British Airways fired on all cylinders from a great new business class seat to good food and bedding/amenities, but I'm docking half a star for their exorbitant seat selection prices.
Last week I decided to take a trip to Vancouver, partially to try out British Airways’ Club Suite. Shortly after I booked, my return flight was changed from an A350 to a Club Suite-equipped 777, which British Airways is currently flying between London and Vancouver as of March 2022. I was excited to try out the Club Suite on two different types of British Airways aircraft, since my outbound flight was operated by an A350.
British Airways is aiming to retrofit all of their 777s with the Club Suite by the end of 2022, and currently just under half of their 777s feature the new Club Suite. These planes are operating many routes to the Americas and Africa (due to Asia only slowly opening up to tourism, British Airways is operating many Asian routes with their lower-capacity 787-8s and 787-9s, which feature British Airways’ older and far inferior business class seat). Albeit some chatter that this will change in the near future, British Airways’ A380s also don’t feature the Club Suite yet.
How I Booked British Airways’ 777 Club Suite
I booked a roundtrip Club World ticket between London and Vancouver using 122,000 Asia Miles and HK$7,033 (~£671) in taxes, since our Asia Miles (earned before January 1, 2020) were expiring and we had an incentive to spend them. I’m thankful to my parents – they graciously gifted me the Asia Miles I needed for this trip, and paid for the taxes as well (I’m applying for internships at the moment, and am planning to repay the £671 spent).
Check-In and Document Verification for UK-Bound Travel with British Airways
Much like my previous flight from London to Vancouver, I was able to upload all of my details onto VeriFLY with ease ahead of my flight to London. In this case, I had to upload my vaccination details, as well as scan the QR code of a passenger locator form, which all passengers must fill out before heading to the UK. If you’re considered as unvaccinated (e.g. your COVID-19 vaccination isn’t approved by the MHRA, or you haven’t had one), you must undergo a PCR test in the 2 days before entering the UK, though all travellers are exempt from quarantine at the moment.
Once I had done so, I was able to check into my flight 24 hours before departure. As a non-oneworld status holder, British Airways charges over £100 for seat pre-selection on longhaul flights, which was the case for me. Fortunately I was able to snag a window seat for free when checking in 24 hours before departure. It’s rather ridiculous that British Airways can’t offer their premium passengers free seat selection, though they know they can get away with it, since many passengers travelling on business (British Airways’ main demographic, given how big of a financial hub London is) can afford to part ways with £100 in order to choose a better business class seat on a longhaul flight – much like on my previous British Airways flight, over half of the cabin’s seats had been selected prior to check-in, many of them center seats, presumably selected by couples who wanted to sit together.
My Experience Flying British Airways’ 777 Club Suite
My experience flying British Airways’ Club World began at Vancouver Airport, where I was dropped off by a friend around 2.5 hours before my flight. I was asked for my vaccination details when checking in my bag – while the UK allows travel regardless of vaccination status, Canadian law requires travellers to be vaccinated before boarding any flight, unless you hold an exemption from the airline.
After arriving at Vancouver Airport and briefly checking out the underwhelming Plaza Premium Lounge (the lounge that British Airways is currently using at Vancouver Airport), I headed to gate D71, where my flight would be departing.
This flight would be operated by a 777-200ER with registration G-YMMG, delivered to British Airways a whopping 21.5 years ago – the plane was older than I was! The plane was retrofitted entirely in January 2022, and featured brand new seats in all three cabins.
British Airways 777 Vancouver Airport
I lingered around the gate as some passengers with strollers were paged. These passengers were pre-boarded, and general boarding began at around 20:35 starting with priority boarding passengers. It’s interesting to note that British Airways doesn’t line their passengers up before boarding (e.g. there isn’t a separate line for business class passengers), but rather just pages passengers to board the plane by boarding group.
