I had to go to Barcelona for a tradeshow last week. Most of the people reading this will likely have been there too.
I hadn’t planned to go to this event until quite last minute. This was a prime opportunity to look at what points options were available as the cash tickets were getting expensive. I managed to find British Airways Avios availability from London City and inbound availability from Barcelona to London Heathrow. About a week or so after booking this, even more availability opened up too. So even when flights are busy – Avios availability does show up.
I booked British Airways Business Class (Club Europe) each way for 17,000 Avios & £150 which was cheaper than the cash equivalents. I hadn’t been to London City for quite some time either, so that was exciting.
London City Airport
There’s lots of cool things about City.
Because it’s an airport focused on Business travellers only, it rarely takes a long time to get through security. The airport doesn’t have a lounge because, well, the airport itself is like a giant lounge. It’s a far cry from airports like Heathrow too. City probably has a few thousand people in at any one given time, so it’s a refreshing change to the big airports.
One of the things I enjoy the most is the takeoff from City is extremely fast and steep thanks to its close proximity to Canary Wharf.
BA City Flyer operates E190 aircraft from City and for the trip to Barcelona, we took off on runway 27 heading directly towards the city before a long right bank and climb out towards the channel.
Because City is a small airport, there is no lounge to review!
Tip – City often has VERY good Business Class Avios availability.
My flight to Barcelona was a mid-morning flight. Because of this, I’d already eaten quite a lot by the time I got onboard. As such, I didn’t sample any of the onboard menu except drinks.
I must say though, the cabin crew were absolutely on point during this flight. The purser running things at the front was on the ball and my glass never ran dry the entire flight.
After my very brief trip to Barcelona, it was time to head back. Having not been to Barcelona since I was a small child, I had no idea what the airport would be like to depart from. So I planned plenty of time for security and lounging.
BA check-in was nice and easy. If you’re flying Business, they will give you a fast track pass for security and it really was fast. Sometimes “fast track” is more like just “track”. But at this airport, there was nobody else in the lane at all and security was a breeze.
There was a short walk through the terminal to passport control and then upstairs to the lounge.
British Airways Lounge Seating in Barcelona
The lounge in Barcelona was far better than I expected. It’s a shared lounge, so not just for BA. It was very large, with plenty of seating areas. No shortage of charging for phones and laptops either. The lounge wifi also worked a treat, but not the fastest wifi I’ve ever seen (Hong Kong Airport still holds that record).
There was an open bar and food options like sandwiches, pasta, hotdogs, cakes, pastry and sweets. As a short haul lounge goes, it was pretty good.
Toilets were very posh, clean and never busy either.
Food & Bar in the lounge
The inbound flight was to London Heathrow and flown on an A320. There was definitely a difference in comfort between the E190 and the A320. The latter feels more cramped despite it being a larger aircraft.
I sat in 8A for the flight back and the crew were once again very attentive.
It had been a busy day so I opted to eat on the plane and chose the Chicken Curry which was fairly mediocre but fine as a light meal.
The flight back was fairly quick and before we knew it we were coming in over the city of London to line up on runway 27L for landing.
Taxi time to Terminal 5 was short and we disembarked in no time. The only final obstacle to deal with was the Passport E-gates, which as usual, didn’t work too well!
I’m a big fan of using points for upgrades and generally making your flying life more comfortable. The trip went well, I enjoyed the lounge time and even met some Buymyupgrade followers there too!
I could have easily just bought a cash ticket to Barcelona, but using points allowed me a far more comfortable trip for a reasonable price.
Barcelona is regularly ranking highly in our reward flight reports, so if you fancy a trip using Avios – check it out.