British Airways Club World 777 – 2019 Review
British Airways Club World 777
British Airways (BA) Club World, also known as Business Class on the 777 consists of 48 Lie Flat Beds located in a separate Cabin at the Front Section of the Plane on the Boeing 777-200. Club World was the highest cabin class on the 777-200 we flew as there are no First Class Cabin installed on this plane, Read on for our Full Review below.
Our British airways plane departed from London Gatwick to Male airport otherwise known as Velana International Airport, the exact Nautical miles for the entire journey is 5,290 mi.
British Airways only fly this route direct between October to March and the entire journey takes approximately 10 hours, 15 minutes. You can however fly from London to the Maldives every month of the year via one of the BA alliance member airlines such as Qatar but this will not be a direct flight, these routes make a stop over at Doha airport where you change planes to Male airport.
The direct seasonal route fly’s three times a week from London Gatwick, departing on a Sunday, Wednesday and a Friday. These flights due to the departure time will land the following day at Malé airport. The return direct BA route from Male to Gatwick departs on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays and arrives the same day.
What does club world mean on British Airways?
British Airways Club World or otherwise known as BA Business Class is the next upgraded cabin class from Premium Economy. You receive dedicated Check-in desks at the airport, Lounge Access, Fast Track Security, Priority boarding, Premium dining with free Drinks including Wines / Champagne. A generous luggage allowance, White Company Amenity kit, White Company Mattress topper, Blanket and Pillow.
Club Kitchen access where you can help yourself to soft drinks, Crisps, Chocolates etc throughout your flight. Hand roasted Union coffee, In flight Entertainment with on demand controls, afternoon tea, Scones & Jam or Sandwiches.
Club World Dedicated Airport Check-In:
On arrival at London Gatwick airport we made our way to the Dedicated Check-in desks with anticipation of starting our First ever Club World experience. We had already checked in online 24 hours prior to our departure and had managed to select a great pair of seats situated next to the Window / Aisle.
The dedicated British airways Check-in desks were fairly quiet, with only one couple in front of us so we didn’t have to wait long. As we approached the desk we were greeted professional by the Check-in staff with big smiles and friendly chat about our destination. We noticed that our luggage was attached with Bright Orange luggage labels. We believe the labels are part of the Priority package and your luggage is sorted and returned to you faster at your destinations.
BA Club World Checked Baggage allowance
All Adult Passengers of British airways Club World receive a generous baggage allowance of 2 x 32kg checked in luggage per person.
BA Club World Hand Baggage allowance
All Club world customers are allowed one piece of hand luggage and one small additional item such as a handbag or laptop on board, both items can weigh up to 23kg each.
Dress Code Requirements in BA Club World:
After researching online and the Conditions on our Tickets, we could not find any stipulations over a Dress Code whilst travelling in CW. We dressed Smart but Casual, we noticed many people in our Cabin dressed for comfort wearing leggings, T-Shirts, Jeans and Trainers.
Does British Airways business class have WiFi?
BA Club World Business Class does not offer at present a Wi-Fi service on all its flights. However, it has been stated by 2019 up to 90% of the aircraft fleet will be connected. All Passengers will be notified whilst on board if their flight is enabled for a Wi-Fi service and fees may be applied.
Business Class Gatwick South Lounge Access:
To Read our Full Review on the BA Galleries Lounge, North Terminal at London Gatwick, Click Here – BA Galleries South Lounge Review.
We spent a considerable amount of time in the BA Galleries Lounge enjoying the Free Champagne, Latte’s and indulging in the food on offer. After three hours, our Boarding Gate displayed our Flight number, it was finally time to make our way to the Boarding Zone area…
We arrived at our Boarding Zone and quickly noticed it was looking very crowded. We managed to locate some seating and waited to see what happened next. After about 15 minutes a message came across the Tannoy asking for all Club World passengers to now make their way to the Boarding desks. This was very different to sitting around for ages when your seated in Economy and was a very good benefit in our opinion.
