew constantly made the rounds picking up dirty dishes and cups, a service that was sorely missing from a previous Priority Lounge I was in, not run by BA.
After catching up on business matters, Manos and I selected breakfast pastries and fruits from the generous selection and made ourselves comfortable until the call for our flight was announced.
We flew in BA’s Premium Quality World Traveler Plus cabin, an upgrade from coach but not yet Business Class level. The seats were spacious and further apart then in coach, similar to older Business Class seats, without the flat-out beds. The meal service also was more generous then in coach, with a lunch that offered a choice of seared fillet of Hereford beef with sautéed artichoke, pimento and sautéed olivette potatoes, or corn-fed chicken with almond, cashew and walnut stuffing served on a bed of root vegetables and caramelized leeks. Manos had the beef and I had the chicken and we were both happy with our selections. Dessert was a yummy chocolate and caramel mousse. We were also served light refreshments prior to arrival in JFK. The cabin crew was very discreet in waking people for this meal, having asked after dinner if they would prefer to sleep through the second service.
The individual entertainment selections at each seat were numerous although I elected to sleep as I normally do when flying regardless of destination. It may be a mild form of motion sickness but it works for me since I can sleep if the flight is 4 hours long or 14.
The flight was uneventful and we landed at JFK more than ½ hour early which was helpful since it was almost midnight when we deplaned. Our flight going to London on another carrier was delayed arriving in London by three hours, severely cutting into an already tight schedule so we really appreciated the early arrival making the travel time as short as possible.
British Airways operates daily direct flights from Newark to London (Heathrow) and more than a half dozen daily direct flights from JFK making it easy and convenient to find a time and departure gateway that suits you.
Click on the link to find the British Airways lounges in all airports served by the airline.
© January 2012 LuxuryWeb Magazine. All rights reserved.