I flew Club World......and Lived.

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Old Oct 12, 18, 8:17 am
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Smile I flew Club World......and Lived.

If you are the more literal type in reading this sort of thing I would suggest heading straight down to the "serious bit" and avoid the complete nonsense before it.

Even at the point of taking my seat, 15A, on the flight from LHR to PVG I still expected to be rescued and whisked away to a seat in F.

..............Let me take a step back, my last complimentary upgrade was back in January 2018…..59 BA sectors ago, now admittedly, of those 59 I have flown in the highest cabin 57 times and the two occasions I last slummed it in CW were, again back in January 2018. With 7000+ TP’s under my belt YTD I was due an upgrade, Pfffft.

Actually I need to take a further step back, I am a refugee from Qantas. I think it was 2014 when QF introduced “Simpler and Fairer” to its FF program. An approach that has proven particularly complicated and wholly inequitable. My understanding is that frequent flyers in Australia are banding together to fund a new super computer to calculate status point and mileage earnings for various routes.

So, given my requirement for occasional trips between the UK and Australia, I found myself wedded to the BAEC, a somewhat simpler and most definitely fairer FF program, and as a voracious peruser of the The BA Flyertalk forum, I found myself desperately trying to avoid CW.

Over the last year I have come to believe that BA crams many hundreds, if not thousands, of pax into the CW cabin, on aircraft that are so old they are probably burning wood for fuel. Should I survive take off I would probably be gnawed on by rats in a filthy vermin infested cabin. The rats much preferring to dine on the pax than the dire food offerings……if there are any food offerings at all. The entertainment system, like the seat would be unlikely to function. As for cabin crew they were likely to be surly/unprofessional/inexperienced. (Select as appropriate!)

So there I was, no rescue for me, CW it was for almost 11 hours. A chap in a tie offered me a small black amenities pouch, a menu and choice of water or champagne…..although I suspect it was sparkling wine.

Admittedly the aircraft was closer to retirement than creation with a tiny video screen that turned the viewing experience in something akin to watching a cathode ray tube TV from 30 yards away in a 1950’s London “Pea souper”. (Teenagers, you’ll probably need to google those references! )

Once the seatbelt sign had been turned off I waited for the lovely cabin crew peeps to make my bed up…but they did not appear so took the bedding down from the overhead locker, unwrapped it and looked at the contents in exasperation. (Initiative has never been my strong point but it was clear I would need it in CW.) I assumed the small white “thing” that was as thick as kitchen roll, well at least the expensive stuff ‘er indoors buys, was the mattress and the two grey things were blankets. I tried to cobble something together from these items that eventually almost resembled a bed.

A slightly older lady then came to see me, and after a couple of attempts to get my name right welcomed me onboard, thanked me for my loyalty, incorrectly accused me of being a regular on the LHR-PVG route and then rather kindly offered me food and drinks from F. I only wanted the cheese plate having gorged myself in the CCR just in case the unthinkable happened – which of course it had. I thought this was all jolly nice and did not match some of the awful experiences I had read about on FT.

The cheese and biscuits from F were rather lovely and after a nice cup of tea I settled down for sleep. A sleep which lasted for almost six and a half hours. It was all rather different than I expected, there weren’t even any signs of spillage from previous occupants of the seat.

Serious Bit.

BA CW is nowhere near as good as many airlines J offerings, but the route suited me, the price suited me, and quite frankly the CW seat is one of my favourites to get a sleep in. (I’m not a fan of the narrow footwell on CX, UL and the QF A330, nor do I like the QF “droop bed” on the A380) I was lucky enough to snag 15A, giving me a window seat with aisle access. The crew was professional, pleasant and attentive. I rarely use the IFE, preferring my own, so whilst it was a weak point on the 777-200 on this trip it did not really impact me.

The BAEC FF program works a treat for me. I am approaching the end of my TP year and will hit 9000 again thus maximising the benefits. The GUF’s allow me to make the most of ex EU fares to SYD and the jokers let me use Avios when I need to.

I don’t believe there is one size fits all for frequent flyers and currently BAEC is a sweet spot for me. I get that it won’t be for many. I don’t consider myself loyal to BA and would switch strategies in a heartbeat if BAEC changed to negatively impact me. (Just as I switched from QF upon the introduction of simpler & fairer.)

Last edited by TonyHancock; Oct 12, 18 at 8:24 am Reason: Typo
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Old Oct 12, 18, 8:26 am
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How many pints of Blood did they take while you were asleep?
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Old Oct 12, 18, 8:31 am
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Great to meet you in the CCR on Sunday - glad you survived!

M
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Old Oct 12, 18, 8:34 am
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Originally Posted by msm2000uk View Post
Great to meet you in the CCR on Sunday - glad you survived!

M
Likewise. Although that was CE on Sunday. I do like to finish those pesky ex EU affairs.
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Old Oct 12, 18, 9:18 am
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Yes, the moral of the story is that CW is a very, very decent product especially with the wonderful new bedding!!!
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Old Oct 12, 18, 9:24 am
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Originally Posted by Ancient Observer View Post
How many pints of Blood did they take while you were asleep?
"An armful!"
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Old Oct 12, 18, 9:26 am
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Originally Posted by Tocsin View Post
"An armful!"
Very nearly!!
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Old Oct 12, 18, 9:26 am
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First world problems.
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Old Oct 12, 18, 9:30 am
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flying 9,000 Tier Points in any class at all, I'm surprised you've lived - I appreciate this is the wrong forum to say this, but that's just nuts...

yes, I guess I do my TPs the hard way - no CE for business; mostly CW long-haul; always a direct routing (so every US trip is "just" 280 TPs); no ex-EUs; mostly flying for work not leisure...maybe 9,000 wouldn't seem so hard with a few more complicated QR ex-EUs and trips in F in the mix (I suppose it's "only" 20 return trips in F a year, hardly that bad...
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Old Oct 12, 18, 9:37 am
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Originally Posted by Ancient Observer View Post
How many pints of Blood did they take while you were asleep?
If you haven't yet OP, I'd also recommend you verify that both your kidneys are in their intended locations.
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Old Oct 12, 18, 9:54 am
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I think the only sparkling wine that BA serve in CW is indeed CHAMPAGNE. Someone correct if I am wrong and that pre take-off they offer some other sparkling stuff!?
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Old Oct 12, 18, 9:58 am
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CW is fine on the 772 if you are fortunate enough to be able to get 15A/K. The other seats not so much. Certainly my least favourite CW cabin by a large margin.
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Old Oct 12, 18, 10:08 am
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Old Oct 12, 18, 10:25 am
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Originally Posted by TonyHancock View Post

currently BAEC is a sweet spot for me. I get that it wonít be for many. I donít consider myself loyal to BA and would switch strategies in a heartbeat if BAEC changed to negatively impact me.
Youíve hit the nail on the head. BAEC I rate 10/10. BA I currently rate X/10 (where 5<X<7).
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Old Oct 12, 18, 10:27 am
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Originally Posted by TonyHancock View Post
If you are the more literal type in reading this sort of thing I would suggest heading straight down to the "serious bit" and avoid the complete nonsense before it. ...............
Brilliantly written OP, if I may so.
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