First photos: British Airways' Club World business class refresh

First photos: British Airways' Club World business class refresh

British Airways has rolled out a subtle refresh to its Club World business class ahead of a broader overhaul due to arrive in 2019 in the airline's Airbus A350 fleet.

And 'subtle' is the operative word. Only the most observant of frequent flyers would spot the differences at first glance, when the updated BA Club World seats and cabin made their debut on a Boeing 777 flying out of London's Gatwick Airport.

Piers Gardiner
BA's Boeing 777 Club World refresh
Piers Gardiner

BA's measured Club World facelift brings the Boeing 777 seats and the overall Club World cabin closer to what you'd see when flying the airline's Boeing 787 business class.

For example, new seat shells see those faded beige panels swapped out for a crisp grey and white colour scheme. The well-worn cushions have also replaced, resulting in an immediate lift for the entire cabin.

Piers Gardiner
BA's Boeing 777 Club World refresh
Piers Gardiner

British Airways has also axed that traditional Club World lampshade – which did rather look out of place – in favour of modern LED 'mood lighting'.

Piers Gardiner
BA's Boeing 777 Club World refresh
Piers Gardiner

The colour and lighting levels can be adjusted during the flight, as well as during the boarding, take-off and landing stages, to contribute to the cabin's overall ambience and character.

Simon Skinner
BA's Boeing 777 Club World refresh
Simon Skinner

Tech-toting travellers will welcome the overdue arrival of a high-power USB socket.

That little 'battery change' icon beneath the jack indicates this USB port supplies more juice to your smartphone or tablet than a conventional USB socket, so that these devices will recharge much faster.

(It doesn't worry if you connect a modest device such as a Kindle ebook reader or a pair of battery-powered noise-cancelling headphones. While these will also charge faster than usual, they'll will never draw more current than needed.)

Simon Skinner
BA's Boeing 777 Club World refresh
Simon Skinner

Another small but welcome aspect of BA's Club World overhaul is the inflight entertainment system controller which takes care of content on the seat's video screen.

The new controller is much smaller, more streamlined and less cumbersome to operate.

Piers Gardiner
BA's Boeing 777 Club World refresh
Piers Gardiner

Flip it over and there's now a small keyboard on the rear, although we've never seen anybody actually pecking away at one of these things.

Piers Gardiner
BA's Boeing 777 Club World refresh
Piers Gardiner

The Club World cabin itself has been pared back from 40 seats to 32, with World Traveller Plus premium economy boosted from 24 seats to 52.

Those updated seats have been fitted with a new legrest and footrest, a "fully adjustable six-way headrest", 12 inch video screen (up from six inches previously) and a cocktail table with a side-mounted universal AC power socket for each passenger.

The same Club World changes are expected to flow through to the London Heathrow-based Boeing 777s late next year.

David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.
×
×

Forgot Password

If you’ve forgotten your password, simply enter your email address below, then click 'Submit'. We’ll send you an email to re-activate your account and enter a new password.

×