BA Business Class London to Amsterdam During Coronavirus

In what seemed like lull in the Coronavirus pandemic, we seized an opportunity to spend a weekend in Amsterdam. Travel restrictions were relaxed across Europe and it felt like tourism was once again being welcomed. We booked a weekend round trip from Heathrow in business class (Club Europe), using our Avios points. We were both interested and nervous about what our travel experience would be like. Would the journey feel more hassle than it’s worth? Would we get value for money from the reduced lounge and cabin service? Find out as we summarise our trip from London to Amsterdam in BA business class during coronavirus.

Note: We took this trip at a time when both the UK and Netherlands governments stated it was acceptable for tourists to travel between the two countries.

Flight Details

Flight No: BA0440
From/To: London (LHR) to Amsterdam (AMS)
Departure time: 16:10
Aircraft: A320-232
Ticket Class: Business
Seat: 3F
Flight time: 55 minutes
Oneworld Tier Points: N/A (normally 40)

In this review:

Check-in & Fast Track

  • The Good
    • Lots of available check-in desks
    • No queues through security
  • The Bad
    • Eerily quiet

Arriving at a deserted Heathrow Terminal 5, check-in was a very efficient process. We didn’t see check-in lines at any of the zones. Both North and South security lanes were open, but appeared very quiet. Making the decision to walk to the far end of the terminal, we checked-in at the First Wing – a dedicated check-in area for passengers booked into first class, or in our case, holding BA Gold/Oneworld Emerald status. The First Wing benefits from its own fast-track security that led us directly into the BA lounge.

As far as check-in experiences at Heathrow go, this has to be one of the easiest we’ve had.

Score: 90%


  • The Good
    • Mandatory table service
    • Good food and drink selection
  • The Bad
    • No buffet for those who like to mix & match their own food
    • Less technically-savvy travellers may struggle ordering on their smartphones with a QR code

After being closed for 3 months, we were pleased to see BA’s Heathrow lounges had reopened. For health reasons, self-service options had been removed and we had to select from a table service menu.

To order, we had to scan a QR code on our table, which launched a menu in the browser on our phones. We added items to our order, much the same as we would with Deliveroo or JustEat, then submitted it.

We ordered a couple of hot plates and a dessert each. The Bloody Mary’s were as good as before, as was the champagne. Everything was delivered to the table very quickly after ordering.

Staff always seemed to be nearby if we had a question. They were also helping passengers who were struggling with the online ordering process.

Staff and passengers wore face masks while moving around the lounge. We were allowed to remove our mask while seated at a table.

We enjoyed the comfort of table service so much, we hope they don’t ever bring back the self-service elements!

Score: 75%


  • The Good
    • Strict row-by-row boarding from the rear of the aircraft made boarding civilised and orderly.
    • Passengers were giving each other plenty of space and wearing face masks.
  • The Bad
    • The boarding process felt longer than usual
    • Business passengers should’ve been informed to arrive at the gate later, as they board last

Given the restrictions on how airlines can operate, British Airways did a great job getting everyone on the aircraft safely. With clear instructions, we waited at the gate until our row was called. Other passengers were equally patient, keeping the gate area clear until it was their turn. Rare to see such a community spirit at an airport boarding gate!

Boarding for BA business class during coronavirus is a little different. There was only priority boarding for passengers requiring assistance or those with young children. Passengers were all boarded by row, irrespective of class of travel. We didn’t mind this at all. An improvement might be to leave business passengers in the lounge a little longer, so they don’t have to linger at the gate.

Being row 3, we were last to be called. We found a queue of passengers along the air bridge. The crew greeted us at the door and, once aboard, we quickly reached our seats.

Score: 85%

Aircraft Configuration

Aircraft type: Airbus A320-232
Number of classes: 2
Number of seats in flying class: bbb
Position: left hand side of the aircraft, 4 rows from the front

In addition to 16 seats in the business cabin, there were 140 economy seats at the rear of the aircraft.

Amenity Kit & Washrooms

  • The Good
    • Two at the back and one at the front. All clean.
    • No toilet queues down the aisles
  • The Bad
    • No nice hand soap. Just standard BA foam wash.


The toilets were clean and well-stocked with paper and toiletry products. The premium Elemis hand soap seemed to have been replaced with the bog-standard BA foam wash.

A couple of announcements advised passengers not to queue in the aisles for the toilets. The cabin’s lavatory occupied lights made waiting at our seat easier – perhaps a new passenger habit we could all adopt even after COVID?

Amenity Kit

BA hygiene kit and passenger locator form
BA hygiene kit and passenger locator form

Short-haul BA flights don’t usually feature any sort of amenity kit, but COVID changed that. We were handed a small blue plastic packet containing a sachet of antibacterial hand gel and an antibacterial hand towel. This was served with a passenger locator form and no pen.

