The Guide to British Airways Business Class

In addition to its two business class fares, British Airways offers the new and improved Club Suites.
Elina Geller
Natasha Etzel
By Natasha Etzel and  Elina Geller 

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British Airways wowed the world in 2000 with the introduction of the first-ever lay-flat business class seat.

After stagnating for the better part of two decades, British Airways finally revitalized its Club World long-haul business class product starting in 2019. The London-based airline introduced a new "Club Suite" redesigned business class seat and refreshed service.

More than four years later, not all British Airways business class flights are up to the new standard. Depending on your route and aircraft type, British Airways business class may simply consist of an economy seat with a blocked middle seat with better onboard service and food.

Here's how to tell which business class experience is on which flight, plus what you can expect when you fly on a business-class ticket with British Airways.

3 types of business class on British Airways

British Airways business class can be broken into three distinct business-class products:

  1. Club Europe on short-haul flights in Europe, northern Africa, and parts of the Middle East.

  2. Club World: The general term for British Airways long-haul business class, but now more commonly refers to British Airways' older business class seats.

  3. Club Suites: British Airways' new business class seats, which feature a door for privacy.

Let's break down the details of each of these different British Airways business class products.

Club Europe

(Photo by JT Genter)

Club Europe is British Airways' term for its business class product on short-haul journeys within Europe. This is the least-luxurious British Airways business class product, simply consisting of standard economy seats with a blocked middle seat.

You'll find British Airways Club Europe on all British Airways narrowbody aircraft, including the following aircraft types:

  • Airbus A319-100.

  • Airbus A320-200.

  • Airbus A321-200.

  • Airbus A321neo.

  • Embraer E190.

What's included

(Photo by JT Genter)

  • Bag allowance. British Airways Club Europe passengers can check up to two bags at no charge. You can also bring one full-sized cabin bag plus a laptop or handbag on board.

  • Boarding. British Airways boards passengers in nine groups. Club Europe ticketed customers are part of the Priority Group 1, meaning they are the first to board.

  • Seats. Club Europe business class seats match what you'll find in economy, down to the seat pitch. That means a tight 30-inch seat pitch and no additional seat width — even though you've booked business class.

  • Lounges. Club Europe passengers have access to British Airways or partner departure lounges where available.

  • Food and drink. British Airways serves a complimentary meal in Club Europe, with the meal depending on the time of day. Complimentary alcoholic drinks are included, so enjoy a gin and tonic or Champagne with your meal.

Club World

(Photo courtesy of British Airways)

British Airways refers to its intercontinental business class product as “Club World.” This is the business class product you'll find flying between the U.S. and London — and on long-haul flights beyond London.

Since the introduction of British Airways' new Club Suites in 2019, Club World is alternatively used to refer to British Airways' outdated business class seats — the ones whose origins date back to 2000. You'll generally find this older seat on the following plane models:

  • Airbus A380-800.

  • Some Boeing 777-200.

  • Some Boeing 777-300.

  • Boeing 787-8.

  • Boeing 787-9.

What's included

Here’s what you need to know about Club World business class tickets:

  • Bag allowance. Club World passengers can check up to two standard weight bags plus carry on one larger bag and one smaller bag.

  • Boarding. Club World passengers board with Priority Group 2. That means you'll board the plane after first-class passengers — on flights with first class — and Oneworld Emerald elites.

  • Seats. All Club World seats recline into (at least) a fully flat six-foot bed. Bedding and amenity kits designed by The White Company provide added comfort.

  • Lounges. Club World passengers get access to British Airways Club World departure lounges and partner business class lounges. Additionally, Club World travelers can visit the Arrivals Lounge when arriving at London Heathrow.

Club Suites

British Airways' newest business class product is referred to as “Club Suites.” This much-better business class seat debuted in 2019. However, British Airways is still years from installing this new business class seat fleetwide.

Which British Airways aircraft have Club Suites?

British Airways debuted the Club Suite on its Airbus A350-1000 aircraft, and all A350-1000 aircraft have this new product installed. In addition, British Airways has completed Club Suite retrofits on its Boeing 787-10 fleet.

Unfortunately, British Airways is well behind its schedule for retrofitting Club Suites onto its other aircraft. In October 2021, British Airways pledged to finish installing Club Suites on its Boeing 777 aircraft by the end of 2022. While British Airways hasn't responded to NerdWallet's status requests, it recently posted on X, formally known as Twitter, that the Boeing 777 retrofit is still in process as of mid-November 2023.

Club Suites will eventually be rolled out to British Airways' entire long-haul fleet. However, British Airways currently doesn't expect to install the new Club Suites on its Boeing 787-8 or 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft until "late 2024 or 2025."

Club Suite versus Club World seats

(Photo by JT Genter)

Technically, Club Suites seats are Club World seats. However, there's a reason for the distinction between the two. Instead of awkwardly facing a seatmate and/or potentially having to climb over a neighbor to reach the aisle, all Club Suites have direct aisle access and even a door for privacy.

(Photo by JT Genter)

Even passengers seated in the middle column have a divider they can close to get privacy from their seatmate.

Taller passengers will appreciate that Club Suite seats lie flat into a larger 6-foot 6-inch (198cm) fully flat bed. That's six inches longer than the older Club World seats.

(Photo by JT Genter)

In addition to the better seat and longer bed, Club Suites have a larger 17-inch in-flight entertainment screen. That's noticeably larger than the 12-inch screen installed in older Club World suites.

Does British Airways business class have flat beds?

British Airways was the first airline to ever offer lie-flat business class seats back in 2000. Nowadays, all British Airways Club World and Club World Suite seats recline into a fully flat bed measuring at least six feet long.

However, short-haul Club Europe business-class flights only have standard economy seats.

How to save on your British Airways business class ticket

Book business class tickets with miles

You can use a wide variety of mileage currencies to book British Airways business class, including:

🤓Nerdy Tip

British Airways is infamous for charging high taxes and fees on its awards. Add in high premium cabin taxes and flights from London are especially expensive out-of-pocket.

For example, a British Airways business class award from London-Heathrow to Las Vegas costs a reasonable 57,500 AAdvantage miles one-way.

However, the out-of-pocket cost of $692.60 slashes the value of this award.

Book with the airline's credit card

British Airways cardholders can take some of the sting of these high taxes and fees by booking awards through British Airways Executive Club and charging the taxes and fees to their British Airways Visa Signature® Card.

Chase British Airways Credit Card

British Airways Visa Signature® Card

NerdWallet Rating
Annual fee


Cardholders get up to a $200 statement credit to partially offset the out-of-pocket costs on British Airways business class award bookings — up to three times per year.

Use AARP membership to save on British Airways business class

U.S.-based travelers — regardless of age — can join AARP to get discounted fares on British Airways business class. AARP members save up to $200 off round-trip British Airways business class tickets. To qualify, flights must originate in the United States and be booked through a dedicated members-only link.

Book Club World through the AmEx International Airline Program

British Airways is one of more than two dozen airlines that participates in the American Express Travel International Airline Program. That means eligible American Express cardmembers can book British Airways business class flights through the AmEx Travel portal to potentially save big on your booking.

British Airways business class recapped

Now you know what to expect when flying British Airways business class. If you want to fly in style and have a more comfortable flight experience, look for British Airways Club Suites. However, prepare for disappointment in Club Europe and older Club World seats.

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