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Review: British Airways Club World, London Heathrow to Kuala Lumpur (Part 2)

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This is part two of our review of British Airways Club World from London Heathrow to Kuala Lumpur.

Part 1 of this BA business class flight review can be found here.

Food and drink

Dinner was served fairly quickly. For a starter I chose feta cheese with pomegranate, watermelon and mint yogurt dressing. It came with a seasonal salad. The other choice was smoked salmon.

BA Club World flight London Heathrow to Kuala Lumpur reviewed

As you can see from the photo, what arrived was not what I ordered. The gentleman that served me hadn’t noticed so when I asked him which dish I had been given (as it didn’t appear to be on the menu) he seemed just as surprised as I was!

In fact he couldn’t tell me what it was and apologetically explained there must have been a mix up with the caterer. It looked like a vegan option with broad beans instead of cheese. On further investigation it seemed there were no feta cheese starters onboard. Confusion over, I tucked in anyway and it was very nice with fresh ingredients used throughout.

For my main I ordered chicken in ginger and soy sauce with rice, broccoli and enoki mushrooms.

BA Club World flight London Heathrow to Kuala Lumpur reviewed

This was tasty and not overcooked. Other options were braised beef with chantenay carrots and new potato, penne pasta with mozzarella and tomato and a chilled Niçoise salad with Burfiord egg and tiger prawns. Generally I felt the selection of mains to be underwhelming even though I enjoyed my choice.

Dessert was a chocolate and hazelnut tart with mascarpone cream. It was simple but acceptable. Fresh fruit or Camembert cheese with spiced mulled apple jelly and biscuits were the other choices.

BA Club World flight London Heathrow to Kuala Lumpur reviewed

I also swapped champagnes and moved on to the Castelnau Brut Rosé NV, another bottle that retails around the £30 mark. I preferred it to the Canard-Duchene selection from earlier but won’t be rushing out to buy a bottle of either anytime soon.

I didn’t try any of the wines on offer. These were: white – a Spanish Albariño 2017 and an Australian Chardonnay 2016, red – a Portugese Cottas 2015 and a USA Cartlidge & Browne Pinot Noir 2015. Spirits included Tanqueray gin, Ciroc vodka and Johnnie Walker Black.

For those who feel peckish in the night there is the Club Kitchen in the galley where you can help yourself to snacks, biscuits and chocolate.  I never saw this myself – Rob says that it has gone downhill over the years but is handy for feeding small children!

By now it was getting late so it was time to set up my fully flat bed. The White Company bedding was presented in a square black bag. There was a mattress cover, grey quilt and blanket.

BA Club World flight London Heathrow to Kuala Lumpur reviewed

The bed was simple to set up with the push of a button.

BA Club World flight London Heathrow to Kuala Lumpur reviewed

and

BA Club World flight London Heathrow to Kuala Lumpur reviewed

I was concerned the bed may feel too narrow but it was fine. Lengthwise I was able to stretch out as much as I wanted. At 5’9”, my toes could just touch the end of the bed if I really stretched. I was comfortable and the quilt kept me warm enough that I didn’t need the blanket. I don’t normally sleep that well on flights so was surprised to wake to the sounds of flight attendants serving breakfast some five hours later.

Breakfast consisted of a passion fruit and mango smoothie, fresh fruit and a warm fruit pastry. All were very good. You could also choose fruit muesli with apple compote and vanilla yogurt.

BA Club World flight London Heathrow to Kuala Lumpur reviewed

This was followed by a traditional mixed grill of scrambled eggs, grilled turkey rasher, chicken sausage, tomato, mushrooms and hash brown potatoes. I regretted choosing this as it was soggy and not enjoyable. Other dishes available were shrimp congee, a smoked tomato and cheese toasted sandwich with scrambled egg and a continental breakfast with smoked salmon, roast beef, turkey breast and cheese.

BA Club World flight London Heathrow to Kuala Lumpur reviewed

Conclusion

I should mention the service. I felt well looked after throughout the flight. All the attendants were friendly, polite and efficient. They don’t have the same relaxed, outgoing manner as Virgin Atlantic crew but perhaps this is more BA’s doing than anything else.

Overall, I was happy but not especially impressed with my Club World experience. Nothing throughout the experience surprised me or exceeded my expectations. The seat / bed was comfortable, the IFE was excellent and the service was at least what you should expect.

