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Following our review of London Heathrow to Montréal in BA Club World, here’s our review of the return flight from Montreal to London.
It’s a short overnight flight from Montreal, typically leaving at around 21:30 with a flight time of around 6.5 hours.
By comparison to the rest of the airport, particularly the queues at check-in for Air Transat and Royal Air Maroc, the BA check-in desks are a haven of calm.
Regardless of what cabin you are travelling in you should find check-in by the local BA team relatively quick.
Turning to security screening, there is an expansive security screening area. There is a dedicated priority security line. However, you would be forgiven for not noticing if you didn’t know it was there. As you head from check-in security you need to walk right to the very far end of the entrance to security.
Salon Banque Nationale Lounge
BA has long used a third party lounge facility at Montréal.
With just one flight a day, and very little else by way of Oneworld alliance presence, this is not surprising. If you’ve flown BA from this airport before March 2017 you may have used what was known as the TD First Class lounge which faced into the airport. This has now closed and BA now uses a new Salon Banque Nationale / National Bank lounge at Gate 53.
Note that the pictures of this lounge on the airport website are dated. The purple chairs were not in evidence and the vast majority of seats are grey armchairs.
If you don’t have access to this lounge by virtue of cabin or frequent flyer status, the lounge can also be booked via Swissport. Again, note that the pictures on this site are of the old lounge which has closed.
I was fully prepared to write damning review of this lounge facility. Not only that, I wasn’t sure whether it would be possible to get into the lounge in the first place!
On two occasions last year there were long queues to get into the lounge. Many BA passengers were turned away due to overcrowding. This is not what any passenger needs before a long-haul flight.
However, based on signage at the entrance, measures have been taken to reduce overcrowding. There was little difficulty finding a seat. However, the lounge may be much busier when Qatar Airways are flying to Doha (on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday) or when Turkish Airlines are flying to Istanbul (on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday).
If you visited this lounge in its opening months you may have been handed a voucher at check-in because it didn’t have an alcohol licence. However, there is now a staffed bar offering beer, wines and cocktails. There is a dedicated family area of the lounge where, presumably due to licensing restrictions, you can only consume alcohol with a meal.
There is also a buffet offering hot dishes such as chicken and rice which, to be honest, did not look particularly appetising. There are also cold salads, fruit, breads, and snacks such as pretzels. Sadly, there are no showers.
The lounge does benefit from floor to ceiling views of the airport apron. It is much brighter, but the old lounge was preferable for having a much wider range of seating and generally a much calmer atmosphere.
There is also a second third party lounge Desjardins Odyssey Lounge which is not available to BA passengers.
I couldn’t help but gaze longingly at the Air Canada Maple Leaf lounge next door, and if there had been a repeat with overcrowding issues, it would be tempting to abandon allegiance to Oneworld and switch to Air Canada on this route.
Like the outbound flight, this was switched to Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner a few days before departure.
Having had my seat changed from 1A on the 787-8 changed to 6A on the 787-9, it was changed to 10A after check-in due to fault with the seat. Only during the flight did I see there would be an issue from this seat.
If you look at the top right of the photo below, you can see some of the galley stowage units are actually accessed from the aisle rather than in the galley so you do get the noise of these being opened and closed throughout the flight. By no means disastrous, but a mild irritation.
As BA does not have a dedicated pre-flight dining facility in Montréal, it does not offer a “Sleeper Service” with a truncated meal service as per many flights from the East Coast. There is a full meal service, with an Express option, on board.
However, unless you are resigned to not sleeping on board, it is advisable to skip it entirely as you will be eating a full meal at 03:00 London time.
But anyway, here is the menu:
Grilled pernod marinated prawns
Cream of red pepper soup
Fresh seasonal salad
grilled yellow peppers, tomato, vinaigrette
Sleeman’s Lager, caramelised parsnips, carrots, thyme-roasted potatoes
Ricotta and spinach cannelloni
creamy tomato Grana Padano sauce
Honey pecan-crusted chicken supreme
wild rice, buttered broccolini, grainy mustard sauce
Selection of desserts & cheese
Hazelnut praline rocher
Banana walnut bread pudding
apple Merlot relish, pecans, grapes
In spite of the relatively short flight time it was possible to get a good few hours of sleep and it is certainly a lot easier to sleep on short overnight flights on the Boeing 787 compared to the 747 and 777.
A relatively new addition, at least to some routes, is a pre-order breakfast card.
You have choice of ordering a light breakfast tray served at around 75 minutes before landing or a drink at 50 minutes before landing. The crew will stop serving at 40 minutes to landing as the cabin needs to be secured by 20 minutes to landing.
As this was a short overnight flight, there’s relatively little interaction with the crew but they were a very capable team who dealt with the in-flight service swiftly and effortlessly.
Arrival & Post-Flight
The flight arrived roughly on time. However, there was a slight delay getting to a stand at Terminal 5B due to congestion on the taxiways. Other than that, it was a painless journey through immigration and the baggage hall.
On arrival, Club World passengers do have access to the Terminal 5 arrivals lounge which we have covered in a separate review.
Disclosure: This review was carried out as part of self-funded trip.