British Airways’ much anticipated new business class product, called Club Suites, will be flying soon.
British Airways’ new business class
The first plane to feature Club Suites will be British Airways’ very first A350-1000, which is expected to join the fleet next week.
That plane will initially fly between London and Madrid to familiarize crews with the plane, though the airline has already scheduled long haul flights with the plane to Toronto, Dubai, Tel Aviv, and Bangalore. That’s possible thanks to the airline taking delivery of four of these planes over the coming months.
British Airways will be retrofitting their 777s and 787s with these Club Suites, and we’ve known that before the end of 2019, the airline plans on having two 777s with the new cabins. Well, that first plane is now in the schedule..British Airways’ first 777 Club Suites routes
It looks like British Airways plans on flying their first 777 with new Club Suites to New York as of October 27, 2019. While this hasn’t been formally announced, if you look at the seatmap you’ll see that BA177/174 shows a brand new seatmap.
This flight operates with the following schedule:
BA177 London to New York departing 1:00PM arriving 5:10PMBA174 New York to London departing 7:50PM arriving 6:50AM (+1 day)
Not all dates show this seatmap, so you’ll want to make sure it shows for the date you’re flying. The easy way to tell is that:The reconfigured 777 features just eight first class seats, as British Airways is refreshing their first class (don’t expect anything amazing — it’ll be similar to their 787 first class)The reconfigured 777 features business class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, rather than the usual 2-4-2 configuration
It’s pretty clear that this is a competitive response to Virgin Atlantic, as Virgin Atlantic is introducing their new Upper Class seats to New York as of September 10, 2019.
Virgin Atlantic’s new business class
It’s expected that British Airways will also schedule their second 777 with the new seats for the New York route, and by the end of the year you’ll see two flights a day showing these seatmaps. This is already scheduled, though the flight numbers seem to vary, so you’ll want to look at the seatmap for the flight you’re considering.Bottom line
Competition sure is heating up between British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, and that’s good for consumers.
While New York is British Airways’ most important international market, it makes sense why this wasn’t the launch route for the A350. That’s because New York is a market with a lot of first class demand, and the A350 doesn’t have first class.
So the reconfigured 777s are the perfect planes to fly to New York, as they have the excellent new business class while maintaining a (smaller) first class cabin.
I’ll be curious to see what exactly British Airways’ new 777 first class will be like, because it’s entirely possible that on those particular planes they’ll have doors in business class but not in first class, which would be a first.
(Tip of the hat to God Save The Points)