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Is the new British Airways Club World business class seat the old Emirates seat?

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2019 is now approaching, and with it the arrival of the first British Airways A350 which will feature the new Club World seat.

Whilst BA has filed a number of patents showing various designs, you shouldn’t read much into this.  Patents are filed all the time whenever someone has a workable idea and it doesn’t mean they will ever be used.  The only thing we know for certain is that all seats will have direct aisle access.

Cabin crew website paddleyourownkanoo is claiming, from apparently two separate sources, that British Airways has now abandoned the idea of developing a new seat in-house.

More surprisingly, it claims that both sources have confirmed that BA has settled on the Emirates A380 seat – a seat which first flew in 2005.

The obvious flaw in this story is that Emirates only uses the seat on its A380 aircraft.  It has never been retrofitted onto its Boeing 777 fleet, which implies that it doesn’t fit.  Even now, the new Emirates Boeing 777 business class seat bears no relation to the A380 version.

Let’s assume that BA has found a way, though.  It is not a crazy idea.  I have flown the Emirates version many times.  It is a surprisingly dense configuration which would appeal to BA, without actually feeling so dense because the seat walls are quite high.  You get a lot of personal space.  You get huge IFE screens.  You get a small private mini-bar at your seat.  You retain a middle pair, in some rows, for couples who want to be side by side.

The biggest oddity is the seat length.  To allow all passengers direct aisle access, the seats which are adjacent to the aisles are shorter than those directly by the window or in the middle pair.  This is to create a gap for the adjacent passenger to walk through.  Whenever we fly it, my kids go in the middle pair so they can be side by side (and get the longer seat) whilst all 6’2′ of me gets the shorter seat adjacent to the aisle.

The full article is here if you want to check it out but don’t take it too seriously.


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Comments (69)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Phillip says:

    Minor, but 2005 was when the A380 first took to the skies. First delivery to launch customer SQ was in 2007 with EK receiving their first A380 in 2008!

  • Lumma says:

    Surely, other than having awful fake wood, the Emirates business class is very similar to Iberia’s seats?

  • Catalan says:

    Perhaps IAG will standardize the seats on all their longhaul fleet to the type already installed on the Iberia/Aer Lingus aircraft.

  • Martin says:

    I know we’re always banging on about the poor quality of BA Club World, but I think other airlines have realised just how little value we get for our money. The seat density, poor food and often no direct aisle service together with circa 90 CW passengers without an obvious increase in crew means reduced service compared to most carriers. Yesterday I was booking a LHR-MIA-KIN, SDQ-MIA-LHR open jaw business class – the choices were BA and AMERICAN – I select AA over BA always (efficient service, better food,121 configuration, better seat). Two things emerged, you can make a KIN connection to MIA unless you fly BA – they have the earlier flight and also if I used BA transatlantic it was almost £400 cheaper – there is a supplement for using AA! I would be interested to know if all the 121 configuration (which is most of them) airlines are going to introduce supplements for a proper business class product?

  • Anna says:

    OT – if you use the Lloyds upgrade voucher for a flight beginning from one of the regions, is the upgrade applied to the connecting flight as well as the main one? And do you have to use avios for the connection like you now have to do with an ordinary connecting flight? The upgrades don’t seem to apply to any of the direct BA flights from MAN, so it looks like I’m going to have to use it to fly from a London airport.

    • Genghis says:

      Applies to all sectors for the one way (or return for 1 person), yes. Not sure why it wouldn’t allow you to use it on one of the direct from MAN flights. One ways need to be booked on the phone anyway. Perhaps give avios a call up?

      • Anna says:

        Thanks Ghengis, I assume it’s because they are CityFlyer and these seem to be excluded in the T & Cs. ????

        • Nick says:

          Yes, the lloyds Avios vouchers are for Mainline flights only.

        • Genghis says:

          Thought it was ex-LCY specifically excluded? I burned one on BACF in Oct ex-EDI

        • Genghis says:

          “Upgrade vouchers can be used to upgrade either 2 one way flights for 2 people travelling at the same time and to the same destination or 1 return journey booked on a British Airways main line service. British Airways codeshare flights are excluded. Flights from London City airport are excluded.”

