British Airways introduces low-cost fares and squeezes cabin space on long-haul flights

The carrier will add another 12 seats into the new World Traveller section making long-haul flights less comfortable

Passengers travelling from Gatwick with British Airways will soon have to be prepared for a squeeze in the cabin as the carrier has announced a new generation of premium economy and economy seats.

The World Traveller layout will mean adding 12 more seats into the cabin — British Airways low cost
12 more seats will be added to the World Traveller cabin — British Airways

The carrier has designed the World Traveller and World Traveller Plus section, that is supposed to change the whole in-flight experience.  

British Airways will also be rolling out no-frills basic fares on certain transatlantic routes. These will not include baggage or the ability to choose a seat.

However, BA will still be offering a free meal on basic tickets, something neither WOW Air, nor Norwegian offer. BA is hoping to put pressure on the low-cost long-haul and retain its market share on the routes.

While the airline has installed more elegant seats, with six-way adjustable headrests, and leg and footrests in World Traveller Plus and 50 per cent larger in-flight screens in all sections, they forgot to mention that the new seats will decrease the space available in the cabin by 10 per cent.

“The six three-class Boeing 777 aircraft will be completed by winter 2018, with the three four-class variations finishing by summer 2019,” the carrier said in a press release.

The screens for in-flight entertainment will be 50 per cent larger — British Airways low-cost
The screens for in-flight entertainment will be 50 per cent larger — British Airways

“The first routes to enjoy the fully refreshed aircraft will bePunta Cana, Cancun and Kingston, Jamaica, before it is gradually rolled out across all of British Airways’ 22 long-haul routes from Gatwick.”

The in-house designed World Traveller section will have 10 seats in a row, instead of their current Boeing 777’s layout of 3-3-3 seat formation. This new seat placement will therefore mean that the cabin will have 12 seats more.

“The World Traveller Plus, on the other hand, will be doubled from 24 to 52 seats, while the Club World cabin will be reduced from 40 to 32 seats,” the airline added.

“In April 2018, we will be introducing a new long-haul basic economy fare on selected transatlantic routes. The new fare will give customers a lower price point and more choice.”

Experts are afraid, that adding another 12 seats into the section might make the 11 hours long flights less comfortable.

“The drawback is a combination of physical discomfort and a sense of overcrowding,” travel writer Simon Calder told the Daily Telegraph.