One thing that elevates the British Airways Club Europe experience over other European business class products is the middle seat table. This provides a dash of class and a handy place to put things such as mobile phones and drinks. I’m currently lamenting its loss.
With the advent of the new Airbus A320neo and Airbus A321neo aircraft, the Club Europe table is no more. The reason for this is the installation of in seat power. The box for this sits under the middle seat, so there’s no place to stow the table when it’s not in use.
Lamenting The Loss Of The Table
I recently had the pleasure of doing six flights in Club Europe with British Airways, five of which were on the new Neos. What I am used to, of course, is the table with its fine finish and cool detailing.
Without the table in the middle seat, the experience feels like you’re sitting in economy class, just with the luck of having the middle seat free. What do people do with this seat? It’s now become the storage place for jackets or newspapers.
Of course, all is not lost as the existing tray tables that pull down from the seat in front are available for use. However, it just isn’t nearly as premium an experience as the gorgeous tables.
With the pull down table in the down position, window seat passengers on the way to the toilet have some issues. Everything has to come off the tray in order to get out, which certainly wasn’t the case before.
While I am lamenting the loss of the table, I do hear that British Airways did wish to keep them. However, the story goes the seat manufacturer couldn’t add the in seat power and keep the table, it was one or the other. In our connected world, the power won out.
All this does is make the product a little more common, and brings it down towards other European business class products. Since the new Neos are taking over, we won’t be seeing a middle seat table for a long time, if ever.
Have you experienced the British Airways A320neo or A321neo in Club Europe? How do you find the loss of the table compared to before? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
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Featured image by Anna Zvereva, Tallinn, Estonia via Wikimedia Commons.
Is Lufthansa also ditching them on the new aircraft? They are also adding power (though USB only).
I am not entirely sure what is happening with Lufthansa to tell you the truth. You’d think the same issue would be experienced, but then they may well be different seat manufacturers. If you find out, please let me know!
Whilst I sympathise, I surely the loss of pitch, cabin cleaning and reliable catering or the failure to introduce reliable/consistent wifi are more significant than the middle seat table?
They could well be issues that are also important, but that would be for a different article, I expect. Thank you for the comment!