British Airways – Economy – A321-231 – Manchester to London Heathrow

We recently took the shortest flight I’ve ever taken and review aside I found the whole 30 minute UK domestic flight experience a fantastic novelty.

This is the first time I’ve flown domestically within the UK in almost 10 years and just the second time I’ve ever flown with BA. The flight was part of a larger flight path from Manchester (MAN) to Orlando (MCO).

This review specifically covers the Manchester to London Heathrow T5 leg. Check out the additional leg, London Gatwick to Orlando (MCO) here

Airline: British Airways
Date: Monday 25th March 2019
Depart: 06:31 (est 06:35)
Arrive: 07:06 (est 07:40)
Duration: 0:35
Aircraft: Airbus A321-231
Seat: 14A & 14B

Checking In

Checking in for this flight was a rather testing experience. Not only were we a large party of 11, but the party was also split over three bookings. With each booking containing two outbound flights and two return flights.

The outbound flights specifically being broken down by this flight (MAN to LHR) and then the second flight (LGW to MCO) the transfer between was a self-transfer that we arranged with a taxi company – a whole other story.

All of this made checking in online complex and attempting to book seats together without paying an exorbitant amount somewhat of a mission impossible online.

Instead, we ‘winged it’ for the finer details of the booking and managed to make some slight adjustments to both of our flights upon arrival at the check-in desk at Manchester Airport. While I understand the flight was one of the first out of Manchester Airport that morning the check-in staff on the desk at British Airways lacked any and all personality.


The cabin of this Airbus A321-231 was fitted with the luxury black leather seats in both club world and economy. The first seven rows (approximately) of the aircraft were made up of club world seats.

These are large seats on a row of three split with a table in the middle seat (creating just four seats per row instead of six) and allowing for additional space. 

It comes as no surprise that there was no in-flight entertainment that you’d come to expect from the long haul BA flights (not that on a 35-minute flight I’d expect you to need it).

There was however a universal plug and USB below each seat in front allowing you to charge devices should it be required. In our opinion, this is a great understanding of the requirements of the typical clientele (business commuters) on British Airways part. 

The Flight

As you might expect the vast majority of the clientele on this flight were business people commuting into the city for a meeting. So it’s safe to say our loud, and extremely excited party of 11 heading to meet Mickey & Minnie Mouse stood out.

The flight was, as I said in the introduction, short at just 30-minutes. Upon landing at Heathrow we taxied for around 20 minutes from the runway over to our gate over in terminal 5 which is run exclusively by British Airways.

Menus & Meals

Due to the short flight time, the cabin crew promptly began serving drinks and snacks as soon as it was safe to do so. There was no set meal service instead customers were encouraged to select items from the menu onboard.

Having previously eaten at the airport and safe in the knowledge that I’d be getting a meal on our next flight to Orlando I decided against getting anything on this flight.

If you are looking at eating on a short haul flight operated by British Airways then the good news is they currently serve Marks & Spencer’s food. When it comes to quality sandwiches, pasta, salads and snacks this is a fantastic choice in our opinion. For the most up to date short haul menu onboard British Airways I suggest checking out the British Airways website.


Due to the amount of security and limited flexibility I’d avoid flying this route again unless I had a connecting flight onwards from London Heathrow.

Instead, I’d opt to take the train, as without security, boarding times etc. the journey is likely to be quicker. That said, if you did want to quickly and easily gain a small number of tier points without even leaving the country then this route could be right for you.

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