Bits: Is the new BA Club World seat the old Emirates seat?, South African Airways sale

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News in brief:

Is the new Club World seat the old Emirates seat?

2019 is now approaching, and with it the arrival of the first British Airways A350 which will feature the new Club World seat.

Whilst BA has filed a number of patents showing various designs, you shouldn’t read much into this.  Patents are filed all the time whenever someone has a workable idea and it doesn’t mean they will ever be used.  The only thing we know for certain is that all seats will have direct aisle access.

Cabin crew website paddleyourownkanoo is claiming, from apparently two separate sources, that British Airways has now abandoned the idea of developing a new seat in-house.

More surprisingly, it claims that both sources have confirmed that BA has settled on the Emirates A380 seat – a seat which first flew in 2005!

The obvious flaw in this story is that Emirates only uses the seat on its A380 aircraft.  It has never been retrofitted onto its Boeing 777 fleet, which implies that it doesn’t fit.  Even now, the new Emirates Boeing 777 business class seat bears no relation to the A380 version.

Let’s assume that BA has found a way, though.  It is not a crazy idea.  I have flown the Emirates version many times.  It is a surprisingly dense configuration which would appeal to BA, without actually feeling so dense because the seat walls are quite high.  You get a lot of personal space.  You get huge IFE screens.  You get a small private mini-bar at your seat.  You retain a middle pair, in some rows, for couples who want to be side by side.

The biggest oddity is the seat length.  To allow all passengers direct aisle access, the seats which are adjacent to the aisles are shorter than those directly by the window or in the middle pair.  This is to create a gap for the adjacent passenger to walk through.  Whenever we fly it, my kids go in the middle pair so they can be side by side (and get the longer seat) whilst all 6’2′ of me gets the shorter seat adjacent to the aisle.

The full article is here if you want to check it out but don’t take it too seriously.

South African Airways sale now on

South African Airways has launched its January sale with fares that undercut British Airways on the Cape Town route, albeit with a plane change in Jo’burg.  It also covers lots of other places not on the British Airways network.

In Business Class, the headline sale fares are (these are midweek prices, weekends may be higher):

  • Johannesburg  £2988
  • Cape Town £3018
  • Durban £3248
  • Port Elizabeth £3248
  • Nelspruit (Kruger) £3288
  • East London £3248
  • Windhoek £3219
  • Victoria Falls £3342
  • Harare £3362
  • Livingstone £3395
  • Maputo £3381
  • Lusaka £3404

Economy deals are also available (Johannesburg from £592) plus there are Business Class deals on other routes too.  All flights are via Johannesburg.

The Business Class deals are valid for outbound travel before 9th December 2018.  Flights must be booked by 8th February and you must stay over a Saturday night.

South African Airways is a member of Star Alliance.  You can credit your flight to Miles & More, SAS EuroBonus, Singapore Airlines Krisflyer or one of the other major Star frequent flyer schemes if you don’t want to run a balance in SAA’s Voyager programme.  It is also a Virgin Atlantic Flying Club partner as you can see here.

Details can be found on the SAA website here.

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  1. Only tried Emirates business once to SE Asia, 777 to Dubai was very nice but I didn’t like the 380 config, tight foot space in the cubby, and as it was a night flight I only wanted to sleep so the bar was redundant to me.

  2. Incase it helps anyone there is a 4000 points bonus on my Nectar App for an Air Canada booking on Expedia

  3. Could it be that they are standardising on this with a view to buying retired EK a380s retrofitted with a bunch of mothballed old seats? As Delta aspires to becoming something better, BA becomes the new Delta!

    • That would be a long stretch. Possibly retrofitting the whole fleet to acquire a couple of EK’s A380s seems like way too much work. Not to mention that BA would still need to produce new seats for their A350s.

      I suspect that BA threw in the towel and rather than spending tons of money designing something that will probably be of no good, they are going to settle with something good and existing. They won’t be top of the heap with that but at least they’ll can get something that may already be liked and considered decent.

  4. Tom Cook says:

    OT : If you book a BA hol in premium economy is it possible to then upgrade to business using avios?

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