British Airways FleetNEWS: British Airways has introduced a check at Heathrow Terminal 5, to ensure that passengers are through security at least 15 minutes (longer for some long haul flights). Even if you could quite easily get to your plane, you will not be permitted through security unless you are there with time to spare. Also BA have changed boarding times: British Airways are now imposing a T-10 rule for boarding on all flights from LHR Terminals 3 and 5. Passengers must be on board the plane at 10 minutes before the published takeoff time, or they will be refused access to the plane. BA's stated aim is to push back the plane at 5 minutes before the published time.
British Airways has a vast, complicated, fleet of just about every plane that is flying today. All longhaul aircraft have Seatback TV on British Airways. ... read more about BA Inflight Entertainment.
British Airways Seat Classes
British Airways Seats on a BA A320 LHR-DUS April 2005
BA do try hard to try to keep the demarkation between each cabin, although there is some bluring between old First and New Club World, however the food, and amount of space you get in First still keeps this demarkation. There is much more of a blur between old World Traveller Plus and Economy: here, the difference is all about the seat width. Other airlines, such as Air New Zealand, have moved their Premium Economy product much further forward, however BA like to keep the firm mark up between the cheap seats and business.
All cabins are undergoing an upgrade, but because all the products were introduced at different times, different cabins on the same aircraft may be either new or old versions. You'll be pretty much sure of getting Next Gen Club World rather than just New Club World, but even on planes with the new WTP, there may be still the old First cabin: those at the front may actually get a much more outdated product.
British Airways First Class
First Class British Airways old First Class Seat on a Boeing 777
By Contrast, British Airways Old First, is really looking a bit old, tired, and indeed downright ropey, although it is still way above what is on offer in Business: indeed, at launch in 1990 it was truly innovative, but now it really is starting to show its age. There is a fake walnut effect around the seat, which reclines to 78 inch bed, with an ottoman opposite you for buddy dining. You sit at a slight angle to the direction of flight, and it is very hard to see out of the window. There is a huge pull out table, and a reading light on an extendable stalk. Alas, for inflight entertainment there is only a 4 inch pull up video monitor: many of the oldest seats still have a video tape slot, before DVDs, then AVOD, and now the iPod IFE (short term stop-gap) entertainment systems were introduced and then abandoned. There is EmPower atseat power for laptops.
British Airways Club World (Business Class)Just as there are two different versions of First, so there are two different versions of Club World, which is the long-haul business class on Boeing 767, 777, 747, and Airbus A318 aircraft.
Business Class British Airways new Club World seat on a Boeing 777
You'll almost certainly be in what is called New Club World (NGCW, or New Generation Club World, in BA's complex terminology) launched in 2006. This is more an evolution of the flat bed principle. It is still laid out in alternate rows of forward and backward facing seats, but it does seem more comfortable, with armrests that side into the body of the seat, a sliding glass screen between seats, and a Z-frame bed that means you can lie semi-upright. Some people object to flying backwards, but it is actually quite comfortable, however you do have to look your neighbour in the face. All NGCW seats feature 'raid the larder': this is a small snackbar with salads, sandwiches, and chocolates. It does have a major perk over its twin on Qantas: this larder also has wine, beer and soft drinks you can pour. Almost all NGCW seats have AVOD, except for three very early Boeing 777 A type models.
BA 777 Old version, New Club World|
There are of course some aircraft that still have the Old Club World, but now it is restricted to the Boeing 767. Launched in 2000, CW or Business Class (on, in the industry, when it was launched it was called NCW or New Club World. Hence, some crew will still refer to this as the new CW seat, even though it is the old one) gets a seat which is BA's much touted (nay infamous) flat bed - it 73 inches long, and really does go completely flat, so you can get a decent night's sleep.
Indeed, for a while, BA had three versions of long haul business class, and you may see some mention of First Generation Club World. These had cradle seats, and while very good, were dated by the time of New Club World in 2000. All of the original Club World seats have now been removed.
