Review: British Airways 462 767-300 Euro Traveller London Heathrow to Madrid

Introduction
Finnair 90 A350-900 Business Class Bangkok to Helsinki
Finnair 833 A321 Business Class Helsinki to London Heathrow
British Airways 462 767-300 Euro Traveller London Heathrow to Madrid
Hotel Preciados Madrid
Hotel Catalonia Square Barcelona
Finnair 3270 A321 Business Class Barcelona to Helsinki
Finnair 89 A350-900 Business Class Helsinki to Bangkok
Cathay Pacific 754 A340-300 Business Class Bangkok to Hong Kong


We checked in Heathrow Terminal 5, also known as “The World’s Ugliest Aquarium”. It was a fairly seamless process and we were through in a matter of minutes. I found it comical that the agent kept forgetting about my parents’ Sapphire status, only to remember about three seconds afterwards. Here’s a sample conversation.

Agent: “Now, your bag is a little overweight, but I’m going to let it…oh wait, you’re Sapphire. That doesn’t matter!”
Us: “What about our lounge invitations?”
Agent: “I’m afraid you won’t receive access…oh wait! You’re Sapphire. Nevermind! They’re in the boarding pass!”

I mean, she was like a walking Dory. She was really, really nice, just that she had a rather bizarre case of short term memory loss.

We eventually cleared security, which was a complete mess and was filled with people who had clearly never flown before, because everyone was holding their phones in their hand, or trying to bring water bottles through security. And everyone failed the metal detector test, so that meant a huge backlog of travellers waiting to pass through the detector. However, the staff were really courteous (unlike the US’s biggest waste of money, the TSA). So thumbs up!

Eventually, we made it to the terminal, which looked like a huge shopping mall. I mean, that’s probably what they were going for, but the airport was pretty neat.

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London Heathrow Terminal 5 Airside

We also stopped by the Galleries lounge for a while. However, we didn’t have much time, so we grabbed a couple of bottles of water and headed for our departure gate.

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British Airways Galleries Lounge Terminal 5

Our departure gate was B35, which required a train ride to the B gates. We got there, only to realise that there was another lounge in the satellite terminal. If we had known about this lounge, we definitely would have spent our time in here given that it’s much closer to our departure gate, meaning that we could relax for a longer period of time.

Anyways, we made it to our gate, only to discover that boarding hadn’t started. However, there was a hoard of travellers wanting to board. From this point onward it was pretty clear that boarding was going to be a complete zoo. So…storytime!

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London Heathrow Terminal 5 Gate Area

Boarding started with the gate staff announcing that premium passengers were eligible to board in both English and Spanish. However, given that there was a crappy loudspeaker system, everyone in the departure hall seemed to think that “premium passengers including Club Europe, British Airways Gold, Silver and Bronze, Oneworld Emerald, Sapphire and Ruby” meant “everyone in the whole damned world”. So, everyone started rushing to the lines. The gate staff initially didn’t really care and let everyone through, until one lady snapped out of a daze and actually started checking eligibility for passengers, sending the line into a screeching halt and a mini-panic complete with loud shouting from disgruntled passengers. Then, the gate staff, through the loudspeaker system said something that had something to do with the words “priority”, “bronze” and “Lane 2”, leading to a mini frenzy where hordes of confused passengers streamed to Lane 2, which turned out to be a general boarding lane.

Yup. There goes boarding the plane early for nice pictures…my bad.

Okay, honestly, what the f*ck was going on there? There was very little enforcement at the start of the line where people lined up, while half of the gate staff didn’t seem to care and only started enforcing the priority boarding after passengers had lined up, leading to a frenzy with confused passengers, which was made even worse by announcements that were unclear. Would having a staff member leave the desk, head out to the gate area to sort out the mess before continuing boarding be a much better option?

There was also a lane system that was extremely confusing, with no indication on boarding passes where one was supposed to line up in. The lane system was just extremely confusing, and despite a large priority sign, the fact that it was only in one language meant that customers needing assistance with English didn’t understand it and just ran straight into the line. Would further indication on boarding passes as to where you were supposed to board kill BA?

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British Airways Boeing 767-300 London Heathrow

British Airways Flight 462
Thursday, July 7, 2016
Origin: London Heathrow (LHR) Gate: B35 Dep: 15:05 (15:20)
Destination: Madrid (MAD) Gate: 3 Arr: 18:35 (18:55)
Duration: 2 h 30 min (2 h 35 min)
Aircraft: Boeing 767-300
Seat: 12A (Euro Traveller)

I had reserved a seat in the Club Europe/Euro Traveller section of the aircraft. Until recently, British Airways had different seats for Club Europe and Euro Traveller, the difference being that all seats except for the middle seat would be wider, with a nicer armrest where you can prop some drinks, as well as a cushy headrest and a plush seat. Overall, it’s quite comfortable, and is a pleasant enough way to travel inter-Europe.

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British Airways Boeing 767-300 Euro Traveller Seats

Despite the fact that the seat was comfortable, there was noticeable wear and tear around the cabin, with scratches, “dings” and peeling paint. I don’t blame BA for trying to fly planes for as long as possible, but at least try to make the plane seem less old by constantly doing interior maintenance.

