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British Airways

TripAdvisor Rating

3.0 of 5 stars 2,368 ratings 57% recommend

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Traveler ratings for British Airways

3.0 of 5 stars Value
3.0 of 5 stars Check-in experience
3.0 of 5 stars Punctuality
3.0 of 5 stars Baggage handling
3.0 of 5 stars Seat comfort
3.0 of 5 stars In-flight service
3.0 of 5 stars In-flight amenities
3.0 of 5 stars Reasonableness of fees

About British Airways

British Airways, which is headquartered outside of London and operates its main hub at London-Heathrow, is the largest airline in the United Kingdom. In addition to its passenger traffic, British Airways (BA) is also one of the leading cargo airlines in the world, carrying freight, mail and courier traffic. The airline traces its roots back to August 25, 1919 when a predecessor company, Aircraft Transport and Travel Limited, began daily scheduled air service between London and Paris. British Airways is now part of International Airlines Group which was formed in January 2011 and is the parent company of both BA and Iberia. British Airways was also one of just two airlines in the world to operate regularly scheduled supersonic commercial flights on the Concorde, which was retired from service in 2003.

Class of Service

British Airways provides up to four classes of service on its flights.

  • First

First Class passengers receive expedited check-in, security screening (where available) and boarding privileges. All First Class passengers enjoy fully lie-flat seats and receive an amenity kit, featuring D.R. Harris & Co. products, and noise-canceling headphones for use on the aircraft. Passengers departing either London Heathrow from Terminal 5 or New York's JFK airport have exclusive access to the Concorde Room, and to the First Class lounges in all other airports. For those airports that have them, passengers are able to freshen up in the Arrivals lounge upon arrival at their destination. Additionally, First Class passengers may use Quintessentially's concierge service for 14 days on either side of their flight. British Airways is in the process of rolling out its New First product featuring a new seat and updated interiors. As of early 2012, the New First product is available on select routes, including from London-Heathrow to Hong Kong, Lagos, New York-JFK, Sao Paolo, Shanghai, Tokyo-Haneda and Tokyo-Narita.

  • Club World and Club World London City (Business Class)

Business Class includes Club World (on routes to Europe and some North African destinations) and Club World London City (an exclusively Business Class flight between London City and New York-JFK). Passengers traveling in Club World have access to over 70 dedicated British Airways lounges and more than 170 lounges of British Airways' partners. Additionally, passengers have access to the Galleries Club when flying from Terminal 5 at London Heathrow and arrivals lounges where available. Club World and Club World London City passengers enjoy a fully lie-flat seat, noise-canceling headphones and an amenity kit. Passengers on Club World London City flights can check in at London City as few as 15 minutes before the flight. During the stopover in Shannon, Club World London City passengers clear U.S. Customs and Immigration, allowing for a quick exit from New York-JFK. Upon arrival in London City, passengers benefit from a dedicated Fast Track line through Passport Control.

  • Club Europe (Business Class)

Club Europe is available on select flights to destinations within Europe. Passengers traveling in Club Europe Class have access to dedicated British Airways' lounges as well as more than 170 lounges of British Airways' partners.

  • World Traveler Plus

World Traveler Plus is British Airways' Premium Economy Class. Passengers traveling in Premium Economy enjoy larger seats and noise-canceling headphones. In addition, these passengers may check a second bag up to 23kg at no additional cost and have priority disembarking privileges.

  • World Traveler, Euro Traveler and UK Domestic

Economy Class includes World Traveler (longer international flights), Euro Traveler (Europe and some North African destinations) and UK Domestic, depending on the destination of the aircraft.

Food and Drink

Complimentary snacks and drinks tailored to the time of day of the flight are provided on all flights. Complimentary meals are available in all classes on long-haul flights.


On long-haul flights, all passengers have personal seat-back entertainment. High Life Entertainment's Audio and Video on Demand (AVOD) is available on certain aircraft, including B747s, long-haul B767s and B777-300s. On select flights throughout Europe, short TV programs are offered on shared televisions.

In-Flight Technology

Long-haul flights (other than to European destinations) have power outlets in all First, Business and Premium Economy Class seats. Some of these power outlets are AC power outlets that accept both US and UK plugs, and others are EmPower outlets, which require an adapter to plug in a laptop. Select seats in Economy Class have power outlets on the Boeing 777-300 aircraft. On flights from London City to New York-JFK on the A318, you may also use your mobile phone to text, email and access the Internet through OnAir's service, but voice communication is not permitted.

View British Airways seat maps at SeatGuru.com.

Aircraft seat map

The Fleet

British Airways' fleet includes the following aircraft types*:

- British Airways has one class of service, namely Club World London City, on its A318s, which are used on the London-City to JFK route and feature 32 fully lie-flat seats.
A319, A320 and A321
- There are more than 75 A319, A320 and A321 aircraft in the British Airways fleet, which are used on domestic UK routes and European routes.
- British Airways' 737s are used on UK domestic and short-haul European routes and operate from London-Gatwick only.
- There are more than fifty 747-400s in the British Airways' fleet, some of which have four classes of service.
- British Airways' 767-300s may be configured with two, three or four classes of service and are used on both intercontinental and European routes.
- There are more than forty 777-200s in the British Airways' fleet, and they may be configured with three or four classes of service.
- The newest aircraft in the British Airways' fleet features four classes of service and operates on select long-haul routes to Asia and North America.

*Please note that British Airways often has several configurations of a specific aircraft type, so please check SeatGuru for seat map information and recommendations on the best seats for your flight.

Partner Airlines

British Airways is a founding member of the oneworld alliance, which includes the following airlines:

  • American Airlines
  • LAN Airlines
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Malév Hungarian Airlines
  • Dragonair
  • Qantas Airways
  • Finnair
  • Royal Jordanian
  • Iberia
  • S7 Airlines
  • JAL

Additionally, British Airways codeshares with several other airlines, including the following:

  • Aer Lingus
  • Kingfisher Airlines
  • airberlin
  • Loganair
  • Flybe

Customer Loyalty Program

The Executive Club is British Airways' frequent flyer loyalty program.

  • You can earn Avios (miles) by flying British Airways and oneworld alliance airlines. Avios are the new shared currency for British Airways' and Iberia's frequent flyer loyalty programs.
  • Avios can also be earned by purchasing products or services from numerous participating hotel, car and retail partners.
  • Avios do not expire if you earn, redeem, purchase or transfer Avios at least once during every 36-month period.
  • Membership levels are Blue, Bronze, Silver and Gold. Blue is the entry membership level for all Executive Club members. Bronze status may be attained by obtaining 300 Tier Points (including two eligible flights) or 25 eligible flights in one membership year. Silver status may be attained by obtaining 600 Tier Points (including four eligible flights) or 50 eligible flights in one membership year. Gold status may be attained by obtaining 1,500 Tier Points (including four eligible flights) in one membership year.
    • Perks include bonus mileage accrual for Bronze, Silver and Gold members and lounge access for Silver and Gold members.
    • Bronze members receive oneworld Ruby status when traveling with oneworld partners.
    • Silver members are recognized as having oneworld Sapphire status when traveling with oneworld partners and have access to the Business Class and Frequent Flyer Lounges across the oneworld network.
    • Gold members receive oneworld Emerald status when traveling with oneworld partners and have access to the First Class, Business Class and Frequent Flyer Lounges across the oneworld network.
  • You can buy, give and transfer miles for a fee.
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