First it was food and drinks, now it is seat pitch. British Airways plans to reduce the seat pitch on its A320 and A321 aircraft from 30″ to 29″. That’s less room than Ryanair!
I’ll start with my conclusion: I think this is a horrible idea. The plan is to add 12 more seats (two more rows) by reducing seat pitch throughout the plane by 1″. This will be done on Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft serving shorthaul destinations within Europe.
I get that British Airways must compete with its low-cost rivals, but how low can you go? This retrofit will mean Ryanair can boast more legroom than British Airways. Yes, I can see the glib face of Michael O’Leary (Ryanair CEO) mocking British Airways for matching EasyJet in the seat pitch department. And he should…
What’s rich is the comment from BA–
From next year we’re making a small increase to the number of seats on our A320 and A321 fleet so we can keep fares low. Customers fly with us because we offer quality and value in all areas.’
So we can keep fares low?
I reference an article I wrote many months back entitled British Airways’ Curious Strategy for Growth. This policy of death by a thousand cuts is mind-numbingly stupid unless we are going to start seeing £19 fares on British Airways. We won’t.
But who knows…Profit was up last year at British Airways, despite a weak GBP. I still think it will backfire big time when fuel prices rise again.
British Airways proudly displays the “To Fly, To Serve” slogan on the side of each aircraft. If it is going to continue to chip away any semblance of service, it ought to do the right thing and scratch out the second part of the motto.