Club World – experience a different world

British Airways chief executive Willie Walsh on the new Club World bed

IT has been years since I travelled on British Airways mainly because family and friends live nearer to Birmingham Airport. However, when I was given the chance to fly British Airways to test its Club World seats, I jumped at the chance.
Having to get to the airport at midnight is always an interesting matter as you don’t know whether you should have a sleep or just stay up and hope to sleep on the flight - which is what I did!
Check- in at Dubai International Airport was quick and easy because I had done so online. I headed to the BA lounge after a few Duty Free purchases, and as it wasn’t too crowded found seats easily. After enjoyed the drinks and Canapés our group boarded and I opted for a seat on the lower deck (but chose upper deck on leaving London) and not knowing the configuration, I was surprised to see that there was someone in the seat next to me actually facing me. However, once you take off there is a privacy screen made of a material called Lumistry that provides a comfortable, private environment from the customer opposite. 
Storage in Club World is plentiful for all the paraphernalia I carried with me and I particularly like the drawer next to the seat where you can put your book or newspapers.
The seat configuration was comfortable.  Most people want loads of leg room (which there definitely is in Club World - over six feet) but for me at only 5 ft 1” I often find my feet dangling in business class seats when seated upright, and on BA, it was so nice to have my feet touch the ground!  The width is comfortable too, but as you recline, the arms drop to be flush with the rest of the sea, making the seat 6.5 inches wider. You can also lower the arm rest while seated upright.
After take off, I immediately put my seat into the fully flat position and slept this whole way to London. On the return journey I watched movies so never got the opportunity to visit the Club Kitchen where you can help yourself to snacks and a selection of drinks between meals. This to me is an excellent plus as I often chose not to have the full meal and find myself hungry prior to the cabin crew’s next service.
Prior to landing at BA’s new Terminal 5, the crew offer a Fast Track card which speeds up the immigration process, ideal for non EU passport holders like myself, plus an invitation to the arrivals lounge.  Here you can take a shower, have a bit to eat and be fresh and ready for a full day.  For extra pampering, book yourself a spa treatment in the Elemis Travel Spa.
On my way out, I found BA’s new Terminal 5 surprisingly quiet in the departure hall. Having already checked in online, I went to one of 96 fast bag drops and proceeded through security.
If you didn’t check in online, there are 96 kiosks within the departure hall where you can self check in. Once through security, there is an array of retail therapy opportunities and six lounges!  Over 200,000 sq ft of retail area with 112 stores and restaurants from high street shops to the top fashion houses and famous restaurants.
All in all, it was a brilliant experience and I would recommend BA – and Club World – provided it goes through Terminal 5 to catch up on the essential shopping.
by Kim Thomson