Starting in October, British Airways will begin receiving its remaining orders for the 777-300ER. These new aircraft will have something rather exciting onboard – a new first class suite complete with a door. The airline has confirmed this to Simple Flying, but it doesn’t sound like this is a complete overhaul. More a minor improvement until the real new First is revealed on the 777X.
British Airways’ new 777-300ER will have a First suite with a door
UK flag carrier British Airways is certainly not giving up on first yet. Its first class offerings had, for a time, been viewed as in need of a revamp, particularly given the high standard of the new Club World suite that arrived with the A350-1000.
Today, Head For Points broke the news that the forthcoming 777-300ERs could be delivered with a brand new first class suite, modified to include that all-important door. The information had been revealed in a memo to staff sent this morning, which stated that ‘a few’ of the new 777 would sport a ‘slightly modified’ first seat based on the positive feedback from the Club Suite.
British Airways confirmed the rumors to Simple Flying, saying,
“The new Club Suite has been so popular with our customers that we made the decision at the start of the year to adjust the First seat on the new 777-300 aircraft to include a door for additional privacy.”
The 777-300ERs are due to be delivered from October onwards. In the memo to staff, the airline said,
“Starting in October, we will welcome two new variants to our 777 fleet: the 77L and 77H. The 77H variant will offer the modified First seat experience, which includes a privacy door and a three-point seat belt.”
The message also advised that these aircraft were ordered long before COVID, and that British Airways was unable to defer the deliveries.
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Is this the ‘new’ BA First?
It’s surprising to hear that a new seat will be debuting in the premium cabin of these 777s. It had been anticipated that the first time a full overhaul of First would be witnessed would be with the arrival of the 777X, expected in 2022.
The fact that BA has described this as an adjustment and slight modification suggests this is not the actual revamp of the first class cabin. It sounds more like it’s just a temporary fix until the fresh first class product is revealed.
In photographs shared with Head For Points, it seems a pair of sliding doors will be added to the current ‘open’ suite, not full height doors but higher than the shell of the suite to give adequate privacy. The seat itself is very similar to the first class seat on the 787 and comes complete with a three-point harness that must be worn during taxi, takeoff and landing.
There’s no doubt that BA’s first class cabin is in desperate need of an overhaul. The addition of the Club World suites has upped the game in terms of privacy and almost makes the current first class a worse choice. Adding a door and an improved seat will likely ensure the first class tier remains competitive against Club World, but we think this is more of a stop-gap until the real ‘new’ first class is revealed on the 777X.
What do you think about the improvements to first on the 777-300ER? Let us know in the comments.