However the food menu was uninspiring and the dishes I had ranged from very good to poor. There was also no wifi which may be important to some, particularly on a long flight such as this.

I didn’t walk off the plane thinking never again but its very unlikely I would consider paying cash for a Club World ticket in future. That is unless there is a very, very good sale on.

I was due to fly home in business with Qatar Airways, for the first time, so this would give me a great opportunity to compare the two.  That review will follow after I tell you about my regional trips on Malaysia Airlines.

As an Avios redemption, my one-way Club World flight to Kuala Lumpur cost 87,500 Avios (off-peak, peak is 105,000 Avios) and – if I booked today following the recent increase – £377 in taxes and charges.

Review: British Airways Club World, London Heathrow to Kuala Lumpur (Part 1)
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Comments

  1. Very concise review

  2. Good review, for me the KL flight is about getting as much sleep as possible and for some reason i find the CW bed to be comfy and always sleep well. Await the next chapter, at the immigration queue did he know to go to the left for fast track (nobody tells you, and the sign is v small)?! and was the KLIA monorail being repaired (again)

  3. I did the reverse of this back in Jan, flight crew were awesome, I got to sit in the flight deck during preflight checks. Really nice folks.

  4. Good review thanks . I’m doing this flight to KL next May first class ( using 241 voucher and thanks to help from headforpoints and BA redemption finder ) so I hope that will be a bit more exciting !

    • Andrew-a says:

      I did this flight in May this year, first class out on a 2 for 1 and enjoyed it. Concorde Lounge before the flight and enough champagne during to send me off to sleep. Service was a bit hit or miss though as my wife and I were served by different staff, one serving each isle. I also didn’t get my first choice main course and considering there were only 8 first class passengers thought that a bit strange. Nothing really to complain about though and good value on points. Came back business from Hong Kong on an A380, which wasn’t as good but the fully flat bed was worth it and again I slept fine.

  5. It’s a plane for Christ sake not a hotel!! if you compare BA with Virgin, BA wins every time, we found Virgin staff very rude, of course if you are flying 1st and paying maybe it’s different. All down to personal opinions in my view.

  6. The interesting point I’m looking forward to here is what is really better? This direct flight or a much better experience on Qatar but the need to spend a couple of hours in Doha, possibly overnight and take much longer to reach the destination

    • I suspect it will completely depend on personal preference and particular need on that trip.

      If maximising sleep and avoiding jet lag as much as possible is the priority the non-stop BA service will be the much better option.

      Ultimately the ‘much better experience’ on QR is, in effect, better plane food and somewhere to store a book or your glasses that you swap for having your sleep curtailed and having to change planes at some ungodly hour.

      There’s a good reason direct services are pretty much invariably a lot more expensive

      These blogs live and die on highlighting the tiniest of details between products, if the writer had come out and said seat, was comfy, food was edible and I got there on time having slept well, none of us would be reading next week.

      Club World is a more than decent product to get you from a to b in comfort, if that is your prime purpose then take CW. If you’re after a feeling of being pampered and value for money and have no reason to get to KL feeling as fresh as you can be take QR.

  7. Adios_UK says:

    Travelled BA first to KUL in August and back via SIN for the first time having avoided BA due to bad reviews for years.
    I was honestly underwhelmed by the whole experience.

    LHR to KUL – 787 -900.
    IFE screen broken from boarding, totally unusable and had to be covered in a blanket for the entire flight. No spare seats as they had filled the cabin with upgrades from CW so could not move. Caterers also forgot to load menus making ordering food tricky and heard quite a few people not being able to have their chosen main course (luckily we pre ordered). Crew were mixed fleet and very warm and friendly but certainly not polished or experienced in a first cabin. Food average at best.

    SIN – LHR – A380
    Only one bottle of Laurent-Perrier Grand Siècle Champagne (their flagship First class Champagne) loaded for the entire flight. Older Worldwide crew who were generally dismissive, disinterested and would ignore call bells and requests for service from the passengers. Food poor.

    First world problems i know. But we were paying hard earned cash and not on Avios or 2:1 vouchers and had not been upgraded. This was for our 25 wedding anniversary and makes me exceptionally nervous of using BA again as you just have no idea the level of service, food and serviceability on any flight. We have never experienced similar on any other airline (mostly gulf carriers).

    Personally – Mixed fleet crew over worldwide any day of the week.

