Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > British Airways | Executive Club
Reload this Page >

Thoughts and Feedback: BA's new Brown Club World (as seen on the A380)

Thoughts and Feedback: BA's new Brown Club World (as seen on the A380)

Old Aug 5, 13, 2:00 am
  #1  
NTA
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 104
Thoughts and Feedback: BA's new Brown Club World (as seen on the A380)

Hi all - I've been pondering the changes BA have made to their Brown Club World (BCW) cabin that's fitted to their A380, and also their 787.

The opportunity to experience it first hand last week on the training flight to Frankfurt was an interesting experience, and as I put together a trip report (obligatory plug to video) I realised that these seats are a decent step up from the previous seats (NGCW) but not every change is a good one.

There's quite a lot of detail about the CW cabin that hasn't been written here before, so I thought I would start a thread for people to share their experiences as we see BCW in the real world over the next few months.

Personally, these were the summarised notes I jotted down for my review:

Improvements since the last Club World seat
  • Better colour scheme
  • Better cooked food
  • Drinks served by hand, rather than a trolley
  • Redesigned footstool is more robust
  • More seats have side bins for extra storage
Deteriorations since the last Club World seat
  • Privacy dividers are now automatically lowered whenever the inflight power sockets are switched off. When the divider is down, you are face to face with your neighbour - which is now during boarding, taxi and take-off, as well as for the 20 minutes prior to landing and taxi - rather than the 4 minutes of the safety briefing as before. Overall, solo travellers will be face to face with a stranger for an hour each flight
  • Overhead lights have been removed - when the cabin lights are dimmed, you will need to use the small spotlight by your shoulder to light up your books / laptop. This lights up a very small area, meaning it will be a struggle to work after lights-out. The spotlight is unchanged from the current seat.
  • The floor (especially around the lower deck middle seats) is incredibly bumpy and uneven. This is the first time these seats have been fitted to an Airbus, and the securing mechanism to link them to the floor is a bodge of a design. This may cause problems for older passengers, when it is dark or when you are a bit tipsy (but obviously none of us here on FT )
  • BA's unique 'Z-shape' reclining position - where the seat reclines and the footstool tilts up - has changed with the new footstool design, and is nowhere near as comfortable as the old one
  • BA have missed an opportunity to utilise all the space - to keep a consistent design between decks and aeroplanes, the seats are all the same width - and the lower deck aisles are wider. It would have been possible to make a new, wider seat and had a smaller aisle instead.

From my perspective, it's a case of three steps forward and two steps back. It'll be interesting to see if there are any quick fixes BA can apply this year, such as changing the privacy divider rules!

You'll find the full review and video showing the cabin in detail here.

Last edited by NTA; Aug 5, 13 at 2:31 am
NTA is offline  
Old Aug 5, 13, 2:15 am
  #2  
Moderator, Iberia Airlines, Airport Lounges, and Ambassador, British Airways Executive Club
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Programs: BA Lifetime Gold; Flying Blue Life Platinum; LH Sen.; Hilton Diamond; Kemal Kebabs Prized Customer
Posts: 49,012
I found the Z shape to be more comfortable than the earlier version, it is firmer, but the mechanism was somewhat stiff. I didn't notice the overhead lighting change, but I guess that can go both ways, in that it makes it more comfortable for those sleeping face up not to have a bright spot of light in their line of sight; on the other hand if the shoulder light doesn't work it makes reading in the dark impossible (and my shoulder light was indeed damaged [and duly reported to the CSM]).

The uneven floor is very pronounced on the lower deck, and I had exactly the same concerns for anyone not paying attention, however given the aircraft's own movements and vibrations maybe it won't be so noticeable. Upper deck it is barely noticeable.

Middle seats upper deck have 2 exit routes, are quite private and have an extra storage area to the side of the seat itself.

Easy screen button on the main seat control panel.

There remains some variations in length between seats. The bulkhead seats have about 8 cm extra length before the bulkhead, 10B and 10J have somewhat more. 56B and F are also extra length, not so sure about 50B and F.