British Airways World Traveller Plus (Premium Economy)British Airways World Traveller Plus Meals now include your choice of main course comes from the business class Club World menu: This significantly uprates the BA World Traveller Plus offering to a similar level offered by other airlines in Premium Economy.
There are, of course, new and old versions of British Airways premium economy too. Both feel much more comfortable than plain economy, however a British Airways premium economy review isn't as favourable as on some other airlines like Qantas and Air New Zealand, which have leap-froged past BA in this class.
A new version of premium economy was launched in 2010. New World Traveller Plus (often referred to as WTP or WT+) which goes up to 38 inches, but it is the width most people enjoy: it goes up to 18.5 inches, and has an 8 inch recline. There is a bi-fold table in the armrest, USB and AC power (UK/US/EU sockets) and a large 10.5" TV screen with AVOD, and RCA sockets so you can play your own films on the screen. The new BA WTP is on all the BA Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, and slowly being retrofitted to the rest of the fleet.
Premium Economy British Airways old World Traveller Plus seat on a Boeing 777
Old World Traveller Plus also has a 38 inch seat, and eight abreast seating (6 abreast on the 767), instead of nine or ten abreast on most 777s. There is laptop power, but with a special EmPower socket, and either a 9" AVOD screen, or a 6" looped screen.
There is no lounge access with British Airways premium economy; however it does include up rated meals, with a choice of main course from the business class Club World menu: starter and desert however are from economy. Furthermore, you only get your choice after the rest of club, so pickings may be rather short. Drinks are free, but from the economy selection (but you do get a glass glass rather than a plastic one) and you do get an uprated amenity kit (with a pen) and at some airports a special check in lane. It's all about the seat. If you ask for the bulkhead seats in WTP you get even more legroom, and a video screen which folds out from your seat. Many passengers mistake this for the old Business class seat - it is not, but it comes close, and for those on a budget makes extreme long haul (such as to Australia) much more bearable. True, the seat doesn't fold into a bed, but for the money it can actually be quite a bargain.
British Airways World Traveller (Longhaul Economy)
Old World Traveller 747 Economy|
There is yet another variant when it comes to Economy - with new and old versions of World Traveller.
Old World Traveller comes with very few frills: it is just a basic seat, with a headrest that slides up, and has adjustable wings. Seat pitch in economy is a pretty standard 31 inches Long Haul in the 747s and 777s. BA call this class World Traveller (WT, or Economy). All long hall seats on British Airways now come with seatback TV, with either a 6 inch screen with films on a loop, or 9 inches and AVOD. There is no at seat power.
New World Traveller has a slightly uprated slimline seat, introduced in 2010. It is notable for the large 9 inch widescreen seatback TV, with the remote underneath it: as a result the tray table is a small bi-fold design. On New WT there are AC power sockets (two shared UK/EU/US sockets per triple seat grouping) and larger seat back pocket. All New WT have AVOD.
Economy British Airways new World Traveller seat on a Boeing 777
Economy may just be economy - however on BA it is better than on many other airlines, such as Emirates. These airlines cram in 10 abreast on the Boeing 777, with a notoriously narrow seat, however BA stick to a 3-3-3 layout on the 777, giving a much wider and more comfortable ride, although it is 3-4-3 on the 747, and 2-3-2 on the 767.
One further note; on BA World Traveller, it is spelt the UK way, with two Ls.
British Airways Club Europe (Shorthaul Business) & Euro Traveller(Shorthaul Economy)
Club Europe seats on an 767|
Euro Traveller (ET, or Economy) gives you a normal seat pitch of 31 inches, and that's the same for Club Europe (CE, or Business). The only exception is on the few remaining 767s, which do have special business class seats.
British Airways Boeing 747-400British Airways has a fleet of 56 Boeing 747-400s, which operate most of the Asia & Japan routes, plus the big American ones, along with South Africa, the Far East and Australia. These are the jumbos with a big bubble on top behind the cockpit - all of the 747-200 classics (with a small bubble) were scrapped at the end of 2001.
