British Airways Introducing New First Class Suite With Doors – First Plane Arrives Next Month

British Airways shared the news with employees that the new Boeing 777s they’re receiving will come equipped with a new first class suite with privacy doors. This is especially important because their new business class, which rolled out last year, already has doors. The new seat will arrive starting next month.

The airline’s new Club Suites debuted in their Airbus A350, which has no first class. These are fully flats seats with direct aisle access using essentially the same business class seat as American Airlines does on most Boeing 777-200s and on American’s Boeing 787-9s — the Super Diamond seat — but adding doors.

british airways new business class
Credit: British Airways

british airways new business class bed
Credit: British Airways

The airline has retrofitted some of their Boeing 777s to offer these seats, and that plane has first class (albeit with fewer seats, dropping from 14 in four rows down to 8 seats across two rows). But BA’s current first class seat is wholly uncompetitive, I’ve called it the second best business class, BA first class is no longer even the best business class product (in fact it may not even be the second best, given Qatar’s and ANA’s new products). The current first class product has no doors for privacy, while the new business class offers this.

british airways first class cabin
British Airways Boeing 777 First Class

british airways first class seat
British Airways Boeing 777 First Class

Initially shared by British Airways crewmember who tweeted that the airline would get a new ‘first suites’ seats, that tweet was then deleted. Then A U.K.-based FlyerTalk member reports “some of the upcoming new BA 777s will be having a “new modified” F seat with a privacy door and 3 point seat belt” and that this is “official and not a rumour” and planes in this configuration will be listed as the “77H.”

It turns out that it’s only the new 777s so far that are getting this new seat, and the airline hasn’t announced any planes to retrofit existing planes with the seat. As a result current Boeing 777s that have the new Club Suite with doors, even, will have the old first class for some time. According to BA,

We are always listening to customer and colleague feedback about ways to improve our products. The response to our Club Suite has been great, and we are now applying some of the same thinking to a slightly modified version of the First seat on a few of our new 777 aircraft, creating even more privacy for our premium customers.

Starting in October, we will welcome two new variants to our 777 fleet: the 77L and 77H. The 77H variant will offer the modified First seat experience, which includes a privacy door and a three-point seat belt.

It’s important to note that these new aircraft were ordered well in advance of the Covid-19 crisis, but we could not defer their delivery.

I look forward to hearing how our customers and colleagues feel about the modified First seat when they see it on our 777s soon.

Internal photos show that the seat will have two doors meeting in the middle, rather than one that slides all the way across:

The seat itself appears similar to the current British Airways first class seat, the most recent generation of which flies on their Boeing 787s.

Continuing to offer open first class seats while providing business class suites with privacy is… bizarre. So it makes sense to offer an improved first class seat. I don’t expect it to be substantially improved, but doors certainly are an ante at this point. Even with the introduction of a new product I’d expect it to take years before existing cabins were all retrofit, if that even receives a go-ahead.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »



  1. Although doors are nice, I’ve always thought other first class features like compartment size and the ability to dine together are much more enjoyable. Never had an issue with the business class doors on one product and a open first class on another.

  2. You have always been too harsh on BA first class and you love that phrase “ best business class.” It’s a damn good transatlantic First Class product. Seats large and comfortable. Plenty of space in rows and between rows and seats. . Fine food. Nice wines . Plenty of FAs. Concorde Club in JFk provides fine food and wines before takeoff so one can get full 6 hours sleep. Is it Singapore? Cathay Pacific? JAL? No but find me better first class to Heathrow. Or Europe. Yes Lufthansa is better but BA far from business class. AA a joke. Old United first not even close. And First from LHR to anywhere damn good too. FA’s first class. Caring. Not ossified. Classy service. Still not an Asian first but very good. I’ve flown the no more 747 and 777s but not 350. Fewer seats yes now than before. And yes costs lots of bucks and Avios if using points.

  3. @Jeff R “find me better first class to Heathrow. Or Europe.”

    Better first class between the US and Europe: Air France, Lufthansa, Swiss, Singapore Airlines (JFK-Frankfurt)

    Better first class to Heathrow: Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Etihad, Singapore, ANA, JAL

    I’m sure you meant first class between the US and Heathrow but that’s the point, BA has a government-granted slot position at Heathrow that allows them to offer an inferior product.

    The seats are ‘large and comfortable’ compared to business class, not compered to what first class means for most airlines offering it. And “fine food” is true if by fine you mean “ok”..

  4. I’ve never felt “exposed” in first class on Lufthansa, Cathay, Singapore (77W), Thai, etc … the fascination with doors is just bizarre. WTF are people doing in their single beds? Lufthansa F, for instance, feels much more comfortable than Emirates 380 F, for example, IMO. A door is great if it’s like Etihad or Singapore’s A380 … otherwise it’s a gimmick.

  5. Having flown the (Melbourne)Perth to LHR return flights on a Qantas B787in business, I doubt that a door would have made much difference. Both my wife and I had window seats on either side of the cabin, which provide as much privacy as wanted when it came time to rest or sleep. Never a relaxed plane traveller, my wife was delighted with both the seat and the duration of the flight. I just smiled and loved every minute of it. Missed out on the Qatar Q seats in May 2020, but you all know why!?

Comments are closed.