New British Airways Club World service and White Company bedding

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This topic contains 101 replies, has 29 voices, and was last updated by  MartynSinclair 7 Oct 2018
at 10:17

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  • Tom Otley

    British Airways have organised a fam trip to NY today to experience the new service and White Company bedding.
    I’ll post a report online later (possibly even tomorrow depending on how long it is).
    If you have anything you’d like me to address (about the new service – Alex Cruz won’t be there), there will be representatives on board from both The White Company and British Airways and I will ask.
    I’ll be interested to see how the new service works. Any improvements to the food and wine is good news, but working on the way out and sleeping on the way back is also important, so the balance of speed and the new quality and attention / service will be something to watch.
    As usual I’ll try and take a note of whether hot towels are offered, whether nuts are warmed, how long it is until the first drink, is it true that if you order a G&T you only get a half measure, on the return flight (when you want to sleep) what’s the difference between the Sleeper service, the Good Night Express service, the Good Night service and the leave me alone and don’t wake me until you;ve already turned on the seat belt sign for landing at Heathrow service?
    I’ll also try and find out when we are likely to see this on the rest of the routes – Los Angeles next, or Washington, or …


    Enjoy the trip, Tom.

    I am not interested in the least – until BA updates it’s geriatric seat to a contemporary product, I won’t be wasting my money on Club World – I’ll either fly W class or another airline.

    This new initiative is equivalent to re-arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic and whilst all my be well on the profits front in Q3 (lagging indicators), the leading indicators (warning signs) in terms of declining RASK etc have been there for a while now and the business is vulnerable to a downturn or rise in the oil price.

    You can cut costs for a sustained period to maintain margins, but eventually the falling prices will catch up.


    Hi Tom….please ask if the investment in the refurbished Club product is worth it if the horrendous noise from the galley during the night cannot be reduced or controlled. It is especially bad from the Mixed- Fleet crews. Thanks.


    Tom – the new meal service sounds a step up, it would be interesting to know the time taken to complete it.

    On the return leg, how long the new express service takes and the main differences versus the old express service.

    I’d like to know the timetable for the roll out of these ‘improvements’. Travelling back in J from ORD last month and frankly the quality of the meal was cr*p. Doesn’t sit well pax to / from JFK are the only ones benefiting for much longer than other routes.

    Will LGW services see these improvements and when?

    JFK specific question – will the refresh of the BA terminal mean the 380 will be rostered?

    Finally, like others I suspect, when is a new seat coming across the fleet?! Upper deck on 747 and 380 is fine (IMHO). So noticeably poor on other aircraft, especially given the age of the product and the improvements others have made to their J seat over last 5 years or so.


    The Club World seat question..

    I thought this was going to be rolled out as the best thing since sliced bread when BA receive its first A350..

    The wider question is will the new seat (when ever it is launched) be retrofitted across the entire long haul fleet or will BA move back to being a 2 seat product, Club World?

    Tom Otley

    Well I know the new CW seat is always fascinating, but it isn’t coming until the A350 comes, and that’s in 2019, so they won’t be talking about it on this trip.

    As far as The White Company products are concerned – they are being loaded onto Boston and Washington this year (as they arrive) and before the full new food service.

    So passengers on those routes will have the new bedding and topper mattress etc as it arrives, but will have to wait for the new food service, which will only be on JFK in 2017.

    The reason for this isn’t (as I thought) staff training. In fact 4,000 staff have already been trained in the new service. It’s because of the need to have the catering facilities adapted at the other ends of the routes.


    A summary of the April 2017 announcement by AC…

    April ◦Wi-Fi on its long-haul fleet will begin to be rolled out. Its short-haul network rollout will begin later this year. By 2019, BA hopes to have 90% of its fleet equipped with 4G high-speed Wi-Fi. There’ll be two choices — Simply Connect or Connect Plus — and you’ll be able to choose if you want to be connected for one hour, four hours or the whole flight. Prices will start at $6 (Simply Connect) or $10 (Connect Plus).

    ◦Yesterday, BA opened a new check-in area in Terminal 5 at LHR for first-class passengers, called “First Wing.” The new area is open and features a two-lane security channel and direct access to the Galleries First Lounge and Concorde Room.

