British Airways loads new Club Suites on more routes, to be on 80% of its planes by 2022
Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information on additional Club Suites routes. It was originally published on November 8, 2019.
Earlier this year, British Airways introduced a fabulous new business class product to replace the current aging "ying-yang" Club World product. This was great news for many travelers who don't like the current cramped seating arrangement, in which the business cabin features a 2-4-2 configuration on many of the airline's long-haul aircraft. However, it wasn't clear how long it would take for the majority of the carrier's customers to have access to the new seat.
It was reported in early December that British Airways loaded the new seats, and new cabin configurations on several routes featuring the Boeing 777-300 for spring and summer of 2020, as first noticed by Point Me to the Plane, citing information from South China Morning Post aviation reporter Danny Lee.
On Saturday, One Mile At A Time reported that British Airways has added more Club Suite routes, this time on the first aircraft to receive them, the A350-1000. While not officially announced, BA has loaded the aircraft onto four more routes.
Starting on March 29, the A350 will fly between London Heathrow (LHR) and Washington Dulles (IAD), Philadelphia (PHL) and Austin (AUS). On August 1, one of the four daily flights between Boston and London Heathrow will be operated by an A350. Some of these cities have multiple British Airways flights, so make sure to read our guide on how to tell if your BA aircraft has the new suite.
The newly configured 777s will even be on some popular routes like New York's Kennedy (JFK) to London's Heathrow (LHR) by spring. TPG was able to select the new Club Suites on a route from New York to London on dates in April and in September.
While the number of first class seats is shrinking substantially (from 14 to 8 seats), there will be a bunch of extra business class or "Club Suite," seats (from 56 to 76 seats).
The economy cabin is also shrinking, and will be getting the disliked 3-4-3 layout.
The new seats will reportedly be on several other routes as soon as spring as well.
Still, according to One Mile at a Time, it will be more than two years before half of the fleet sees the new Club Suites, with 787-8 and 787-9 fleets being some of the last to go through the retrofit. Some planes, such as the A350, will be delivered with the new Club Suites product.
The airline recently published a chart outlining the schedule as part of an investor event:
The chart indicates that nearly 80% of the fleet will see a refreshed cabin by the end of 2022, while it will take until 2025 for the seat to be fully rolled out. Between now and then, you'll need to pay close attention to the configuration of your particular aircraft if you want to avoid the old business class product and fly the new Club Suites instead.
The first planes outfitted with the new business class seat started flying earlier this year, and the first impressions are very positive. The new seat is a Collins Aerospace Super Diamond arranged in the cabin in a 1-2-1 configuration, meaning that each passenger in the cabin has direct-aisle access.
Business class travelers will certainly look forward to having a majority of British Airways planes with this new product in the coming years. For now, the new Club Suites are only available on a handful of routes, including between London Heathrow (LHR) and Toronto (YYZ), Dubai (DXB) and New York (JFK) on one flight per day. Make sure to check out our guide on the best way to book the new Club Suites on British Airways using miles and points.
Additional reporting by Clint Henderson and Brendan Dorsey.