Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy

Airline
British Airways
Flight
BA752
Aircraft
Airbus A319-100
Registration
G-EUPW
Class
Economy
Seat
21F
Date
27/08/2023
Flight time
01:15

Introduction

Hello everyone, and welcome to this new Flight review!

After a seven-hour flight over the Atlantic from New York's JFK to London Heathrow, I am preparing for the final leg of my US trip.

As previously announced, the upcoming flight will connect London Heathrow to Basel, Switzerland, and will be serviced by a British Airways A319 aircraft.


London Heathrow Airport

So, I've just arrived from New York aboard an American Airlines 777 in Terminal 3. In order to board my next flight, I have to change terminals quite quickly. My flight leaves in 1h25.

Connection at Heathrow

To reach Terminal 5, where my flight is scheduled, I simply board the bus that regularly shuttles between the airport terminals.

Clear signage makes it easy to navigate through the connections area, which is much brighter than the outdated departures area in Terminal 3.

Getting to my departing terminal at Heathrow Airport is a breeze. To reach Terminal 5, where my flight is scheduled, I simply board the bus that regularly shuttles between the airport terminals.

Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy

As on my previous trip, there are several gates designated for each terminal. Therefore, I proceed to the gate for Terminal 5 where the buses are waiting.

Fortunately, I didn't have to wait very long, as the bus arrived in just five minutes.

Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy

The bus, once again, features a purple color scheme to match the airport's branding. This morning, at Heathrow, there are numerous connecting passengers, much like every morning.

Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy

Being one of the first to board the bus, I secure a seat.

Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy

Despite its full capacity, we depart promptly. The sun has just risen over London, casting a beautiful golden light on the planes arriving. Truly a magnificent sight!

It takes approximately 15 minutes to arrive at Terminal 5, which serves as the base for British Airways.

Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy

Terminal 5

We've now arrived at Terminal 5.

Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy

Before exploring the duty-free stores, we must surrender our carry-on luggage.

As on the outward flight, the airline requests that passengers with cabin bags kindly stow them below, at no additional cost. I believe this is to expedite boarding and prevent delays.

Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy

Still, traveling light is practical for us all.

So, I bid farewell to my suitcase and proceed to security.

Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy

Security check

Unlike before, there are not many people at the security checkpoints, which enables everything to move quickly.

Additionally, the new scanners eliminate the need to remove computers, liquids, and other devices from our bags, making the process a significant time-saver.

Airside

With the checks complete, I arrive at the massive Terminal 5. The terminal is replete with an abundance of bars, restaurants, stores, and rest areas, and it's brightly illuminated by streaming sunlight through its massive bay windows.

Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy

In stark contrast, Terminal 5 is quite pleasant, particularly on this beautiful August morning.

Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy

Once again, I would like to highlight the airport's cleanliness.

Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy

Boarding will commence within a few minutes. I proceed to my gate, A10C, which necessitates bus-boarding, a feature I especially appreciate.

Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy

The departure hall has a small number of people, presumably since most are still waiting in the main hall.

Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy

Boarding

At 7:15 am, boarding begins, with groups assigned from 1 to 6. Unfortunately, I'm in group 6, but since the flight is not at capacity, I'm one of the first to board.

Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy

The shuttle bus is similar to the one used for connecting flights, and it wears the British Airways colors.

Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy

After a short ride, we arrive at the front of the plane.

Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy

The plane, G-EUPW, is a 22-year-old A319-131 that joined the UK fleet in March 2001. It has two IAE V2500 engines and can accommodate 143 passengers.

I board Papa Whisky from the front while taking in the stunning livery of the British Royal airline. It's apparent that it wasn't very warm in London this morning. It was chilly, just above 10°C, as you can see on the fuselage.

Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy

Upon entering the plane, we were greeted by two flight attendants with big smiles on their faces.


Cabin and seat

The British Airways A319 has a traditional European cabin configuration, with three seats on each side of the aisle.

Club Europe, the Business Class, follows the typical European configuration with similar seats to Economy Class. However, the middle seat is blocked providing extra legroom. The two classes are distinguished by Business Class's white headrest.

I also notice the cabin's aging upper panels.

Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy

Returning to my seat 21F, I take advantage of the last few moments to explore it.

Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy

First, I must emphasize the seat's comfort, even in Economy Class. The seat padding is much appreciated, and you don't feel like you're sitting on a plank of wood. This is a significant advantage on long A319 flights and a testament to Royal Airline's quality. Moreover, the legroom is quite good, even if it could be larger.

Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy

Additionally, the seats are visually pleasing with a refined impression given by the dark gray color and logo in the headrest.

Regrettably, there are no on-board USB ports.

However, each seat comes with its own tray table.

Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy

In the seat pocket, passengers can find the safety card, Buy-On-Board menu, and sickness bag.

Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy

Additionally, every seat comes with an adjustable headrest and coat hook. A very good point for a short to medium-haul aircraft.

Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy

Lastly, my seat offers an excellent view of the 319's rear wing.

Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy

Push-back, taxi, and take-off

On schedule, we push back from our park position. Simultaneously, the crew initiates safety demonstrations.

Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy

We begin the taxi to runway 27R.

Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy

From terminal 5, you need to taxi up the entire runway, a distance of almost 4 km.

Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy

While taxiing, we had the good fortune of sighting the Qantas Boeing 787-9, adorned in the livery commemorating the airline's centenary celebration. The latter will depart for Perth in the early afternoon, embarking on one of the world's longest flights.

Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy

Shortly thereafter, an Air Canada Boeing 737 MAX 8 will take off for Halifax.

Following a few minutes, we arrive at the threshold of runway 27R.

At exactly 8:10 am, the pilots throttle up and our Airbus speeds onto the runway.

Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy

V1, Rotate!

Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy

Enroute to Switzerland. See you soon London.

Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy

On the way up, we caught a glimpse of Windsor Castle.

Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy

Today, the cloudless British sky is quite a change from the outbound flight.

Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy

We are steadily climbing towards our cruising altitude of 29,000 feet.

Shortly after takeoff, we cross the Channel and the clouds increase in number.


On-board service

As on the outbound flight, all passengers are served a small snack and a bottle of water.

Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy

Although it may be a bit light, an inflight snack is always appreciated, especially on short flights.

Our journey towards the south of Alsace continues.

Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy

The crew began serving passengers drinks and cold food such as salads and sandwiches. The prices of these snacks are reasonable in comparison to other airlines, including low-cost carriers.

Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy

The flight is tranquil as we soar over France, and we catch a glimpse of the City of Light: Paris.

Those seated in F seats were able to see Paris-Orly Airport.

Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy

Due to the 6-hour time difference between the USA and France, I feel exhausted and doze off on my tray table until the descent begins.


Approach and landing

After 45 minutes of flight, we descend from our altitude of 29,000 feet to Basel/Mulhouse airport.

Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy

We pass through multiple layers of clouds, which I hadn't seen since the east coast of the United States.

Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy

As the wind is quite strong today, our flight is a little turbulent, but nothing too serious.

Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy

The A319's wheels touch down gently on French soil after an hour and fourteen minutes of flying.

Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy

We quickly vacate the runway and head for our gate.

Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy

Our gate is conveniently at the end of the taxiway we are in use of.

Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy

Basel/Mulhouse/Freiburg Airport

The doors are disarmed and opened and we begin to deboard once our plane has arrived.

We swiftly exit the aircraft, bidding farewell to the crew.

Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy

Upon arrival at the terminal, we proceed to customs since the United Kingdom is not part of the Schengen area.

Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy

There are barely any people at customs today. However, it is worth noting that the Franco-Swiss airport has automatic gates that enable us to complete the customs process in just 30 seconds.

A few meters further, our luggage is waiting for us and we can leave the airport.

Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy

However, we must be cautious about which exit to utilize as the airport straddles Franco-Swiss borders, having exits in France and Switzerland. Hence, we should exercise caution when leaving the airport.

Flight review: British Airways from London to Basel in Economy

After four flights, aboard three different planes, operated by two different airlines, and through three different airports, this final Flight review concludes my trip to New York.

I hope you enjoyed the trip and I look forward to reviewing two more times with you between Frankfurt and Helsinki on a Lufthansa A321.

Happy flying until then!


Conclusion:

London Heathrow Airport:

As with the outbound journey, my connecting flight through London Heathrow went seamlessly. Despite any prior apprehensions, the terminals are quite well-served by regular bus services, and the various stages of the connection went off without a hitch.

The fact that we were freed from our hand luggage gave us a lot more freedom! I do want to underscore the exceptional efficiency of the London airport personnel, as well as the impeccable cleanliness of the facilities.

Terminal 5 proved to be substantially more enjoyable than Terminal 3. It's exceptionally bright, especially at the start of the day, and there are plenty of shops and restaurants to brighten things up. In summary, LHR is a surefire win.

British Airways :

As on the outbound flight, the trip from London to Basel was flawless.

Although you have to pay for drinks, the snack and the bottle of water are much appreciated.

Unfortunately, Wi-Fi was not available on this dated A319. Despite its age, the Airbus is still very comfortable, mainly due to the very comfortable seats.

I strongly recommend the British national carrier.

Basel/Mulhouse/Freiburg Airport

The tri-national airport performed admirably. Border control processes were highly efficient while baggage retrieval times were impressively short.

I would be remiss not to mention the immaculate cleanliness of the terminal, akin to that of Heathrow.


Ratings

Cleanliness
5/5
Accessibility and orientation
5/5
Efficiency
4.5/5
Services
4.5/5
Cabin and comfort
4.2/5
Entertainment
1.3/5
Food and beverages
2.9/5
Crew
5/5
Cleanliness
5/5
Accessibility and orientation
4.5/5
Efficiency
4.5/5
Services
N/A

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