British Airways BA First Class: The old and the new versions

In this blog posting, I review and comment on the “old” British Airways First Class cabin, which is being phased out but still on many of the planes, versus the new British Airways First Class Cabin which is more modern, dramatic and comfortable.


The “old” First Class Cabin:


I have written recently about the BA Club seats and how much I like them. Of course, there is still nothing quite like flying First Class on British Airways.

First Class is becoming a declining feature on airlines these days, and the advent of flat bed style seats in Business that go 180 degrees like on BA and Virgin made the decline come even faster. Then there was the shift in company travel policies that followed both for economic and for that reason. I remember not so long ago when we were able as part of the travel policy to be able to fly First Class is the flight time was 12 hours or more. No longer.

One upside of the current decline of business travel is that airlines are trying to incentivize travellers. We seem to be getting a deal with BA where one way you fly Club and then they put you in in First on the way back. This month on a trip to Beijing and then one to New York I have flown First on one leg. Both them the daytime return.

I do love First. You do fee very pampered and special. The cabin and seats are very dated now and I think they are going to be upgraded, but it is still great. The seats feel very private and the beds are comfy with big duvet and a great amenity bag. The service is outstanding.

I suspect though it is a dying class of travel. So making the most of it while it is there!


The New “Prime” First Class Cabin being rolled out:
british airways BA first class new seats
British Airways New First Class Cabin

The new British Airways First Class seats and cabin is being rolled out across the entire fleet, although it is not on every plane and so if you are lucky enough to be flying in BA First, you may or may not be on the new seats.


There is a nifty site that tracks the % of new cabins so you can see if you are more or less likely to be on the new seats, and in theory you can call and check with the First executive Club 24 hours before and check. I checked the site before our flight to Las Vegas and found that about 65% of the time it had the new seats. This worked out as on way out we had the old seats and on the way back the new ones.


Another clue is if you see on the plane when at the gate that some of the windows in the First are blocked out, then this is the new First as the new window approach means some get covered to create the blinds and window effect.


The new seats and cabin is much better than the old. By a long way.


Although, as the images I took show, the layout is the same as before. There are 14 seats, and in the centre there are 2 rows which are best if you travelling together as you site side-by-side and can chat.


In my view, the best seats are the 1A and 1K right in the front. These are held until a few days before the flight (to put VIPs etc) and so worth checking and trying to get these as the quietest and most private – especially good for overnight flights if you want to sleep.


The new seats are much more comfortable both for sitting and for sleeping. They feel longer, and are definitely wider. I am 6′ 2″ and could lie down fully.


They also have more features that include: a HUGE TV screen, a big window that has a blind that you can put down electronically, personal cupboard at each seat to store clothes and other items. There is a plug for all types of electric plugs, a USB port to charge iPhones etc.


They have not updated the sleeper suits, duvets or the amenity packs. The food and menu is still excellent.


We were lucky enough to be flying First on this trip thanks to BA Airmiles. It is a great update and very comfortable. I am not sure that it is quite as exotic as the new First on the A380 lines yet though where you have very private cabins and even bigger seats.


But I loved it! First on BA is much better.

british airways BA first class new seats
British Airways First Class
british airways BA first class new seats
British Airways First Class
british airways BA first class new seats
British Airways First Class
british airways BA first class new seats
British Airways First Class
british airways BA first class new seats
British Airways First Class

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