BA’s 10 abreast economy Boeing 777 at Gatwick in 2018

In 2018, BA will increase the number of economy seats on some Boeing 777 aircraft at London Gatwick from 9 to 10 seats a row. Here are details of the routes on which the reconfigured Boeing 777s will operate in 2018.

London Air Travel » Boeing 777

BA World Traveller cabin on LGW based Boeing 777 aircraft
BA World Traveller cabin on LGW based Boeing 777 aircraft (Image Credit: British Airways)

A little over 12 months ago BA announced that it would, to use its lexicon, “densify” a select number of its Boeing 777-200 aircraft.

In short, this means that the number of seats in the World Traveller economy cabin would increase from 9 to 10 a row.

At the same time, BA will also increase the number of World Traveller Plus premium economy seats and decrease the number of Club World business class seats. The refurbished Boeing 777s are expected to enter operation at London Gatwick in 2018.

BA's initial plan to reconfigure London Gatwick Boeing 777s - November 2016 (Image Credit: International Airlines Group)
BA’s initial plan to reconfigure London Gatwick Boeing 777s – November 2016 (Image Credit: International Airlines Group)

Initially, up to 25 Boeing 777s will be subject to “densification”. However, you can be confident that the financial performance of refurbished aircraft and customer feedback scores will be monitored very closely.

How do I know if I will be flying on a “densified” Boeing 777?

BA has not yet updated its general guidance seat maps on its website to include the reconfigured Boeing 777s.

Update: Please see here for images of the refurbished aircraft which was unveiled on Monday 5 March 2018.

However, if you are flying on a 9 abreast Boeing 777 you should see the following cabin configurations on the seat map for your reservation in the Manage My Booking tool:

Club World – Rows 1 – 11 (40 seats)
World Traveller Plus – Rows 12 – 14 (24 seats)
World Traveller – Rows 16 – 40 (3-3-3 configuration)

If you are flying on a 10 abreast Boeing 777 you should see the following cabin configurations on the seat map for your reservation in the Manage My Booking tool:

Club World – Rows 1 – 4 (32 seats)
World Traveller Plus – Rows 10 – 16 (52 seats)
World Traveller – Rows 20 – 46 (3-4-3 configuration)
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BA to increase economy seat density on selected Boeing 777s

London Air Travel » Boeing 777

British Airways has confirmed at the Capital Markets Day of its parent company, International Airlines Group, that it is to increase the density of seating on selected long-haul Boeing 777 aircraft from 9 to 10 seats a row in its World Traveller economy cabin.

This move will be implemented on 25 Boeing 777 aircraft which is understood to be all of BA’s Boeing 777s at London Gatwick and selected Boeing 777s at London Heathrow. It will add an additional 36 economy seats to the aircraft.

BA will also reduce the size of the Club World business class cabin from 40 to 32 seats and increase the size of the World Traveller Plus premium economy cabin from 24 to 42 seats on these aircraft.

The reconfigured aircraft are expected to enter service in 2018.

This is in fact not the first time BA has implemented  10-across seating in World Traveller economy as many Gatwick based Boeing 777 aircraft had this configuration in the 1990s.

There are no plans to increase the density on other long-haul aircraft. However, you can be confident that BA will be monitoring closely passenger feedback and the financial performance of routes with the increased seating density.

This is no doubt a competitive response to both the growth of Norwegian at London Gatwick and many other airlines which have similar configurations on Boeing 777 aircraft.

Whilst the airline will no doubt say this is a necessary competitive move, it will mean a more crowded cabin, less overhead baggage space, lower crew-passenger ratios, and more queues for the washrooms.

On a similar note, BA also hints that its long-haul economy product may be “unbundled” with separate charges for items such as checked bags for certain fates, as has happpend on short-haul. If this does happen, it is likely to operate on a trial basis, initially at London Gatwick.

You can view the full slide deck from the Capital Markets Day here.

Update February 2018: Here are details of the routes on which the densified Boeing 777s are expected to operate.

BA to reconfigure selected Boeing 777s at Heathrow and Gatwick

London Air Travel » Boeing 777

British Airways Boeing 777 at London Heathrow
British Airways Boeing 777 at London Heathrow (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has today announced, at the annual Capital Markets Day of its parent company International Airlines Group, that is to reconfigure selected Boeing 777 long-haul aircraft at both its bases at London Gatwick and London Heathrow.

At London Gatwick, on five Boeing 777-200 aircraft the size of the Club World business class cabin will be reduced in size from 48 seats to increase overall seating capacity on the aircraft by 10%.

IAG has not yet specified how many Club World seats will be removed and how many additional World Traveller Plus premium economy seats and World Traveller economy seats will be added.

However, it seems that BA has ruled out increasing the density of the World Traveller economy cabin from 9 seats to 10 seats per row. IAG has not stated whether it will also make any other changes to these aircraft, such as upgrading aircraft interiors and in flight entertainment systems.

At London Heathrow, nine four class Boeing 777-200ER aircraft will be converted to three class aircraft. The first class cabin will be removed to increase the overall number of seats by 25%. Again, IAG has not yet specified how many seats will be added to each of the other three cabins. Nor has IAG stated which London Heathrow routes will have first class removed.
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BA moves London Heathrow – Tel Aviv route back to Terminal 5

Just under a year ago, as part of a reshuffle of flights between London Heathrow terminals as British Airways digested its acquisition of bmi, BA decided to move all of its flights to Tel Aviv from Terminal 5 to Terminal 1, with all flights operated by an Airbus A321 aircraft.

This proved to be unpopular with passengers for three main reasons:

1. The switch to Terminal 1 meant no access to BA’s Galleries Club and First lounges in Terminal 5 and a change in terminals for the majority of transfer passengers.

2. The switch from three/four class widebody aircraft to a two class (economy and business class) aircraft.

3. The change in aircraft meant that no premium economy product was available on this route and members of the British Airways Executive Club could not use frequent flyer miles (“Avios”) to upgrade to business class (Club World).

BA has now reversed this decision and from Sunday 30 March 2014 all flights to Tel Aviv will operate from Terminal 5. Flights will operate twice daily, with an Airbus A321 aircraft and a four class Boeing 777 aircraft.

It has not been confirmed whether any routes will move from Terminal 5 to 1 to accommodate the move.

Terminal 1 is due to close in Spring 2016, at which point it is expected that BA’s flights will be consolidated in Terminals 3 and 5.