a seat and a screen in the middle of a plane

New might be a reach, but there won’t be anyone within arms reach, once British Airways “new” first class hits the market next month. After a gap year where new Club Suite business class seats saw privacy doors installed, leaving first class feeling slightly exposed, British Airways newest fleet additions will feature an updated first class, with double doors.

British Airways “New” First Class

Before visions of Singapore Suites or Emirates A380 Suites spring to mind, British Airways “new” first class is simply an updated iteration of what’s been found on the Boeing 787-9 for the last few years, and refurbished 777 aircraft from the end of last year.

The most important change: British Airways “new” first class suite has got a door, and a pretty legit one too.

British Airways "new" first class will be a modified version of this seat, with the door closed.

Executive Traveller confirmed the surprise news that British Airways “new” first class won’t be a long wait, with the announcement that the first of new Boeing 777-300ER deliveries will trickle into London Heathrow from October, 2020. Some, but not all 777 aircraft will feature the newly modified first class, which British Airways refers to as the “prime” seat, signifying the new privacy door.

For now, only new deliveries will feature doors in first class.

So what’s the big deal? Well, the privacy doors will be higher than those found in Club Suite business class, and the margins will make all the difference for many passengers. British Airways new 777 first class seats offer additional width, legroom and larger entertainment screens, in addition to the soft touches typically found in first class.

a room with rows of computers and tables
British Airways business class Club Suites with privacy doors

British Airways first class experience is currently hampered by service cuts due to covid-19, but the airline was making positive strides in 2019, including bone china and fine glassware to create an elegant environment up front. With any hope, the trend will continue as the airline recovery begins.

First Class Problems

With British Airways launch of last year’s exceptionally well received ‘Club Suite’, British Airways created a first class problem. For a non drinker, the new Club Suite business class experience was arguably more refined than first class, with brand new seats and privacy doors in business class, and often dated seats without them in first class.

British Airways "new" first class will be a modified version of this seat, with the door closed.
British Airways “new” first class will be a modified version of this seat, with the door closed.

By modifying the newer iteration of first class to include a substantial privacy door and new touches, travelers have new reason to upgrade, or in British Airways hopes, pay up for a true first class experience. Head For Points has an image of the outside of the suite door, though it reveals nothing about the trimmings inside.

British Airways newest iteration of first class may not be in the ultra luxury level of some Gulf and Asia Pacific competition, but it’s no longer simply business class with better booze, unless of course you’re comparing it to ANA’s “The Room”, or Qatar Airways Qsuite. As the airline creates a more compelling ground experience, it’ll continue to climb the ranks.

British Airways is currently offering a major sale, with first class bargains worth scoping out, if you aren’t planning to use your Avios to upgrade into first.

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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  1. Not sure BA’s current catering, cleaning or attitude will ever qualify them as delivering a “true first class experience”
    Their abusive treatment of passengers and staff make them a national disgrace in the eyes of many Brit’s. Anyone with the funds to afford 1st class should consider the value offered by alternatives and the ethics of the corporation whose sole priority is their shareholders, even at the cost of brand, reputation and argueably consumer law.

  2. The refurbishments of the remaining 777-300ERs start next year with G-STBD being the first to receive the nee cabins early next year

  3. BA is one of the worst global airlines. Everything sacks basically: planes are very dirty, very poorly maintained, drinks and food are below avarage – in any class, service is usually horrible. Concorde Room in T5 is far worse than other first class lounges. No reason to fly with BA whatsoever. Only redemption tickets if you have some avios and good luck.

  4. I am a loyal customer of BA despite there being better equipment from new Mid East and Asian airlines. There is nothing like a welcome from a BA staff member as you board the plane. Having had the pleasure of flying Concord on multiple occasions it was the ultimate in service and of course travel time.
    Sadly BA has lost its way as a brand leader but I hope the new business class offering will now catch up the rest.
    Having a pool of circa 1 million Avios points I always try to fly first Class. Sadly they don’t allocate enough seats ! But nevertheless I will continue to fly the flag where possible. Thank you Gib for GSTP it has been a pleasure to read your weekly digests and use your knowledge.

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