Passengers may have to prepare themselves for aching necks as popular airline British Airways does away with reclining seats for short distance trips.
The airline’s spokesperson confirmed the reports to The Telegraph. The official says the seats will make things comfortable for all passengers, as the inability to lean too far back and will ensure that the seats don’t disturb other customers. The spokesperson continued to say all the seats will have a “gentle recline” option. The airline though is yet to confirm their definition of "gentle".
This will apply to flights lasting four hours or less. It is said the BA plans to install the seats into the airline's new fleet of 35 Airbus A320neos and A321n, that will start operating this year.
The spokesperson explained saying “As well as new long-haul aircraft, we have 35 brand new short-haul planes arriving over the next five years,”. “The new aircraft will have brand new seats set to a gentle recline to ensure everyone in the cabin enjoys a comfortable journey.”
Though this may not be ideal to customers, the airline also announced they will add new amenities including “at-seat power throughout the aircraft" and onboard Wi-Fi. “These changes will also allow us to offer more low fares to customers,” the spokesperson said.
However, this may not be persuasive enough to lure people into booking British Airways. The removal of seats by the airline is one a few changes made by the company. It stopped its food service for short-haul flights in January 2017 and it replaced the second meal on its economy “World Traveller” menu with a fun-sized candy bar in 2016.
The airline however has not yet confirmed whether reclining seats will also be removed in short-distance flights in South Africa.