For the final leg of our trip home, we flew on British Airways from London to Los Angeles aboard the 777-300ER in Club World business class. Despite the dated seat, we had a marvelous flight.
British Airways 777-300ER Business Class Review
While a rather horrific value when redeeming points and traveling from the United States, out-of-pocket fees are much lower when traveling from Europe to the USA via London.
In 2020 I redeemed Avios to fly from Basel to London to Los Angeles in British Airways business class. Due to the pandemic, BA cancelled my flights. With BA’s flexible rebooking option, we rebooked to Las Palmas to London to Los Angeles. BA also cancelled its Las Palmas service, forcing us to make an extra stop in Madrid.
The upside to all the schedule changes and cancellations was that we were rebooked in J class and all earned miles (credited to American Airlines AAdvantage) for our journey.
After spending an hour in the Galleries South Lounge in Heathrow T5, we took the train over to T5C to board our flight to Los Angeles. I was surprised at the rather cavalier attitude British Airways staff took concerning COVID-19 tests. Rather than examine the tests themselves, we were asked to sign an attestation that we had tested.
Our boarding was delayed a bit, but presently we were invited to board. Sadly, I was pulled aside for “random” secondary screenings which meant I was not able to get many unspoiled pictures of the cabin (a few of the pictures below were taken after we landed in LA).
British Airways 269
London (LHR) – Los Angeles (LAX)
Friday, August 6
Duration: 11hr, 0min
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Distance: 5,456 miles
Seat: 15K (“Club World” Business Class)
A very cheerful flight attendant welcomed us onboard – with a couple exceptions, the crew was overall quite senior and I could immediately feel this was going to be a great flight.
British Airways is in the process of retrofitting its 777-300 fleet to install new Club World Suites, but there remain several aircraft that have yet to be retrofitted. Unfortunately, I chose our flight because it was scheduled to have the new suites, but those seats were swapped about three days before.
The old configuration is eight-across, which sounds horrible but really isn’t that bad. True, seats do stretch eight across in a staggered manner (some facing forward, some facing backwards). True, privacy is fairy limited and the aisle seats (especially B and J seats) are particularly exposed.
But I must concede that this is a comfortable seat and one benefit is that your feet are not constrained. Instead, a foot rest drops downs from the seat in front or behind you (depending upon which direction your seat is facing) and in lie-flat mode, creates a bed that is six feet long.
Personal storage is limited (there is a small drawer for valuables), plugs (universal A/C and USB-A) are within easy reach, and the screen flips over for relatively easy viewing.
The screen can be controlled by hand or by a passenger service unit (remote) located in the seat console.
Seat controls are also on the armrest.
Bedding is excellent on British Airways. Provisioned by The White Company, I found the duvet soft and warm and the large pillow perfect.
Augustine slept on top of the blanket and did not bother to recline his seat, again making me question why I splurged for a premium cabin ticket…
While the cabin did not get too warm, do note there are no individual air vents.
The cabin was darkened for most of the flight.
I mentioned the service and just want to point out what a pleasure it was to fly with a crew who seemed to love their jobs and were not only attentive, but cheerful and charming.
Our children, who were thankfully well-behaved, were doted over. Rather than address me for all of Augustine’s need, flight attendants knelt down and spoke to him directly, which I appreciated.
Heidi and I took turns holding Claire Marie, who spent the first couple hours of the flight with me, then fell asleep for the bulk of the flight with Heidi. She recently turned two and now requires her own seat.
IFE + Wi-Fi
We took off to beautiful views of Heathrow.
Early in the flight, I checked out the IFE. The system is a bit dated by now, but I found a large selection of movies, TV shows, games, and audio, as well as a moving flight map.
Noise-canceling headphones are better than standard headphones, but not all that comfortable over the ear.
Twice, the IFE went out, suggesting BA is long overdue for an updated system.
High-speed wi-fi was available onboard at the following rates:
- 1 hour – £4.99
- 4 hours – £11.99
- Flight pass – £19.99
I connected to the messaging option, which was only £2.99 for a flight pass and allowed me to send and receive messages on iMessage and WhatsApp (text only, no photos).
Meanwhile, Augustine pretended the IFE remote was a telephone…
…and enjoyed his cartoons, which he is only allowed to watch when on airplanes.