British Airways Flight BA84
Tuesday, March 1, 2022
Origin: Vancouver (YVR) Gate: D71 Dep: 21:05 (21:00)
Destination: London Heathrow (LHR) Gate: B44 Arr: 14:25+1 (14:10+1)
Duration: 9 hr 20 min (9 hr 10 min)
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200ER Reg: G-YMMG
Seat: 5A (Business Class/Club World)
British Airways’ 777 Club Suite Cabin and Seat
This was one of British Airways’ 777s without first class, so business class was featured at the front of the plane, spread across two cabins. The forward cabin featured 28 seats spread across seven rows in a 1-2-1 configuration, whereas the rear cabin featured five rows, featuring 20 seats.
I was seated in the forward cabin. While this particular 777 was over 20 years old, I thought the brand new retrofitted Club Suites cabin looked stunning and quite modern in the dark, especially with the mood lighting that British Airways picked for it.
British Airways 777 Club Suites Business Class Cabin
British Airways’ Club Suites are a modified version of the B/E Aerospace Super Diamond seat, where they added a door to each seat (Qatar Airways is among the many airlines flying “standard” Super Diamond seats). Much like the typical reverse herringbone seat, the window seats are angled towards the fuselage, and in the case of the 777 most seats featured two windows, since the windows are closer together than on the A350.
British Airways 777 Club Suites Business Class Window Seats
Meanwhile the center seats face each other, and as you can see below, there’s a privacy partition between seats if you’re seated there and travelling solo. I quite liked that the privacy partitions retracted forwards, as it meant that you didn’t have to lean forward in order to communicate with your travel companion. When pulled out, you won’t be able to see the person seated across you, unless you’re either really tall or crane your neck.
British Airways 777 Club Suites Business Class Center Seats
In this case I didn’t have a travel companion, so I selected seat 5A, somewhere in the middle of the forward cabin (towards the back). Personally I thought that the seat was well-chosen, as it wasn’t too close to either galley, and also featured two full windows (my personal preference is to be seated at the back row since nobody’s watching me from behind and I can observe the service flow, but in this case row 7 was both occupied and missing a window).
British Airways 777 Club Suites Business Class Seat 5A
The seat is almost identical to its A350 counterpart, with a few subtle differences. To my left were the seat controls, which featured a lazy-Z and bed mode preset, though otherwise the controls were quite rudimentary – you could only control the seat pan angle and footrest angle, though you couldn’t move the seat forwards (or backwards) or control the lumbar support.
British Airways 777 Club Suites Business Class Seat Controls
To my left were two large storage compartments, a third vertical one next to the seat, as well as a last (smaller) one down by my legs. One difference from British Airways’ A350 is that I found the storage compartment by my legs to be slightly larger; I also noticed that the latching mechanism was different, and found this one slightly less smooth (more force was required to push the button and open the storage compartments, etc.).
British Airways 777 Club Suites Business Class Storage
All Club Suite seats come with a car seat-like shoulder strap that is required to be put on before takeoff and landing, though inflight the classic seatbelt waist strap will suffice (if the seatbelt sign is turned on, though you are recommended to keep your seatbelt on whenever seated). Here’s a picture I got of myself with the shoulder strap on prior to landing, looking a little less well rested than I actually was!
British Airways 777 Club Suites Business Class Shoulder Strap
The cabin was generally in good condition when I boarded, though I did find a receipt that appeared to be from Las Vegas.
I had the chance to check out the rear business class cabin later in the flight. The cabin is slightly smaller, though still not very intimate, featuring 20 seats compared to the forward cabin’s 28 – I contemplated choosing a seat here, though ended up choosing a seat in the forward cabin to avoid foot traffic during boarding (all premium economy and economy passengers board through the door between business class cabins). Both cabins were quite full, with only a couple of empty seats in each, even though the rear cabin showed as empty until shortly before boarding (this is not too surprising in British Airways Club World, where you have to pay to assign a seat ahead of check-in).
British Airways 777 Club Suites Business Class Rear Business Class Cabin
British Airways’ 777 Club Suite Amenities
Upon arriving at my seat I found some bedding (which I’ll review later in this post), as well as headphones located in one of the storage compartments. I didn’t take the headphones out of their packaging since I wasn’t planning on using them, though I’ve tried these headphones in the past – they’re okay.
