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Front and backwards facing Business class seating

Front and backwards facing Business class seating

Old Sep 29, 17, 6:45 pm
  #1  
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Front and backwards facing Business class seating

Apologies if this has already been addressed here. We recently flew LHR to IAD on BA 747 upper deck in front and backwards facing seats. I was a little worried upon booking but kept an open mind. Service was great, but if I have a choice, I will not book this configuration again. Traveling with my husband, he took the backward facing seat by the window with nice "niches" for storage. I was in the aisle seat. My only storage was overhead, no under seat in front to store items for takeoff and landing that I wanted access to during the flight. Lie flat bed was nice, but didn't feel as "private" from my across the aisle neighbor. It was awkward for the window seat person to step over the aisle person when seat was flat. Basically, I miss the big, business class seats that are 2, 2(or3), and 2 in business class as my husband and I always travel together across "the pond". Just curious why BA thinks the front facing/back facing configuration is a good idea.
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Old Sep 29, 17, 6:52 pm
  #2  
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no under seat in front to store items for takeoff and landing that I wanted access
Did you find the draw infront of you at the bottom ? Just wondering.

Just curious why BA thinks the front facing/back facing configuration is a good idea.
Probably so they came pack more seats in for profit.
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Old Sep 29, 17, 7:08 pm
  #3  
 
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Originally Posted by Sunny 1 View Post
]Just curious why BA thinks the front facing/back facing configuration is a good idea.
Yes, just the ability to squeeze more seats in I guess!

I also definitely find it weird to sit down and be inches from the face of a stranger before the partition is raised! But I do like the privacy of the window seats for the 90% of the flight when it's up, and on the upper deck that window cabinet can fit anything you need.

I try to avoid the aisle seats for the lack of privacy you mention.
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Old Sep 29, 17, 7:20 pm
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I prefer the backwards facing seats myself. The plane flies with the nose slightly high, so then when I'm sleeping my head is higher than my feet. It's also safer in the event of a crash, all the RAF transport planes have backwards facing seats for this reason.

When travelling as a couple it is nice to face each other and be able to chat.

Those are some of the high points of the BA configuration, there are plenty of downsides that have been discussed here at length. (Again and again and again)
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Old Sep 30, 17, 12:22 am
  #5  
 
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Travelling with my husband it is nice to face each other and we keep the divider down, I don’t think I would like it with a stranger though.
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Old Sep 30, 17, 12:27 am
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Originally Posted by Soupey202 View Post
Travelling with my husband it is nice to face each other and we keep the divider down, I donít think I would like it with a stranger though.
Would depend on the stranger
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Old Sep 30, 17, 1:31 am
  #7  
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Originally Posted by Soupey202 View Post
Travelling with my husband it is nice to face each other and we keep the divider down, I donít think I would like it with a stranger though.
You're not the first to raise this point, and I suppose there is an issue about proximity and directly facing the other passenger, but I do wonder how some people manage on trains, tubes or buses. One huge advantage of BA's set up is for almost all the flight you can just send the screen upwards, which isn't an option on most traditional side-by-side seating. Window seats really get the privacy that only suites can give, again something not widely available elsewhere. I find the Cathay seats very open on the aisle side, for example. But it's not for everyone. The relatively large number of CW seats - for example on the SuperJ 747s - means that more of us can afford to travel in business, it's certainly opened up the market.

For the OP and storage - yes that is a shortcoming on all BA's seating and your husband had an advantage present on relatively few CW seats of the side bins. The best solution I've heard (courtesy of CIHY) is a string bag with your various goodies, spectacles and what-not, then store it under the remote control inset or around the TV corner.
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Old Sep 30, 17, 1:50 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
You're not the first to raise this point, and I suppose there is an issue about proximity and directly facing the other passenger, but I do wonder how some people manage on trains, tubes or buses.

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This comes across as a very odd analogy to me.

Can't speak for others, but personally I 'manage' perfectly well on trains/tubes/buses - largely because I haven't bought a ticket costing several thousand pounds ; but also because such travel rarely (if ever) involves journeys lasting many hours at a stretch.

In stark contrast, when paying for business class travel, I have a very different set of preferences and parameters. And for me (as a frequently solo flyer), the configuration, the bizarre 'divider' arrangement, and poor personal storage facilitities offered by BA longhaul cabins compare unfavourably versus other OneWorld carriers.
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Old Sep 30, 17, 2:01 am
  #9  
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Originally Posted by subject2load View Post
This comes across as a very odd analogy to me...
snip

... largely because I haven't bought a ticket costing several thousand pounds ...

snip
Given I paid £70 for a one-hour first class train journey the other day and had the train been full I would have had someone facing me and sharing the table, with the seat that only had a tiny bit of recline, and no food or drink and no associated perks, I am not sure if that actually is an odd analogy at all.

Given how little many people on this forum pay for flights (good on them, although I am generally very unsuccessful), £70/hour is not far off what they pay for a fully flat seat and food and drink anyway (which is better than the train seat I had). In fact many here might even consider £70/hour for flights in CW as "I have not done very well at all in finding a decent fare".

It's pretty much about the hourly rate, I guess, and the hardware (clearly, the suburban train service in first class does not involve a flat bed) is what I am trying to say.
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Old Sep 30, 17, 2:05 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
You're not the first to raise this point, and I suppose there is an issue about proximity and directly facing the other passenger, but I do wonder how some people manage on trains, tubes or buses. One huge advantage of BA's set up is for almost all the flight you can just send the screen upwards, which isn't an option on most traditional side-by-side seating.
When in UK my work train journey is 40mins with a fare of £17 in the peak. If you are comparing this to a 6 hour plus journey in CW costing thousands then I would say it's possibly not the most realistic comparison in the annals of FT.

Other airlines seem to manage with a simple screen between seats and you don't have to do the hokey cokey with the screen every time service comes.

To be fair though the ying/yang was ground breaking when it arrived 15 years ago, its just that in the meantime it has been overtaken by almost every other LH airline....
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Old Sep 30, 17, 2:14 am
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I was in this configuration a few nights ago, AUH-LHR, in an aisle seat while my companion was in the middle facing back. My experience was very positive, perhaps because I was expecting the worst (as was my companion). I found the seat surprisingly comfortable and I actually had a good, although short, night on it. It wasn't too narrow as business seats often are (AB) and there were no weird lumps or joins (LX), the pillow was not too tiny (KL) and there was decent lumbar support.

The back to front design was no problem when watching IFE and my companion raised the divider when he went to sleep. I liked the way you could move the meal table back and forth so you were never a prisoner in the seat, especially during meal times. I used the drawer for storing valuables such as my glasses (lost my last pair forever down the side of an AB seat). It was the best business class flight experience I have had in the last year and a half and I rated it above the carriers bracketed above.
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Old Sep 30, 17, 2:44 am
  #12  
 
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One of the best things about he BA seat is that there is nothing above your feet. They're not in a coffin which, on some airlines like LX, can be horrible if you have even mild claustrophobia. BA's layout may be cramped in some ways but it's very open in other ways.
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Old Sep 30, 17, 2:45 am
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Normally I like to be across the divider from MrD, last flight we were across the aisle from each other in the aisle seats.
Apart from the high demands of my 'divider mate' on the crew and the fact he had to be told to sit down by a crew member moments after touchdown at LHR (which was roundly ignored- luckily I didn't end up with a case landing on my head).
I found it quite easy to ignore this rather boorish person before I promptly pressed the up button after the safety video.
It does surprise me how many people don't know that you can put the divider up after the video and sit there waiting for the seatbelt sign to go off.
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Old Sep 30, 17, 3:26 am
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Originally Posted by Sunny 1 View Post
Apologies if this has already been addressed here. We recently flew LHR to IAD on BA 747 upper deck in front and backwards facing seats. I was a little worried upon booking but kept an open mind. Service was great, but if I have a choice, I will not book this configuration again. Traveling with my husband, he took the backward facing seat by the window with nice "niches" for storage. I was in the aisle seat. My only storage was overhead, no under seat in front to store items for takeoff and landing that I wanted access to during the flight. Lie flat bed was nice, but didn't feel as "private" from my across the aisle neighbor. It was awkward for the window seat person to step over the aisle person when seat was flat. Basically, I miss the big, business class seats that are 2, 2(or3), and 2 in business class as my husband and I always travel together across "the pond". Just curious why BA thinks the front facing/back facing configuration is a good idea.
All your points are valid and to be honest they've been flogged to death here previously. I like the backward facing seat. The reason for the layout is clearly seat density and consequently the number you can sell and make money from. Because of this forum I'm aware of the seats that are considered desirable, 62AK and 64AK on the upper deck, great storage and privacy once the divider is up, and direct access. The oft voiced criticism is that a business seat should all be good, and you shouldn't need specific cabin knowledge to get things like access to your seat without stepping over a sleeping passenger next to you. Definitely things I like about BA compared to say AA, but each is good in different ways.
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Old Sep 30, 17, 3:50 am
  #15  
 
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Originally Posted by subject2load View Post
This comes across as a very odd analogy to me.

Can't speak for others, but personally I 'manage' perfectly well on trains/tubes/buses - largely because I haven't bought a ticket costing several thousand pounds ; but also because such travel rarely (if ever) involves journeys lasting many hours at a stretch.
Although (as you know?) the divider is only down for a small proportion of the flight, most of the time it is up. The analogy seems to hold up well to me.
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