Guide to British Airways First Class: Everything You Need to Know in 2024

by Jem
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Want to fly in style? In this BA First Class guide, we’ll show you what flying looks like with one of the world’s leading airlines. From the booking experience to in-flight amenities, we’ll cover all the perks of First Class on BA.

Welcome to the world of British Airways First Class, where luxury takes flight. Known as the best airline in the UK, BA First is an experience that redefines air travel. This guide is your all-access pass to the high life above the clouds.

Step into a realm where your comfort is paramount. British Airways First Class transforms your journey from a simple flight to an extraordinary experience.  From exclusive airport lounges to your own private haven in the sky, every moment is about you.

Dive into this guide to uncover what makes BA First Class stand out. We’re talking top-notch service, dining that rivals five-star restaurants, and suites that offer tranquility at 35,000 feet. Ready for an adventure in luxury? Let’s go!

#1 tip to find cheap first class tickets with BA

Looking to save BIG on British Airways First Class? Before jumping into the article, I first wanted to give you this insider tip to find cheap airfare on first class flights.

For years, I’ve been using this site called Going (formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights), which sends you alerts on airline deals, discounts, and mistake fares. It’s a total game-changer – saving me $10,000+ on flights each year.

Their $49/year premium version is well worth it- just one discounted flight pays for the whole thing.

And if you’re into business/first class, you’ll want to sign up for their Elite version. Last year, this service saved me $2,750 on a first class flight and $1,500 on a business class flight. At just $199 year year, trust me, it’s a small price for massive savings.

Overview of British Airways First Class

British Airways, the flag carrier airline of the United Kingdom, is a symbol of British heritage and aviation excellence. Founded in 1974, British Airways has grown to become a leader in global travel. They boast a fleet of 257 aircraft and reach over 206 destinations. With hubs in London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports, it connects the world to the UK and beyond.

This airline has a rich history of innovation and service. As a founding member of the Oneworld alliance, British Airways has been at the forefront of offering seamless global travel experiences. Its fleet, featuring modern marvels like the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, is a testament to its commitment to passenger comfort and environmental sustainability.

In the next sections, we’ll delve into the specifics of British Airways First Class, showcasing why it’s a top choice for anyone wondering which airline to fly to London. From the luxurious lounges to the bespoke in-flight experience, every aspect of British Airways First Class is designed to make your journey unforgettable.

British Airways First Class flight for all types of travelers.

British Airways First Class Benefits

First Class on BA is known for its exceptional service and amenities. They offer a premium travel experience that stands out as the class in England. Here’s what you can expect when flying with British Airways in 2024:

  • Exclusive Check-In: Enjoy a dedicated first-class check-in desk. At Heathrow, experience the First Wing, a private check-in area with two security lanes and direct access to lounges.
  • Generous Baggage Allowance: First class passengers can check up to three bags, each weighing up to 70lbs/32kg, with priority tagging.
  • Luxurious Lounges: Access to the Galleries First Lounge and the prestigious Concorde Room, offering a la carte dining, premium Champagne, and a relaxing terrace.
  • Elegant Suites: Depending on the aircraft, experience luxurious suites with configurations like 1-2-1 reverse herringbone. Some offer doors for privacy.
  • In-Flight Comfort: Indulge in loungewear designed by Temperley London, and enjoy bedding including a quilted mattress and cotton duvet.
  • Gourmet Dining: Savor a la carte dining anytime during the flight, with multiple course options and elegant presentation.
  • Exclusive Amenities: Receive an amenity kit from Temperley London with luxury Elemis skincare products.
  • Entertainment and Connectivity: Enjoy complimentary WiFi and a personal entertainment system with a 15-inch screen and noise-canceling headphones.
  • Exquisite Wine and Champagne: Ranked high for its wine cellar, including award-winning Champagne and a selection of fine wines.

Each of these benefits will be explored in more detail in the following sections, giving you a comprehensive understanding of what makes British Airways First Class a top-tier travel experience.

