Why British Airways’ Club World Doesn’t Deserve All The Criticism

British Airways flies a Boeing 777 once daily between London and Madrid (mostly for cargo purposes). As an Executive Club member, I paid 12,750 Avois + $22 for my flight.


A few days ago I took my first flight in British Airways Club World (Club Europe in a Club World seat to be exact). I went into the flight with extremely low expectations given that most of the blogosphere seems to dislike the product. Granted, I was only flying for two hours from Madrid to London. So no, I didn’t get to live in the seat for 10+ hours, but I’d say I had enough time to sense what a 6-7 hour transatlantic flight would be like.

British Airways 777-200

This seat is far from perfect, but in this post I want to share five areas where the Club World seat excelled, in my experience.

British Airways Club World Seat

Yes, the seat is old. Yes, the cabin is dirty and yes, it’s awkward facing a total stranger for the first 30 minutes of the flight. However, I’d actually take this seat over a standard forward facing or herringbone configuration. Here’s why:

The privacy 

One thing I was surprised I hadn’t seen people emphasize before is how incredibly private the window seats are in this configurationI’d even say they’re even on the same level as the Apex Suites. To me, privacy is the single most important feature in business class, and British Airways does well on this front (but only in the window seats).

The privacy partition gives you your own cocoon.
The privacy partition gives you your own cocoon.

Secure storage 

I was expecting the Club World seat to have very little storage since I’ve never seen a detailed look at the storage space available.

British Airways Club World Storage Drawer

Firstly, I felt way safer storing my valuables in here than exposing them in some forward facing seat or even the Apex Suite. Secondly, the drawer is big. While it’s not too clear in this photo, I managed to squeeze in all the following items and close it without a problem: a 13-inch MacBook with a case, a Tamron 16-300mm camera lens, a GoPro, my Bose QC3 headphones in their case, a spare camera battery, a lip balm and a full-size DSLR GorillaPod. I’d like to see someone fit more items than that in most reverse herringbone configurations. 😉

Easily accessible power and USB ports 

You’d think airlines would appreciate the value of power and USB ports in 2017, but it seems like many still don’t. Perhaps this won’t be as important if the electronics ban is extended to Europe, but for now, and on other routes, I value conveniently placed power ports immensely.

British Airways Club World power ports

There’s one power port and one USB port positioned so that you can easily charge devices in the storage drawer.

British Airways Club World

Meanwhile, there’s another USB port by the shoulders so you can charge your phone while using it.

A flexible, sturdy tray table

Am I the only person who appreciates a movable tray table?

British Airways Club World tray table

Not only can this table be moved backed and forth by more than a foot, but it can also be easily folded so you can visit the lavatory without packing all your belongings or putting them in your seat.

British service 

For those who don’t know, I was born and grew up in London. While Brits can have their bad days, I generally view them as some of the most service minded people in Europe. The crew on my flight were absolutely fabulous. Even though our flight time was less than two hours, I was addressed by name and personally welcomed by the purser at my seat (probably due to my Executive Club Bronze Status, which isn’t much to flaunt). When I told him I had one more flight to get to Executive Club Silver, he was genuinely excited for me.

I know crew can vary widely, but I’d generally be surprised to have better service on an American carrier than on British Airways.

Bottom Line

I understand where the frustration with British Airways comes from. Sadly, they’re hurting their brand and reputation with the way they’re cost-cutting in economy class. There are flaws in their premium services as well, particularly the Club World soft product on long-haul flights from what I hear, but I think they deserve some credit. The now aged Club World seat still offers many unique features that can be hard to find in new cabins on other airlines.

Comments

  1. From the privacy point it’s because you had a good window seat. Try the couples middle with a stranger and you asked yourself why you are paying J price this

  2. Very well explained, and very very true. Nice job Daniel! @Ben – please can we have a place to access all of Daniel’s articles? Add him to the author section?

  3. Sorry Daniel, British Airways offers a great value business class when it’s on sale and stackable with discounts. But it’s not a very good business class product.

    Eight across dorm-style seating on a Boeing 777 isn’t anything close to world standard in business.

    BA’s business class is *not* horrible, it’s just not up to what’s being offered by American, Delta, or Air France across the Atlantic. And from London is doesn’t come close to Cathay Pacific, Qatar, or Singapore Airlines.

