Best seats: Club Europe business class, British Airways Airbus A320

By John Walton, August 1 2011
Best seats: Club Europe business class, British Airways Airbus A320

If you're connecting to one of British Airways' European flights at London Heathrow, you're likely to up on one of BA's Airbus A320 aircraft.

But which are the best seats in Club Europe, BA's short-haul business class?

The plane

British Airways has over forty A320s based at its Heathrow hub, and they're the backbone of the short-haul fleet.

You'll see them flying international flights into Europe and north Africa, but they're not usually seen on domestic UK flights, which are single-class economy.

The Club Europe cabin

Club Europe seats are convertible "Eurobusiness" style, which means that business class can stretch back only a few rows or as far back as row 13, depending on demand for that day's flights.

The seats themselves are four across when in Club Europe configuration, with two seats on the left and two seats on the right of the aisle.

The seats on the left (A and C) are slightly wider, as they expand into a shrunken seat B. (If the seats were in economy configuration, all three would be normal size and occupied. On the right hand, seats D and F are sold in Club Europe, with middle seat E always left empty.

With 34 inches of pitch (the space between your seat back and the one in front, which you can call your own space during the flight), there's not an awful lot of room -- but on a short flight, you might not notice too much.

The best seats on the plane

1C: the bulkhead in front of row 1 doesn't stretch all the way across 1C's legroom, which means you get extra space to stretch your legs (so long as you keep an eye out for passengers or crew falling over them). On the downside, you're not allowed bags with you during takeoff and landing.

1A 1D 1F: the rest of the bulkhead seats are good because there's nobody in front reclining into your limited space. On the downside, you can't stretch out your legs underneath the seat in front of you (because there isn't one), and your bag must be put overhead for takeoff and landing.

Row 11: it's a rare flight where Club Europe stretches back 11 rows. But if it does, there's a few inches extra legroom in row 11, the exit row. Again, no bags during takeoff and landing.

Row 10: nearly as good as row 11 since it's an exit row, but these seats don't recline.

The worst seats on the plane

Row 9: on most flights, Club Europe won't stretch as far back as row 9. But if it does, beware: there's limited recline because row 10 is an emergency exit row.

In general, you want to be as far forward as possible for less noise from economy behind, and to make a speedy exit from the plane.


John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

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