British Airways Flight Report: BA795 from Helsinki to London

December 30, 2016

Welcome to my British Airways Euro Traveller experience, onboard morning flight BA795 from Helsinki, Finland (HEL) to London (Heathrow Airport), United Kingdom (LHR).

Check-in

Checking-in at one-world hub Helsinki Airport Terminal 2 was a breeze, and I was nicely attended to by a lady staff with a crisp British accent at the dedicated British Airways counter. Note that British Airways passengers may also conveniently check-in online or via the British Airways app 24 hours before departure.

Boarding

A long though orderly queue quickly erupts the moment the announcement for boarding was made. It was a long announcement in Finnish, which I didn't understand, but I quickly caught the cue to join the fast-growing queue as the Finnish-speaking and travel-savvy passengers jumped from their seats in eagerness to board the flight. Newspapers were available at the boarding gate.

 

Aircraft

This Airbus A320 aircraft (G-EUUF) features a refurbished cabin, and a contemporary LED mood lighting effect, which is very lovely and creates a very pleasant inflight environment.

Seat

The slim black leather seat is stylish, and offers an adjustable headrest to enhance passengers' comfort. As described on British Airways website, Euro Traveller class offers "bespoke leather seats innovatively designed to maximise your personal space", which I found to be quite true.

Entertainment

British Airways magazines (High Life, Business Life, and High Life Shop) are available for browsing in the seat's storage which is located conveniently at eye level. During the flight, the flight tracking map and flight details was provided on the overhead screens, which as an aviation enthusiast, I truly appreciate!

Meal

On this morning flight, a ham and soft cheese croissant, together with orange juice cup, was served. Coffee, tea, and juices were also offered by the friendly cabin crew. Judging from other British Airways flight reviews, this smoked ham and soft cheese croissant and orange juice combo seems to be the morning staple onboard British Airways flights in Euro Traveller. I liked that the croissant is a simple yet tasty morning treat. Note also that the ingredients and nutrition information is helpfully provided on the packaging.

Before landing, complimentary drinks from the bar was served, which was a really nice touch! I opted for a pre-landing vodka diet coke cocktail.

**Note that come January 11, 2017, British Airways is discontinuing its complimentary snack and bar service for a buy-on-board service concept for short-haul flights (including Euro Traveller and UK Domestic). With a promise providing food options for under £5, this new "M&S on board menu" is created with famous British retail brand Marks & Spencer.

 

When compared to my flight experience, I would agree with British Airways that this conversion to a low-cost airline service concept might ironically be an upgrade in service - by providing more food options (even if it's chargeable) for passengers. When the current meal service comprises a single option of ham and cheese croissant, I'm sure Muslim, Jewish, or vegetarian, lactose or gluten-intolerant passengers (and others with specific dietary requirements) would probably vote for more food options. While the new menu promises an assortment of fresh foods such as salads and sandwiches, savoury and sweet snacks that cater to a variety of dietary requirements, however, whether this is truly a service upgrade will still be subjected to the diversity and availability of food options catered for on each individual flight.

 

Though the new buy-on-board food concept is welcomed, the loss of the complimentary bar service is tragic and thoroughly regrettable. I honestly feel British Airways' complimentary bar service in Euro Traveller has been a strong differentiating factor versus its European rivals on intra-European routes. Now, spirits (in 5cl bottles) are chargeable at £4.50, with mixers charged separately. The vodka with diet coke I enjoyed free-on-charge on my flight will cost £6.30 with the introduction of the buy-on-board service. 

 

The sample new "M&S on board" food menu may be viewed here.

The sample new drinks menu may be viewed here.

 

At the moment, British Airways has stated only debit and credit cards are accepted as payment for buy-on-board services. Executive Club members may also pay via Avios. Cash payments are not accepted.

 

 

Flight attendants

The flight attendants were warm and welcoming, and are very cheerful during the 2 hour and 44 minute flight, even though the flight was full in Euro Traveller Class, The cabin crew were kept busy with service comprising a a snack and drinks service, followed by another bar service, but service was pleasant and smooth.

Summary

My flight had been an enjoyable experience onboard British Airways. Come January 2017, with the introduction of the new food and drinks menu, I am afraid that flying with United Kingdom's flag carrier may not be any different from a low-cost flying experience. Only time will tell. Until next time, BA!

 

Thank you for reading this British Airways flight report.

 

You may view the full video experience of my British Airways BA795 flight here:

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