    Service varies a great deal from crew to crew, and I think I do it real justice in this report:
    http://viewfromthewing.boardingarea.com/2016/03/21/just-bad-british-airways-club-world-business-class/

  4. To some ways I agree with you, but the crew on the long haul flights are really mixed between terrible to fantastic, so I don’t personally have hopes about the service in flight. The real reason British Airways club world is okay to me is the cheap price and the value. The constant fare sale across the Atlantic and the very good use of BA miles for short haul redemption.

  5. Sorry I disagree, try a 10 hour flight in an aisle seat – it sucks! Sure the window seat is cosy but do you really want to pay $60 to pre-select it? BA club is really, really bad. I’ve flown BA, Singapore, Cathay, Sri Lankan Qatar in business over the last 12 months and the Club seat/service was the worst by miles.

  6. It is ONLY the window seat which is good, but remember the comments – yes it’s old, yes it’s dirty – that’s a big deal. The older planes are really dirty!

  7. Nah, Daniel. Strongly disagree. A 2-hour intra-Europe hop isn’t remotely close to flying across the atlantic, or worse, intercontinental routes to Hong Kong, Singapore-Sydney, Dubai, Tokyo, or anywhere where their competitors offer much better seats. Though the privacy and secure storage space makes up for lack of direct aisle access (in aid of someone else’s feet when laid flat), it doesn’t even compare to the Apex suites. Then there’s the price tag that comes with it, what were they thinking? “Charge more for less valuable product”? BA could’ve fitted their A380s with something similar to that of Etihad’s J configuration if they want to fit as many seats as possible using the dovetail configuration, but they didn’t even bother. My money is much better spent elsewhere

  8. @Gary Leff +1

    Not even close to being competitive on any level – cost, service, and/or hard product.

  9. These are all valid points.

    Service on BA is a bit inconsistent, but I’d still rate it the best overall. It’s way better than US airline, I’m not into the subservient cabin crew of the middle/far east carriers.

    Seats obviously not as good as reverse herringbone, but window seats are decent. If people are refusing to pay a bit extra to get a window seat that’s their loss. Getting stuck in the middle is, I agree, an unacceptable experience, although there are limited routes that the flights are that full.

    I do think it’s often overlooked how accessible they are though, in terms of sales & redemptions.

  10. Actually, I rather agree with Daniel – provided you can get a window seat. And if you get one at the rear of the cabin you have direct aisle access so it’s effectively a private booth. As an anti-social introvert, that’s a *much* better space for me than, say, Virgin’s aisle-facing herringbone seat. It’s also vastly preferable to those 2-2-2 layouts (say the otherwise lovely Qantas), or, even worse, those with massive tv screens in the seat backs where you are constantly distracted by your neighbour’s viewing choices (crappy old Qatar planes, rather than their brilliant new ones).

    BA’s soft product has deteriorated: catering has gone massively downhill, and so has the snack bar (so you can’t make up for a crappy meal).

    Is it my first choice? More often than not, no.

    Is it the worst J class in the world, as half the posters here seem to claim? Absolutely not.

    And it has one big advantage over, say, Polaris – you will get exactly the same product in every BA long haul flight. Every single one. With most other airlines, you could get their brilliant new product – or you could be stuck with the crappy old product that’s not been replaced yet

    Av geeks love shiny and new. Those of us who have to fly for business tend to place more value on consistency. Certainty is worth a lot when you’re knackered and about to fly home.

  11. All Americans ever do is moan about BA.

    Actually you get some pretty cheap deals on BA with the various stackable deals you get – along with the sales which you get and no-one else does. I’d rather have a BA crew than an AA crew any day. I do accept that the AA J seat is much better on the 777, however AA lounges are rubbish and AF’s in general aren’t that good either.

  12. Reasons Club World does deserve all the hate:
    1. The ground experience at Heathrow is dreadful. Lounges are overcrowded, with terrible and limited food options.
    2. The cabins are dirty. The seats, especially in bed mode, are uncomfortable. The beds are too short for anyone of above average height. If you don’t get a window seat you’re essentially stuck in a gloomy windowless box for the flight once the privacy shields go up.
    3. Catering is usually terrible, especially on flights to the Middle East. Or try taking an evening flight to New York… if you’re not Executive Club Gold / Emerald you will not get your first choice. Sometimes you don’t get you first choice of meal, unlucky. But every other airline I’ve encountered that problem with made sure I at least got my first choice during the second service. BA, nope, we always give priority to the most frequent fliers. Last time I flew BA CW I didn’t get my first choice of starter or main during the main service on either sector.
    4. The service is consistently slow, sloppy, and underwhelming. Lacks any sincerity or professionalism. Nothing like hearing their conversation in the galley, even though you’re sat several rows back.

