BA brings new business class bedding to Sydney

By David Flynn, May 18 2018
BA brings new business class bedding to Sydney

British Airways plans to extend its new Club World business class 'sleep experience' to Singapore and Sydney in the next few months. with an upgraded menu to follow around the middle of the year.

The two-pronged push is part of an A$700m overhaul to the airline's business class service prior to the debut of an all-new Club World seat in 2019.

The bedding upgrade will see new products from upmarket British homewares retailer The White Company rolled out onto the daily BA15 flight from London starting May 24, and Sydney’s London-via-Singapore BA16 from May 26.

This includes a plush oversized pillow in white cotton pillowcase, with one side designed for “day” use and the other for more comforting “night” use.

There's also a supportive cushion for daytime use that provides lumbar support while you work or watch videos; a soft woven blanket with satin trim; and a custom-made duvet and padded mattress cover to provide an extra layer of comfort and improve quality of sleep.

By December 2018 or January 2019, business class passengers on both the Singapore and Sydney flights should also be enjoying British Airways' revised Club World meal service.

Designed by high-end European catering firm Do&Co, this features a freshly prepared starter, dessert or cheese board from a new display trolley, with the chosen main course served individually by cabin crew.

Both the meal service and bedding were launched in late 2017 flights between London and New York and have since been rolled out to a series of destinations in North America and Asia including Boston, Washington, Newark, Chicago, Montreal, Toronto and Hong Kong.

Read: British Airways shows off new bedding and food service

And as the countdown to next year's launch of its Airbus A350 jets featuring the 2019 Club World seat,  British Airways has also begun a subtle Club World upgrade on its Boeing 777 fleet.

The changes bring both the seats and the cabin closer to what you'd see in BA's Boeing 787 business class, including crisp grey and white seat shells, new cushions and LED 'mood' lighting.

Read: First photos of British Airways' Club World business class refresh

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

30 Aug 2013

Total posts 448

Why does it take so long to change a blanket and pillow?!?

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

24 Jan 2013

Total posts 30

cos there english lol


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Aug 2016

Total posts 59

lipstick on a pig

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

14 Jan 2014

Total posts 314

You took the words right out of my mouth 👄😂😂

31 May 2017

Total posts 3

Best comment on this thread!!!! So true!!!!

17 Mar 2017

Total posts 14

I'm really hoping that the pathetic and largely pointless refresh to the 777 club world cabin will only apply to the Gatwick fleet, and that the Heathrow fleet will get the new 2019 club world seat (whatever that may be) when they go in for their refit.


If that is the case then it is relatively logical given Gatwick is primarily used by leisure travellers and any reduction in density would severely impact profit margins on these routes. Club world will be significantly better than any offering of Norwegian for example, and I much prefer the hard product to that of Virgin Atlantic.

This is really just bringing the product back up to the standard they were at when it was brand new, so is completely out of date and uncompetitive when compared with almost all other airlines.

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

10 Mar 2018

Total posts 1

BA can undertake all the Club World seat, meal & sleep service upgrades it wants, it simply cannot compete with other airline’s Business class product. Essentially, it’s the TERRIBLE 2 x 4 x 2 [8 seats across the cabin] configuration it continues to use, even in its newest aircraft. Rear and forward facing seats means that wherever you sit in this configuration, you stare directly at the Pax in the adjoining seat. There is a [small] privacy screen between the seats. However, if seated in an aisle seat, when the screen is used, you cannot see outside the aircraft. Their cabin configuration is totally overcrowded and constrictive. This [so-called] business class cannot compare. Even Emirates will drop its 'dreaded' Business Class middle seat on their B777. I simply cannot understand how BA can compete in this market.

11 May 2018

Total posts 14

Sooo true, will never fly BA under this configuration.

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

24 Jan 2013

Total posts 30

because the british seemingly arent aware of what else is available , its mind boggling look at CA A350 for example and BA fares arent cheap.....

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

31 Aug 2012

Total posts 194

Those aisle seats look the most public business class sleeping accommodation of any airline. I would not even consider it!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1388

The trolley looks good in the photo, but when your the pax sitting much lower??


And still not great for the window seat pax

sid
sid

07 Jan 2011

Total posts 42

It's about eye height. The photo was taken at an angle capture more of the tray.

15 Sep 2012

Total posts 92

How many people have banged their left knee on the jutting out bit containining tv? Looks like you would have to twist and contort just to sit down! Seems a bit claustrophobic!!!!!

AJW
AJW

16 Nov 2011

Total posts 560

I’m not a small person and have never had an issue getting in or out of the Club World seat nor have I felt claustrophobic in the window seat. I don’t have any problem sitting backwards either. That said BA’s seat and product is certainly getting a bit long in the tooth so a change would be wlecome.


It’s been a while (probably 8 years) since I have flown BA, but alas have a business class flight to London coming up in June. Will be interesting to see if the new bedding is on the route come then.

07 Jan 2014

Total posts 41

The new service is not being catered by DO&CO but continues to be by Gate Gourmet. DO&CO is only available on the LHR-JFK route (which was also the case before the service changes).

13 Sep 2016

Total posts 56

My understanding is that new meal service elements such as the trolley, dessert platter etc was 'designed' by DO&CO as it says in the article, however the 'operational' catering side of things is different.

23 Mar 2012

Total posts 92

Experienced the " product refresh " from LHR to JFK last month." Lipstick on a Pig " sums it up perfectly . The improvements were simply a yawn and had absolutely no impact on the lackluster service that consistently plagues the airline . A new duvet does not camouflage the reality.

AT
AT

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Sep 2012

Total posts 293

I have never read a positive post about BA club world, ever, is it really that poor?

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2387

Personally, I don't reckon it's that bad. Not great-amazing-wow, either, but BA is aware of this and that's why they are working on a new and much-overdue Club World seat. Sure, it's not as good as a modern 1-2-1 business class - and not just about the layout but lack of 'personal space' around the seat (compared to modern seat designs with shelves and cubbyholes and what-not). I'm not a fan of the mixed forward/backward seating. The issue then may come down to pricing - if BA's Club World pricing was a lot cheaper than those more modern alternatives perhaps it'd suffer less by comparison. That said, every time I've flown BA Club World I've still managed to enjoy the flight, and to me that counts for something!

AT
AT

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Sep 2012

Total posts 293

Ok thanks David. The amount of negative feedback about Club seems to be more than any other premium airline, damming in some reviews, I just couldn’t imagine it being that bad.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Dec 2012

Total posts 16

Believe me, a dog kennel below would be more comfortable.............flying backwards at 40k feet squashed into one of these spaces with staff that are just the industry standard worst..............BA need to do something and a quilt just does not cut it.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Jul 2013

Total posts 209

I fly BA between JFK and LHR about 6-8 times a year in a combination of Business and First, and while the hard product and cabin service is not on par with other premium carriers (eg SQ, EY, CX, etc.) the overall experience is not bad. There are some J seats which are simply much better than others (eg the rear-facing seats ahead of the Emergency Exit on the upper deck of the B747 are sublime for their privacy and access to the storage bins built into the side wall under the windows). The service is good, polite and efficient if lacking in warmth, but to be honest, on most flights I'm not looking for much more because I either want to be left alone to sleep or work. The new bedding does make the sleep experience a little more comfortable and if the flight is not full you can ask for an extra set to really plump up your bed, something the Cabin Crew have had no problems doing.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 362

BA Club World is perfectly fine, and I prefer it to the Qantas Skybeds (though not the new Qantas J suites on the A330 and B787). I've found service in J and F to be on a par with Qantas - but as always, it depends on the actual crew. And I can always find food that I like on BA - something I sometimes struggle with on QF.

17 Mar 2017

Total posts 14

I agree with some of the more positive replies you've had regarding club world. The product isn't competitive with a lot of other major carriers latest product, although it does guarantee a full 180 degree flat bed on every long haul aircraft, which a lot of other airlines do not.


Backward facing has never bothered me at all, the take off gives you a slightly strange sensation but other than that I don't notice a difference. The big downside to their seats is the lack of storage space and side table etc, and their service level is more inconsistent than other airlines I have flown.

I think BA get such a large proportion of negative reviews is at least partly because of how far they have fallen. When club world first launched it was world beating, and BA had for a long time been seen as one of the best airlines in the world, yet while other airlines have improved in leaps and bounds, BA has stagnated in some areas and got worse in others.. yet still charge more than a lot of other airlines.

Its not bad. Its comfortable enough. The service is mostly fine. But it is overpriced and other airlines are often better.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2014

Total posts 104

Yes, it is.


Their First is a very good Business Class.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Feb 2014

Total posts 451

Hard product still sucks.

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

19 Jul 2014

Total posts 19

I certainly agree, Lip Stick on a very tired PIG.