Tips for Booking British Airways First Class Tickets

Booking a first class ticket with British Airways can be a savvy move if you know the right tricks. Here are some tips to help you find cheap BA flights:

  • Book Early for Better Availability: First Class seats, especially on popular routes, get snapped up quickly. Booking well in advance increases your chances of securing a seat.
  • Use Points Wisely: British Airways is part of the Oneworld alliance, so consider using Avios or points from partner airlines. Booking during off-peak times with Avios can offer significant savings.
  • Consider Departing from Outside London: To save on the UK Air Passenger Duty (APD), consider starting your journey outside of London. This can lead to substantial savings, especially on round-trip tickets.
  • Stay Informed on Aircraft Types: Different aircraft offer different First Class experiences. Use tools like ExpertFlyer to check the aircraft type and seat layout for your flight.
  • Watch for Transfer Bonuses: If transferring points to Avios, look out for transfer bonuses from programs like American Express Membership Rewards. These bonuses can significantly reduce the cost of your ticket.
  • Set Aircraft Change Alerts: Since BA may switch aircraft types, setting up alerts on ExpertFlyer for any changes can help you stay informed and adjust plans accordingly.
If you know the appropriate tips, making a reservation with this airline might be a wise choice.
If you know the appropriate tips, making a reservation with this airline might be a wise choice. | Image Credit: British Airways

British Airways Fleet: A Detailed Comparison

Navigating through British Airways’ First Class offerings can be like choosing from a fine selection of wines – each has its unique charm. Let’s explore the different aircraft in BA’s fleet where First Class is operational, highlighting the best seats to choose whether you’re flying solo or with a companion. Here’s a breakdown to help you pick your perfect spot in the sky.

Airbus A380 (2010 First Class Prime)

On the Airbus A380, First Class is a haven of space and privacy. With 14 seats in a 1-2-1 layout, it’s on the main deck, offering about 30% more personal space and 60% more storage than older models. For solo travelers, window seats like 1A, 1K, 2A, 2K, 3A, 3K, 4A, or 4K are superb. Flying with someone? Middle pairs like 2E and 2F, 3E and 3F, or 4E and 4F are ideal for sharing the experience.

Boeing 777-200ER & Boeing 777-300ER (2010 First Class Prime)

These Boeing models also feature the 2010 First Class Prime with 14 seats in a 1-2-1 layout. The best seats? They mirror the A380’s. Solo flyers should aim for the window seats, while companions will find the middle pairs perfect for enjoying the journey together.

Boeing 787-9 & 787-10 Dreamliner (2015 First Class Prime)

The Dreamliners boast the updated 2015 First Class Prime. With only eight seats in a 1-2-1 format, they offer a more modern look. Solo? Go for window seats like 1A, 1K, 2A, or 2K. With a partner? Middle seats 1E and 1F or 2E and 2F are your best bet.

Boeing 777-300ER (2020 First Class Suite)

The 2020 First Class Suite on select Boeing 777-300ERs is a game-changer. With just eight seats, it offers full privacy doors and a sleek three-point seat belt. Solo travelers should opt for window seats 1A, 1K, 2A, or 2K. Traveling as a pair? Middle seats 1E and 1F or 2E and 2F offer a cozy experience.

Identifying the First Class Product

To know which First Class you’re booked in, check the aircraft type and seat count. A380s always have the 2010 First Class Prime. Boeing 787-9 or 787-10? That’s the 2015 First Class Prime. For Boeing 777-300ER, count the seats: 14 means 2010 First Class Prime, while 8 indicates the 2020 First Class Suite.

Remember, aircraft types can change at the last minute. But rest assured, all BA First Class products offer consistent service and amenities, even if the seats vary.

