It seems that the designers of British Airways seating are preparing to send its passengers into a fresh layer of hell – with an insider revealing a lot of the new short-haul cabin design
And yes – this is the same refurbishment that I talked about in April last year (although what harm does a little extra press do eh?)
- Firstly, there will be a mixture of seat styles. The Rockwell Collins Pinnacle seat (currently used aboard British Airways flights) will be retained from Rows 1-12 on an Airbus A320, and Rows 1-14 on an A321. This is due to be pitched at 30″.
- All other rows will feature the new slimline, lightweight Recaro SL3510. As I’ve stated time and again – this isn’t a bad seat – depending how it’s pitched. It seems British Airways has gone for the jugular – and are pitching it at 29″ (making its legroom less that Ryanair and Easyjet in one fell swoop).
- Both the Pinnacle and Recaro SL3510’s will have USB Power at Seat.
- The new Pinnacles will also have mains power at seat.
Also revealed is more of the service offer on these new planes
- There will be limited Club Europe seats on these planes (limited to Row 12/Row 14) due to Galley space restrictions
- No portable water or waste storage in the back of the plane (so yes, your waste and water requests have to go via through Club Europe)
- No overhead IFE screen installed. In some ways – considering the length of the BA Safety Video – some minor blessing
The first plane with the new configuration is due to be delivered in March 2018
Welcome to low-cost hell. There was a chance for British Airways to pivot away from the quite frankly awful Rockwell Collins (nee B/E Aerospace) Pinnacle seat to a mixed Recaro product (akin to what TAP Portugal has done). Instead, the airline has once again taken the easy option, using seats it has and deploying them along with new seats into the plane – and densifying the product in the process.
There was even a chance to pivot completely away from the awful EuroBusiness style seating – but this chance hasn’t been grasped at all (which considering Qatar Airways will be flying again for BA soon… will be yet another kick in the teeth for the passenger).
No doubt the maintenance department will love these new seats as there will be three things to go wrong on them – the armrest (yes, there’s one of those), the tray table, and the USB Power Outlet. Considering these seats fly at around 9kg a seat – they’ll save on fuel trip costs too.
In some ways, considering passengers want to pay less and less for seats, this is really the only way British Airways could go – chuck more seats in. Those who fly BA because it’s a “Premium Airline” will have those illusions well and truly smashed to bits with this new configuration.
For those desperate for power in seats, these passengers will want to make a bee-line for these new planes, but power at seat is a poor relative to a very tight seat pitch in a plane – no matter how reasonable the seat is.
And yet all the popular press have missed one minor little detail. The Recaro SL3510 seats are coming to Iberia as well (again, as revealed last April).
For those who want manufacturer materials – head to:
- Rockwell Collins Pinnacle http://beaerospace.com/products/seating-products/main_cabin_pinnacle/
- Recaro SL3510 https://en.recaro-as.com/aircraft-seats/economy-class/sl3510.html
- And if you were blind the first time this release came out – here’s the Recaro release on the order. https://en.recaro-as.com/press/press-releases/details/iag-orders-sl3510.html
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