I would never choose BA Business while they have that crazy back to front type seating.

Having experienced it once, I know how John West get so many sardines into a tin.

Joe
Joe

03 May 2013

Total posts 472

BA a NEW seat with pyjamas would be an enhancement. Wouldn't fly BA in J for free...esp on a noisy 777 all that way from Sydney. The first service is even worse than Qantas 'first'.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Mar 2014

Total posts 133

No its not. QF first service is excellent and BA first service is also excellent.

BA Gold

01 Apr 2012

Total posts 160

Just a minor point - the mini cushion has already had the chop from the bedding pack.


If i'm honest I don't think BA deserves the amount of negative reviews that it gets on here. I get it, in the sense that OZ has a great home town airline (QF) who's main competition is the ME3 and asian airlines that all offer an amazing product.

I live in europe and so travel mainly european and US airlines. I choose to fly BA. Why? Because their hard product is consistent. Mediocre? Absolutely. But I know whenever I get on a BA flight I will have a fully flat bed and efficient service which are the two main factors for me (admittedly my longhaul travels are nowhere near the scope of LHR-SYD mainly UK-US).

I've had my moments with BA and tried the competition across the atlantic - both the US carriers and european ones. I generally enjoy flying AA which has a very good product as does DL. But their crews are not as friendly as BA. Virgin Atlantic is OK but the marketing definitely does not represent what you experience on board with a lot of cost cutting evident. United Polaris is a good product but has a sum total of five out of hundreds of their aircraft fitted with it.

We recently had a bout of snow that paralysed the airports in London and I ended up taking Eurostar to CDG and flying Air France. I was pretty much looking forward to it as i've heard good things about them and was looking forward to flying their A380's. I was shocked when I boarded to find their A380's all have angled seating in Business Class! BA 'dormitory' was like the Ritz in comparison (although the food and service were very good on AF).

Ironically, BA's own group airlines Iberia and Aer Lingus both offer far superior hard products to the 'mother airline'. I really like Aer Lingus especially as they offer US pre immigration in Ireland.

I know this post will attract a lot of 'thumbs down' and I can completely understand when comparing BA to other carriers on the UK-SYD route. But for those of us living in europe and travelling a bit closer afield (europe - US is the biggest market for most of the airlines here) the competition is a lot more limited and BA does not score quite as badly. And although the new catering and bedding isn't anywhere near as good as a new seat at least it's something in the right direction although a new seat cannot come soon enough.

AJW
AJW

16 Nov 2011

Total posts 560

I tend to agree somewhat. The offerings of Qantas and BA in the grand scheme of things are pretty good and to me reflect the culture of the countries that they call home.


I’ve flown with the airlines that many consider to be top notch and whilst it is hard to argue they aren’t I never feel comfortable with the fawning and I find in business class the service to be somewhat fake and scripted. I’ve written here before about my feelings on SQ, great airline, great service but the service is mechanical and scripted and once they get thrown a curve ball they don’t know what they are doing. And I base this in about 40 SQ flights in the past 5 years.

I find Qantas service to be a lot more personal and as a result a lot more casual. But that’s exactly how I like it and if we are honest is how we as a country operate. And BA similar in being more personal though a little less casual but as mentioned haven’t flown then in 8 years so haven’t experianced their new lower paid contract staff.

first world problems, lol! If a competitor is available for the same $ use them, if you're on business and someone is booking for you, ask nice for a flight on an ME3 carrier or someone else. If you're "forced to endure" the "horror" of BA make the best of it. Leave the negative energy for something worth it, you know, like freaking out when there is a weather or mechanical delay and the airline doesn't have an extra plane and crew sitting around for just such an occasion (insert eye roll here)

25 Feb 2012

Total posts 78

Why would you give a coffin an upgrade

I flew the rear facing window seat, 10A both ways, to and from Tel Aviv. Due to overwhelming negative comments, I had very low expectations. However, both legs actually turned out to be enjoyable and sleeping friendly - the 30% full cabin also helped. Crew were more than friendly, and efficient. Honestly, nothing piggy about it - as long as it is lie-flat and there is no need to share personal space with a complete stranger, I won’t complain. The real pigs are EBL and EBG with shared space, tilted Skybed I and (apparent) less friendly J services.

