Good Advice Features guide to... which seat to choose on BA's B787 Dreamliner

These notes follow on from those made from our BA A380 where to sit, here.

World Traveller

Economy is nine-across with a seat pitch of 31-inches, upholstered in a slightly lighter tone of blue to premium economy.

There are two UK power points for every three seats and each seat has a USB port.

Almost every seat has an in-flight entertainment (IFE) box underneath which reduces the foot space.

To avoid these choose any seat labelled E, K or A that isn’t in the first or second row of the cabin.

The seats are also designed as such that there is no dividing panels between seats CB and JH, meaning people sitting here share the foot space, however there is more of it than usual.

All armrests can be raised, including those in the aisle using a lever located under the plastic lip, this is meant for crew use to allow for disabled access though.

If you want to take advantage of the state-of-the-art dimmable windows on the Dreamliner then avoid 38ABC and 37KJH, as these seats don’t have windows.

The tables fold out in a number of stages – have a look here.

The pairs of seats at the rear of the cabin, row 39, are as appealing as they look on the seat plan (below), offering lots of space, and seats H and J don’t even have a toilet nearby. However the rearmost middle seats – 40-41 DEF – are to be avoided as they are located near the toilets and galley area.

Bulkhead seats don’t have windows either, and be aware that window seats have the exit door obstructing some of the added legroom which make these seats so desirable.

World Traveller Plus

Premium economy is upholstered in a royal blue material and configured 2-3-2. The premium economy cabin feels small, which is a good thing, as service should be a significant improvement on economy. The seat is very similar to economy in appearance but with a cocktail table in between seats and a larger 10.5-inch IFE screen. There are two USB sockets and a UK power-point at each seat.

The seat has a better recline and seven inches more legroom than economy, and has around an inch of extra width, meaning it isn’t particularly generous in this department. There is also a metal foot rest which either pops out from the bottom of the seat in row one, or is attached to the seat in front in 11-13.

The calf support of the cushioned seat partnered with this foot rest makes the seat much better if trying to sleep, a key benefit over economy class. When reclined the seat in front can be very close if you choose not to recline, however the IFE screen does tilt sufficiently to allow passengers to carry on watching the programming clearly. Catering is improved as entrees come from the Club World menu and warm bread is now offered.

Club World

Club World is configured 2-3-2 in two small cabins at the front of the Dreamliner. The seat is the same ying-yang layout that experienced BA customers will be familiar with but with a single backward facing middle seat, instead of a pair in the old 2-4-2 arrangement.

This middle seat is the immediate standout choice for the individual traveller. You still have to step over the passenger in seat F if they are fully reclined but this seat is more spacious than all the others and has an extra storage compartment down to the right hand side which could take a laptop or some literature.

The small cabins give the same feeling of exclusivity and privacy as the popular upper deck of the B747, however the Dreamliner cabin feels much lighter and more spacious. Club World also has larger luggage bins with a 50kg capacity.

There are frosted plastic electronic privacy screens which go up between the seats and the 12-inch IFE screen pops out from the right-hand side along with the tray table. This means that the screen is directly in front of you when sat upright and dining, with the tray table sliding towards the passenger, and the screen tilts downwards for when lying fully flat. The table did feel flimsy on the open left-hand side though, something to be aware of if you plan on using a laptop in flight.

Down to the right hand side is a power socket, USB input and a small storage compartment for shoes or a laptop. The seat controls are at shoulder height on the right, by the privacy screen and the IFE remote is over the shoulder to the right. All seat controls have been designed to be easier to use than on earlier versions of the product. The reading light has also been tweaked so that it is brighter and works with a dimmer switch for total control.

When fully flat the seat joins a narrow ottoman at the end which is not closed in.

Catering is a three-course service using the new onboard steam ovens which aim to keep food moist, and the first bar service is operated without a trolley on an individual basis.

The second cabin here is certainly the most desirable choice. It only has one less row of seats, just two here, but the feeling of being in a small private cabin with less passengers competing for crew attention make these seats (rows six and seven) attractive options.