    But it’s ok, they have a sturdy tray table. Even Daniel was clearly struggling to find many redeeming features if the best he can come up with is complimenting the table.

  13. I have to strongly disagree. A 2-hour European hop isn’t remotely close to flying across the Atlantic or on intercontinental routes and as such it’s not a realistic view or review of BA J Club World. You really can’t be seen as a reliable and credible voice if you can compare the BA seat favourably to the Apex suite. Lucky, please do the airline reviews; that’s why you have such a loyal following! You are totally reliable and credible, Daniel is not in your league.

  14. Daniel, I’m sorry, but I disagree. I used to fly BA a serious amount, including 3 or 4 returns to SYD via SIN every year (sadly no choice as employer insisted on BA). I now fly c250,000 a year and would do almost anything I could to avoid BA. In the last few months I have flown Singapore (my preference as predominantly based there) as well as Qantas, Cathay, American, United, Sri Lanka, Qatar, Emirates, Etihad and Eva. BA is comfortably (pun intended) the worse. Their product is woeful by global standards on long haul. The only thing that keeps BA going is that they (well IAG) own 50% of the slots at the most restricted and over crowded airport in the world (LHR). If there was any serious competition to them at Heathrow then they would have to do something to improve a poor hard product and a deteriorating soft product. As they don’t have to, they won’t. I accept fully they can discount quite deeply, but the whole experience with them is so underwhelming that it takes a lot for me now to actually consciously choose to fly them. And having to pay to reserve a seat (which from memory I used to be able to do for free when BAEC Gold) is just an insult.

  15. Pretty much lost me at:

    “Yes, the seat is old. Yes, the cabin is dirty and yes, it’s awkward facing a total stranger for the first 30 minutes of the flight.”

    It didn’t really matter what you said after that…. 😉

  16. I had a great experience flying it last year. The service was good, food was great, and I slept well for a few hours.

    The only thing I disagree with is that there are low expectations across the blogosphere. I’ve really only seen that viewpoint here. (Full discretion, gleff’s clickbait titles caused me to stop reading vftw a while ago)

  17. You weren’t on long enough to use the facilities and climb over a sleeping passenger. The worst is when you’re in the aisle seat next to the window and you get kicked by a total stranger who has to climb over you.

    Possibly the worst thing is sitting in a seat where there’s another passenger behind you every time they shuffle their feet or move abruptly, you feel like someone is shaking your head. Not cool.

  18. @Brenton, same here. Clickbait articles AND the shameless self-promotion by Gary Leff made me stop visiting. And it only took three months.

  19. No mention of BA’s spiteful attitude to latecomers at Heathrow, a dreadful airport full of unexpected delays – if you’re passing security less then 35m ahead you’re automatically offloaded even if you can see the gate and there’s no plane there.

  20. British Airways Business kicks ass. It delivers with a points and cash (fuel surcharge) option from Europe to Austin with no stateside connection. My family of 3 are 3′-4″, 5′-1′, and 5′-8″ and skinny. Fit well in seats. 5 year old loves to face mummy on flight. Dad gets the private window seat. We arrive in Austin at 4 pm Sunday. Breeze through global entry. Rested and ready for work on Monday. Availability for 3 is almost always there in peak summer season, We’re flexible Dad will take a flight day earlier or later if 3 frequent flyers not available. I have great difficulty finding round trips on United. Can usually get outbound on United or Partner business FF for 3 to Europe. BA is our go to way home in a business product. We are willing to pay $1000 to $1500 total surcharge for three home in Business to complete itinerary. BA has plenty of space for us. They many not be on par with other business products but the increment of different is slim. A comfortable lie flat suffices. Avios and AA miles easy to collect. The surcharges and many business seats make for great availability. 355 day bookings allow connecting home when booking at 330 days with other airlines.

  21. LOL, what a silly, click bait worthy article. I appreciate the review is subjective (as are my interpretations of the comments). However, BA is an OK option when the price is right and because I can earn a few QMiles and Qpoints with them. If you were to come from a Qatar Airways J flight and then boarded a BA J seat, you would cry thinking that you had been placed in a dirty premium plus seat :p In addition, trying to bridge a 2hour flight with that of an 8hour trans Atlantic flight is simply ridiculous. Add a shi**y cabin crew to your 8 hour flight and you are on your way to a memorable flight :p Anyways, you caught me, I commented, webtraffic lift job done. :p

  22. The drawer isn’t close to enough storage for me.
    The main issue is that it is totally inaccessible once you are in bed mode, as it is hidden far beneath you.

