Flying old Club World on British Airways is akin to being sentenced to ride on a bed of nails, right? From the whining you hear on frequent flyer forums when people have to use these seats, you’d certainly think so.
I happen to remember when this was the “gee whiz, hope I get that seat on my flight!” product. Recently, I had a chance to fly in it again and here’s the review.
After spending some time in the oneworld Alliance business class lounge operated by Qantas, I headed down to the gate. We were a little delayed due to the inbound arriving late, but that was no big deal.
Eventually they called all the families with small children and those needing assistance to board. Next up were those of us in Group 1, and down the aerobridge we went and onto the plane.
BA268 – Los Angeles to London Heathrow (LAX-LHR)
31 January 2022
Boeing 777-300ER – G-STBI
Seat: Club World 16A
Departure: 20:50 Arrival: 15:10
We had to wait behind some of the early boarding people as they were quite slow. On arrival at the door, I was directed on my way by friendly smiling cabin crew.
The Old Club World Seat
While British Airways’ old Club World seat is more densely packed than the new Club Suite, there is nothing wrong with it. It is still a relatively spacious flat bed business class product.
On the Boeing 777-300ER, seats 16A and 16K have direct aisle access. I chose this deliberately to avoid having to step over anyone sleeping during the night. The flight turned out to be almost full, which is always a good thing for the airline, one would expect!
Once seated, a large menu is handed out to each passenger. Turns out on this service there would be both dinner and a full breakfast due to the length of the flight.
While the selections were hardly extensive, it looked okay. Nice to see BA dipping a toe in the cocktail and mocktail world, as this is becoming more of a trend on other airlines. That being said, they seemed pretty basic compared to what could be offered.
A Delicious Dinner
After the manual safety demonstration, we headed into the Los Angeles night sky. I changed into my Qatar Airways pyjamas once airborne and settled in for the dinner service. This is still the abridged “all served at once” Covid service as opposed to course by course dining in the past.
Happily, the quality of the food provided by Do&Co is excellent, with moist chicken, a lovely salad, and sweet dessert. The only thing I didn’t eat was the bread as I wasn’t in the mood. The crew efficiently cleared my tray away when done, offered me another drink, which I declined and that was that.
After quickly visiting the facilities, I made up my bed. This consists of a seat liner, which is pretty useless, and then the huge pillow and thick duvet, all from The White Company. The seat in bed mode is fairly firm and you need to move up or down the seat to find a comfortable position, but it’s fine really.
I wrapped my seatbelt around me loosely and managed to get around four or five hours of fitful sleep. Turning over is not particularly easy as the seat is not wide, but then none of them really are. The pillow and duvet are really quite nice and add a real touch of comfort to the proceedings.
A Sky High Breakfast
I find breakfast can can either be a dazzling part of a flight, or a total waste of time. Electing the full English brought me exactly what I was expecting. The Greek yoghurt, croissant with jam and green tea were all lovely. The Full English part on the other hand was a bit meh.
The eggs tasted a bit metallic, the sausage was a bit strong, the bacon a bit burnt. Mushrooms and tomato were fine. Meh! Nothing has surpassed the amazing British Airways breakfast I received in 2015 on BA4. The airline would do well to replicate that as an offer. In the end, I only picked at the hot meal.
Once breakfast was done, it was pretty much time to land. Which we did! We disembarked into Terminal 5C and I headed off to the lounge to wile away some time before my connecting flight to Dublin.
There is nothing whatsoever wrong with the old Club World seats at British Airways, though others would tell you differently. Even the lady who sat beside me said she didn’t like the “weird layout”, so maybe I’m in the minority.
Either way, with business class seats now becoming more like the first class seats of days past, perhaps this will be the premium economy seat of the future. Probably not, but one can dream!
I’m looking forward to the return of the proper on board service, which is due later in 2022. Otherwise I found the flight to be perfectly adequate, nothing bad, nothing outstanding (good crew though!), no wow factor, but no show stoppers. I suppose at the tail end of a pandemic, that is all one can ask for.
What do you think of British Airways’ old Club World? Love it or hate it? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.