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The first British Airways long-haul Gatwick plane with 10-across seating is now in service

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The first ‘densified’ British Airways Boeing 777 is now in service at London Gatwick.   The number of seats has been increased from 280 to a whopping 332.

The main way this has been achieved is to make World Traveller / Economy 10-abreast.  To be fair to British Airways, a lot of other airlines – including many with a better reputation than BA, such as Emirates, Air France, Qatar Airways and Cathay Pacific – have already or are in the process of doing the same.  BA is playing ‘catch up’ (or ‘catch down’, possibly) in this area.

New British Airways economy World Traveller seating

There have been some improvements to the World Traveller seat.  Most obviously, the size of the TV screen has increased from 6 inches to 10 inches.

You also get “a six-way headrest with adjustable ears for added comfort and movable middle arm rests, which is particularly useful for customers travelling with children”.

New British Airways economy TV screen

USB power ports have been added but there are no plug sockets.  Whilst not an obvious change, the IFE system has also been replaced and now has substantially more capacity to add additional movies.

There have also been major changes in World Traveller Plus.

The World Traveller Plus cabin has been increased from 24 to 52 seats.  This is likely to drive a substantial change in the amount of Avios reward availability in this cabin.

If you are wondering where the space came from, the number of Club World seats has been reduced from 40 to 32.

New British Airways World Traveller Plus cabin

Word Traveller Plus DOES now have plug sockets which will take UK, US and European plugs.

British Airways World Traveller Plus power socket

The seat also has “a new leg and footrest, as well as an improved fully adjustable six-way headrest to suit customers of all heights. The new seat also has a cocktail table at the front and in-arm tray tables”.

The TV screen has increased from 6 inches to 12 inches, meaning that there is now a difference between the IFE in World Traveller and World Traveller Plus.

The new World Traveller Plus seat will be added to the Boeing 777 fleet at Heathrow from “Autumn 2019”.

Where will you find these new seats?

The new aircraft are initially being timetabled onto Punta Cana, Cancun and Kingston.  All six of the three class Boeing 777 aircraft will be done by the end of 2018 – it is a slow process, taking two months per plane and requiring the aircraft to be sent to Singapore.  BA will then start making similar changes to the four-class fleet of four aircraft at Gatwick.

It remains to be seen if customers in World Traveller can be ‘bought off’ with a bigger TV and a USB socket when faced with a sharp drop in seat width.

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Comments (68)

  • JK says:

    The seats look hard and very uncomfortable for a long haul flight

  • Mark LLL says:

    Have twice flown with EK on 777-200 (LGW-DXB) in economy. Not only very dense seating but also many seats had restricted foot-well space due to IFE boxes having been sited beneath various seats.
    I don’t know how many IFE boxes there are but I seemed to have one both flights (different seat numbers each flight.)

    The photos in the article do not show the under seat space, I’m hoping that BA had the good sense to leave their CW foot-wells clear.

  • NickS says:

    For info and for nerds like me who like to know which aircraft I will be flying on (if I can work it out) the plane that has been densified is G-VIIX. Interesting that this plane did have 4 classes before so F has been taken out as well as smaller C cabin

  • Martin says:

    Nick

    A good number of the planes BA uses for leisure routes don’t have First, including the routes BA are adding to compete with Norwegian, which I think is what is driving this change

    • Iain says:

      But I think Nick’s point was that why would they convert what was a 4 class rather than an existing 3 class of which there are many.

      • NickS says:

        Correct I fairly regularly fly ex LGW to MRU and I thought there were only 4 x 3 class planes that regularly ply the lgw routes to Caribbean and Indian Ocean? G-YMMC/YMMD and YMMR and YMMS – C and D are now 18 years old and looking pretty worn out inside the C cabin especially in the nooks and crannies that never seemed to get cleaned ever! ( haven’t had the pleasure of trying Y thank goodness) . I would have thought they would be prime for first refurbs with their old Rockwell Collins IFE which is now so ancient it’s all but impossible to watch as so fuzzy that I have resorted to taking my iPad with me so I can at least see a nice screen resolution!

  • mark2 says:

    It is ironic that this ‘downgrade’ work is being done in Singapore while the new super luxury interior for Singapore Airlines was made in UK.

  • Andy S says:

    What’s the reduction in seat width in WT?

  • Davide says:

    OT, but could anyone confirm if the 5k Platinum Amex supplementary bonus is for the first sign-up or for each person you sign-up?

    Thank in advance.

    • Rob says:

      You only get one supplementary Platinum card though – the rest are Gold unless you pay £170 per year.

      • Paul says:

        But do you get the 5k bonus for adding the supplementary gold cards Rob?

        • Rob says:

          No idea!

        • mark2 says:

          No, or if you request the first supplementary on the application, or it is already on Gold before upgrade (from personal or family experience)..

        • Craig Strickland says:

          I added a Gold supp to my Platinum a few days ago and got 5000MR points.It was the first one I’d added in several years.

  • cisoard says:

    OT, does anyone know if BA allows those inflatable cushions you can place between the seat and the next seat in front to make a flat surface for toddlers? (like this one: http://www.fly-tot.com/). Called BA customer service but the girl wasn’t sure, said something that crew could advise me when on board – but I need to know if I can take them at all in the first place. Has anyone travelled with these devices?

    • Michael C says:

      99% sure the official “advice” would be no, as potentially blocking the aisle.

    • Ian says:

      BA isn’t on the list of airlines that have accepted it. So I’m guessing you can’t. Remember you can only use it with the window seat, or middle seat in centre row also.

    • Sam says:

      Cisoard – i’ve seen this discussed at length within the travel trade as no-one has managed to get a firm answer. We’ve had one ‘yes’ and one ‘no’ from BA reps – but a friend flew to Sydney and used it with no issues (but a few jealous / admiring glances from other parents and questions from staff) – but i’d assume that was 4 different sets of staff that allowed it. So my thinking is that there is no current policy, but you’d probably (but not definitely) get away with it.

    • Hanna says:

      I saw someone using it on BA plane to Dubai and this person was sitting in aisle seat in WTP.

    • BA1 says:

      No. I can’t share the thread for obvious reasons but there has been much internal discussion about this recently – the company concerned is claiming to customers that it’s ‘approved’ but it definitely hasn’t been – cabin safety has ruled it out completely, and there are no references to it in the ‘approved child seats’ in the manual. Crew who see it will ask you to take it down immediately.

    • John says:

      “ACCEPTED ON OVER 50 AIRLINES WORLDWIDE” – I’d ask for a list of these airlines (and confirmation) before buying said product. I’d then return for a full refund if it was found to be misleading information.