British Airways last week announced plans for a new first class cabin on their upcoming B787-9 Dreamliner which will be an “evolution of the current A380 design”.
It’s actually big news as last year BA announced that it only made sense for the 787-10 variety (with deliveries not starting until 2018) to have a first class cabin. At that time, Frank van der Post, BA’s Managing Director of Brands and Customer Experience, told Australian Business Traveller:
“We have a lot of long distance flights to premium destinations where we need a four-class configuration, and the -10 gets a lot closer to the capacity of the Boeing 747.”
However, last Wednesday he confirmed to the same publication that that the long-range Boeing 787-9, which BA starts flying next year, will also have a small number of First suites at the pointy end.
“It may not be a full cabin of 12 to 14 seats, it will be a little bit smaller” These will be an upgrade to BA’S A380 First, which was itself finessed from the original First concept introduced on BA’s long-range Boeing 777-300ER jets. “The new cabin on the 787-900 is a further development, which we think our customers will love” van der Post says. “It will feel exceptionally elegant and beautifully British – exactly what our customers ask of us.”
Currently, BA has decent F availability when booking one seat via BA, AA, or Alaska (with a bit of flexibility), however the taxes and surcharges are high ($475-$600 each way) and hard to cope with when comparing to other redemption opportunities. For example, think Cathay and Qatar using AA miles with minimal fees…