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Economy Class Headrests On Long-Haul Flights  
User currently offlineSoxfan From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 865 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 11294 times:

Hi Everyone,

I recently flew PHL-TLV on US A330-200's, some of the newest aircraft in their fleet (#284 and 285, delivered 2010). I was a little surprised that on such new planes utilized almost solely for long-haul travel, headrests were not installed on the seats in Y class (neither winged nor flat). I would think that many passengers would benefit from that amenity as they try to sleep on a flights of such great length (~12 hours), and I also believe that the US A330-300's DO have that amenity in Y.

Are headrests considered a costly option when designing and purchasing seats? Anyone know why they might not have been considered for such a new long-haul plane?

Thanks for your thoughts,

Soxfan  


Pilot: "Request push, which way should we face?" JFK Ground: "You better face the front, sir, or you'll scare the pax!"
26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineGSPSPOT From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3046 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 10990 times:

Huh? Economy class on a U.S. carrier with headrests of any kind?? We can only dream...


Finally made it to an airline mecca!
User currently onlineUnited1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 5980 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 10981 times:

Quoting GSPSPOT (Reply 1):

Huh? Economy class on a U.S. carrier with headrests of any kind?? We can only dream...

Every pmUA aircraft and I believe the vast majority of the pmCO fleet have headrests in Y.

[Edited 2012-08-07 18:16:57]


Semper Fi - PowerPoint makes us stupid.
User currently offline1337Delta764 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6557 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 10909 times:

Quoting Soxfan (Thread starter):
I would think that many passengers would benefit from that amenity as they try to sleep on a flights of such great length (~12 hours), and I also believe that the US A330-300's DO have that amenity in Y.

They are being removed with the new seat installations. At the same time, DL is adding them to all new Y seat installations on international aircraft. However, DL has no plans to install them on domestic aircraft.



The Pink Delta 767-400ER - The most beautiful aircraft in the sky
User currently offlineqqflyboy From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2283 posts, RR: 13
Reply 4, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 10757 times:

Quoting GSPSPOT (Reply 1):
Huh? Economy class on a U.S. carrier with headrests of any kind?? We can only dream...

With the exception of 55 757s which have not yet undergone the cabin refurb, every AA a/c features adjustable headrests in all cabins.



The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect my employer’s views.
User currently offlineAA94 From United States of America, joined Aug 2011, 602 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 10599 times:

Quoting United1 (Reply 2):
Every pmUA aircraft and I believe the vast majority of the pmCO fleet have headrests in Y.

  

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 3):
They are being removed with the new seat installations. At the same time, DL is adding them to all new Y seat installations on international aircraft. However, DL has no plans to install them on domestic aircraft.

  

Quoting qqflyboy (Reply 4):
With the exception of 55 757s which have not yet undergone the cabin refurb, every AA a/c features adjustable headrests in all cabins.

  

I thought that this was a standard feature in Y on many long haul aircraft, but I guess I was mistaken. I feel like I shouldn't be surprised that US Scareways' *very comfortable* A330s don't have them.



Choose a challenge over competence / Eleanor Roosevelt
User currently onlineUSAirALB From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 3090 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 10563 times:

I found it very odd that when the US A332s first came out that they didn't come installed with headrests, especially since the older A333s used to feature them. Maybe they will install them later..who knows.. The seats are still comfortable, and feature good legroom.

All A330s are now refitted with new seats in both cabins and new IFE.

Quoting AA94 (Reply 5):
I feel like I shouldn't be surprised that US Scareways' *very comfortable* A330s don't have them.

US's A330s aren't even as comfortable as AA's new 773 in Y. That configuration in Y...so spacious!

But seriously, have you been on a US A332 or a US refurbished A333? There is nothing wrong with the seats or legroom.



E135/E140/E145/E70/E75/E90/CR2/CR7/CR9/717/732/733/734/735/73G/738/739/752/753/762/772/319/320/321/333
User currently offlineAA737-823 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 5843 posts, RR: 11
Reply 7, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 10350 times:

Quoting GSPSPOT (Reply 1):
Huh? Economy class on a U.S. carrier with headrests of any kind?? We can only dream...

Um, what airline have YOU been flying??!?! CO's domestic 737NG fleet even has winged headrests... you sticking with Spirit Air, I presume?

Quoting USAirALB (Reply 6):
But seriously, have you been on a US A332 or a US refurbished A333? There is nothing wrong with the seats or legroom.

I'm no fan of USAirways, BUT... I flew on their 333 to FCO eleven years ago, and I have yet to find a similarly pleasant coach seat anywhere in the sky! LOVED the adjustable lumbar support.


User currently offlineqf002 From Australia, joined Jul 2011, 2987 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 10309 times:

The new BA product (in the 77W, 767's and a handful of 772's) has awful headrests... The wings are at a fixed angle with a piece of fabric stretched across them. And they don't go anywhere near as high up as they used to (they don't even go past the top of the seat from memory). No support at all.

I guess it comes down to cost. I guess it's not such an issue on (what I would consider) mid-haul aircraft like an A330. I'm just hoping that we don't see headrests disappearing from true long haul aircraft...

