Six or seven years ago Lucky from One Mile at a Time and I debated whether British Airways first class was ‘the world’s best business class.’ At the time I still felt like BA’s first offered something approximating a first class product, even if it wasn’t one of the better or flashier ones.
Now that same product, which BA is still flying, doesn’t even qualify as the best business class out there. It seems to me that Qatar Airways business class QSuites are better, and possibly even EVA Air’s business class as well.
British Airways First Class Cabin
I took two British Airways first class flights over the past week and it struck me just how much closer to a solid business class the whole experience is. The airline does have a roadmap to improve the product, likely with fewer first class seats and unstated upgrades. They haven’t promised a better seat.
- In part that’s a function of how much better competitors have gotten with the best business class offerings.
- While British Airways has stood still. Just as they once offered arguably the best business class in the world, they were an early pioneer of lie flat seating, and they now lag all but carriers still flying with angled seats in business.
I do find the bed perfectly comfortable for sleeping. It’s not a double bed, there’s not a ton of privacy, but I can stretch out and get comfortable.
Deconstructed chicken pot pie dinner
Ice cream frozen solid
Nuts were offered to start inflight service, but on our outbound Austin – London Heathrow flight they ran out of nuts and there weren’t enough to offer to all six passengers in the 14 passenger cabin. They didn’t have any for my wife. They explained that the nuts are catered out of London “and they must have used too many on the first flight.” I suggested they bring some nuts from business class and they did. (This was something I had to suggest, the crew wasn’t really proactive or problem-solving.)
Flight attendant walked away before I could clarify I wanted my Johnny Walker Blue neat, they brought it with ice.
Concorde Room ‘Deck’
In other words, the British Airways first class experience is nice the way the world’s best business class products are nice. It’s a great way to fly. But it doesn’t come close to what European peers Air France or Lufthansa offer. It doesn’t come close to what Gulf competitors Emirates or Etihad offer. It doesn’t approach what Asian competitors Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, or Japan Airlines offer. And given the choice I’d fly business class in Qatar Airways QSuites or EVA Air.