British Airways offers two ways to travel with varying levels of luxury. Business Class is a major upgrade from economy class, and First Class is even more luxurious. Is First Class on British Airways worth the extra money? Or will Business Class satisfy your need for space and papering without breaking your budget? Let’s find out.

If you plan on flying British Airways soon, take a look at this comparison of Business vs. first class.

Pre-Flight Business vs. First Class

SectionBusiness ClassFirst Class
Customer Ratings4/5 stars on TripAdvisor4/5 stars on TripAdvisor
Baggage Regulations
  • 1 carry-on
  • 1 personal item (e.g. laptop bag, purse)
  • 2 checked bags free
    • Bags must weigh 70 lbs or less
    • $50 - $180 per additional bag
  • 1 carry-on
  • 1 personal item
  • 3 checked bags free
    • Bags must weigh 70 lbs or less
    • $180 per additional bag as first class, only available on select international flights.
LoungesAccess to British Airways lounges at airports, spa services available at select airportsAccess to British Airways lounges at airports, spa services available at select airports
Check-InDedicated check-in desks and priority boarding Priority boarding from an exclusive first class lounge
Dining OptionsPre-flight dining available at the loungeConcorde Rooms - available at New York’s JFK and London’s Heathrow airports. First Class passengers have access to OneWorld lounges in any airport. Enjoy pre-flight fine dining, fine wine, and bar service in any location.

In-Flight Business vs. First Class

SectionBusiness ClassFirst Class
  • Seats that convert to a 6 ft. fully flatbed
  • Mattress topper
  • Luxury duvet
  • Spa amenity kit
  • Private personal suites
  • 6.5 ft. fully flat bed
  • Mattress topper
  • 400 thread-count bedding
  • Spa amenity kit
Work and Play
  • 12’’ Flat screen
  • Noise-canceling headphones
  • Wi-Fi
  • On-demand entertainment on most flights
  • Sleeper service (on select flights)
  • 15’’ flat screens
  • Touchscreen handset
  • Noise-canceling headphones
  • Wi-F
  • On-demand entertainment
  • Sleeper service
On-Flight MealsThree-course meal including fine wines and champagne. A la carte menu fine dining.

Visual Differences Between Business & First Class

SectionBusiness ClassFirst Class
SeatsBritish Airways Business Class SeatsBritish Airways First Class Seats

Business Class VS First Class on British Airways

Business class is a common term across airlines used to describe a flight experience that’s a step-up from coach seating, yet not quite as extravagant as first class. For instance, you may have more leg room and a seat that reclines further, but does not recline all the way to a flat position. These tickets generally cost less than a first class ticket but will set you back a bit more than an economy ticket. 

When it comes to domestic flights in the US, the difference between economy and business class isn’t drastically noticeable. You’ll notice more of a luxury experience opting for a business class seat on an international flight.

British Airways refers to their business class seating as Club Europe for flights within the UK and Europe, or Club World for international flights. There’s also Club World London City for flights between London City and New York’s JFK airport. Their economy classes, economy and premium economy,  are referred to as World Traveller and World Traveller Plus.

British Airways Ticket Pricing

Holding Business Class Ticket

A first class seat from NYC’s JFK to London’s Heathrow airport will set you back anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 round trip. One flight option was over $10,000 just for the ticket from JFK to LHR – not counting the price of the return ticket. 

Travel may cost big bucks, but we at BusinessClassExperts can help you save 30 – 50% on your tickets.

The price difference between first class and business class on British Airways can be complicated.  If you are taking a nonstop flight on a British Airways aircraft from JFK in New York to Heathrow in London, the price difference is a straightforward $350 each way on almost every flight. If, at any point in the trip, you are required to change planes, ticket pricing becomes far more complex. For example, if you book from Los Angeles to London, you fly all or part of your journey on American Airlines or Aer Lingus.

British Airways make it easy to see your fare class. Once you have selected your flights and cabin class, you will be directed to a summary page with a link to ‘flight details’. Your fare class will be displayed on the pop-up.

British Airways Fare Classes

  • Business lowest – I 
  • Business – R
  • Business flexible – J, C, D 
  • First lowest – A 
  • First flexible – F 

Alternatively, you can see your fare class in ‘Manage My Booking’. Under the flight details drop down, there is a link to ‘More Flight Information’, which triggers a pop-up with the aircraft type, flight duration and other flight details and your ‘selling class’, which is you fare class 

What is British Airways Cancellation Policy?

When you book through British Airways, you can cancel your flight booking and claim a full refund without penalty within 24 hours from when you booked and paid for your flight. If the call center is closed that day, British Airways will give you an additional 24 hours to make your claim.

Bookings Guarantee Not Covered:

  • If you’re traveling less than one week from date of purchase.
  • If you haven’t paid for your flight in advance.
  • Package deals booked with hotels, car rentals, transfers or experiences.
  • South African domestic flights, which are operated by a different carrier (Comair)

After the initial 24 hour period, cancellations can be made at Manage My Booking. Refund amounts and fees will vary depending on the type of ticket you have. Some are nonrefundable, and you may incur extra fees for canceling. 

If you purchase a nonrefundable ticket or book through a third-party, travel insurance is wise.

How Much Does British Airways Charge to Change a Booking?

Charges to change flights depend on the fare class ticket you choose. British Airways flight classes have different rules and perks.

British Airways Baggage Fees 

first class travel luggage

First class includes one carry on and one personal item, with three checked bags.

Business class includes one carry on and one personal item, with two checked bags.

What baggage sizes are available with British Airways?

Checked bags must be no larger than 35.5″ x 29.5″ x 16″ (90cm x 75cm x 43cm), including the handle, pockets and wheels, and can weigh up to 70 lbs (32kg).

Can I take extra bags on British Airways?

Any bags carried in addition to your free checked baggage allowance will incur an extra bag charge.

Each passenger may pay for up to 10 more checked bags, in advance for the cheapest pricing.

If you’re flying Business Class (Club Europe) to or from London Gatwick and pay in advance, each additional bag will cost $55. The charge for additional bags on other routes is $90. If you do not pay in advance, you can still add extra bags at the airport for a higher fee, $75 for London Gatwick, $100 for other routes.

If you’re flying First or Business Class World Club, additional bags are $180 for any route in advance and $200 at the airport.

All bags weighing more than 70lbs must be shipped as cargo.

British Airways Perks

walking through first class airport

You’ll be living in luxury before you even board the plane, whether you choose to fly business class or first class.

First class passengers receive priority boarding, straight from a lounge exclusive to first class travelers. They also have a dedicated help desk, and dedicated flight attendants on board, with access to a private 24-hour concierge.. Both Business and First class passengers have access to pre-fight lounges and dining options. 

British Airways Executive Club Tiers

Frequent British Airways flyers can earn significant perks, including access to First Class lounges and amenities.  It’s free to join and points are accrued with each flight.

Blue0 points
  • Collect Avios
  • Collect Tier Points
  • Save details and preferences
  • Member-only offers
Bronze300 points
  • Priority check in and boarding*.
  • Free seat selection 7 days before departure*.
  • 25% bonus Avios.
  • Collect Tier Points.
  • Save details and preferences.
  • Member-only offers.

*Some restrictions apply

Silver600 points
  • Priority boarding*.
  • Free seat selection at booking*.
  • Access to business lounges.
  • Extra baggage allowance*.
  • 50% bonus Avios.
  • Collect Tier Points.
  • Save details and preferences.
  • Member-only offers.

*Some restrictions apply

Gold1,500 points
  • First class check in and boarding.
  • Free seat selection at booking*.
  • Access to First lounges.
  • Extra baggage allowance*.
  • Additional reward flight availability.
  • 100% bonus Avios.
  • Collect Tier Points.
  • Save details and preferences.
  • Member-only offers.

*Some restrictions apply

British Airways Lounges

LoungePassenger AccessAmenities
Galleries First
  • First Class
  • Gold Members
  • Elegant surroundings
  • Work and entertainment zones with internet access, printers, copiers, and fax machines
  • Waiter service dining before some flights
The Concorde Room
  • First Class
  • Gold Members
  • Full waiter service and al la carte menu in private dining booths
  • Champagne and fine wines
  • Private cabanas with day bed and en suite with room service and wake up calls available at London Heathrow only
  • Business suite with TVs and computers. Mobile phone chargers available on loan by request.
  • One guest allowed
  • Business Class
  • Gold Members
  • Silver Members
  • Champagne and fine wines
  • Light meals and snacks
  • Full meals for late night flights with sleeper service
  • Work and entertainment zone
  • 20 seat cinema
  • Business Class
  • Gold Members
  • Silver Members
  • World wines
  • Coffee
  • Snacks
  • Full meals for late night flights with sleeper service
  • WiFi and power points to recharge devices
  • Work and entertainment zone
Elemis Spa
  • First Class
  • Business Class
  • Gold Members
  • Silver Members
  • Cleansing facial
  • Massage*
  • Skin treatments
  • Aromatic treatments
  • Upper body heat wrap
  • Massage chairs

*Legs and feet massage for First Class passengers only

  • First Class only
  • Light meals and snacks
  • WiFi and power points to recharge devices
  • Work and entertainment zone

British Airways Lounge Locations

The Concorde Room
  • London Heathrow Terminal 5 (5A South, 5B
  • Arrivals lounges
  • N/A
  • New York JFK Terminal 7
  • London Gatwick North Terminal
  • London Heathrow Terminal 5A North,l 5A South, 5A, 5B
  • Aberdeen
  • Amsterdam
  • Brussels
  • Edinburgh
  • Glasgow
  • Milan Linate
  • Munich
  • Dubai
  • Mumbai
  • New York JFK
  • Philadelphia
  • Phoenix
  • Toronto
  • Vancouver
  • Washington DC Dulles
  • Manchester Terminal 3
  • Newcastle
  • Athens
  • Berlin Tegel
  • Dusseldorf
  • Geneva
  • Istanbul
  • Jersey
  • Milan Malpensa
  • Atlanta
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Newark
  • Phoenix
  • San Francisco
  • Seattle
  • Cape Town, South Africa
Elemis Spa
  • London Heathrow Terminal 5 (5A South, 5B
  • Arrivals lounges
  • New York JFK Terminal 7
  • N/A
  • Dubai
  • Singapore

British Airway Seats

With first class, you’ll get lots of legroom with 6.5 feet between seats, and sit in seats that are nearly 2 feet wide. In business class, you’ll get six feet between seats, and sit in seats that are 1.5 feet wide.

Flying first class on British Airways means you’ll get lots of legroom with 6.5 feet between seats, and sit in seats that are nearly 2 feet wide. Your seat converts to a bed that lies fully flat, topped with a microfiber mattress topper and 400 thread count linens. You’ll also get a personal power supply for all your electronic devices. 

What is British Airways Seats Map?

On British Airways, you’ll fly in one of several types of aircraft with different seating configurations. Click here for information on the British Airway fleet, including seat maps.

British Airway Food & Menus

First class provides three different champagne selections for a pre-flight glass of wine. Customers are able to order from an a la carte menu whenever they’d like over their flight. Food is served on white linen tablecloths and fine bone china, compared to plastic trays in the economy class. 

Breakfast includes the standard fully-cooked English breakfast, yogurts, and smoothies. Travelers also have the option to indulge in afternoon tea, which provides scones, cakes, sandwiches, and clotted cream. 

For lunch or dinner, customers can choose from a varying assortment of items such as Herefordshire beef with truffle taglierini, fresh tuna, cheese platters, fresh fruit, and fine chocolates. Menu selections change often.

Pre-flight dining at the Concorde Rooms in terminal 7 at JFK and in terminal 5 in Heathrow offers a variety of menu items.

Business Class preflight options include a variety of snacks for a light meal and full dinners for selected late-night flights as part of their sleeper service. Inflight meals are an elegant three-course-menu inspired by the latest global trends expertly paired with fine wines. Between meals, travelers may select from a tempting menu including fresh fruit, Duchy yoghurt, sandwiches, salads, and sweets.

British Airways First Class Flight

British Airways Destinations and Routes

British Airways only offers their first class product on select international, also known as long-haul flights.  BA first class flights operate on all Airbus A380, Boeing 747, Boeing 777-300, Boeing 777-200 aircraft. If your flight operates on any Airbus 318, Airbus 321 or Boeing 787-800, there will not be any  options.

British Airways Airport Hubs

  • Heathrow Airport
  • Gatwick Airport

Popular Destinations