Expat, I have to say I experienced the new narrower seats on the 737 for the first time last weekend, and am now in total agreement with your dissatisfaction.
I did experience the narrower seats last month on an airbus, and though not ideal, they weren’t narrow to the point of discomfort.
But the 737s, being that bit narrower to start with, are to be avoided.
I wrote to BA on this matter:
May-09 GATWICK LON – KRAKOW (C/I)
May-09 KRAKOW – GATWICK LON (C/I)
I just wanted to register my dissatisfaction about the new “enhanced” narrower Club Europe seating arrangements.
Though you state in your publicity that each passenger has “more individual space” in fact the new “non-converted” seats are EXACTLY the same width as those in EuroTraveller.
On longer sectors when it helps to sleep, or recline and read the paper, being able to stretch out and sit slightly diagonally makes all the difference.
For the more amply furnished businessman, the new seats are a significant regression in comfort. I know because they have told me so.
I have taken almost 40 flights with you since 1 January, and usually fly about 8 sectors on Club Europe per annum. I usually enjoy the excellent on board service and professional crew.
The right thing to do would be to continue not selling the middle seat on the DEF side, except when capacity demands it, and retain the widened convertible seats as was the case previously.
Thankfully you have ditched the ridiculous propoganda ”magazine rack” doilies which graced the seat backs of the newly emptied middle seats.
As a shareholder, I fail to see where this new arrangement creates any value, as you now lose the potential sale of one CE seat in each row, which surely reduces the overall capacity of the aircraft,.
This must be a particular frustration to those high value last minute flexible CE ticket customers who cannot get a seat on a busy Friday afternoon flight home, where before they might have stood a chance.
Surely this revenue offsets the cost of an engineer performing this work, or even a redesign of the seat on your new airbus aircraft which would allow the crew to convert the seats themselves.
The crewmember staffing CE on the outbound flight did a minimal cabin service and retreated to read the Daily Mail in the Galley for the rest of the flight.
However, the inbound sector was a perfect BA experience and the excellent crewmember in CE (Christina?) went above and beyond the call of duty, making regular passes through the cabin, on top of dealing calmly and professionally with an unwell passenger and another on board emergency. I would be most grateful if would would pass on my thanks to her – well done!
I do very much hope you will take comments of people like me into account when you are reviewing this policy of 2+2 in Club Europe, especially in the 737 fleet.
Willie Walsh is saying he has only experienced two written complaints on the new set up, so maybe you and I are in the minority on this one?