British Airways 777 Club Suites Business Class Headphones
I didn’t find an amenity kit in one of the storage compartments this time, though the crew did come by with an amenity kit (or “washbag”, as they call them) after boarding was completed. I forgot to take a picture of the amenity kit this time around, though here’s a picture of the amenity kit I received on my outbound – it comes in a leather package and consists of socks, eyeshades, a dental kit, a pen, various toiletries and earplugs.
British Airways Business Class Amenity Kit and Contents
They also came around with a menu, which I’ve included further down in the report.
British Airways’ 777 Club Suite Pre-Departure Service
I was in the lavatory when the crew came around with pre-departure beverages, and it took about 15 minutes for me to be noticed in my seat after I got back (I decided not to ask the crew for a drink because they seemed busy, but also to see if they’d eventually get back around to checking if subsequent boarders would get pre-departure beverages). I was offered a choice of orange juice, champagne or water, and chose champagne. I believe this was Canard-Duchene Cuvee Leonie Brut, which tasted okay.
British Airways 777 Club Suites Business Class Pre-Departure Beverage
A single cabin crewmember took meal orders, and I could see that she had quite a big task to do, since she took meal orders from the left aisle of the first row, moved onto the right aisle of the same row, before moving onto the left aisle of the next row to take meal orders, and so on. I didn’t actually get my meal order taken until after takeoff (I was the first one to get my meal order taken after we hit cruising altitude, though). I learned later during the safety demonstration that this was because the crew were down a couple of members, and thus were operating with reduced manpower.
I didn’t notice if this was the case on my outbound, though I did find it quite funny (and cute) that the crew occasionally used a pop-up on the entertainment screens to communicate with passengers.
British Airways 777 Club Suites Business Class Cute Messages
British Airways’ 777 Club Suite Entertainment System
While a majority of British Airways’ 777s retrofitted with Club Suite feature the older-generation (and still very good) entertainment system, a few 777-200s were stripped entirely of passenger seats to deliver cargo during the COVID-19 pandemic, and this particular 777 was one of those aircraft. It made sense for these aircraft to be installed with the latest generation “Highflyer” entertainment system, as opposed to just re-installing their older entertainment system. I didn’t explore it too much on this flight except to watch the moving map, though below is a picture of the entertainment system interface on the A350 – the interface is intuitive and responsive, and entire series of TV shows are uploaded, as well as an extensive selection of movies. No complaints.
British Airways Club Suites Entertainment System (A350, some 777s)
Takeoff from Vancouver Airport
At 8:45 PM, someone came onto the PA to announce that boarding was complete, a full 20 minutes ahead of our scheduled departure time (somewhat impressively, since boarding started after the time state on my boarding pass).
Shortly after, we were informed that somebody on the plane had a severe nut allergy, and were advised not to open and consume anything nut-based that we’d brought onboard (we were served nuts over the course of the flight, though).
Captain Joe came onto the PA to welcome us, saying that we were clear to leave “nice and early” and announcing our flight time of 8 hours and 45 minutes, as well as our maximum cruising altitude of 41,000 feet. He said that he’d touch base with us around 40 minutes before landing into Heathrow. We did indeed push back at 9 PM, five minutes ahead of our scheduled departure time.
Both my outbound flight and this flight featured a manual safety demonstration – British Airways isn’t playing their safety demonstration videos at the moment, and a quick FlyerTalk search suggests it’s to do with mask-related policies, such as the fact that we should take our face masks off before putting an oxygen mask on. The manual safety demonstration was done twice as there was a shortage of crewmembers, especially in economy (the crew doing the safety demonstration continued with their duties after performing a safety demonstration in the forward business class cabin).
Since I was seated in front of the jetbridge, I only got a clear view of Vancouver airport once we’d pushed back. We were parked next to an Air Canada 737.
Air Canada Boeing 737 Vancouver Airport
British Airways seems to be touting blue mood lighting in their 777 Club Suite cabins, especially at nighttime – the below picture was taken before the cabin lights were dimmed for takeoff and landing.
