Airline Review: British Airways Club Suite Business Class Airbus A350
The British Airways Club Suite Business Class in the Airbus A350 is the new flagship product of the airline. What’s to be expected from the seat, the service and the all around experience? Check out this extensive review to learn more!
The old Business Class of British Airways isn’t particularly great and is in deep need of a refresh. Nevertheless, basically everybody was surprised about the updated new British Airways Club Suite, which debuted with the Airbus A350 aircraft.
- Airplane: Airbus A350
- Cabin Class: Business
- Daytime: Noon until Evening
- Food: Lunch / Afternoon Tea
- Seat Pitch: 79 Inch (201 Centimeter)
- Seat Width: 27 Inch (69 Centimeter)
The new suite is an incredible step forward and has the potential to be the best Business Class product in the sky. Thus, I took the chance to try the new board product of British Airways on the first route of the new aircraft, from London to Dubai.
In this extensive review, I’ll tell you about my impressions of the flight and the product!
Seating in the British Airways Club Suite Business Class in the Airbus A350
The Airbus A350 of British Airways comes with a massive Business Class (or Club World) cabin. There’s a total of 14 rows, 11 of those in one massive cabin and three in a smaller one behind the galley.
The 1-2-1 configuration looks a little bit dense when seeing it for the first time, which is also due to the pricavy that these seats feature.
My first impressions of the new British Airways Club Suite was really good though as the cabin is really stylish and sharp.
The seats as such are all individual closed suites,which is something more and more airlines are going with. The new Delta One Suite and Qatar Airways QSuite had this first in Business Class.
In the case of British Airways, the doors are part of a traditional reverse herringbone configuration, which is a first in this regard (the other two airlines have staggered seats of sorts).
While taste differs, the reverse herringbone configuration with doors definitely is one of the best hard products in the sky as it offers a really good balance between comfort and privacy. Plus, basically all seats are equal with the window seats only offering a better view, while the middle seats are better for those travelling with a companion.
The new British Airways Club Suite for example doesn’t feel any cramped, instead you have enough room to move around in basically all seat positions from upright to fully flat.
There’s also a massive amount of storage thanks to a really large table set-up right next to the actual seat, plus an extendable tray table, which works well for eating and working alike.
The storage situation is one of the best I’ve seen in Business Class for a while.
There are three large compartments right next to the seat, plus a literature holder and space underneath the ottoman. The only issue is that it’s a bit difficult to storage something larger like a laptop comfortably.
Other than that, the details of the seat are really great. There’s a reading lamp, good privcay thanks to a large shield next to the seat. The only minor downside might be the lack of individual air nozzels.
The seat controls are simple and well positioned, so you don’t actually hit them. The real highlight so is something manual: The doors of the British Airways Business Class in the Airbus A350.
These are not only unique, but they are also quite nice to give you another sense of privacy. Don’t be fooled though, the doors aren’t particularly high, so somebody walking by can still see you sitting in the seat.
Nevertheless, I really liked that feature (even though the door sometimes didn’t work perfectly) as it gives you a different feeling of privacy, even though you are obviously not fully private. Generally, I’d say that the new British Airways Club Suite in the Airbus A350 is a huge step ahead for British Airways and might be one of my favorite Business Class seats outside. Personally, I’d only say that the Qatar Airways QSuite Business Class is better, while the Finnair Business Class or the Virgin Australia Business Class are not on the same level (despite very similiar seats).
Sleeping in the new British Airways Business Class in the Airbus A350
The door obviously is particuarly important when it comes to the sleeping quality. In this regard, the British Airways Club Suite Business Class definitely made a great impression on me as the seat really feels private in bed mode.
The seat as such is also spacious enough to move around comfortable and sleep in different positions (it’s also possible to bend the knees as there’s some space in that area). Furthermore, the foot cubby is big enough so you can sleep in various positions.
It’s also worth noting that the bedding in the British Airways Club World Business Class is quite good these days with a thick pillow and a comfortable blanket – only the duvet for the seat is not yet fitted for the Airbus A350 and feels a little to thin in my opinion.
