Wouldn’t it be wonderful if BA economy passengers could metamorphose themselves just like a tadpole? You see, when they first hatch from their egg tadpoles have a laterally compressed tail, which is later reabsorbed as they grow. Similarly, if economy passengers could retract their arms and legs and bend their spine into ridiculous positions, it would probably free half of the aircraft and the newly available space could be used by Club passengers in need of a refreshing walk throughout the flight. Just imagine them leisurely strolling along as if on a promenade (amidst a piano and a flower garden), while taking pictures of the compressed economy passengers trying to feed themselves with their hands locked behind their backs. No need for safaris in Africa anymore.
Brace yourselves. BA economy seats are set to get even smaller. The entertainment screens, on the other hand, are to get bigger. And that’s not all: the lucky passenger will also find a USB socket at his seat for charging their mobile. I feel reassured. At least we’ll be able to call home to inform our relatives that, after hours squeezing in our baby-seats on a long haul flight, we seem to have inexplicably lost movement of our legs. “But hey mum”, we might add, “I’ve just watched The Crossing of Delaware and the screen was so big that for one moment I thought I was right there with George Washington!”. Then we’re removed from the plane on a stretcher while still marveling at the cinematic experience BA has just afforded us, our eyes glazing over and our mum crying on the other side of the line.
Truth be told, it is perfectly understandable that BA wishes to compete with Norwegian, but the problem is, not everyone can pay for premium, and not everyone is short. I’m 5 foot 3. Last time I flew from London to Brazil there was a 6 foot 5 man squashed in the aisle next to me. Squashed for 12 hours. What if that man cannot afford premium economy? Is he supposed to forget all about his spine while watching Bambi in BA’s wonderfully oversized entertainment screen?
Listen, I know I can’t blame the airlines for many things. My inadequacies for instance. Yes, I’m an awkward person. In fact, I harbour serious suspicions that I was dropped on my head as soon as I entered this world. I’ve questioned my mum minutialy on the matter but so far I couldn’t get to the bottom of it. So no, airlines are not to blame for my blunders, but one thing they should take responsibility for: the size of those chairs on economy class is simply ridiculous. And when a woman is born just to be dropped on her head (controversially), then goes through life just to meet one mishap after another, oh I’m sorry, but this woman is not amused by BA recent plans to make economy seats even smaller.
Travel writer Simon Calder elegantly remarked that the drawback of smaller seats will be “a combination of physical discomfort and a sense of overcrowding”. Very well said. And I believe that another drawback of smaller seats is the likelihood of getting to my destination in need of physiotherapy (and probably psychological treatment) for the rest of my life.
So, I may not know if the doctor dropped me on my head (mum still denies this vehemently by the way) and she always gives me the same answer (so it must be true as I would detect incongruences if the story changed each time), and as I said airlines are not to blame for my blunders, but they should be accountable for their own blunders, and I’d say that treating passengers with such disregard for their wellbeing is far from correct behaviour.
All British Airways long-haul flights from Gatwick are set to have smaller seats from next year. Oh wow, USB sockets for all.
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