Airline review: British Airways business class, London to New York

Our rating

4 out of 5

THE PLANE

Boeing 777-200. BA has 46 777-200s in its fleet. 

THE ROUTE

London (Gatwick) to New York (JFK).

THE LOYALTY SCHEME

Executive Club. Passengers can also earn points towards other Oneworld membership programs.

CLASS

Business class, seat 13J.

DURATION

See also: On board the 'new' airline to South America

See also: Virgin Australia's new international business class

Seven hours, 50 minutes. 

FREQUENCY 

BA relaunched this daily non-stop service in May 2016 after a seven-year break.

SEAT

Forty-eight capsule-like seats spread over two cabins in a 2-4-2 arrangement. Alternate seats face each other, which is great if you're travelling with someone, but can feel a little uncomfortable if you're staring at a stranger. A divider screen provides more privacy but is lowered during take-off, landing and mealtimes. Seats have an adjustable headrest, in-seat power, a large storage drawer and recline to a 183-centimetre fully flat bed.

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BAGGAGE

Two checked bags up to 32 kilograms each, plus one carry-on bag (max 23 kilograms) and one handbag/laptop bag (max 23 kilograms).

COMFORT

An infinitely adjustable seat and a generous footrest make for comfortable dining and viewing but the real benefit is the 183-centimetre flat bed, which guarantees a few hours' solid sleep.

ENTERTAINMENT

Compared with the large, high-definition screens found in most business class cabins nowadays, BA's 10.4-inch (26-centimetre) system feels small, sluggish and clunky. Which is a shame because there is a good selection of new release movies and TV shows. Delivery is via over-the-ear noise-cancelling headphones.

SERVICE

Attentive and accommodating with lots of pampering and treats. After a welcome glass of Henriot champagne, there are hot towels, a complimentary newspaper and a well-stocked Elemis amenity kit in a handy drawstring bag.

FOOD

The highlight of the flight – for lunch there is a choice of two starters (seafood or tomato and mozzarella salad), four mains (the herb-topped fillet of British beef with bordelaise sauce is delicious), a cheesecake, a trio of cheeses, tea, coffee and chocolates. Drinks-wise there is a full bar with spirits, cocktails and two choices of red and white wines from Italy and California. A few hours later a delicious afternoon tea appears with crust-less finger sandwiches, warm scones with jam and clotted cream and an assortment of dainty cakes. If by some miracle you get hungry in between there is a self-service Club Kitchen with fruit, biscuits and chocolates.

ONE MORE THING

BA's return to this route means it's now the only carrier to fly to New York from three London airports (Heathrow, Gatwick and London City).

THE VERDICT

Well worth considering if you're going to (or coming from) the south of England. Not only is Gatwick an infinitely less stressful proposition than Heathrow, it's also much more convenient for many parts of London thanks to the non-stop Gatwick Express train service into Victoria Station.

Tested by Rob McFarland, who travelled as a guest of British Airways.