The landing was smooth, the delivery was anything but, but in the end, British Airways best newest jet, the Boeing 787-10 arrived in London over the weekend, to almost zero fanfare. Queue the “because of covid” music, but that doesn’t change the upbeat tune around this new delivery. It’s not Concorde, but the cabins inside will easily make it one of BA’s best ever planes.
Unlike the Airbus A350, British Airways chose to retain a first class cabin on this latest and greatest stretched out version of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and in each cabin you’ll find British Airways latest offerings, and of course a few quirks too.
The Boeing 787-10 is the largest iteration of the Dreamliner family, part of the new generation of aircraft alongside the Airbus A350, made of lighter, and arguably better materials. You care, because these materials result in better cabin pressure, air qualify and more.
As the largest member of the family, the 787-10 gives British Airways a mid-haul option with enough room for all four BA cabins: 8 seats in First Class, 48 in Club World, 35 in World Traveller Plus and a sizeable 165 in World Traveller.
Other than just 8 first class seats, most notably – the plane will feature British Airways new “Club Suite” business class, featuring fully flat beds with aisle access and a privacy door. Yes, oddly, there’s a door in business class but not in first. The thinking around that is the width of the bed and seat surface is so wide in first that a door just wouldn’t fit, so it’s not all doom and gloom.
Plus, with only 8 seats there’s hardly anyone to hide from…
In business class, while the door is so short that it’s mostly a vanity move, the seat is a marked improvement over the previous “Club” seat and offers significant storage and connectivity in line with many of the most current seats in its class. It’s a fantastic way to fly, as reviewed on both the Boeing 777 and Airbus A350.
The business class cabin is divided in two by the aircraft door and galley, with the slightly smaller cabin in the rear from rows 12-16. In World Traveller Plus, known as premium economy on other airlines, Row 20 is the obvious play, with the benefits of additional legroom and closer proximity to the front of the plane for a speedy disembarkation.
In World Traveller – aka economy, the Boeing 787-10 offers the standard favorite seats in the front row of the economy cabin in row 30, though they’re missing a window, but offer excellent options in rows 46,47 which have seats coupled into rows of two, so no middle seat.
Where And When Will British Airways 787-10 Fly?
So when and where will you see G-ZBLA, the latest plane delivered to the BA fleet? Atlanta (ATL), and soon, albeit without passengers at first. British Airways continues to operate many routes on a freight only basis to drum up revenue during the crippling losses stemming from covid-19 and UK government quarantine policies, the latter of which will fortunately be curbed in the coming weeks.
A second 787-10 is expected to arrive in London sometime this week and join the original on Atlanta duties. The good news is British Airways latest jet is a fantastic step up in passenger experience for an airline all too familiar with an ageing fleet. The bad news is it just may be a while before any passengers get to enjoy this modern gem.