    Variety of storage is also an issue. On QR you have a deep bin on one side (equal in size to the BA drawer) plus another deep bin with chilled water holder under your other armrest. You then have an extremely sturdy surface up by your head, another to your side AND a moveable tray table.

    The cabin crew are also incredibly variable in my experience. Praising BA for the British service is like praising AA for their American service…

  23. Yes for 22 dollars and a few miles for a two hour trip is excellent value and its great, especially compared to an A320. Maybe if you spent $6k and up and had a clue what others had to offer, which is better and includes almost every other carrier, then your opinion would be different.

  24. @Jimmy

    looooooooooooooooool

    “I’d even say they’re even on the same level as the Apex Suites”

    No, they aren’t. The privacy screen in the Apex Suites can stay up during meal time. They can’t on BA. So it isn’t just during take off and landings that you have to stare at the person sitting next to you, it’s also during the meals. So if for nothing else, that’s why the Apex Suites are still a level above the BA seats.

  25. Daniel stop posting here. No one agrees with you and no one wants to see your poorly written & photographed corporate shill blog posts. Go create your own blog for this crap.

  26. Not sure how a power point at floor level is “easily accessible” – can’t get to it if the seatbelt sign is on, can’t get to it if you have your tray table out, can’t get to it if you have your seat reclined…..do I need to carry on?

    Window seats may have privacy but they’re tight (no I’m not a large person). Aisle seats have no privacy and are very vulnerable to whatever is going on in the aisle and the centre seats may as well have stadium seating around them they’re so not private.

    Sturdy tray table? I’ve never encountered one of these in BA CW…either you got very lucky or I’ve had the worst run of bad luck.

    Storage? You have one drawer….which suffers from all the same accessibility issues as the power port.

    Sorry, BA Club World is a woefully inadequate Business Class product and your one experience of it clearly wasn’t enough for you to get any kind of true feel for what it’s like.

  27. I fly TATL 10/12 times a year, about half in BA, almost always in business/club (once in a blue moon in first or in human ballast section). I have BAEC silver and get to select my seat at booking.

    I select a window with direct aisle access and I think it’s the best product out there. If I get an aisle where someone has to climb over me, it suddenly becomes far, far less compelling, and me climbing over someone else is no fun either.

    Food wise it’s better than AA by a longshot, but not quite as good as Iberia, all of which I’d prefer to AB. (Haven’t tried KLM or Swiss yet, which I think is the other real competition now, the others have hubs that are too remote for my travel, while Virgin’s schedule and prices keep me away). I also haven’t tried AF’s new business class, but the horrors of the old one plus transiting terminals at CDG scare me.

    Service: I’ve never had a bad experience, though some crews are better than others. Likewise with AA and Iberia, but AB I avoid but my limited experience means I don’t have a firm position yet.

    Where BA fails, and the others are no better but it’s not their home so they don’t get blamed, is the dreadful situation at LHR, especiallly changing terminals. Barajas has its own issues, but no one blames Iberia for that ridiculous and uncivilized scrum at passport control when exiting.

    I totally get how a London based traveler would opine about it not being as lovely as Cathay or Singapore, and that’s fine and all, but no sane person is going to is going to fly to China to get the US from London and I really can’t take you seriously when that’s your yardstick. If you want to spend £10K and 30+ hours to get to New York from London via HK that’s your business.

    The hate BA club world gets, in my not that limited experience, is way overwrought especially when compared to its competition.

    Finally, enough with the ad hominem attacks on the author. Not cool and uncalled for.

  28. Nice review! The executive summary for those without time to read it:
    It’s dirty
    You’re face-to-face with a stranger until altitude
    It’s old and out of date
    Window seats have privacy, everyone else doesn’t
    Reviewer was able to find the power outlets SO STOP BEING MEAN TO British Airways!

    Laughable.

  29. I agree with Daniel. Especially comparing with LH, LX, KL and the older AF planes the BA seat is perfectly fine. They are even more narrow in the foot area than BA and offer about the same privacy like a BA aisle seat.

    Having that said, yes CX, SQ and also IB as well as AA (reverse herringbone) are better.

  30. “When I told him I had one more flight to get to Executive Club Silver, he was genuinely excited for me.”

