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.
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I’m finding that BA are using some dirty tricks! Certainly on the Lhr to Bermuda route. We booked Club World in both directions which according to all information and the seat map, was the new Club Suite. However, a couple of days before departure I happened to check our booking to ensure my assistance was logged. I then saw they had changed the seating to the old style Club World – without telling us! This meant we were nowin the middle 2 seats in a row of 4!! I created a stink as no other seats were available. Long story… Read more »
Well, aircraft changes do happen and the old Club World seats are still business class. I have flown them recently enough as you’ve seen. Fantastic that you upgraded to First, and I hope that was excellent, especially with Concorde Room access. Until they finish rolling out the Club Suite, there still will be a chance you will get the old seats. Same on board service though – I hope you have a decent flight. Thanks for the info!
I flew from Stockholm via London and Singapore to Sydney on the 2nd April 2022 in business. Whilst the club Europe meal is was ok the Club World offerings were shocking , essentially a one tray club Europe meal ! Just what you expect for a £3000 flight, NOT.
BA just can’t get away with this rubbish service whilst all other airlines have gone back to pre Covid-19 standards.
Passengers need to vote with their feet and fly with other oneworld airlines until BA have sorted themselves out!
I agree with you. I received the one tray service on a flight from Los Angeles to London last week. Food quality is great, it’s just not really premium at all. I’ve been taking American Airlines transatlantic over BA for this very reason. Who thought the day would ever come when flying AA was preferable to BA!
Before the pandemic BA we’re improving meals but they have used the lack of crew to justify their pathetic business class offerings …. The lack of crew is because they made thousands redundant … and now want them back on poorer terms.
Yes, I heard that. They are current hiring people to replace the people who have gone and won’t be returning.
This design should have been replaced 10 years ago – too claustrophobic and no direct aisle access for most seats has meant many passengers avoiding BA business long haul for years, even flying via Frankfurt, Helsinki, Middle East etc instead of direct from London. Had they increased space by moving to 6 across they would have avoided falling so far behind the competition. Can’t wait for the new club suite to be rolled out ….. but that’s only playing catch up.
Luckily the roll out of the Club Suite is proceeding pretty quickly and I think they plan to get it done as fast as possible. It’s true there have been more modern seats available for quite some time, so it’s good that BA are finally catching up. Even I have been actively choosing other airlines over BA when flying long haul – but always oneworld alliance partners so I can still earn my points.
BA have just restarted the London to sydney route …. The furthest BA flys to and you would think to celebrate the relaunch they would use aircraft with the club suite ? No … the rubbish ying Yang old club world seats . Who at BA makes these poor decisions? My next Aussie trip will be Finnair and Qantas…. Both have 1-2-1 seating and proper business class meals unlike BA’s pathetic one tray offering . I would so love to support BA but I get so angry their constant failures
They’ll no doubt return to Boeing 777-300ER service once demand justifies it. I’m on a Sydney to London with them in July and it’s a Boeing 787-9 with the old seats. While the 777 fleet will be updated by the end of this year, it’ll be a while until the rest of the fleet is finished. These things take time!
Any lie-flat seat is so welcome on an overnight flight. I just can’t sleep sitting upright. And BA can sometimes offer great value Club World fares from Ireland. I managed to bag a great value flight to SFO and back from LAX later this year that would have cost over €1000 more if I wasn’t travelling on the DUB-LHR sectors! Plus I’m actually getting the new Club Suite on the return leg.
Completely agree with you on all of the above. Excellent that you have Club Suite coming up – I also have it on a flight in April, so I’m looking forward to giving it a go. It’ll be on the 787-10 as well, which will be my first time on that type. Good times ahead!