British Airways should go into the sardine packing business, as it has certainly pioneered the practice on its shorthaul flights.
A couple thoughts. First, let’s always keep things in context. I’m incredibly thankful for the opportunity to fly, even on BA, so please see this post as a bit of tongue and cheek humor rather than an angry diatribe. But while I am not angry, I am serious: I will make every effort to avoid BA economy on flights within Europe going forward.
I always use Avios to buy last-minute tickets within Europe. When business class is available, I will spend the extra miles. But for last Friday’s flight, only economy class awards were available. Fine, I thought. I just wanted to get to my wife and son as quickly as possible.
My Airbus A321 from London to Basel was packed full and I wound up in row 31. Again, fine I thought. It’s a 90-minute flight. But I wound up with an aircraft in which BA cut the legroom to 29″ in order to squeeze in another row. I cannot underscore how much a few inches of legroom make.
It was so uncomfortable and I’m only 6’1″. To make matters worse, BA did not eliminate recline on these seats and my neighbor in front quickly reclined his seat. I was so jammed into the window seat that I had to pivot my body sideways and sit in a diagonal position with my knees still scraping the seatback in front of me.
Open my laptop? Please…there was no room when the seat in front was reclined.
So I just sat there for an hour, much like a sardine in a can.
And of course British Airways does not even offer complimentary water onboard these flights…
Obviously I’m still here. I survived. My knees survived. But my A321 experience on Wizz Air was far more pleasant a couple weeks back. This was truly an uncomfortable flight.
Will I ever fly BA shorthaul economy again? I suppose. If I must. But truly only if I must. Spending the extra 3-4.5K miles for business class on shorthaul flights makes a great deal of sense considering it guarantees you an open middle seat.