    No they weren’t, there’s not a single person on the planet who is excited by you almost reaching Silver…

  31. Recently flew BA from LHR to Bangkok , in club world on a 777 . Seat was appalling . No IFE . No privacy . Aircraft old dirty and smelly . Food a very poor standard . Crew did the best that they could with what they had , some crew great others very average . Overall will not fly BA again , prefer the gulf carriers , Qatar ,Emirates or Etihad ,if not them most of the Asian carriers are great . Give all those legacy airlines a wide berth , they have had their day .

  32. “When I told him I had one more flight to get to Executive Club Silver, he was genuinely excited for me.”

    No he wasn’t. You really are childishly gullible.

  33. @Mark: it’s genuinely cheaper, and thus return better value, to backtrack via FRA to JFK on Singapore Airlines, or via MXP to JKF on Emirates. Both operate A380s packed with better food and crew than what BA could only fantasize about employing. Consider contacting Emirates for a status challenge (not match, as there’s a catch) to Skywards Silver. Assuming you have the luxury of time, of course. Because last I checked, LHR-JFK fares could be $5000-$7000.

  34. A summary of the emails says it all really – I am a Gold Card member with BA and have watched the business product hard and soft, deteriorate to such a degree as to leave me preferring any other One World carrier – to actually say it’s a good product from a little trip from Madrid is comical – try climbing over someone’s legs in the dark in the middle of a 12 hour flight from your “great window seat” to get to the by now filthy toilet and then tell me you think it’s a good product! Try and open your “storage” drawer ( tiny) when seat is in a fully flat -not possible – the product is rubbish and BA should be ashamed to sell it as a business class contender .

  35. Hi;
    Isn’t the lower storage compartment you put all your valubls in supost to be for your shoos?
    Kind regards
    Robert

  36. How do you find on what routes Club world seats are offered within Europe. Best seat in C within.

  37. I bet half the people who righteously proclaim the extent of Qatar J’s superiority over BA CW can (like me) only afford it after they redeemed a few avios and £35 on BA to get to wherever in Europe Qatar were having a sale from. Or like @Ourmanin someone else was paying. And yes Qatar J is obviously better — provided it isn’t one of the old planes!

    Discounts etc and BA is affordable and convenient when you need to get from A to B directly — and AmEx 2-4-1 anyone?!

    Also, are the Heathrow lounges so bad?! Try flying through South America, especially domestic flights — usually you’re lucky if there is a lounge at all. At LHR, if you’re gold (e.g. from all your discounted Qatar J flights out of ARN and AMS) you have a choice (including CX and AA) so if you don’t like the food then you can nip across somewhere else.

    Qatar and CX are better but some of the criticism of BA is totally exaggerated. The window seats are super private, and if having the divider down for 1 min while you get the next course of dinner is really terrifying you probably need to seek professional assistance with that — though like others, I really value privacy when travelling alone. When in company I love being able to look at the other person while speaking!

    If you are a couple, sitting in the middle two seats is great when you just want to go to sleep and not get disturbed. Yes getting out requires a little effort if the next person is sleeping — though if everyone is reasonably careful it is no trouble at all.

    The power sockets by the tray are so convenient as you can plug in, store and the device is charged the other end — I keep my phone charging next to me.

    I always say, the service thing is a culture issue IMO. I don’t like Spanish / Latin service — think LATAM, Iberia. Any kind of problem and they more or less tell you it is your fault or they don’t care. Qatar… bit too fawning. But then I’m British… and yes, I even like the BA food — though it is far from the best.

    Tray tables? Always sturdy for me! And also appreciate that they slide so far.

    I am more than happy that a good proportion of my 3,200 Tier Points this year came from BA, and am extremely grateful that it has been so easy to get to discounted Qatar fares with just a few of the avios earned.

    Personal attacks on the author? No, *you* start your own blog — and see who follows you!

    Bottom Line:

    BA is far from the best — but rabid criticism seems bizarre and not founded in fact. The article clearly points out the defects with a fair evaluation of some of the good points.

    @Paul — I agree, I really value the consistency.

    @Ben Holz — I think gold card members in CE can select seats in First.

  38. I flew HKG to LHR the service was terrible the cabin dirty and one of the toilets out of order.

    Never any points availability from HKG.

    Any airline that charges to select a business class seat is a joke.

    BA definitely past it’s best. Would do anything to avoid them.