British Airways 777 Club Suites Business Class Cabin during Taxiing
We took off from runway 08R and headed due east, affording amazing night views of Vancouver lights as well as the Fraser River.
Takeoff Vancouver Airport
While our outbound flight flew quite far up north, this flight flew across to Europe without much of a curvature, gliding across the southernmost ends of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba before cutting across Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland, and eventually Ireland.
After takeoff, the inflight manager came onto the PA to welcome us.
British Airways’ 777 Club Suite Door
Around five minutes after our plane took off, the cabin crew came around to unlock our suite doors, and I promptly closed mine. I believe the seats are angled slightly further on the 777 compared to the A350, so felt like the Club Suite was slightly more spacious on this flight when in upright mode and the door was closed.
The door doesn’t afford full privacy, as it’s about chest height at most. You’ll be able to see people walking up and down the aisles. However, I thought that the door was a welcome addition, simply because it served as an extended privacy partition. When seated I couldn’t see the person seated across the aisle, and more importantly, I was shielded from foot traffic when my seat was in bed mode. I also didn’t feel claustrophobic at any point during the flight (though you can keep the door open if you feel differently). So I’d come in with the right expectations, though do believe that the door is a really nice addition that improves the seat substantially.
British Airways 777 Club Suites Business Class Door
I also found it interesting that (unlike on the previous flight) Club Suite passengers were actively encouraged to keep their suite doors open during meal services. I thought the flight attendants locked my suite door open during the pre-arrival meal service, but it turned out they’d only accidentally knocked one of the switches that kept my door open.
British Airways’ 777 WiFi
Since we’d hit cruising altitude, I tried to connect to the WiFi. All of British Airways’ 777s and A350s feature WiFi, as well as all but nine 787s. This means that all aircraft that feature the Club Suite are also installed with WiFi. Unfortunately WiFi wasn’t working on this flight, and just brought me to a “Thank you for flying British Airways” page.
I can’t remember my .air credentials if I haven’t connected to your WiFi in the first place!
Obviously things break from time to time, though it’s a bit of a bigger error for WiFi not to work in 2022 compared to when it was first introduced a few years ago. For what it’s worth, British Airways’ WiFi is some of the best quality inflight WiFi out there (when it works), and they charge by time usage instead of by data usage, which is a huge plus. British Airways offers two types of WiFi – a “Messaging” package and a “Browse and Stream” package. The former would’ve cost £2.99 for an hour’s use and £4.99 for a flight pass, and the latter cost $11.99 for four hours of use and £17.99 for a flight pass (or up to £23.99, depending on the length of the flight). That’s on the lower end for inflight WiFi, though one annoying thing is that you can’t switch between devices, a feature generally available when using inflight WiFi on other airlines.
British Airways’ 777 Club Suite Recline and Bed Mode
Since the WiFi wasn’t working and I hadn’t loaded up any work to do, I took the opportunity after takeoff to check out my seat in recline mode, which was very comfortable.
British Airways 777 Club Suites Business Class Seat in Lazy-Z Position
I also checked out the seat in bed mode. I’d actually say that due to the increased angle, the 777 Club Suites are marginally more cramped than their A350 counterparts, at least by the feet. Quite a few times before falling asleep, I found my foot space to be limited when jostling around in bed. I still found the bed to be quite comfortable, and British Airways also partners with The White Company to provide excellent bedding, including a blanket, mattress pad, and a very plush pillow.
British Airways 777 Club Suites Business Class Seat in Bed Mode
British Airways’ 777 Club Suite Meal Service
20 minutes after takeoff, I was given a bottle of water, and was also asked what I wanted to drink before the meal service.