Seating over 400, there are three seating configurations, which can be distinguished by the number of Club World (or J-Class) seats, and adding into the mix, some aircraft also have the new variant of Club World and AVOD.
BA 747-400 at London LHR|
On four class planes that have been revamped, World Traveller Plus is being moved to the second cabin, between First and Club World. This causes immense problems with WT+ passengers disembarking at some locations before Business Class passengers, and they also tend to raid the Club World Larder.
First in five rows of 1+2+1. Seats 1A & 1K are highly prized, thanks to the almost forward facing view through the front windows, and they are very private, but if VIPs are expected onboard, BA tend to throw normal passengers out of the these seats - so booking these seats via MMB doesn't always work. If you sit in the First cabin you also get the delight of a "loo with a view" - the toilets are large, with a couple of windows. A button by the window makes it frost it, giving privacy at 37,000 feet.
British Airways 747 Latest Club World|
New Club World (Business Class) extends from row 13 to 14, then (past the galleys) from row 17 to 20 with flat beds in a 2+4 formation, and upstairs with 6 rows of 2+2. Children are not often seated upstairs so can be quieter - but this isn't guaranteed. 62K is the best seat going - a window emergency exit, and in the middle of the cabin so furthest away from the bathrooms and the galley, so therefore the quietest, and you can get out without climbing over anyone. 62A is not however so great - you end up with the passenger in 63B staring at you. Other passengers vote for 64K on day flights, but in 64A you will keep on being disturbed by people "raiding the larder", and rustling crisp packets.
British Airways 747 World Traveller Plus|
The older and most common variant has just 4 rows of World Traveller Plus from 28 to 31, with 28B and 28J the most highly prised - these seats are on their own (a row of one!), in an exit row with lots of legroom - but the window is a long way away. There is a small plastic table here which belongs to "your" seat, however passengers in row 29 are wont to nab it. Quietly dumping their stuff on the floor helps to maintain possession. From rows 33 to 53 are World Traveller, with row 33 a bulkhead at the start of the small mini cabin, and row 39 & 40 bulkheads for the main cabin. At this row 39HJK has slightly less legroom then row 40 ABC.
British Airways 747 World Traveller Plus cabin|
There are two variants of the British Airways Boeing 747-400 with older club world. The one known as the high J planes with 70 Club World seats, with a small mini-cabin of two rows of Club from row 13 to 14, then (past the galleys & the stairs) from row 17 to 20 with flat beds in a 2+4 formation, and upstairs with 6 rows of 2+2. The variant with less Business class seats (the Mid-J) has only 52 seats in business.
British Airways 747 World Traveller row 33|
The latest version of the 747-400s is the one with the latest version of New Generation Club World (known as NGCW).
British Airways 747 World Traveller Cabin|
This has the business class section mid-ships, with First in the nose, then WT+, Business class, then WP in the tail. The highly unusual layout of a four-class plane, with expensive seats behind cheaper economy seats was mainly caused by the existing location of the galleys in the 747s. It can cause chaos as disembarking, with economy passengers holding up those in the business class seat, and the WT+ passengers also tend to raid the larder in Business class. These planes were originally known as the "low J" variant (with few business class seats) and have AVOD in all classes.
British Airways Boeing 777-200 & Boeing 777-300NEWS: British Airways is slowly replacing the First Class cabins on all its Boeing 777s, and so far about half the fleet has the new cabin.All of the 17F versions have the new cabin, and about half the 14F versions. It is very hard to tell if BA's new first is fitted to a 777. Whether you get the new seat is something of a lottery on the 14Fs, however if there is no wardrobe at the front of the cabin, this is generally a good sign of New First. One sure way of telling is to look at the plane as you board: if there are two blocked portholes in the front cabin, you have new first.
