In mid-2019, British Airways introduced an all-new business class product, which represents a massive improvement compared to the carrier’s previous product. As is often the case when airlines introduce new business class seats, the challenge is actually getting a plane featuring those seats.
While the airline had at the time outlined a rollout schedule for this new product, as you’d expect, the pandemic has delayed things a bit. So in this post I wanted to take a look at the current state of British Airways’ Club Suites rollout.
What are British Airways Club Suites?
Club Suites is the name of British Airways’ new business class product. This cabin consists of reverse herringbone seats with doors — specifically, British Airways selected a modified version or the Collins Aerospace Super Diamond seat. This gives each passenger a fully flat bed, direct aisle access, and a privacy door.
This is an excellent product, among the best business class seats you’ll find out there. Read my review of British Airways Club Suites here.
While this is objectively a solid business class product, what makes it most exciting is how much of an improvement it is over British Airways’ old Club World business class. British Airways’ previous business class product consisted of six to eight seats per row (depending on the plane and layout), and was among the tightest business class products out there.
You can always tell if your flight is scheduled to feature Club Suites based on the seatmap. If you’re flying a wide body British Airways jet and the seatmap shows four seats per row in business class, then your flight features Club Suites. Meanwhile if it shows more seats per row than that, then it doesn’t feature the new business class.
Of course keep in mind that last minute aircraft swaps can happen, especially for routes operated by planes that don’t have full product consistency.
Which planes have British Airways Club Suites?
Back in 2019, British Airways announced it planned to complete its Club Suites installation by 2025. At the time the airline shared the below graph about the rollout schedule.
As you’d expect, a lot has changed since then — British Airways retired the 747, the Boeing 777-9 is delayed until at least 2025, etc. So let’s take a look at the current state of British Airways introducing Club Suites.
I should mention that aside from routes operated by planes that exclusively have Club Suites, British Airways doesn’t really guarantee Club Suites on other routes. The exception is London (LHR) to New York (JFK), where the airline does consistently fly 777s with Club Suites.
All Airbus A350-1000s have Club Suites
All British Airways Airbus A350-1000s feature Club Suites. This was the first plane to feature Club Suites, and all planes have been delivered factory fresh with the new cabins. The airline has a total of 18 of these on order — most have been delivered, but a handful will still be delivered by 2023.
All Boeing 787-10s have Club Suites
All British Airways Boeing 787-10s feature Club Suites, as they were all delivered with these cabins. Aside from the A350-1000, this is the only other plane to have 100% consistency when it comes to Club Suites. The airline has a total of 12 of these on order — only a few have been delivered so far, though you can expect the remaining planes to join the fleet in the next couple of years.
Most Boeing 777-200ERs have Club Suites
This is where it gets a little tricky. British Airways has 43 Boeing 777-200ERs — 28 of those are based at Heathrow Airport, while 15 of those are based at Gatwick Airport. British Airways doesn’t have plans to reconfigure the Gatwick jets anytime soon, since they operate leisure oriented routes.
So far 25 of the 28 Heathrow based 777-200ERs have Club Suites. It’s expected that the remaining three jets will be reconfigured in the coming months. So the Heathrow 777-200ERs have a high percentage of Club Suites, while the overall 777-200ER fleet has a lower percentage with Club Suites.
Most Boeing 777-300ERs have Club Suites
British Airways has 16 Boeing 777-300ERs, and nine of those feature Club Suites. It’s expected that the remaining planes will feature the new cabins by early 2023.
No Boeing 787-8s have Club Suites
British Airways has 12 Boeing 787-8s, and none of them feature Club Suites. These will likely be among the last planes to be reconfigured, so it might be 2024 or 2025 before 787s are retrofitted.
No Boeing 787-9s have Club Suites
British Airways has 18 Boeing 787-9s, and none of them feature Club Suites. These will likely be among the last planes to be reconfigured, so it might be 2024 or 2025 before 787s are retrofitted. It is expected that 787-9s will be reconfigured before 787-8s.
No Airbus A380s have Club Suites
British Airways parked its Airbus A380 fleet at the start of the pandemic, and only recently brought these planes back to service. These planes won’t be reconfigured with Club Suites, but rather should be retired in the coming years.
British Airways has made good progress with rolling out its Club Suites business class product, though the airline is still quite a ways from offering this product consistently. Currently you’re guaranteed Club Suites on the A350-1000 and 787-10, you’ll most likely get Club Suites on the 777-200ER and 777-300ER, and you won’t get Club Suites on the 787-8, 787-9, and A380.
If you are flying British Airways business class, it’s definitely worth seeking out the new Club Suites product.
What’s your take on British Airways’ Club Suites rollout schedule?