  8. No, it’s not a hotel – but you are a guest; so it seems entirely reasonable to compare the style and quality of service offered by your host. In my experience flying with both BA and Virgin in all classes, BA crew invariably come across as demotivated while VS crew seem proud of their job.

    Lifetime Gold with BA (and OW Emerald) means AA gives me a free drink and snack in Economy while BA (to the embarrassment of Cabin Crew) charges me for a cup of tea; Lifetime Gold with VS means my loyalty is reciprocated and I get off the plane glad to have given them my business.

    PS: VS doesn’t have a First Class; BA does and it’s inferior to Business Class on AA, CX, EI…….!

    • What does Lifetime VS Gold get you that BA Gold does not?

      AA gives everyone a free drink and snack in economy btw

      As for the BA F vs AA,CX J, you’ve obv not had the same experiences as me! 30% less space for one and being woken up to collect the headphones being the other on my last AA trip. Before no dine on demand, much worse service (as in worse crew:pax ratio, crew were OK), warm champagne in a plastic glass etc…etc…

      Food was OK though

      • Lifetime Gold took me 5 years to earn on VS, 12 years on BA (despite similar spend and number of longhaul flights) so at least it’s given me 7 more years of feeling appreciated!

        We obviously have had very different experiences; I’ve never had warm champagen, been woken to collect headphones or poor service on AA, CX, EI or IB longhaul – I have on BA!

        As for the “superiority” of BA First, I once turned down an upgrade from CW to stick with 64K!

  9. Having just flown UC & Qatar in recent years:

    Qatar IFE not great at all. On par or perhaps worse than BA so don’t get the hype there.
    Virgin’s options woeful. Suprised given the hypothetical “boss” is in the entertainment industry.
    Virgin bed also much more difficult to work with if tall & sleeping position in CW really is top class. Always get a decent rest. Better than QR herringbone.
    Virgin’s service was pretty woeful on our flight. Meal took over 2hrs to come & breakfast order was equally slow and, despite order, wrong dish served.
    CW does not compete with Qatar or Singapore but I think it’s the shocker people make out and great if you want a good sleep.

    • ankomonkey says:

      The best service I’ve had on a plane was EY J (Finnair). Better than BA, Virgin, Emirates, etc. Not flown Qatar.

  10. BA has good crews and bad, but more good, perhaps they’re not the same as Virgin, but they’re mostly good. The seat is really good I find, it’s comfortable and converts easily to a lie-flat. The storage space is very poor. If you don’t know about the step over by now then you never will, it is what it is, don’t fly BA if you don’t like it. Virgin, food about the same as BA, seat is poor in my view, get out of it and wait a few minutes whilst slowest mech in the world folds the rear down, nope too much effort. I’m only 6ft and feet constantly knocked by passer-bye, storage equally limited as BA. AA is OK at everything, exceptional at nothing, AY similar, and their crews remind me of functional robots. On BA 747 Upper deck windows, particular 62 and 64 are great, and I like facing backwards, much more natural to have your head slightly raised.

    • The VS seat is easily the worst if your comparing AA/CX/AY and BA for all the reasons you mention plus the complete lack of any privacy

  11. Nigel Cohen says:

    I am flying to Miami from Terminal 3 BA Business Class. I have a Dragonpass card, which lounge is best BA Galleries, Cathy Pacific or Quantas.

    Thanks

    • IMO it depends on what you like and time of flight. In morning go to CX for breakfast and have a shower even if you don’t need one using the Aesop toiletries. If flight a bit later, I’ve found QF to do better coffee (highly subjective) and they have a good brunch offering.

  12. Definitas says:

    I much prefer the VS seat. I am only 5’6″ and find the less firm back of the VS seat (which you sleep on due to the “flip over” design) much more comfortable. I have flown CW on at least 8 return trips to the US over the past 3 years and never had a flat bed. The foot stool element always sags and leaves a really uncomfortable ridge, something I never experience on VS when I was flying UC 6 times a year for work. A couple of trips back this ridge on my seat on the upper deck of a 747 produced a drop of about 4 inches. CW was full so no chance to move, even if I had wanted to move to the lower deck. The flight attendant brought some extra blankets to make up the gap but it was pretty dire. (I complained and got 5000 Avios but I would far rather have had a comfortable seat). Horses for Courses but the combination of the drive through check in, the superb VS lounge at LHR and the significantly more comfortable bed means VS wins hands down for me. Unfortunately, they just don’t offer sufficient destinations.

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