British Airways Club World Review London Gatwick to St Lucia

The first flight to Gatwick from Edinburgh is at 06.15, one of the first flights out, and leaves before the flurry of low-cost airlines heading to Spain, and yet the airport was very quiet. There was no queue at the Club bag drop and a very rapid 5 minutes wait at security. After a swift orange juice and chocolate mini-muffin from the BA Lounge, and a quick Facebook and Twitter site check-in we were boarding the first leg of our journey.

The Boeing 737 was G-DOCY and wasn’t as battered as some Gatwick aircraft I have been on recently. Very uneventful flight with the typical BA hot breakfast of scrambled egg, sausage, bacon, mushrooms and a blob of tomato ketchup (which seems to have replaced the real tomatoes these days). Two cups of coffee, no holding at Gatwick and arrival much to my annoyance on an international stand with a bus to the terminal.

Through flight connections centre in 5 minutes and into the BA lounge for an early glass of Champagne. The lounge is now in the Galleries style – and is actually very comfortable – but much reduced in size as there is now no lower level. Still a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours before the long haul departure.

British Airways Club World Review London Gatwick to St Lucia

At the gate priority boarding was given to Silver, Gold and Club Class passengers (as it should be) and to World Traveller Plus. The plane was G-VIIO – a three class Boeing 777-200 with three rows of Club in the forward cabin and 2 more rows after doors 2. I took my seat and a crew member almost immediately handed me a glass of champagne and a copy of The Times. I travelled in this same seat to Grenada on this very plane two years ago, but since then they’ve installed new generation of Club flat beds. The cabin did look a bit battered already, with some of the plastic seat surrounds displaying cracks and chips. But the seat is still comfy and the aircraft was clean.

Although the flight was full we seemed to get away very quickly and soon were waiting at the runway for a couple of landings before we were off. This is a video of the take of from Gatwick and the landing at St. Lucia taken from the rear-facing seat 2A.

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As soon as the seat belt signs went out the crew sprang into action, handing out wash bags and menus. I must say that the current Elemis Club wash bag is quite disappointing. They’ve replaced the miniature bottles of the Molton Brown era with sachets of facial wipes and moisturiser. This is another sad example of a downgrading of the overall Club experience.

Drinks came next as the cabin manager took lunch orders. I had another glass of champagne and enjoyed a packet of mixed nuts whilst deciding on what to eat for lunch.

British Airways Club World Review London Gatwick to St Lucia

Review – London Gatwick to St Lucia

The menu was as follows:

Lemon poached prawn salad with herb oil
Winter bean cassoulet and bocconcini Mozzarella salad with rocket pesto

Fresh seasonal salad with vinaigrette

Pan seared fillet steak with thyme scented gnocchi and creamed truffle jus

Chicken tikka masala with saag aloo and mushroom saffron rice

Walnut and blue cheese polenta with herbed wild mushroom and tomato coulis

Chilled main course salad of poached Loch Fyne salmon, roast new potatoes and Pommery mustard

Caramelised apple tart Tatin with cinnamon creme anglaise

Lincolnshire Poacher and Blue Wensleydale with oatcake biscuits and grapes

Fruit and chocolates

I also looked at the wine list and choose the red wine from Chile. BA have done me proud with red wines in the past and this one was no exception. Very strong, robust and spicy. I had many glasses of this over lunch with the crew filling glasses as they passed in each direction through the cabin.

The wines on offer were:


Ayla Brut Majeur NV

Chablis 2008 Domaine Jean-Marc Brocard, Burgundy, France
Old Well House Grenache Blanc 2009 Western Cape South Africa

Chateau Barateau 2006 Haut Medoc, Bordeaux, France
Villa San-Juliette Merlot 2007, Paso Robles, California, USA
Chono Reserva Syrah 2008, Elqui Valley, Chile

I decided not to have a starter and simply began with the salad.

British Airways Club World Review London Gatwick to St Lucia

Then I had the steak which I thought was quite tender and cooked to my liking. The gnocchi was very tasty and the sauce was delicious.

British Airways Club World Review London Gatwick to St Lucia

The desert was very sweet and moist and although I would have preferred it warm it was very tasty.

British Airways Club World Review London Gatwick to St Lucia

After lunch I continued to watch “Never Let me Go”, a strangely placid but very dark science fiction film with Carey Mulligan, and then moved to a another film about a brother wrongly accused of murder which completely failed to engage my attention. Perhaps the wine was just too nice and was already lulling me into holiday mode.

Occasionally I would lift the window blind to look at the sea below and the blazing sun as we approached St Lucia.

British Airways Club World Review London Gatwick to St Lucia

Afternoon tea arrived next, still wrapped in its cellophane and on a much smaller tray than I remember from earlier Club trips. The sandwiches were fine if a little dry, so needed washing down with even more red wine. By now I was completely in holiday mode.

Afternoon Tea
An individual choice of sandwiches featuring beef with horseradish and mature Cheddar with pickle.

Plain or fruit scones served with clotted cream and strawberry preserves.

British Airways Club World Review London Gatwick to St Lucia

Very soon we were approaching St Lucia and I could see the beautiful Piton mountains out of the window as we landed. First off the plane, first through immigration and off to paradise for 12 days.

British Airways Club World Review London Gatwick to St Lucia

Over to you: I would love to hear your travel tales. Have you flown with BA in Club World? What did you think of the service. Was it a truly premium experience. Leave a comment, share your thoughts and let me know.

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