23 Aug 2011

Total posts 60

I recently flew QF one of their last flights Mel/Dxb and the Dxb/Lhr and then BA down to Jnb/Dur and the home on QF ex Jnb.
I was in PE and QF killed BA I thought that their[BA] PE product was very poor and in fact in line with QF Y the only difference slightly bigger seats. Crew were absent throughout the flight and food was Y class standard. Dreadful 187ml undrinkable Spanish Red.
Would not waste my companies money on BA J if their PE is so poor.
AJW
AJW

16 Nov 2011

Total posts 560

Re BA's premium economy seats, your experience to me highlights one of the issues with premium economy which is different airlines have different interpretations of what it is all about which in turn makes it hard to genuinely compare them.


For some airlines, like Qantas it is a business class lite, for others like BA they take it more literally and it is an economy class plus.From reading reviews it seems like SQ is in the latter category too.

04 May 2015

Total posts 255

So, in other words, they're still flying a crap and uncompetitive seat to Australia, but just hiding it underneath a fancy new blanket for when you're trying to sleep (of course, until the person near you wants to get up and bumps you awake when trying to reach the aisle): but hey, at least the pillow is big.
#priorities

28 Dec 2016

Total posts 69

Pig on a lipstick?

QFF

19 Sep 2013

Total posts 160

Flew BA Toronto to London last year and was pleasantly surprised. Had a great night's sleep. Main issue for me was lack of suitable small item storage space, the only available spot being a small drawer which was hidden under the bed when the bed was setup. Not as bad as folks may believe.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 362

Yes, storage can be an issue in the old Club World seats, unless you are in one of the window seats with a storage locker on B747 and A380. I much prefer the BA J seats over the Qantas Skybeds. And the food on BA is generally better.

AJW
AJW

16 Nov 2011

Total posts 560

Flying BA16/15 to LHR next month (not by choice), so this will be an improvement.

QF

26 Apr 2012

Total posts 2

I will never fly BA long haul business class whilst they continue to have the appalling 2-4-2 cramped configuration. It is a far inferior product to their competition. The revamps are really only patching up the problem, not solving it. They need to start from scratch.

24 Apr 2018

Total posts 6

I have flown J on BA many times, and almost all the other OW carriers too. It's not the best out there, but a window seat, facing backwards is (for me) a great sleep, and very private. That said, the configuration, 8 across is well past it's sell by date. Some pillows and a blanket and improved food is just an attempt to stem the tide of people choosing other carriers, especially when as others have noted, BA in J is not exactly a bargain. New seats installed fleet wide is a very long way off.

BA Gold

01 Apr 2012

Total posts 160

@ Chriscollard - you are completely right. Rolling out a new seat to 150 plus long haul aircraft can not be done in a small amount of time. Changing the food and bedding can be done in a far shorter period of time hence you are correct when you say that (for now) it is 'patching up' the problem.


Has BA waited too long to install new seats? Probably. But then I guess when you look at it through the eyes of those that make the multiple million pound decision to invest in new seats the picture is a little different.

Profits and yields are what airlines like QF/SQ et al can only dream of. Compare this with carriers in its own back yard like AF. Is this an excuse for offering an outdated product? Is this scenario of high profits for last gen product going to last forever? No. And that's why (finally) things are changing.

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) had taken a dive when compared against competing airlines and this issue has to be addressed. Investment is now urgently required and although a seat will take time, a 'quick fix' is tinkering with the other stuff.

I actually attended a forum where Alex Cruz spoke about the new seat and although he wouldn't let much away (except for the fact ALL will have direct aisle access) he did say that he was determined to not fall into the 'United Polaris trap'. In other words, once the seat is revealed and commences implementation, the rollout will be rapid. He wishes to avoid a scenario like UA where they have spent huge money hyping a product that still only exists on a couple of their hundreds of jets.

Let's face it - BA will never be in the realm of the ME3 or probably even QF in terms of keeping up with the most cutting edge of product. But in comparison with its biggest competitors in europe and across the atlantic it should be able to hold its own.

For all the whining above and comparison to QF, it’s worth noting that BA have a consistent, fully flat product across their entire long haul fleet. QF have 3: angled sky coffin mk1, flat sky coffin mk2 which now droops to be closer to mk1, and the amazing new suites - which you can’t fly on any of their ultra long haul flights except for PER-LHR. I have had good and bad experiences in BA J, but also on QF J. It is all around the crew on the day. While we would all probably prefer to fly QF suites long haul to Europe with their superior meal and cabin service (until recent cost cutting with cafe breakfasts etc), it just isn’t an option yet.

