November 17, 2023

British Airways First Class vs Business: Which Premium Cabin is Right for You?

Whether you are a frequent flyer travelling for business or leisure, many wonder whether it is worth upgrading from British Airways business class to their renowned first class for long-haul flights. As a specialist travel agency assisting Australian travellers, we are often asked what the key differences are between these premium classes. In this guide, we’ll compare the key differences between British Airways first class vs their business class so you can decide which cabin best suits your travel needs.

The New Club World

Before we dive into how the first class compares, it is worth understanding some of the latest changes that have happened with British Airways business class.

British Airways has invested £6.5 billion into revamping their premium cabins, starting with rolling out an impressive new business class suite in 2019. This new “Club World” suite was long overdue, replacing an outdated design that had not been modified since 2000. The old business class seats were arranged in a layout with one passenger facing backwards and the other facing forward, leading to awkward seating arrangements and a lack of privacy. The new Club World features a customised herringbone layout with sliding privacy doors for each suite, allowing each passenger to create their private cocoon during long-haul RTW business class flights.

Key features of the new business class suites include:

  • Fully-flat 79” beds with luxurious bedding
  • 17” high-resolution screens with entertainment
  • Ample storage spaces and lockers
  • Convenient direct aisle access for each suite
  • Lowering armrests and extra side padding for more space
  • Signature afternoon tea on selected routes

To improve the comfort and privacy of their passengers, all long-haul British Airways planes will have these new business class suites installed by 2025.

Roomy Seats vs Suites

British Airways is part of the Oneworld Alliance, giving customers access to premium rewards and round-the-world flights. However, for those seeking ultimate luxury on their next trip abroad, the airline’s first class is superior.

One of the biggest differences between British Airways first class and business class is the amount of personal space you get. As business class offers a private suite with sliding doors, the first class takes privacy to the next level. There, you can close the privacy doors and create your own secluded suite over 6 feet long with plush cushions and bedding, making sleeping peaceful in a fully flat position during those long-haul flights.

While the newly updated business class seats are great for privacy, space is still more limited. The footwell in business class tends to be more restrictive when the seat is fully flat due to the herringbone configuration. Thus, if having ample personal space is your priority, the first class offers substantially more room to stretch out and relax.

Fine Dining and Luxuries

To go with the spacious surroundings, British Airways first class also delivers an array of top-notch amenities and services for a truly indulgent travel experience.

It starts with the dining. The first class serves dine-on-demand and a la carte, allowing you to order anything off the menu anytime during the flight. Expect fine wines, premium champagnes, and gourmet meals created by top chefs. Business class also provides dine-on-demand and high-quality meals, but the range of options is limited.

The amenity kit also differs – first class passengers receive premium amenity kits with quality skincare products and fragrances, as well as sleepwear and slippers so you can relax in comfort. Noise-cancelling headphones are provided.

First class pampering continues on the ground too. While business class customers also get entry to a premium lounge at the airport, first-class passengers have access to luxurious first-class lounges. Furthermore, they can enjoy complimentary spa treatments and chauffeur transfers in select cities.

Entertainment and Comfort

Both first class and British Airways business class seats have large personal screens with on-demand entertainment, Wi-Fi, and power ports.

But first class takes the experience further with extras like 2-4-1 seating so everyone has aisle access and a personal wardrobe area. While reclined fully flat, first-class seats feel more like a bed thanks to their length and the extra padding. Business class herringbone seats also lie fully flat, but space can feel slightly more confined.

Whereas both premium classes offer substantial upgrades from regular economy class seating, first class prioritises ultimate comfort and amenities, while business class focuses more on privacy and technology.

Which Cabin Class is Right for You?

When comparing British Airways first class versus business class, the key differences come down to:

First class suites offer substantially more personal space.

First class provides a la carte fine dining with premium wines and champagnes.

There are more extensive amenity kits, luxury sleepwear and bedding in first class.

First class lounges are more exclusive with extra services.

First class suites feel more like a bed and have extra detailing.

So, is first class worth the investment over business? Here are some things to consider:

Sliding doors in business class suites now offer more privacy for working or sleeping, but if you want to stretch out, the first class provides unmatched space. While business class may suffice for quick jaunts, first class is an unparalleled game-changer for leisurely long-haul journeys. With lay-flat beds more spacious and private than many hotel rooms, gourmet catering on demand, and amenities galore, the first class makes each passing mile a pleasure.

Experience British Airways First Class in Style

British Airways has invested heavily in revamping their premium cabins, with impressive improvements to business class and unparalleled luxury in first.

If you’re planning an upcoming trip to the UK or Europe or an rtw business class journey, feel free to contact Airfare Geeks for help pricing out the different premium classes. Our knowledgeable travel consultants are ready to compare your options and book premium British Airways flights suited to your itinerary. Reach out to us today online or call (02) 9188 7823 to start planning your next big international getaway.

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