British Airways shows off new bedding and food service

By James Fordham, November 1 2017

British Airways is now rolling out the core of its unprecedented A$700m overhaul to the airline's long haul Club World business class service, designed to refresh the soft product such as amenities, service, and food, before the introduction of a new seat in 2019.

Australian Business Traveller joined BA on a Boeing 747 flight from London Heathrow to New York’s JFK International – the first two destinations featuring the new service – to sample the upgraded amenities and meals.

Starting off the soft product upgrade is a partnership with British homewares retailer, The White Company (TWC) for bedding and amenity kits.

While most Aussies wouldn't be familiar with TWC, the brand’s signature plain white aesthetic is very popular in the UK.

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

You’ll also get a supportive day cushion that provides lumbar support when working, and a soft woven blanket with satin trim.

Wrapping up the offering is a custom made duvet and a padded mattress cover to provide an extra layer of comfort and improve quality of sleep.

This will hold strong appeal to business travellers journeying on BA from Sydney to London, as flights arrive early in the morning London time - therefore, it’s vital to get a solid block of sleep in the second half of the 14 hour Singapore-London fight if you plan on acclimatising to the time zone quickly.

While we had only a short nap during the seven hour flight between London and New York, in comparison to Sydney-Singapore and Singapore-London BA legs we'd flown just a day earlier we could notice the seat, once converted into a bed, was much softer and more comforting.

The duvet was also a step above the usual airline blanket and provided a good amount of heat retention. Best of all, the large pillow actually supports your head and neck unlike the typical small airline pillow.

The new bedding from The White Company will be gradually rolled out across British Airways’ long-haul network by mid-2018, including Australia.

BA's old Elemis washbag also makes way for a much more appealing The White Company amenity kit.

On the food service side, the new BA offering sees passengers enjoying a freshly prepared starter, dessert or cheese board from a new display trolley at their seat...

... while their main dish will be ordered and served individually by cabin crew.

There's also an appealing winelist.

Catering on the flagship London Heathrow to New York JFK routes is done by the highly regarded DO&CO company.

We started our meal with a smoked red pepper soup and tapas selection, served with bread and butter….

... followed by a main course of braised beef cheeks and eggplant…

.. and rounded that out with tiramisu and a cheese plate, both of the quality you’d find in a high-end restaurant…

In order to maximise sleep time, BA plans to provide customers with breakfast ordering cards so they can choose what they would like, or simply request to not be woken.

While BA’s hard product hasn’t exactly been state of the art for a while, the improvements in service and amenities are going a long way in bringing the soft product up to par.

Siddharth Raja travelled to New York as a guest of British Airways

james_fordham
james_fordham

James Fordham

James has been interested in aviation ever since his first flight. When he’s not travelling, he’s still on the road indulging his motoring hobby, or trying a new whisky.

Davedownunder

Davedownunder

19 Aug 2011

Total posts 50

Why is it the British like wall papering over cracks? 700 million and still have a rubbish seat and tiny tv screen.

I do like the large wine glasses though, saves the disappointment of pushing the call button and nothing happening.

davar98

davar98

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Jun 2014

Total posts 38

Lipstick on a pig IMHO.

Bob Burgess

Bob Burgess

13 Sep 2016

Total posts 184

Small incremental improvements but still better than nothing and will be great when coupled with the new Club World seat.

jubbing

jubbing

American Airlines - AAdvantage

13 Jul 2015

Total posts 205

BA really are falling behind in both business and First class in terms of the hard products - not sure how much this will help when the seats aren't amazing.

KinHo

KinHo

03 Sep 2017

Total posts 51

From the photos these new style Business class seats really look like some sort of medical procedure chair-bed set up. Doesn't look inviting at all.

The service trolley does look nice and inviting tho'.

alex_upgrade77

alex_upgrade77

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Sep 2012

Total posts 244

Actually, the seats are 12 years old. It's the bedding and food that's new, and that looks like a big improvement.

Hopefully the new seat will make BA Club World competitive again but this is a good start.

Kinkade

Kinkade

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 Dec 2016

Total posts 15

I flew to LHR on this setup and honestly thought it was a 15 year old cabin til I was told its the new updated version. It's like a hospital it's soo so bad

Chris_PER

Chris_PER

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Feb 2014

Total posts 451

How this airline is still in business is beyond me. You may have upgraded some things around the edges, BA, but your hard product is still hideous. If I sat in the seat (in image 3), I thought I'd be about to have a root canal done.

Russjking

Russjking

12 Aug 2017

Total posts 75

Putting an A380 on the whole LHR>SIN>SYD route would be a good start if BA are serious about Australia. I suspect they run the route for prude reasons. Hence the old aircraft.

Russjking

Russjking

12 Aug 2017

Total posts 75

Typo: Prude = pride

Libertyscott

Libertyscott

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Aug 2011

Total posts 150

BA runs the route because of cargo (which is why 77W not A380, more cargo capacity) and UK corporate contracts supporting C class travel to Australia/NZ. It WAS competitive on the Atlantic (against US carriers), but with the new UA Polaris and DL One business classes, it's slipped well behind. This is the first step to clawing it back, the second will be new hard product with the arrival of the A350, hopefully it will be more than an evolution of the current seat.

Chris_PER

Chris_PER

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Feb 2014

Total posts 451

The 77W is actually pretty new in their fleet and I think it's perfect for their operations, just like NZ operates the 77W AKL-LAX-LHR.

pungpui

pungpui

22 May 2011

Total posts 44

the plating up of the main looks 'standard'. they need to learn from SQ on how to plate up a main meal

smit0847

smit0847

30 Aug 2013

Total posts 448

Having just flown Qatar's brand new world-beating QSuites, this really is the world's worst Business Class. Why anyone would choose this airline is beyond me.

Joe

Joe

03 May 2013

Total posts 365

Simply crap. Would never waste my money on BA in First or Business and I suggest nobody else does either(unless someone else is paying-even then it's still crap)

bl812

bl812

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

11 Mar 2015

Total posts 174

still one of the worst business class configuration in the world!

edwardd

edwardd

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

03 Nov 2017

Total posts 2

The BA business class setup must be the worst offer of any self respecting airline. Sharing a bed with a stranger (imagine a female next to a predator) and having food passed over an adjacent passenger is totally unacceptable. I will never fly BA business again.

mewettjohn

mewettjohn

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Jun 2015

Total posts 16

People still fly BA, amazing.

Toptravel

Toptravel

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

19 Jul 2014

Total posts 14

Not enough lipstick to cover this piggy...all round winner of the worst B/C ever...Never again BA. (BadAs)

Stranded

Stranded

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Aug 2015

Total posts 10

No amount of bedding or meals service improvements will make of the that claustrophobic feeling of sitting 8 across in Biz and looking almost directly at your neighbour - BA time to modernise

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