Yesterday, British Airways announced its Gatwick fleet refurbishment plan. Of course – not mentioned in the press release that in World Traveller – the airline will deploy 10 across seating in the plane.
But what are the breakdowns in the new seat map for the Gatwick Configuration?
Let’s look back at the IAG investors day slide which for-shadowed them new configuration:
British Airways High Density Boeing 777-200ER – from IAG Investors day slides November 2016
- Club World looses 8 seats (one row of 8 seats)
- World Traveller Plus gains 28 extra seats (four more than originally planned in the release)
- World Traveller goes 10 across with 36 extra seats.
Let’s break down the numbers in an easy-to-digest table:
Club World World Traveller Plus World Traveller Count 40 24 216 280 32 (-8) 52 (+28) 252 (+36) 340 (+60)
But how does this look visually? I’ve had a deep dive and crunched some numbers. For information purposes, I’ve selected London Gatwick to Kingston (Jamaica) – the launch flight of the new seating (7th May 2018).
World Traveller (the economy class) will be a squeeze – with rows 20 through 41 accounting for 220 seats.
The final few rows have three rows of 8 (24 seats) and two rows of four (8).
Again – that’s 252 seats down the back of the plane.
World Traveller Plus (premium economy) seat maps are also loaded – and make equally grim reading, with an imitate small cabin… being a lot larger, with one row of four, and six rows of eight – making the magical 52 seats. The front rows of four seem to be the ones that are increasing the numbers
Finally, Club World (Business Class) is confirmed as 32 seats with four rows of 8 seats.
Let’s look at the press image again of World Traveller, which looks like its been shot from the back of the first section of economy seating
Again – you’ll need to squint hard to see 10 across seats – but they’re there. In the image below, I’ve trimmed a lot of the image, and added some numbers – they should be a lot clearer now…
No matter how you cut it, squeezing 60 extra seats in Word Traveller and World Traveller Plus is a lot into a Boeing 777-200ER. The plane hasn’t grown in length or width from when it held 280 passengers – and this is a big re-configuration work that British Airways has carried out.
Whilst British Airways may dress this up as an improvement to passengers (and the World Traveller Plus changes look actually rather nice), 10 in across seating World Traveller is going to be felt by passengers
And there’s not much you can do to avoid it – other than check the seat maps, and if you don’t like 10 across seating – find another carrier.
Or pay up for World Traveller Plus if you must fly BA.
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