Passenger Misery: British Airways Reveals Tiny New Economy Seats


Is it just me or is Premium Economy, or Coach, slowly morphing into the Economy of 20 years ago, with Economy morphing into a miserable sardine can experience only suitable for small people?

British Airways has some new plane layouts to share. The site sounds awfully positive but in reality, they have reduced the space in their new economy seating to fit more passengers on board. They are however not alone. Many major airlines have done exactly the same thing including Emirates, Air France, Qatar Airways and Cathay Pacific. The space per passenger will now be similar to that on Norwegian’s Boeing 787s, so if you are purely price driven, your experience on BA should be similar to that on Norwegian. It is also worth noting that the new British Airways Economy seats do not have a standard power outlet in their seats but they do have a USB power outlet.

This means that the 777 planes flying out of Gatwick will have 10-across seating in coach arranged in a 3-4-3 layout as shown in the picture above.

Long-haul British Airways Premium Economy on these planes gets a new leg and footrest, an adjustable headrest and both USB power and an outlet for UK, US and EU plugs. Both Economy and Premium seats get bigger tv screens which is the main (and only) positive for this new seating.

Interestingly, the Premium Economy cabin is increasing in size and volume with 52 seats (there used to be 24) and British Airways are reducing Business Class seats on these flights from 40 to 32 seats.

Six Boeing 777s with Business, Premium Economy and Economy will go into circulation in the winter and four-cabin planes that also offer first class should be in circulation by summer 2019.

How About European Economy?

The seat options are becoming even worse for British Airways flights within Europe where their Economy seats are being refitted to offer less legroom than Ryanair. Perhaps now is the time to start collecting those Avios and using them to fly about in European Business Class on British Airways.

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