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A Review of British Airways A320-200 Economy LGW – FNC

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British Airways is the UK’s flagship carrier. If you were around in the 1990s, it probably conjures up images of pearls, leather seats and in the background a sweet rendition of Aria on Air. However, in recent years, British Airways has changed. They have bought in lots of new initiatives and cost cutting efforts (do you remember when they took the second olive out of their martini and saved a bundle?). Our recent trip to Funchal, Madeira saw us booking on BA for the first time in years which gave us the chance to see the changes in British Airways economy for ourselves.

A view along the side of a British Airways Airbus A320

The Review of British Airways Economy

Airport Experience

The British Airways app is really very good. We used it to book our flight and then it reminded us to enter our advance passenger information. I did that one day when I was bored and waiting for a train…a very good use of time if I do say so myself. Twenty-four hours before our flight, a little reminder notification to check in popped up. As all our info was already in there, it was a very quick and easy process.

Screenshot of BA flight info
Mr Fluskey’s boarding pass

Our fare was a British Airways economy hand luggage only fare. We were free to take a large carry on bag with no weight restrictions, and a smaller personal item (handbag, laptop bag, or in my case, my beloved Cath Kidston rucksack).

Check out all our flight reviews including Virgin Atlantic and Emirates

oneworld logo

Breezing through the airport, not having to stop at check in, we were done with security in a matter of minutes. We bought some food (more on that later) and then the app updated to show our gate number.

Rosie in the departures lounge of London Gatwick Airport
Oh the joys of a departure lounge
Info screen at London Gatwick Airport
Here we go!

Boarding was swift and simple. Everyone is assigned a “group” and then they are welcomed forwards by group number. Easy peasy.

British Airways Airbus A320 at a gate at London Gatwick Airport


The plane was just that, plain. White lights lit the navy blue and white cabin. Despite the cold colour scheme, the welcome from the crew was very warm…and actually the crew were lovely throughout, so that made the whole flight much more pleasant.

Inside the cabin during boarding of a British Airways Airbus A320
Mr Fluskey with his trusty Fjallraven
The view of the cabin from a window seat of a British Airways Airbus A320
The normal light and air conditioning blowers are in the panel above you.

The windows were the Airbus A320 standard. They aren’t huge, and the second layer makes them even smaller.

View out of the window of the wing of a British Airways Airbus A320


The configuration is the normal 3, 3 set up, as seen on most Airbus A320s. Travelling as a couple, this is always irritating. We like the window and so we are always hemmed in by a stranger; not good when you need to pop to the loo.

British Airways have chosen a very nice seat. Well, not the seat per se, but the seat covers. They have a navy blue leatherette cover with nice stitch detailing. On both our outbound and return flight, we were greeted by a previous passengers crumbs. It wasn’t very nice but at least the leather made it easy to wipe it off.

Economy leather seats of a British Airways Airbus A320
The economy seats

The leg room was pretty average at 30 inches. The width was 17 inches, which was fine.

Economy leg room on a British Airways Airbus A320

The head rest is nice and adjustable. It goes up quite a way. The side flaps bend well, and are nice and stiff, but they are not that big so are a little too small to hold your head very well. It also has an indent of the BA logo which is cool.

British Airways logo in a leather aeroplane seat
The logo

The arm rests are a little thin, and ours had a sticker that wouldn’t come off.

Economy armrest on a British Airways Airbus A320
Not the end of the world, but it shows a little carelessness.

The seat back pocket space is pretty good. There is a magazine pocket at the top of the seat. It only has a plastic piece at the bottom to stop the magazines falling out so don’t put little bits and bobs in here or they will get lost.

Economy seat back pocket on a British Airways Airbus A320
The magazine pocket

Below the table is a mesh pocket. On our outbound flight it was nice but on the way home, both Mr Fluskey’s and my pockets were ripped. It was a bit shabby.

Economy tray table on a British Airways Airbus A320

The seats reclined, but by about half an inch. I have read that they are doing away with even that on their new planes. Four hours is quite a long flight, surely that deserves a better level of comfort.


British Airways has a very clear policy when it comes to hand luggage. You are allowed one larger piece of hand luggage to go above you in the overhead locker. Additionally, you can have a smaller item that must go under the seat in front of you. This got a yellow tag in the airport.

Over head lockers on a British Airways Airbus A320
The overhead lockers were a bit battered

Check out Top Ten Tips to Pack Your Liquids Bag for Carry On Luggage Like a Pro!

Some people didn’t understand this so the crew had to go along and request that anything with a yellow tag was removed from the overhead bins. The bins weren’t deep enough to have bags on their thin side. This always reduces the capacity quite badly. People near us had their bags somewhere near the front as there was no room left nearby.

Karl and Rosie smile on a British Airways Airbus A320
Feeling smug because we managed to get our bags in the locker above us

Read all about our travels in Portugal


Considering this was a four hour flight, the entertainment provision was very poor. British Airways considers this a short haul flight and so they provide no video or audio. This is the same for economy and business.

The only entertainment was the High Life and Business Life magazines in the seat back pocket. Neither interested me all that much so after a quick flick through, they were abandoned.

Economy magazines on a British Airways Airbus A320

Thank goodness we had brought the iPad chock full of Netflix content!


We weren’t given any kind of amenity kit on this flight.

The bathrooms were very tight and had no cute little extras in…it was just like being on a budget flight.

Toilet on a British Airways Airbus A320


So if you are flying on British Airways, you get a snack right? Wrong! Again, as this was a short haul flight, no food or drinks were included. Luckily we already knew about this and so had bought lunch at the airport before boarding.

If you are in British Airways economy you are given a book full of Marks and Spencer’s products that you can purchase. I like to have a look through and see what’s on offer.

Drinks menu on a British Airways Airbus A320
Bottoms up!

The only things that appealed to me were the Globetrotting Percy sweets (who doesn’t love Percy Pigs?) and the drinks at the end. We decided to treat ourselves and got a drink each.

Prosecco bubbles in a flute in front of a aeroplane window on a British Airways Airbus A320

Final Thoughts

Considering the length of four hours, this was not a particularly comfortable or enjoyable flight. Other than the fancier seats, and the extra handbag in out hand luggage allowance, we may as well have been on the easyJet flight that goes to Madeira! It would have saved us a bit of money and we would have spent the same on food and drink anyway.

The view from the window during landing into Maderia on a British Airways Airbus A320
Hello Madeira

Honestly, I am quite disappointed in British Airways economy offering on this short haul route. The hand luggage allowance is great, as is the app, but other than that…? I can’t say I would recommend it. At least their long haul offering is still very competitive.

Now you’re in Madeira, why not go Whale and Dolphin Watching with VMT Madeira

Side view of a British Airways Airbus A320 on a stand

Rosie xx

A full review of British Airways economy on a flight from London Gatwick (LGW) to Funchal (FNC). This is a review of the a320-200 and the service. #britishairways #britishairwaysreview #flightreview
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