Letter: Fear of flying

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Have you, I wonder, travelled in the economy section of British Airways' new 777s? They have the most fantastic seats - probably the most amazing design of any since commercial flying began.

Take the state-of-the-art controls for personal video, lights etc. They are so placed, on the top of the armrests, that whenever you sit up and put your elbows on the arms, all hell breaks loose. Reading lights go out; channels change; steward call-bells ping; symptoms of air rage well up in your neighbour, whose controls they probably are....

So you settle down to stretch out and relax. Ouch! A brilliantly positioned, totally superfluous, hard-edged, shin-scraping footrest is damned if it is going to allow anything of that sort. If you have an aisle seat, as I did, a large metal box of tricks under the seat in front has already commandeered a third of the footspace.

Now add the standard economy fun of digging your knees into the back of the poor joker in front, and you rapidly find yourself in full agreement with BA chief executive Bob Ayling, that the only way to travel on British Airways in the future will be in Business Class.