British Airways Boeing 777-200ER sits in the midsummer sunshine at Gatwick
British Airways has 45 Boeing 777-200s with a similar range and route capability to the 747-400. Principally they are used for Middle East and Gulf destinations, as well as some smaller tourist destinations, like Barbados, and a few of the smaller American locations, such as Philadelphia & Chicago. Increasingly they are also to be found on some JFK flights, and even serviced Australia for a while, initially to Melbourne, and then when that route was chopped, on one of the rotations to Sydney.
|British Airways Boeing 777 types|
|What seat is fitted to my BA 777?|
|777 A model||17F/48J/24W/127Y||3||17 new||48||24||127||loop|
British Airways Boeing 777-200 ER - 12F variantThere are nine Boeing 777-200 configured 12F/48J/32W/127Y, with Rolls-Royce engines. It has the latest AVOD in-flight entertainment, next generation Club World seats, and all aircraft have the new First Class seats. They are used from London Heathrow to Singapore, Sydney, Shanghai, and Tokyo Haneda, although they do also appear on other routes, mainly to the US, from time to time.
A novelty of the 12F variant is the crew rest area to the right of the front cabin.
Check out the full online Boeing 777 Seating Plan to help you find the best seats.
British Airways 777 World Traveller Plus row 21|
British Airways Boeing 777-200 ER - 14F variantThere are twenty Boeing 777-200 configured with 14 First Class seats, and 48 Business Class seats. British Airways fly the Boeing 777-200 14F from London Heathrow to Abuja, Accra, Atlanta, Doha, Boston, Chicago, Dubai, Kuwait, Luanda, Mumbai, Delhi, Houston, Nairobi, Newark, Philadelphia, Riyadh, Tel Aviv, Washington.
These aircraft are the 'run of the mill' standard version, by which all of BA's other 777s are judged. Currently about half have the new First Class cabin.
Four Class Boeing 777
|British Airways 777 seat map|
Interactive colour seating chart for BA Boeing 777, with pictures of every seat & cabin.
Three types: 12F , 14F or 17F
British Airways Boeing 777-200 - 17F variantBritish Airways now has only three initial A-market Boeing 777 models with 17 First Class seats, and 48 Business Class seats. Beware of getting on these aircraft: they are the only BA 777s without an AVOD inflight entertainment system: seatback TV is just the old fashioned loop type system. These planes also have the original small IFE TV screens.
These are really unusual beasts for BA: They have General Electric GE90 engines, a break from the traditional choice of Rolls Royce engines. When delivered they were designed for the 'bucket and spade' routes in the Caribbean, and hence had a 10 abreast 3-4-3 configuration in economy: they are now in BA's normal 9 abreast layout, which is much more comfortable than the 10 abreast cabin used by Emirates etc. There are only three left in the fleet, with BA trying hard to divest itself of these aircraft: others from the initial order have been sold to Varig, or broken up for parts, despite only having only eight years in service.
The three aircraft configured 17F/48J/24W/127Y are used from Heathrow to Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Tel Aviv, Kuwait and Philadelphia: you can always tell if you are getting one, by checking if they have only three rows of World Traveller Plus - and if the aircraft code is a plain 777-200 (not ER). This means the IFE is inferior, and the aircraft should be avoided.
British Airways Boeing 777-200 ER - three class 'high J' variantThere are ten Boeing 777s that are three class with 48 Business Class seats - the standard three class version, with more business class seats. These are typical affluent 'bucket and spade' route planes, flying from London Gatwick: Antigua,San Juan, St Kitts & Nevis, Tobago, Male, Orlando and Tampa. Plus from London Heathrow Bangalore, Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Chennai, Denver, Montreal, Rio de Janeiro & San Diego, although they do also appear on other routes, mainly to the US, from time to time.
Three Class 777
|British Airways 777 seat map|
Interactive colour seating chart for BA Boeing 777, with pictures of every seat for the BA 772 48J.
► airreview.com > Seatmap > BA > 777 48J
British Airways Boeing 777-200 ER - three class 'low J' variantThere are only four 777s with fewer business class seats: the low J variant, seating only 40 in business with three rows of World Traveller Plus, or 40J/24W/219Y. These are used on the really cheap routes out of Gatwick. The slight difference here is the crew rest position at row 4.