British Airways 777 Club Suites Business Class Water
As mentioned earlier, my meal order was also taken very shortly after takeoff (the cabin crew were told to take their seats for takeoff right before the flight attendant taking meal orders got to my seat). The menu read as follows:
British Airways 777 Club Suites Business Class Menu
The drinks menu read as follows:
British Airways 777 Club Suites Business Class Beverages Selection
I think British Airways’ drinks selection is quite extensive, and I quite like that they offer both cocktails and mocktails. Ultimately there are airlines that will offer a far more extensive selection in business class, though I don’t think the amount of choice in British Airways’ Club World is bad at all.
For my pre-meal service beverage I asked for the Spanish red wine on the menu, the Izadi Crianza Rioja 2017, which was quite nice. This was served 30 minutes in, or about an hour after wheels-up.
British Airways 777 Club Suites Business Class Pre-Meal Service Beverage
Another 30 minutes later I was served my main course. That’s not a particularly good speed, since we were a good hour and a half into the flight at this point, and this wasn’t a multi-course meal. On the plus side, while my meal was brought to me on a tray, there were no trolleys used during the meal service.
I decided to order the grilled fillet of beef, as British Airways has had a good track record with meats. The beef was cooked medium well, so I’d say it was the weakest out of the few meat dishes I’ve had on British Airways, though still very good (and quite juicy). All the vegetables it was served with were also very good – the potatoes were well made, the sugar snap peas were tender, and the tomatoes were roasted.
British Airways 777 Club Suites Business Class Meal
The meal was served with a rather exciting appetiser salad, consisting of a kale, edamame and quinoa salad. It was garnished with roasted carrots, as well as grapes, which was an odd combination (to be fair, I felt it worked, though others might’ve thought differently).
British Airways 777 Club Suites Business Class Salad
I should’ve taken a picture of the dessert individually, which was a tasty pecan praline. I was asked if I wanted more red wine, though decided instead that I wanted a port to go with my cheese plate. All of it was very delicious (and that’s despite the fillet of beef being on the overdone side).
I don’t actually know if DO&CO (British Airways’ caterer out of Heathrow, renowned for being one of the best airline caterers out there, if not the best) caters British Airways’ flights into Heathrow, though either way I was very happy with the meal. Ever since British Airways’ partnership with DO&CO, food has consistently been a strong point for the airline, regardless if they actually cater every flight British Airways operates. My one complaint is that I wish that on this transatlantic redeye the meal service could’ve been executed faster, though I understand that this flight was operating with reduced manpower.
British Airways’ 777 Club Suite Lavatory
The 48-seat business class cabin on this 777 shares three lavatories, two of which are located in front of the aircraft, and one of which is located between cabins on the right side. That’s an okay ratio for business class, though it’s worth noting that we were advised to use the single lavatory between cabins during meal services. There wasn’t ever too much of a wait, except before landing.
The lavatory on British Airways’ Club Suite 777s is standard, and features The White Company amenities.
British Airways 777 Club Suites Business Class Lavatory
British Airways’ 777 Club Suite Club Kitchen
When visiting the lavatory before I went to bed, I checked out the Club Kitchen, which is British Airways’ concept for Club World passengers to grab self-serve food and drinks between meal services. Annoyingly I missed the opportunity to take a photo of the Club Kitchen when it was fully stocked – they were setting up when I went to bed so I decided I’d take a photo later, and by the time I next visited they’d already packed up after the pre-arrival meal service.
I did manage to see the selection of snacks and drinks available before bed though, which was very similar to what was on offer on my A380 and A350 longhaul flights with British Airways. In this case the Club Kitchen was fully stocked, though the selection was still on the rudimentary end, featuring various flavours of Tyrrell’s crisps, wine and water, as well as a couple of other snacks (though no fruit salad pots, unless I missed them).
British Airways 777 Club Suites Business Class Club Kitchen
British Airways’ 777 Club Suite Cabin Lighting
Shortly after I reclined my seat and went to bed, the cabin crew dimmed the lights in the cabin so passengers could go to sleep, only keeping on minimal blue mood lighting.
British Airways 777 Club Suites Business Class Cabin Lights Dimmed
I slept very soundly for a solid five and a half hours, waking up just before the pre-arrival meal service. Not long after I got up the cabin lights gradually turned on, about 90 minutes before landing. I quite liked that this was pushed back as late as it was in the flight, as I know some airlines like serving pre-arrival meal services a full two hours before landing.
