London (Heathrow) to New York (JFK)
THE LOYALTY SCHEME
British Airways Executive Club (you can also earn Qantas frequent flyer points and status credits, albeit at a lesser rate than on Qantas aircraft)
Club World (Business class), seat 13D
7 hours, 40 minutes
Up to 10 daily flights between the two airports, but beware, aircraft types vary.
A 72 inch seat pitch and rather narrow 20 inch width, some on the lower deck, others on the upper deck. Half of the seats face the rear of the plane. The seats on the upper deck in a 2-2 configuration are preferred by many passengers because the cabin is more private than the 2-4-2 configuration on the lower deck. In total, the aircraft has 14 first class seats, 70 business class seats, 30 premium economy seats and 185 economy class seats.
Three checked bags, a maximum of 32 kilograms each plus one cabin bag of up to 56cm x 45cm x 25cm with a maximum weight of 23 kilos and one personal bag of up to 45cm x 36cm x 20cm.
The seat is showing signs of its age, with a rickety armrest, and larger passengers should be warned it is very narrow for business class. There is no in-seat storage apart from a single container to store shoes or a laptop, meaning all carry ons must be stored for take off and landing. I selected a forward facing seat online the day before the flight for no charge, but a neighbour groans that sitting backward during takeoff and landing is awkward and he must step over someone else's feet to reach the aisle. The amenity kit, with products housed in a plain fabric pouch, seems rather cheap.
There is an adequate, although not huge list of films and television shows available, but in business class the screens must be stored for takeoff and landing, so it might be worth grabbing one of the newspapers on offer. Decent noise cancelling headphones are provided, but it takes some pounding on the older, small 22cm touchscreen to make a selection or pause the program. An in-seat power adaptor is available for those who want to BYO.
Polite and friendly, with the flight attendants trying their best to do whatever they can to please even the most demanding passengers, such as my rather rude and grumbling New Yorker neighbour.
A three course lunch with a choice of two entrees, four main courses and a sweet dessert or a cheese plate is provided. The grilled spiced tiger prawns entree and the cold seared Shetland salmon salad main I have are both rather simple, but quite tasty. Champagne and a choice of two quality red and two white wines are available, along with a long list of spirits and beer. Later in the flight, light sandwiches and scones are on hand for afternoon tea before landing.
ONE MORE THING
The queues for security at Heathrow Terminal 5 are truly staggering, so make sure you take advantage of the fast track lane, which is available to passengers with a business class boarding pass.
The product isn't comparable with the top Gulf and Asian carriers, but it is perhaps the best trans-Atlantic option available given the flights are so frequent and the service is so good.
Tested by Jamie Freed who travelled at her Qantas frequent flyer account's expense.