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Take a look at BA’s new short haul seating in the wild

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British Airways has released some photographs of its new short haul seating on an actual aircraft. To date we’d been restricted to seeing a mock-up in a staged environment.

The first aircraft with the seating, an A321neo registered as G-TNED, is now flying. Eight A320 and A321 aircraft will be delivered in the first wave.

New British Airways short haul seating

Unfortunately there are no plans to retrofit the new seating to existing aircraft.

Whilst arguably the existing seats are not life expired, what is less forgivable is the refusal to retrofit the new larger luggage bins – although a few recent deliveries do have them. The increase in capacity by letting suitcases be stored end-on is substantial.

Here is a long shot down the cabin:

New British Airways short haul seating

Unlike the more recent additions to the fleet which use two different seats, the new aircraft use the same seat throughout the aircraft. There is no swap to a thinner seat beyond the exit row.

However, leg room is still reduced beyond the exit row. You need to be sat in front of this for maximum space, but if Club Europe extends to the maximum then this won’t be possible.

Seats do not recline behind the exit row but all seats are installed with a slight recline built-in.

New British Airways short haul seating

As you can see above, a fixed table is back in Club Europe. This had been removed on more recent aircraft deliveries, ostensibly to save weight, but had clearly proved unpopular.

The antimacassars for your head to rest on do still exist but are not photographed here.

New British Airways short haul seating

Power sockets, USB-A and USB-C, are installed in seat backs (under your seat in Row 1). There are no 3-pin plug sockets.

The USB-C power output is lower at the back of the aircraft (15W) but the 60W USB-C at the front should be good enough to charge a laptop.

There is no wi-fi on the new aircraft. It is not installed by Airbus and the aircraft will need to be retrofitted at a later date.

New British Airways short haul seating

Finally, here is a view of the new larger luggage bins. These allow a wheely case to be stored ‘wheels in’ and on its side, which leads to a substantial increase in capacity. One issue I experienced, having flown recently on an existing delivery which had these bins, is that passengers do not realise that the bins are larger and store their luggage as usual.

Whilst no photographs were supplied, feedback on Flyertalk is that the loos are larger.

All in all, the cabin looks good – it even has mood lighting as the photographs show – and it is a shame that there are no plans for retrofitting.


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Comments (176)

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

  • Misty says:

    I’m another one that dislikes reclining seats on short haul aircraft Recliners irritate most passengers, it’s easier not to have them to start with.

    I got to the point some years back that I used to book 2 aisle seats one behind the other, and OH sat in front of me. I wonder if I have some kind of claustrophobia as soon as a seat in front of me reclines, I panic, also I’m small so I can’t imagine what it’s like for a tall person.

    Great to be able to add to such a moany thread, although we quite enjoyed our CE flight a couple of weeks ago, and am about to book another.

    • Danny says:

      Tbh i think people who recline on short haul are selfish. Its unnecessary, but very rarely notice it on BA in Europe.

  • Willmo says:

    I see the plane in question has been diverted today to Beriut from its original destination of Larnaca.

    • barracuda says:

      Interesting – actually quite a few more diversions at LCA this afternoon to BEY.

      Weather does not seem to be an issue – I wonder if there is GPS jamming that has been taking place – though why BEY is unaffected and PFO was not chosen would be interesting.

      Also appears to be a number of other flights delayed on inbound to LCA – suspect these were held at gate while the situation was being assessed.

      • Sean says:

        The BEY thing is due to Israeli GPS jamming. No flight to Israel is diverting to BEY.

    • ABS says:

      It was ok its way to Tel Aviv, the stop in Larnaca is just to change crew.

      • VSCXFAN says:

        Most days last week, several flights to TLV (incl. BA, LH and even LY) were shown on Flightstats and/or FlightRadar as diverted to BEY – which of course they weren’t, as pax arriving in TLV confirmed!

  • vlcnc says:

    TIL what “antimacassars” are. Thanks Rob!

    • Roy says:

      So named, because in the 19th century an oil-based hair product known as Macassar oil was all the rage; so antimacassars were used on seats to stop the upholstery from getting stained by the Macassar oil.

    • Bagoly says:

      That caused me to learn what TIL stands for!

  • Kraut says:

    Why don’t they put in more spacious business class seats rather than carrying on with the middle seat blocked nonsense

  • The Jetset Boyz says:

    “The antimacassars for your head to rest on do still exist but are not photographed here.”

    There’s a reason why there’s no photos, there’s no Velcro strip on the seats to attach the antimacassar. An oversight or deliberate – who knows.

    Crews have had to do a bodge job to put them on Club seats – so if you do see a photo of seats taken by a passenger, they’ll look a bit “all over the shop”.

    • Paul says:

      They weren’t installed on purpose, cleaners/crew shouldn’t be putting them out. Rob could confirm this with PR.

      • Rob says:

        As they can’t be attached I did suspect that it wasn’t meant to be happening.

  • Martin says:

    I flew economy to Cairo and back on one of these new aeroplanes last month. Non-reclining seats on a five hour flight is an issue for me. I will be flying Egyptair next time!

  • Bernard says:

    No plans to retrofit existing fleet.
    BA as usual adept at promising something they can’t deliver most of the time.
    But that about sums up their useless ‘customer experience’ diva Lamming, who’s jumped from employer to employer before his reputation catches up with him.

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