Last edited by corporate-wage-slave; Aug 5, 13 at 2:22 am
corporate-wage-slave is online now  
Old Aug 5, 13, 2:21 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: not far from MUC
Posts: 6,301
Originally Posted by NTA View Post
Privacy dividers are now automatically lowered whenever the inflight power sockets are switched off. This the divider is down (and you are face to face with your neighbour) during boarding, taxi and take-off, as well as for the 20 minutes prior to landing and taxi. Overall, solo travellers will be face to face with a stranger for an hour each flight
Q: Can you manually raise the divider again after it has been lowered automatically?
shorthauldad is offline  
Old Aug 5, 13, 2:26 am
  #4  
NTA
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 104
Originally Posted by shorthauldad View Post
Q: Can you manually raise the divider again after it has been lowered automatically?
No, the power to screens are cut so you can press the button and nothing happens


______________________________
BA A380 Cabin Reviews on YouTube.

Last edited by NTA; Aug 5, 13 at 5:58 am
NTA is offline  
Old Aug 5, 13, 2:31 am
  #5  
Moderator, Iberia Airlines, Airport Lounges, and Ambassador, British Airways Executive Club
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Programs: BA Lifetime Gold; Flying Blue Life Platinum; LH Sen.; Hilton Diamond; Kemal Kebabs Prized Customer
Posts: 49,012
Originally Posted by NTA View Post
No, the power to screens are cut so you can press the button and nothing happens
Which isn't good, on the other hand it deals with one of my pet annoyances: the delay before the crew enable the in-seat power socket, which was made worst since only a few cabin crew seem to know how to do it. Presumably they will now be fairly sharp at getting the system fully switched on, I doubt it would be an hour or anywhere near that.
corporate-wage-slave is online now  
Old Aug 5, 13, 3:06 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 1,166
Q. Do the divider screens automatically go up when the power is on? I would like the default for them to be closed (auto closing as soon as activated), as it would prevent that slightly uncomfortable feeling of being very explicit about 'not wanting to talk to your neighbour' which comes with manually raising it.
InfiniteCycle is offline  
Old Aug 5, 13, 3:24 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: London
Programs: BA CCR/GGL, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 3,470
Originally Posted by InfiniteCycle View Post
Q. Do the divider screens automatically go up when the power is on? I would like the default for them to be closed (auto closing as soon as activated), as it would prevent that slightly uncomfortable feeling of being very explicit about 'not wanting to talk to your neighbour' which comes with manually raising it.
They don't go up automatically. It also wasn't clear that they didn't go up when the seat power was off, and I simply thought it was broken when I tried it towards the end of the flight! Maybe they need stickers to not only say "dividers must be down for safety briefing" but "dividers cannot be used when seat power is turned off"!
LondonAndy is offline  
Old Aug 5, 13, 3:34 am
  #8  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Programs: Mucci des Hommes Magiques et Magnifiques
Posts: 16,245
Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
Which isn't good, on the other hand it deals with one of my pet annoyances: the delay before the crew enable the in-seat power socket, which was made worst since only a few cabin crew seem to know how to do it. Presumably they will now be fairly sharp at getting the system fully switched on, I doubt it would be an hour or anywhere near that.
Small point, the seat power and the pc power are not the same thing.
Can I help you is offline  
Old Aug 5, 13, 3:48 am
  #9  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: SE1, London
Posts: 22,261
Not keen on the screens being down for that length of time - very poor design.