    ◦This week, BA will introduce short-haul business class service on domestic UK flights. It’ll feature new crockery, Champagne and wine and improved menus.

    •June ◦New catering will be introduced in LHR’s business lounges. Breakfast service in the lounges will be extended until 11:00am.

    •July ◦BA is upgrading its bedding situation for Club passengers. Beginning in July, the carrier will feature fresh, new linen, larger pillows and a soft mattress topper and duvet.

    •September ◦New premium dining in Club World will begin in September. Display trolleys will allow travelers to see and pick which starters and desserts they want. The dining upgrade will also feature new table settings.

    • 2019 ◦The airline will debut its new Club World seat, which will feature direct aisle access for all. It’s not clear if that access will configured in a staggered 2-2-2 (like Korean’s 787) or the traditional 1-2-1 (like you’ll find on airlines like AA).

    Tom Otley


    JFK specific question – will the refresh of the BA terminal mean the 380 will be rostered?

    Short answer – no.

    Apparently what they gain from having the extra capacity for the aircraft they lose by the extra room needed between gates.

    The flight today will be a B747 with wifi – which is great because not only does it mean I can stay connected, but I can also try out the new wifi service – so I will start a new thread on that – if it works !


    New bedding from July 2017 – yet only one route has it and by the sounds of it a maximum of 3 by the end of the year.

    New premium dining from September 2017 – yet again, only one route ‘benefits’ from this.

    Tom, perhaps you can find out when the above roll out will be completed? I’m sure there are challenges with getting the outstation’s catering up to speed, but I suspect AC & WW must have realised this when coming up with this ‘initiative’.

    Without wanting to be overly harsh, bleating on about bedding and dining and yet offering this to only a minuscule fraction of your route network isn’t that much to get excited about. Yet.

    Tom Otley

    The roll out of catering and bedding will be completed by the end of 2018, I am told.
    There are around 6,000 CW seats, and so there are about 20,000 lots of this White Company bedding being loaded.
    The intention is for it to be JFK, then the rest of North America, and then the whole of the network from LHR, and then Gatwick towards the end of next year.


    Hi Tom – many thanks for all the answers.


    Thanks for this Tom, but I don’t bother with BA C any more unless I can get a very cheap fare, I’d rather pay more and travel on an airline that offers a real Premium service.

    I agree entirely with FDOS.

    I am not interested in the least – until BA updates it’s geriatric seat to a contemporary product, I won’t be wasting my money on Club World – I’ll either fly W class or another airline.
    This new initiative is equivalent to re-arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic

    The hard product that BA offer in C class is a disgrace, not helped, as openfly mentioned, by the unprofessional behaviour of some of the cabin crew.

    Tom Otley

    Well it’s certainly not market-leading in terms of the seat.

    The staff? Well it depends. We’ve all had those flights, but I’ve had more good ones than bad.

    I just flew back for 13 hours on a day flight in economy with BA and the staff were great.


    Tom – agree with you re: the staff. By and large a credit to themselves and BA.
    Once rolled out the bedding and dining is a good step in the right direction.
    I know there are several that find the seat deplorable, but I’m quite happy in a window seat on the UD of a 747 or 380. Great privacy, and good storage to the side.
    They are though very noticeably falling behind the competition. (Apologies for stating the obvious!) UA used to have a terrible J product on their legacy 777 & 767 (ex CO was much better), but even they are rolling out a new seat.
    It really can’t come soon enough.



    Sadly my partner is terminally ill – due to her medication she cannot have dairy (I always order her a Low lactose meal) the meal out to LAX is fine but on the way back is so embarrassing that at times the cabin crew have apologised and refused to serve it and found other food for her – interestingly the food is identical between Club and First except for the crockery.

    Unfortunately she isn’t allowed gluten now but BA will only allow her to have either gluten free or low lactose unlike other airlines – could you ask them when they will condescend to accommodate her.

    We don’t fly to eat but when you pay a premium fare 3/4 times a year it isn’t nice.

    Many thanks.

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