In 1996 British Airways paved the way in luxury air travel by inventing the world’s first ever flat-bed seat, which the majority of the world’s airlines have since adopted. In recent years British Airways have seemed to lose touch with the evolution of luxury air travel by just simply tweaking their iconic, yet ageing ying-yang Club World seat.
If you’re flying from British Airways Terminal 3, you can of course use the British Airways business and First lounges, but if your have BA Silver or Gold status, or equivalent One World status, or travelling in Business or First, you also have access to the Cathay Pacific Business and First Lounges as well as the newly refurbished Qantas Club.
From the lazy bubbles slowly rising through the glass of Grande Siècle to the tranquil, mood-lit cabin, every element of British Airways First Class oozes elegance with subtle hints of quintessential Britishness. It's easy to forget you're soaring through the skies at 30,000ft when you are enclosed in your own luxurious cocoon, where anything is just a button-press away.
Fifteen years ago Concorde graced the skies between London and New York, holding the prestigious British Airways flight numbers BA1, BA2, BA3 & BA4. Unfortunately since the retirement of Concorde in 2003 you can no longer fly to New York in a mere three hours. A few years back British Airways launched their Club World London City Service between London City Airport and New York's JFK airport, adopting Concorde’s flight numbers. The British Airways Club World London City Service operates an all business class Airbus A318 featuring just 32 flat bed seats.
Once a day British Airways operate a Boeing 777 on their London Heathrow to Madrid service. The upside is that if you're travelling in Club Europe you actually get a Club World flat bed seat. As I was booking a trip to Spain this summer I decided I would fly British Airways Club Europe to Madrid on this particular service, for this added bonus.
Just over a year ago British Airways announced that after many years they would recommence their London to Kuala Lumpur service. It was announced that the service would be operated by their brand new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, and with an upgraded, more exclusive First Class cabin. As soon as I heard about this I just knew I had to book British Airways First Class from Kuala Lumpur back to London Heathrow.
This is my 5th trip to Adelaide, Australia, a place I have fallen in love with and can't get enough of. On previous trips I have flown with Emirates, Malaysia Airlines and, of course, British Airways. As I would be flying back-to-back flights with British Airways, and then Cathay Pacific, I thought this would be an ideal opportunity to see how British Airways Club World compares with the ever more impressive business class products emerging from Asia and the Middle East.
By booking a mid-afternoon flight, I avoided having to get out of bed at such an unsociable hour, like I have been used to on many of my recent trips. We arrived at Heathrow shortly after 10am and walked over to the British Airways First Class check-in area. We were met by a member of staff, who had approached us before we had even reached the counter. He asked where we were flying to, and took us to the next available check-in agent who checked us on to our Miami flight quickly and efficiently.