What Could British Airways’ New Business Class Look Like?

For over a year now, British Airways has been receiving a lot of flak for cuts the airline has made to amenities in its economy cabins. But FINALLY, BA is doing something that those of us who aren’t so interested in ultra-low-cost air travel can rave about. The airline is launching, a new Club World; BA’s fancy name for business class.

The current Club World cabin.

While the press has been chastising British Airways for copying low-cost carriers, the airline has actually been making steps towards making their business class experience more…epic. BA is making tangible improvements for their premium passengers both on the ground, with Wifi plus being launched in their lounges in New York, Aberdeen and Rome, and in the air, with upgraded in-flight meals and sleep service for business class passengers on all flights. Now, the airline is gearing up to introduce an even better Club World seat when some people were worried that they might lose business class altogether.

So, what do you need to know?

The seats:

Well, first things first, in the 2019 Club World, business class passengers will still be able to convert their seats into full lie-flat beds; which is good, because that has been a staple on long-haul flights since 2000. But now, the beds will be even longer with lengths between 185 cm (6’1”) and 193 cm (6’4”) depending on location,

Here are dimensions of the new seat for those of you who are technical.

Documentary evidence acquired by the Australian Business Traveller indicates that the alternating forward-backwards layout is going to stay and actually get an upgrade to allow every seat direct access to the aisle, so no more awkward step overs, or in my case, accidental falls into the arms of beautiful strangers…

Above is a window seat-pair in the old layout.

The little things:

There are also a few little add-ons like the new storage cubby under each seat’s armrest and slightly larger storage drawers. While those add-ons are good, what really caught my attention was the fact that the in-flight video screen is now 50% larger with 15.3 inches of high definition versus the 10.4 inches of the previous screen; that’s a pretty big difference!

Choosing to be social is probably going to be harder than ever with all the new and improved amenities, but with the manually operated screens between seat pairs, the option does remain.

Video of the day:

While this does not particularly improve function, I do have to note that BA’s new Club World seat is way more stylish than the second and first gen seats. The leaked design looks suspiciously similar to a UK patent application filed by British Airways and credited to Paul Grader of Forpeople, a London based design firm, and Peter Cooker, BA’s Design Lead; so, we probably have them to thank for the aesthetic prowess of the new Club World.

Potential layouts:

Right now, there are two possible Club World layouts making the rounds (you can see them below). The only real difference between them is the orientation of the seat pairs, so don’t worry all the beautiful new additions detailed here will likely be in the new British Airways business class cabin.

The first possible layout for the new Club World.
The second possible layout for the new Club World.

The planes it’ll be on:

There is one bit of sad news on this subject, the 2019 Club World seat will not be introduced across BA’s entire existing fleet, well at least not initially; it will be fitted into BA’s incoming Airbus A350-1000s and Boeing 787-10s. However, the airline will probably reconfigure its other long-haul aircraft after the initial launch.

So get excited, if you’re flying BA’s Club World sometime in the near future. You just might get to try the new seat.

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Unfortunately they are retaining the fore and aft seating which means you are eyeballing a stranger until such time as the partition can be raised. They also look suspiciously narrow