I find The White Company amenity kits quite handy on British Airways. The black leather bags are versatile and we use them to store households items at home. The contents included:
- eye shade
- ear plugs
- SPA products (from The White Company)
- lip balm
- pulse point (oil)
The lavatory was clean and featured more products from The White Company, including soap and hand lotion. There were also wipes in a communal bottle and an air freshener spray.
Food + Drink
I was very pleasantly surprised by the meals onboard, which was frankly just delicious comfort food. Some carriers try too hard to offer “gourmet” dishes when they should just stick to the basics. BA does the basics well.
Here’s the menu for the flight:
I began with a cranberry blush cocktail, which was served with rosemary-encrusted mixed nuts (and roasted corn).
For my main course, I chose braised Welsh lamb shank, served with broccolini, sweet potatoes, and mousseline (sauce). Meals were a one-tray affair, including a coleslaw salad, cheese board, and a dessert called Eton mess (a traditional English dessert consisting of a mixture of strawberries or other berries, meringue, and whipped cream).
I paired my dinner with a glass of Bordeaux wine, which was splendid. I love the hot bread basket, with three bread rolls fused into one. I also loved the sourdough crispbread crackers served with the cheese.
Along with my dessert, I enjoyed a strong cup of decaf coffee (preparing to sleep after).
Augustine ordered the British Barbecue, which included marinated Berkshire pork belly, a dry-rub chicken skewer, baked baby potatoes, and a charred pepper. This was a really delicious dish (he let me have a few bites) which I would love to order again (though I loved the lamb too).
After a lovely rest, I woke up for a pre-arrival meal of roasted cauliflower in a red pepper dip and herb roasted chicken breast with gnocchi and tomato sauce. Another winner. The appetizer and dessert (passion-fruit panda cotta) were served covered.
The Do & Co catering on British Airways is excellent. I greatly look forward to my meals when traveling on BA.
The sun was setting as we approached Los Angeles and the fog had begun to roll in. We arrived in the Tom Bradly International Terminal and parked next to a SWISS and ANA 777-300ER. After gathering our things, we proceeded through passport control and were soon reunited with my parents, who graciously picked us up.
British Airways is good with the old seat and great with the new Club World Suite. I would choose BA again in a heartbeat, even with the old seat, noting the availability of great bedding, wi-fi, friendly service, and delicious food.
Laughing at the passport in the cubby photo. I thought you learned your lesson on doing that!
Remember, this is a delayed report from last August (though nothing has changed onboard). The passport incident was four months after…
Hi Matthew, I notice that you mentioned that Augustine is “only allowed to watch” cartoons on planes. I know you’ve mentioned that your kids tend not to watch TV at home either. Why is this, if you don’t mind me asking?
I think children, in general, watch far too much TV and then act like zombies after (I certainly did growing up). We don’t have a TV at home, don’t go to movies, and generally only sit and consume movies/TV shows when on airplanes because I think we are healthier that way. Despite living in the city, my children go out and play outside and Augustine has become an avid reader at age five.
Once in a while, though, I do use YouTube for instructional purposes, like trying to reach Augustine the flags of the world or how to count money.
I think that’s totally fair – for what it’s worth I don’t really watch TV either, though like you I will occasionally watch youtube, say if I need to find out how to do something (e.g. wire a plug, or something like that, when it really helps to watch someone do it in real time). That’s even the case when I’m on a plane though, as I’ll probably keep it on the moving map for most of the flight, and just listen to whatever music has been provisioned on the IFE – some airlines are truly better than others in this regard! It’s great that Augustine is an avid reader at such a young age too – more and more kids seem to be shunning books these days, a trend that I’m sure you’re aware of.
Your kid can only watch cartoons on the plane? What a life, he is a kid and you are so strict he can’t watch cartoons at home, what a great childhood. You know what my parents were the same super strict assholes and now I don’t have a relationship with either one of them… take that for what it is worth. He is a kid, not a Minnie me!
Yeah, I spend quality time with my kids and take them around the world in premium cabins instead of dumping them in front of a screen. Somehow, I think they will thank me someday.
Did BA comp a full seat for your daughter, given that she was no longer a lap infant when the flight was rebooked? If so, how were the discussions over that?
She was still one when the flight took place.
