British Airways New Boeing 787-9 First Class Revealed

British Airways will begin flying their new Boeing 787-9s later this year, which is the stretched out version of the 787-8, which they presently fly.

British-Airways-787-First-Class-1

In July British Airways announced that they’d be debuting a new first class product on their 787-9s. I was just excited to hear that they were going to have a first class product on the 787-9, given that they don’t have one on the 787-8.

At the time, British Airways revealed the following about the new 787-9 first class design:

  • The new BA First suites include additional storage areas where passengers can park their inflight gear, with a new ottoman next to the adjustable footstool offering room for shoes, handbags and other personal items.
  • A locker positioned at eye-level is intended for smaller personal effects such as tablets, reading glasses and amenity kits.
  • The jackets and coat locker is now accessible without passengers having to move from their seat, while a mirror has been fitted to the inside of the locker door.
  • There’s another nook next to their armrest where you can stow a smartphone or tablet while it’s being charged by the nearby USB port.
  • The large 23 inch screen is partnered to a smaller touchscreen controller with an independent display, and unlike the current design (shown below) the monitor is fixed in position so that movies and TV shows can be enjoyed on a ‘gate to gate’ basis rather than having to stow the screen during taxi, take-off and landing.

Well, British Airways has just uploaded a video about the new first class product on the Boeing 787-9:

Here are some screenshots of British Airways’ new first class product:

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British-Airways-787-First-Class-5

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British-Airways-787-First-Class-4

Frankly I don’t see this as much of an improvement over British Airways’ old first class product. Perhaps the most significant improvement is that the TV is mounted in front of the seat, as opposed to having to be “pulled out” from the seat in front, which was always a pain (and meant you couldn’t easily watch TV during takeoff and landing).

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The cabin continues to be extremely stylish, which is also true on the 747 and A380.

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British Airways 747 first class

British-Airways-A380-First-Class
British Airways A380 first class

But ultimately it just doesn’t look any more spacious than their old first class product, which I’ve long called the world’s best business class product. Perhaps the one thing that will improve is the service, given that there will only be eight first class seats, while the other cabins feature 14+ seats, which makes it tough to provide personalized service.

British Airways’ first class just doesn’t offer much more spacious than reverse herringbone seats available in business class on airlines like American and Cathay Pacific.

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American 777-300ER business class

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American 777-300ER business class

British Airways 787 First Class bottom line

Like I said, I’m excited that British Airways chose to install first class on their 787-9s. The product looks even more stylish than the old first class product, though not much more spacious.

Perhaps the biggest change is that there will only be eight seats, which should result in more personalized service. That being said, it likely also means fewer first class upgrade and award seats, given that it’s about half the size of their previous cabins.

Comments

  1. You are right. It looks very similar to the CX Business Class. I just flew SFO-LHR last week on the BA380 in F. The seats on the are only marginally better than the CX Business class seats and also somewhat better than the old BA F seats on the 747. Service and food was inferior to CX Business Class. It is miles away from CX F.
    Glorified Business Class is the right word for BA F.

  2. The video says they’re flying this to Austin…seriously? I mean, Austin makes total sense for a 787-8 destination. But I don’t see it as a market that warrants a 787-9, and especially not a market that warrants an international first-class cabin.

  3. @Dave- I’ve been told that the AUS-LHR route consistently sells out its J class, hence the reason why they’re upgrading the route to 789. There are a lot of money to be made out of this route.

  4. Pretty sure this is almost the exact same J seat on the QR A350 and also being installed by VA as a J product on all 330’s and 777’s. Manufactured by B/E Aerospace…and only J on other airlines but good enough for F on BA? Maybe the soft product will be THAT good.

  5. @dave AUS-LHR is going to be a 777 in October, so a 789 makes perfect sense.
    @ekartash SJC-LHR begins early May 2016 on a 789.

  6. Looks very nice but very tight, basically another upgraded version of Cathay’s biz class seat. 8 people crammed into that little front space, CX First on their 777’s only has 6 people in a larger space. I won’t say no to an upgrade, but basically, flying BA first is like flying CX / new AA / new AF, biz.

  7. I am looking forward to seeing if the BA service in a smaller cabin is an improvement over the larger 747/380. BA’s description of F on the 789 indicates there will be two FA dedicated to this cabin. I was able to get an award seat LHR-AUS for March 2016.

  8. Is this the only F-identified 787 cabin? All the other operators seem to have Y/J or Y/Y+/J service on their 787s.

    And, as others have noted, even this really looks just like J on AA or DL and much tinier than a J seat on SQ. On SQ this would be a Y+ product.

  9. Owen Etihad does 1st 789 IAD-AUH. ✈️

    We’re doing BA 1st next March cause I told hubby we can go business. t

  10. An homage to SQ (cross-hatch upholstery) and Virgin Australia (black reverse herringbone). BA have really lost their product innovation and brand halo but what they heck – they’re making money.

  11. Putting an international F cabin on the B787 demonstrates the same problem that was faced with the B767. The fuselage is not wide enough to provide a true F experience with 1-2-1, just as the B767 needed 2-1-2 to provide a respectable J experience. Given most B787 carriers have gone 1-2-1 in the J cabin, how can this F cabin really complete with such a hefty price differential? I suppose BA feels it must compete with an F cabin on routes that are thinner for it than for its competitors (LHR-DOH comes to mind, where QR is flying F on its A380s.) The only encouraging thing about this F is that J on BA’s fleet will be 2-2-2 instead of 1-2-1, so F will offer more space by comparison.

  12. Seems like my opinion of British Airways over the past couple of years won’t change with their new First Class product: BA stands for “Bloody Awful”!

  13. I flew first class from London Heathrow to Kuala Lumpur on the 787-9 ( outbound 31st of July and return 12th of August 2016). Service on board mediocre. Nothing great. Crew extremely slow to anticipate passengers’ needs. The toilet was just like in a low cost carrier ( only one in first class) and no Wifi. The most annoying part of the service was when we arrived in Kuala Lumpur. I asked about fast track and the stewardess brushed me off with ” we don’t do fast track here”. Appalling attitude. Return flight just as bad as far as service is concerned. Imagine flying first class, ringing the bell and no one bothering to reply. Had to call again after one hour to order breakfast. When asked if I could order breakfast the response was ” of course but we serve from the other side” Do I need to know which side they start serving from when it was supposed to be dining on demand???? BA’s first class lacks the personal touch and attention that you get in La Première with Air France. Service felt just like in economy class with nothing special. BA should note that passengers fly first class for the whole experience not just for a flat bed and nice cutlery. I never even got an e-mail to get my feedback. Very poor service and I will NOT recommend BA’s first class.

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