Is It Really Worth The Price Hike To Sit At The Front Of The Plane?
British Airways will soon announce the date of their first A350 flight, featuring a new Club Suite. But, is it worth the money?
10 June 2019
All Credits: PA
Sitting at the back of the plane is, for most of us, the reality of air travel – even though we probably all gaze longingly left when we board. But with more special deals, the option of using airmiles for upgrades, and improved services in premium and business classes, the temptation to shift further forward is growing.
In the next month or so, British Airways look set to launch their first highly-anticipated A350 aircraft, with a newly-branded Club Suite. (As the airline only receives 30 days notice from the manufacturer ahead of delivery, the exact date is as yet unknown.)
New features of the seats – which will function as a business class – include direct-aisle access, a suite door for greater privacy, more storage – including a vanity unit and mirror, and a bigger in-flight entertainment screen.
But is it worth forking out extra money for creature comforts?
“The arrival of our first A350, featuring our new Club Suite is one of the most exciting developments in our £6.5 billion investment programme,” says Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO. “Design features were incorporated as a direct result of the feedback we’ve had from customers.”
British Airways claims fares will be consistent with current pricing, despite the upgrade.
But if the prices are still prohibitive, there are benefits for those travelling in the A350’s cheaper seats. Both the amenities and dining experience in World Traveller Plus (the equivalent of premium economy) will be improved, and WiFi will be available to customers throughout the plane. Just like Boeing’s popular Dreamliner, the A350 also promises greater comfort through reduced noise levels and lighting designed to limit the effects of jet lag.
As part of a gradual phasing-in process, the first A350 will operate short-haul routes between London and Madrid. From October 1, three more A350s will join the fleet, flying long-haul routes to Dubai and Toronto, and two Boeing 777s will be retrofitted with the new Club Suite cabin. (It will then be rolled out in a further 14 A350s.)
Admittedly, economy will always carry the bulk of passengers. But given the current state of climate change, when we’re being encouraged to travel less and linger more, perhaps the investment is worthwhile.