Consistent amenities and service are given by British Airlines First Class offerings.
Consistent amenities and service are given by British Airlines First Class offerings. | Image Credit: British Airways

Baggage Allowance with British Airways First Class

Traveling in British Airways First Class isn’t just about the in-flight experience. It’s also about hassle-free, generous baggage allowances. Here’s what you can expect when you fly First Class with BA:

  • Generous Checked Baggage: First Class passengers can check up to three bags, each weighing up to 70lbs (32kg). This generous allowance means you can pack without the stress of leaving essentials behind.
  • Carry-On Convenience: Along with your checked luggage, you’re also allowed one cabin bag plus a personal item. This flexibility is perfect for keeping those must-have items close during your flight.
  • Priority Handling: Your checked luggage gets priority tagging. This means your bags are among the first to arrive on the baggage carousel, saving you time after your flight.

With British Airways First Class, you can travel with ease. Its generous baggage allowance is one reason why it’s considered as one of the best airlines in the UK.

British Airways First Class Airport Experiences

Flying British Airways First Class means your luxurious experience begins the moment you arrive at the airport. Let’s explore what sets BA’s ground services apart, making it a top contender for the title of the best airline in the world.

Dedicated Check-In & Fast Track Security

At most airports, British Airways provides a dedicated first-class check-in desk. This service is a game-changer, especially at BA’s home base, Heathrow.

Here, the First Wing offers an exclusive check-in area for First Class passengers and Executive Club Gold or Oneworld Emerald members. It features private security lanes and a direct walkway to the Galleries First Lounge and the prestigious Concorde Room.

This service is also making its debut at New York’s JFK, which makes the question of which airline to fly to London easier to answer.

The First Wing at Heathrow

The First Wing at Heathrow is a standout feature. It’s not just a check-in area. It’s your gateway to a seamless and luxurious airport experience.

With fast-track security at Heathrow, Gatwick, and JFK, you can breeze through the airport and find yourself relaxing in the lounge in no time.

The Concorde Room: A Cut Above

The Concorde Room, available at Heathrow Terminal 5 and New York JFK, is where British Airways truly shines. It’s an exclusive haven, accessible only to First Class passengers and select Executive Club members.

The room boasts elegant indoor areas, a breezy terrace, and à la carte dining with top-notch food and drinks. The newly introduced cocktail menu adds a touch of sophistication to your pre-flight experience.

Rest and Refresh

In the Concorde Room, you can book private cabanas, each with a chair, ottoman, TV, and a bathroom. For a power nap, try the Restworks nap pods. They’re not fully flat beds, but they’re perfect for rejuvenating before your flight.

British Airways First Class airport experiences are designed to make your journey as comfortable and seamless as possible. This proves why it’s often considered the best English airline for luxury travel.

When you travel in British Airways First Class, your opulent journey starts.
When you travel in British Airways First Class, your opulent journey starts. | Image Credit: British Airways

In-Flight Comfort & Amenities on British Airways First Class

When you fly First Class with BA, you’re indulging in a world-class experience. Let’s dive into the comforts and amenities that make British Airways’ First Class a top choice for luxury travel.

Luxurious Comfort Wear and Bedding

As soon as you settle into your seat, the luxury begins. You’re provided with exclusive loungewear designed by Temperley London, perfect for relaxing during your flight. The bedding is equally plush, featuring a quilted mattress, soft cotton duvet, and a fluffy pillow. This level of comfort showcases why British Airways is often considered the best first class in 2024.

Premium Amenity Kits

The amenity bags, also from Temperley London, are filled with Elemis skincare products, ensuring you arrive at your destination feeling refreshed. The men’s kit includes essentials like an eye mask, socks, earplugs, and a range of Elemis products. The women’s kit mirrors this, swapping the shaving gel for a handy pocket mirror.

Entertainment and Connectivity

Stay connected and entertained throughout your flight with complimentary WiFi. The entertainment system boasts a 15-inch screen paired with noise-canceling headphones, perfect for immersing yourself in movies or music.

The Ultimate Sleep Experience

The First Class seat transforms into a 78-inch long, 22-inch wide lie-flat bed. Lined up flush with the armrest, it offers extra space, ensuring a restful sleep.

