British Airways Unveils New Seats For Short Haul Flights

British Airways Unveils New Seats For Short Haul Flights

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Europe is probably the least competitive region in the world when it comes to the quality of seating provided on continental flights. Just about all aircraft feature tightly packed seats, no seat back entertainment, and no proper business class seat (but rather just economy seats with a blocked middle).

Along those lines, British Airways has just unveiled new cabins for its narrow body aircraft. The seats have some minor differences compared to the current product, so let’s take a look at what’s changing.

British Airways’ new short haul seats

British Airways will be introducing the Collins Aerospace Meridian seat as its new short haul product, in both Club Europe (business class) and Euro Traveller (economy class). What changes will passengers notice?

  • The seat has new stitching and a new pattern, which adds a bit of pizzaz to the cabin
  • For passengers in Club Europe, this product will feature the return of the tray on the middle seat; this is something that British Airways otherwise eliminated years ago
  • All Club Europe seats will feature 60W USB-A and USB-C outlets, while all Euro Traveller seats will feature 15W USB-A and USBC outlets; in the process, the airline will be eliminating AC power outlets, which are currently in the forward rows of some aircraft
  • These planes will feature Airbus’ Airspace cabins, featuring larger overhead bins, but that’s something that British Airways has already started rolling out on some aircraft

You can find some pictures and a vide of the new seats below.

New British Airways short haul seats
New British Airways short haul seats

British Airways hasn’t announced any changes to the layout of the cabin, so it’s not clear if the airline will maintain the same layout as it currently has, or what. Typically airlines have ulterior motives with new cabins, though I have a hard time imagining that British Airways can densify its short haul cabins any more than it already has.

Timeline for British Airways’ new short haul seats

When should we expect to see these new British Airways cabins? This product will be offered on all upcoming Airbus A320-family deliveries. Specifically, British Airways has 13 Airbus A320neos and seven Airbus A321neos on order, which should be delivered as of May 2024. All of those planes will feature the new cabins.

Unfortunately British Airways hasn’t announced plans to retrofit any existing aircraft. British Airways currently has nearly 120 Airbus A320-family aircraft, so it’ll truly be luck of the draw whether you get these new cabins. The lack of consistency will no doubt be disappointing to some.

British Airways is updating its short haul interiors

Bottom line

British Airways is introducing new cabins for its short haul aircraft. With this, we’ll see the introduction of new seat patterns, USB-A and USB-C outlets at every seat, and middle seat trays in business class. You can expect this to debut in May 2024. However, there are no plans to retrofit this product on existing aircraft, so odds of getting this cabin will be quite low.

What do you make of British Airways’ new short haul cabins?

Conversations (25)
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  1. TheDutchPerson New Member

    I wonder how the different wattages for business and economy will work considering BA uses flexible cabin sizes (where they simply move the curtain divider forward/back based on how many business class seats they sell). Does it mean that, if the flight has a particularly small business class cabin, the front row(s) of economy will also get the 60w power?

  2. frrp Diamond

    15w power outlets for economy is a pure dick move. What, ppl shouldnt be able to charge things cos theyre in the back?

    Also those arm rests are awful, the seat is already so thin that ppl can barely fit in the seat and then the armrest if like 2cm wide.

  3. flying100 Member

    Why remove AC power??? How can you charge a laptop with a USB?

    1. N1120A Guest

      1) Fewer people are using full PC/Mac laptops.

      2) More and more laptops now offer USB-C based cord charging

    2. tipsyinmadras Diamond

      Yes, you can charge a laptop with USB-C. The "Empower" branded USB-C outlets on the last A220 I was on were 60W which is more than sufficient to power/charge the average laptop. The average MacBook needs 35-45W to charge

    3. John Guest

      60W via USB-C is plenty enough for most modern laptops.

  4. JJ Guest

    Look like the one AVAIANCA have on their A320

  5. Nick Guest

    Will European airlines ever introduce proper business class seats? Or at least install IFE screens?

    1. flying100 Member

      One benefit of not introducing business class seats on short European flights is that the prices are cheaper, you can find a flight for just £100-£150 return to many places in Europe on BA and using points there are 10000 Avios + £1 flights. If airlines add wider seats at the front, they won't be able to sell those seats for economy seats, that means more expensive flights in both cabins.

      I would rather fly...

      One benefit of not introducing business class seats on short European flights is that the prices are cheaper, you can find a flight for just £100-£150 return to many places in Europe on BA and using points there are 10000 Avios + £1 flights. If airlines add wider seats at the front, they won't be able to sell those seats for economy seats, that means more expensive flights in both cabins.

      I would rather fly in those seats for a few short hours, have a normal meal, with lounge access. Than flying on US airline with wider (more expensive) seats, no normal meal just a snack, no lounge access.