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British Airways Boeing 767-300 Euro Traveller Seats

Being a bulkhead seat, there was quite a lot of legroom and space to stretch out throughout the flight, which was quite nice. The older Club Europe seats had 34 inches of pitch, so the difference from regular economy was certainly noticeable.

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British Airways Boeing 767-300 Euro Traveller Legroom

As we were seated in the bulkhead seat, there was a television screen that played the airshow during the flight, as well as a toilet-state-indicator, and a baby bassinet which was really, really, really dirty.

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British Airways Boeing 767-300 Euro Traveller Bulkhead Television and Toilet Sign

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British Airways Boeing 767-300 Euro Traveller Bassinet

There was also a British Airways safety card. There’s just something about the BA safety cards that I find extraordinarily interesting. I also find it quite funny that the card was last updated in 2008. It’s safe to say that since then, a lot has changed in about flying.

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British Airways Boeing 767-300 Euro Traveller Safety Card

Eventually, boarding was wrapped up and the boring-as-could-be safety video was played. I mean, there’s some stiff competition for that title, but BA has the worst safety video ever. There’s no music, with a lady droning on and on about the safety procedures. It’s certainly important information, but it should at least be presented in a more modern manner. I mean, this is the type of thing that you play to get people to fall asleep…

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British Airways Boeing 767-300 Euro Traveller Safety Video

We eventually began our taxi and passed by some interesting traffic, including a plethora of British Airways planes. I mean, they seriously rule the roost at Heathrow.

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Traffic London Heathrow Airport

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Traffic London Heathrow Airport

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Traffic London Heathrow Airport

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Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER London Heathrow Airport

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Traffic London Heathrow Airport

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British Airways Boeing 777-200 London Heathrow Airport

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Traffic London Heathrow Airport

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Runway London Heathrow Airport

After that, we began our take off, passing yet another Qatar Airways A380-800.

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Qatar Airways Airbus A380-800 London Heathrow Airport

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Rotating London Heathrow Airport

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Takeoff London Heathrow Airport

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Cloud Porn London Heathrow Airport

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Takeoff London Heathrow Airport

The seat belt signs were switched off, and I decided to take a look at the tray table, which was really, really dirty. There were crumbs everywhere. I mean, do the cleaning team not even bother to wipe down tables between each flight? The last time I checked, I was flying British Airways, not Ryanair. You have 30 minutes in between flights to clean the plane. Please.

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British Airways Boeing 767-300 Euro Traveller Table

Service started soon after, with the flight attendants coming around with a tiny box, and a choice of drink. I find that really impressive for a European airline, especially given that numerous competitors have eliminated complimentary food in Economy altogether, so thumbs up to BA (Unfortunately, Mr. Alex Cruz has now been appointed leadership of the airline, and appears to be considering cutting free food and drinks. Sweetie, you’re not working at Vueling anymore, but I digress).

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British Airways Boeing 767-300 Euro Traveller Refreshment and Apple Juice

Can we take a moment to appreciate the design of these boxes? My goodness, it’s actually really, really, really cool. Kudos to whoever designed the packaging. I mean, it’s better than slapping “Enjoy” stickers with a brushwing on a really drab little baggie…

Anyways, a look inside the box will result in the discovery of a roast chicken and bacon salad roll, as well as a salted caramel filled muffin.

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British Airways Boeing 767-300 Euro Traveller Refreshment

The roll was a nice little treat, and was certainly appropriate for the time of day. However, I honestly question the decision to add bacon into the snack. It honestly made the roll taste much weirder. As for the muffin, it was OUT OF THIS WORLD. The muffin was soft and flaky, while the salted caramel inside of the muffin was like liquid gold.

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British Airways Boeing 767-300 Euro Traveller Salted Caramel Cupcake (mmm!)

At this time, the view outside of the wing was also gorgeous – just a little less so than the cupcake.

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British Airways Boeing 767-300 Euro Traveller Wing View

Now, let’s talk service during the flight. Having heard some horror stories about British Airways’ inflight service in First, I wasn’t expecting to be impressed at all, and was actually expecting the worst. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the inflight service. In contrast to my last BA flight, the flight attendants were really friendly and engaging wit the customer. It was British Airways’ service at its best. British charm, with a bit of informality. The crew were also really polished. Overall, I had a fantastic flight.

The only problem that I had with the service was the constant plugging for Duty Free. I don’t know what is up with European Airlines, but oh my goodness some of the flight attendants just walked around the cabin for the entire flight promoting their inflight shop. Stop that!

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British Airways Boeing 767-300 Euro Traveller Bulkhead

Eventually, we began our descent into Madrid Barajas Airport, as announced by the CSD (who, interestingly was fluent in both English and Spanish. Interesting…)

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Landing Madrid Airport

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Landing Madrid Airport

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Landing Madrid Airport

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Landing Madrid Airport

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Landing Madrid Airport

We touched down at 18:55, about 20 minutes behind schedule.

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Landing Madrid Airport

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Landing Madrid Airport

We taxied for around 5 minutes, and parked next to a LAN 767-300 and an Iberia A330-300.

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Traffic Madrid Airport

And with that, we were on our way to the Hotel Preciados.

Bottom Line

British Airways is a great way to fly between Europe. They’ve still got free food, their inflight product is fantastic, especially if you score a Club Europe seat despite being seated in Euro Traveller. The service throughout the flight was also really impressive. Now only if they work on their priority boarding, because it sucks.

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