Quoting USAirALB (Reply 6):
US's A330s aren't even as comfortable as AA's new 773 in Y. That configuration in Y...so spacious!

But seriously, have you been on a US A332 or a US refurbished A333? There is nothing wrong with the seats or legroom.

Have you been on an AA 77W?


User currently offlineknoxibus From France, joined Aug 2007, 260 posts, RR: 23
Reply 9, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 9668 times:

You have three possibilities:
- No headrest;
- 4 or 6 way adjustable headrest;
- Hammock style headrest (à la BA);

To it, obvisouly, you associate a cost (option from the seat manufacturer). The "worst" case would be the adjustable headrest, both in terms of price and weight, then comes the Hammock.

The hammock style is a kind of a 50/50, some people really like it, some others hate it.

To not have it on long haul flights is a bit of a no go for me, I can't imagine for the life of me flying more than 8 hours without one.



No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.
User currently offlinemax999 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 1059 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 8831 times:

Quoting AA94 (Reply 5):
I thought that this was a standard feature in Y on many long haul aircraft, but I guess I was mistaken. I feel like I shouldn't be surprised that US Scareways' *very comfortable* A330s don't have them.

On some non-US carriers I've been on, they also have footrests for Y seats. Those are even better than headrests since it helps alleviate the pain of very cramped legroom on a long-haul flight.



All the things I really like to do are either immoral, illegal, or fattening.
User currently offlinetommy767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6584 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 8785 times:

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 7):
Um, what airline have YOU been flying??!?! CO's domestic 737NG fleet even has winged headrests... you sticking with Spirit Air, I presume?

Yes but that doesn't make up for the fact that sCO's seats are about as uncomfortable as a park bench.



"Folks that's the news and I'm outta here!" -- Dennis Miller
User currently offlineAA94 From United States of America, joined Aug 2011, 602 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 8301 times:

Quoting USAirALB (Reply 6):
But seriously, have you been on a US A332 or a US refurbished A333? There is nothing wrong with the seats or legroom.

I flew on a US 333 last summer, one of the most uncomfortable flights I've ever been on. The equipment boxes under the seats are killer, and I found seat pitch rather tight, especially when the person in front of me reclined back. Not sure if the cabin has been since refurbished, but last summer's configuration was rather rough.



Choose a challenge over competence / Eleanor Roosevelt
User currently offlineBA747400 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 428 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 7692 times:

Was on a DL 757 a couple of weeks ago, and having been away from DL for a while (UA/CO/B6 loyalty), was surprised to find no head rest in Y...the things you get used to! For a tall guy like myself, no headrest = no sleep, so I'll be consciously staying away from DL as a first choice for this reason.

It's a small thing, but for some of us, it really makes a big difference.


User currently offline1337Delta764 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6557 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 7401 times:

Quoting BA747400 (Reply 13):
Was on a DL 757 a couple of weeks ago, and having been away from DL for a while (UA/CO/B6 loyalty), was surprised to find no head rest in Y...the things you get used to! For a tall guy like myself, no headrest = no sleep, so I'll be consciously staying away from DL as a first choice for this reason.

It's a small thing, but for some of us, it really makes a big difference.

For DL, winged headrests in Y are only to be installed on international aircraft. I personally wish DL would install them on domestic aircraft, however, the headrests probably add weight, and with high fuel prices it might not be worthwhile. Also, some of the existing seats on DL's domestic aircraft are not designed for winged headrests, and would require replacing the seats entirely. Only the Weber 5751s on the 737NGs, domestic 763s and some MD-90s, as well as the Weber 5150s on the 75X fleet support winged headrests, however, don't expect for DL to add them anytime soon. Also, the 739ER fleet will have B/E Aerospace Pinnacle seats, however, I wouldn't be surprised if they don't have winged headrests.



The Pink Delta 767-400ER - The most beautiful aircraft in the sky
User currently offlineAA737-823 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 5843 posts, RR: 11
Reply 15, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 7169 times:

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 11):
Yes but that doesn't make up for the fact that sCO's seats are about as uncomfortable as a park bench.

Indeed, but the topic of this conversation is "Headrests," not "Park Bench."

Quoting AA94 (Reply 12):
The equipment boxes under the seats are killer, and I found seat pitch rather tight, especially when the person in front of me reclined back.

The equipment boxes can be found on most every major carrier, including CO on their 777's.
And, the US 333 originally had one-two MORE inches of seat pitch than the competition; according to seatguru, however, they've been squashed to 31, which is on par with CO's 767s and various other widebodies from various other airlines.

So, unfortunately, what you experienced is not unique to US or their 333.


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25457 posts, RR: 22
Reply 16, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 6217 times:

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 14):
For DL, winged headrests in Y are only to be installed on international aircraft. I personally wish DL would install them on domestic aircraft, however, the headrests probably add weight, and with high fuel prices it might not be worthwhile.

Anything that moves also requires maintenance. Personally I've always considered winged headrests useless gimmicks. A pillow works better.