Simple Yet Sophisticated Seat Technology

While British Airways First Class seats don’t boast an array of high-tech gadgets, they offer what matters most: comfort and style. Each seat features a 23-inch high-definition screen and an elegant lamp, enhancing the overall ambiance of your personal space.

In British Airways First Class, every detail is thoughtfully designed to ensure your journey is as comfortable as it is memorable. It’s these touches that make flying First Class with British Airways not just a journey, but an experience.

Enjoying a first-class flight with British Airways means being treated to an amazing experience.
Enjoying a first-class flight with British Airways means being treated to an amazing experience. | Image Credit: British Airways

On-board Dining with British Airways First Class

BA First Class offers a “dine on demand” approach. This means that you have the freedom to order from an à la carte menu at any time during your flight. This flexibility is a delightful feature, especially for those who prefer to eat at their own pace or according to their own schedule.

The menu is a gourmet’s dream, starting with appetizers like Loch Fyne smoked salmon or a rich double baked soufflé. Main courses range from a hearty slow-cooked lamb shank to a flavorful chicken tikka masala, catering to a variety of tastes. The cheese course, focusing on a selection of British cheeses, is a nod to the airline’s heritage. And for dessert, the choices are equally tempting. You’ll find options like Crepes Suzette or a passion fruit and hazelnut tart. The presentation of each dish is impressive, too.

Additionally, depending on the timing of your flight, you’ll be offered a breakfast, a light meal, or an afternoon tea. No matter when you’re traveling, there’s always something delightful to enjoy.

First Class on British Airways provides "dine on demand" service.
First Class on British Airways provides “dine on demand” service. | Image Credit: British Airways

British Airways First Class Beverage Selection

In British Airways First Class, the drink selection is as impressive as food. You’ll find an exquisite range of beverages to suit every palate. From the finest Champagnes to vintage wines, each selection is carefully curated to enhance your dining experience.

For those who prefer something non-alcoholic, there’s a variety of premium soft drinks, juices, and mocktails. Whether you’re toasting a special occasion or simply enjoying the luxury of First Class, the drink options on British Airways are designed to elevate your in-flight experience.

The beverage selection on this airline is just as good as the cuisine.
The beverage selection on this airline is just as good as the cuisine. | Image Credit: British Airways

British Airways First Class vs. Club World: What’s the Difference?

Choosing between British Airways First Class and Club World (Business Class) often boils down to cost and personal preference. Here’s a comparison to help you decide:

Price and Value

  • Cost: The price difference can be significant, usually around $5,000, and can go up to $10,000 for routes like LHR to JFK.
  • Value for Money: If budget is a concern, Club World offers a premium experience at a more accessible price point. However, for those willing to splurge, First Class adds extra layers of luxury.

Baggage Allowance and Lounge Access

  • Baggage: First Class passengers can check three bags instead of Club World’s two.
  • Lounge Access: First Class grants access to the exclusive Concorde Rooms at Heathrow and JFK, offering a more luxurious pre-flight experience compared to the Club World lounges.

In-Flight Experience

  • Suites: Both cabins offer personal suites. First Class suites are a notch above in terms of space and privacy.
  • Amenities: First Class provides upgraded amenity kits and loungewear, enhancing the comfort level during your flight.
  • Dining: First Class dining is akin to a high-end restaurant with a la carte dining, course-by-course service, and elegant plating. Club World, while still premium, offers a simpler three-course meal on a single tray.

Personal Recommendations

  • For the Budget-Conscious Traveler: Club World offers a great balance of comfort and value. The new Club World Suites are especially appealing, providing a taste of luxury without the hefty price tag.
  • For the Ultimate Luxury Seeker: If you’re looking for the pinnacle of air travel luxury and your budget allows, First Class is the way to go. The attention to detail, from dining to amenities, sets it apart.
  • For Frequent Flyers: Consider the amount of frequent flyer miles needed for each class. If you have miles to spare, First Class can be a worthwhile indulgence.

In summary, Club World is an excellent choice for those seeking comfort and value, while First Class is ideal for travelers seeking the utmost in luxury and exclusivity. Your choice should align with your priorities, whether they be budget, comfort, or the overall travel experience.

Usually, the decision between these airlines comes down to price and taste.
Usually, the decision between these airlines comes down to price and taste. | Image Credit: British Airways

Pros and Cons of Flying BA First

Pros:

  • Luxurious Comfort: The seats in First Class convert into fully flat beds, complete with high-quality bedding, ensuring a restful sleep.
  • Exclusive Lounge Access: Access to the Concorde Room at select airports offers an unparalleled pre-flight experience. There’s fine dining, luxury amenities, and a serene environment.
  • Exceptional Dining: The a la carte dining on demand, featuring gourmet dishes and fine wines, elevates the in-flight experience.
  • Enhanced Privacy: Especially in the newer First Class Suites, the added privacy of enclosed suites with doors is a significant plus.
  • Generous Baggage Allowance: The ability to check in three bags up to 70 lbs each is a boon for heavy packers or long trips.
  • Top-Notch Service: The attentive and personalized service in First Class makes for a memorable journey.

Cons:

  • High Cost: The price tag for First Class is significantly higher than Business Class, which might not be justifiable for all travelers.
  • No Onboard Shower Facilities: Unlike some competitors, BA First Class doesn’t offer shower facilities onboard.
  • Limited Technological Features: The seats, while comfortable, lack some of the high-tech features found in other airlines’ First Class cabins.
  • Inconsistency Across Fleet: The experience can vary depending on the aircraft type, with some planes having more updated features than others.
  • Hefty Surcharges on Points Redemption: When booking with points, the taxes and fees, especially for flights originating from the UK, can be quite high.

In my opinion, British Airways First Class is a top-tier choice for travelers seeking luxury, comfort, and exceptional service. However, it’s important to weigh these benefits against the cost and other potential drawbacks based on your personal travel preferences and priorities.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about British Airways First Class

Are you still curious about which airline is the best to fly to the UK? Here are some popular questions (and answers) I get that will help decide whether British Airways first class is the right option for you.

What do you get in BA 1st class?

In BA First Class, you’re treated to an array of premium services and amenities. This includes access to exclusive lounges like the Concorde Room, a generous baggage allowance, and priority boarding. Once onboard, you’ll find luxurious seating that converts into a fully flat bed, complete with high-quality bedding. The in-flight dining is a gourmet experience with a la carte options, and the drink selection includes fine wines and Champagnes. Entertainment options are vast, with a wide selection of movies, music, and games on a personal high-definition screen.

Do you get Pajamas on British Airways first class?

Yes, you do get pajamas in British Airways First Class. They’re designed by Temperley London, offering both style and comfort. Along with the pajamas, you’ll also receive a high-quality amenity kit. This includes skincare products from Elemis, ensuring you arrive at your destination feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

The goal of British Airways First Class is to provide an exceptional travel experience.
The goal of British Airways First Class is to provide an exceptional travel experience. | Image Credit: British Airways

Is BA first class worth the money?

Whether BA First Class is worth the money depends on what you value in air travel. If you prioritize luxury, comfort, and exclusive services, then it’s definitely worth it. The level of privacy, space, and personalized service in First Class significantly enhances the travel experience. However, if you’re more budget-conscious, Club World (Business Class) might be a better choice, offering a premium experience at a lower cost. Personally, I find BA First Class to be a worthwhile indulgence for special occasions or when you want to treat yourself to the highest level of luxury in the skies.

Does British Airways First Class have a shower?

No, British Airways First Class does not offer shower facilities onboard their aircraft. While this is a feature available with some other airlines’ First Class products, BA focuses more on providing luxury in other areas, such as comfortable seating, high-quality dining, and exceptional service. However, you can enjoy shower facilities in the First Class lounges at the airport before your flight.

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