Book The Most Comfortable British Airways Business Class Seat Ever

It’s no secret that I’m not a huge fan of British Airways’ business class product, from the food to the service to the seat.

British-Airways-Business-Class

For me the worst part is the seat, which I find to be extremely tight. While airlines like American have four seats per row on their 777s, British Airways manages to fit in eight seats per row (admittedly they’re staggered a bit, but it’s still a tight fit).

British-Airways-Business-Class-777 - 6
Cozy British Airways business class

While this is of limited use to most, here’s a pretty cool opportunity. British Airways is expanding their fleet with Boeing 787-9 aircraft, and it seems that they’ll be introducing them on some routes sooner than originally expected.

British-Airways-787-First-Class-1

In particular, British Airways will be flying the Boeing 787-9 to Calgary and Hyderabad sooner than expected (currently the routes are operated by 787-8 aircraft, which don’t feature a first class cabin).

Via airlineroute.net, the following flights will be operated by the Boeing 787-9:

London Heathrow – Calgary Boeing 787-9 operates from 06FEB16 on selected dates. Operational days are
06FEB16 – 12FEB16 Day x134
15FEB16 Day 1
19FEB16 – 27FEB16 Day x247
29FEB16 – 06MAR16 Day x24
08MAR16 – 12MAR16 Day 246

London Heathrow – Hyderabad Boeing 787-9 operates from 04FEB16 to 13MAR16 (LHR departure) on selected dates. Operational days are (LHR departure):
04FEB16 – 05FEB16 Day 45
08FEB16 – 15FEB16 Day x256
16FEB16 – 02MAR16 Day 247 (787-9 will also operate on 17FEB16 from LHR, Day 3)
07MAR16 – 13MAR16 Day x246

What makes this interesting? Even though these planes are equipped with eight first class seats, British Airways isn’t selling the first class cabin on the above flights. Instead, first class is being sold as business class. If you look at the seatmap you’ll see the first class seats blocked off. Presumably (at a minimum) elite members will be able to assign these seats if booking on these flights.

British-Airways-Seatmap

British Airways’ first class product on the 787-9 is different than on their 747s, 777s, and A380s. While it doesn’t look that much better, it sure as heck is a lot better than British Airways’ business class seats.

British-Airways-787-First-Class-5

British-Airways-787-First-Class-3

Bottom line

If you’re traveling over the coming weeks and were considering flying British Airways transatlantic, it might be worth routing onto one of the above flights in hopes of being able to snag a first class seat. While service will likely be the same in first and business class, the seat looks significantly better.

Is anyone flying British Airways to Calgary or Hyderabad in the coming weeks, and able to take advantage of this?

(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)

Comments

  1. Same with the 1 747-400 they have that they fly to Accra. This 747 has not been retrofitted.

    It has the old old first class product, so they give the seats away in business class and let you assign them because people would be upset in getting the first class seat if they paid for it.

    This 747 will live out it’s life just flying from London – Accra

  2. Is it only for flights to Hyberabad and Calgary and not other 787-9 routes? Like Kuala Lumpur and Delhi?

  3. Asiana did the same with their short haul A380 routes, I redeemed mileage for business class return from Hong Kong to Seoul and got assigned both ways in their First suite! Give us more tips like this, Lucky 🙂

  4. Just FYI, BA started flying the 787-9 on its LHR-AUS-LHR route as of two days ago. I’m pretty sure Austin is their first U.S. destination for the jet (though I believe they’re adding SJC soon).

  5. @Lucky You seem to be forgetting the bulk of the American 777 fleet which due to delays in the retrofit is 2-3-2 angle flat still!

    At least on BA you know consistently what you are getting.

  6. @lucky

    why are you being a wiseass to lego? you showed a seat map referencing 232 config. If you wanted to address another config you should’ve posted that picture. Stop being so arrogant with your Mr.Knowitall persona. You’re not the only one who has ever been on a plane or flown BA.

  7. @ Paul — I specifically said the 777 has eight seats per row, and *did* post a picture of it. And it was all in good fun!

  8. As a BA Gold flying LGW-TPA-LGW last week I was pleased to snag one of the First seats both ways and found it decently more comfortable than the usual seats (although I still enjoy the standard CW seats – I remind myself of the decades of economy travel and then I’m super happy in them). The service and amenities etc were all based on the standard CW offering.

    They were blocked off on my outbound seating plan at OLCI but I asked the lounge dragon whether I could move and she was most obliging. On the way home, I was automatically assigned one of those seats up front. Definitely slept better. Nice experience overall.

  9. “British Airways’ first class product on the 787-9 is different than on their 747s, 777s, and A380s. While it doesn’t look that much better, it sure as heck is a lot better than British Airways’ business class seats.”

    Does this mean that the first class seats on the 787-9 are not as good as first class seats on the 747/777?

  10. @ paul: lucky was only correcting lego. Before you start making disrespectful comments, first read the text and view the pictures carefully!

  11. Just tried booking the 787-9 in business class as a BA Exec gold card holder to Calgary 9th July. It will not give you the option of picking any of the 8 first class seats. I would presume that this section will be closed off during flight?

  12. I flew on an AF flight that had 4 first class seats but no first class service. They kept that section blocked off and wouldn’t assign those seats to biz class passengers…not even to platinum flyers.

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