➔ British Airways Club Suite | Airbus A350 | London – Dubai
➔ JW Marriott Marquis, Dubai
➔ How To Do Dubai In 72 Hours
➔ British Airways Club Suite | Airbus A350 | Dubai – London
For my final trip of the year, it really was slim pickings. Due to COVID, most of Europe was out of bounds from the UK. There were a handful of long haul destinations that didn’t require any quarantine on return however. Notably, The Caribbean and Dubai.
Having just returned from St. Lucia, I didn’t much fancy heading back to that part of the world again. So Dubai it was.
As luck would have it, there was a reasonably good deal to be had in British Airways Black Friday sale for Premium Economy. This resulted in a £200+ saving. In addition, there were a pair of pro active upgrade offers available for both flights. Therefore, the total cost of flights was in the region of £1500. Which was far more reasonable than the £4000+ that was being quoted before hand. As an added bonus, as these flights were operated by the Airbus A350, I would be virtually guaranteed the new Club Suite product. Barring any last minute changes of course, which is something I have first hand experience of…
I would have been even more reasonable if I was able to use the Avios that I had been accruing throughout 2020, but there was no availability throughout December. Oh well, at least I’d be earning a few more this way.
The Day Of Departure
With the outbound flight being an overnight flight, I set off to Heathrow at around 6pm, arriving 20 minutes later.
After a short bus ride, I was at a very empty terminal 5 and I made my way through the First Wing.
There was just one family ahead of me at security and I was into the lounge pretty quickly.
This was much busier than the main terminal! Although I was still able to find a seat without any trouble.
I grabbed a dinner and a drink or two from the new-ish online system.
It wasn’t overly busy this evening. Never seen a departure board at Heathrow so empty!
Before long, it was time to head off to T5C, via the transit. There appeared to be more people in the lounge than the rest of the terminal.
London Heathrow – Dubai
Airbus A350 G-XWBD
Boarding was done by row, starting from the rear. After around 20 minutes or so, the all aboard was given. This caused a bit of confusion when I reached the guys scanning the boarding passes. The one who I handed my phone to saw my seat number, looked a bit confused and asked the other agent what row they had got up to. He shrugged, said he had no idea any more and carried on. I guess that’s the issue when you have one person making the announcements and another at the head of the gate organising it all.
I was one of the first to board in the Club cabin. Not too long later, I was handed an amenity kit. Although as I was in the process of getting settled in, it went straight into my bag – so no pics this time around. It was identical to what I was given last time around though, so see my previous reports if you’re that keen on seeing what’s included.
I had briefly sat in the Club Suite when flying back from Madrid in 2019, but this would be my first proper test of it. By all accounts, it’s not too much different from what’s offered on board Air Canada, Qatar Airways and others. But this one has some typically British Airways styling cues to it.
Whilst the full compliment of White Company bedding is still missing, there is still something provided.
There was a fairly healthy load for the flight tonight. From a contact at BA, this flight had an 86% load factor, with just one spare seat up front.
A few moments later, the captain announced that boarding was complete. He gave the usual welcome speech, along with announcing that we would have a flying time of 6h40.
Pushback came exactly on time, and we made a quick taxi over to the runway. Maybe a little too quickly, as the crew were nowhere near securing the cabin. This resulted in a wait of around 5 minutes or so before we got going.
As it was a pretty chilly evening over London, there were some great views to be had on departure.
Due to this being a shorter overnight flight, the service was underway soon after departure. First up, water bottles were handed out.
Shortly after came the UAE paperwork – not that anyone paid any attention to it on arrival.
Next up was the bar service. I was after some Speedbird100, however there wasn’t any on board. I guess with the recent rollout of Jetstream by Brewdog, Speedbird100 is a thing of the past.
This was followed by the main meal service. The choices were mushroom ravioli or chilli chicken. I went for the chicken, and it wasn’t too bad. Both the quality and presentation was (slightly) better out of Gatwick previously.
The service was finished with some tea.
Upon passing the Club Kitchen on the way to the washroom, I noticed it was a little bare!
I must confess, I didn’t even look at the IFE on this flight. Well, other than the sky map. I relied on my iPad for the most part, before setting down for a couple of hours.
There were some great views of Tel Aviv as we passed by.
There was WiFi available, but I didn’t connect. Mainly because I wouldn’t use it during the night, but also because theres a different pricing structure on the British Airways A350. Meaning that in my opinion at least, it didn’t represent the best value.
On my previous flight, it was £17.99 for an unlimited flight pass.
With around an hour left to run, the cabin started coming back to life again. Despite it still being dark outside, this wouldn’t be the case for too long.
A crew member approached me and said “you didn’t want anything to eat, did you…”
Well, yes, I did actually seeing as I paid for it. There was a choice – but admittedly I’ve forgotten the second choice!
By the time the crew got around to serving the rest of the cabin, descent was well under way.
As mentioned, most of the descent seemed to be a race against time to get everyone fed, and then cleared up and secured for landing. Once everything was done, we were spinning around on to finals.
We pulled off the runway and were on to a stand more or less next to our exit point. The brake to vacate system on the Airbus A350 working perfectly here.
Therefore the taxi was fairly quick. Once more, disembarkation was done by rows. Therefore I was the first to leave and was down to arrivals.
As it turned out, nobody was all that interested in any of the paperwork I had filled out. Including the PCR test. It was asked if I had one, which I did, but no proof was needed.
This took in the region of 20-30 minutes, before I made my way up on to the metro, and off to the hotel.
In all, an alright flight with British Airways in their latest Business Class product – the Club Suite. Although – controversial opinion here – I did sleep much better in the previous generation seat last time out. It could be down to the fact that this flight wasn’t all that long. In addition, I was also told after the event that row 1 and 2 on the A350 are probably best avoided. No reason was given, but I suspect it is to do with the fact that the A350 is such a quiet plane, the noise from the galley is that much more noticeable.
It will be interesting to compare to the Club Suite fitted to the Boeing 777 aircraft. Flying the same seat fitted to Air Canada’s 777 in late 2017, I found that to be a very solid product.
The crew were ok. Nothing more. Friendly enough, but didn’t quite go the extra mile like some have previously. Although being pulled away from their Christmas to work an overnight flight to Dubai probably doesn’t go down all that well I’d imagine.