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British Airways was one of the first airlines to offer a flat bed in Business Class. Yet 10+ years later, nothing has changed… until now!
In a widely-teased announcement, British Airways this morning has revealed details of its new Club World offering. Some of the highlights are:
All seats will have direct aisle access
One of the major complaints surrounding the current Club World set-up is the lack of direct aisle access. The new Club Suite will solve this with a 1-2-1 layout.
The bed will be 79 inches long
British Airways is advertising Club Suite as a 79 inch long bed when fully reclined, seven inches longer than the current seat.
The In Flight Entertainment will be on a 17 to 18.5 inch Panasonic screen
BA is also promising gate-to-gate in-flight entertainment, which essentially means that the screens are fixed. The screen size will vary depending on the aircraft type.
The seats are angled at 30 degrees
This “herringbone” style angle is the secret for squeezing in as many seats as possible, whilst still allowing passengers substantial space and legroom. Of course, not everybody is a fan of your legs disappearing into a cubbyhole.
The “Suites” will have a privacy door
The middle seats will also feature a privacy screen. So if you enjoy enclosing yourself into a coffin for the duration of your flight, this new seat will work for you!
BA has released a few photos of the new Club World cabin. Here are a couple I found interesting…
When Can I Expect to See the New Seats on a Plane?
The Club Suite will be installed on British Airways’ Airbus A350-1000 aircraft. BA expects to take delivery of its first A350 this summer. In total, there will be 56 Club Suite seats.
The A350 is expected to fly short-haul between London and Madrid to allow for crew familiarisation. The first long-haul routes to receive the A350 will be Toronto and Dubai, likely to occur in the early autumn. However, since BA will only have one or two A350s to start with, not every Toronto or Dubai flight will get the new product for awhile.
BA is also planning to retrofit two Boeing 777s this year with the new Club Suite product. Beginning in 2020, BA will continue to retrofit their other long-haul aircraft. BA’s Boeing 747s will never undergo the retrofit process, as they are supposed to be retired from the fleet by 2022. However, every newly-ordered aircraft will also feature the new Club Suite product.
Of course, such a rollout plan means that BA will struggle to offer any guarantees about whether you will receive the new “Club Suite” on any flight you book…
Fancy a Video Tour?
I’m sure that you are less interesting in reading about the new Club World product, and would much rather check it out for yourself. Here is a video tour for your enjoyment…
Kudos to British Airways for coming up with a new Club World seat that meets most “modern” requirements – it is certainly overdue. Unfortunately it will take awhile to be rolled out across the entire fleet, but I have no doubt that some readers will already be booking flights to/from Madrid this summer…