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.
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Featured image and first four Club Suite images via Live And Let’s Fly.
Boeing 787-10 by Alan Wilson on Flickr via Wikimedia Commons.
I literally just boarded a BA flight from Heathrow to LAX. The cabin temperature is already stifling. It’s got to be above 30c. I’m in first class so with sweat pouring down my face, I approached the lead flight attendant about it but she was wearing a sweater so I knew I was in trouble. She said “I don’t think it’s too hot, perhaps it’s because you’ve been walking fast. This is going to be a torturous flight.
That sounds grim. Hopefully once you take to the sky, the aircon will kick in a bit more and cool the cabin down. If it doesn’t, you’re well within your rights to ask them to do something about it, especially as you’re in first class. Good luck!!!
OMFG! Who the F does she think she is? Horrendous!
I fully agree with this article. The last few times I have flown BA Biz from either LAX – LHR, or DFW – LHR, I have been left feeling very underwhelmed, especially as the author notes for the price being paid. While I know the cost is really about the seat, if that is the case lets just get rid of the service and cut the price for having a lie flat. When I’m returning to the states from the UK, I like to sleep as soon as we take off, helps get my body clock in gear, heaven forbid… Read more »
I’d echo the comments on American Airlines being better on the transatlantic routes at the moment. I’ve been really enjoying flying with them where I can. Thanks for the very extensive comment here, it’s always good to hear someone else’s experience and perspective and you’ve certainly added a great deal of food for thought here. Appreciate it!
Anything is better than their 2 4 2 nightmare sardine can J Class, so praying this is config on my upcoming LAX/LHR flight in November… Plane type & SeatGuru seat map doesn’t match, so not sure what is going on yet.
Well yes, it’s a hell of a lot better than the old Club World, with far more storage, a more modern look and so on. That much is a given! 🙂 Your Manage My Booking should show the aircraft type and seat map precisely, then I’d recommend looking at aeroLOPA – https://www.aerolopa.com/ – which has the most accurate seat maps (down to the positioning of the windows) – to check the rest.
Oh that’s a disappointing review 🙁
I’m trying this out for the first time September and was expecting better things. I really hope they’ll have gone back to the old meal service by that stage at least.
Last I heard was that meal service was returning to normal with the start of the winter schedule at the end of October. I really hope it’s earlier too, as I’m flying SYD-LHR in July and would love it if it were back to normal by then. At least the food is very tasty, so there is no scrimping on quality, which is good. Yeah, the Club Suites. I would like to try them again on a first leg of a trip. May thoughts may have been coloured by the fact it was my second flight of the day. It… Read more »
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