British Airways readies upgraded 787 business class, first class

The Dreamliners are finally getting the business class they deserve.

By David Flynn, March 22 2023
British Airways readies upgraded 787 business class, first class

British Airways will soon begin upgrading its Boeing 787 fleet to the latest Club Suites business class, with the first of the redone Dreamliners expected to take wing at the end of October.

As anybody who’s travelled in the Club Suites can attest it’s a dramatic uplift in every respect, from comfort and seat features to personal space and privacy.

British Airways' Club Suites are finally coming to the Boeing 787.
British Airways' Club Suites are finally coming to the Boeing 787.

BA’s original Boeing 787-8s are first in line, an airline spokesperson tells Executive Traveller.

“We remain committed to rolling out our award-winning Club Suite,” the airline says, “and we’re pleased that our Boeing 787-8 aircraft is next to be retrofitted, allowing our customers to experience our latest business class product to even more destinations across our network.”

British Airways' Club Suites are finally coming to the Boeing 787.
British Airways' Club Suites are finally coming to the Boeing 787.

BA’s dozen 787-8s – which are typically seen on routes into North America, South America and India – will however take some time to undergo their transformation, meaning the longer-range Boeing 787-9s will have to wait their turn.

British Airways' Club Suites are finally coming to the Boeing 787.
British Airways' Club Suites are finally coming to the Boeing 787.

British Airways originally planned to have most of the 787-8 and 787-9 jets upgraded, but progress on the fleet-wide program was unavoidable set back by the global pandemic. 

Executive Traveller understands the refurbished BA 787-8 business class will sport 31 Club Suites – a slight drop from the previous 35 – with 37 premium economy World Traveller Plus seats, up from 25.

However, as before, the 787-8s won’t be graced with a first class cabin.

In comparison, the upgraded 787-9s will see 38 Club Suites, and 38 premium economy World Traveller Plus seats, along with eight of the new-design first class suites, which like business class includes a sliding privacy door.

The airline was unable to provide an timeline for when its Boeing 787-9s are expected to go under the knife – and of course, this doesn’t come nearly fast enough to stop the BA15/BA16 Kangaroo Route between London and Sydney being downgraded from a Club Suites 777 to a Club World 787-9 as of March 26.

Read the Executive Traveller review: British Airways Club Suites business class, Sydney-SIngapore-London

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Aug 2011

Total posts 167

The only good news for the route to SYD is that BA11/12 LHR-SIN will be shifting to the 77W with the Club Suite, so those in the know might pick up a ticket that includes the earlier flight from LHR-SIN (giving more time to spend in SIN to relax in one of the many lounges available for those in Club), and the later flight SIN-LHR (though not much later).  That at least means the longer segment is in Club Suites

20 Jan 2020

Total posts 4

There's an essential piece of advice missing here: Don't. Fly. BA. Especially if you are paying for business class. It is, truly, rubbish. 

I flew BC to Brussels from Perth, returning to Sydney, in December 2022. That involved 

(1) Qantas BC to Singapore, 

(2) Finnair from Singapore to Helsinki, and then 

(3) Finnair BC to Brussels. 

(4) Returning Rome to Helsinki on Finnair BC, then 

(5) Finnair BC from Helsinki to Singapore, and finally 

(6) British from Singapore to Sydney. 

Despite all the dramas at Qantas, the service on the A330 from Perth to Singapore was outstanding, and the hard product was excellent (even though it was just an A330). From Singapore to Helsinki on a brand new Finnair A350 it was superb. The crew were not Finns, they were Singaporeans, and as would be expected, flawless. The hard product was fantastic. Finnair Helsinki to Brussels and Rome back to Helsinki was an Embraer E190 and an A319 respectively. It was like a domestic Australian BC. Basic business class, but great service (although the Embraer was ancient and the hard product was very dated). Helsinki to Singapore, same as Singapore to Helsinki - brand new A350, Singaporean crew, fantastic hard product, sublime service. Then Singapore to Sydney on Brutish (intentionally misspelled). Brand new hard product on an old 777. The hard product was... ok. It was very bitty and finicky and complicated and really a "Heath Robinson affair". It lacked any of the calm, serene elegance of the Finnair product. 

But the Brutish Airways BC service!! Urgh. It was horrendous. The crew were blatantly curt and disinterested. They had no time for the passengers. They clearly wanted everyone to go to sleep after the meal. They kept telling me "after the meal you can go to sleep" like it was somewhere between a strong suggestion and an instruction. There was zero warmth or personalisation. It was completely inattentive, and asking for a diet cola to be refreshed felt like asking for a massive favour (assuming they would respond to the "call attendant" button - which they didn't). It was easier for me to get up and go to the galley to get it myself. When we landed the Purser was basically screaming instructions down the PA at the passengers. The lady in the seat next to mine and I had a giggle about it all being very Sieg Heil. And on descent, berating the passengers over the PA about them not having enough arrival cards and "STOP ASKING US. WE DON'T HAVE ANY MORE. GET THEM YOURSELVES AT IMMIGRATION. THIS IS NOT OUR RESPONSIBILITY, IT IS YOURS BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH". It was awful. No matter what their hard product, for the money, fly a carrier that has just as good - if not a better hard product - and won't treat you like a leper whose presence is a burden for all concerned.

I love flying, and flying such long-haul flights in BC is a treat. I chat to the crew, ask them about what they like or dislike about the aircraft they are on, what other aircraft they have flown, and which is their favourite. I get such positive responses. Crew - in my experience - are delighted to share their thoughts and love having a passenger who takes an interest in their experiences. That obviously translates into even more personalised service. I tried to engage the Brutish Airways crew similarly. They basically just reminded me "now would be a good time for you to GET SOME SLEEP" and walked off. Given the choice, I won't waste an opportunity to fly BC on BA again.

22 Mar 2023

Total posts 4

Avoid the old BA business class at all cost. I flew BA11 LHR/SPR in Dec 23. Pokey, uncomfortable, cramped, no privacy. The only positive was the fare was $6k cheaper than Qantas basis SYD/LHR return and BA have expensive wifi, but at least they hv wifi!

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