British Airways: Sliding doors for First Class in new 777-300ER planes
A story is doing the rounds, and has now been confirmed by ET that British Airways will have sliding doors fitted to the first-class suites on its Boeing 777-300ER jets due for delivery from next month (October 2020).
It will be a modified version of the seat already installed on BA’s 787s – referred to as ‘Prime’.
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BA’s premium cabins have been a little behind-the-times for a while, only rectified with the introduction of the new enclosed Club suites on 787s debuted in 2019. The Club (Business) suites were to be rolled out across the fleet through until 2025 – well at least that was the schedule pre-COVID.
This was a welcome change, as the sardine tin fully flat club class seats – once a groundbreaking innovation back in 2000 had become worst-in-class over nearly two decades. Last time I travelled on a jet with those seats, my husband banned me from ever booking BA Club long-haul again.
Even a friend who travels in premium cabins on BA has confirmed that Qatar’s Q-Suites – a business class product are better than BA’s First class.
Doesn’t look likely at the moment. The 777’s that were on order that will contain these new sliding-doored suites were ordered way before COVID-19, and could not be deferred. With long-haul flying deeply affected by the pandemic, I wouldn’t be placing any bets on a retrofit to existing cabins any time soon.
BA have substantially upgraded their game, with new catering and amenities and altered service flow in some new premium cabins. The introduction of the new Club seats on long-haul and this sliding door innovation for some new 777’s with first-class is part of that upgrade.
However, they have a history of bad service and poor premium hard product to get over before many – including me – will willingly fly with them again on long-haul.
And don’t mention their tardiness with refunds during the pandemic.