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IT’S HERE! British Airways launches Club Suite, the NEW business class seat – it’s good (Part 1)

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The waiting is over.  British Airways has launched its brand new Club World business class seat.

And, I have to say, it is far better than expected.

The product is called Club Suite.  It’s called Club Suite because it has a door.

I saw the seat on Friday via an impressive virtual reality simulation.  Whilst the downside of VR is that you can’t touch the fabrics or test the firmness of the seat, VR does let you walk around a ‘real’ cabin and get a better feel for the general layout than you’d get from sitting in a real seat on a factory floor.

I should say that the images supplied by British Airways, which you will see below, do not give anywhere near as good an impression of the seat as I got from my VR tour.

There are two videos:

360 video:


…. which should hopefully give you a better feel.  I added a couple of screenshots to the article.

British Airways Club suite business class

Where I can try Club Suite?

The seat will launch on the Madrid route in mid August.  The exact date is not known because BA only gets 30 day notice from Airbus of final delivery.  If you want to book a speculative Avios ticket, it is planned to operate the first Heathrow rotation of the day at 06.20 although this may change.

The first official routes will be selected flights to Toronto and Dubai.  Whilst the official press release is quoting October, Toronto may start during September depending on the delivery date.

British Airways Club Suite business class

What is Club Suite like?

Let’s start with the technical stuff first.  In this article on 31st January I speculated that it would be the Collins Aerospace ‘Elements’ seat, previously known as ‘Super Diamond’, but with a door.  Collins had produced a mock-up of such a seat, although no airline had ordered it, and we knew from a BA Future Lab survey that a door seemed likely.  I was correct.

The Super Diamond seat is already in operation with Qatar Airways (for non Qsuite aircraft) and various other airlines.  If you read my Qatar Airways 787 business class review here then you will have an inkling for what to expect.

British Airways new club suite business class

Tell me more about BA’s Club Suite

Let’s run through a few of the key features.  This is based on the A350 configuration, which will see a 56-seat Club Suite cabin in a 1-2-1 layout.

All seats have direct aisle access

BA has been touting ‘all aisle access’ for some time so this is not a surprise, and to be frank it is the very least you’d expect in 2019.

The seats are angled at 30 degrees instead of facing forward

This is the secret of Club Suite and indeed other variants of Super Diamond.  The reason that you are able to gain huge amounts of personal space around the seat is because your feet disappear into a triangular cubby hole under the back of the seat in front.

I know that not everyone is a fan of this layout, but I like it.  I can’t imagine, once you’ve seen the seat, that you wouldn’t prefer it to the old Club World layout.

The bed is 79 inches long, seven inches longer than at present

British Airways is advertising Club Suite as a 79 inch long bed when fully reclined.  This is seven inches longer than the current Club World seat.  In reality the bed is longer but because it tapers into a V-shape they are not measuring it directly to the tip of the ‘V’.

British Airways Club Suite new business class seat

The IFE is a 17 to 18.5 inch Panasonic screen

As BA has previously promised, the seat has a fixed TV screen.  The upside of this is that you can watch it ‘from gate to gate’ with no need to stow it away.  The downside is that it is sitting there in front of your face for the entire trip whether you like it or not.  As you can turn it off this is unlikely to be an issue.  The screen size will vary depending on aircraft type – the A350 seems to be getting 18.5 inches.  There is no mention of 4K.

There is a separate hand-held IFE screen too

There is a 2nd hand-held screen which can be used by anyone who prefers that.  There is also a display screen on the IFE controller, which means that you get three screens in total!

You have a car-style shoulder seatbelt for take off and landing

The seat comes with a double belt.  One comes across your shoulders and the other sits across your lap.  The shoulder belt only needs to be worn for take off and landing.  Apparently this is a trade off – safety rules meant that BA had to either fit a bulky airbag into the lap belt or make you wear a 2nd belt.  This option is seen as better because you are not encumbered by an unreasonably bulky belt during the flight.

British Airways Club Suite new business class seat

Storage is EXCELLENT

Yes, you now have somewhere to put your glasses.

In fact, you have lots of places.  You get a little cupboard next to your head which will take a small laptop or iPad (the A350 planes come with wi-fi).  There is also a flip up storage unit next to the control unit, which contains all of the charging options you’d expect in 2019.

Finally, there is a small storage unit near to floor level which contains a bottle of water.  This is apparently well placed for when the chair is in bed mode.

There is a vanity mirror

This is one of smart touches that you wouldn’t normally expect from BA.  The inside of the door to the storage cupboard next to your head is mirrored.  This allows you to check your appearance before leaving the plane.

British Airways new Club Suite business class

There is still a small privacy screen between the middle seat pair

If you are travelling with your partner you are likely to take a middle pair of seats if you want to chat.  The privacy screen slides left to right, instead of up and down, and is smaller than the existing one.  Even if the screen is open it honestly doesn’t invade on your privacy.

Because the seats are angled inwards it isn’t perfect for a couple who can’t bear to be apart.  Your head is a few feet away from the head of your seat mate – your head is actually nearer to the head of the person across the aisle from you.

There are overhead lockers down the centre of the aircraft

Some airlines have started to remove overhead lockers from the centre of the aircraft for aesthetic reasons, because it gives the cabin a greater sense of space.  British Airways has chosen not to do this on the A350.

The dining table slides almost fully away under your TV

BA is very proud of this.  Your tray table slots away under the TV.  When you pull it forward, it slides outwards and downwards.  This means that it is stored fairly high and maximises leg room.

