British Airways First Class vs Business Class ( Club World )

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British Airways First Class vs Business Class ( Club World )

Miles and his buddy Pointdexter decided to sit down and discuss the differences between British Airways First Class and business class or as they call it, Club World.  There didn’t used to be a big difference in Aadvantage award pricing between First and Club World ( 50k vs 62.5). Now…there’s a pretty big jump ( 57.5 vs 85). One roundtrip in first now equals ~ 3 one ways in business. Is first worth 50% more points? Also…many times British Airways will offer you an upgrade offer at check-in – how much would they pay? This is British Airways First Class vs Business Class ( Club World )

*For this comparison it’s the 777 First Class and the A380 Club World. The seats are the same if you were to fly either airplane ( other than slight variations in cabin layout for upstairs business class).

We will compare

  1. The Seats
  2. The Layout
  3. The Champagne
  4. The Amenity Kits
  5. The bed
  6. The Service and Food

The Seats

Courtesy of Seatguru – here are the specs

British Airways First Class vs Business Class ( Club World )

Pitch – the distance between one point on one seat to same spot on another seat.

British Airways First Class

Not only are the seats bigger, cushier, and more private – they give you SOOOOOOO much more storage and counter space. The club world seats by comparison are ROUGH when it comes to storage and ledges. ( the window seats are better) Pointdexter made sure to rub it in Miles’ face that he was the one that got to fly BA First.

British Airways First Class vs Business Class ( Club World )

British Airways Business Class Club World

If you notice…aside from the tray table there isn’t anything to put your stuff on. In fact, when I went to sleep I couldn’t find any place to lay my glasses or my water. High class problems, but a big difference.
British Airways First Class vs Business Class ( Club World )

Let’s be honest… there is no comparison. First class is more private, wider, more comfortable, and in another class. Pun intended.

The Layout

Now…these are from two different planes, but the comparison basically holds.

First Class is sleek, with all aisle access, and offers more privacy. It’s a sexy cabin.

British Airways First Class vs Business Class ( Club World )

Whereas Business Class Club World is far more open and only aisle seats have direct aisle access.

This means if you’re on the aisle, you’ll potentially have someone climbing over you at some point in the flight. For those that are light sleepers…it means you’ll be woken up a lot. No matter how careful passengers are at stepping over you…you know they’re there.

British Airways First Class vs Business Class ( Club World )

The Champagne:

In first class they serve Laurent-Perrier Grand Siecle – Y to the U to the MMMMMM



British Airways First Class vs Business Class ( Club World )

It is soooooooo crisp and fresh. Pointdexter says it’s like bathing nude in the blue lagoon. Which is an odd comparison because he doesn’t bathe nor has he been to the blue lagoon…

Whereas Business Class Club World serves Henriot Champagne Brut Soverain NV

Miles and I enjoyed this champagne as well. But after a couple glasses…Miles wasn’t looking to go streaking through the quad and to the gymnasium.  Not sure if this is good or bad.


British Airways First Class vs Business Class ( Club World )

The amenity kits:

British Airways First Class

Aromatherapy Associates products. And a lot of them. They feel very lux. Let’s be honest…Pointdexter couldn’t keep that fluff looking ON POINT if he didn’t use some product. I think he had a minor flip out there because there was no hairdryer on board.

British Airways First Class vs Business Class ( Club World )

It also provides Pajamas! With a ribbon.

British Airways First Class vs Business Class ( Club World )

British Airways Business Class Club World provides Elemis products

These are very nice and honestly I liked this kit. It’s not in the same league as the First Class kit, but still very nice. I also liked that the bag it came in can be used as a laundry bag.

British Airways First Class vs Business Class ( Club World )

The bed:

First Class is baller. Look at the comforter and pillow. Pointdexter McSaaver had a dream inside a dream inside another dream. Yep…BA First Class incepted him, and he may or may not be in a Chris Nolan movie soon.

British Airways First Class vs Business Class ( Club World )

British Airways Business Class Club World

Honestly..I had one of my worst night’s sleep ever. It’s narrow, nowhere to put your stuff, and you’re vulnerable to disturbance.
British Airways First Class vs Business Class ( Club World )The service and food

Both Miles and Pointdexter enjoyed the service and thought the food was ok. Let’s be honest…Brits aren’t known for their delicious food, but we could listen to those velvety accents until we forget we’re hungry.


First Class is a big upgrade to Business Class, but I’m not so sure I’d pay 50% more points. It really comes down to how long the flight lasts,  how much you need to sleep on the flight, if you’re a light sleeper like me, and how many Miles you have. If it were a special occasion that I’d be sharing with it someone…I’d do it, otherwise, I’d probably go Biz with AA miles. I’d probably spring for it with Alaska ( as it’s 60k vs 70k), and it’s a fortune with BA so I wouldn’t even think about it twice. Now…when it comes paying for an upgrade. ( This happens if there aren’t enough seats sold and they’ll offer a Load Factor Based Upgrade.) I’ve heard they range between $500-$1000. This all comes down to how much dough you have, but $500 seems like a steal to me. A grand…that seems like a lot, but if you’ve got it – you’ll enjoy yourself NO DOUBT. Either way, you’re going to your destination in quite nice digs.

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  • Kay December 18, 2016

    I totally agree with you. Club World is probably my least favorite business class configuration. As you pointed out the lack of space there is the privacy issue when you are face to face with the person next to you most if the flight – especially during meal service and the FA keeps pushing down the privacy partition for service. I find eating face to face inches away from a stranger a rather awkward situation and rather use my miles on an American reverse herringbone configuration of a 777 if I have that option.

    Now BA first is, as you say, The Bomb!!!! ????????????

    • Miles December 19, 2016

      Kay! Love hearing from you =) BA had some room to grow and BA 1st is a huge upgrade…totally worth the extra 10k alaska if you have them…

  • Leo December 18, 2016

    Hmmmmpf! We have fantastic restaurants in London now you know. I wish people would stop peddling this old fashioned view of English cuisine.

    • Miles December 18, 2016

      Leo – Yes you do! But I have an English girlfriend and it’s just so fun to tease her 😉

  • Ryan December 18, 2016

    Thanks for the breakdown. I have flown ba biz a number of times and am surprising my wife with a first class return from London this Christmas in first. As I booked it with Alaska miles, this only further confirms I made a good move.

    • Miles December 18, 2016

      Ryan – duuuuuuude she’s gonna looooooove it. If you happen to be in T3 I’d recommend checking out the new Cathay Pacific Lounge. Newly open and supposed to be dope!

  • Jason December 18, 2016

    I have flown both BA Business Class and First Class Trans Atlantic.
    While BA Business Class is a real disappointment, as much as I like BA First Class I would not pay an extra $500 to upgrade. While $500 to upgrade to First Class is a steal and great deal, it’s still not worth it to me and I’d rather keep the $500 to spend on other things.

    • Miles December 18, 2016

      Jason – thanks for reading and the input! I agree BA biz is more like prem econ on steroids…IMO

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