British Airways are flying from Dublin to Ibiza through to the end of September 2017 and I decided to fly on the inaugural service. The route is operated by BA CityFlyer which is the London City based fleet.

London City Airport is closed on weekends from 13:00 Saturday to 12:30 on Sunday. Due to this, British Airways are using the otherwise idle aircraft to serve weekend leisure destinations from the UK and Ireland.

BA2349 – Dublin to Ibiza (DUB-IBZ)
19 May 2017
Embraer 190SR – G-LCYW
Seat: Club Europe 2D
Departure: 22:25 Arrival: 02:20+1

The Dublin Airport Executive Lounge closes at 21:00 each night meaning Club Europe passengers must wait elsewhere in the airport. Time passed quickly and it was heartening to see the inbound aircraft arrive.

It is a very interesting bunch on the inaugural flight to Ibiza. Families with toddlers and babies, a smattering of Spanish people and the inevitable party people heading off for a weekend of debauchery.

Inside The British Airways Embraer 190

Priority boarding and boarding for families with infants and small children is called at the same time. I legged it down the aerobridge to be on board as quickly as possible. As a result I surprised the crew and had ample time to take cabin pictures. Ample time of course being a minute or two!

Seat pitch is the same throughout the cabin, whether you’re in Club Europe or EuroTraveller. Even so, there are three variations – the usual seats, the bulkhead seats 1A and 1B and the bulkhead seats 2C and 2D.

Clearly if you are in Club Europe you should choose 2C and 2D. There is a scandalous amount of space immediately in front of you which is very nice indeed. Now, a few more cabin views to complete the picture.

During boarding, several passengers commented on the small size of the aircraft which is fun to overhear. Before take-off I decided to visit the facilities as a precaution before the party people trashed it (they didn’t).

You wouldn’t want to be a person of size as it really is a small space. No acrobatics or joining the mile high club in this facility!

Tonight’s Menu

Boarding soon finished and it turns out there were three passengers in Club Europe and I would estimate half full down the back. The two crew members provided the safety demonstration and after a short taxi we were airborne.

A menu is handed out offering two choices of main course in Club Europe and a complimentary meal in EuroTraveller. Buy On Board catering for economy class is not yet rolled out for the BA CityFlyer fleet, so it is still free.

To my surprise and delight there are chips offered with the steak. I wrote about the fact that airlines never seem to serve chips on board so I planned on that being my choice.

My crew member asked if I had any allergies to food and later I discovered this was to find out if anyone is allergic to fish. Three meals were loaded for the three passengers in Club Europe – two of the steak and one of the smoked salmon linguini. Obviously if someone was allergic to fish, that person would be guaranteed the steak. Smart!

The Inaugural Dinner

I find BA CityFlyer have a higher standard of Club Europe catering compared to the main services out of London Gatwick and London Heathrow. Steak is always a bold choice on board because it tends to become dry and tough when reheated.

My steak was tough to cut and a little dry, but it wasn’t as bad as the one I had at breakfast on Qatar Airways in business class between Doha and Auckland. This one was edible, thankfully!

All other elements of the main dish are delicious and well cooked. I would have paid good money for a sachet of tomato sauce or ketchup to put on the chips though. Both the salad and the delectable dessert raised no complaints from me.

How About A Second Dinner?

Even before my first dinner I considered asking for a second dinner. I had a light breakfast, light lunch and now – nine hours later – I had a pretty decent appetite. As only two people were seated in Club Europe and there were three meals loaded I asked if I could have the extra one.

The crew apologetically explained there was a third person ticketed in the cabin. She had decided to sit with friends in EuroTraveller so he would have to keep it in case she wanted it. No problem at all.

Shortly after this the crew member came back with an idea. There were still meals left over from the London City to Dublin flight and as these were not hot meals they were still chilled and good to eat.

It is always nice when crew think outside the box so I chose the BBQ salmon and potato salad for my second dinner as I had a hankering for some fish. Delicious, delicious, delicious!

Champagne Dreams

Everyone who regularly reads my stuff will know that I am fond of a bit of Champagne when flying. Castelnau is the British Airways Champagne at the moment and there is usually no shortage of it.

At one point both crew were busy serving the EuroTraveller cabin for quite some time. Rather than press the call bell, I decided to take matters into my own hands and popped into the galley, found the chiller box and helped myself.

It is probably only because the crew and I had a very good rapport that I felt comfortable enough to do this. Even so, I felt like a thief and had visions of pissed off crew shouting at me for invading their galley. Won’t be doing that again! On the return flight I sucked it up and just rang the call bell.

The rest of the flight passed uneventfully and we landed a little early into Ibiza. On the ground we went down the red steps and into a bus which took us to the terminal.

Overall Thoughts

My first inaugural flight was a great experience and for €230 return very competitively priced. The BA CityFlyer crew are professional, thoughtful and service oriented which I really like. For the geeks out there, the pattern for the cabin crew was LCY-DUB-IBZ, overnight, IBZ-BHX-IBZ, overnight and then deadhead back to LCY.

The fact the catering is a notch above the rest of the European fleet makes flying BA CityFlyer a good choice. Where possible, people should select seat 2C or 2D on the Embraer 190 for the best legroom. Even though there is no entertainment, it is not really needed on a flight of just over 2 hours. I really enjoyed the flight!

Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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