G-MEDK Painful Flight

Old Oct 5, 19, 1:48 am
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G-MEDK Painful Flight

So a couple of weeks ago I was fortunate enough to go on a trip to Lanzarote and enjoy some hot sunshine before this horrible UK autumn set in, unfortunately my plane was a CY180 high density A320 G-MEDK.

ive flown many a BA A320 on shorter flights and with the old style seating and lower density seating and have been quite comfortable

I usually enjoy the back row but didn’t want to risk a windowless aisle so booked 27A and from the moment I sat down I knew this wasn’t going to be a pleasant flight. The seat space was so tight plus the actual 💺 felt like I was sitting on an ironing board. Exit row seats were already booked up and TBH the surcharge is a rip,off.

Cue 4 hours of a numb bum, cramp and numbness in lower legs and a painful lower back. I seriously do not know how they can get away with this and now I hear the extra 2 back rows along with club upfront are causing a “potential” flight safety issue.


It has made me think twice about flying BA for longer flights and especially as my flight back was on a Jet2 737-800 which was far more comfortable and the crew were far more friendly and welcoming. The 737 cabin also felt more spacious than the quite confined A320. BA crew only seem to care IME about Club although BA pilots still have the best PA, although Jet2 was quite close.

It has made me think twice about flying BA, it’s only really the option of Avios bookings and slightly better flight times than the low costs to some destinations that would make me use them again.

I realise I’m in a minority as being 6”2’ so BA and most likely most on here probably couldn’t give 2 hoots but any pretence that they are a “flag carrier” with service and comfort to match are long gone.

sorry for an anti BA rant so early on a Saturday....
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Old Oct 5, 19, 2:26 am
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G-MEDK is an unusual one, I think it has Super-slim lines in the back and old bmi seats up front. When flying BA it’s usually best to pick seats forward of the exits as they have more legroom and are more comfortable. I appreciate the refusal traveller will not know this, however.
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Old Oct 5, 19, 3:01 am
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It's a bit more complex then that. What we seem to be talking about here is the Recaro SL3510 used by BA, IB, VY in their more recent Airbus refits, it's also used by other airlines such as easyJet. A previous Recaro, BL3520, is used by Lufthansa as their NEK seating and doesn't have many fans. I am still doing the measuring (it's not easy getting on to the Recaro SL3510, BA keep moving me to CE) but from what I can make out they do have slightly more knee room than the more compressed Pinnacles for example. In other words the seats are slimmer but they haven't condensed the seating by all the space freed by that slimming process. The exBMI are also another, older sort of Recaro but slightly more generous than the worst Pinnacle. Leg room would theoretically be less with Recaro SL3510 but at 6ft 2in that shouldn't come into play except in particular seating positions (i.e. slouching).

All BA's short haul seats are pretty much equally wide at 45cm, and that hasn't changed in many years.

So going into the details of the OP's complaint, the biggest factor seems to be these seats are extremely thin and the manufacturer would point to various things they have done with the fibres and composites to make up for the total removal of padding. Essentially they use netting material instead of foam padding, plus adding springiness to the composite seat. Incidentally the padding in the exBMI seats is pretty woeful in my view, presumably thanks to the aircrafts' heavy usage. Now the seating is on paper at least better for the back than previous seats, but particularly over a longer flight many will find it too hard. On a shorthaul aircraft this isn't the easiest thing, but people should really get up midflight and move around a bit to improve their circulation if they start feeling numb. Getting numb can hide other problems.

So I think the OP prefers the old style foam padding used on 737s (Jet2's aircraft are fairly long in the tooth), and isn't going to like the probably unavoidable trend towards using netting material.
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Old Oct 5, 19, 3:11 am
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Originally Posted by RyanLHR View Post
So a couple of weeks ago I was fortunate enough to go on a trip to Lanzarote and enjoy some hot sunshine before this horrible UK autumn set in, unfortunately my plane was a CY180 high density A320 G-MEDK.

ive flown many a BA A320 on shorter flights and with the old style seating and lower density seating and have been quite comfortable

I usually enjoy the back row but didn’t want to risk a windowless aisle so booked 27A and from the moment I sat down I knew this wasn’t going to be a pleasant flight. The seat space was so tight plus the actual 💺 felt like I was sitting on an ironing board. Exit row seats were already booked up and TBH the surcharge is a rip,off.

Cue 4 hours of a numb bum, cramp and numbness in lower legs and a painful lower back. I seriously do not know how they can get away with this and now I hear the extra 2 back rows along with club upfront are causing a “potential” flight safety issue.


It has made me think twice about flying BA for longer flights and especially as my flight back was on a Jet2 737-800 which was far more comfortable and the crew were far more friendly and welcoming. The 737 cabin also felt more spacious than the quite confined A320. BA crew only seem to care IME about Club although BA pilots still have the best PA, although Jet2 was quite close.

It has made me think twice about flying BA, it’s only really the option of Avios bookings and slightly better flight times than the low costs to some destinations that would make me use them again.

I realise I’m in a minority as being 6”2’ so BA and most likely most on here probably couldn’t give 2 hoots but any pretence that they are a “flag carrier” with service and comfort to match are long gone.

sorry for an anti BA rant so early on a Saturday....
I've flown a few different carriers on SH recently, some with the more traditional fat seat, some with slim seat and densified aircraft, some with slim seat but no additional seats..... For anything sub 2. 5 hours, slim non densified wins as you get fractionally more room, for longer than that the traditional seat still wins IMHO for comfort and it has no less space than densified thin seat frames - at least not that I can notice.