One point - the overhead light isn't present in the 747 and 777 iterations of the current NGCW seat either.
Swanhunter is offline  
Old Aug 5, 13, 3:54 am
  #10  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Programs: Mucci des Hommes Magiques et Magnifiques
Posts: 16,245
Swanhunter, I think this might be a temporary problem cause by a power surge.
Can I help you is offline  
Old Aug 5, 13, 4:19 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Programs: BAEC silver
Posts: 693
Hopefully 'hand running' drinks will be a better experience than on EK's A380s. When it comes to wine, the crew have wine carriers, a little alla Concorde. But ask for any other potion and it takes forever!! It also adds to the service routine being rather disjointed. My wife who was sat next to me was on her post desert tea before I had even been served my main. Hopefully BA have been snooping on the enemy to learn how best to avoid their weakness.
Looking forward to trying the new product.
ACARS is offline  
Old Aug 5, 13, 4:20 am
  #12  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: SE1, London
Posts: 22,261
Originally Posted by Can I help you View Post
Swanhunter, I think this might be a temporary problem cause by a power surge.
I do hope so!
Swanhunter is offline  
Old Aug 5, 13, 4:41 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: PIS
Programs: BAEC Blue, and anything Amex Plat are dishing out
Posts: 252
Doesn't look as appealing as the old style NZ Business Premier (my only point of comparison for J). Even an OpUp wouldn't get me into one of those middle middle seats - probably.
copperfield27 is offline  
Old Aug 5, 13, 5:16 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: London, England
Programs: OW Emerald (BA), UA*G, Marriott Plat, IC RA, Various others
Posts: 1,007
Originally Posted by NTA View Post


Improvements since the last Club World seat[INDENT][LIST][*]Better colour scheme
Deteriorations since the last Club World seat
  • Privacy dividers are now automatically lowered whenever the inflight power sockets are switched off. When the divider is down, you are face to face with your neighbour - which is now during boarding, taxi and take-off, as well as for the 20 minutes prior to landing and taxi - rather than the 4 minutes of the safety briefing as before. Overall, solo travellers will be face to face with a stranger for an hour each flight
  • Overhead lights have been removed - when the cabin lights are dimmed, you will need to use the small spotlight by your shoulder to light up your books / laptop. This lights up a very small area, meaning it will be a struggle to work after lights-out. The spotlight is unchanged from the current seat.
  • BA have missed an opportunity to utilise all the space - to keep a consistent design between decks and aeroplanes, the seats are all the same width - and the lower deck aisles are wider. It would have been possible to make a new, wider seat and had a smaller aisle instead.

From my perspective, it's a case of three steps forward and two steps back. It'll be interesting to see if there are any quick fixes BA can apply this year, such as changing the privacy divider rules!
Hi NTA: I have a few questions on your observations:

re: colour scheme - Is this not the same colour scheme that has been on CWLCY for the past three years? I think it looks nicer in that it moves away from the corporate blue that so many carriers use, it looks and feels warmer. To me, the seats seem softer with this fabric, and not quite a warm in flight.

re: privacy dividers - Did the crew tell you this is a service design element of the new aircraft and will be in effect on all A380 flights? I do like that an additional button has been placed by your seat to raise/lower the divider, in addition to the button on the top.

re: overhead lights - I don't recall overhead lights on the 777-300ERs and some of the -200s, too. Or am I incorrect in thinking this feature has already been removed on previous aircraft? I find reading from the slidy light in my seat quite easy, as the light is quite bright and well directed.

re: utilising all the space, but surely were BA to change the seat design into something wider, not only would they (more than likely) need to refile a patent on the seat, they would also have to have it retested for certification and all the issues that come with that procedure. It probably is not worth it to the airline just to offer a bit more room on lower deck seats on 12 aircraft in the fleet. Additionally, it would mean a product differential for customers paying the Club World fare. EK do have a product differential with some seats on their A380 offering up to nine extra inches of legroom compared to others (window seats have more room, for example). It does bother some customers who "lose out" the extra space in the same cabin.

Thanks,
Andyflyer
AndyFlyer is offline  
Old Aug 5, 13, 5:18 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: London
Programs: BAEC Gold
Posts: 186
How does one find out if you will be on the A380 or not? Thinking of booking a trip away very soon and this could be a fun experience (albeit, very short).

Obviously we'd only book Frankfurt should we know we can be on this plane.
London32 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: