I’ve just landed in London, after traveling from Los Angeles. I flew on a British Airways A380 seated in Club World. Overall, it was a very pleasant experience, a good mixed-fleet crew, and a decent seat/product/service.
There’s one thing I really don’t like about the Club World seat, though. It’s a huge design flaw, and something that I think British Airways should have taken into account when designing the seat.
For those that don’t know, British Airways Club World seats are staggered, with those on the window facing backwards, and those on the aisle facing forwards. What this does is cause you to stare into your neighbors eyes when your privacy screen is down.
The privacy screen must be kept down for taxi, takeoff and landing, and is often lowered by the cabin crew during meal service, in order for them to easily access your seating compartment. When it’s down, you awkwardly have to make eye contact with the person across from you. If you’re seated across from a loved one, of course there would be no issue, but for a solo traveler, I think this is a very odd concept.
With the gentlemen across from me, I found several thoughts going through our heads:
- Who was going to close the privacy first. No one wanted to seem to push the button first.
- I felt as if I was bothering him during meal service, as the cabin crew needed to pass plates and drinks through.
- When the screen was lowered for take-off and landing, there was a clear attempt by me to stare out the window, and him to stare at the aisle, to avoid looking at each other.
With the screen lowered, and meal service beginning, you can see the angle which you’d be looking at. Again, very awkward.
Fortunately, the screen can be kept up at all other times, so it does work when it’s allowed, and does provide some considerable privacy.
While I know the Club World seat was specifically designed for business travelers, or couples, I think British Airways could have taken into account that a large market of their travelers will be flying solo, and that they wouldn’t prefer to have a starring competition with the person across from them.
Other than that, it was a decent product and service, and one I would certainly fly again. I’ll have a full review soon, but for now, that’s my initial thoughts.
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