British Airways To Retrofit 10 Abreast Seating On More Boeing 777s

British Airways is set to retrofit ten abreast seating to more Boeing 777s as it looks to refurbish aircraft. The airline’s 777-200s based out of Gatwick already have a ten abreast configuration. However, more aircraft are now set to receive this.

British Airways, Boeing 777, 10 Abreast Economy
British Airways is set to densify its Boeing 777-200 economy cabin. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

Ten abreast seating seems to be becoming the new norm in aviation circles. British Airways is one of eleven airlines to already offer ten abreast seating on the Boeing 777, with two more carriers due to join the club. According to IAG’s Capital Market Day presentation, however, it seems like more British Airways 777s are due to get the ten abreast configuration.

Why the change?

British Airways is currently rolling out its new Club Suite cabin across its fleet of aircraft. Being in a 1-2-1 configuration, the suites take up much more room than the previous 2-4-2 configuration without direct aisle access for all passengers. As a result, in order to keep a similar number of seats on the aircraft, British Airways is rejigging the cabin.

Currently on Boeing 777-200s without the retrofitted cabin, British Airways offers 226 seats. At the front of the cabin are 14 seats in the First Cabin in a 1-2-1 configuration. There is then a galley and 48 Club World seats in a 2-4-2 configuration. There are then 40 World Traveller Plus premium economy seats also in a 2-4-2 configuration. Last but not least, there are 124 regular economy seats in a largely 3-3-3 configuration.

British Airways, Boeing 777, 10 Abreast Economy
British Airways is upgrading its business class cabin. Photo: Simple Flying

The new cabin

The retrofitted cabin is set to make things far cosier. The First cabin will be slashed into just eight seats. The Club World cabin will actually gain one more seat, however, to accommodate this it will also take up far more cabin space, now in a 1-2-1 configuration.

For the World Traveller Plus cabin, noting is set to change in terms of the seating arrangement. However, the other big change is to the economy cabin. British Airways is set to make this cabin much cosier while maintaining a similar footprint.

Currently, the economy cabin consists of 124 seats in a 3-3-3 configuration. However, the rear two rows are 2-3-2 and 0-3-0. This is set to change as the aircraft are refurbished inside.

Firstly, three seats in the middle are becoming four. While there were 15 rows in the middle of the cabin, there are now 16. As such, thanks to the 3-4-3 arrangement, there will now be 138 economy seats, an 11% increase.

British Airways, Boeing 777, 10 Abreast Economy
British Airways is swapping its 3-3-3 configuration to 3-4-3 in economy. Photo: IAG

What does British Airways say?

When Simple Flying contacted British Airways regarding the cabin densification, the airline responded with the following comment:

“We are flying more customers than ever before to our expanding network of destinations. To meet this demand, we’re updating our 777 aircraft fleet flying from Heathrow to bring us in line with many of our competitors and allow us to offer even more low fares.”

They went on to add: “As part of the update, we will be fitting new entertainment systems with bigger screens in the World Traveller cabin. We will also be introducing our brand new Club Suite on the aircraft, offering customers direct-aisle access, a suite door for greater privacy and luxurious flat-bed seats in a 1-2-1 configuration.​”

What do you think of the densified British Airways Boeing 777-200 cabin? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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In-Frequent Flyer

Perfect example of an airline trying to cram as many seats into an aircraft as possible, and yet people still blame Boeing for this?


Well, in the case of the 9-abreast 787, one can certainly assert that it’s Boeing’s fault…because the seat mile costs in an 8-abreast 787 aren’t much better than those of a legacy 767.
In the case of the 777, one could make a similar argument…though it might be excused, seeing as it’s an older design.

High Mile Club

I’m not sure what the economy seat per row recommendation is for the 787, though I know the airlines set up the seat class arrangements. At least Boeing is aware of what airlines are doing to their 777s, so they’re making the 777-9 a little wider to make it perfectly suited for 10 abreast.


10 across in the 777 is just ridiculous. You don’t have to be overweight, you can still have issues fitting, body frame wise, not being comfortable. Not everyone can fly 1st class.


18 inches wide and 32 inches pitch should be the legal minimum on long haul. More airlines should follow Singapore Airlines-Thai-Delta, they all keep their 777 in a 3-3-3 config


Yes, 18/32 should be the Worldwide Minimum, period. Every airline would need to adjust. If they want to compete, they have the choice of offering more but never less !! Thank you !!


Heck, by this point I’ll take 31″ minimum seat pitch with Newer generation seats that help increase the knee room.


Money talks !! Economy class is generally an “afterthought” in every Legacy carrier. It’s almost as though they are doing Economy pax a favor.
But then again, LCC’s don’t treat their Economy customers any better.


So all these companies fall over themselves to promote equality and diversity, and yet are happy to increase inequality in their cabin layout.

Peter Ehrler

BA calls it an “upgrade” for me it is a simple “downgrade” on everything

Sandra Harrison

So this where my money is going from my rejected claim after the strike!


There’s no airline in this industry that does not use 10 abreast in a 777 economy layout. Because it is just stupid not to. In my opinion you can fit 10 abreast comfortably. Especially with the new seats which I actually quite like. It’s a standard thing now and I prefer it to the 9 abreast thick seats with crappy entertainment seats which actually weren’t comfortable

David C

There are lots of airlines that fly all manner of 777’s that do not do 10 abreast in economy. All of Delta’s 777’s are 3-3-3 in economy. All of Thai’s 777’s are 3-3-3 in economy. Pakistan International Airlines are 3-3-3 in economy as well as Cathy Pacific. Only United, Air France and BA now operate the 3-4-3 configuration. And numbers wise, the 3-3-3 configuration represents over 55% of operating 777’s worldwide. And that is including the current conversions on BA 777’s. So you are quite incorrect when you say there is no airline that does not use 10 abreast in… Read more »


Add EVA Air to that list as some of their 777’s still use 3-3-3, LAX to Taipei for example.



Owen Berkeley-Hill

Is Simple Flying complicit in this? Their trips are all in Business Class, not Cattle Class which gives the impression that this is where the majority of passengers sit. Is there a conspiracy to suppress comparisons of Economy offering across airlines? From the moment you check in to the moment you deplane? It would be interesting to have such comparisons, particularly for long-haul flights. Fly 9+ hours Tom in Economy and you soon have very trenchant opinions about the seat cushion as I did when flying Jet to Mumbai. Or better still, before your next Boon-doggle in First or Business,… Read more »

Joanna Bailey

Are you kidding? Our trip reports are a healthy mix of business and economy I think you’ll find. Mr Boon, for example, has been on more Ryanair trips this year than anything else, and I myself have never flown anything better than economy save for the one media trip on Virgin’s A350. We do have some reporters who fly premium, but I think to say our ‘trips are all in business class’ is not accurate. My personal opinion is 10 abreast in a 777 is a big mistake on BA’s part.

ken pritchard

Curious to know the breakdown of readers in terms of where they usually sit on a plane. Much airline publicity shows pictures of the high paying sections with the idea that the hoi poloi subliminally thinks the comfort/service it sees in these pictures somehow seep down to economy class. Rest assured, it doesn’t.

David Green

It all points to economy passengers suffering more. We should start to boycott these airlines

joe bloggs

Not so much densification but greedification ! !