This is British Airways’ latest attempt to keep up with budget airlines. In January of 2017, the company did away with free alcohol and in-flight meals on short flights. It is also reviewing its policy of selling duty-free items onboard short flights.
The no-recline, er, gentle-recline seats will be on the airline’s latest order of 25 new Airbus A320neo and 10 A321neo planes. British Air confirmed that it plans to “remodify its existing fleet of 62 A320s and 14 A321s” based at London Heathrow with the new seats over the next five years.
British Airways is not the first airline to lock its seats into position. Airlines like EasyJet, Norwegian and Ryanair also have locked seats. But these are budget airlines—British Air, while trying to compete with them for customers, is not. Which is making airline passengers concerned: British Airways tends to be an industry trend-setter. For instance, British Air was the first to roll out the lie-flat seats in business class. Whether other airlines will follow suit remains to be seen.
In the meantime, cherish that extra inch. Who knows how much longer you’ll have it.