Flights under four hours will no longer feature reclining seats, starting with new aircraft deliveries
British Airways flyers no longer have to fear for their knees’ safety – but it comes at the loss of one of their core comforts in the skies. The Daily Mail reports the airline will remove reclining seats on short-haul flights by the end of the year as part of a cost-cutting measure.
The new locked seats will be installed on the airline’s new delivery of 35 Airbus A320neo and A321neo airframes, some of which will enter the flag carrier’s fleet by 2018. Current aircraft will be refitted in a cabin overhaul set to add new features to the customer experience.
“We’re also completely refurbishing the cabins of all of our existing A320 and A321 aircraft at Heathrow to improve quality and choice for our customers,” the airline told the Daily Mail in a statement. “We are installing at-seat power throughout the aircraft and will soon offer onboard WiFi.”
The British arm of International Airlines Group has targeted their short-haul domestic cabin for many cost-cutting measures in recent years. In December 2017, the carrier announced they would no longer offer two newspapers to short-haul flyers while introducing fees for meals on those same flights. With the newly announced move, some flyers are comparing British Airways to their low-cost competitors.
“I think I know which airline I will be traveling on after I have burnt all my Avios,” FlyerTalker chongcao wrote in a thread discussing the changes. “Ryanair looks more attractive day by day with its frequent…sales.”
However, some flyers look at the locked seats as an improvement in the passenger experience, claiming there’s no longer a need to fight for legroom with other passengers. “I see the inability to recline seats in short haul a positive!” Tobias-UK writes in the same thread. “I hate it when the passenger in front reclines.”
Overall, flyers have given British Airways’ seats a rating of three stars out of five in Skytrax reviews.