Bwc1976 From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 194 posts, RR: 0 Posted (10 years 10 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 2637 times:
I just now saw this movie this weekend, but the threads I found about it here were already archived so I couldn't post to them. Something I'm curious about in particular is the TWA flight back to America, after Abagnale is extradited from France. The seat pitch in coach looks absolutely amazing by today's standards (even compared to AA), at least 35", 36", maybe even 38"? Anyone know if it was really that nice on TWA and/or any other U.S. carriers back then? I'd be curious to find out exactly how it's gone up and down over the years; I'm sure it must have used to be at least slightly better than it is now.
Bwc1976 From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 194 posts, RR: 0 Reply 3, posted (10 years 10 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 2596 times:
Well, in the movie at least, there were still 6 seats across like now, so the seat width didn't look any better (although people were thinner on average back then, I'm sure). Although I remember in "Airplane!" there were only 5 seats across, on a 707 which is the same cabin width as the 737 and 757 of today. Were real 707's ever like that? I think I've seen a DC-8 photo on here that was.
Exitrowaisle From United States of America, joined May 2000, 264 posts, RR: 0 Reply 7, posted (10 years 10 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 2430 times:
Unfortunately, you can't tell anything about what TWA or Pan Am was "really like" from this movie, as the cabins were standard Hollywood sets, seen in countless other movies and TV shows. 99.9% of the audience wouldn't notice or care, but very fake-looking to a commercial aviation buff. The seat pitch was probably extra wide on the set so the seats didn't get in the camera's way. To the filmmakers' credit, the flight attendant uniforms were accurate for both TWA and Pan Am, so at least they did a LITTLE research. I was impressed that they got the 1964 and 1967 Pan Am uniforms right (they were slightly different!)
That said, in the 60's and early 70's, seat pitch was somewhat better in coach. I believe it was about 34"-35". The heyday for coach passengers was in the early 70's, when air travel declined so much airlines put in coach lounges to try and win over passengers, even in the 707s! That's also the era United put 5-across in it's transcon/Hawaii DC-8s as shown in the photo. Of course, when traffic rebounded in the mid-70s, the lounges went away, but I don't think seat pitch declined all that much until deregulation. I have an AA seat map brochure from 1979 that still shows a 727-200 with rows up to 26 (They were up to row 30 before MRTC).