All airlines have a unique selling point or USP, such as Qatar Airways’ much lauded Qsuites or the showers in Emirates first class. While these are quite obvious, there are other more subtle ways an airline projects quality.

Aer Lingus are generally considered to be a better calibre airline in the Irish market than the competition. The service is often cited as one reason, but there is also another important one.

The Subtle USP That Is Going Away

Recently I’ve started paying more attention to seat comfort when on a flight. This came about due to an American Airlines domestic flight where the seats were horrifically uncomfortable.

European flights on Aer Lingus are usually serviced by the Airbus A320 on flights ranging from an hour to four and a half hours in length. The seats are quite comfortable and have been around for a long time.

Recently I took a flight from London Heathrow to Dublin which had newer seats installed. These are slimline, lightweight seats that feel like you’re sitting on an ironing board. They have no padding and are really very uncomfortable, even for an hour and a half.

Seat comfort is a relatively subtle point of differentiation when it comes to the product. However, if you’re going to market yourself above the competition, moving from comfortable padded seats to uncomfortable bleachers is probably not the best idea.

Overall Thoughts

There are some new Airbus A320neo aircraft on the way, and the reported seat count seems to suggest more of the modern uncomfortable chairs for passengers to sit in. Bad news for anyone who has to sit in them on a long flight to the Canary Islands for example.

I totally understand that the new seats save space so more can be put on board, and I am also aware that the lighter weight means more fuel efficiency. However we have really reached the limit of what human tolerance can stand when it comes to minimums in airline seating.

It would be a shame if the halo effect of the comfort and service of Aer Lingus was eroded due to the subtle shift in seat types. I noticed it immediately on my last flight and I daresay other frequent flyers will also clock it straight away. Let’s hope we all just deal with it and don’t switch to the competition.

What do you think of the new slimline seating that is creeping in at Aer Lingus? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

Like planes? See my “Does anyone remember” series.
Flight reviews your thing? Mine are all indexed here.
Follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.