In the feature on the planned refurbishment of 444 & 450 units, it says that leather seats are going to be installed in first class accomodation.
For most travellers, it won't matter, but vegetarians and vegans (maybe 10 to 12% of the population) won't want to use them.
Is there a good economic reason such as they are cheaper to clean or have a lower whole life costs, or is it the "image" that matters....
They are similar to Air Line seats they are easier to clean, although part of it is image im sure. Apparently these are more comfortable from first travelers. Not had a chance to see the newly refurbed trains yet in person but there are some naps on Twitter. I had a thought they would be more like GWR's current refurbed seats but they are more like BA.
Oh dear. BA seats are some of the most uncomfortable in the air. They do not cater to tall passengers and have headrests that dig into your shoulders have seats that provide little leg support, for back support and reduced leg room in Coach, Business and First compared to the competition. Leather seats in a train are also more prone heat up in the sun which tends not to be a problem for airlines. 2+2 with leather seats sounds like the worst of all options to me. Got trip to Weymouth in couple of weeks. Desperately hope it is not the new high density layout in First. I wonder whether they are cutting leg room too?
It is both less leg room AND smaller seats + many other negatives, see my earlier post - First Class Refurb Fiasco (Class 444 trains)
It is simply not First class anymore!