A380 Club World Hong Kong to London

This is the continuation of my trip from London to Hong Kong on British Airways. On my return, I picked the A380 flight as I have tried the 777 flight on the inbound. I was very excited to fly on the upper deck. Once again, the BA policy of charging passengers for seat assignments (even in Club World) has meant that myself, as a lowly Ruby, can only grab an aisle seat – well, at least better than being in the middle. The flight lands at 4:30 in the morning so there would have been nothing to see from a window seat anyways – except for the added privacy.

I arrived in the airport two hours before the flight departed – just in time to fit in a visit to the Qantas Hong Kong lounge, which was conveniently located just outside of security, and just above the gate where the flight departed from. There was no queue for Club World check-in and my bag was checked through the London very quickly. The check-in agent confirmed that the flight was very full and all seats on the flight have been taken – so no window seat for me!

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There was a sizeable queue for World Traveller and World Traveller Plus – but I imagine that most of the passengers have checked in already for this flight.

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After a quick goodbye to my family, I headed towards security and immigration. Hong Kong is one of the few hub airports without fast track security but that was not a problem today as I got through security and immigration in 5 minutes. The Qantas Hong Kong lounge is located just on the right after immigration.

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My gate

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The Qantas Hong Kong Lounge is a OneWorld lounge for passengers travelling in First or Business Class, or those with OneWorld Sapphire and Emerald status.

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No Champagne though!

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I arrived at around 9:15 pm and have just narrowly missed when they served freshly made food from the kitchen. Qantas passengers usually can enjoy a daily special being freshly made from the kitchens – for BA passengers, there is only the buffet – but food was generally of high quality and I was quite pleased with the wine selections – which I think was superb and brilliantly showcased the excellent Australian winemaking.

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I enjoyed the Clare Valley Riesling and a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

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The lounge is very spacious and I was able to find a place that was quiet to catch up on some emails and work. I did not take many pictures of the space because the lounge was getting a lot more crowded closer to the departure times of the BA flights.

I left the lounge 10 minutes ahead of boarding time as I wanted to board early!

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Surprisingly, no one has queued up yet for Economy Class – quite unusual!

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My poor attempt at photographing the bird

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Pre boarding started on time.

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Once First Class passengers and OneWorld Emerald passengers boarded, Club World passengers were invited to board – it was all very chill as not many people have arrived at the gate yet!

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Stairs to heaven!

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I was the first passenger to board the forward cabin in the Upper Deck.

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My seat: 52D

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Club World cabin on the Upper Deck of A380 is in a 2-3-2 layout – which is the same as the Premium Economy cabin. BA has one of the densest Business Class cabins in the world – with the ‘yin-yang’ arrangement – not everyone has direct aisle access – rather you will need to step over someone’s legs if you are looking to leave from a window or middle seat. Also, the aisle seats tend to lack privacy as you are exposed.

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I was immediately offered Champagne or orange juice. Some bubbles for me, please!

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The second Club cabin

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The World Traveller Plus cabin – probably one of the largest in the industry – this cabin boosts 55 seats in one cabin 9-row 2-3-2 layout

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And the rare gems – the upper deck economy class seats

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Back at my seat – for the obligatory legroom shot

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My neighbours have not yet arrived, still… As you can see the seats afford almost zero privacy

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The famous A380 stair

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50B is not a very good seat as it faces straight into the loo and can be disruptive during the flight

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The middle seat, too, is not ideal – very narrow and it will be like sleeping in a coffin

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The screen is big enough (10.4 inches) and I like the touch screen a lot – one of the problems I have with the SQ new Business Class is the lack of touch screen in their monitors

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Water was offered during the lengthy boarding process

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Once the Club cabin filled up, we were given menus and the wash bag amenity kits

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Menu for the flight – no one-tray supper affair with BA… you get a three-course meal as per usual dinner standards, and a good breakfast

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Drinks

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BA serves three champagnes in the Club cabin – probably more than any carrier in the world (QR serves a white and a rose champagne)

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The flight left the gate bang on time at 23:05 and the safety video played one minute after:

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And the cabin crew did their final walk around soon after the video in preparation for departure

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Onwards and upwards!

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My neighbour immediately raised the privacy screen

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Noise-cancelling headsets

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Exploring the IFE – not much to see but quite updated and good enough for a red-eye

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Drinks came soon enough – the crews were very efficient despite a very full flight

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Refills were plentiful – seems like I am the only one in the cabin drinking this the crew even gave me the bottle

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Half an hour after, we got the first course – which was bland but edible. No plate for bread though!

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In 20 minutes my first course was cleared away and I asked for the Australian white, which was not too bad!

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The main was chicken – nothing spectacular but it was well cooked, pipping hot and tender – no complaints that. It was very satisfying at this late hour indeed

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On BA – cheese course is one of the desserts – or it is either cheese or pie

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The pie is brilliant – simple yet delicious. And with a cup of tea – it is out of the world

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Dinner was done two hours after gate departure – which was efficient in my opinion and with the long flight time, there was chance for a good sleep (10:11hrs left)

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The sleeping amenities – both very decent. The blanket was warm enough but I would definitely appreciate an extra pillow!

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Flat bed

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Woke up half way through my sleep – still tired though

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Explored the Club Kitchen – nothing impressive

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I went back to sleep until breakfast – which started 1 hour 15 minutes before landing – so I slept for about 8.5 hours – the bed was decent and once the cabin was completely dark, privacy did not matter as much

Breakfast

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Pastries

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Fruits

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Main course – definitely looks very good, but because I was still very full, I only picked at it – the eggs were great but did not venture anywhere more than that

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We were among the first few to arrive into Heathrow – with no air traffic control holds, we were able to take a rather direct route for an on-time arrival

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Verdict

Let’s start with the positives:

  • The ground service and the lounge in HKG were brilliant. No queue and I enjoyed the lounge immensely – a very quiet place to work in.
  • The cabin crews were friendly and efficient.
  • The food was, if simple and predictable, well-executed.
  • The bed was very comfortable and BA provided enough amenities to guarantee a good night’s sleep.

But…

  • The hard product remains outdated – in today’s world, we all love a bit more space, hence we are seeing Business Class seats classed as “suites” and have direct aisle access that boosts a 1-2-1 layout. If anything, the denseness of the cabin can be uncomfortable.

 

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