During the summer months, there are plenty of options flying to and from Ibiza. Here we review our Club Europe (British Airways’ fancy word for business class) flight from Ibiza to London City Airport. So what was flying British Airways Embraer Business Class experience like? Was it worth the extra we paid for it?
Flight No: BA8462
From/To: Ibiza (IBZ) to London City (LCY)
Departure time: 4:15 pm
Aircraft: Embraer 190SR
Ticket Class: Business Class
Seat: 8C and 8D
Flight time: 2 hours 25 mins
Oneworld Tier Points: 40
Check-in & Fast Track
There are dedicated check-in desks for passengers with Oneworld airline status and passengers travelling on premium classes at Ibiza Airport. The ground check-in staff were polite, quick and efficient, but don’t expect to have a conversation with them as their main aim was to get you checked-in quickly. There were no fast track priority lanes for premium passengers, only one for crew and other airport staff. That said, having a priority lane wasn’t a major problem as the queues at security were manageable.
The one lounge at Ibiza Airport is open to passengers travelling on premium classes, airline status holders or Priority Pass card holders. You can also access the lounge by paying €33.
It was a very small lounge with minimal features; the food options were basic so don’t arrive hungry, although the booze selection was a little better. Read our full review and verdict in the separate review for the SALA Cap Des Falcó VIP lounge.
We were boarded by group number and although boarding groups were called out, there was still a long Ryanair-style queue waiting at the gate. We joined the queue at the front, but the staff weren’t checking for boarding groups, and ushered everyone along to wait in corridor. There were no sky bridges in use and it relied on buses to transport us to the aircraft. Once you pass the gate desk, be prepared to wait another 10-15 minutes for the bus to arrive.
Expect the buses to be packed, as they try to get as many passengers on as possible to reduce the number of trips. If you’re not rushing to get on the flight to find a space in the overhead compartment, we would recommend holding back and wait until most of the boarding has completed. That way, you’re not waiting in the makeshift corridor-cum- waiting room and you’re guaranteed to get on a quieter bus, as most people would’ve boarded already.
Aircraft type: Embraer 190SR
Number of classes: 2
Number of seats in business class: (a lot!) 44
For a small aircraft with a total of 98 seats, the business class cabin represents nearly 45% of aircraft. It might explain why the price difference between econony and business isn’t astronomically different, as the airline tries to fill these seats.
Amenity Kit & Washrooms
There were no amenity kits given on the short-haul flight. The washroom at the front was kitted with The White Company soap and moisturiser. However, the plane is in need of an update. Despite the washroom being fairly clean, it was really showing its age and feeling a bit grubby. Sadly, no amount of nice smelling soaps can mask the age of the plane.
The pitch and size of the British Airways Embraer Business Class seats are the same for business and economy class. The Embraer 190 is a narrow body jet, but it still provides adequate space. One of the reasons why we like flying the Embraer is the comfortable leg room and the size of the aircraft. It has a 2-2 configuration, and although it’s a smaller aircraft, it makes the cabin feel less cramped than the 3-3 seat configuration we usually get on European flights. See the seating plan on SeatGuru.
WiFi wasn’t available on board and there was no in-flight entertainment systems. The only in-flight entertainment was watching the one cabin crew serve all 44 passengers travelling in the business cabin. To be fair, he was fantastic and managed to do it at pace. It was obvious that he was very experienced and done the flight many times! He took very good care of us.
A complimentary meal and drink service is available to all passengers travelling to and from London City Airport on British Airways. Unlike other short-haul flights that are now accustomed to the Marks & Spencer’s paid options, passengers travelling in business AND economy class, get a choice of alcoholic and non-aloholic beverages.
For business class passengers, the drinks service included champagne, spirits, red and white wine, and non-alcoholic drinks.
Back to the one amazing cabin crew, he gave everyone two drinks during the service to minimise the number of trips back. A great strategy, as we were content until the food arrived.
There were two choices of food on the flight, a standard chicken or prawn option. Both options were cold, with no hot meal option on the flight. That might explain why the service was so efficient. All the trays were pre-assembled, ready to be placed on your tray table. We both had the prawn noodle salad which was OK, and actually quite decent for airplane food.
Arrival into London City was speedy! We were outside waiting for our taxi 15 minutes after landing. This included going through immigration checks, baggage reclaim and a quick toilet stop. London City Airport is meant to be quick and convenient for business travellers, due to its proximity to Canary Wharf and the city. It always achieves this when we travel through it and is our favourite airport to arrive home at.
So was the British Airways Embraer Business Class worth it? The British Airways Embraer flight from Ibiza to London City was a functional, but very comfortable flight. Due to the aircraft configuration there isn’t much difference between Club Europe and Economy Class. With complimentary drinks and food service for both cabins, it’s hard to justify the extra cost. As there was only a small increment price difference and we’re collecting the tier points, we paid the extra. In future, we might not pay the extra and would instead just fly economy on this route, but ensure we have Silver status to get lounge. For our take on whether it’s worth getting Executive Club Gold or Silver status, you can read our blog here. Also, if you travel in Club Europe on this route, be prepared to drop your standards. There is only a slight difference between the two cabins.
Whenever an option pops up to fly from London City, we always have a discussion around whether we should fly from the airport. Here’s our tip: If the ticket allows and you’re flying business, always fly out of either London Gatwick or London Heathrow, but fly back into London City Airport. The airport is conveniently located* and you breeze through arrivals. There are no airport lounges with the airline at the airport. There is a First Class Lounge, which costs £95 per person. It’s located in the Private Jet facility away from the main terminal.
*City Airport (LCY) is conveniently located for people travelling to central, East and North London. Our tip is not to use London City if you need to be in West London, as Heathrow will be a better option for you!
To get to Ibiza, we flew from London Gatwick and made use of all the benefits of flying business class, including using the Club Lounge. However, our A320 flight to Ibiza was sub-standard and you can read our full review on the Club Europe flight.
Have you flown this route before? What did you think? Leave a comment below to let us know what you think. Don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter for more reviews and tips.