Boarding the Plane:
As we entered the Plane, we were directed Left by a Stewardess into the Club World Cabin. It was a pleasant experience to enter an empty Cabin and not have to navigate busy aisles with lots of people in the way putting hand luggage into the over head storage lockers. As it’s a small cabin in Club World it didn’t feel crowded or busy and we could easily find our seats and store away our hand baggage quickly. The Cabin gave a good first impression and had a Smart, Classy interior look & feel with Grey / Cream Panel fittings, large round lighting from the ceiling and Mood lighting throughout the Cabin.
Club World Seating:
Our Club World Seats were located towards the rear of the cabin. I had the pleasure on our Outbound journey of the Window seat which in my opinion is one of the best seats in this cabin. You enter your personal seat area behind the seat paired with yours next to the Window. The Window Seat faced backwards which was a first for me. It felt a little strange sitting backwards on a Plane but after a few mins I felt accustomed to my surroundings already. The Window seat feels more like a Pod, it’s a very personal space as you are separated from the aisle by the seat paired with yours. The seat felt very large in comparisons to Economy or Premium Economy we had previously flown. You have a separation, privacy screen between you and your pairing seat. This can be left down to chat or up for complete privacy. However, the Cabin Crew do ask for this to be in the down position when serving food / refreshments.
A fold away footstool is located at the end of your seating area. This acts as the final section when you make your seat into the fully flat-bed for sleeping. Fold away table, a compartment at the bottom for storing items during your flight & power sockets. The CW seat converts into a 183cm or 6ft long fully flat-bed. It comes with fully adjustable headrest and lumbar support. This was by far the most comfortable airline seat I had experienced so far.
For anyone who has never flown BA Club World and not familiar with the layout of the cabin on the 777, the 48 Business Class seats on this plane are arranged in a 2-4-2 layout.
Consisting of 2 pair seats on the outside of either aisle, next to the windows. Then double seats immediately next to each other in the middle with a single Club World Seat attached each side to the middle pair.
The layout for a first time flyer in CW is somewhat unusual due to some seats facing backwards and some forward facing for the aisle seats. For couples travelling together then the middle seats are probably best as your seated immediately next to each other.
Unfortunately, due to the configuration of the seats you will have to climb over passengers legs or feet unless your seated at the rear of the plane. This can be interesting if the other passenger have their seat fully extended position and you need the toilet.
Quickly after sitting down, a Steward made their way though the Club World Cabin handing out glasses of Champagne. On the seat, when we arrived there was a pair of Noise-cancelling headphones, White Company blanket, mattress topper and pillow as our flight was overnight.
Also we were handed a new style BA Amenity Kit made by the White Company of London. This Amenity kit came in a small, black leather effect holdal. It resembles to me a large, make up bag with contents including a Toothbrush, Toothpaste, eye mask, flight socks, Elemis toiletries such as lip balm, moisturizer etc.
Club World Business Class Dining
The Food in CW are all served up on Bone China Crockery accompanied by real Cutlery. Tea & Coffee are all served in China cups with saucers and all drinks served in glassware.
About an hour into our journey we were handed the In-Flight Dining Menu. These Menu’s looked similar to what you receive in a Restaurant, Club World Branding and a full description of each selection with an extensive Drinks list.
I opted for a Smoked Salmon starter, it came up beautifully presented with a small side salad and dressing. I found this dish tasty and certainly a massive step up from any food I had ever experienced on a plane before.
For my Mains I opted for the Steak with a Peppercorn sauce, New Potatoes & Seasonal Vegetables with a bread roll of choice & Butter. This arrived promptly and looked on First Impressions very appetising. The Steak was a disappointment, to me it tasted just like Braising Steak which had been boiled in Liquid, not the quality of steak i expected in this class of cabin.
For Dessert I choose the Milk Chocolate with a Passion Fruit crisp with Chocolate sauce. This was Tasty and the Passion Fruit crisp refreshing. Very well presented accompanied by a lovely glass of white wine.
Tea or Coffee was served during the Dinner Service and Drink orders taken.
