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British Airways unveils its new business class seat: The 'Club Suite' will roll out on the carrier's new Airbus A350s and feature direct-aisle access, privacy doors and an 18.5in TV screen

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 18/03/2019 Jennifer Newton for MailOnline
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British Airways has unveiled its brand new 'Club Suite' - the most radical overhaul of its business class cabin in 20 years.

It will arrive first on the carrier's new Airbus A350s, which will begin flying services from July.

The new suites will offer direct aisle access to every passenger, a door for greater privacy - a first for BA - a 'luxurious' lie-flat seat and an 18.5-inch TV screen.

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a close up of a black suitcase: British Airways has unveiled its new business class seat, the Club Suite, which it is set to roll out on A350 services

British Airways has unveiled its new business class seat, the Club Suite, which it is set to roll out on A350 services
© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited

The club suites will be arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration and will boast 40 per cent more storage, including a vanity unit and a mirror.

The seat itself is 79 inches long (6ft 6in) when in the bed position, seven inches longer than the current offering. 

Club World passengers in the suites will also benefit from on board WiFi, high-definition gate-to-gate entertainment and PC/USB power.

The new suites will boast a lie-flat bed with luxurious bedding provided by The White Company © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The new suites will boast a lie-flat bed with luxurious bedding provided by The White Company

The airline, which is marking its centenary this year, will roll out the new suites in a carefully managed programme designed to minimise disruption to customers.

During phase one, A350 aircraft will fly short-haul services between London and Madrid to allow the airline's teams to perfect their customer service delivery and familiarise cabin crew with the aircraft layout.

In phase two, from October 1, the aircraft will begin long-haul flying. During this period another three A350 aircraft will join the British Airways fleet and two Boeing 777 aircraft will also be retrofitted with the new cabin.

At the start of 2020 phase three will begin which will see British Airways rolling out its club suite on further long-haul aircraft across the network.

Alex Cruz, British Airways' chairman and CEO, said: 'The arrival of our first A350 featuring our new Club Suite is one of the most exciting developments in our £6.5 billion investment programme.

'Each new suite has direct aisle access and comes with a personal door - design features which were incorporated as a direct result of the feedback we've had from our customers.

'We've worked hard to ensure every aspect of the Club World experience from the lounges we've refreshed, to the new gourmet menus from Do&Co on flights from Heathrow, and the luxurious bedding we've introduced from The White Company, exudes the very British style and quality customers expect from us.

'At British Airways we have one of Europe's largest long-haul fleets and most far-reaching global networks, so it will take some time to make the cabin available to everybody.

'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.'

a display in a room: Alex Cruz, British Airways' chairman and CEO, said: 'The arrival of our first A350 featuring our new Club Suite is one of the most exciting developments in our £6.5 billion investment programme'

Alex Cruz, British Airways' chairman and CEO, said: 'The arrival of our first A350 featuring our new Club Suite is one of the most exciting developments in our £6.5 billion investment programme'
© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited

How the A350 Club Suite business class compares to the current Club World 

Club Suite

Bed length - 79in

Bed width - 21in

Seat pitch - 44in

Stowage compartments - five

IFE screen size - 18.5in

Gate-to-gate entertainment - yes

Layout - 1-2-1

All aisle access - yes  

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Club World

Bed length - 72in

Bed width - 20.5in

Seat pitch - 72in

Stowage compartments - one

IFE screen size - min 12in

Gate-to-gate entertainment - no

Layout - 2-4-2

All aisle access - no 

As well as a new 56-seat Club World cabin, the three-cabin A350 will feature the latest World Traveller Plus cabin (56 seats) with new furnishings including a plush new pillow and warm quilt, new amenity kits, an enhanced service and an improved dining experience.

The World Traveller (economy) cabin offers 219 seats. Customers will also benefit from high-speed WiFi, allowing travellers to browse the internet on their personal electronic devices.

British Airways says the A350 aircraft itself will promote a feeling of well-being, space and calm due to its reduced noise levels, high ceilings and ambient lighting, which is intended to compliment the time of day and outside light.

It adds that customers will leave their flight feeling rested thanks to higher levels of humidity and refreshed air as the cabin pressure is equivalent to an altitude of just 6,000 feet.

There are also environmental benefits to flying on the state-of the-art A350. It has 25 per cent lower fuel burn, which significantly reduces CO2 emissions. 

New routes being launched this year with BA include Osaka, Pittsburgh and Charleston.

There is a marked difference between the new club suites and the current business class cabin, pictured, on British Airways long-haul aircraft © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited There is a marked difference between the new club suites and the current business class cabin, pictured, on British Airways long-haul aircraft In BA's current business class cabin, the seats are configured in a zig-zag pattern rather than a 1-2-1 configuration © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited In BA's current business class cabin, the seats are configured in a zig-zag pattern rather than a 1-2-1 configuration

Rob Burgess, editor of the www.headforpoints.com frequent flyer website, is impressed with the new suites.

He said: 'As a regular critic of BA's current Club World seat, I am genuinely surprised and impressed by what BA has launched.

'I thought they might settle for "good enough" but introducing a business class suite with closing doors is more than most expected. Only Qatar Airways has anything similar.

'Virtually all of the problems with the old seat have gone. The seat is longer, it finally has a decent amount of personal storage space, everyone gets to face forwards and the IFE (in-flight entertainment) screen is a good size.

'A lot of thought seems to have gone into the little details which make all difference on a long flight.' 

BA's Club Suite is going head to head with Virgin Atlantic's new A350 business class suite, which is being unveiled shortly.

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