BA is the largest operator of 747s in the world, with a fleet of 55, though two of these aircraft are in storage at Cardiff due to the economic downturn.
I seem to recall some of the older 747s will be retired soon, replaced by a brand new sub fleet of 777ERs four of which will be coming on stream later this year (2009) with a further four options for delivery in 2010.
Following that is a large investment in aircraft, including 12 A380s delivered from 2012 and 24 787 Dreamliners starting delivery in 2014.
The Club World cabins have received a thorough interior refresh over the past two years, with the entire 777 and 747 fleet being completed by the end of May 2009.
Given the plans to retire some of the aircraft in the near future, it would seem that some interior work has perhaps been let slip; certainly the First cabins are notoriously “sellotape and string”.
What a shame you flew on one of the more tatty aircraft. Right now, BA is operating an older longhaul fleet, but does continue to invest in the onboard product (www.newclubworld.com) and has made changes such as the introduction of Video on Demand (AVOD) in all longhaul classes, and will be formally announcing a new improved First Cabin imminently.
I would however have total confidence that interior fittings do not reflect the high standard of engineering and technical maintenance of which BA is justifiably proud.