British Airways Schedules More Cramped & Uncomfortable Flights

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Back in November last year, at the presentation where Willie Walsh proved just how arrogant and out of touch he really is, British Airways announced that it would be investing money in making passengers less comfortable on both short-haul and long-haul flights.

On its short-haul aircraft the airline is adding more seats to bring itself in line with the airline it’s hoping to one day become – easyJet. The British Airways A320 and A321 aircraft will see between 12 and 13 seats added to their Economy Class cabins so customers will be squashed together even more than they already are.

As far as long-haul routes go, the airline is fitting its Gatwick-based 777 aircraft with 10-across seating in Economy Class cabin and reducing the Business Class cabin to 32 seats.

Here’s the slide BA used to present the new cattle truck aircraft configuration to investors (click to enlarge):

a diagram of a passenger seat

British Airways already offers just 17.5″ of seat width in its long haul Economy Class cabins so the addition of an extra seat in each row is going to see the aisles get narrower and the seats get even tighter – if you’re a person of size you’re going to hate this.

In fairness BA is by no means the only airline to offer 10-across seating (US carriers have offered it for a while as have Qatar Airways and Emirates for example) but, while US carriers are an example of where BA is taking its product (i.e down hill), the Middle Eastern carriers offer more legroom than BA and the service is better by orders of magnitude too.

The Routes To Avoid

At the beginning of September British Airways started scheduling its newly reconfigured Gatwick 777s on a number of routes so…’s a recap of the routes on which you’ll find the cramped aircraft and the dates from which you can expect them to be operating:

London Gatwick – Cancun

  • From 12 May 2018 – 1x/week (Sat)
  • From 11 June 2018 – 3x/week (Mon, Wed & Sat) – this was previously scheduled to start on 20 June

London Gatwick – Ft. Lauderdale

  • From 13 September 2018 – 1x/week (Thu)
  • Between 8 October & 28 October 2018  – 3x/week (Mon, Thu & Sat)
  • From 29 October 2018 –  2x/week (Thu & Sat)

London Gatwick – Kingston

  • From 7 May 2018 – 2x/week (Mon & Wed)
  • From 14 September 2018 – 2x/week (Mon & Fri)
  • From 10 October 2018 – 3x/week (Mon, Wed & Fri)

London Gatwick – New York JFK

  • From 8 July 2018 – 1x/day

London Gatwick – Orlando

  • From 11 May 2018 –  1x/week BA2037/2036 (Fri)
  • Between 8 June & 8 September 2018 – 2x/week (Fri & Sat);
  • between 15 September & 29 September 2018 – 1x/week (Sat) gradually increasing to daily by 6 October 2018.

London Gatwick – Punta Cana

  • From 8 May 2018 – 3x/week (Tue, Thu & Sun)

London Gatwick – Tampa

  • From 7 June 2018 –  2x/week (Thu & Sun) rising up to 5x/week (Tue, Thu, Fri, Sat 7 Sun) by 9 October 2018
  • From 29 October 2018 – 5x/week (Mon – Fri)

New High-Density Routes

We can currently see BA’s schedules up to the second week of November 2018 and the airline has added 5 new routes on which passengers will suffer the new seat configuration – it’s the Caribbean routes that are being hit.

London Gatwick – Antigua – Providenciales

  • From 28 October 2018 – 2x/week (Thu & Sun)

London Gatwick – Antigua – Tobago

  • From 29 October 2018 – 2x/week (Mon & Fri)

London Gatwick – Barbados

  • From 28 October 2018 – 2x/week (Mon – Fri)

London Gatwick – St. Lucia – Grenada

  • From 3 November 2018 – 1x/week (Sat)

London Gatwick – St. Lucia – Port of Spain

  • From 28 October 2018 – 2x/week (Tue & Sun)

Bottom Line

Eventually all of BA’s Gatwick-based 777 aircraft will offer 10-across seating in Economy Class so, if at all possible, you should try to book departures out of London Heathrow.

The Heathrow fleet isn’t exactly amazing but will still be a lot better than the abomination that is soon to be offered out of Gatwick.

BA doesn’t allow you to view their seat maps before you book (another of the airline’s unfriendly practices) so you will either have to rely on the route information above or get a free trial subscription to a site like ExpertFlyer where you can check just how many seats there are in an Economy Class row on the aircraft you’re looking to book.

[HT: RoutesOnline for the great info]

Featured Image: BA 777-200 courtesy of Mark Harkin via Flickr