British Airways 777 Club Suites Business Class Cabin before Pre-Landing Meal Service
British Airways’ 777 New Premium Economy and Economy Class
I decided before the meal service to briefly check out the premium economy and economy class cabins on this 777. Little did I know that this aircraft featured a new 777 premium economy product with the same seats that you’d find on the A350. While British Airways isn’t retrofitting most of their 777s with this new premium economy seat, all 777s acting as cargo planes during the COVID-19 pandemic were retrofitted with this seat, since it didn’t make sense for British Airways to re-install their older 777 seats on these planes.
I’m fairly sure these are Recaro PL3530 seats, the same seats you’ll find in Iberia or LEVEL premium economy, among others (Emirates’ premium economy is a modified version of this seat). The seats looked like they had better padding and in-seat storage than their older counterparts, which I’ve flown before, though obviously I need to try this seat out to know for sure – I’d love to! The aircraft featured 40 premium economy seats spread across five rows in a 2-4-2 configuration.
British Airways 777 Premium Economy
I also went and had a peek at the forward economy class cabin on this plane. I’d love to try out these seats a little less – these are standard Recaro CL3710 seats found on many other planes (I tried these seats when touring Hong Kong Airlines’ new A350), though British Airways outfitted them in a tight 3-4-3 configuration – that’s one more seat across than these planes were designed for, though it’s the industry standard nowadays. The forward cabin was comparatively intimate, featuring 50 (out of the plane’s 184) economy seats spread across five rows.
British Airways 777 10-Abreast Economy Class
Had I known that these planes featured different premium economy seats, I probably would’ve assigned myself a seat in the rear business class cabin just to take a closer look. I hope to try British Airways’ new premium economy seat sometime, given how good I found the experience when seated in their older 777 premium economy product.
British Airways’ 777 Club Suite Pre-Arrival Meal Service
The pre-arrival meal service started about 90 minutes before landing. The menu read as follows:
British Airways 777 Club Suites Business Class Menu
For the pre-arrival meal service, orders were taken and food was immediately brought from the galley. I saw scrambled eggs on the menu and ordered them, not carefully reading the menu and realising that it was also served on focaccia bread. I tried to send my meal back when I received it, but was told I was given the right menu item, and both menu items were served as focaccia bread sandwiches. While obviously I wasn’t using my brain, I still think there’s a lack of variety when both menu items are served as sandwiches with the same type of bread.
The meal was served with a yoghurt pot and I also asked for coffee. To be fair, the (weirdly presented) half-sandwich was quite good.
British Airways 777 Club Suites Business Class Meal Service
At this point in the flight we were just approaching Ireland.
British Airways 777 Club Suites Business Class Meal Service Location
British Airways’ 777 Club Suite Service
Service on this flight was alright. I was mainly served by a male flight attendant on my aisle inflight, and when asking about the WiFi, he returned repeatedly to check if the WiFi was working for me – I was trying to connect to the WiFi at the beginning of the flight, and the flight attendant kept me updated, saying that the pilot was communicating with engineers at Heathrow in order to reboot the WiFi (both of my devices briefly disconnected from the WiFi signal, suggesting that a reboot did in fact occur – unfortunately there was still no connection afterwards). He even asked if I got it to work during the pre-arrival meal service, which I appreciated.
Ultimately on redeye flights of this length it’s hard for crews to efficiently carry out service yet interact with passengers, so for both flights to and from Vancouver I felt like service was quite assembly line-like, despite the lack of use of trolleys during meal services. I also felt on both flights that the first meal service was executed too slowly and cut into valuable sleep time.
I also felt like some of the service elements on this flight were less polished on this flight compared to my outbound, and the flight attendants were generally less friendly, though didn’t find it to be an issue. Mask wearing was obviously mandatory on this flight, though I didn’t find it to be enforced – for example, the cabin crew were alright with passengers keeping masks off during mealtimes between courses, despite the advice being to “wear a mask unless actively eating or drinking”.
