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Ok, let’s be honest here. How many people were genuinely excited when they found out that the first destinations to get the new British Airways Club Suites would be Toronto, Dubai, Tel Aviv, and Bangalore?
If you were already booked to fly to those destinations in Business Class and then found out that you’ll be flying in the A350 you were probably understandably very happy. For most others, I suspect that list is more than a little dull.
It’s certainly not packed with destinations on most people’s “must visit” lists.
Well, the news just got better. A lot better.
The new Club Suite may be getting launched on BA’s new Airbus A350-1000 aircraft but the airline is also in the process of refitting two Boeing 777 aircraft with its new Business Class product and the first such aircraft just appeared in the schedules.
On 27 October a British Airways 777 aircraft with flight number BA177 will depart from London Heathrow for New York JFK at 1:00 pm and will be the first Club Suite equipped aircraft to operate to the US. [HT: GodSaveThePoints]
The aircraft will turn around and return to the UK as BA174 at 7:50 pm on the same day.
Here’s a screenshot from ExpertFlyer showing the 1-2-1 Business Class cabin layout (that British Airways only offers on Club Suite equipped aircraft) on BA177.
I’ve checked the seat map for BA177/BA174 on multiple dates and it would appear that the refitted 777 is scheduled to operate these flights through 25 March 2020 (the end of the winter season) and I suspect we’ll see that run extended further once BA updates its summer timetable.
What’s interesting here is that the reason BA can offer the refitted 777 on its prestigious (and highly lucrative) New York route is that, unlike its new Airbus A350, the refitted BA 777 offers a First Class cabin…albeit a small one.
There are certain routes on which British Airways makes a significant amount of money by offering a First Class cabin (its routes to New York and LA are good examples) so these are routes on which the only way we’re going to see the Club Suites offered is if they’re operated by a refurbished aircraft.
We’re now seeing New York scheduled to get the first refurbished 777 and, with the rumors suggesting that the second refurbished 777 will be also operating between London and New York, those of us hoping to see the Club Suites flying to/from LA will have to wait until more aircraft are refitted…and even then there’s no guarantee LA will be next in line to get the new cabin.
If, like me, the original list of Club Suite destinations left you a little underwhelmed, the news that British Airways has now scheduled a Club Suite equipped aircraft to operate between London and New York will probably raise a smile.
While I have no plans to visit New York any time soon, I’ll definitely be doing my best to route my next LA – London trip via JFK in an attempt to try out the new Business Class cabin across the Atlantic. The fact that this will also earn me a lot more Tier Points will just be the icing on the cake!