British Airways has exactly two Boeing 787-10s in service and these feature Club Suites in business class. These are the new Club World seats which are currently being rolled out across the airline’s long-haul fleet.
I arrived in Seattle from Honolulu on Alaska Airlines, spent an hour in their excellent North Satellite lounge, before heading to the first class section of the BA Terraces Lounge. Top tip, this is Alaska Airlines’ home base, so visit one of their lounges instead if you can.
BA48 – Seattle to London Heathrow (SEA-LHR)
18 April 2022
Bowing 787-10 – G-ZBLB
Seat: Club World 5A
Departure: 19:15 Arrival: 12:30
Boarding commenced slightly late and I was on board pretty swiftly, turning left into the Club World section. Within moments, I was at my seat and had my bag stored in the overhead compartment.
A Cabin Full Of Club Suites
It’s nice to see a new seat in business class on British Airways. The Club Suites cabin gives passengers a really nice first impression with the modern styling. There are 48 of these on the aircraft, arranged over two cabins as you can see on the seating plan.
During my exploration of the seat, I found what looked like leftover chewing gum on the inside lid of one of my storage areas next to me. Presumably the person using the seat before me was a pig.
I had to wait forever for the crew to come around with a welcome drink, which was delivered by a friendly lady when it did arrive. During the wait, I had a look at the menu.
Once everyone was on board, glasses were collected and we headed off to the runway. Pleasingly we had almost no wait and took to the sky very swiftly.
I Still Don’t Like The Boeing 787
I’ve always had issues with the Boeing 787 since I started flying on it, no matter which airline. The windows cause me angst all the time, as I’ve had them fog up so you can’t see outside, and the crew controlling them irritates me.
When flying with British Airways in business class, another issue presents itself. The seats are so low to the cabin floor that you’re looking up and that’s it. I don’t fly to look up at the sky, I want to see down to the passing scenery. There is zero chance of that in these seats, which is a crying shame.
Once in the air, a drinks service commenced, and I set about looking for something to watch on the inflight entertainment. I settled on Mare of Easttown, as the whole thing was available and I don’t have HBO. The flight attendant, when I asked for Champagne, recommended I try the Rosé, which was Besserat de Bellefon Grand Tradition Rosé Brut NV and quite tasty.
The London based airline is currently running an abbreviated meal service in business class. This means all four courses are delivered at once on a single tray. Not particularly premium, especially considering the money you pay for tickets.
Happily, as usual, I found the quality of the food to be excellent. It is rare in my experience to find the food given out on British Airways to be anything other than flavourful and tasty.
Quite frankly I do think the very tiny starter, little dessert and the rather hugely misnamed “cheese board” come across as really stingy in their little ramekins. Not a fan of the oval plates either, it has to be said. Let’s hope the standard service resumes sooner rather than later.
Is It A Good Sleep?
After watching a few episodes of the show starring Kate Winslet, I decided to try sleeping for a bit. There is a thin mattress topper which inexplicably reminded me of a sanitary pad (the ones with wings) and a thick duvet from The White Company.
Club Suites have a door, which is rather pointless and definitely a case of being slapped on as an afterthought to keep up with other airlines. It certainly is not nearly as good as the Qatar Airways QSuites, which seem to have been designed with the door in mind from the outset.
Unfortunately, the seat is not really very comfortable as a bed. For one, it doesn’t really feel flat, my head and upper body were slightly raised and I could feel every crease in the seat underneath me.
We also seemed to have a crew who decided that a warm cabin was going to be a good idea. It’s never a good idea! I was really hot and couldn’t sleep. There also seemed to be some kind of heat radiating from the middle of the seat in bed mode as my hip seemed to be cooking in one spot and I could swear it was coming from the seat. Who knows, maybe it was just me, but I didn’t love it.
Toilets and Breakfast
Club Suites passengers have three toilets available between the two cabins. These are standard with nothing particularly interesting to make them stand out. For breakfast, everyone was issued a granola bar (premium!) and greek yoghurt with blueberries, raisins and blackcurrant. You could then choose between a bacon and tomato chutney toasted sandwich or oven roasted mushroom and Dijon Cheddar Béchamel breakfast pastry.
I went for the toasted sandwich which was fine and I had a green tea with it. In hindsight, the breakfast pastry sounds like it would have been nicer, but who knows. Anyway, once done, the cabin was prepped for landing and we arrived on time into London Heathrow.
I’m pretty ambivalent about the Club Suites and maybe my first impressions contributed to that. There was a large scratch off the finish of the mirror compartment, then the leftover bits of someone’s chewing gum in another storage area. Sleeping wasn’t helped by the cabin heat, so perhaps that has also coloured my opinion.
On the plus side there were lots of good box sets (to get through when you can’t sleep?) available and I found the USB charging to be nicely strong. Charging a device went fairly quickly compared to the past.
Both the pillow (plump and thick) and the duvet (soft and warm) were lovely, though the seat topper could use some improvement as I could feel every crease in the seat under it. Food quality was generally excellent, even if it all coming at once is boring. The crew, as the British Airways crews usually are, were great. When passing through the galley on my way back to my seat, I was offered another drink for example.
What do you think of British Airways’ Club Suites? I’d be interested in hearing your experiences with them and the BA premium experience. Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.