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British Airways 787 London-Austin

Austin
posts: 4
British Airways 787 London-Austin

If you are planning to purchase a seat in the Club World section of the BA 787 operating between London and Austin, you might want to read this. This relates to a non-stop flight we took in a BA 787 from London to Austin in late June 2014.

My wife and I were in seats 1J and 1K. You can see the seating configuration on seatguru.com I had the window seat, 1K. Within 15 seconds of getting on board, I could tell it was going to be unpleasant.

This ended up being the worst and most miserable international flying experience in my life. A flight we took in United Economy Plus from LA to Sydney a few years ago was far better.

I had been looking forward to flying on the 787 and enthusiastically bought the Club World seats for the non-stop from Heathrow to Austin. Big mistake. In my opinion, BA has absolutely screwed up with the seat design in the Club World section and made this a horrible passenger experience.

The seat unit or "box" is more like a coffin. No storage space to speak of in and around the seat. No ability to regulate the air. The air in 1K is very stuffy and stale because of the box. The cabin crew has difficulty serving 1K. They have to reach across 1J. Worse yet, once the occupant of 2J extends his or her seat, you won't be able to get to the overhead storage or to the lavatory. You are trapped in 1K. Getting to the overhead is a big deal when there is no storage room in the seat unit and all of your stuff is overhead. You better pass on the wine and cocktails, too, since you won't be getting to the lavatory.

The very few positive comments I've seen about seat 1K are misleading. Yes, it is private, but I would describe the privacy as the kind you get with a coffin. Total isolation, confining and no ability to get out of the box.

The seat is no wider than an ordinary economy seat. It is not very comfortable in any position. It just has this goofy box built around it. You better like the person in 1J because you're looking straight at them when the privacy partition is down. The partition is down for a good portion of the flight, such as when the cabin crew is doing any type of service.

This is my first and last trip on BA between London and Austin. Even though I'm no fan of American Airlines, their first and business class seating in the 777 is far superior even if it means making a stop and doing a plane change at DFW. At least you have decent storage, ability to control the air volume and access to the aisle and overhead storage.

I wouldn't take a window Club World seat on a BA 787 again if it was offered to me free. I will suggest that the middle Club World "E" seat in each row could be just as bad as the "A" and "K" window seats if not worse.

BA received my comments in a post-flight e-mail survey and promised to follow-up with a call. I have never heard from them.

15 replies to this topic
Cardiff, United...
posts: 202
reviews: 13
1. Re: British Airways 787 London-Austin

The simple solution is to do what everyone else does and step over the legs of the person in the seat behind. It's how the club world seats are designed and from personal experience despite being relatively short legged I have had no issues with this. Surely you didn't seriously think BA expected you not to use the bathroom for the duration of the flight? You must have seen other passengers doing this?

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 7,987
reviews: 53
2. Re: British Airways 787 London-Austin

You know there's a drawer down by your feet in Club World? Plenty of room in there for the paraphenalia I use during a longhaul flight.

Whilst I prefer the Club World window seats on the 747 upstairs I don't have a problem with the window seats on their other aircraft. I prefer the privacy versus an aisle seat.

Stepping over the person across from you is no big deal, their feet are just 18" or so off the floor and as for the seat not being comfortable in any position, hmmm, can't say I see it myself!

Cabin crew have always served around the end of the seat whenever I have the divider up, it only has to be down for the safety demonstration.

UK
posts: 42,170
reviews: 88
3. Re: British Airways 787 London-Austin

The seat is no wider than an ordinary economy seat.

----

Incorrect. It is 2.5 inches wider. Though the legroom is obviously the main thing.

I don't particularly like the ying yang arrangement either but you can put the screen up when you want.

And as said you step over the leg rest portion of the seat behind.

posts: 257
4. Re: British Airways 787 London-Austin

How did the occupant of seat 1J fare?

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
posts: 47,089
reviews: 14
5. Re: British Airways 787 London-Austin

'No ability to regulate the air' There is. When it's warm or stuffy, get up and go to the galley. Say to the crew 'would you please adjust the thermostat a bit, as it's quite warm' and they will do so.

'The partition is down for a good deal of the flight' If either pax wants to raise or lower the screen, the control button is easily accessible on top of the divider. Some crew members will lower the screen for meal service and immediately raise it again - they seem to know if that's what the pax want.

'Total isolation, confining' One person's opinion. Of BA's four cabins I quite like Club World and am always happy to fly in one of the airline's seats. I like the privacy, find the seat comfortable in any position, and have yet to find anyone sitting in a window seat next to mine 'trapped'.

'BA received my comments in a post-flight e-mail survey and promised to follow-up with a call. I have never heard from them.' In all honesty, what do you expect the airline to say or do? They are not likely to rejig the CW cabin (the yin-yang layout is patented), but if you were extremely unhappy they may / will offer you some Avios.

Austin
posts: 4
6. Re: British Airways 787 London-Austin

The drawer holds a laptop and that's about it. I certainly won't hold a pair of size 12 men's shoes and it won't hold a decent book and a laptop. Nice try, but the available space around the seat is de minimus. Do you work for BA?

Austin
posts: 4
7. Re: British Airways 787 London-Austin

If you read the post, 1J was my wife. She was also very disappointed in the "seat in a box" arrangement. We both agreed that we would not fly BA's 787 after the experience. We have since found lots of folks who agree with us.

Austin
posts: 4
8. Re: British Airways 787 London-Austin

I expect a return call when someone says they are going to call.

As to the air, I prefer to regulate the air flow at my seat and not inconvenience the whole cabin with my whims about the air temperature or volume. Unfortunately, your solution would result in one passenger possibly making the whole cabin uncomfortable when the simple solution is to give each passenger the ability to regulate the air flow in and around their seat. Poor design and I can assure you other passengers were asking the same question early in the flight.

UK
posts: 42,170
reviews: 88
9. Re: British Airways 787 London-Austin

Do you work for BA?

-----

Oh please it's pathetic when people come up with that just because you don't like what they say. And I choose my word carefully. Pathetic.

And please let's not have "springing a trap" no one knew what size articles you were talking about. Not having flown in these seats I don't know about other storage, I presume there is none above, but then you use another overhead storage area just like you would on any plane, I've flown where "my" above seat storage was full of flight related stuff and you just use another one without being a prima donna about it.

So, ok your opinion differs to others, but since these seats are in general those most sought after you are ina minority. No biggie but no need to start personal attacks on people.

And for those who have flown them, what's the deal with over head storage in these seats?

Edited: 12:27 am, July 19, 2014
Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 17,464
reviews: 5
10. Re: British Airways 787 London-Austin

"A flight we took in United Economy Plus from LA to Sydney a few years ago was far better."

The hyperbole of the OP is incredible. Economy on an old ramshackle 747 with no in seat TV (for that's what UA's SYD flights used to be and I have to endure them to China) beating BA business class? I'll happily swap with you.

You may not like the BA Yin-Yang, but it's Business Class, and as a BUSINESS traveler flying solo I would personally love the privacy of the BA configuration with a partition rather than being snuggled up next to a total stranger. And if you haven't seen the J setup United has for its sUA 777s, again I'll happily do swapsees.

Oh, and ....

"You better like the person in 1J because you're looking straight at them when the privacy partition is down. "

I find it hilarious that you find this so horrible when, in your case the person in 1J was your wife. :-)

Edited: 1:52 am, July 19, 2014
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