A paid upgrade in March 2023 finally gave me the opportunity to try out the “new luxury” of British Airways: On board a Boeing 777 from London-Heathrow (LHR) to John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK), I flew in the new Club Suite Cabin. The reviews I read of that experience so far made me feel that this must be a massive boost compared to the “legacy business class” Club World in their rather dated fleet. Here are my personal thoughts about the experience.
British Airways – Club Suite Routes
British Airways is still in the process of transforming their fleet from the legacy Business Class (which I for example showed you in this posting in a B747-400) with a rather bothering layout into their new Club Suites. The product has initially been rolled out on their Airbus A350-1000 and the Boeing 787-10, but should nowadays already been rolled out on the whole Boeing 777 fleet. At least, the transition was scheduled to be finished until year-end 2022.
You should especially be aware that the legacy versions of the Boeing 787, the 787-8 and 787-9, typically don’t have Club Suite seating. Furthermore, there are no Club Suites on the Airbus A380. The seat layout should be easily visible in the booking process. There is also a lovely overview, created by the aviation blog Premium-Flights.com
British Airways B777 Club Suites – The Cabin
While you had to climb over the legs of other business passengers before, all Club Suites seats have direct access to the aisles. There are multiple configurations of the B777, some of them also feature First Class seating, so that the number of rows and seats differs. My experience was on a 777-200ER with the registration G-VIIK, featuring 49 Club suite seats. There are typically rows of four seats in a 1-2-1, i.e. with two seats in the middle and one seats at each window. The middle seat have a removable separator, so that they are suitable for both, people traveling together and solo flyers. The suites have a slight reverse herringbone pattern, i.e. the window seats are facing towards the outside of the cabin, while the middle seat towards its center.
Privacy by Suites Doors
Apart from the individual aisle access, there are two key features, which make this new seat special. First of all, there is a door which is really offering additional privacy. The door is at most chest height, so that the flight crew are passengers walking through the plane still see what you are doing. But it is a nice feature, even though I had some trouble to get my big belly through the opening. Another really great feature is the nice number of storage areas. There are three boxes you can close (at least on a window seat) and another open one in the foot area, where also the safety briefing card is stored.
One of the cupboards even comes with a mirror. It may be a bit too low for having a make-up. But it is a nice feature. The lie-flat seat is controlled by a touch pad on your side. British Airways provides pillows, blankets and a thin mattress, which is adding nice comfort. Even for my body size, lying in the seat was really comfy. I also appreciated the small reading light, which you can control with the touch pad as well.
One of the storage buns also holds the remote control for the entertainment screen (which is a touch screen as well), two USB ports, a multi-format power outlet and the outlet for the noise-cancelling headphones provided. The power outlet is not ideally located, you might have to leave the door open or to guide your power chord underneath the latch somehow. The table is pulled out underneath the screen and then folded. It was very comfy, again, even for my body size. With all the space provided, I could have likely placed two notebooks there in parallel, which I feel is amazing. The belt runs over your shoulder, I needed an extension to wear it.
Nothing special on the toilet side. There are not too many superb amenities or similar in the B777 Club Suites by British Airways. I liked the idea of having a foldable changing seat in the cabin, though.
British Airways B777 Club Suites – Food
I will introduce you to the exact dishes I had in a Food I Had Onboard posting released very soon. On my flight from London to New York (some seven hours flight time), they served lunch and afternoon tea. Furthermore, there was a pre-flight and a pre-lunch drink. On the daytime flight, the crew was overall very attentive and provided sufficient drinks. There is also a water bottle at your seat. Furthermore a small self-service area provides you with snacks and drinks during the flight.
British Airways B777 Club Suites – Service
While the screen a s such felt much better than the predecessor, the selection of the inflight entertainment was still in the same range I knew from British Airways. You can’t compare with Emirates, but it is also not as lousy as in other European peers, so that I would overall rate the selection of items to be fine. There was a total of 14 country music albums and playlists, for example.
As said, I overall liked the crew. The B777 is also offering onboard WiFi, which requires a charge, depending on the duration you want to use it and the bandwidth you need. British Airways also grants you a nice amenity kit.
British Airways B777 Club Suites – My View
Wow, the Club Suites cabin is such an upgrade compared to the legacy product. Despite the low height of the suite itself, I loved the privacy, the direct aisle access and especially the large amount of space. The British catapult into the top league of business class flying here – bear in mind that the often-praised airline Emirates is doing a 2-3-2 business class i.e. three more seats per row, into the same kind of place (with 1-2-1 being their First Class layout). Great product, look forward to enjoy it again.
British Airways & Iberia
Here are all my postings related to British Airways, Iberia and IAG Airlines: