Using points and miles is going to become more important as economy is certainly going to get a lot worse. I respect the companies and people around the world who know when enough is enough, and Airbus just said “Oh garçon, I would like another please”. Though it has faltered massively in picking up any new sales or tapping into many European markets, the A380 was a triumphant win for Airbus in its inception. Rather than continue on with retrofitting, fuel efficiencies and innovation, Airbus got the wild idea to fit one more seat across in Economy. 

To do so, Airbus has slightly raised the outer three seats nearest the fuselage to take advantage of the wider part of the donut. The end result is that Airbus is going to put me back to work. I just did a post detailing the best economy seats in the world and there were a fair few which featured width between 19-22 inches on the A380. Any airline that adapts these new seats will have about 20 more seats to sell but will now offer an absolute maximum of 18 inch width. How would you like to be one of five people squeezed in the middle aisle? Yikes. A reader recently thought I was joking when I said that Airbus’s dream is to have all economy passengers standing at an angle on bicycle seats. Clearly this puts them one step closer. 

I give temporary conditional major credit to the European and Gulf carriers who have expressed more interest in new engines from Rolls Royce than on squeezing passengers. You can expect many of the initial deliveries of this true sardine class to be Asian budget carriers attempting to take a large slice (and number of passengers) into the fast growing Asian budget travel market. 

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