British Airways Economy flyers will soon feel slightly more claustrophobic while in the air. In fact, for many short-haul flights, travelers will soon have less room than they would on Ryanair. Next year, the carrier will decrease seat pitch on some of its planes, just to squeeze in a few more seats.
On short-haul flights on the Airbus A320 and Airbus A321, the airline will add two additional rows of seats. Currently, the A320 has 28 rows and it offers 30 inches of seat pitch, which will go down to 29 inches once the changes are made. The A321 has 35 rows at the moment and its seat pitch will also decrease from 30 to 29 inches.
Compared to low-cost carrier Ryanair, British Airways flyers lose out as Ryanair offers 30 inches of pitch. EasyJet, another low-cost carrier, offers 29 inches.
By trying to compete with low-cost carriers, British Airways has made a lot of changes. It started scaling back its meal service on some transatlantic flights and even got rid of free snacks and drinks on short-haul flights from London. In theory, with reduced amenities and less space, ticket prices should come down.
The airline will be flying to more than 78 short-haul locations this year, and fares start from as low as £39 ($48 USD). Most of these flights will use the A320 and A321, so flyers who are getting good deals will have to give up some seat space in exchange in the near future.