British Airways Installing Club Suites On All Boeing 777s By 2022

British Airways Installing Club Suites On All Boeing 777s By 2022

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British Airways introduced its new Club Suite business class product in mid-2019. This represents a massive improvement for the carrier’s long haul business class product. The new Club Suites seats have been offered on newly delivered Airbus A350-1000s and Boeing 787-10s, and on top of that all Boeing 777s and existing Boeing 787s will also eventually feature these cabins.

There’s an exciting update when it comes to British Airways’ progress with retrofitting existing planes with Club Suites.

British Airways 777s will all have Club Suites by next year

It has been announced that all Heathrow-based British Airways Boeing 777s will be retrofitted with the new Club Suites product by the end of 2022. This is great news, since the 777 is the backbone of British Airways’ long haul fleet. The carrier has 59 Boeing 777s, including 43 Boeing 777-200ERs and 16 Boeing 777-300ERs.

It’s interesting that the announcement specifically calls out Heathrow-based 777s. Will British Airways just keep the old product around forever for Gatwick-based 777s, will that just happen with a slower timeline, or what?

The new Club Suites represents a massive improvement for business class passengers. British Airways’ 777s previously featured eight seats per row in business class, as cabins were configured in a 2-4-2 layout.

Old British Airways 777 business class

With the new Club Suites product, passengers get to enjoy a 1-2-1 configuration, with each seat also having a door. This product is an evolution of the Collins Aerospace Super Diamond reverse herringbone seat, which you’ll find on quite a few airlines.

New British Airways 777 business class

Up until now, British Airways hasn’t guaranteed Club Suites on any particular routes, but that’s changing. Effective immediately, all British Airways flights to New York JFK will feature Club Suites. Of course the New York to London market is one of the most lucrative air markets in the world, so it’s not surprising to see the airline make this pledge.

The downside to British Airways 777s getting Club Suites

It’s a small price to pay for a much better business class experience, but there is one downside to 777s getting the new Club Suites. When British Airways Boeing 777-300ERs get the new Club Suites, they’re also having the size of the first class cabin reduced considerably.

British Airways is going from 14 first class seats to just eight first class seats on these planes.

Old British Airways 777 first class

On the plus side, the seats are being mildly improved. While the “bones” are staying the same, British Airways’ new first class suites have doors and larger and higher definition televisions.

New British Airways 777 first class

Now, some might argue there’s not as much need for British Airways first class if business class is improved considerably, especially when you consider that British Airways first class isn’t exactly industry-leading.

However, the first class soft product is much better than in business class, so for many people it’s worth it, especially if you’re redeeming Avios or miles, and the premium is reasonable.

Go figure the reduction from 14 seats to eight seats in first class has had a negative impact on award availability — it used to be easy to come by, while that’s no longer the case.

Bottom line

British Airways has revealed that all Boeing 777s should feature the new Club Suites business class by the end of 2022. Given that newly delivered A350s and 787s also feature Club Suites, that means a majority of the long haul fleet should feature the new product by the end of next year.

Furthermore, effective immediately, all planes to JFK will feature Club Suites as well. It’s not surprising to see this kind of a commitment, given what an important market New York is for British Airways.

Kudos to British Airways on the rollout of these new seats, because they truly do represent a massive improvement in passenger experience.

What do you make of British Airways’ 777 Club Suites rollout?

Conversations (23)
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  1. Melanie Domb Guest

    I've just completed a return flight with BA to and from Nairobi. On the outward bound there was no First Class cabin at all but on the return, it was there but blocked off. The reasoning for this was that there was no call for it, but I know for sure of at least 4 passengers on the flight that would have gone for it if it had been on offer, but it wasn't. I...

    I've just completed a return flight with BA to and from Nairobi. On the outward bound there was no First Class cabin at all but on the return, it was there but blocked off. The reasoning for this was that there was no call for it, but I know for sure of at least 4 passengers on the flight that would have gone for it if it had been on offer, but it wasn't. I like the new layout and there is a lot more privacy but the flat bed on the old Club Suite was more comfortable in my opinion. Now it has a hard ridge right in the middle that you can't avoid. I'm waiting for seat guru to update their maps as they are all still showing the old layout.

