Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

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.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

Comments (68)

  • JamesB says:

    Is there a seat map for the new config? Anybody know if the pairs of seats at the rear of the plane remain? If so, I guess they will ne more desirable. Changes in WTP sound positive, however, I understood that they were being rolled out from autumn this year but Rob’s bold text suggests otherwise.

  • Catalan says:

    To enable them to squeeze 10 abreast onto a B777 the seat width is reduced to 17 inches I believe. Hopefully the ‘improvements’ to the IFE will act as a distraction for the 8-9 hour endurance.
    The WT+ seats appear to be those installed on the Heathrow fleet of B773/B787 and A380s which I’ve found to be very comfortable with good width and recline. (Let’s hope they are!)

    • Catalan says:

      Many thanks Richardw. If they’re even more of an improvement then that’s a good thing for the much neglected LGW fleet.

  • Big Dave says:

    Just checked one of my legs frm Gatwick-Orlando this summer and the going out one is the new densified one and the return isnt… oh well
    Going cattle class anyway my expectations werent that high anyway – though I can see it being a problem for those of the wider/larger nature in hip size
    As a family of four its nice to be able to have a centre row to ourselves but thats not always a good thing

    • Alan says:

      Interesting that when the populations of the western world (in general) are getting wider, the seats are getting narrower.

  • Nick_C says:

    WT+ seats on the 787 are hard, uncomfortable, and have no leg rest.

    If the leg rest is coming back, I will consider BA WT+ again.

    The old worn WT+ seats with leg rests are very comfortable and I used to sleep well in them.

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      I think 787/A380 WTP seats are pretty decent, even for sleeping in. Main complaint was risk of your drinks being spilled if the passenger in front reclines.

      • Gavin says:

        I had my best ever plane sleep in a WTP A380, oddly it was better than my flights in CW have been.

  • Kaz says:

    Is any refit being completed on the CW seats on these flights?

  • David S says:

    Hope they put additional Toilets on board and that they do something to improve the boarding facilities at Gatwick – the gates aren’t big enough to support boarding with a smaller load in the first place

    • Rob says:

      No additional toilets. Now one per 30 pax in economy I think.

      • Lady London says:

        So that will become likely to be at least 60 passengers for each loo that remains usable/ not completely yuk on any flight over about 9 hours.

        It’s amazing that IIRC there are no regulations specifying a minimum number of loo’s according to number of passengers.

  • Anna says:

    OT – AA now have a basic economy fare where you can only take one piece of hand luggage which has to go under the seat in front. What are you supposed to do if the IFE box is there?