British Airways Schedules First 777 With Club Suites

Filed Under: British Airways

British Airways’ much anticipated new business class product, called Club Suites, will be flying soon.


British Airways’ new business class

The first plane to feature Club Suites will be British Airways’ very first A350-1000, which is expected to join the fleet next week.

That plane will initially fly between London and Madrid to familiarize crews with the plane, though the airline has already scheduled long haul flights with the plane to Toronto, Dubai, Tel Aviv, and Bangalore. That’s possible thanks to the airline taking delivery of four of these planes over the coming months.

British Airways will be retrofitting their 777s and 787s with these Club Suites, and we’ve known that before the end of 2019, the airline plans on having two 777s with the new cabins. Well, that first plane is now in the schedule..

British Airways’ first 777 Club Suites routes

It looks like British Airways plans on flying their first 777 with new Club Suites to New York as of October 27, 2019. While this hasn’t been formally announced, if you look at the seatmap you’ll see that BA177/174 shows a brand new seatmap.

This flight operates with the following schedule:

BA177 London to New York departing 1:00PM arriving 5:10PM
BA174 New York to London departing 7:50PM arriving 6:50AM (+1 day)

Not all dates show this seatmap, so you’ll want to make sure it shows for the date you’re flying. The easy way to tell is that:

  • The reconfigured 777 features just eight first class seats, as British Airways is refreshing their first class (don’t expect anything amazing — it’ll be similar to their 787 first class)
  • The reconfigured 777 features business class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, rather than the usual 2-4-2 configuration

It’s pretty clear that this is a competitive response to Virgin Atlantic, as Virgin Atlantic is introducing their new Upper Class seats to New York as of September 10, 2019.

Virgin Atlantic’s new business class

It’s expected that British Airways will also schedule their second 777 with the new seats for the New York route, and by the end of the year you’ll see two flights a day showing these seatmaps. This is already scheduled, though the flight numbers seem to vary, so you’ll want to look at the seatmap for the flight you’re considering.

Bottom line

Competition sure is heating up between British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, and that’s good for consumers.

While New York is British Airways’ most important international market, it makes sense why this wasn’t the launch route for the A350. That’s because New York is a market with a lot of first class demand, and the A350 doesn’t have first class.

So the reconfigured 777s are the perfect planes to fly to New York, as they have the excellent new business class while maintaining a (smaller) first class cabin.

I’ll be curious to see what exactly British Airways’ new 777 first class will be like, because it’s entirely possible that on those particular planes they’ll have doors in business class but not in first class, which would be a first.

(Tip of the hat to God Save The Points)

Comments
  1. Lucky,
    did BA ever announce they are going to introduce an entirely new first class product following the new business class product?
    Just curious..

  2. @ Dror — We’ll have to see what the new first class is like, but yes, it sure seems like it will be more private at a minimum.

  3. Hmm… Not really sure why someone would be willing to spend more to fly BA F, while being able to fly a better product (new J) for a fraction of the price. Some sort of corporate travel contracts I assume? Puzzling nonetheless

  4. With this much less-dense business configuration on both carriers, it means that J fares are gonna go up even higher for NYC-LON because it’s overall a capacity reduction. Not good for business travelers or people hoping for award space.

  5. @ keitherson

    This isn’t a capacity reduction in J. It’s a 1 seat increase over the current 772s.

  6. @keitherson, why do you think it is much less dense? That would be crazy, the airline isn’t going to be able to charge double by giving double the space to a J passenger.

    It’s just that instead of x rows with 8-abreast they now have 2x rows with 4-abreast. The footwells stick into the next row, just like every other modern J configuration. There is no “capacity reduction”.

  7. To everyone saying that F will be an inferior product to J – that’s obviously not true. The new F will clearly be fully enclosed and have doors at a minimum. There’s no way BA would be stupid enough to NOT have fully enclosed F suites while using Waterfront seats in J on the same aircraft. Come on.

  8. Thanks Lucky.
    I find it interesting that BA mentioned they were going to introduce a new generation seat for business class, but for first class they just said they’re doing a product upgrade (instead of saying introducing a new generation seat).
    Hopefully the new F product will be entirely different from the current one.

  9. Can someone tell me the advantage of having a door on these “suites” ? The door will keep a child from running in but there is little height to the pod to make having a door important.

  10. Thank you for calling the new Virgin Atlantic Upper Class a seat. It’s not a suite, the half door thing they have is just improved privacy, it doesn’t create a suite. If Virgin had fitted full doors then maybe it would be as good as the Club Suite but at the moment it definitely is not.

  11. I hope the washrooms have a bit more room. Trying to change into the PJ’s was challenging. I flew BA first SYD-SIN on their 777 and then SIN-LHR on the 380 return in June and July and I have to say they were the worst washrooms I have ever come across for a first class cabin. There were the size of one you’d find in economy. The Club ones on the 380 certainly have the space. I’m not suggesting they have something as lavish as Emirates but for goodness sake what I came across was pathetic. The washrooms on Qantas’ 380 are in exactly the same spot but at least double the size of BA’s.

  12. @ Chuck Lesker

    He probably thinks it’s less dense because that’s what BA said at the time of launch. It’s why they’re reducing seat count in both F and Y, to let J take up more room for (about) the same seat count. They specifically referred to reducing density in J.

    The allocation to JFK was almost a given after VS made a big deal that all their planes on that route would get their new seat straight away.

  13. Ben Holz is absolutely correct: there is nothing to celebrate with BA–you’re got to be insane –or have a huge corporate account— to pay their atrocious award fees over 1000 dollars for one way award ticket from US to Europe… As their long-time customer (I still have some avios from about 15-20 years ago) I’ve learned that BA has this rotten philosophy claiming that an award ticket is a privilege (!) rather than something that is hard earned by their customers(it’s all coming from their supreme boss Billy Walsh, with his screwy ideas). Within Europe, BA is actually restricted by the EU rules that prohibit airlines to charge excessive fees for their award tickets.

  14. Lucky you might want to report on British Airways’ baggage-handling chaos today 18 July, software down, handwritten bag tags and long lines of bagless customers at BA’s arrivals worldwide.

  15. @Alex, this is BA we are talking about so it’s highly possible they’ll do something stupid and not improve the F cabin. I’ll be very surprised they do create a new seat with a full door. Personally I’d just be happy if they fixed the vast number of F seats that don’t even go fully flat. I’ve starting choosing Club World over First on night flights because nearly every First seat I’ve had won’t go flat!

  16. Business Traveller is reporting the first A350 flight has been brought forward to 2 September, LHR-DXB.

    Toronto will follow on 1 October.

    New York with the first 777 will also start sometime in October.

  17. At the present time many regard BA first as a superior Business Class product. There’s nothing stunning about it on the ground or in the air. Seat density is about the same as Virgin Upper Class and the service offering similar without the bar.

    Either BA need a huge upgrade of their first product both hard and soft or they need to follow the MH route of offering it as a Business Plus service with slightly more space and slightly better ground services than the standard Business Class offering and charge maybe €150-200 more per sector for it.

  18. I am on BA0116 on 1/29/20. The seat map shows 1-2-1 so I am guessing I will be getting one leg in the new Business Class?

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