  2. Maciej Guest

    Well… it’s not happening. We booked business class to JFK for Christmas especially to test new cabin, and guess what?!?!? We still flying old one. BA changed the aircraft a few weeks ago… so instead of new experience we already sat with 50 more people flying backwards… And it’s not just this one flight - in fact all apart of one offer upgraded cabin…

  3. JOHN B Guest

    Great news, I am booked on a LHR-JFK in August 2022 and the set map indicated the flight would be operated by an aircraft equipped with the new seats but it is nice to know that all flights are going to be operated using them. Now if only BA would not charge a ridiculous fee to select a seat.

  4. N.Goodburn Guest

    About time, they have been charging handsomely for business class to the Caribbean for donkey's years and it is so worn and delapidated....not nice, they have lagged behind other operators.

  5. Ehud Gavron Guest

    Congratulations to BA for joining the cadre of airlines that would rather change the seat configuration instead of upgrading customer service. (See, e.g. Etihad and Emirates for examples of how to do it right. Also as this is OMAAT I won't link to that guy with the points or the simple flying people... but read up on changes those airlines are making to their fleets.)

    I haven't flown BA in years. This won't change that...

    Congratulations to BA for joining the cadre of airlines that would rather change the seat configuration instead of upgrading customer service. (See, e.g. Etihad and Emirates for examples of how to do it right. Also as this is OMAAT I won't link to that guy with the points or the simple flying people... but read up on changes those airlines are making to their fleets.)

    I haven't flown BA in years. This won't change that decision-making strategy. It's not that I care that they reduced FF by 33%. It's that NOBODY IN THE WORLD CARES that they upgraded the TV to 1080P. 480P is good enough for DVD. If I'm watching TV on a freaking plane I don't NEED more than that and I don't want to PAY more FOR that.

    Sorry, BA, thanks for the higher walls, higher resolution TV, and weirdly shaped cocoons. Good luck with that bottom line.

    E

  6. DKB Guest

    I'm flying BA 777 return in Dec, both are down as club suite, but in different configurations. I can't find a seat map online thay matches with either.

    Any ideas.

  7. Rik Guest

    Lucky, I feel that you should add that the current BA FIRST Class is often priced closer to business class on its traditional European competitors, with Lufthansa, Swiss and especially Air France costing considerably more at the base level. But I agree, this will surely hit award availability, plus they need to find a way keep the classic train carriage style window blinds over the windows.

  8. Greg Guest

    BA needs to revise its Club World catering straight away.

    The single tray service is an abomination for a premium cabin, and doubly so when you consider the fine service with choices they provided before the pandemic.

    Air France and Lufthansa have reverted to proper standards and it's high time BA changed. The new seat is simply on par with Air France, and not an advantage. We all know Great Britain needs to work...

    BA needs to revise its Club World catering straight away.

    The single tray service is an abomination for a premium cabin, and doubly so when you consider the fine service with choices they provided before the pandemic.

    Air France and Lufthansa have reverted to proper standards and it's high time BA changed. The new seat is simply on par with Air France, and not an advantage. We all know Great Britain needs to work a bit harder than the rest on the food front to begin with.

    1. Hobbs Guest

      If I were blindfolded, I wouldn't have been able to identify the meat. Very strange, metallic aftertaste, as if heated by radiation in the vacuum of space.

  9. Creditcrunch Gold

    LGW and MAN hubs are mainly bucket and spade routes and the Club World seat is enjoyed by couples etc. Lets see if VS now assign most of their A350’s on the JFK route to compete with BA’s offering.

  10. Apso Eyot Guest

    I think BA specified Heathrow because most of the long-haul routes they fly out of Gatwick are leisure-based and generally have lower demand for business class. So it’s probably not worth having a competitive, more premium business class product on those routes as opposed to something like LHR-JFK. For instance, currently, the Gatwick based 777-200ERs have just 32 Club World business class seats and 10-abreast economy seating while most of the other 777-200ERs (which are...

    I think BA specified Heathrow because most of the long-haul routes they fly out of Gatwick are leisure-based and generally have lower demand for business class. So it’s probably not worth having a competitive, more premium business class product on those routes as opposed to something like LHR-JFK. For instance, currently, the Gatwick based 777-200ERs have just 32 Club World business class seats and 10-abreast economy seating while most of the other 777-200ERs (which are presumably Heathrow-based) have 48 Club World seats and 9-abreast economy seating. Also, I’m guessing that they’re keeping the Club World seats at Gatwick because the design is better than the Club Suite for couples who prefer to sit together, which is a demographic that I’d imagine would be abundant on leisure routes (and which is the same reason why Air Tahiti Nui put 2-2-2 J on their new 787s).

  11. AT Guest

    That's a pretty fast time table. I haven't flown in either the new Suites, or the Club World that they are replacing. But the suites do look swanky.