  39. Worst business class EVER. That freaking fold down foot stool is awful – I really felt sorry for the poor bastard sitting in the seat in front of me on my last BA LHR-HKG flight – every time I shifted in my seat, that effing foot stool POS would slam down into the back of that seat in front, probably giving the guy trying to sleep, a heart attack. I rate BA business as only one step above Air Koryo, and Air Koryo is catching up fast…

  40. Another “disagree with this review” here. The seats are narrow, the catering is usually poor, Heathrow is…Heathrow, and the privacy stinks (nless you have the window seat (and even then you have to stare at a stranger for a good chunk of the flight.) And, personally at least, I can’t stand facing backwards, and their seat reservation policy is ridiculous for what they claim is a world-standard Business product.

    @Ian – true, but for you BA is the only non-stop game in town. I know a few people here in Tampa who feel the same way and take BA to LGW rather than connect (the time savings there more than makes up for the slower ride into London compared to LHR), but for people with a non-stop choice BA is simply not a competitive product any more. When I lived in NY and had to fly to London 4-5x/yr on business, our London-based staff could choose between VS, BA, UA, or AA, but NY-based staff didn’t have the VS option, and this was incredibly frustrating.

  41. I agree about the privacy of the window seats. I love BA’s window seats on the upper deck of the 757. So private, and they have amazing storage by the window.
    I’ve never had to fly in any other seats in BA, but would probably hate the aisle seats and would loathe the middle seats.
    I don’t mind climbing over someone’s legs. I don’t love it, but I can do it without much difficulty and without pulling on the seat back in front.. And I am 69 years old and 5’4″. I’m guessing the complainers are way younger and taller.
    I’ve flown BA transAtlantic about 3-4 times and always had decent food and friendly, efficient crew. Maybe I’ve just been lucky.
    A BA Biz class window seat at a good price is pleasant for me.

    And what gives with the personal attacks? Why do folks feel empowered on the internet to say rude stuff that they probably would not say in person? It’s so high school.

  42. So drained… To put my 2 cents in, I am flying from Return Cairo to LHR and Seattle on BA then onward to Hawaii with Alaska, But all on BA flight numbers ‘I’ class fare.
    It was ridiculously inexpensive I paid $2400aud so must be around $1775usd – 1377gbp. Next to this all I could get to this with TK was about 40% more costly. AC etc even more expensive.

    The reviews and comments section here has me very far from excited as far as the product is concerned. But my main concern was to get to Hawaii for my 30th in at least some value for comfort.. Status and mile earn was a heavy considered factor. I weighed it up in that sense to keep me excited.
    If a lot of you guys here are frequent flyers you should have some status perhaps gold/sapphire with one world) I’m gold with Qantas & was able to select my seats for free as I quoted my QF number so there is no problems there maybe you should try doing that???
    Now where I see my value is when I get to the airport I’ll change my FF number to Alaska, Ill earn around 48k miles there for the trip. Buying 12k miles only costs less than $300usd with a promotion.

    This is the Crunch….

    That 60k miles is easily worth minimum 2300gbp-$3000usd to me in Australia to redeem a return flight to HGK in J with CX, Or 3 one way east to west coast J flights on Qantas, Which I’ll need either in the future. Both are excellent products…. So according to most, yeah i guess I’m going to have to suffer flying all the way from Cairo to Honolulu in business with BA & then return.
    Yeah my flight originates in Cairo so yes it was cheap, Yeah the product might not be great, BUT the value is in getting me where I want to go with a substantial earning of more valuable miles down the line, a lot of flying I do and time spent on sites such as this is based around making A to B future leisure travel more comfortable, less expensive.
    Its all mostly about the awards and winning, hacking, redeeming fares.
    I dislike getting consumed by the conflicting points of views of people on this or that, Everyone always wants something for nothing and everything is never good enough. I think a lot of either forget why most should be here reading this stuff or are just too over-privileged in the first instance to consider what a lot of normal everyday people value.

    I’ll be disappointed if my calculations are wrong, But it’s all a learning curve, for what suits my needs.

  43. The big decision-clincher for me usually is that:
    BA does fly to the middle of the US and consequently less crowded airports.
    My last flight on BA was n/s LHR-Denver. They have flights to PHX, AUS, DFW, IAD, SAN, SJC as well. What a relief that is as opposed to the nasty switching & connecting in huge airports of the bi-coasts. I also prefer a longer flight instead of two of approximately half and half.
    One other attraction for me is that they often fly a 747; my window seat in the bump is worth $60 in privacy.
    The two flight attendants on this last flight were old-school wonderful, beginning to end.

  44. I think on a short flight like yours, the seat is fine, however, when you are flying 10 hours in it, and paying close to $600 in tax’s and fee’s it is not a good way to travel. If BA would drop the Fuel Surcharge and upgrade the hard product we Americans would stop complaining.