The ME3 still provide inconsistent product too, but are generally a better standard across all products. For those who are UK based and need to fly to the Americas and Asia however who want to stay loyal to one carrier, what option do they have?

24 Apr 2018

Total posts 14

Its definitely good to have some level of certainty as to what you'll be getting. Like, stuff can always go wrong and there's a risk that the CX 773 you have lined up to fly on will get swapped for a DC10 (or whatever) at the last minute, its really not that likely and a risk most rational people are prepared to eat and will understand if it happens.


Qantas, meanwhile, advertises on their site that the 744 has the A380 experience ( https://www.qantas.com/travel/airlines/B747-refresh/global/en ) when they are still flying one 744 that doesn't (VHOEB). Same goes for the 330.

If you looked at the Qantas website, you could reasonably conclude that the likely (I say this because there is always the possibility that you get bumped to another carrier's metal) worst case scenario for a long haul flight is the "fully flat" skybed II, when that isn't the case. Pretty crummy in my book.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Jun 2015

Total posts 17

You have to be really desperate to fly BA now or in the future.

AJW
AJW

16 Nov 2011

Total posts 560

That is a matter of opinion really. Plenty are clearly happy enough with them to continue to fly them.


And frankly whilst no longer leaders they are not too bad compared to many other airlines.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1204

Plenty of people don't have much of a choice to fly BA, whether they are happy about it or not There are many UK companies with corporate travel contracts with BA, and if you live in London your best (and sometimes only) option if you value non-stop connectivity over all else is BA.

05 Jan 2018

Total posts 25

Or if you fly SYD-SIN regularly, they generally have the cheapest PE, oops J fares and company policy insists on cheapest. So you get stuck on BA.

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

19 Jul 2014

Total posts 19

Sorry don't care how much lipstick they put on that Pig, after my last four long haul experiences, I'll give them a big miss, never to darken their doorway again, except in emergencies maybe.

,

BA Gold

01 Apr 2012

Total posts 160

Opinions will vary and that's what makes the world go around.

Would BA be my first (or second or third) choice from LHR to Australia? NO! Being based in the UK would it be my first choice from LHR - the USA/India/Africa? Likely.

It has to be said that of all the large european airlines out there - LH, AF, KL, AZ, IB and more - only BA continues to serve Australia. And it's not because of some emotional brotherly connection. It's because some people DO chose to fly BA for whatever reason. The few european airlines that did serve OZ all dropped it. Because it just isn't commercially viable for them. The resources it takes to maintain a daily euro-OZ schedule is huge - aircraft utilisation, crew costs. And BA would ditch the route in a second if it wasn't making money for them.

The best thing that happened to BA on the SYD route is when QF teamed up with EK and dropped the via SIN route shifting to via DXB. BA picked up a lot of traffic on the SYD-LHR route and even upgraded the aircraft size from a 777-200 - 777-300. So it will be interesting to see how BA fares now that QF have re-started via SIN. So far though, BA continues to enjoy almost full flights on the route with excellent yields. They haven't had to significantly cut fares and getting redemption availability is virtually impossible. It enjoys one of the highest load factors on the entire BA network.

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

19 Jul 2014

Total posts 19

Quite right Eminere, What a position to be in only ‘BA’. I feel for you if you are.

sid
sid

07 Jan 2011

Total posts 42

If you're flying on the A380 try seats 50 A or K on the upper deck. Very private, side bins for storage, and easy access to 2 huge bathrooms in the front of the cabin. I slept 8 hours in 50K on a recent flight.

AJW
AJW

16 Nov 2011

Total posts 560

Flew BA16 earlier and the week and all I can say is the new bedding is at best a waste of time and a total PIA.


Why a PIA well it comes in this square package that they plonk on your seat that needs to go in the overhead locker for take off (why they don’t put them there to start with is beyond me). And inside is a duvet and some other bags of linen that I have no idea what they are for. In my case they just found their way into the floor.

The only decent thing was the pillow bit but not sure what a day and night side is all about. Same same to me.

And amenity kit bag might come in handy for something later but contents ho hum. Just like BA ok but nothing special.

BA Gold

01 Apr 2012

Total posts 160

BA seems to have brought the new Club dining concept forward.


It will now feature on the LHR-SYD route from July 1st instead of September.

BA Gold

01 Apr 2012

Total posts 160

AJW - the packaging and where it is placed was part of the marketing agreement with the White Company. I'd hedge a bet that BA gets an extremely good deal in exchange for the White Company branding being visible when passengers board the aircraft.


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