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Iberia announces a new business class seat with a door

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IAG, the parent company of British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, LEVEL and Vueling, published its first half results on Friday.

There wasn’t much in it to justify a full article, although its worth noting that the British Airways 77X fleet is not now scheduled to start arriving until 2026. The British Airways capacity crunch is set to continue for another three years, and the decision to get rid of the Boeing 747 fleet during the pandemic may continue to bite back.

There was one nugget, however. IAG revealed a tiny picture of the business class seat that Iberia will be using on its forthcoming (December 2023) A350 order:

New Iberia A350-900 Recaro business class seat

As you can see, it has a door.

Iberia already has a dozen A350 aircraft in its fleet, but there is a second batch of eight on the way. It isn’t clear if the existing A350 fleet will be reconfigured or not – it would be expensive, given that the seats are relatively new, but operationally it will be tricky having two different layouts on a small fleet.

There is also no word on whether it will be retrofitted to the A330 fleet.

The seat has been announced as the Recaro CL model, and it appears to be the Recaro CL6720 that is shown here on the Recaro website.

Here is a picture from the Recaro website of the no-door variant:

New Iberia A350-900 Recaro business class seat

It is described as:

“The CL6720 elevates luxury into new spheres with generous living space and best-in-class comfort features. It is nothing less than the next generation of business class travel.

The new CL6720 creates a mini-suite experience through its’ optional sliding doors and individually adjustable settings. Increased living space and cut-edge styling with high quality trim & finish materials create what we call “traveling in style”. The generous and versatile stowage provides enough space for all personal belongings.

Even though this business class seat lacks nothing, it is one of the most layout-efficient and lightest seats in the industry.”

Air China is currently using this seat on part of its fleet and it looks impressive, so this is definitely one to keep an eye out for over the next couple of years.


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Comments (40)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • TimM says:

    Can a private person buy one of those seats, e.g. for their home? I could employ someone on minimum wage to dress as cabin crew and serve me drinks and ready meals at my seat and then there is no need to travel.

    • Andrew. says:

      Give it a few years and the reclamation yards will be delighted to take your order.

    • Gordon says:

      I suggest you resist the temptation to go for the BA uniform…. Your employee on a minimum wage will be grumpy and snarl at you when you request something, The meals will be a one tray service and also bland, Drinks service will be intermittent, So you may have to leave your newly purchased throne to go to your kitchen for a refreshment….

      • Erico1875 says:

        Yes, your minimum wage skivvy should be singing and dancing and attending to your priveliged whim with a smile.

        • Mike says:

          Yes I know they should ! But at work I always seem to get problems with them doing that consistently

        • Nick says:

          Sadly, many, maybe even most, UK service industry employees, just don’t understand the difference between ‘service’ & ‘servility’!

          They often just don’t get it, and often give the impression that they just don’t care!

          And, yes! I have worked in the hospitality industry for decades, and would, probably every time, employ people from other European countries, especially eastern European, over UK staff, most of the time.

          Maybe airlines need to allow tipping for cabin crew…That may well help!

          • Bagoly says:

            No, no, no – let’s not import that American idea from lounges and everywhere else!

          • Nick says:

            @ Bagoly “No, no, no – let’s not import that American idea from lounges and everywhere else!”

            Why not?! Many service staff in the USA don’t get paid a wage at all. They live on tips, and, the service you receive, is generally significantly better that you get from most UK staff!

            The problem, though, is that many UK customers will need to be ‘educated’, because many of them are so very tight in rewarding good service!

          • Rob says:

            There’s arguably no ‘good service’ involved in opening a fridge, removing a bottle of beer and giving it to you ….

            That said, I once saw a Harrods doorman given a £20 tip for holding the door open for someone (as they do for everyone).

          • Nick says:

            @ Rob “That said, I once saw a Harrods doorman given a £20 tip for holding the door open for someone (as they do for everyone).”

            That’s cheap! I was given a £20 tip for just opening their safety deposit box for a customer at The Dorchester back in the late 1970’s!

          • marcw says:

            @Nick, if that’s the case, if they care, they should fight for a proper pay. Tipping should be a gesture to reward excellent service! I’m not there to pay them directly their wage. And no, service is not significantly better – IME.
            I’m extremely happy to reward good and excellent service. What I am not happy with, is regarding mediocre or bad service.

          • Gordon says:

            @ Marcw, I could have not put it better myself….

          • Track says:

            It’s all about boring economics and some game theory: if you are regular client, you will tip for nothing special because you stuck with the same people.

            “Educate” clients or not but the truth is that European middle class is much less affluent – eg have 2-3 times less in their bank account and real estate wealth than Americans from comparable positions/professional trajectory.

            Any grumpy stewardess on AA with invested pension plan and 1-2 houses in ownership is more well off than most of her clients in J seats.