  45. Most of you come across as self entitled twats. I’m sure it’s a long way from first or business class your parents reared you all.

    Daniel’s posts are informative and helpful. Get over it y’all

  46. Agree with you! I actually liked my experience with Club World, flew GRU-LHR, but got an aisle seat next to a family. Took me forever to keep the partition up, and its SUCH an awkward configuration! Also the flight attendants were nice at all to me…maybe because they don’t think a millennial flying by himself in Business Class should be respected like a 40 year old businessman in a suit & tie? I dont know but I rarely get good service when in Business/First and Im starting to think its because Im super young. ANYWAY BA business class tickets are cheap and to me, worth it.

  47. @Garyleff , Daniel started off the article saying that these are 5 areas in which the seat excelled. Stop reading hidden meanings into his words. Sheesh. Talk about always wanting attention, Gary. Please seek help. Cheers!

  48. Only @garyleff will claim that someone is talking about service when he starts off saying “this is where the SEAT excelled”. But then Gary also thought Dr Dao was more at fault that United was.

  49. @Twoclicks. I’ll bite. I do not churn credit cards to purchase my flights. I pay for my own J class seats on QR, and on BA and on AC… As for your comment that QR is better ‘as long as it’s not an old plane’, I would have to respectfully disagree. Even if you are on an older 777, the seats are comfortable, the wine list is far superior and the cabin crews range from good to outstanding.

  50. I’m always amazed at the people who moan about BA, especially idiots who say things like “worst Business seat ever”- clearly these people were not flying before about 2000, when J seats were all just recliners! (And bear in mind that before about 1990, all F seats were recliners too!)

    I’m in Australia and travel regularly to Europe in Business. My preferred choices (as a solo traveller) are either EK or BA. I find the BA Club World seat to be very private if in a window seat – and I always make sure I get a window seat. If you are at the bulkhead or exit row, you also get direct aisle access. And if upstairs on the B747 or A380, you also get a side locker.

    I’m a QF frequent flyer, but prefer to avoid the Skybeds on QF for two reasons: a) complete lack of privacy; and b) complete lack of storage (unless at a window seat upstairs on the A380 of B747). If QF retrofit their A380s with their new J suites (from the A330), then I would use them again.

    As to crews on BA, mine have varied from adequate to excellent – but I don’t expect to be fawned over, as some seem to like. And I can always find something I like to eat on the menu, which is more than I can say for some QF flights.

    And finally – for those who say Daniel shouldn’t write reviews because they disagree with his opinions – go back to North Korea or whatever tinpot dictatorship you want to live in. Everyone is entitled to their opinion – and theirs is not inferior just because they don’t agree with you.

  51. Truth be told, the best seat on BA with these types of seats are the exit row seats on the upper deck of the 747. Especially the window seats. You get extra storage space with the window seats and you have direct aisle access without having to climb over anyone. And sometimes the FA will even serve you your meal directly and not via the partition, so it still stays rather private.

  52. I have to fly across North Americas, Asia-Pacific very frequently for work and had the displeasure of flying BA on several occassions. I have to say BA is the worst big oneworld carriers. 8 Across on a Business Class, are you kidding me, this is 2017…not 2000 ! Even American Airlines have moved to a 1-2-1 seating (which is BAs new first class, shameful). BA is just too greedy, ripping off money from business class product. Not directly related to the business class product, but look how much they rip off on their fees when you try to take a BA award flight. I hope their business keeps going down, or better, wished they get thrown out of Oneworld. Hey BA, check out Sri Lakans long haul product…yes Sri Lankans!!! There is no comparison what so ever between business class products of CX, QR (even AA !) and BA, period . Its a waste of time discussing how amazingly sturdy the table is in BA, what a joke.

  53. As I’m flying 90% of the time together with my wife I have to say that I preffer BA’s businesd class over others. The middle seats are perfect for a couple. An if I fly alone I always take one of the window seats, as I’m silver I never have to pay extra for chosing seats.

    But it is true that a lot of planes are old and dirty, and the crews are only 50% of the time good.

  54. Iberia Business Plus seats are significantly better. The window seat is not facing the wrong direction like BA and is truly very private. The built-in massage feature is very nice for the long haul flights. Storage could be better, but it’s a better design.

  55. I think Daniel has done a great job here. If nothing else, it’s actually really hard to find a neat and concise article on the pros of BA. Whether or not people agree BA Club World is any good as a whole, these things Daniel has highlighted are still positive whatever way you slice it.

    A useful article for sure. Thanks Daniel!

  56. I must say, the comments above seem super subjective. What if you don’t carry the kitchen sink with you on your trips? The storage for example will be more than ample for many, so to say as “Gary Leff” says that BA doesn’t have a good business class product is like saying “coffee is only good when it has sugar in it”. It’s really a meaningless statement in my humble view.

  57. With respect – any experienced business traveler knows that BA are fully aware their CW product is no longer competitive . BA announced last month that they will be replacing the product but when is anybody’s guess. Meanwhile as per my previous post- I avoid BA long haul as much as possible as is my right as a customer- I love One Mile at a Time and think it’s a great help and very well put together- however I have the option to point out when I don’t agree with some comments such as the BA article- I am Daniel has no problem with this even if John P seems to!

  58. i was hoping to read something about the experience in World Traveller Premium. The report would not have come up yo Daniel’s expectations. my husband and I paid an extra £695 each and then £45 each to book our seats , thinking we’d have a more comfortable journey from LHR to Sydney, via Singapore on May 14th.

    The man who sat in front of me decided to lower the back of his seat so it was almost in my lap. Apart from the fact it meant I was unable to see the tv screen, I was virtually trapped; we are advised to combat DVT by moving about every hour, but in order for me to get out of my seat I was compelled to keep pushing on the seat back, in order to convince him to pull upright and allow me access. When my husband complained to him,he just said everybody does it.I had more consideration for the ones behind me, as they were against the baulkhead,and in any case, my seat didn’t go back that far.

    The attitude of the cabin steward was useless, as she only said the seats were designed to recline, and as that flight was called the night flight, most passengers went to sleep. I had to curl up in a semi foetal position to try to sleep, and then I was woken up by the steward to ascertain my seat belt was done up. I have always kept my belt done up, as advised by the policy on all BA flights.

    I complained in emails, to the Customer relations, but was told they could not offer any financial restitution, as they had to treat everyone the same. All they did was assure me of all the future plans for development and enhancement they had, which was of no comfort to me.

    I am waiting to hear from Head Office,following my reply to them in a letter. However, I will not be holding my breath. Perhaps my experience my be useful to any other person who contemplates paying extra and being robbed of the extra space supposedly forthcoming . I can think of other words to describe B A

    A lowly Blue exec , Murfee

  59. It’s true that BA does not have the best business class overing overall, but to say it is terrible is off the mark and misses a few advantages of the configuration. As some have already said, a window seat is one of the most private spaces in the sky, especially on the UD on a 747. Bag a window seat wth direct aisles access too and your laughing, no other seat on any airline has that much space in front of it. I know some are complaining about having to pay extra for seat reservations, but the whole point of that is to make sure that BA’s most loyal customers get the seat that they want for free. If you’re not a regular BA customer, why would you expect the same perks as somebody who is?

    I just don’t understand the comments about bad crew… I’ve never had a bad crew on a BA flight. Not like the surly AA flight attendant I had on may last flight back from NYC, so much so that I had to go and speak to the CSD.

    There is one really great feature of the BA Club World configuration though, and it’s one that most people on here will hate… the centra pair of seats. Admittedly, I would avoid them when travelling for work, but if you fly in business class with your family for vacation they are brilliant. Last summer’s NYC vacation was so much easier with my 4 year old daughter sat right next to me so I could help her with her meal, IFE etc. Next year it’s California… our boy will be three at the time so he’ll need his own seat and we simply couldn’t do the trip with the distance created by a reverse herringbone style. Not everyone travels in business class just for work.

  60. Club World was a world-beating product when it came out (1999?) and was among the first with a lie-flat seat. It’s reaching the end of its useful life and a new product is in the pipeline, so I’d judge it in that context.

    I find it perfectly adequate for the regular 10/11 hour trips I take. As a BA Silver I can choose my seat at the time of booking for free and, to agree with others, the rearmost window seats are the ones to go for as long as you don’t find facing backwards.

    I dont have an issue with someone facing me. Last time I flew the FA’s raised the privacy screen after the security briefing.

    Prices are often cheaper than competitors and the access to Heathrow and new T5 terminal mean it is a solid product, just dated and in need of an upgrade. Not the best but not the worst either.

    My biggest beef is the fees and taxes for award travel, but that’s another topic.

  61. BA business class does not compare to any of the 20+ airlines I flew over the past 24 months in C. Bad food, bad service, bad seat, extremely bad layout, $$$ required for seat selection in C. Never again. It’s too you just lose credibility with this post

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