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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Comments

  1. Roger Wilco says:

    O/T. I have just had some money refunded to a closed MR card. Will phone Amex and move it to another non MR account. But will my 6/12 fallow period have been reset by activity? I think has been raised some months back but cannot find an answer..

    • No, I regularly have refunds to closed cards without any problems with the 6 month period being extended.

  2. OT – I think Harry was asking about the new online passport service yesterday. My OH used this recently to renew his driving licence. They use your passport photo via the Passport Office database, and then when you renew your passport, they refer to your driving licence photo, it sounds very efficient. I’m not sure at what stage you need to get an entirely new photo though!

    • No use if you can’t drive!

      • Ha. I live in a remi rural area – if you can’t drive, you can’t go anywhere!

        You upload a selfie to get the new passport/driving licence, so no more trekking to the Post Office booth!

    • I renewed my passport online last Monday. I included a recent digital photo and submitted the form. The next day ( Tuesday) I posted my old passport recorded delivery. HMPO emailed me the next day to tell me they’d received my passport and were processing it. On Thursday I received another email to say they’d posted my new passport which I received Friday morning. Only five days! You only have to sign the passport once you receive it.

      • I renewed my aged mother’s passport just prior to Xmas – posted on the Tuesday by snail mail and she had her new one by the following Monday….I was frankly amazed.

    • My thoughts entirely – my driving licence runs out this coming December and my passport in June next year. If they take my passport photo (which the website says they will) for my driving licence, it’ll be 19.5 years old when my next photo card expires, which kind of defeats the object. It might even be the same photo in my passport and on my driving licence, meaning I pay £14 to replace my driving licence photo with… the same photo.

    • the real harry1 says:

      they say most people can just use the existing photo as 10 years later you are still recognisable

    • Phillip says:

      Just to add to this, a member of my family recently applied for a passport renewal; application submitted on a Saturday, old passport posted on Monday, new passport arrived on Friday! Impressed! Admittedly this was mid November which tends to be on the quiet side.

  3. £3k in the sale!! How much are non-sale fares?!

    • BA is £3500 to Cape Town in the sale. Lack of competition and the fact that going via the Middle East is a real pain because your 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep on BA (and landing with no jet lag as 1 hr time difference) becomes 2-3 hours of sleep x 2 legs.

  4. For the new CW seat, think more off the shelf and popular, but with an added feature.

    • added feature = some kinda cost cutting surprise that Mr. Cruz thinks is great and all customers think is horrible

  5. 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.

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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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