On my recent flight from Berlin to Heathrow I was mostly focused on taste-testing the new British Airways buy-on-board menu (spoiler alert: surprisingly good). I happened to be seated way in the back of the A319, at row 22. Typically I don’t go back that far but the flight was mostly empty and I wanted some room and quiet. Plus, sitting behind the wing makes for great views while flying.
I know the cabin layout isn’t particularly new but it has been a couple years since I was seated in economy on the type so this was the first time I’ve actually been to the back of the BA A319. My seat was fine, particularly with no one else within 6 rows of my seat. In that context I got exactly what I was looking for on board. But across the aisle was a scary, scary sight: Seats 25 A & B.
No recline. No window. Same shoddy legroom as the rest of the plane. And the fuselage begins to taper at the back there, leaving passengers even more tightly squeezed. On the plus side, only two seats there instead of the typical three. But also directly across from the lavatory. It reminds me of the infamous “stink shield” story of seat 29E.
Of course, British Airways is not alone in offering up such unfortunate seating options. Lufthansa’s A320 retrofit – along with its brand new A320neo aircraft – includes the new Space-Flex v2 galley/lavatory layout that also offers a windowless last row with narrower seats and no overhead bins.
And I’m sure the time will come that I’m stuck sitting in one of those tiny, cramped, window seats with no view. Just hopefully not too soon. Because that will really, really suck.