          It does indeed specify “main line”. I booked mine as a one way over the phone. Perhaps @Anna should do the same. Plz report back.

    • Liz says:

      I just used my 2 Lloyds vouchers and was told I couldn’t use them for domestic connections which I hadn’t factored in to my calculations. So we got less value for the voucher but it was either that or not use them at all – I couldn’t do that as Lloyds have fully funded our whole Tallin and Helsinki trip!

  • Paul Hickey says:

    here’s my view having flown BA 777 & A380 Club World and Emirates 777 & A380 Biz in the the last few months.

    A380 – Emirates wins. The Bar makes a nice difference, loads more privacy, food is better, IFE / Screen (inc WiFi) is miles better, much more space overall and much more storage, lounges are a lot better too.

    777 – about the same. Wouldn’t want to be in the middle seat on Emirates but the seats are comfy to sleep in and the IFE screen is good.
    BA is ok if you get the rear row window seat with direct isle access, although the IFE screen is the poorest quality I have ever seen. I used 3M sticky pads with my iPad and stuck it over the top!

    Price – I usually fly to south east Asia and on these routes BA is nearly always cheaper. In my own mind, £1500 is about as much as I feel comfortable paying for a biz seat and these days, Emirates rarely comes in below that, whilst BA often does. I often start my journey from Amsterdam to get these prices.

    £1300 is the cost of my next BA flight to BKK (plus £40 to AMS) Emirates was £1800.
    My concern is, as BA moves to a proposed new seat with direct isle access, I don’t really see how it can be anything other than a 1-2-1 config, meaning less Club World seats and surely an increase in price. So for me, as daft as it may sound – I’d like them to stick with what they have and keep prices affordable (to me). The fact that I can collect 20k (40k + inc my g/f’s ticket) AVIOS per trip and an annual 241 voucher is also a huge bonus!

    • Dwadda says:

      I agree with this poster that the price will increase because BA will want to protect its revenue and with fewer J seats the only way they do so is to increase the price.

      The big problem for readers of HfP is that reward availability will be less making redemption proportionally harder thereby reducing the value of avios and the 241 in particular … Imagine having to ring the US call centre to use a 241 just to fly to JFK…

      To my mind the value of avios is enhanced by BAs J density. The only way I continue this 241 game we all pay thousands a year to play with BA if they reduce the density is if BA Golds get improved reward availability as we currently get in Y. BA could do this by increasing the availability of R booking class (2 per flight in addition to the 2 award seats BA policy currently dictates) and letting Golds book into this with Avios. Better if it were I booking class but I expect that would be too generous..

      ..avios are worth much less to me if I cannot use them to fly CW. Even with this proposed enhancement, I suspect only Golds would be able to use two 241 for a gamily of 4.

      • Rob says:

        I agree, but you don’t need to reduce density. The Qsuite has the same density as the rubbish old 777. Put feet in cubby holes and you save vast amounts of space to create mini-suites.

  • Iain says:

    Is etihad sale any good?

    • Nick says:

      When is the QR one coming?!

      • Andrew M says:

        QR are doing a good job of building up the anticipation for this. I presume they have a fair ammount of excess capacity due to the blockade but they certainly havent dumped it into the market all at once. Fares have been very good recently, especialy to Aus and NZ but I’m hoping for some real treats when the big sale finally comes. Maybe even better than last year?

        • Rob says:

          Not sure. It has a different name. I also have a discount code for UK bookings.

        • Cate says:

          Qatar have waited too long for us and we’ve booked else where. I think they’ve stretched it out too long and should have remembered long haul night stops in Doha aren’t everyone’s cup of tea plus, there’s the whole Middle East thing going on.

    • Rob says:

      Average – £1800 to Bangkok, £3k to Oz. Will mention it next week.

    • Talay says:

      Etihad’s “sale” is underwhelming to say the least.

      I think their is a problem with their IT in that they are attempting to manipulate availability but their coding it imprecise and errors are being seen in end prices with zero availability when all logic dictates that you would code from availability out to price rather than have algorithms pick a price and try to shoehorn in availability.

      They have also raised fares to move the goalposts for redemption margins ahead of the 15th January devaluation. I notice this as I am less than 2000 miles short of 75% of a redemption and thus cannot buy the remaining miles.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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