An intriguing hint about the new British Airways Club World seat

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As most Head for Points readers know, British Airways is launching a new Club World business class seat this year.

It will debut on the A350 fleet when they are delivered, with retrofitting commencing at the same time on the Boeing 777 fleet.  By Christmas there will be six aircraft with the new seat.  Oddly, they will not be used to fly on ‘flagship’ routes such as New York because there is no First Class on the A350.

(EDIT:  The BA order is entirely for A350-1000 aircraft and not 50/50 -900 and -1000 as I wrote originally.)

My expectations for the seat are not high.  My money has been, at best, that we get the Iberia seat on their A350 fleet which I reviewed here.  BA has confirmed that the TV will be fixed to the back of the seat in front, which supports the Iberia thesis.  Everything we know about the way British Airways behaves leads to that.

And yet …..

British Airways has launched a questionnaire via its Future Lab customer panel to shape the name of the new seat.

Let’s ignore, for a second, the fact that asking people to suggest names for something that they haven’t seen is not necessarily sensible.

Four concepts are presented:

Name it in a way that describes the product

Name it with a model number, like an iPhone (eg Club World XIX as it will launch in 2019)

Name it using a random word pulled out of the air (eg Club World Vector, Contrail, Ventral)

Name it using an evolutionary phrase (eg New Club World, New Generation Club World)

 Here are the examples for the first option:

This is very interesting.

We have to assume that whoever set this questionnaire has seen the new seat.  This means that ‘Club Suite’, ‘Club World Suite’ and ‘Club World Space’ are being seriously considered as names.

Now, there is chutzpah and there is chutzpah.  I doubt even the most confident marketing guru would call the new Iberia business class seat a ‘suite’.  The same goes for the American Airlines seat.

Yes, they are very impressive.  Yes, I like to fly them and I would be happy if British Airways introduced them, but they are not ‘suites’ in the sense the word is used now.

In 2019, a ‘suite’ on a plane, if you follow the definition used by Qatar Airways with their business class Qsuite:

Qsuite

….. has a door which opens and closes.

See also the new Emirates First Class Suite which – spoiler alert – I am flying on Thursday and am quite excited about:

Emirates First Class Suite Boeing 777

Whilst it seems hard to believe, there is a chance that British Airways is really planning to launch a Club World ‘suite’ with a door.  And that is a phrase I never expected to write.

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Comments

  1. Don’t know if anyone has posted it amongst the many comments (and OT) but Flybe are unsurprisingly dropping Avios at the end of April

    https://www.flybe.com/avios/faqs

  2. John Doe says:

    Well, I hope you loose your BA Futurelab access. I was wondering why they sent a reminder to keep things private …

    • Rob has stated on many occasions that he’s not in BA Futurelab.

      • I’m not. We see virtually everything. Remember when we got the scoop on the design of the new VS credit cards because a reader got a tour of the manufacturing plant?

        I have the full details on BA’s 1st Feb ‘big announcement’ now but tempted to not publish tomorrow to show willing.

    • Lose not loose. Rob already said he doesn’t have access and was sent it.

  3. Someones Upset BA!

    Dear Members,

    Unfortunately it’s been brought to our attention that there has been a breach of our Non Disclosure Agreement, with privileged content from our recent Club World activity having been shared outside this community.

    • I wouldn’t be as upset about that as about the massive customer data breach…

      • Quite! They seem more bothered about this than all the customer data they didn’t properly look after!

  4. Seaty McSeatface

  5. Bonglim says:

    Club Recline And Pamper
    Any other good acronyms?

  6. O/T was booked 1st class (Avios) to Newark on 777 in May. BA emailed today to say the flight had been replaced with Air Belgium (business class) due to ongoing engine issues. We only booked to Newark as that’s where the availability was but they rebooked us to JFK in 1st in 747 with no fuss after a quick call. In any case, I though it was the 787 having engine issues not the 777, or is BA using this as a general excuse for any plane changes now?

    • 787 does fly to Newark, so maybe this was an equipment change such that they would have switched it to a 787 if it was available, but therefore it got the replacement Air belgium plane instead.

      • Makes sense. Would’ve liked to try 1st on the 787.

        • very few 787 have first; it has to be 787-9 rather than 788-8 (often shortened to 788).
          I have flown out on 777 and back on 787 and could not really tell the difference.

        • 787 F is great IMO. Small intimate cabin with only 2 rows, and cabin looks very classy. Flown A380 F too and I for one felt like 787 was a nicer product.

  7. why is no one thinking the ‘skysuite’ JAL type config – ideal for BA – dense and direct aisle. 2-3-2

  8. Phil Duncan says:

    A ‘suite’ in business class for BA would instantly make it a better offering than their current first! I think their suggestions for a name can be taken with a large pinch of salt. It will be something densely packed and not up to current standards.

    • Maybe it was a typo and actually refers to the new dress code, a “business suit”.

    • Does having a door really make it instantly better than first?

      If it was like the EK/ SQ suites, then yes, Q-Suite/ Delta Squite, then no…

  9. Wallace says:

    Spoken to a crew in F class on my Christmas holiday flight out to HND. He did mention that crew training are already under way. Every seat will have direct isle access as well as a door. He did say that it is not a big, but huge step up.

    • Direct aisle access, like they technically have in CW, which includes stepping over someone’s legs from the window when the ottoman is down. BA is a joke with one of the worst hard and soft products around. Why do people ever even choose to fly it??

  10. OT re BA standard Amex. Just referred my partner for this. She now has the card. If she adds me for a sup card now will she be credited with 3k avios or is this an offer that isn’t always applicable and we should wait?

    • Did just this the other day and got the 3k almost straight away.

    • Charlieface says:

      I beleive it’s 1,000 for BA standard, as per this page
      (for some reason nobody ever quotes it? Rob???):
      www dot americanexpress dot com /uk/benefits/supplementary-cards/index.html
      It always seems to go through without a specific offer, no reason why it shouldn’t work for you

  11. BillyBobTheToadCatcher says:

    Name ?

    Sardines…
    Livestock…..

  12. BillyBobTheToadCatcher says:

    Probably the qatar style seat in biz followed by a qatar style seat with sliding door in F.

    I would love to think it would go someway to making it The Worlds Favourite Airline again – but I doubt it 🙁

  13. BillyBobTheToadCatcher says:

    Its probably the Ryanair stand up style and will be some as an ‘enhancement’.

  14. boobaholic says:

    Name it……………………The Bexit.

  15. boobaholic says:

    Or the BEDxit….!

    Or simply the Brexit.

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