The first 10-across BA economy flights from Gatwick are on sale ….

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One of BA’s plans for increasing its profitability from Gatwick is the ‘densification’ of the Boeing 777 fleet.

At present, World Traveller economy seating is nine abreast on the Boeing 777 fleet.  On about half of the Boeing 777 fleet – which will be most-or-all of the Gatwick fleet plus a handful at Heathrow – these seats are about to be ripped out and replaced by 10-abreast seating.

According to Routes Online, the following services will be the first to be operated by the new fleet.  These will all be Boeing 777-200ER aircraft (Day 1 = Monday etc):

London Gatwick – Cancun from 12th May 2018, 1 weekly (Day 6; 3 weekly Day 1/3/6 from 20th June)
London Gatwick – Fort Lauderdale from 18th September 2018, 1 weekly (Day 4)
London Gatwick – Kingston from 7th May 2018, 2 weekly (Day 1/3; Day 1/5 from 10th September)
London Gatwick – New York JFK from 8th July 2018, 1 daily
London Gatwick – Orlando from 11th May 2018, 1 weekly BA2037/2036 (Day 5; 2 weekly Day 5/6 from 8th June to 8th September)
London Gatwick – Punta Cana from 8th May 2018, 3 weekly (Day 2/4/7)
London Gatwick – Tampa from 7th June 2018, 2 weekly (Day 4/7)

And here are some seat maps:

This is Club World, which is now a lot smaller with only four rows of seats.  This may actually be an improvement on the current set-up:

777 Club World

Here is World Traveller Plus, which may also be improved because it should get the newer generation version of the seat:

777 World Traveller Plus

An extract from World Traveller, which is clearly not improved:

777 World Traveller

To be fair to British Airways, other airlines are selling 10-abreast in Economy on a Boeing 777.   BA is only catching up with the dumbing down.  Emirates and Qatar Airways, for example, are 10-abreast on their 777 fleet.

That said, there is no reason to put up with this if you don’t need to when flying World Traveller.  Where a route is operated from Heathrow, you should be booking that instead.  If it isn’t, try to time your flights next year for a date when a 9-across aircraft is due to be operating.

This is the future though – Norwegian levels of comfort without the Norwegian levels of service.

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  1. Lee-Anne Stewart says:

    10 abreast sucks on long haul. We stupidly ‘upgraded’ to exit row economy seats on a VA flight to SA (LHR-JNB) last year and it was the most miserable flight of my life. Certainly it was a 787 not a 777 but the 3 seat exit row configuration was horrific. I knew the seats would be narrower because the screen would be in the arm rest but I could not twist or turn to sleep – it was awful. Outbound I took the ‘window’ seat (which has no window) and there was barely any legroom because the door protruded so much. On the return leg I swapped with hubby to the middle seat and could not eat my meal whilst him and the aisle seat passenger were eating as I couldn’t move my elbows. As it turned out their food was inedible anyway.

    The Emirates and Etihad 777’s (that fly out of Scotland at least) have the last few rows as 2-4-2 which is a little better but their on board service has been very poor in our experience. All my friends who rave about Emirates are really not used to travelling non charter flights!! If they were I don’t think they would think they were so good.

    We generally opt for airlines and flights that have 2 seats rows as we cant afford biz and most carriers to SE Asia where we holiday most don’t tend to have PE (and the few that do are very expensive).

    • Yes i am used to flying to Asia on Emirates on the 777s out of Glasgow, and always went for the 2-4-2 seats up back (although i think the turbulence is worse back there). I always liked Emirates economy, and friends who have travelled a lot still say its one of the best. A pretty decent economy meal followed by a few films on a good quality screen (which beats the BA CW screen) pleases most people.

      What i disliked about the service was how regimental it was, you could be sat with an empty food tray for hours whilst waiting on them starting clearance (clearing it away myself to the galley never seemed appreciated!). Also started to dread the 2 am arrival into Dubai and the bus journey from the plane to the terminal building followed by the security search to get into the shopping mall, i mean terminal.

    • Pangolin says:

      10 abreast on a 787? I’ve never heard of such a thing but if it exists it must be a new low. Heck, I did 9 across in a 788 with LOT to Seoul and back a couple of months ago and that was absolute purgatory (made worse by what is possibly the laziest cabin crew I’ve ever experienced).

      Reason we play miles the game is to try and avoid the horrors of LH Y, I guess.

      • No, 787s were designed originally for an optimum 8 across but almost all airlines fitted 9. Based on reviews it would seem that 787s are best avoided in economy.

    • Has Etihad switched to 777 exEDI? I flew them in economy to AUH-BKK soon after they started the service. They we using an a330 then with 2-4-2 in economy. It was tolerable as flights were a maximum 7-8 hours and I spent the entire duration in internet. Not good enough to stop me upgrading the return flight though. If I were flying longhaul economy I would always try to choose an 8 across a330 if possible.

      • The Ethiad Edinburgh to Abu Dhabi is an A330 and has been for as long as the service has been running. Qatar fly 787s to Doha. The only Emirates flights from Scotland are from Glasgow with 777s.

        • Yes, this was my understanding but after reading the comment I thought perhaps Etihad had switched to a 777 when they reduced the frequency from EDI.

  2. There are lots of other carriers and aircrafts you can choose if you wish to travel more comfortably in Economy.
    Whether you choose Cathay’s A350, or JAL’s 787, by doing so, you choose not to encourage this high density config.

  3. There’s a good reason BA have chosen those routes for 10 across and it’s because they are full of leisure passengers and it’s well known that leisure passengers care mostly about the price. They will not pay more for more room. I’m sure BA will be able to fill the planes and probably make more money than before due to the extra seats.

    • That is why they are starting with these routes, but they will end up everywhere (literally everywhere at Gatwick). And if you believe they will only do half of the 777-200 fleet (which is what they have said) then I have a bridge to sell you. For a start, converting half the fleet but not the other half will make scheduling tricky at Heathrow.

  4. Pangolin says:

    10 across on a 777 is unsurvivable without whisky and sleeping pills.

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