British Airways Boeing 777-300 ERBritish Airways has six brand new Boeing 777-300 ER, which have come straight from the production line.
BA has been slowly replacing Boeing 747 jumbo services with the slightly smaller Boeing 777s for some time - they are cheaper to operate, having only two engines. However the 200 model is small. BA wanted to replace the 747 with the A380 and the 787, but with huge delays, it eventrally coughed up for six Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. These are absolutely brand new and state of the art. They are swapped in with the B777-200s when there is a lot of demand for routes, and as such can find themselves used to Chicago, Washington, Toronto, Riyadh, Delhi, Mumbai and Dubai.
All six of the larger 300 model Boeing 777s are fitted as 14F/56J/44W/183Y, and being brand new have new first, Next Generation club world, and the latest AVOD system. They are unusual in having an extra row of Club World, six rows of World Traveller Plus, from row 21 to 26, and a small mini-cabin of economy from row 28 to 35. This small mini-cabin is highly recommended: it is slightly quieter than the large cabin at the rear.
British Airways 777 World Traveller Cabin|
British Airways 777seatingThere are two First Class options on the BA 777s - New First, or Old First. On the four class planes, there are generally 4 rows of First, with many passengers preferring row 2 - row 1 is right by the bathroom.
Old First has the standard big armchair seats, with lots of what looks like walnut wood strip on the seats (although, in fact, it is plastic). BA likes to call these the "Demi-cabin" in the sky". You get an ottoman to put your legs on, and you can use this to have someone join you while you dine. It goes into a flat 6'6" bed. On all old-First on the 777, BA hand out an iPad with the seat, that contains some films and TV programmes: it's because the monitor at this seat is tiny. A minute 4 inch screen: on the early models there was even a small tape player in the armrest, so you could play tapes on demand.
New First is much better, with subdued lighting, white creamy leather, and small overhead wall lamps. There are huge privacy screens to separate the middle seats: it isn't however a suite like Emirates would offer, but it does the job with more class. The seat is in quirky blue and cream leather. Behind the seat is a personal wardrobe, a writing desk that can be converted into a dining table, a 15" widescreen TV, mood lighting and electronic blinds
Club World runs from throughout the middle of the cabin, with the standard 2+4+2 format, that has alternate lines of seats facing each other.
World Traveller Plus features 8 abreast seating and a 38" pitch. All seats have at seat power. It is in a 2+4+2 format, and between 3 and 5 rows of WTP, depending on the aircraft (as above). Row 21 seats are great, with a fold out video screen - but alas are the "screamer" or bassinet seats. If you sit here, there is a danger you could be sitting next to someone with a baby, and worse, over the other side of the thin diving wall, there are more baby seats: for a very good reason, crew call this area the wailing wall.
British Airways 777 First Class seat|
British Airways A380 in model form at A380|
British Airways Airbus A380The British Airways A380 is flying from July 2013. Routes include London Heathrow to Hong Kong, Singapore, New York and Beijing.
The British Airways A380 seating map has a very conventional cabin layout with FIRST right at the front: the first class mini-suites have extra personal and stowage space than on the 747 thanks to the wide main deck.
|British Airways A380 seat map|
|British Airways A380 seat map|
Interactive colour seating chart for British Airways Airbus A380, with pictures of every seat for the BA A380.
► airreview.com > Seatmap > BA > A380
BA A380 Business Class Club World is spread through the upper and lower deck, with BA's standard Club World seats alternating front and backwards: it is over two decks to allow for a cabin on the lower deck with two side by side seats which are highly popular with couples. On the upper deck, the British Airways A380 seating map has Club in a 2-3-2 layout allowing for a very private middle seat with an extra side section, doubling up as a desk with storage under, however 3 of these are reserved for crew rest seats.
