Review: British Airways E190 BA CityFlyer Economy London City to Manchester

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For years I had wanted to fly out of London City Airport. It was one of those unique airports in big metropolises that fascinates me. Similar to other airports like Toronto City Aport, London City Airport is located very close to the business district (Canary Wharf) and serves many business travellers.

British Airway’s BA Cityflyer economy class is a unique product. While their European Economy Class (Eurotraveller) does not even serve water, there are complimentary food and drinks on all BA Cityflyer flights. My guess is that this gesture is aimed to please the business travellers that travel through London City Airport.

Check-in

We travelled to the airport from Greenwich, so we chose to use the Emirates Skyline and the LTR to London City. It was just a 3-minute walk from the LRT station to the main check-in hall of the airport.

We arrived at the airport around 40 minutes before the scheduled departure time for our flight. British Airways allows passengers to check-in for their flights until 20 minutes before departure for flights out of London City. This is a great benefit for business travellers where time is valuable. We used the priority check-in line as both me and my mother held Oneworld Sapphire status. The agent was friendly and checked all of us in very quickly.

Another British Airways E190 London City Airport

London City Airport is very small and it’s only a small walk through ID check and security. It took all of us 10 minutes to arrive at our departure gate at 8A.

The Flight

The flight was just a mere 45-minute hop to Manchester. Servicing our flight was an Embraer E-190, with Economy Class featuring a 2-2 configuration. These seats are much more comfortable than those of the A320 that I flew days before on British Airways. I generally like Embraer jets as you can avoid being stuck in a middle seat. However, the drawback is a overhead storage and low cabin ceiling.

British Airways E190 BA CityFlyer Economy Class Seats

The seats are wide and comfortable. Featuring leather finishes with a big tray table and ample legroom. The individual air nozzle is a good feature to keep yourself warm/cold at your own liking.

The door closed at 7:35pm, 5 minutes before our scheduled departure time of 7:40pm. London City Airport has a wide range of traffic ranging from private jets to numerous regional jets from many European airlines. It also allows good photo opportunity considering how small the apron is.

We had a very quick taxi and took off from the west end of the runway. We had a powerful takeoff and a steep initial climb out. Then the plane turn left to fly north and gave a great view of the airport and central London in the distance.

London City Airport From Above

Snack and beverage services began 10 minutes after takeoff as the plane levelled at 18000ft. The beverage selection is extensive with coffee, tea, soft drinks and some alcohol to choose from. For snacks, it was served in a basket consisting of packaged popcorns or biscuits.

Complimentary Biscuits and Tonic Water British Airways E190 BA CityFlyer Economy Class

The crew came around to perform pre-landing check at 8:15pm. During our approach, I can clearly see the smoke emerging from the skyline afar, which I assume is the Saddleworth moor fire. The moors fire did have a huge impact in Manchester, where we later discovered that the city smells like burnt charcoal during our 2-day stay.

We landed at 8:25pm, 15 minutes ahead of scheduled landing time.

Conclusion

I would definitely recommend flying out of London City Airport to any destination on British Airways. You are guaranteed to get better seats and free snacks and drinks on your flights. It also offers a much later cut off time for check-in. However, there are fewer flights out of London City to all destinations and fares may be higher than from other London Airports. To me, the ease of travel, combined with complimentary services may well worth the extra bucks.

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