I arrived at Gatwick’s North Terminal at 0625 for my 0735 departure on flight BA2622 to Nice. Having already checked in online, I proceeded straight to security, which was busy but well organised, and I was airside quickly.
After grabbing a coffee, I made my way to Gate 104 – a fair walk from departures – and arrived shortly before boarding started. Club Europe passengers were given priority. I was in my seat at 0720.
This A320 featured the new slimline seating that BA is installing on most of its short-haul fleet, manufactured by B/E Aerospace. The same seat is fitted throughout the aircraft, with the middle seat blocked by a central tray table in Club Europe.
This aircraft had 29 rows, with the first six rows on this flight being Club Europe, separated from the rest of the cabin by a movable curtain, and the rest Euro Traveller (economy class). Seats were labelled A-B-C, D-E-F – I was in 14B.
The new seat’s pitch is 30 inches in both business and economy. The width is 18 inches and, in economy, the recline is two inches (three inches in Club Europe). I am only five foot three, so the legroom was okay for me (see picture), but I did notice taller passengers looking cramped.
The seat looks smart and is upholstered in comfortable charcoal grey leather, with an adjustable headrest and movable armrests. There was a fold-down table and a plastic slot above it for storing newspapers. BA says you can hang a tablet computer from this slot to watch your own entertainment, but it wasn’t that apparent to me, and you would need an appropriate case for your device to do so.
There is also a mesh pocket at the bottom for small items, which jutted out once I put a bottle of water and newspaper in it, making the legroom tighter. (In comparison, I had flown on an Easyjet A320 fitted with new Recaro slimline seating a few days earlier and noticed that the pocket was built into an indent in the seatback, which seemed a cleverer use of space.)
The seat also has a coat hook on the side, but no in-seat power.
WHICH SEAT TO CHOOSE?
Exit rows 12 and 13 have more legroom. Avoid middle seats B and E, and the back row (29), as this is closest to the galley and washrooms.
We took off on time. Breakfast was served at 0755 and comprised a croissant, a pot of mango and passion fruit bircher muesli, orange juice, tea or coffee. Service was efficient.
We landed ahead of schedule at 1005 local time and were quickly off the aircraft and through immigration.
A solid, punctual short-haul service. The new leather seat is comfortable, although taller passengers will find the legroom tight.
Internet rates for a return economy flight from London Gatwick to Nice in June started from £71.