British Airways patent reveals new slant on Club World business class

By David Flynn, August 14 2015
British Airways patent reveals new slant on Club World business class

A new business class seat design from British Airways could literally show a fresh slant on its Club World seats, with layouts for the Airbus A380, Boeing 777 and Boeing 787 cited in the documentation.

Revealed in an application to the US Patent and Trademark Office, lodged in February 2015 and published overnight, the design shows angled business class seats arranged in three-across and four-across layouts so that each passenger enjoys direct and unimpeded access to the aisle.

Unlike BA's current Club World business class, there's no alternating forward/backward pattern...

... nor any close-quarters pairing of seats.

Instead, each seat is angled in a similar fishbone pattern as seen in the international business class cabins of Air New Zealand and Virgin Atlantic, as well as Cathay Pacific's older and controversial and now-abandoned 'cubicle class'.

Especially noteworthy: this concept is the work of UK-based design house Tangerine, which created today's Club World seats in their original iteration from 2000 as well as a 2013 refresh for the Boeing 787 and Airbus A380, with Tangerine CEO Martin Darbyshire listed as 'inventor' on the US patent application.

The seats would convert into a flat 1.9 metre bed by either fully reclining, or having the rear of the seat flip over to form part of the bed, while a large flat-screen monitor is built into each shell.

BA's patent application shows suggested three-across arrangements for a Boeing 787...

... and a four-across layout suitable for a Boeing 777 or the lower deck of an Airbus A380.

Also read: British Airways' new first class suites for Boeing 787-9

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT


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.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

14 Jan 2014

Total posts 338

About time... Although, as the article states, this is pretty much a herringbone layout that Virgin Atlantic / Air New Zealand have been using for years.

American Airlines - AAdvantage

13 Jul 2015

Total posts 271

Or even Virgin Atlantic...

American Airlines - AAdvantage

13 Jul 2015

Total posts 271

oops sorry, thought you said Virgin America, not Atlantic :(

21 Sep 2012

Total posts 49

I like the look of this and might have me flying BA again long haul as I don't like their current ying-yang seating.

31 Oct 2012

Total posts 4

I already see one problem with that which Cathay and Qatar considered and avoided; the Entertainment Monitor/Module becomes a total 'shin-banger' in the Lazy-Z or Full-Flat postion. Whether this design is too enclosed or not, albeit this is a huge leap forward for BA, as it still has 2-3-2 across like a Premium Econ seat.

BA Gold

01 Apr 2012

Total posts 182

Whichever seat it ends up being it won't be seen onboard an aircraft until 2018.  BA have said they will debut the new CW seat on the A350.

Given they have an enormous longhaul fleet it will be years five years before it's on the majority of aircraft.  I cannot understand why they allowed so long before updating it.  The competition has well and truely overtaken.  Although I guess when you look at the profit they are making they doing something right.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1380

Looks to have more room at the sides than most of the other herringbone designs - due to the use of the footwell with desk above.

Also gives the ability to allow gate to gate IFEwith theTV position, again something that other herringbone designs don't.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Jan 2015

Total posts 5

Seriously a beanbag from K-Mart on the floor is more comfortable than what BA calls Business Class.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Jan 2015

Total posts 11

Agreed .... 

Yeah, this layout is essentially the old-style Herringbone layout with the ottoman enclosed in a foot-box so as to provide the next seat with a workspace/table. It looks okay and it certainly provides that "suite" feel to it, but facing towards the aisle is bad for privacy.

But you know what?

This seat looks suspiciously like a more dense version of the Qantas A380 First Class suite. In addition, the design presented seems like you could fit a privacy door on it. It is also apparently less dense than a Cirrus or Super Diamond design since it can only fit 3-across in Dreamliners whereas the reverse herringbone designs fit 4-across.

Is this a "high density first class" or "Business-First" type of seat, like the Zodiac Fusio? Because it certainly seems to be at least potentially a First Class product. Maybe BA are looking at it as a potential replacement (in the future) for their current First?

Personally, I think the "couch" design is a better fit for the new Club World. Its denser, provides more sociability if preferred (in the two middle seats), and also would probably weigh significantly less.

21 Jul 2012

Total posts 128

I also thought it might be a new F instead of J.  That would be rather a disappointment!

They're debuting a new F seat on the 789 in November, so we may find out soon enough!


13 Jun 2015

Total posts 140

I do prefer th British Airways World Business Class seat as if they have better seating ergonomics than Air NZ. 

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on British Airways patent reveals new slant on Club World business class