Home Airlines British Airways The British Airways Club Suite: My first impressions

The British Airways Club Suite: My first impressions


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After more cancelled flights than I care to think back upon, I have finally had the chance to try out the (relatively) new Club Suite that British Airways is slowly using to replace its outdated Club World (Business Class) seats. A full review of the Club Suite will appear on TFM once I’ve experienced the seat on an overnight flight but, for now, I thought that I’d share my first impressions.

I love it! There, you can stop reading now 🙂

The Club suite is the same Business Class seat that you’ll find on a lot of American Airlines 777-200 aircraft with a few small differences and one big difference – the Club Suite has a door.

The British Airways Club Suite
The Club Suites on the starboard side of a British Airways 777

The door isn’t really a big deal as it isn’t really high enough to offer any kind of meaningful privacy from people walking by, but it’s great at blocking out light from the IFE screen of the passenger across the aisle.

The seat looks classy – it’s hard to tell from the lighting in these images but it’s understated without being boring – and based on what I’ve noticed so far, the seat has been well thought through.

The British Airways Club Suite

There’s a small storage cubby (with door) at shoulder height…

The British Airways Club Suite
The Club Suite cubby has a door that is great for preventing smaller items from flying around during take-off, landing, or turbulence.

…there’s more storage space lower down…

The British Airways Club Suite

…and the whole shelf area under the windows (and in between seats in the center section) offers yet more space for a passenger to store their personal items.

The British Airways Club Suite
Lots of storage space under the shelf

You won’t be able to store a large laptop in any of these storage areas but a regular iPad fits fine, and that still leaves plenty of room for other items.

Something that concerned me when I first saw where the main power outlet is located (in the frontmost storage area of the shelf) was that a large power “brick” of the type that comes with a lot of Apple MacBooks wouldn’t fit. My concerns were unfounded as my unwieldy power brick fitted ok (albeit only just).

In further good news, the Club Suite appears to offer ample space for a passenger’s feet…

The British Airways Club Suite
Good space for a passenger’s feet

…and the tray table which deploys from under the IFE screen is sturdy, of a good size, and can be adjusted to sit at varying distances from a passenger’s body.

The British Airways Club Suite

Most importantly, however, the seat is comfortable and a very nice place to spend some time whether you’re working, reading, watching something on the IFE screen or on your own device, or just relaxing.

There are a couple of negative points – the 777 Club Suite seats don’t have their own air nozzles and the IFE screen cannot be woken without the remote control (which is annoying if you haven’t taken the controller out before you’ve filled the storage area in which it sits with your own items) – but these are just minor details relating to an otherwise excellent hard product.

The British Airways Club Suite
No air vents/nozzles on the British Airways 777 with Club Suites

Admittedly, so far I’ve only experienced the Club Suites on a daytime flight so the real test will come when I get to see what the seat is like when turned into a lie-flat bed, but this is still a product that brought a big smile to my face.

I desperately wanted this to be a good product…and it is. Actually, it’s a great product.

As someone who splits his time between LA and London, I’m wedded to the oneworld alliance (because it’s the alliance that’s most useful to me) and, up until now, I’ve had the following choice when booking transatlantic flights:

  • An airline whose seats I love but whose crews can be either wonderful or appalling – American Airlines
  • An airline whose seats I really don’t like but whose crews I love – British Airways.

The Club Suite is a product that will change that because as long as it’s offered on the transatlantic routes on which I usually fly (LA – London and New York – London), there isn’t a choice for me to make – British Airways wins every time.

Why would I play the American Airlines crew/service lottery when I can book the Club Suite and get what is usually a very good level of service from the friendly BA crews*?

Sure, I’ll still book American Airlines Business Class if booking a Business Class award as the British Airways award surcharges continue to be abhorrent, but that’s only because I’m happy to risk having to deal with a bad American Airlines crew in exchange for the cash saving that an award booking on American Airlines will offer.

*I appreciate that others may have had other experiences with BA and BA crews, but I cannot remember the last time I had a genuinely bad experience with anyone crewing one of the flights I’ve taken.

Bottom line

The British Airways Club Suite is everything that the outgoing Club World seat is not. It’s comfortable, it’s spacious, it offers passengers ample storage space for personal items and as far as I can tell, there isn’t a bad seat (i.e. a “must avoid” seat) on any of the aircraft that have the Club Suite installed.

It has taken far too long but based on what I’ve experienced so far, British Airways has finally got itself a Business Class seat fit for the current decade and it’s a seat that most people will probably really, really like.

Have you flown in the Club Suite? If you have, what did you think?

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Agreed on all this. Flew this amazing product to LHR from LAX in December. Slept like a baby, enjoyed the space. Flew back on BA in biz in their old product and it was a bummer. This is exactly why one needs to check seat plans VERY carefully. New product three thumbs up, old product three thumbs down. 🙂

  2. Curious to know if traveling with family would you recommend the 2 middle seats x2 or a row of 4. Thanks!

    • Hi Kate

      My answer would depend on the age of the children traveling (assuming we’re discussing a family with two kids).

      If at least one child doesn’t need a parent right next to them (without an aisle dividing them from the parent), I’d choose 4 seats in the same row so at least two members of the family have window seats.

      If both kids would travel better with a parent right next to them, I’d choose 4 seats in the centre.

      I hope that helps.

      • This is not a great product for travelling with children. There is not much access to the person sitting next to you. The best choice is to have 2 seats next to one another either side of the aisle. For the 2 middle seats, you need to get up walk through the galley and up the other side to help your child with meals, seatbelts etc etc

  3. Recently I had an overnight flight ORD to LHR in a BA A350 Club Suite! I found the seat totally unsuitable as a lie flat bed because it was too narrow, as a bed, to accommodate my shoulders. I was unable to lie down and so spent the whole of the 7+ hour flight sitting upright and was unable to sleep so read my Kindle for the whole of the flight. If I had known that the seat was unsuitable for lying down I could have saved money and flown Premium Economy or First (there wasn’t a first class cabin on this flight!).

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