I’m flying the new Club Suite in September, and I’m really looking forward to it, but a part of me will miss the old Club World seat when it’s gone. Though tight, I was always able to really relax in the window seats. The upstairs cabin on the 744 truly was great, especially 62A/K. I like Club World more than I probably should.
@ Jerry, I have to agree with you. There is a certain sentiment with the old Club, all those flights and miles flown over so many years in that seat. And yes, the 744 and 62A/K was the best seat in the house and, if you could get it, was to me even better than anything in F. I had hoped I would have a few more trips upstairs in BA’s queen before they started vanishing. Alas, that was an abrupt ending to such a great legacy. In my mind I still see them lined up at T5 and how beautiful they all looked.
I agree with these comments. Everyone hates on the old ba seats but I have had wonderful flights upstairs on the 747. Tons of privacy and storage. Good food. Good leg room.
Club World BA with its Do&Co catering is a really pleasant experience. The fact that they give you a much better experience for less money is one of the reasons I never seem to fly UA internationally any more. I also like that they have their own Brewdog beer, too. And their IAD lounge is good for dining before their late eastbound flight. I look forward to my first BA flight since 2019 next month. Be interesting to compare it to an Austrian Do&C0-catered flight to VIE (which I have never flown) two weeks after that.
Nice review and looks like you had some very nice food and great service. A word of warning however to those reading this review. Don’t take it as if this will be your experience. I’ve flown BA FIrst class twice in the last 6 months (LHR – SYD and LHR – SCL, their two longest routes) and once in business (LHR – CUN). Both pretty poor in terms of quality and quantity of food. Ran out of food on the SCL flight and ran out of water on both the SCL and SYD flights. The general opinion amongst the BA Gold members (from the Facebook BAEC Gold & Premium members group) is that BA is in serious decline. The food offering has been extremely poor and getting worse over the last 6 months. I love reading your blog and you were fortunate to have had an excellent time including substantial landing meal but these days the landing meal is half of half a sandwich and a packet of crisps (chips) in business. BA service can be great with super flight crew but sadly these days (in last 6 months) they have struggled because of big cuts to what is offered to passengers. Not the fault of the crew. Each flight is a gamble. My advice is to fly American Airlines in lieu of BA for US routes, fly Qatar for anywhere possible, and BA only if you have to (i.e. European routes)
Hi Rob, correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t the pre-arrival meal still more substantial on London – West Coast flights? I flew LHR-ORD more recently and was pretty disappointed by the meager sausage roll as the pre-arrival meal. Still, I love the new Club World Suite. It’s so comfortable.
And in fairness, the worst CW reviews and catering pictures are still head and shoulders above UA long haul catering.
Will we be getting a review of that? It would be interesting to compare with the food on this route.
Yes. Coming soon.
This was my teaser—
The window seats are the best, better than even updated seating on other airlines. It’s so private, it’s rear facing (which I like), and there’s 6 ft. of airspace above your feet, not tucking your legs into a small cubby hole.
I see the amenity kits are better than a few years ago, when it was a navy blue pouch with a draw string.
It isn’t that private…you still have to climb over someone to reach the aisle in most window sweats, and you have to keep the partition down during take off, landing, and meals.
I agree with comments about the seat, service, etc. and will fly the new seat in September. But I think the real issue with BA is their exorbitant fees on award seats. It is this reason alone I try to avoid them.
And P.S. I remember the seats in row 62 of the 744 fondly and had my last experience in that aircraft in January 2020. Memories.
“passion-fruit panda cotta”
A very gamey choice for a dessert…
I’m flying British Air, business class in November…Boston to London to Cairo, then back. It is my first BA flight, and I usually fly premium economy. This was really a splurge for me, and I hope the trip is as nice as yours! One reason I booked Club World is because I have a 6+ layover I at Heathrow on my way back, and figured access to the lounge would make it not so horrible!
I hope you’ll enjoy it!
Great and informative review.
I’m due to fly LHR to Dubai on British Airways 777 with a 2-4-2 seat configuration in club world. I noticed you travelled with Claire Marie before she turned two. I am travelling with a 7 month old.
Do you have any suggestions on where to sit? Would you recommend window seats or the honeymoon seats?
Also do you know what services BA provide for the infant in terms of seating, food or even hot water?
Information online seems to be contradictory.