BA plans new business seat after ‘falling behind’

BA plans new business seat after ‘falling behind’

British Airways will replace it’s long-haul premium Club World seat and provide fleet-wide Wi-Fi in addition to a £400 million upgrade of its premium cabin service, product and lounges.

Announcing the decision “to move away away from our existing Club seats”, BA chief executive Alex Cruz said yesterday: “We’re falling behind our competitors. It’s time to change.‎”

BA was the first airline to introduce flat beds in business class 20 years ago.

Cruz gave no details other than to say: “The seat will have full aisle access for all passengers. It has to.”

He said: “It’s going to take some time. Unlike some of our competitors we’re not going to over-promise.”

‎Cruz also confirmed plans to offer Wi-Fi across BA’s long and short-haul fleets by 2019 and revealed the likely charges to passengers.

Fees for browsing will start from £4.99 and for streaming from £7.99, charged by the hour, two hours or for a flight.

However, Cruz said: “We have no idea how the pricing model will evolve.”

The moves come on top of BA’s £400 million investment in its Club experience already announced.

Cruz said: “We’re changing the overall quality of the experience, starting with the food and drink.

“We’re going to change the service routine to maximise sleep time‎, to give the longest possible sleep on a route like Boston-Heathrow.”

The new premium dining will be launched on the Heathrow-New York route in September.

Cruz acknowledged criticism of BA’s short-haul catering which moved to a paid-for menu of Marks & Spencer food items 12 weeks ago.

But he insisted sales had risen since a poor first few days.

Cruz said: “We’re a premium airline‎, but we don’t give up on price-conscious passengers.”

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