British Airways puts new business, first class on Sydney to London flights

When it comes to comforts at the pointy end of a plane, Qantas flatly insists it invented business class, while British Airways reckons it’s a lay down misere that it conceived the fully lie–flat seat-cum-bed.

Whatever the case, ever since those pioneering times, both the nature and sophistication of the business class seat, or suite, and for that matter the first class variety, has never ceased evolving.

Now it’s British Airways’ turn to introduce updated first and Club Suite cabins on its Sydney-Singapore-London Kangaroo Leg route, where larger Boeing 777-300ERs will replace the current 787 Dreamliner.

The newly-designed Club Suite seats in the airline’s Club World (BA’s preferred title for its business class cabin) offer highly-desirable direct-aisle access, luxurious flat-bed seats in a 1-2-1 configuration and, crucially, a suite door for greater privacy.

It’s something that many business and first class passengers on premium carriers around the world now enthusiastically favour, if not even expect. Also, unlike   the slightly contentious current business class configuration, all of the new Club Suite seats and lie-flat beds will be forward-facing.

One other welcome improvement in BA’s business class is a 40 per cent increase in storage capacity, a clear deficiency in the previous seat which features a somewhat anonymous and difficult-to-reach floor level sliding drawer.

The new Club Suite also includes a vanity unit and mirror, inflight Wi-Fi access, 18.5-inch (47 centimetre) inflight TV screens, high definition “gate-to-gate programming” and PC and USB power sockets.

For additional in-seat (or “in-suite”?) snugness, a plush new pillow and a warm quilt by upscale British homewares brand The White Company have been introduced, along with a new amenity kit and an improved dining experience with each course to be served separately rather than all on one tray.

 “Each seat has been designed to offer privacy, comfort and space – a place where we know our customers enjoy to work, rest and play,” says Calum Laming, British Airways’ chief customer officer. “We are delighted to introduce it on our London-Singapore-Sydney route which is our longest route across the network.”

Laming says that the airline has strived to ensure that every aspect of its First and the Club World experience exudes “the very best in British style and the quality”.

It inadvertently coincides with a likely upsurge in global interest Britain as a destination following the pageantry surrounding the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II and the ascension of King Charles III and his forthcoming coronation.

The first flight featuring the new cabin seats by British Airways, which was absent for almost two years from Australian skies due to the pandemic, will depart from London Heathrow for Sydney on October 30 with the return leg to London from Sydney on November 1.

The writer recently travelled to Europe as a guest of British Airways. See britishairways.com

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