    2. Jake Guest

      You must be a short person.

    3. tipsyinmadras Diamond

      Short European flights are not necessarily cheaper than US domestic routes - depends on the route and competition. I just flew Milan->Paris (~400mi) and Air France wanted $200+ o/w in economy, over $400 in business.

  6. IrishAlan Diamond

    Will all of the seats in Euro Traveller on forthcoming aircraft be this new seat? The current arrangement on the A321neo is awful behind the exit rows. The Recaro seats are very similar to the horrible hard plastic seats on NK and F9. The seats up front are much nicer!

    I flew Club Europe on an A320 last week and I find the current console placed on the middle seat to be preferable to just...

    Will all of the seats in Euro Traveller on forthcoming aircraft be this new seat? The current arrangement on the A321neo is awful behind the exit rows. The Recaro seats are very similar to the horrible hard plastic seats on NK and F9. The seats up front are much nicer!

    I flew Club Europe on an A320 last week and I find the current console placed on the middle seat to be preferable to just a tray. I assume the change is because that console is bulkier and weighs more?

  7. Lars Guest

    Lack of consistency will be disappointing? How about continued lack of knee-room? Keeping it consistent there!

    I'll be here all week.

  8. CGruber Guest

    Why don't they do a true short haul 1st class product with wider seats in 1st such as what DL, AA, and UA do? The tray in between is simply blocking a middle seat. Not really 1st class experience.

    1. Richmond_Surrey Guest

      Bigger seats at the front limit option of extending and shrinking Club Europe, depending on the number of passengers. Now, it can go from 4-5 rows to 12 on some routes.
      In past, bigger seats were up to 4 or 5th row, from what I remember. So you could get more comfortable seat in economy, when the curtain was moved forward.

  9. JetBlueFanboy Diamond

    Despite my praise for these seats in my previous comment, I will say that I think the old Pinnacle seats looked a lot more sleek and stylish. But hey, this cabin is still quite good-looking, and to be fair it’s infinitely more photogenic than their current A320neo (Economy) cabin.

  10. JetBlueFanboy Diamond

    This is actually “back to the future” for BA, as these seats actually look a lot more similar to those on their A320 CEO’s than their NEO’s…But in the best way possible. It’s nice to see that the adjustable headrests are back, and the padding looks a lot better. If nothing else these seats look like something you’d find on a normal legacy carrier, which is more than can be said for those ULCC-esque Recaro’s...

    This is actually “back to the future” for BA, as these seats actually look a lot more similar to those on their A320 CEO’s than their NEO’s…But in the best way possible. It’s nice to see that the adjustable headrests are back, and the padding looks a lot better. If nothing else these seats look like something you’d find on a normal legacy carrier, which is more than can be said for those ULCC-esque Recaro’s on their neo’s.
    Kudos to BA for actually improving their seats!

  11. Bob Parson Guest

    The tray is good, as long as they are able to keep it flat over the years ... most of the time, the old ones were angles, so not very useful to put stuff on as it would slide.

  12. vlcnc Guest

    Thank god they've brought back the winged headrest, when they replaced the Pinnacle seats after row 12 on shorthaul planes it was a double wammy of hard uncomfortable seat and no head support especially if you wanted to snooze.

  13. Ray Guest

    I agree with the others. It’s giving Delta Air Lines. Quite sad that Club Europe won’t substantially change, though.

  14. lavanderialarry Guest

    Delta padding. American Airlines for the rest.

    1. UncleRonnie Gold

      Seat padding is good. Looking forward to using these seats regularly.

  15. Mike O. Guest

    Don't the colours look a lot like Delta?!

    1. UncleRonnie Gold

      Point of order! BA had navy blue and red seats as far back as 1996. Delta only introduced those colours around 2010. :)

    2. JetBlueFanboy Diamond

      My first thought was actually “American!” Because of the headrest covers. But yeah, you’re right, the rest of the seat is very reminiscent of Delta.

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flying100 Member

One benefit of not introducing business class seats on short European flights is that the prices are cheaper, you can find a flight for just £100-£150 return to many places in Europe on BA and using points there are 10000 Avios + £1 flights. If airlines add wider seats at the front, they won't be able to sell those seats for economy seats, that means more expensive flights in both cabins. I would rather fly in those seats for a few short hours, have a normal meal, with lounge access. Than flying on US airline with wider (more expensive) seats, no normal meal just a snack, no lounge access.

3
flying100 Member

Why remove AC power??? How can you charge a laptop with a USB?

1
vlcnc Guest

Thank god they've brought back the winged headrest, when they replaced the Pinnacle seats after row 12 on shorthaul planes it was a double wammy of hard uncomfortable seat and no head support especially if you wanted to snooze.

1
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