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Update 13 August 2020: BA’s summer 2021 schedule (which starts at the end of March) does not currently show a Club Suite equipped aircraft operating to/from Los Angeles. For the time being, the Club Suite is only scheduled to appear on this route in Winter 2020/21.
After months of waiting, Los Angeles-based oneworld flyers will soon no longer have to choose between a great Business Class seat combined with poor service (American Airlines) or a poor Business Class seat with pretty good service (BA) as British Airways has finally scheduled a Club Suite equipped aircraft to serve LAX from later this year.
Most British Airways aircraft offer a Business Class cabin that’s been outdated for some time and that (mostly) lags the competition by some distance. The Club Suite, which the airline unveiled last year, is BA’s attempt to bridge the gap between its antiquated Business Class offering and the 21st century and it’s a considerable improvement in just about every way possible. Sadly, up until now, the Club suite has only been offered on a limited number of routes and, notably, the airline’s Los Angeles route hasn’t been one of them…up until now.
From 25 October 2020 British Airways will operate a Club Suite equipped Boeing 777 between London and Los Angeles four times per week. As things stand, this is the full BA London – LA schedule from that date:
BA281 LHR 12:40 – 17:05 LAX (Mon, Tue, Thu & Sat)*
BA269 LHR 15:30 – 19:50 LAX (Daily)
BA280 LAX 19:25 – 12:40 LHR+1 day (Mon, Tue, Thu & Sat)*
BA268 LAX 22:05 – 15:25 LHR+1 day (Daily)
*Club suite service
The London – Los Angeles route is a hugely important route for British Airways so it may seem odd that the airline has waited so long to provide customers on this route with its best Business Class product…but there’s a good reason for this. Up until now, most British Airways aircraft that offer the Club Suite product have not had a First Class cabin, and the London – Los Angeles route is one of only a handful of routes on which British Airways makes a LOT of money from First Class passengers. British Airways wasn’t prepared to give up that First Class revenue in exchange for offering Business Class passengers a considerably better onboard experience.
So what’s changed? Well, British Airways has been refitting a number of its Boeing 777 aircraft with Club Suites and a reduced capacity First Class cabin (8 seats only) for some time, but it’s only now that the airline has enough of these aircraft to operate an all-Club-Suite service to New York (BA’s most profitable market) as well as offering its best Business Class cabin to customers traveling to/from Los Angeles.
If you take a look at the seat map for the Heathrow – LAX route on ExpertFlyer (as of 25 October) you’ll see the 8-seat First Class cabin layout and the 1-2-1 Business Class layout that only the reconfigured 777s (complete with Club Suites) offer:
In further good news, British Airways has also scheduled an Airbus A380 to operate a daily service on the London – Los Angeles route from 25 October so, with 76 Business Class seats on the 777 and a further 97 Business Class seats on the A380, Business Class award availability should be plentiful.
From 25 October 2020 British Airways is scheduled to start offering its Club Suites on its route between London Heathrow and Los Angeles. As someone who flys on this route a lot and who has often had to put up with very mediocre onboard service levels from American Airlines in exchange for a great Business Class seat, I can’t wait for October to come around. The number of flights I took on American Airlines aircraft dropped sharply after I gave up on the AAdvantage program and it will drop sharply once again once BA’s Club suites start flying between London and LA.