Steps forward, and a step back…

We’ve ranked the five best business class offerings in the world, and while champagne, wifi, seat width and quality of entertainment matters- it’s sleep that counts most. First class may be about opulence, but business class is about maximizing rest, to arrive refreshed. British Airways has introduced the world’s best bedding in business class, in a new attempt to compete at the top.

Five steps forward, and one small step back. Until the launch of British Airways much needed new “Club World’ business class seat in 2019, the largest improvements to the Club World experience will be soft touches. Partnering with the White Company, the celebrated British luxury home good brand, the airline now offers the most comprehensive bedding in it’s class. We were truly stunned by the consistency with the press images and the actual sleep products offered. Take a look, with un editing video shot in flight.

The duvet is bountiful, the pillows (plural) are large and well padded, the slip cover is fantastic for added seat comfort and the throw is a lovely, if not an entirely unnecessary touch. It does look great though. Having flown virtually every competitive business class product, we stand firmly by this boisterous statement: this is the best bedding and pillow combination in the business class cabin. The only drawback: we need more space to store it, hopefully something the newer Club World seat will address.

However, at least in the interim, the newly designed meal service is a mercurial issue. Currently, this service can be experienced between New York and London, with Los Angeles up next in December.  There’s no doubt that the quality of food, particularly in the appetizer and dessert department are markedly improved- fresh, light and delicious – but they now take far too long to reach a crowded cabin. This could be chalked up to a learning curve behind the new cart based service designed to speed up offerings, but for now, on many of the shorter transatlantic flights, the service time is just too long. Less of an issue on longer day flights, but for a seven hour night flight, you just can’t wait 2+ hours to eat, if you want a chance at arriving on your best form.

Net-net, this is a fantastic and welcomed improvement to the Club World experience. When service streamlines, and crews develop more proficiency in executing the service, which in theory is designed to be faster- the soft touches and bedding will be all the more impressive, with more time to enjoy them. Like we said, five steps forward and one step back.  If the newly designed Club World seat follows suit, this could become a serious competitor. For now, you’ll sleep more soundly- once meal service is over. Or better yet, eat in the lounge first on shorter flights.

Have you experienced the new service? What do you think?

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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19 Comments

  1. The new bedding may be good, the seats they go on are bad.

    I think I’d argue for United Polaris, surprisingly enough, as having the best business class bedding these days.

    1. No doubt. And you know I love and respect you more than anyone, but you’ve gotta try it. It’s really superb. Purely speaking about bedding.

  2. What does the roll out for the bedding look like? I’ve been on multiple flights between LHR and SFO and the bedding/pillows were the worst I’ve ever seen. The amenity kit was also a draw string bag!

    1. Slow but LAX next in December and I think very rapidly after that. I’d think SFO would be a key route, so fingers crossed.

  3. Did you find the JFK -LHR service slow or was it the trolley service? I’ve done the JFK- LHR and found the service a lot quicker, better quality food and with lights out immediately this made a huge difference.

      1. Thanks, saying that I’ve expeirnced 3 hour meal services in the old club world service. Great post and I agree the white company is the best suite of duvets etx.

    1. Like omaat says, the 3rd Heathrow runway will be commissioned before the ‘new’ club world business class will be on most routes.

      1. The problem is using miles or spending £££ for their hard product vs alternatives is extremely difficult given the general reviews from multiple bloggers (including yourself).

        I don’t travel so much that I can ‘risk’ a BA flight for £££. I usually buy my own tickets for holiday travel and prefer the wide and comfortable AA 777-300 for my LAX trips.

        Maybe I should risk it one day! Possibly take BA to NYC next year to check out the new soft product. Will bite the bullet and book on one of their sales!

        At present it’s VS 787 to lax for Christmas and NY. Looking forward to the clubhouse!

        1. I love the Clubhouse and generally enjoy VS Upper. I completely get your choices, and though the seat is definitely dated the new bedding is way up there.

  4. Shame the cabins are filthy and much of the equipment doesn’t work on the majority of BA longhaul planes… Fancy sheets may literally cover up some of the depredated BA experience but they remain expensive and very very poor value given the inadequacy of the “customer service” when things go wrong inability to load enough meals to ensure everyone is fed let alone offer choice even for those who’ve paid for business.
    I’ll continue to #flyabba until they restore a modicum of humanity and respect to their paying customers and genuinely compete on either price or service. For now they’re an overpriced Norwegian with poorer and more expensive services.

    1. That’s the feeling I get by reading reviews and generally speaking to anyone who has travelled BA. The airport experience for gold card members is in a different league though. Extremely nice is what I hear.

  5. Lipstick on a pig. Fix the hard product first BA! God save the points is just BA biased. There is no way that BA has ever offered the best in class for anything and the new bedding is no exception

  6. LAX is definitely not confirmed for December (NCW). Perhaps you are confused with trials that are going on for the A380 & 787 😉

  7. Put simply, and in my opinion, BA = Bloody Awful and it’s getting worse and worse due to their Spanish Chief Executive’s obssession with punishing our national airline as a result of pure spite over the Brexit vote. In my experience, Emirates Business Class is the best, particularly on the A380.

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