    I assume they will not be making their way onto the 787s, right? Qatar's modified suites on their 787s, while not quite Q-suite level, are pretty great. And actually more airy feeling.

    1. ConcordeBoy Guest

      They're already on some 787s. All of the 787-10s were delivered with the new seat.

  12. 32J Guest

    The LGW issue is interesting. Only in the past two years have BA spend millions on reconfiguring them, and putting in (as was) new J cabin with upgraded IFE.

    The other issue is with the configuration. LGW 777s have no F cabin and in J have just four rows in a 2-4-2 configuration so with club suites you would then have four rows of 1-2-1 losing 16 J seats and being left with just 16 J seats.

    1. Chris Guest

      This maths is just wrong. Sure, Club Suite is 1-2-1, but the rows overlap. So you can get 7 rows of Club Suite between doors 1 and 2 on a 777 (versus, as you say, 4 rows of “old” Club World). So it’s 28 seats rather than 32 - ie a loss of 4 seats (not 16!)

  13. LarryInNYC New Member

    Flew JFK-LHR a month or so ago in the new seat. About $850 for the outbound as I recall.

  14. Sosie Guest

    I have noticed the last few months that they are flying all flight to JFK with the new suites. You can check on Google flights if a flight will have the new suites, it will say individual suites.

    1. shoeguy Guest

      I saw that as well. It makes sense. The market on NYC-LON is very competitive and the old Club World just doesn't compete with the VS, UA, AA, and even the updated Delta One cabin and seats.

    2. AT Guest

      JFK always seems to be first in line to get the new product. As shoeguy notes, it's both a highly lucrative and a highly competitive route.

      Does anyone knows what the % of J class each airline on the route has? BA traditionally has had J-heavy cabin configurations, with smaller Ys.

    3. shoeguy Guest

      The only other airline in the NYC-LON market that has a high J and small Y cabin configuration is UA. Pre-COVID, it was moving all the EWR-LHR frequencies to the high density Polaris formatted 767-300ER subleet, which were also to be used on some other TATL routes, notably to ZRH and GVA. UA has been running a single 787-10 on EWR-LHR since the pandemic, but recently added a second frequency back and that second flight...

      The only other airline in the NYC-LON market that has a high J and small Y cabin configuration is UA. Pre-COVID, it was moving all the EWR-LHR frequencies to the high density Polaris formatted 767-300ER subleet, which were also to be used on some other TATL routes, notably to ZRH and GVA. UA has been running a single 787-10 on EWR-LHR since the pandemic, but recently added a second frequency back and that second flight is now a 763 with the high density Polaris cabin. By Spring/Summer 2022 with the full EWR-LHR schedule on UA up and running (7 daily flights), all will be on the 763 with this format. No other airline has a high J low Y cabin on NYC-LHR. AA runs a 77W and a 772, DL is a 764, VS uses A35X and 333/789.

  15. Khatl Gold

    I'm guessing this is reflective that they don't expect biz class demand back to prior levels before 2026 i.e. they can plan for less biz class seats, and have a better biz class to attract some level of additional demand vs now

    1. AT Guest

      But does the new suite configuration have significantly fewer J seats?

    2. Khatl Gold

      I can't recall exactly how many fewer, but yes it's fewer. @Lucky?

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Melanie Domb Guest

I've just completed a return flight with BA to and from Nairobi. On the outward bound there was no First Class cabin at all but on the return, it was there but blocked off. The reasoning for this was that there was no call for it, but I know for sure of at least 4 passengers on the flight that would have gone for it if it had been on offer, but it wasn't. I like the new layout and there is a lot more privacy but the flat bed on the old Club Suite was more comfortable in my opinion. Now it has a hard ridge right in the middle that you can't avoid. I'm waiting for seat guru to update their maps as they are all still showing the old layout.

0
Maciej Guest

Well… it’s not happening. We booked business class to JFK for Christmas especially to test new cabin, and guess what?!?!? We still flying old one. BA changed the aircraft a few weeks ago… so instead of new experience we already sat with 50 more people flying backwards… And it’s not just this one flight - in fact all apart of one offer upgraded cabin…

0
Chris Guest

This maths is just wrong. Sure, Club Suite is 1-2-1, but the rows overlap. So you can get 7 rows of Club Suite between doors 1 and 2 on a 777 (versus, as you say, 4 rows of “old” Club World). So it’s 28 seats rather than 32 - ie a loss of 4 seats (not 16!)

0
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