User currently onlineUSAirALB From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 3090 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 5863 times:

Quoting AA94 (Reply 12):
I flew on a US 333 last summer, one of the most uncomfortable flights I've ever been on. The equipment boxes under the seats are killer, and I found seat pitch rather tight, especially when the person in front of me reclined back. Not sure if the cabin has been since refurbished, but last summer's configuration was rather rough.

They reconfigured it.



E135/E140/E145/E70/E75/E90/CR2/CR7/CR9/717/732/733/734/735/73G/738/739/752/753/762/772/319/320/321/333
User currently offlineaviateur From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 1355 posts, RR: 12
Reply 18, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 5855 times:

Those economy-class headrests are never designed right anyway. They aren't tight enough around the neck; your head just flops to the side. It's a half-assed design.


PS



Patrick Smith is an airline pilot, air travel columnist and author
User currently offlineSoxfan From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 865 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 5791 times:

Quoting aviateur (Reply 18):

It depends on the airline and plane, like others have said. I flew on a US E190 which had vertically-moving headrests, but not winged. (Interesting that such a small plane would have it but not the A330, although I recognize it's likely a different kind of seat.) I know there have been endless debates on A.Net about the importance of IFE on long flights, but I feel like this is something that goes above that debate since it could potentially affect a passenger's condition upon arrival (being able to rest the head comfortably, have an easier sleep, and feel more refreshed and less sore upon landing). Some may say the A330 is a mid-range aircraft, but at least in this case it is being used on what I consider to be a long-haul flight, if not ultra long-haul (DL uses a 744 on the same route from JFK) and having a headrest, in my mind, can really make a difference, especially with little seat pitch.



Pilot: "Request push, which way should we face?" JFK Ground: "You better face the front, sir, or you'll scare the pax!"
User currently offlinenomadic From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 443 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 5481 times:

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 7):
I'm no fan of USAirways, BUT... I flew on their 333 to FCO eleven years ago, and I have yet to find a similarly pleasant coach seat anywhere in the sky! LOVED the adjustable lumbar support.

I guess every airline has it's good days and bad days. I flew US on a similar aircraft FCO-PHL in Y about 8 years ago. It was the most uncomfortable aircraft I was ever on. The flight was oversold so every seat was filled. There was no legroom. Almost no recline. No Headrests. IFE did not function. 9 hours of agony. I have tried to stay away from US and anyone's A-330's (at least in Y) ever since.


User currently offlineGSPSPOT From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3046 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 5280 times:

Quoting United1 (Reply 2):
Every pmUA aircraft and I believe the vast majority of the pmCO fleet have headrests in Y.
Quoting qqflyboy (Reply 4):
With the exception of 55 757s which have not yet undergone the cabin refurb, every AA a/c features adjustable headrests in all cabins.
Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 7):
Um, what airline have YOU been flying??!?! CO's domestic 737NG fleet even has winged headrests... you sticking with Spirit Air, I presume?

Guess either I haven't noticed, or our household is married to the wrong airline. We usually fly DL. When I look at the economy cabin, all I see are these featureless slabs of blue leather...



Finally made it to an airline mecca!
User currently offlinephxa340 From United States of America, joined Mar 2012, 891 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 5239 times:

Quoting USAirALB (Reply 6):
But seriously, have you been on a US A332 or a US refurbished A333? There is nothing wrong with the seats or legroom.

Agreed its pitch is at 31, not bad, similar to the other airlines plus its IFE is awesome. EVA Air had 12 movie options, US had 50 + and good size screens.

US definitely won't creat an SQ experience but if you get a ticket at the right price ...


User currently offlinetonystan From Ireland, joined Jan 2006, 1440 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 4929 times:

Quoting qf002 (Reply 8):
The new BA product (in the 77W, 767's and a handful of 772's) has awful headrests... The wings are at a fixed angle with a piece of fabric stretched across them. And they don't go anywhere near as high up as they used to (they don't even go past the top of the seat from memory). No support at all.

Agreed, I absolutely HATE them!

The problem is they are not actually head rests. They are designed to support the neck and your head rests above them. Now I need something to rest my head against so that it doesnt roll sideways adn then forward and end up with me doing a nodding dog which results in me waking myself up. The new BA ones just dont aid sleep for me. The old ones however are brilliant.

But I personally think the best ones are the winged ones such as Aer Lingus have on their shorthaul fleet (and BA too on their own aircraft....dont talk to me about the BMI ones which have nothing).

I believe a lot of the "hammocks" on BAs new seats are being broken by passengesr forcing the "wings" to bend, so much so that they have included a picture in the High Life magazine explaining how they should be used! lol



My views are my own and do not reflect any other person or organisation.
User currently offlinetommy767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6584 posts, RR: 9
Reply 24, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 4897 times:

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 15):
Indeed, but the topic of this conversation is "Headrests," not "Park Bench."

A good headrest won't create comfort when the seat is as hard as a park bench.



"Folks that's the news and I'm outta here!" -- Dennis Miller
25 AZA330 : Agreed. I flew US Airways MUC-PHL in November 2010 on an A332. Initially I was excited seeing that it was a fairly new airplane, but after a few hour
26 PITingres : Put me in the "who cares about headrests" camp. I've never seen an airline seat headrest, in any class, that did me the slightest good. Maybe US's mar
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