Real Photos: British Airways’ New A350 Business Class

Filed Under: British Airways

We know that British Airways is soon introducing an all new business class product, which will be known as the Club Suite. This product represents a massive improvement over British Airways’ current business class.

The airline is going from offering up to eight seats per row in business class, to offering business class seats with direct aisle access and doors, in a 1-2-1 configuration.

The first plane to get the new business class product will be the A350-1000, and British Airways is expected to start service with this plane in July.

The plane will initially fly between London and Madrid for several months for familiarization flights, and then in October will start flying long haul. So far British Airways has scheduled the A350-1000 to fly to Toronto, Dubai, Tel Aviv, and Bangalore.

Anyway, while we’ve seen tons of renderings of what the cabins will look like, I’ve just seen pictures of the actual cabin for the first time. FlyerTalk member TCX69 shares some pictures of the first A350-1000 at this link. This includes pictures of business class, premium economy, and economy.

My first impression? The cabins look sort of… bland? As of now we only have a few pictures, though I find the finishes to be uninspiring. Don’t get me wrong, the business class seats as such look great, I just feel like the finishes are boring.

Beyond that:

  • The premium economy seats look especially narrow, but that might be an illusion
  • Whoever is seated in the aisle seat in the bulkhead of economy is going to get run over by just about everyone’s bag during boarding

This plane should represent a significant improvement in the passenger experience in all cabins, and I can’t wait to fly the plane. I hope to fly it as soon as it starts flying between London and Madrid, though as of now those flights haven’t yet been schedule.

What are your first impressions of British Airways’ A350 interiors?

(Tip of the hat to @jbbahamas)

  1. @ Dana

    I don’t think anyone knows. All we have is a statement from BA that they chose this seat because it would lead to the fastest replacement of the current CW seat; that hard product consistency is vital to them; and that “no other fleet has managed a fleet-wide refit like this in less than 3 years”, while also stating they thought it would be 3 years before all JFK flights were on the new seat. (And that a few 747s and 777s that are shortly to be retired will never get the new seats.)

    So I’d guess you’ll have it by 2023/4 at the latest.

    Why do you think it will take them until 2030? One of the few things we can state with any certainty about BA is that they really, really like their long-haul hard product to be consistent across the fleet.

  2. @Dana the article says the first flights are in July and then rolled out more later this year.

  3. No one cares if the colors are bland; that’s just for aviation geeks. The CW seat is huge, huge improvement—from worst to QR-ish.

    I recall when I would fly BA J and it was great because I could sleep. But now I’ve flown on QSuites…

  4. This looks great IMHO. While yes that bulkhead economy passengers toes will get run over during boarding, that seat will be brilliant in flight. Infinite legroom!!

  5. Most cabin look bland without mood lighting. So let’s hope BA makes great use of it, which I feel they will since they already have it installed and in use on other aircraft. Other than that the cabin looks beautiful

  6. They’ve gone 8-Across PE which ruins that product for them… question aswered I guess. The A350 has led to a severe downgrade of PE seats across every airline that has ordered them.

    In business class the seats look fine, I prefer bland and calm to Virgin’s annoying purple lighting….

  7. They took a bunch of time to do something just completely ordinary. It should make the news with the same importance as when a chinese airline (which we have never heard about it) showcase their interior.

  8. Based on the seat map, I don’t think that economy seat in the picture is the bulkhead seat (in response to the 2nd bullet point). It looks like the bulkhead has 2 seats, and that seat in the picture is the row of seats behind the bulkhead seats.

  9. I honestly think this looks great. I don’t think anyone will notice the “bland” colours when the mood lighting is on which will be most of the time. I think the premium is similar to Cathay’s premium on their A350, which I found quite comfortable. Overall a great job by BA

  10. Yes, 2nd row of Y, but the basic point is still valid…the passenger in that seat is going to end up as battered as Alex Morgan in the US-Spain women’s soccer game.

  11. My first impression? The cabin doesn’t look bland at all in fact the seats look so classy. Get some mood lighting in there, accent with pillows and bedding and… OMG!

  12. @Kerry

    Correct. Virgin are going from spacious 21 inch premium economy armchair seats in the a340 and 747 to only 18.5 wide in the new a350. That is a big difference for comfort on a longer flight.

  13. I sometimes pity airlines – the moment they invest in comfortable cabins, they get slapped for being bland and boring. An elusive moving target …

  14. It doesn’t look too bad. It isn’t as sleek as some other airlines, but at the end of the day comfort should matter over aesthetics…

    As for that economy bulkhead seat, yes boarding may be unpleasant if you are in that seat, but the trade-off could be well worth it once you are in the air, especially for those longhaul flights.

  15. @Dana the limiting factor of the roll out is that the manufacturer can only make 3 seats a day.

    BA have said that all the A350s will come with it -so 4 this year – And also this year they will fit it in 2 777s

    It maybe that they started production before the announcement of the suite but even so they only have a limited number of seats to install.

    And like Airbus and Boeing there is only so much production capacity around.

    They probably could have a faster rollout if it was a different seat but then there would be complaints that BA chose a bad seat.

  16. Am I missing something or is there only one photo of it in the article?

    Headline says ‘photos’…

  17. Honestly I don’t know why people like this particular iteration of the reverse herringbone so much. Yes 1-2-1 is better than the old 8-across layout, but I really don’t like having my legs in a tunnel like that. At least with the old design you could bend your legs a little bit. With these ‘whole-leg-tunnel’ designs I find it very constricting and hard to sleep on my side. The other version of the reverse herringbone as used on Air France for example allows much more freedom of movement.

  18. 1. Yes, ANYTHING but ying yang. Long overdue. 8 across looked permanently untidy and having your neighbour’s meal thrust passed your face (I don’t blame the crew, they didn’t have a say in the design, just had to work with it.
    2. Personally, I loathe black upholstery, or even QF charcoal. Give me lovely soft colours of EK anytime. And that includes smart yacht like burr walnut (yes, fake!) finishes. Their new F suite colours are just so relaxing, as are the new colours of the new A380 lounge

  19. The new seats are longer (by 7 inches) than the current one – the new seat is 79 inches in total before you even include the cubby hole

  20. Jon M,

    Yes, the 8-across isn’t so bad because most 1-2-1 systems actually stagger the seats so you don’t necessaruly have much more space. OK, you don’t have to step over someone’s feet but how many times do you need to do that on a flight? Twice maybe?

  21. I am an old dinosaur in that I like the ying and yang seating in BA Club World. Its sort of like my old Jaguar XK 120 roadster with a Lucas electrical system and live rear axel, and no roll up side windows… man I loved that car! I hate change.

    By the way does anyone know if there is actually a White and Company (the BA branding) bedding which BA makes a big deal about? I never though there really was a Tommy Hilfiger until my grandchildren advised me that he really does exist.

    Help me out here please.


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