Score: 65%


  • The Good
    • No sharing the armrest with your neighbour!
    • Plenty of room in the overhead bins
    • Average recline for this type of seat
  • The Bad
    • No more comfortable than economy seat – sleep wouldn’t be pleasant
    • Sub-standard legroom for a business class product

Club Europe, the name BA use for its short-haul business class product, is exactly the same seat and configuration found back in economy, but with the middle seat left empty.

Access & Storage

The cabin was arranged with 2 seats each side of the centre aisle, with aisle seats affording the best access.

There was plenty of room in the over bins for cabin bags. As well as putting items under the seat in front, the unoccupied neighbouring seat also meant there was unused storage space under seat in front.


With us being in the air for little more than 45 minutes, there was little time for sleeping. The seat did recline and while suitable for dozing, the Club Europe seat isn’t one you’ll get some decent sleep in.


The cabin and seats appeared to have been thoroughly cleaned prior to us boarding the aircraft. Importantly, the window was clean and free of any grease or hair product residue!

Power & Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi and power in BA European business class
Wi-Fi and power in BA European business class

There was both at-seat power and Wi-Fi on our flight to Amsterdam. BA has recently completed an upgrade of all it’s short-haul aircraft.

Score: 65%

What is the best seat on BA A320 Business Class?

For privacy and customarily quick service, you can’t go wrong with 1A and 1F. 1C juts out into the aisle slightly – trolleys and passengers may bump you. With no seat in front, there’s no risk of your knees being pressed against anything. The stretch-out legroom isn’t as good as the rest of the cabin, though.

If you need maximum legroom, avoid the bulkhead seats at the front and go for a mid-cabin row.

Avoid the final row of the business cabin. There is usually a separation curtain that drapes over the back of the seat. Kids in the cabin behind are known to develop a mid-flight fascination with this curtain.

See the seating plan on SeatGuru.

In-flight Entertainment

There are no in-flight entertainment screens on BA short-haul aircraft, so entertainment normally comes in the form of the Highlife magazine or free newspapers from the terminal. With COVID-19 putting an end to any free reading material, you’re best bringing your gadgets and some headphones.

Drinks Service

  • The Good
    • Champagne!
    • Rapid service afforded
  • The Bad
    • Plastic glassware

Given the circumstances, we were pleasantly surprised by the drinks service in BA business class during coronavirus. We boarded expecting dry mouths and rationed water. The only thing we could find to grumble about were the plastic cups. The crew were quickly around the cabin after take-off, offering what looked like a full bar service. We had Nicolas Feuillatte champagne, then a Baileys before we landed.

Score: 75%

Food Service

  • The Good
    • Sandwich and a dessert served in a brown bag
  • The Bad
    • Sandwich and a dessert served in a brown bag

BA business class food service during coronavirus wasn’t surprising, but we’re not grumbling. The circumstances are no-one’s fault and we’re OK if this is what keeps an airline flying.

The sandwich was coronation chicken – a British concoction of a chicken sandwich with mayonnaise seasoned with turmeric/curry powder. Not everyone’s taste, but served on fresh bread.

The Do&Co chocolate dessert was really nice. It served of a faint reminder of the First Class experiences we had just before the COVID crisis began.

Score: 50%


  • The Good
    • First off as we departed the aircraft by row number
    • Walkway straight from the aircraft into the terminal
  • The Bad
    • The airport retail and dining was closed

With a walkway connected to the front of the aircraft, were off very quickly and straight into the terminal. We saw few passengers in the terminal and many of the shops, cafes and restaurants were closed. The low passenger numbers helped us pass through immigration very quickly.

Score: 75%

BG1 Verdict

  • The Good
    • Very organised and safe boarding procedures
    • Food and bar service was better than we anticipated during the pandemic
    • Table service in the lounge was an improvement on the pre-COVID experience
  • The Bad
    • The seat is just an economy seat, so you’re all still packed-in

We found BA business class during coronavirus better than we expected. We acknowledge the usual gripes that Club Europe is just an updated economy product for 3x the price. Is is. Putting that to one side, we think that BA did a good job at making it feel like a normal flying experience, while also taking steps to make it safe. Crew were adamant about mask-wearing and the boarding processes felt reassuringly organised. In fact, boarding from the back and the improvements to the lounge service are both changes we’d like to keep.

Overseas leisure travel is now illegal for us Brits. We’re happy to do our bit to reduce the infection rate across the world. Once the UK and other European countries have the threat under control, we’ll be happy to take another British Airways Business Class flight to Amsterdam, and beyond!

Total: 73%

BG1 Tip

Don’t arrive at the gate early. Business class passengers are seated in the front rows and will be asked to board last. Enjoy the lounge for longer!

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