British Airways and the mystery of the missing super-thin seats
Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.
We ran an article last week about the return to service of G-MEDN, the first British Airways A321 aircraft to be ‘densified’ with additional seating. This was primarily due to the two loos being moved into the back wall of the aircraft.
The other change was meant to be the introduction of super-thin Recaro seating in two thirds of the aircraft, from row 12 or row 14 depending on aircraft type.
And yet, in an article published late on Friday night, British Airways spoke to Business Traveller to refute this.
This is a summary of what British Airways said:
All of the people writing about the new configuration online are confused
The new A320neo and A321neo aircraft, to be delivered from April, WILL have a mix of the current and super-thin seating
However, the existing A320 and A321 fleet is not changing. All seats will be the current (‘Pinnacle’) seat, albeit reworked to include USB and power sockets.
This creates as many questions as it answers. This is what British Airways told the City:
How can British Airways have the same numbers of seats on an A321 with the current seating and the forthcoming A321neo aircraft with super-thin seating? Has the seat pitch been reduced even though the seats are the same?
Here is the only picture I have seen so far of the new BA ‘spaceflex’ cabin on G-MEDN. It doesn’t help much as it is taken from the front where the seats would be the same anyway:
To make things even more confusing, Iberia is definitely retro-fitting its super-thin seats onto its existing Airbus aircraft as well as on its new deliveries. The article does not, admittedly, imply that BA was planning a retro-fit.
It is all a bit odd. It is even odder than BA is telling Business Traveller that ourselves, Flyertalk, PPrune and various other sites have been printing incorrect information, when they could have contacted all of us directly. If we have been sharing incorrect information about the new seats then, BA, we’re sorry ….. but you could just have rung us or even invited the media on the Glasgow flight on Thursday. It probably didn’t help that the entire travel press, including ourselves, was in Berlin last week for the ITB trade show.
It seems that we may end up with two types of Airbus short-haul planes at Heathrow. New neo ones with a mix of current and super-thin seats, and the older Airbus aircraft which just have the current seats. All with have the new thin toilets built into the back wall. Confusing …. and unhelpful if you want to avoid the new Recaro seats.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 2023)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard
Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review
Barclaycard Avios Mastercard
5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review
British Airways American Express
5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card is doubled to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – and you get £200 to spend at Amex Travel too! Apply here.
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
60,000 points AND a £200 Amex Travel voucher until 13th June! Read our full review
Run your own business?
We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review
You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.
EDIT: Applications for this card are temporarily suspended due to IT issues with the British Airways On Business SME loyalty scheme.
British Airways Accelerating Business American Express
30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review
There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.
American Express Business Platinum
40,000 points bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.