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I am not a sardine

Travelling to Barcelona for MWC last week I has the misfortune to fly Iberia. In the past I've not had a bad word to say about them, but the new seats and seat layout that they've put in their A320s make travelling on the tube at rush hour with luggage seem positively palatial.

I'd heard reasonably good things about the latest generation of Recaro seats, but what I hadn't realised was that the extra leg room the new cut-in seat backs offered could easily mean an airline using them to pack more and more seats in. I'm glad I'm just about average height - any taller and I would have been extremely cramped. The knee cut-in means that the seat back is in your face - and that there's only a fixed plastic folder at eye level - with no room for a decent sized paperback, let alone all the in-flight magazines and paperwork the airline leaves in for you...

Here's what it looks like:



Except of course when the plane is full, it's a lot lot worse...

What's happened is, of course, that the airline has taken the new lighter, thinner seat, and reduced the actual seat pitch to take account of the increased leg room - and managed to squeeze in an extra row or two of seats (so less luggage space per seat, and more people trying to squeeze down the narrow aisles).

It's like travelling Easyjet - only not as comfortable.

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
autopope
Feb. 23rd, 2009 11:49 am (UTC)
To be fair, for £200 per sector you can upgrade to club class -- kinda-sorta like a bad 1980s business class -- and get 2-2-2 seating. Which makes sense, for the long-haul trans-Atlantic routes (but get in early if you want to buy the upgrade!).
sbisson
Feb. 23rd, 2009 11:58 am (UTC)
It's not so much the |*** ***| layout, more the fact that the real seat pitch has been reduced by 2"...
grey_lady
Feb. 23rd, 2009 12:51 pm (UTC)
Ewwww!
I too used to like flying Iberia - thanks for the warning!
marypcb
Feb. 23rd, 2009 02:07 pm (UTC)
don't forget the E7 sandwiches and E1.50 water and the trolley dolly who refused to take a bag into first class when the alternative was you flying with it on your lap...
purplecthulhu
Feb. 23rd, 2009 03:37 pm (UTC)
I thought that was against CAA regulations...
marypcb
Feb. 23rd, 2009 03:38 pm (UTC)
me too, but they didn't make him move it (we emptied it to go under the seat in the end, but they would have been quite happy to leave it there)
purplecthulhu
Feb. 23rd, 2009 03:56 pm (UTC)
Hmmm - know any CAA officals?
purplecthulhu
Feb. 23rd, 2009 03:39 pm (UTC)
Iberia have been shote for a very long time, both in terms of customer service and in other more technical (and worrying) areas. Some of this is based on experiences I've had, some on those of others and some on what is probably privileged information I shouldn't actually know. [Buy me a pint at a con sometime and I'll tell you]. It's no surprise that thsi attitude is creepuing more and more into the nature of their customer 'service'.

Suffice it to say that I will, and have, paid money or gone to some inconvenience to avoid them.
autopope
Feb. 23rd, 2009 05:27 pm (UTC)
*Adds Iberia to very-short airline shit-list starting with "Ryanair"*

I will put up with quite a lot of abuse -- American and Continental for starters -- but maintenance issues and charging for drinking water[*] are hot-button items for me.

[*] Water is a medical issue. Air travel tends to be dehydrating -- air conditioned cabins filled with dessicated air at the equivalent of 3-4000 metres' altitude -- and those of us on diuretics or with other medical needs may have to drink a lot more than most folks. I can easily get through 2 litres on a trans-Atlantic flight: being soaked for teeny in-flight bottles is an actual health risk.

Edited at 2009-02-23 05:36 pm (UTC)
daveon
Feb. 24th, 2009 12:58 pm (UTC)
Being not of ordinary height and being about 3 rows behind Simon on the same flight I can testify that this is all true.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )