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Transport : Airlines

In this trip report I review Club World, British Airway’s business class, on their B777-200 from London Heathrow (LHR) Terminal 5 to Tehran which I flew in October 2016.

The business class product that BA offers is pretty much identical across its fleet and I have already reviewed business class or Club World on the Dreamliner B787-9, and on BA’s 777. While BA raised the bar for business class a decade ago with the introduction of the first fully lie-flat seat, it is now outclassed by some of its competitors, especially those in the Middle East: Emirates, Etihad Airways, and Qatar Airways. Nevertheless, it remains one of the best (and my preferred) business class products on transatlantic routes and the overall experience is always consistent, very good and with a British touch. If you prefer to upgrade to first, you can see my review of First on the British Airways Dreamliner. I have also reviewed Premium Economy on the Dreamliner. British Airways features in my top top 10 best airlines for longhaul Business Class.

When flying out of London Heathrow to Tehran you leave from Terminal 5. British Airways Club World gives you access to the Galleries Club Lounge in Heathrow Terminal 5 but not the Galleries First (exclusively for First customers and Gold Executive Club members) or the Concorde Room (First Customers only).

Club World Cabin On The B777-200
Welcome drinks in Club World are a choice of water, orange juice or champagne. Menus and amenity kits containing Elemis skincare products and various travel accessories are also handed out at the start of the flight (see picture below).

There are 48 British Airways Club World (business class) seats on this four-class B777-200, configured across rows ten to fifteen in a 2-4-2 layout (A-B, D-E-F-G, J-K). The business class cabin offers a sophisticated and contemporary atmosphere, giving a reassuring sense of wellbeing and comfort. However, this business class cabin does not come close to the intimate and private ambience of the upper deck cabin on the BA Boeing 747 Jumbo.

My favourite thing about flying Club World has got to be the seat. Spacious, comfortable with acres of leg room, a memory foam headrest, and most importantly, the chair converts into a 183cm (6ft) fully flat bed. This is billed as an environment for sleeping, relaxing and working and as such you are given a quilted blanket and a power supply is available for laptops and other electronic devices, as well as a USB socket. A laptop sized storage tray is available by your feet which is useful to keep your personal belongings at hand, as there is no seat pocket immediately in front of you as per the traditional setup. Privacy screens can be raised between the seats as soon as you are airborne which limits the slightly awkward view you have looking directly at each other!

Although the seats themselves do not match up to the likes of Emirates and Qatar, the cabin looks classier and less glitzy than Emirates in particular (take a look at my review of First on the Emirates A380 and you will see what I mean!). I prefer the more conservative look of the cabins on British Airways.

What Is The Best Club World Seat On The B777-200?
I do not like the layout of BA Club World as i don’t like facing backwards on the plane and 50% of the Club World seats on the 777, A380, 747 and the Dreamliner 787 face backwards. It is worth noting that all window seats face backwards (A, K) and middle pairs (E, F) all face backwards, while aisle seats (B, D, G, J) face forwards. Personally I prefer a window seat as it feels more private. Howeverif you are in a window seat and someone next to you has reclined their seat into the bed position, you will have to climb over their legs to get out.

There is the most privacy for passengers by the window, or in central pairs (if you are a couple but not if you are next to a stranger), as there are dividing screens that come right up between the seats.

Food in Club World
There was a full bar offering on this flight which included three types of champagne, G&Ts, Kir Royale cocktails, St Austell Tribute pale ale and Tiger beer. Aperitifs were followed by a tray of starters; A cous cous vegetarian option or a smoked salmon, trout and mackerel with horseradish crème fraiche.

There were three main courses to choose from. A penne pasta with tomato sauce; a roasted chicken ith polenta and vegetables; and fillet of Atlantic cod with lentils and potatoes. I chose the salmon and cod which were nice but not noteworthy. There was also a variety of red and white wine to choose from but I prefer not to drink on flights. There is a part of me that feels in a crash situation I will have more of a chance if I am sober- which i know is crazy!

Pudding was delicious. A milk chocolate mousse with hazelnuts and fresh banana and mango sauce that came with the starter. There was also a cheese plate, fruit or hot chocolate with warm nut and chocolate chip cookies.

The Club Kitchen, which is rather poor when compared to the proper bar service on other airlines in business class, had a limited supply of chocolate, kettle chips and snacks and drinks (OJ water etc).

3 hours after dinner was breakfast (the flight was under 6 hours) following a hot towel service. For breakfast I had a patisserie and a smoothie (pictured above) which was matched by the wonderful pinky sunrise as we landed at Imam Khomeini International airport.

BA is the only carrier from the UK serving Tehran directly and tourism in the region is increasing with Iran very much a destination that people want to explore. The service on board British Airways is consistently excellent, the Club World product is consistently and high quality although given the choice, many Middle Eastern and Asian airlines offer a better overall product.

I have also compared British Airways Club World Vs Virgin Atlantic Upper Class including the Galleries Lounges Vs Virgin’s Clubhouses. I have also reviewed Club World on BA’s A380s (it has 12) from London to Lost Angeles, Los Angeles to London, to Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Miami, San Francisco, Singapore and Washington.If you enjoyed this article you may also want to take look at my airline reviews.

British Airways