Using Expedia's seat preview I noticed that seats D-E-F of the last two rows are reserved on every British Airways flight.

I can guess many reasons for that. Does anyone know the answer for sure?

  • 3
    It is worth noting that those are the least desirable seats on the plane as you can see here: seatguru.com/airlines/British_Airways/…
    – Kris
    Commented Jul 18, 2013 at 12:59
  • Is this for short haul smaller planes, or long haul large ones? (Reasons are likely to be different)
    – Gagravarr
    Commented Jul 18, 2013 at 15:42

1 Answer 1


On long haul flights there are often seats reserved for crew rest. One crew works 5 hours or so then changes clothes and goes to those seats to eat, read, gossip and possibly sleep. The other crew, who was in those seats, changes and takes over duties. They use the very back row because it's close to where working crew hang out during the flight anyway.

I've seen this happen on SAA, complete with changing into uniform-like clothing that is more like sweatpants than a typical flight attendant outfit, on an 18 hour flight (with a tech stop.) I've also seen them unpack their own food to eat at that time - the catering on the flight is I guess not for them.

I don't think it's actually every flight, but it could be that for BA, all widebody flights are long haul. Pilots can typically rest in the cockpit, or on some planes there is an upstairs cubby where pilots can rest between shifts.

  • 1
    LOT Polish airlines does this as well.
    – Mansfield
    Commented Jul 18, 2013 at 14:31
  • 1
    This usually happens in flights that exceed 14 hours duty time (duty time is flying time + ground duties). Crew will also be augmented crew (they add extra members) so when half of the crew takes rest the remaining crew will be enough to cover the aircraft. In new aircrafts (777-300, 747-400) a built in crew rest area is available so no more reserving seats for cabin crew. Commented Jul 18, 2013 at 15:25
  • I mostly checked short-haul flights like LHR to Germany, Spain and France ... in Airbus 319s. And they all have this special reservations
    – arney
    Commented Jul 18, 2013 at 15:42
  • ...and could be mostly since the oldest air hostesses I have ever seen are on BA. So BA saved money by not hiring younger people but forgot to calculate the "resting seats". I have never seen such an arrangement in say, Emirates Commented Jul 19, 2013 at 13:57
  • Regarding the catering: Don't know for other crew, but pilots have to eat different food each, such that in case some is spoiled, someone remains capable of flying the plane. I guess the remainder of the crew also partly has security responsibilities, perhaps they have a similar rule.
    – FooBar
    Commented Jun 6, 2015 at 17:01

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