You will be pleased to know that normal service has been resumed on TLFL today. That’s the last time I lend my laptop to Paul in a bar! Today we have a review from Claudio. You can read my previous review of a similar flight from London City here.
This is a review of a very short flight between Linate Airport in Milan and City Airport in London in business class or Club Europe of British Airways flying an Embraer EMB190. The flight was very special for me as I was with my parents returning to London after a short tour of northern Italy.
Route: Milan (Linate) – London (City Airport)
Aircraft: Embraer EMB190
Departure Time: 5:55 p.m.
Arrival Time: 6:55 p.m.
As you can see, the “official” travel time is two hours taking into account the time difference between Italy and the UK. But the actual flight time is around 01:30.
Check-in and Security
We had a bit of a surprise upon arriving at the airport, but it was largely my fault for not checking the situation in advance. As the airport is small, airlines do not have room to store checked in luggage. Unfortunately, this meant that check-in can only be done two hours before the flight.
Since we had arrived at the airport earlier … much earlier … we had to wait an hour before could check in our bags. Of course, if you are travelling with only hand luggage this is not a problem. You can check in on the British Airways app and go straight to the Lounge.
When check in for our flight opened, the process was super fast and in a matter of minutes, we already had our boarding passes in hand. The check-in agent who answered us was very nice and even had a quick chat with my parents (I was the translator, of course).
British Airways uses a group-based boarding system from one to five, with group one being business class passengers, holders of Executive Club Gold Cards and Emerald in other Oneworld airlines. The process is a lottery, because in certain airports it is impeccable – as in São Paulo, for example – and in other cases a disaster!
This particular flight worked relatively well. The people were in the right queues, and the only issue was that as soon as they called the passengers for boarding, a girl who was at the end of the group one queue simply passed us all by to board first!
But revenge came quickly! The aircraft was on a remote stand and we were taken by bus to the aircraft. This makes a mockery of the whole group boarding system, but that is subject for another time. Anyway, with the queue jumper ended up at the back of the bus and was one of the last to board! I loved it!
Cabin and seats
The EMB190 cabin has a 2-2 configuration. The aircraft do not have the 1C and 1D seats, so if you’re looking for plenty of leg room you should reserve the 2C and/or 2D seats. It is quite easy to identify this in the seating map – see the image below.
As for the cleaning of the cabin, I have nothing to complain about. Everything was up to scratch, including the washbasin! I know that for a lot of people it sounds strange, but lately, people have complained a lot about the cleaning of some British Airways aircraft.
Our cabin crew member, an Italian who also spoke Portuguese (from Brazil like me) was very attentive to my parents. And of course, they loved being able to talk to her, asking for what they wanted without me having to translate anything.
Aside from the main course, there was a starter, cheeses and dessert. In addition, they passed through the cabin with the basket of bread.
Recently I took a flight with Swiss between London City and Zurich (see here) on a small aircraft (A220) and for the meal British Airways is offering an infinitely better service.
BA are equipping most of their fleet with Wi-Fi by the end of this year but this aircraft did not have any. So as far as entertainment went, on a short flight like this your options are your phone, tablet, some reading material that BA provides or bring on board or the “window”. This is undoubtedly my favorite! BA does provide free access to press reader which you can find more information about here.
The flight was excellent in all aspects. My parents were happy, so I was happy too! And once again I’ll talk about the flight attendant who looked after us. She provided a great service and was very helpful to us all. Incidentally, I always leave with good impressions of British Airways crews every time I fly to or from London City Airport.
There is only one aspect of the flight that could be better. Do you know what it is? The champagne, as always, was warm. I do not know why but it is very common for champagne to be served warm on British Airways flights.
sounds encouraging …. have recently been aware that it may be less stressful to travel from London City than either Gatwick or Heathrow – I live in the Eastbourne area and wonder the best way to get to London City, by ANY means ? Coach; car; train or indeed motorcycle… Would be looking to travel with hand baggage only for non-business use to Europe… Further question : where can I find all the destinations available from London City ? Other alternatives for me as smaller airports are Southampton and Bournemouth International and of course Lydd in Kent.
Never the train to London Bridge. Just type LCY into Google flights and hit “explore destinations” – the map will show you all the places they fly to in 0 / 1-stop on any given date.
I love the BA City Flyer service though not sure I’d pick departing from London City over Gatwick – the lack of lounge options are a particular pain, even if it’s a cheap underground ticket away for me.
…warm Champers…arghh…definitely a no no!
As my wife and I are now having to do a monthly commute to Rotterdam, the LCY-RTM service makes eminent sense to us because it is three hours door-to-door in a very relaxed manner and there are multiple services each day. Owing to the lack of a lounge at City, or RTM, the onboard service is commensurately better, aided by our often being the only people at the front end. For what it’s worth, seats 2C/2D offer the kind of leg room that can scarcely be dreamed of at the back.
Owing to their respective size, both are a dream to travel through in comparison with their “big brothers” at LHR/LGW and AMS: short walks and quickly through security and passport control.
LCY is on Docklands Light Railway (DLR) so you want any underground connection that links to DLR. Personally I avoid Bank station for any change as the distances are long walking and it can be crowded. Other than that a Jubilee line link to DLR would be good – from Eastbourne you are sure to have to change at least twice I think. Google maps will sort out most options for you.
Personally from Eastbourne I would have thought Gatwick so much easier to reach? And it’s not that bad an airport, these days. lacks many facilities, principally space and lounges, and can get extremely crowded these days. In LGW they have put a long line of seats on high benches in the departures area relatively recently, for people to charge their pc’s phones and so on, too, which at least shows that airport is thinking about the passengers that are not using lounges.
Comments are closed.