This article is part two of my return trip to Riyadh. I flew out in Premium Economy and you can read about that here. This leg of the journey will be in British Airways new Business Class Club Suite.
I arrived at Riyadh airport at around 9:30 pm to check in for my 1 am departure. I was worried that there wouldn’t be a lounge to wait in as the One World website and British Airways customer service had both said it was closed. However, when I checked in I was directed to the Premium Plaza lounge that was very near my gate.
The lounge was basic, with simple food options and a range of soft drinks and coffee. It was also a noisy lounge, whilst it was on an upper level, it was open to the terminal ceiling that was reflecting the sound from the rest of the terminal.
Plaza Premium Lounge Riyadh
When it came time to board, they had quite a chaotic setup. If you were group 1 or 2 you were put in the seating area for the gate next door. Everyone else was kept in the main seating area. After what felt like a long time they allowed us to board.
As I’d upgraded myself to Business Class for this leg, I was in one of the new Club Suites. I had chosen a seat very near the front as on this configuration of 777 there are 3 rows of Club Suites right behind First at the front and the rest are behind door 2L in a massive long cabin. This small area behind First is a great little area as it feels more intimate and exclusive.
British Airways Club Suite
As the flight was an early morning flight, there was no full meal service, just a light snack if you were peckish, the assumption is everyone will sleep. I asked for some popcorn and Sprite while I relaxed. I also asked for some Champagne to be brought over as soon as we cleared Saudi airspace, which they were more than happy to do for me.
After about an hour and a nightcap of Champagne, I converted the seat into bed mode and settled down to sleep. Before I slept the crew had asked me if I wanted waking for breakfast or be allowed to sleep until just before landing, I opted to sleep.
I slept very well, the new beds and bedding are really comfy. I woke up just as breakfast was ending and I was offered a drink before landing.
British Airways Club Suite storage
The Club Suite is a huge upgrade over BA’s previous Business Class product. Unlike the Virgin seat which Joe reviewed here, it has ample storage space. The seat is controlled by the little screen. You can recline the seat into a fully flat position very easily. One difference between Virgin and British Airways Business Class is the fact BA do not give out pyjamas for Business Class, only First Class get those.
After landing I headed straight through passport control to baggage reclaim, Heathrow was not working well that morning and it was over an hour wait for my bag. When it did finally arrive, I headed out through customs to the arrivals lounge.
The Club Suite is a huge and welcome step forward for BA. If you haven’t tried this new product, you should! It’s a stark comparison to the old Business Class seat.
A lot of the Middle-East flights to London leave in the very small hours and land early at Heathrow. I will always be trying to get those lie-flat beds to sleep in using my points to upgrade from now on. And with that access to the arrivals lounge to freshen up upon arrival, well worth it. Read about the arrivals lounge experience here.