Overall, my opinion of the Dinner Service was Good except for the below average steak served as part of the Main course.
The next Course due to our Flight being Overnight was the Breakfast Serving. Feeling still a little bloated from the Three course Meal the night before, Instead of a cooked Breakfast i decided to opt for the Muesli with a Berry Compote. This was pleasant and very creamy in texture. Union roast coffee was served and Orange juice.
In-Flight Entertainment (IFE):
The In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) consists of a flat screen with touch controls or can be used in conjunction with a separate controller which stores away neatly next to your seat. The controller is connected by a retractable cable so can be a little temperamental to use so I stuck to using the touch screen for most of the journey.
You have a selection of hundreds of films, Documentaries, Music, Audio Books and episodes of popular TV series to choose from. I quickly scanned the Movies section under Latest Releases and found a Movie Blockbuster just out on release in the UK. The screens in my opinion could be upgraded to a better Clarity but they served the Movies fairly well with no interruptions to service & worked seamlessly with the Noise Cancelling headphones provided.
After the Movie, I used the Popular sections and found a number of my favourite sitcom’s and even Watched clips of the Glastonbury Music Festival.
I also used the IFE screen to watch the Flight Map regularly which displayed our route and our current location. It’s interesting to fly above countries of the world you have never visited and good to see the Flight duration left until destination.
With only a few hours left until we touched down at Male Airport in the Maldives, the Sun was rising and the distant sounds and smells of Breakfast filled the cabin. A flurry of activity from the Cabin Crew taking Tea & Coffee orders and then Breakfast requests.
Breakfast was over fairly quickly and we settled into our last hour until our destination. This last hour I found to be a great opportunity to get ready for arrival. I got changed in the CW toilets which are of a good size and have quality Elemis Hand wash and Hand Moisturisers. A quick freshen up and I was ready for the Maldives.
On arrival, the Club World Cabin passengers were allowed to leave the plane first to board the airport shuttle buses.
Our Opinion / Verdict:
This was our first ever BA Club World Business Class flight taken, the highest class of cabin we had flown up to this point was BA Premium Economy. We had extremely high expectations of the Club World experience and on the whole we would recommend CW to anyone flying Long Haul.
However, we did take a closer look at the Cabin interiors in Business Class and our Seating areas and we did notice signs of ageing and wear and tear. Unfortunately, the Boeing 777-200 aircraft used on this route are getting fairly old now and we believe the CW cabins could have been fitted nearly 15 years ago. We also believe British airways are investing in a Cabin refresh but only on some aircraft at present.
The Dining experience was Good but let down by the standard of our Mains. We also believe a new Club World Dining Menu has been introduced so that would be a positive improvement.
The Cabin crew on our Outbound journey were Professional, Courteous and competent in their role. However, we found completely the opposite on our return flight from the Cabin Crew. On our Return, No real apologies were given to passengers for the lack of choice of preferred main meals & missing amenity kits. The Cabin Manager only asked for feedback of the service down one aisle of passengers which was poor in our opinion.
The seating layout and facing backwards whilst flying was a first for us. The middle pair seats if not seated next to your partner in our opinion was uncomfortable as you are sitting immediately next to a stranger for 11 hours.
We paid 200k Avios points plus £1200 in Taxes for our Return flights. The average cash price of these tickets were £5500. We feel for that amount of money we should have received a better service from the airline crew on board on our Return journey, food standards should be excellent at all times and in stock for all Business class passengers or atleast allow pre-ordering of meals on all routes. The plane interiors need to refreshed or maybe use newer planes on premium routes like the Maldives.
Club World is a good product and far superior to BA Premium Economy. We would recommend Business Class to anyone despite of some drawbacks.
Learn about BA First Class vs Business Class >> First Class vs Business Class <<
Read our Trip Report on our 5 Star Maldives Resort Stay, Click Here > CONRAD MALDIVES RANGALI ISLAND REVIEW
What do you think of BA Club World – Good or Bad?
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