On my way back from Dublin, I “lucked out” a re-configured Airbus A320 with the new British Airways short-haul product. How does it stack up?
Well, lets have a look in the cabin.
My first thought was “Neue Europa Kabine”. For those who aren’t sure what that is, that’s Lufthansa’s short to medium haul cabin as I reviewed earlier this year/end of last year.
The seats have been fitted with the charcoal/grey leather that still look business-like, but not offensive to anyone.
Speedmarque near the entrance. Seems this cabin got mood lighting too. Why does some mood lighting have to look like a bad disco?
The seats themselves were firmly padded – not as bad as the Lufthansa NEK bench, but not a lot better. The cabin itself – I’m going to be blunt – opportunities have been missed.
And I’m not saying that because I’m in a bad mood with British Airways still.
There are opportunities for power at seat (be it in USB or 110v plug sockets), the double document holder (that seems like a waste… why have two sets of document holders – Swiss, Lufthansa… even Aer Lingus have one document holder at the top of the seat).
The tray isn’t a bad addition in a the Club Europe cabin (if very much like the its competitors short haul product), and it actually holds things well (amazing in itself).
However, short haul customers need to be productive on the move, and the lack of a WiFi product installed on a plane is getting near inexcusable as time goes on.
The seat pitch – whilst at Ryanair tightness at 30″, is a bit better thanks to the slimline seat – but that’s the only upside. Sitting in that seat for an extended amount of time will not be comfortable.
Whilst British Airways is trying to pack them in with this new configuration – and that’s fine – not have the amenities that passengers are beginning to expect to hand isn’t a great step forward.
Considering they’ve fitted out the Airbus A320 fleet with these seats on short to mid-haul services and the only innovation is a slimmer seat, I’ve got one piece of advice if your flight is over two hours on one of these birds…
…bring a pillow.
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