Nevertheless, I slept exceptionally well in the new British Airways Club Suite in the Airbus A350 thanks to a comfortable sleeping surface, enough space to move around, a quiet cabin and the feeling of huge privacy thanks to the closed door.
Dining in the British Airways Club World Business Class
Something British Airways has always been lacking with is the dining experience. While there has been a change with the caterer, I’m still not one hundred percent fond of the offerings, even though they certainly got better. Upon boarding, the service flow started with a welcome drink.
Menus for the flight were also distributed shortly after, but the service was not exactly charming, which I thought was a bit disappointing.
Up in the air, things slowed down even more, which set the pace for the whole lunch experience. It took a full 45 minutes until another round of drinks alongside some (tasty) nuts were served.
While I liked the presentation, I became more and more obvious that service wouldn’t be a bright spot of my experience in the British Airways Club Suite Business Class. While the Lufthansa Business Class or Swiss Business Class have more of an assembly line kind of service, it just works much better than the really slow service flow of British Airways. Nevertheless, the presentation of the starter alongside a bread basket was beautiful.
I went with the Severn and Wye Scottish Smoked Salmon, which happened to be a good choice. Other options included a salad, a meze plate and a cep soup.
The bread roll was good, but I would have hoped for some more choice from the bread basket.
For the main dish, there was a choice of Grilled Chicken, Thai Vegetable Curry and Seared Filet of British Beef. I went with the latter, but the meat definitely wasn’t perfectly cooked and I also didn’t love the potatoes that came with it. It was okay quality for an airplane, but by no means exceptional.
Most annoying though was that this dish was only served 120 minutes after departure. Until dessert arrived, it took another 30 minutes. The Chocolate and Caramel Layer Cake was decent, but not great either.
All in all, I’d say that the lunch experience in the British Airways Business Class was a bit disappointing. While the food quality was on par with what other airlines offer, the service just wasn’t quick – neither good nor friendly. The afternoon tea service before landing (alternatively there were tapas on offer) was somewhat of a brighter spot per se.
It was served 60 minutes before landing and the table was cleared another 15 minutes later, which is a service pace I’d generally expect. The quality was good as well. Nevertheless, the whole dining experience in the British Airways Club Suite wasn’t as good as I hoped to. The airline still has ways to go in this regard.
Entertainment in the British Airways Airbus A350 Business Class
The entertainment options in the British Airways Club Suite Business Class is quite good as well. I was a bit disappointed in the beginning as neither magazines nor newspapers were offered, but at least the entertainment system is good.
There is a choice of dozens of movies, tv shows and music. Particularly the choice of movies and respective languages for those is very good, so that’s an area where British Airways is shining.
It’s also worth noting that the entertainment system works very well, has a good resolution and thus allows for a nice watching experience – more so than for example in the Thai Airways First Class.
For enjoyment of the entertainment system, headphones with noise cancelling are offered and I thought that those are quite good without being overly great. Another very good thing about the British Airways Club Suite is the WiFi on board, which has a simple log-in.
Sadly, even for BA Business Class guests, there’s no free WiFi offered. Instead, you have to pay for each Megabyte you are using, which is surprisingly contradictory to the rest of the British Airways fleet. At least, the WiFi is working very well and offers quick service. Yet, you should plan to spend quite a bit of money if you plan on doing some serious work.
Amenities in the British Airways long haul Business Class
As you’d expect, there are quite some amenities offered in the British Airways long haul Business Class. This includes the usual bedding I’ve spoken about earlier, but also an amenity kit from the White Company. It’s well stocked with the typical amenity kit, but definitely doesn’t feel as exclusive as what some other airlines offer, particuarly compared to something like the Alitalia Business Class.
The lavatories on the plane were kept clean during the flight. Other than that, there’s not all that much to speak about on the amenity front in the Club World Suite.
Overall impressions of the British Airways Club Suite Business Class in the Airbus A350
I must say that I’m somewhat impressed with the new British Airways Club Suite Business Class. The new board product on the Airbus A350 offers one of the best seats out there and beats other European airlines by a stretch. Nevertheless, British Airways still has some weak spots, including the mediocre service, only so-so catering and average entertainment options. While I wouldn’t hesitate to fly the British Airways Business Class on the Airbus A350 again, I think there’s still room for improvement.