British Airways Classes: The Guide

Lie-flat seats in your own "suite" could be part of your flying experience in first or business class.

Natasha GabrielleDecember 4, 2020
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If you’re considering flying with British Airways, why not fly in comfort? Flying economy can certainly get you to your destination, but not without its inconveniences. That's why understanding the British Airways' class differences can help you find the right ticket to fit your flight preferences and desired experience.

Read more to learn about how British Airways’ premium class options work, plus how to book an upgraded seat on your next flight.

British Airways' classes

British Airways currently has four travel class options: economy, premium economy, business and first class. Each travel class offers a different price point and travel experience.

If you dream of experiencing life beyond coach, think about upgrading your fare type to one of the following ticket tiers.

Premium economy

Photo courtesy of British Airways.

While British Airways' premium economy is not quite the same experience as flying in business or first class, it does offer some additional perks that aren’t available when choosing to fly on an economy ticket.

Premium economy travelers get to enjoy more comfortable seats as well as a variety of other perks, like:

  • Wider seats.

  • Additional legroom.

  • A separate premium economy cabin area.

  • Two meals.

  • Complimentary bar service along with signature drinks.

  • A personal entertainment system.

  • Noise-canceling headphones.

  • An amenity kit.

  • Additional free baggage allowance.

  • Priority boarding.

Premium economy tickets are available on World Traveller Plus routes.

Business class

british airways business class

Photo courtesy of British Airways.

British Airways’ business class offers more perks and comfort than premium economy; however, the included amenities vary depending on your specific flight journey. These packages are known as “clubs.”

Club Europe is available on flights headed to the U.K. and Europe, while Club World service is offered on all other business flights. There’s also an exclusive flight service from New York-JFK to London, called Club World London City.

  • Contoured leather seats with in-seat power and fully moveable headrests.

  • Magazine storage.

  • Adjustable LED lighting.

  • Complimentary newspapers (available on most flights).

  • Food and drinks.

  • A dedicated cabin crew.

  • Additional baggage allowance.

  • Priority check-in and boarding.

  • Fast track security available at London airports.

  • Fast track arrivals at London-Heathrow (available for non-EU passport holders).

  • A seat that converts to a fully flat bed.

  • Food and drinks.

  • Amenity kits and bedding.

  • Access to a private lounge and deluxe spa treatments.

  • Dedicated check-in and priority boarding desks.

Travelers can enjoy the newly remodeled Club Suite cabins on select Club World flights. Offerings include aisle access from every seat, a door for added privacy, a 79-inch fully flat bed, personal outlets for charging your electronics, high-resolution screens and extra storage space.

Club Suites are available on select services in New York-JFK, Dubai, Tel Aviv, Bangalore and Toronto flights. British Airways continues to roll out Club Suite offerings on additional routes.

  • Access to a plane with a total of only 32 seats.

  • A seat that converts into a fully flat bed measuring 6 feet.

  • Luxury bedding and amenity kit.

  • Personal iPad with entertainment offerings.

  • Mobile data connectivity.

  • U.K., EU and U.S. power sockets.

  • Pre-clearance through U.S. immigration on flights to New York.

  • Dedicated support team.

First class

Photo courtesy of British Airways.

British Airways' first class is the highest level of ticket available on their flights. Travelers not only have access to their own personal suite while flying, but they can also enjoy many other amenities.

Here’s a look at what you will experience when flying first class on British Airways:

  • Access to a private, spacious suite with a fully flat bed.

  • A foam and microfibre mattress topper and 400-thread-count bedding.

  • Exclusively designed loungewear, amenity bag and slippers.

  • Luxury skin and body care collection.

  • Fine dining food and drinks.

  • Access to lounges and luxury spa treatments.

  • Exclusive and dedicated service.

  • Priority boarding via the exclusive First lounge.

Nerd tip: When flying through London-Heathrow Terminals 3 and 5, first class travelers can enjoy the Arrivals lounge upon landing. They also have access to the Concorde Room, British Airways' most luxurious lounge, when flying through London-Heathrow Terminal 5 and New York-JFK Terminal 7.

How to book British Airways premium class tickets

If you’ve decided you'd like to fly in a premium class on your next British Airways flight, you have a few options for completing your booking — cash, Avios (points) or a combination of the two.

  • Pay full price: You can book British Airways premium class seats by paying full price at the time of booking.

  • Make a partial payment and use Avios: Log in to your British Airways Executive Club account and search for flights. You’ll be presented with options to use some of your Avios points to reduce the cash price of your premium class flight.

  • Book with Avios: If you have enough Avios saved up, you can easily redeem your points to book a premium class seat.

You can also treat yourself to a premium class ticket upgrade with Avios for both existing and new flights.

Rescheduling your flights

If you need to cancel or reschedule your British Airways flight, you have options, regardless of ticket type. Due to COVID-19, British Airways has made temporary changes to their normal terms to offer more flexibility.

Change fees are waived for flights booked from March 3, 2020, onward that are to be completed by Aug. 31, 2021. For flights booked prior to March 3, 2020, this promotion expires earlier, on Jan. 20, 2021. Keep in mind that you’re still responsible for any changes in fare price, but you will not incur change fees.

The bottom line

Three premium tier levels make up British Airways classes, each offering a unique set of perks and amenities that are reflected in the price tags.

But, the question remains: Are British Airways premium economy, business or first classes worth it? If you can afford the significant expense or have Avios points saved up, British Airways premium seats can be worth the cost — particularly on long-haul journeys, and the added privacy and comfort mean a more enjoyable flight experience.

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