Premium Economy, or World Traveller Plus, is on the upper deck, with a very conventional 2-3-2 layout.
The BA A380 has the rare delight of Economy on the upper deck, giving 2+4+2 seats, and these are the best seats for couples, however the rear of the section faces the toilet doors, with light and noise issues.
British Airways Boeing 767-300 ERYou'll have to be lucky, or unlucky, to get on a 767 - there aren't many in BA's fleet.
British Airways have 21 of the 767-300 ERs in the fleet. There are two variants - a European version, and an Intercontinental version.
Thin but with a twin isle, it feels a bit odd, particularly the two that are in European formation, with just two cabins.
BA 767 economy the highly sought after row 27|
BA 767 Club Europe middle seats|
The European 767s alternate between Athens, Moscow, plus rather oddly, Prague and Dusseldorf. This is mainly due to BA having to tack on an extra rosta to maximise crew hours - plus, loads to DUS are often very heavy. Occasionally if there are a lot of bookings in economy, a curtain appears in the Club Europe cabin, and it is divided, with the middle seats split into 3. Economy Passengers holding status in the Executive Club are normally moved to this special economy and bit cabin when this happens.
BA 767 at LHR - still with old style tailfin|
The other 767s in World formation seem a bit more modern (particularly the 767 which was based in Manchester for the JFK flights which became the first 767 with AV on demand - this aircraft is now at Gatwick) with flat beds in Club World configured in 2+2+2. Oddly these planes have a forward facing window seat in Club World, and as such, 1A is highly sought after and offers a little extra legroom to boot. 4K is also very good, though some find the window seats a little claustrophobic owing to the smaller 767 cabin. There is World Traveller Plus seating, configured 2+2+2, and is much more spacious than the WT+ cabins in the 747s. World Traveller has a 31 inch pitch.
BA 767 economy the rear cabin|
When you first get on board, you may be forgiven for thinking that they are rather elderly planes, and the rather 1980s feel. Infact the first arrived at BA in 1990, and the rest are about 10 years old, so they aren't that bad. BA have also spent a fortune refurnishing these planes, and most are now operating as what staff members call "Dusked" versions.
It may seem odd that BA persist in using, and indeed have just Dusked, it's 767 fleet. However BA are the only major 767 operator in the world with Rolls Royce engines (it means that the engines are the same as on the 747 fleet), and that means their resale value is very low. Hence they will serve out their retirement with BA for some time to come.
BA 737 (737-400, 737-500, 737-300)Beware of these - they are flown mainly on short haul European and UK domestic routes, and a lot of seats have a pitch of just 30 inches. Seating 147 they can get quite cramped. There are 12 737-300 (seating 126), 2 737-500 (which seat only 110), and 33 the 737-400s. Much of a muchness, they are pretty dull and boring.
British Airways Airbus A320 / A319Airbus A319/A320s operate some of the smaller domestic flights, and most of the short hops around Europe.
Nice, pleasant quiet planes, the A320s are a joy (there are 13 in the fleet), while the A319 seats 129 (of which BA has 25), but is a short stubby plane, and bounces around a bit. The A320 seats 150, feels much more comfortable, and is often found on flights to middle Europe.
If you sit in the row behind the curtain, A and C are the widened seat, even in economy. This row is normally held back for Silvers & Golds, but you can select them at online checkin.
BA Bae RJ-100Very pretty planes, these are great for taking photographs out of the window, because the wings will never get in the way. Uniquely for a modern airliner, the wings are strapped to the top of the fuselage, and have four very tiny engines underneath. Used where ever there's a short runway, seat pitch for everyone is 32 inches, and they seat 110.
Avoid row 9 on these planes, where there is a blanker instead of the window.
BA Dash 8-Q300
BA Embraer & Dash 8 at Manchester|
Note that the overhead lockers on this plane are only 4 inches high, so your "carry on" case won't. Row 11 is the emergency exit, with quite a lot more space.Next page: British Airways IFE inflight entertainment >>>
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