TBH SH flying is worse than taking a train from a comfort perspective, there doesn't seem to be any good way to do it unless you want to pay for CE all the time. Really, for me it's a case of least worst option normally.
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Old Oct 5, 19, 3:12 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
So I think the OP prefers the old style foam padding used on 737s (Jet2's aircraft are fairly long in the tooth), and isn't going to like the probably unavoidable trend towards using netting material.
Jet2 do have some very old aircraft still hanging around, but they have been taking delivery of their own new planes for a few years now, so that more than 50% of the 737-800 fleet is actually less than 3 years old. So the OP could well have been on one of their very new planes.
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Old Oct 5, 19, 3:44 am
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My jet2 plane was under 2 years old.
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Old Oct 5, 19, 4:33 am
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Ah well... Jet2 for your future flights it is then!
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Old Oct 5, 19, 5:14 am
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Does MEDK still have no window at 1F or has that been fixed?
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Old Oct 5, 19, 5:21 am
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Originally Posted by srbrenna View Post
Does MEDK still have no window at 1F or has that been fixed?
Fixed, there is now a window at 1F, more information towards the end of this thread:
G-MEDK
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Old Oct 5, 19, 7:26 am
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Originally Posted by RyanLHR View Post
The 737 cabin also felt more spacious than the quite confined A320.
This is an interesting observation given the A320's interior width is 17cm (~7in) wider than the 737NG.
Wondering if the overhead's position helps with this, or if the 737 just has a narrower aisle?
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Old Oct 5, 19, 7:43 am
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Is Jet 2 doing ok? I get the feeling the airline industry is going to consolidate ever more. It's a shame, but with the growth of aviation I am hopeful that most people will get jobs at other growing airlines or be absorbed into when buyouts etc occur. In these situations I only feel bad for the staff, could care less about passengers, you book a bad airline, you pay the consequences if things go wrong.

Reffering to the OP, yes avoid the back rows in any plane really, they are usually the worst seats in an aircraft! Even turbulence is felt more in the back, you are close to the bathrooms, and if the boarding is only from the front; well good luck with that!

Since I usually refuse to pay for BA billionaire seating, I always have fun and games when I board the plane last assuming I have any hand luggage, usually I ditch it in the CE cabin.
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Old Oct 5, 19, 8:22 am
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I flew Jet2 for the first time this week, return flights to Las Palmas (frm EDI) and was mightily impressed. Ok both aircraft were under 2 years old, but the way the seats are designed gives great legroom and while they are a little small cushion wise they are perfectly ok, even for a person of size who I was travelling with. The crew were great in both directions and while it could never be described as a premium experience, for a 5 hour charter flight its was perfectly acceptable and the best charter experience I have had.
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Old Oct 5, 19, 8:37 am
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Originally Posted by RyanLHR View Post
My jet2 plane was under 2 years old.
That would have meant you were in an Acro Series 3 seat, and indeed to get on to the narrower fuselage of the 737 is it over 1 cm narrower (43.4 cm) than BA's seating. It has more padding than the SL3510 but it's quite a sturdy seat, with a hard back extrusion on to the seat behind, so some will find their knees getting a knock from that. It's not a bad seat, these things tend to be about balancing / compromising customer comfort with cost, weight and space, and the Acro seating is just into customer comfort overall. But I can see airlines being unimpressed by the weight on the chassis.

Originally Posted by ahmetdouas View Post
Is Jet 2 doing ok? I.
I'm not a finance expert, but they are 100% owned by Dart Group plc, which doesn't appear to be as heavily indebted as Thomas Cook, Dart has more assets than liabilities, is profitable, and its share price is towards the top end of its previous performance. In other words it looks to be that investors think Jet2 may well be picking up some useful business from the TC collapse.
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Last edited by corporate-wage-slave; Oct 5, 19 at 12:20 pm
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Old Oct 5, 19, 11:26 am
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Originally Posted by YacozA View Post
This is an interesting observation given the A320's interior width is 17cm (~7in) wider than the 737NG.
Wondering if the overhead's position helps with this, or if the 737 just has a narrower aisle?
yes I know and was surprised by that too.

at the end of the day we can look at stats,measurement etc but it’s the real world experience that matters and for myself the comfort level or lack of on BA compared to Jet2 was quite a leap.
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Old Oct 5, 19, 11:35 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
That would have meant you were in an Acro Series 3 seat, and indeed to get on to the narrower fuselage of the 737 is it over 1 cm narrower (43.4 cm) than BA's seating. It has more padding than the SL3510 but it's quite a study seat, with a hard back extrusion on to the seat behind, so some will find their knees getting a knock from that. It's not a bad seat, these things tend to be about balancing / compromising customer comfort with cost, weight and space, and the Acro seating is just into customer comfort overall. But I can see airlines being unimpressed by the weight on the chassis.



I'm not a finance expert, but they are 100% owned by Dart Group plc, which doesn't appear to be as heavily indebted as Thomas Cook, Dart has more assets than liabilities, is profitable, and its share price is towards the top end of its previous performance. In other words it looks to be that investors think Jet2 may well be picking up some useful business from the TC collapse.

wasn’t that TC downfall in the end that they didn’t really have any assets to safeguard new loans? Only owned a handful of planes and maybe the HQ but shops etc all rented and most hotels not actually belonging to TC.

I actually looked at TC for this trip (both as independent flights or as a package) but the fees were high, the flight times were not good for me and the T&C were seriously outdated. The premium being charged for being ATOL protected in my view wasn’t worth it.
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