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Qatar Airways unveils a new economy seat – which looks good

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I was at the launch of the new Qatar Airways economy seat in Berlin yesterday.  Economy travel is not something we focus on much, but I thought it was worth a quick look.

Let’s be clear.  There isn’t much you can do with a standard economy airline seat to make it better.  This is why I am quite impressed with what Qatar Airways is doing, where lots of incremental changes add up:

Qatar Airways new economy seat

  • each seat gets a 13.3 inch 4K TV screen – it is almost as wide as the seat back.  My one worry here is that the screen glare from neighbouring seats will be annoying, especially if you are trying to sleep.
  • the seats are ultra-slim which seems to improve legroom – I tried one out and my 6’2′ frame was not wedged against the seat in front
  • there are two flip-down trays – one just below the TV which includes a cupholder and the usual 2nd tray just above knee level
  • the back of the seat in front curves inwards at the bottom, giving your knees more room
  • the seats are partially in shells – this means that if the person in front of you reclines, the back of their seat does not come forward into your face
  • all seats have USB charging sockets

Qatar Airways also announced an upgrade to their ORYX IFE system, taking it up to 4000 channels, and an increase in the size of food portions.  Desserts will be 50% larger whilst main courses will be 25% larger.   There will also be a move to using more recyclable and biodegradable items.

New Qatar Airways economy seat

That’s the good news.  The bad news is that you won’t be seeing this seat in a hurry.  It is being introduced initially on the new A320LR aircraft which will not serve the UK.  It will only be rolled out to other aircraft as part of the natural replacement cycle, which means it may take eight years to complete.

The food upgrade IS happening more quickly, however.  It is due to launch imminently and be available on all routes by the end of the year.

British Airways announces First Class 'soft' improvements, live from 31st March
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  1. Does anyone have any codes for Emirates? I have the offer on my Amex but wanted to see if I can get the price down a little further.

  2. Ammar says:

    OT – Need to cancel a RFS with BA that i booked, just wanting to find out, will i get the points back? Do i need to pay anything extra or do they just not refund the £35 cost of taxes that I originally paid?

  3. kovacsi76 says:

    O/T: I ordered an extra supp gold card for myself on my platinum charge card account to bag the bonus, but received a platinum one in the mail. Is this normal, or should I cancel it quickly before they charge me the £170 fee?

    • Shoestring says:

      they will charge the £170

      • Shoestring says:

        hang on – if it’s the first & only Plat supp, it’s free – you wouldn’t have got the bonus on the 3rd one so I’m assuming this is what you mean

        • I got 5000 when they sent me a plat supp without applying for it (previously cancelled from gold)
          Applied for a gold sup and got 3000
          Hope this helps

        • Shoestring says:

          JTZ – they automatically send you the same Plat supp you had on Gold when you upgrade to Plat

          Sounds like you then applied for a Gold Supp (on your Plat) and got a 3000 bonus, despite already having the Plat Supp?

        • @ Shoestring
          Yep, they sent me the supp and I called to say I was going to apply in a while, they added the 5000 manually, then I applied for a gold supp and got 3000,
          I think anyone with a plat can get 8000 through both, 1 plat supp and 1 gold supp

        • kovacsi76 says:

          Sorry, should have specified that my wife already has a plat supp from when I upgraded from gold charge. Didn’t get a bonus for that, as expected. So decided to apply for a gold supp for myself, and the bonus already hit my account. But the card I got is plat, so 3rd plat on my account. Guess I’d better call and cancel asap.

      • If it’s an additional card for the main cardholder it’ll be Plat and fee-free.

  4. I need to book a return flight to the middle east for 4 people on BA.

    I have 2 x 241 vouchers in hand.

    I can get the outbound flight on avios, but zero return avios flights available.

    Can i use ONE of the 241 voucher’s to pay for all 4 outbound flights?

    I will then separately book cash on another airline for the outbound.

  5. Craig says:

    OT: Marriott points transfer. Mrs S has 38k but the Marriott system would only let me transfer 30k, anyone experienced this before?

  6. Craig says:

    Having though about it it’s not a huge problem, 8k transferred to BA from her account with the 30% bonus will still leave me over 60k to take the 5k and 30% bonuses. Just a faff having to do 2.

  7. Does anyone know why my Hilton acct for a stay last weekend would show base points (and diamond bonus) as 0, but the points unlimited 2000 points is shown?

    Not sure if I should contact support or leave it for a bit.

  8. Shoestring says:

    O/T I was just reviewing my Orbis Investments ISA. If you remember, Virgin Money ISA said no repeats LY (to get Virgin Miles bonus, that is), so I looked around and Orbis were offering a matched £100 deal – you put in minimum £100, they match it with £100 – proviso being you keep it invested/ no withdrawals for 12 months. (I was not able to share the deal April 2018 as still recovering from tripping over cat incident & unable to post.)

    So here’s how the 2 funds Orbis offers have done over the last 12 months: Global Balanced Fund -4.2%, Global Equity Fund -8.9%. Not too bad vs comparatives – and will likely be better than that for the 12 months of this UK fiscal as April 5th 2018 was a low spot.

    Your matched £100 gives you some confidence that you’re not going to lose money no matter what happens in the markets, so it’s no surprise that I have done better than above. I’m up some 12% (ignoring the matched £100), or +112% if you include it (a bit of market timing in there helped).

    Of course it’s just a bit of fun compared to investing £20K in an ISA but I am actually very impressed by the Orbis fee structure (it’s very fair & innovative, you’d need to explore for yourself) and performance over longer time span than 12 months is excellent

    Point being: it’s the new tax year in under a month and if you are just messing around with points so not bothered about investing £20K in an ISA, the absence of a Virgin offer might lead you to think about Orbis if they repeat the matched £100 deal yet again. Points = money so this is like getting 11K free Avios/ Virgin miles for my £100 stake.

    • “as still recovering from tripping over cat incident & unable to post.)”

      Woah woah woah there, we’ll get to the ISA bit but first more on the cat tripping?

  9. Appears that Aspire Lounge at LGW South will be taking bookings from May 1st

  10. Clive says:

    Don’t know if this has been posted however applied for a Gold Card for my Wife and just added me as a supplementary card holder. Bonus has come though virtually immediately but now seems to have dropped to 3000 points.

  11. You can get QF points (1 per A$) on spend with them, plus sign-up bonus.

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