Landing into Heathrow Airport
Around half an hour after trays were collected from the meal service, Captain Joe came back onto the PA to announce that we had rainy weather at Heathrow, which was meant to subside later in the day. He then informed us that we’d be landing in about 40 minutes. A further announcement notified us that the seatbelt sign would be turned on in about 20 minutes’ time, and we were advised to use the lavatory and organise our belongings in this time.
Surely enough, after 20 minutes, the seatbelt sign came on. The cabin crew came around for pre-landing checks, and window shades also had to be raised.
It was a good day outside initially…
Landing into Heathrow Airport
…but not for long, as we descended through layers of clouds before heading from the west into rainy Heathrow.
Landing into Heathrow Airport
This was the brightest I’d seen the British Airways 777 Club Suite cabin thus far – the seats look elegant, even without mood lighting (I’ve also never fallen out of love with the 777, despite countless flights on newer aircraft in the meantime).
British Airways 777 Club Suites Business Class Cabin Prepared for Landing
Our descent took us through an S-shaped pattern as we lined up with the runway at Heathrow, and as we poked through the thick layers of clouds there were good views of Reading, Maidenhead, and eventually Slough, before we touched down into Heathrow’s runway 09L at about 2 PM London time.
Landing into Heathrow Airport
I’m glad travel is experiencing a rebound, and got to see that with the number of heavies that were parked at Heathrow Airport – it’s been a while since I’ve been a Qatar Airways A380 parked next to a British Airways A380! That’s also not a sight you should become too familiarised with at Heathrow, since Qatar Airways should move back to Terminal 4 soon, once it reopens.
Traffic at Heathrow Airport
This was my first time alighting at a B gate at Heathrow’s Terminal 5, though we made it to gate B44 by around 2:10 PM. Heathrow was short on ramp staff on our day of arrival, so the captain came back onto the PA to announce a short wait. This took all of 10 minutes, and deplaning was done in groups, starting with business class passengers.
Heathrow doesn’t offer their arrival passengers in premium cabins any sort of fast track arrival service. However, while I need to get the Registered Traveller Service at Heathrow soon so I can start going through the eGates (which I don’t have access to with a Hong Kong passport), in this case border control was painless, since many of the desks were staffed. I was through after about 15 minutes of queueing, retrieved my bag shortly after, and was on my way.
Conclusion: British Airways’ 777 Club Suite Business Class
British Airways’ Club Suite is a massive step up from their old Club World hard product, and I didn’t feel too different after flying my second flight with the Club Suite, this time on the 777. Reverse herringbone seats were some of my favourite business class seats in the market to start with, and as long as you come in with “evolution, not revolution” expectations and don’t expect full privacy, the door acts as a really effective extended privacy partition that gives you some extra privacy and, more importantly, shields you from foot traffic in the aisle when in bed mode.
There were subtle differences between this seat on the 777 and that of the A350 – I felt like there was marginally more shoulder space and less foot space in bed mode – though I wouldn’t be too fussed, and since longhaul flights are still filling up at the moment, you probably won’t really get much of a choice with aircraft type anyway, since British Airways isn’t really operating any multiple-times-daily frequencies with two different types of Club Suite-equipped aircraft at the moment. If I did get a choice between the Club Suite on the A350 and 777, I’d choose whatever fit my schedule best, though I’d go out of my way to fly the Club Suite over an aircraft fitted with British Airways’ old business class product.
I didn’t feel like service on this flight was quite as good as the other British Airways flights I’d had in recent history, though it was still perfectly fine for this redeye flight. British Airways’ food is consistently good, and their bedding is top notch. I’m not sure if I’d go out of my way to fly British Airways’ Club Suite since there are many great business class products out there, and as I previously said, I still hate how much they charge for advance seat selection – though once onboard, they offer a very, very solid business class product.
Do you prefer the Club Suite on the 777 or A350? If you’ve flown the Club Suite on the 787-10, how does it compare?