British Airways brings new first, business class to Sydney
Get ready for a vastly-improved premium travel experience between Sydney and London.
Yes, it’s finally happening: British Airways is bringing its latest business class and first class suites to Sydney, and they’re all about those sliding doors.
From October 30, 2022, the big long-range Boeing 777 bound for Sydney via Singapore will feature BA’s newest premium cabins.
That means eight of the evolved First suites with personal space and privacy, a 24’’ HD video screen with state-of-the-art Meridian noise-cancelling headphones from Meridian, plus creature comforts such as luxurious Alice Temperley pyjamas and Elemis amenity kits.
But the biggest win is in business class, where the dorm-like Club World business class and its forward-backward layout makes way for the modern Club Suites with sliding privacy doors, much more personal space and perhaps most importantly, direct aisle access.
That’s on top of the 18.5” video screen and, when it’s time to sleep, plush bedding from The White Company.
The Kangaroo Route is British Airways’ longest, stretching for just over 24 hours including a brief Singapore stopover, and BA Chief Customer Officer Calum Laming says he’s delighted with the upgrade.
“We have worked hard to ensure that every aspect of our First and the Club World experience exudes the very best in British style and the quality that our customers expect from us,” Laming says.
“We hope that as more customers have the chance to experience it, they'll enjoy travelling in it as much as we've enjoyed designing it.”
The first upgraded Boeing 777 departs London as BA15 on October 30, returning from Sydney as BA16 on November 1.
British Airways reopened its Singapore lounge in May 2021, although savvy business and first class travellers head for the superior Qatar Airways Singapore Premium Lounge.
The Qantas Singapore Business Lounge, handily located next to the BA lounge, is a good choice for British Airways Executive Club Silver members (and their Oneworld Sapphire equivalents), while the Qantas Singapore First Lounge is an obvious go-to for Executive Club Gold members (along with Oneworld Emerald equivalents).
However, British Airways’ schedule lists BA15/BA16 returning to a Boeing 787-9 with the old Club World business class seats as of Sunday March 26, 2023 (ex-London).
Executive Traveller has contacted BA to determine if there’s any chance the Dreamliners assigned to the London-Singapore-Sydney route will be upgraded to Club Suites business class by the end of March 2023, and will update this article on the airline’s reponse.
BA now welcomes Aussie frequent flyers
As previously reported, BA has also reopened membership to its Executive Club frequent flyer program to residents of Australia, having pulled down the shutters on membership applications from Australia and New Zealand in 2003.
Joining British Airways Executive Club is free, and while it obviously makes sense for people who regularly travel on British Airways – either to London, or on shorter BA flights within the UK or to Europe – the BAEC scheme boasts a few advantages over Qantas Frequent Flyer.
That includes a higher serve of Tier Points (equivalent to Status Credits) even when travelling on Oneworld partner airlines such as Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways and Finnair.
BAEC's Avios points deliver solid value for money when redeemed on flights, and the Avios you earn travelling from Australia to the UK (for example) can easily be used for quick UK or European trips.
And Avios themselves have gained new flexibility after Qatar Airways adopted Avios as the frequent flyer rewards currency of its Qatar Airways Privilege Club loyalty program.
Hi Guest, join in the discussion on British Airways brings new first, business class to Sydney
30 Sep 2022
Total posts 1
I think it's important to note that this improvement is only temporary. I have a flight booked on BA from Sydney to Singapore in July 2023 and BA has confirmed they will have reverted to the old 787 with the terrible ying/yang seating in Business by then. This is also confirmed by the seat map when I try to manage that booking. I'm not sure why BA doesn't make it clear that they intend to revert back to their awful Business Class on this route after only a few months of operating the "improved" service. I actually booked this flight after reading the earlier article on ET about the upgrade...I should have double checked before booking!
Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer
17 Jul 2018
Total posts 8
Thanks for the info was seriously considering giving it a try ...have a long memory of the old set up and average BA service ...will just stick between QANTAS/Emirates and Singapore
23 May 2012
Total posts 51
The only problem is that from the summer schedule (from 25 March 23) the flight reverts to the B789 on the old 7-abreast business class configuration (2-3-2)
Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer
09 Nov 2018
Total posts 110
Not a lot of difference between first and business class!
25 Jun 2018
Total posts 34
This emphasis on sliding doors is ridiculous, who needs them? A 4ft / 1.25m child can look over the top. For the pampered few, direct aisle access is more useful.
The brand-name fever also grates. Who cares where the bits & pieces come from, never mind the XXXXX designed menu or the ZZZZZ designed seats.
Regarding BA’s decision to rehash F&J, so be it. A calculated business decision to catch up with certain other airlines.
Etihad - Etihad Guest
21 Jul 2019
Total posts 148
If anyone from BA is reading this [I know your QF colleagues do] - Giving pax your best product for a short time, then reverting to your worst product is NO WAY to improve customer satisfaction or entice new customers (like me) who appreciate predictability.
07 Dec 2016
Total posts 7
The new BA seats would have to be good to beat the SQ business class seats on the A350 that I flew on SIN/CHC on 20/9. They are almost what we would call a lazy-y-boy lounge chairs. Superb. A bit of a shame that these seats do not allow sleeping on a straight on approach without being in a twisted configuration. Still one of the best you can find, superior to SWISS and Lufthansa who are still in the 2000's
28 May 2022
Total posts 2
Looks good and when I read the headline I was really excited... I'm planning my first business class trip to Australia in May 2023 as a treat after having to postpone it twice due to covid and the price increases... After reading the most helpful comments that it will revert back to the older planes, I don't think I'll bother... <sigh>
<puts head in hands and crys>Will I ever get to Oz :-(
@Paul2076 - Having never flown in BC... I think I would feel more comfortable sleeping with the door closed... seems like more privacy... but during awake time, I'd prefer it open.
p.s. does anyone else think the person dislikes "ALL" of the posts, or it seems that way, is the same person just doing it to be petty?
Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer
27 Nov 2017
Total posts 26
I do find it odd that someone would be down voted for pointing out the schedule change from March. Awaiting my own down vote now :)
03 May 2013
Total posts 663
I wouldn't be flying all that way on a 777 with BA. Horrible long haul plane and BA food and service are mediocre at best. The seat does look great and a vast improvement on ying yang coffin seats. I'm not fussed by doors but they are there of you need them I guess.
British Airways - Executive Club
18 May 2017
Total posts 14
I believe BA’s B797-9s are next in line to be retrofitted with Club Suites, starting from early 2023. So maybe they plan to put their first retrofitted 787-9s on the kangaroo route next year?
That said, at the moment there are still 777-300s in their fleet that are yet to be retrofitted, so if an aircraft goes tech and they have to find a replacement aircraft, you could still get the old club world seats. Apparently all 777s should be retrofitted by end 2022.
25 Nov 2019
Total posts 13
Can't help thinking they are pimping up the trimmings when they should be concentrating on getting the basics fixed.