The best seats in Club World business class on British Airways' Boeing 777-200

By John Walton, June 8 2011
The best seats in Club World business class on British Airways' Boeing 777-200

What are the best seats in Club World business class on British Airways' Boeing 777-200 planes? Australian Business Traveller brings you the seats to pick, fresh off a journey on one of BA's planes from Sydney to Singapore.

The plane

British Airways flies Boeing 777-200ER aircraft every day from Sydney on the BA16 departure to London via Singapore, and then returns as BA15. 

With more than forty of the planes in the BA fleet, you're also likely to see them if your trip involves a long-haul flight to or from London Heathrow.

The Club World Business Class cabin

There are two cabin configurations, but we'll concentrate on the version that flies to Australia, with six rows of eight seats, making a total of 48 seats in Club World. (The other version flies mainly on holiday routes from London to Florida and the Caribbean.)

The seats are in a forward-and-back pattern, with window and middle seats facing backwards, while aisle seats face forwards.

This gives a real feeling of privacy, especially in the window and middle seats. There's no discernable difference or feeling of flying backwards in the window and middle seats. Seats next to each other are separated by a translucent privacy screen.

The seats themselves are 20 inches wide -- compare that with Qantas' business class at 21 inches -- and extra-long, with a large table suitable for spreading out work papers and a laptop. There's also a padded footrest which angles to 45 or 90 degrees.

At 45 degrees it becomes a surprisingly comfortable legrest (in the La-Z-Boy style), while at 90 degrees flat it turns into part of the bed. The seat converts into a fully flat bed, which is six feet long and 25 inches wide (wider than in seat mode as the armrests slide downwards).

The in-flight entertainment is decent enough, with a on-demand system but a relatively small 10.4 inch screen. Each seat also has its own AC power point for laptops and other electronic devices -- but it's a US style socket, so ironically enough you can't use a UK plug.

The best seats on the plane

15A 15K: the choice window seats on the plane, these are at the back of the cabin so you can avoid clambering over anyone to get out of your seat -- and they have a few extra inches of legroom. However, they're right in front of the wall that separates Club World from the World Traveller Plus premium economy section, and next to the bassinet crib points for both Club World and World Traveller Plus.

10B 10D 10G 10J: these are the best aisle seats, since there's nobody climbing over you to get out. However, they are near the galley kitchen and three lavatories, so there's likely to be a bit of disturbance if you're trying to get some rest on a night flight. 

15E 15F: try to snag this pair of seats at the back of the cabin if you're travelling with someone you know well. With no aisle passengers to step over to get out of your seat, they're a good pick -- and have a few inches of extra legroom -- and you can carry on conversations easily enough. But they're bassinet crib positions, and immediately in front of the premium economy cabin's bassinets too, so you may well be disturbed by babies or noise from the other cabin.

10A 10K 11A 11K: if you like to look out of the window and see something other than the wing, you'll need to be in a window seat in one of these rows -- the others are over the wing, which rather blocks the view.

E + F middle seat pairs: if your flight's looking empty at check-in, see if the agent will seat you in one of these and block off the other. That gives you a little private mini-suite of your very own once the translucent dividers to the aisle seats are raised, with extra space for you to spread your things out in flight.

The worst seats on the plane

15B 15D 15G 15J: these aisle seats are right at the back of the cabin, so are more likely to be disturbed by noise. Skip them if you can.

E + F middle seat pairs: yes, we said these were good seats -- but only if the flight is empty. Avoid them if you're likely to be sitting next to someone you don't know, because they're markedly less private than the rest of the cabin.


John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

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