          • Mikeact says:

            You’ll find nowadays that tips in the US all use the same system. At the end of your meal,or before you’re even finished ,you will be presented two copies, yours and theirs. Their one..the important one, itemises the meal you had, followed by the state tax and possibly a local city tax. And then your choice of tip, always listed as 18% 20 or 25 Excluding one fish restaurant we were in that added a 4th option, 30%. And of course, it’s not just the meal your tipping on but the tax element as well ! And another restaurant had a separate line of 5% for environmental reasons. When I the gall to ask what environmental reasons, the waitress didn’t know nor her duty manager that day.And as for recycling, you gotta be joking…plastic bags still very much the order of the day…not far off one bag per item.

    • Brian78 says:

      How odd

      • Rob says:

        They cost about £100,000 per seat ….

        • TimM says:

          “They cost about £100,000 per seat ….”

          I am sure I can make one for half the price 🙂

    • John says:

      I am sure that with a suitable budget you can find someone who will build a replica for you.

      • Gordon says:

        You can’t beat the musty used smell that cones with a used seat though….

  • pauldb says:

    OT: Priority Pass is showing me 2 new (to me) pub options at LHR: The Globe T5 and The Oceanic T3. Can anyone confirm these are now open?
    They don’t seem to have the same Amex-PP carve-out, and they show up in my app which is meant to show they qualify, even though they are run by The Big Smoke T2’s owner.

    • Rob says:

      Thanks, will take a look.

      If I log in on the app I do NOT see these lounges (I do see Grain Store) which means Amex-issued cards can’t access them.

      • pauldb says:

        Odd as I can see them. Have you updated your app?!

      • AndyW says:

        I see the globe, I have priority pass from Plat. I can’t actually find any details for it at Heathrow from a quick Google.

        • Rob says:

          You won’t see it on the PP app, which filters out lounges your particular card cannot access.

  • Stuart says:

    You’d think that across IAG there would be common features like the seats. Surely it’s better to a place a massive order for seats for use across all airlines owned. However I do recall the Club Suite manufacturers were struggling just to keep up and supply BA

    • Rob says:

      Yes, I assumed capacity at the factory was the reason that IB had done something different.

    • ChrisC says:

      Whist IAG will do things like bulk buy planes it still leaves the individual airlines to make decisions like seats ( especially for long haul planes) and decor to themselves.

      IAG isn’t an airline it’s a holding company.

  • John says:

    What business seat does IB currently fly LHR-MAD? I notice they have the occasional A350 in their schedule.

    May we use the Cathay Lounge at T3 with an IB business promo (revenue) or business Avios redemption ticket?

    • Rob says:

      The A350 seat is good – we’ve done a review if you search.

    • G says:

      Mostly A320/A321s. About 2 a day fly the A330 or A350. Usually the 10:55 (A330) and 18:45 (A350).

      And yes; you can use it. Don’t see why not as it’s a oneworld business ticket.

    • The Original Nick says:

      Yes you can. I used the Qantas lounge last week but in had access via my BAEC status. I flew IB LHR – MAD in economy. MAD – JFK Premium economy exit row seat 11A. JFK -MAD in Business. Even though I’ve flown IB Business long haul before I again couldn’t fault the product. One problem I do have though is trying to claim my Avios and Tier points for my outbound flights. Inbound have credited but outbound haven’t and IB have rejected my claim that I tried claiming via BAEC missing avios link.

      • Gordon says:

        I booked LGW to AMS for a tier point run in oct to achieve silver status. I looked at IB but didn’t want any hiccups so booked BA for peace of mind. As do not need the headache chasing for credits.

    • yonasl says:

      Both the 330 and the 350 have a slightly older seat (no 3 points belt) vs the newer 350 that flight transcontinental (slightly wider, newer version).

      For a MAD flight it is great. For a longer flight the newer seats feel more luxurious and better maintained (on the LHR-MAD route I often found broker headphone jacks etc.)

      Business class with IB is solid with meals served dish after dish and nice quality food. Problem is the crew tends to be a little less attentive than other airlines (even to Spaniards) and some bits are lacking like the snacks during long haul flights.

  • Nick says:

    The capacity crunch is not really a problem if the market also takes 3 years to grow, because yields are strong while demand exceeds supply. If other airlines start flooding the market before BA gets the 77Xs, that’s when it becomes an issue. Sadly even if the 747s hadn’t been scrapped I doubt they’d be flying again, the fuel cost alone would have put paid to that.

    • Richie says:

      Even for the shortest routes to BOS, JFK, DXB, YYZ, ORD? Imagine the upper deck of a BA B744 fitted with CS.

  • Mark says:

    I wouldn’t be holding my breath on that 2026 BA delivery commencement for the 777-9. I guess we will see how it pans out…

  • The Original Nick says:

    Are Lufty still using their 747’s as passenger service? I saw a lufty 747 landing at JFK on Tuesday. Maybe just cargo?

    • Rob says:

      Those are 747-8, the new version. Lufty is the only Euro airline to buy it. We have reviewed and told the story if you search.

    • Dubious says:

      Lufthansa Cargo got rid of its 747s.

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