British Airways' business class.
Sydney to London
THE LOYALTY SCHEME
Executive Club (oneworld)
UP THE BACK OR POINTY END?
Club World (business), seat 13A.
TIME IN THE AIR
Seven hours and 35 minutes to Singapore, and another 12 hours and 55 minutes to London.
THE SEAT STUFF
73 inches (185 centimetres) pitch, 25.25 inches (64 centimetres) width. The layout is 2-4-2, with the four middle seats in an unusual configuration: a forward-facing single on either side, with the two seats in the middle facing backward, enclosed in an almost cocoon-like space. This is great for couples, but strangers may find it a trifle intimate.
Three checked bags up to 23 kilograms in weight each, one piece of hand luggage and either a laptop or handbag.
There's plenty of legroom, and by playing with the adjustable seating I find a Z-mode that is perfect for watching TV or reading. However, the backwards-forwards set-up leaves your face uncomfortably close to your neighbour's. A dividing screen can be raised electronically for privacy, although staff lower it when they are serving meals. From the window seat, where I am, it takes a bit of a leap over the legs of the person behind you to get up and walk around.
You can choose from more than 230 TV programs, 70 films, 400 CDs available on your 10.4 inch (26.4 centimetre) personal screen. There's also a power outlet for your laptop.
The staff were friendly and very helpful, particularly when I wanted to change my assigned seat from one of the backward-facing centre seats to an empty window seat.
Dinner is served en route to Singapore, and breakfast just before our arrival in London. The dinner selection caters for a range of tastes, featuring several seafood dishes, Asian options including a Thai green curry. The excellent chargrilled beef fillet was served with savoy cabbage and potato gratin crispy at the edges, just as it should be. The main-course salads were popular on both legs, and there were complaints once the roast chicken and asparagus salad ran out (according to one staffer, only three servings of it were loaded.) The cheese selection is served with a rather forlorn pair of water crackers. Disappointingly, only one cereal choice at breakfast, but the hot dishes are tasty. For those who get hungry during the flight, a small self-service Club Kitchen stocks sandwiches, fruit, crisps or other snacks.
ONE MORE THING
The business class lounges in Sydney and Singapore offer a good range of drinks and snacks, as well as work areas.
With comfortable beds and good service, I arrive in London feeling refreshed and relaxed.
If you're travelling with a partner, you may want to request the centre seats; if you're travelling by yourself, you'll want to avoid them.
British Airways flies daily to London from Sydney, with one stop in Singapore. A British business class return airfare between Sydney and London starts at $6000, excluding taxes.
Tested by Ute Junker, who flew courtesy of British Airways.