There are several luxurious new ways to fly business class to London, coming soon. Here’s a very brief round-up. The big question in each case, is how long will it take for these to be rolled out widely?
British Airways Club Suite
British Airways looks like it is finally looking to compete with the best business class products in the world with these “Club Suites” with doors. These seats will debut on BA’s new A350 aircraft and then they’ll start retrofitting 777s and other long-haul aircraft in their fleet. Here’s the relevant BA press release.
British Airways flights can be booked with Avios (British Airways or Iberia); OneWorld partner miles such as AA, or Cathay Pacific; or with one-off partner miles such as Alaska Airlines. Unfortunately, BA imposes extremely high fuel surcharges which are passed on by all of their partners.
Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Suite
Even though Virgin Atlantic’s new “suites” won’t have doors that close, they will have partitions that I imagine will offer similar privacy (or lack thereof). Even though the specs on the BA product are arguably more impressive, I somehow find myself more excited about the idea of flying Virgin Atlantic’s new Upper Class Suite. Maybe it’s the cooler tone colors? I’m not sure. Here’s more info from Virgin Atlantic.
Virgin Atlantic flights can be booked with Virgin Atlantic miles or with partner miles such as Delta. Like British Airways, Virgin Atlantic imposes high fuel surcharges. Delta passes along these charges on routes between the US and London, but not other routes.
JetBlue has announced their intention to fly from Boston and New York to London starting in 2021. JetBlue says that these flights will feature a “reimagined version of Mint”. Mint is JetBlue’s highly acclaimed lie-flat product available today on select routes. It will be very exciting if the reimagined Mint is even better. It will also be super cool if competitors are forced to match JetBlue’s expected-to-be much lower business class pricing. You can read more from JetBlue here.
JetBlue flights can be booked with JetBlue points or with certain partner miles (such as Emirates Skywards). Unfortunately, none of the current options offer outsize value with your points or miles.
Delta One Seat (not “Suite”)
This is just sad. Delta flies a number of 767-400 aircraft between the US and London. And, instead of updating them with true Delta One “Suites” (with doors), they’re instead just updating the seats. Don’t get me wrong: this appears to be a huge improvement over the very dated seats they use today, but it’s not even close to the same league as their Delta One Suites product or any other product in this post. If you want to see Delta’s marketing spin you can find their video here.
Delta flights can be booked with Delta miles or with partner SkyTeam airline miles. Often, Virgin Atlantic miles are the cheapest choice for Delta One flights, but not necessarily for flights to London since they add a $500 fee in both directions. When flying to London, I recommend checking award prices with Air France Flying Blue miles instead.