Good Advice Features

BA’s B787-8 and B787-9 Dreamliners compared

Seatplans takes a look at the different seating products and layouts on the carrier’s B787-8 and B787-9 Dreamliners.

British Airways took delivery of its first Boeing B787-8 Dreamliner in 2013, and has a total of eight of the new-generation aircraft in its fleet.

The carrier operates a three-class configuration on this aircraft, with 154 economy seats in a 3:3:3 layout across two cabins, 25 World Traveller Plus seats configured 2:3:2 in a single cabin, and 35 Club World seats, also configured 2:3:2 and across two cabins.

More information on the seating products in each class can be seen via the links below:

BA’s B787-8 currently operates on routes to Calgary, Chengdu, Chennai, Hyderabad, New York, Philadelphia and Toronto.

British Airways B787-8 Dreamliner

Seatplans has several user reviews of the aircraft, which can be seen here, as well as Tried and Tested reviews conducted by our editorial team, which can be read here.

Much has been made of the tight economy layout on the B787-8, not just for British Airways but for other airlines operating the 3:3:3 configuration (subscribers to our sister publication Business Traveller can read Feel The Squeeze, by consumer editor Alex McWhirter).

Customer feedback led BA to make changes to the economy seat on its forthcoming B787-9 aircraft, a stretched version of the Dreamliner which launched on the carrier’s London-Delhi route on October 25.

The 3:3:3 layout remains, but BA has managed to squeeze an extra half an inch into the seat width into each economy seat, as Kathryn Doyle, BA's manager of product development cabin interiors, explains in the latest edition of its Up To Speed staff magazine:

"Front-line colleagues shared feedback from customers on the B787-8, who said the seats felt a bit tight.

"We listened to that and challenged our seat supplier to come up with a solution that would achieve parity with competitors and satisfy customers. The result is a seat that is half an inch wider, which we believe will improve customer comfort."

This is not the only change that can be seen on BA’s B787-9s – an eight-berth First cabin will be added at the front of the aircraft, making British Airways the first European carrier to offer first class on a Boeing Dreamliner.

British Airways B787 First 1

British Airways B787 First 3

Each First seat includes three new storage areas - a new ottoman next to the adjustable footstool; the personal suiter for jackets and coats is now accessible without having to leave the seat; and a new locker at eye-level for smaller items. A mirror has been fitted to the inside of the locker door.

A new IFE handset, which BA said is "much like a smartphone", will allow passengers to watch one item on the handset itself and another on the 23-inch screen.

Lastly, the smart "jog-dial" still controls the seat's recline, but now also manages five further functions including the headrest and lighting control.

British Airways B787 First 2

British Airways B787 First 4

The additional first class cabin means BA will actually offer fewer economy seats on the B787-9 (127 compared to 154), but slightly more World Traveller Plus (39 compared to 25 on the B787-8) and Club World seats (42 compared to 35).

British Airways has a total of 22 B787-9s on order, and has confirmed the aircraft will initially serve the following routes:

  • Delhi, launch route from October 25, 2015
  • Muscat and Abu Dhabi from November 5, 2015
  • Kuala Lumpur from December 2015
  • Austin, Texas from February 2016
  • Shanghai from March 2016
  • San Jose, California from May 2016
  • Jeddah from July 2016
  • Dubai from October 2016

The aircraft will also be rostered onto routes to New York Newark, Narita, Houston, Mumbai and Boston during 2016, with more details to follow.

More information on the seating products in each class on the B787-9 can be seen via the links below:

The carrier has also ordered 12 of Boeing’s B787-10 aircraft, which will be the largest of the Dreamliner family when it launches towards the end of this decade.

To view seatplans of more British Airways aircraft, and for details on the carrier's cabin classes and seating products, click here.

British Airways B787 First 5