British Airways this morning has revealed their brand new Club business class suite. The new Club Suite is set to debut on British Airways brand new Airbus A350-1000 fleet, with deliveries starting in July 2019. This new suite will also replace the current, and somewhat dated, Club World business class seat on all British Airways long haul aircraft by 2023.
This new Club Suite cabin will be in a 1-2-1 layout and will have a total of 56 suites. The new Club Suite comes as part of British Airways’ £6.5 billion($8.6 billion) investment to improve the airline.
New Club Suite features:
The new Club Suite features everything a business class traveler could want. The Club Suite completely trumps British Airways’ current first class offering, and offers the following features:
- Completely redesigned Club World cabin.
- Direct aisle access for every passenger.
- Gate to gate entertainment.
- 40% more storage than existing Club World seat.
- Excellent privacy with a door.
- New vanity unit and mirror.
- The Suite comes with an 18.5 inch HD screen, and wifi.
New Club Suite cabin video
The new Club Suite bed dimensions are 6 ft 6 long and 21 inches wide. By far not the most spacious airline business class offering, but it’s on par with most other airlines.
How to fly British Airways’ new Club Suite and the A350
During phase one, the first A350 aircraft will start some short-haul flying between London and Madrid for crew training. In phase two, from October 1st, 2019, the aircraft will begin long-haul operations. During this period, another three A350 aircraft will join the British Airways fleet and two Boeing 777 aircraft will also be retrofitted with the new cabin.
The A350’s are expected to be equipped with the latest in-flight wifi, large windows and a lower cabin altitude to reduce the effects of jet lag.
British Airways Club World history:
British Airways were the pioneer for lie flat business class seats. In 2006, the airline launched the ‘next generation Club World’, which offered lie flat seats with lots of space. But, since the launch of these seats over 13 years ago, other airlines have quickly caught up to British Airways and surpassed their Club World offering.
The Club World business class seats we see today are in an extremely dense and narrow 2-4-2 configuration, and not every seat has directly aisle access. This means that if you sit by the window or in the middle two seats in the cabin, you literally have to climb over another passenger to leave your seat during the flight.
We are very excited by the new Club Suite. All the current issues should be mitigated by this huge hard product upgrade.
Why British Airways took so long to upgrade their business class cabin
As a reader you may be thinking why on Earth British Airways allowed its business class offering to become so uncompetitive. Whilst most legacy carriers have been installing business class seats with tons of storage and direct aisle access, British Airways has left Club World alone. There are number of key reasons for this.
British Airways’ London Heathrow hub is unlike any other airport in the world. Heathrow is the busiest two runway airport in the world, and slots are very valuable and limited. The airline offers more direct flights to and from worldwide business hubs than any other airline. In the world of corporate travel, time is money and many passengers they would prefer to fly direct without a stop to maximise sleep. This is especially true when flying from the US to the UK.
Due to running direct flights, large corporations are able to negotiate good discounts directly with British Airways. This is far more convenient than trying to negotiate with every airline that might be used on a less direct route. In a nutshell, companies and passengers are willing to pay for the convenience of British Airways, despite a relatively poor business class product.
What will happen to British Airways’ first class?
This new Club Suite seat is going to appear first on British Airways’ brand new A350-1000 aircraft.
The plane is not going to have a first class cabin at all, although British Airways may offer a new first class seat on later A350 deliveries in the 2020’s.
New economy class and premium economy
British Airways is expected to enhance their current economy class and premium economy offering on their new A350 aircraft too. We’ll be expecting to see a larger premium economy cabin and a smaller economy cabin.
Overall, this is a very exciting time for British Airways and we can’t wait to try out their new Club Suite!
What do you think of their new seat? Let us know in the comments!