The tray folds in half, so you can use it as either a table or a drinks tray.  Importantly, you can push it forwards when in use to allow free access to and from the suite.  This makes it easy to nip to the loo or attend to your children during the meal service.

Let’s talk about the door though.  Let’s talk about it in Part 2 of our British Airways Club Suite overview which you can find by clicking here.


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In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

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There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

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You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

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You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

EDIT: Applications for this card are temporarily suspended due to IT issues with the British Airways On Business SME loyalty scheme.

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There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

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Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (114)

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

  • JPK says:

    Yes! 79 inches. Now I can lie flat at last…

    • Simonbr says:

      Might have missed it.. is width any better than current CW lying flat?

  • Richard says:

    Nice. And by the time it’s fleet wide our little one will (hopefully) be able to sit still on his own!

  • Darren says:

    The seat belt is a positive for me, didn’t like the bumbag belt on Etihad especially when trying to sleep.

    Looking forward to trying this out.

  • Prins Polo says:

    Wondering how this is going to affect both pricing of cash tickets and reward availability.

    AA’s J award availability dried up completely after they rolled out the new seat on TATL.

    • Guesswho2000 says:

      Agreed. Amazingly I managed to get 2 reward seats on AA new J trans-Pacific, I didn’t expect that.

      Not that BA restricting availability will affect much ex-Australia, but their flights to LHR from SIN/HKG are my go to route to the UK, so this would be a shame, especially with CX award space being virtually zero now, since their pricing blunder last year!

      • Polly says:

        Agree. Feeling slightly apprehensive about those routes also. Our main ones are KUL and HKG in F using our 241 vouchers. SIN rarely available, so don’t even bother looking.
        In fact looking now for next Feb and hardly an F seat to be seen. Someone mentioned it might be because of the current J and F luxury sale.

    • Rob says:

      Supply and demand determines cash pricing but hard to put prices up until all aircraft on a route have it.

      And if I have the choice of a 2am Dubai flight with this or 10am with old CW I will do the latter …!

  • Alan says:

    Hmm not impressed with the foot cubby – any ideas how cramped it’ll be? The Swiss ‘throne’ seat was atrocious, couldn’t lie on your side. Finnair slightly better but still felt cramped.

    • Mike Wilson says:

      What would you be happy with?

      • Alan says:

        I’d prefer no cubby at all, but if they’re going to have one at least make it spacious enough that you can turn over in the bed without your feet being unable to move. In fairness that’s what I like about the existing CW seat.

    • AlexT says:

      This is nothing like the Swiss throne seat. Have flown it numerous times and its cubby is TINY and the seat itself is really short. The QR seat (also flown it numerous times) is much more spacious.

      • Alan says:

        Thanks, that sounds promising! I’ve only flown Swiss and Finnair’s versions, not tried Qatar’s

  • The Jetset Boyz says:

    “Which contains all of the charging options you’d expect in 2019.”
    Here’s hoping then for USB-C ports 🤞

    • Nick_C says:

      The USB ports in the F seats on the 789 are hopeless. The cabin crew advise people to plug in via the main power outlet.

  • BJ says:

    Ok Rob, now is the time to do the decent thing and pass on a list of names of all the HFP CW haters, including yourself of course, so that you can all be barred from future CW redemptions, leaving the suites available for the more-deserving few 🙂

    • Paul says:

      I am happy to be a CW hater and been banned from redemptions. As this product will not be guaranteed on every flight and route for years I don’t have anything to be concerned about.

      • Catalan says:

        The Q-Suite is not guaranteed on every Qatar aircraft
        The much talked about AA seat is only on their B77W….. your point is?

        • Nick_C says:

          The seat on AAs A330s (ex US Air) is very similar to the seat on the 77W.

          The seat on the AA 787 is the B/E Aerospace Super Diamond.

          All of AA’s J seats are arguably better than the current CW, but its good to see BA slowly starting to catch up.

        • Doug M says:

          Is the AA B77W seat better than the one on the A330, because I didn’t notice the difference.

      • the_real_a says:

        banned from redemption’s?

        • BJ says:

          Yup, don’t want to hear folks in the suite next door ranting about how bad CW is and how great ME3 is.

  • MKB says:

    The problem with BA is that, no matter how comfortable the seat, it’s impossible to sleep because they whack up the temperature to 24C and there are no personal air vents.

    If you’re under a duvet, the maximum cabin temperature should be 18C (as I think Qantas concurred when doing research for their LHR-PER flights).

    Any chance the new BA suites will come with personal air vents? I’ve slept much better in far inferior seats when they have these.

    • Jeremy says:

      That’s funny – I find the exact opposite! BA is my preference in business over all others almost entirely because I find they keep the cabins cooler then the rest! I don’t sleep well in the balmy temperatures of Qatar and Cathay 🙁

      Am I the only one that finds BA CW cooler than the rest? Have I gone mad?

      • John says:

        Yeah I need to wear a hoody as well as use the duvet

      • Ian M says:

        Agree. BA keep the cabin cooler than most airlines.

        • Alex Sm says:

          This is fully in line with the tradition of keeping the room temperature in British houses just above the freezing point!

    • Alex W says:

      I also have found BA mostly too hot. But the worse problem is the fluctuations. Just as you are dozing off under the duvet, the oven doors are flung open with a great waft of hot air for 2 hours such that you have to rip off the duvet and strip down to your boxers. Then you wake up shivering when it’s too cold again. Impossible to sleep through those temperature changes.

    • Duncan Stevenson-Price says:

      I found this too on BA’s overnight flights. I should have got a decent sleep in First, but it was so warm! Why would anyone want that? 🤦🏼‍♂️

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