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Why 31 Inches?  
User currently offlineSkibum9 From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1229 posts, RR: 0
Posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 6304 times:

Why in the world did many airlines standardize around a 31" seat pitch? Did they do some sort of study that showed that it is cruel and unusual punsihment for taller people, so let's do it? I understand the business logic of packing in as many seats as possible into an airframe, but why was 31" the magic number?


Tailwinds!!!
46 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBoeing7E7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 6276 times:

It's actually 32" and it happened post deregulation. There was a time when 34" pitch in coach was the norm.

Gone are those wonderful days.


User currently offlineCopenhagenboy From Denmark, joined Sep 2001, 595 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 6222 times:

Thai Airways still have the 34 pitch in coach on longhaul

User currently offlineDL Widget Head From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 2071 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 6214 times:

"Gone are those wonderful days" Not so, song offers at least 33" pitch at every seat. Even mailine DL is reconfiguring their coach a/c with increaesed pitch starting with the MD88's.

User currently offlineBoeing7E7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 6174 times:

33" doesn't cut it. How about you go with the 36" shuttle config.

Signed,

Former DL employee now disgruntled with the shit that has become of my once cherished airline.

Get your flipping acts together.


User currently offlineMD-90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 8494 posts, RR: 12
Reply 5, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 6172 times:

Gone are the wonderful days when it cost $750-$800 to fly coach from Atlanta to JFK on a DC-6B instead of $200-$250 on an MD-88 (inflation adjusted).

Okay, I just pulled those numbers out of thin air, but you get my point.


User currently offlineBobster2 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 6148 times:

JetBlue has 34" in rows 11 and higher, 32" in the first 10 rows.

User currently offlineANNOYEDFA From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 451 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 6140 times:

I said it one and I'll say it again..... All planes should have 3 classes.... Coach 29", Coach Plus 33" and then First.... All the deeply discounted tickets go to the back of the jet.... Full fair in Coach Plus and so on and so forth..... The class of service should also be different..... Economy only serve water, coffee, and tea sell everything else. Economy plus full beverage and again so on.......Also section the plane off in each class....  Smile/happy/getting dizzy


"TWA... One Mission, Yours."
User currently offlineAirgeek12 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 6103 times:

Isn't 31" the law? Or maybe I'm thinking of the seat width. = /

User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20322 posts, RR: 63
Reply 9, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 6094 times:

AnnoyedFA:

Didn't the original National Airlines try something like that in the late 70's/early 80's? No-frills class or something for a lower fare. I don't believe it lasted long.

Cheers.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineIndy From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 4522 posts, RR: 18
Reply 10, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 6018 times:

My opinion....

A 17" wide seat and a 31" pitch is an insult to travelers. It says to me "your comfort doesn't matter."

I think 18" and 33" to 34" pitch should be a federal requirement.



Indy = Indianapolis and not Independence Air
User currently offlineERJ170 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 6729 posts, RR: 18
Reply 11, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 5995 times:

The problem is not that the 17" wide and 31" pitch is cramp...

The PROBLEM is people have gotten tall as hell and big as f@ck! don't blame the airline cause people are expanding up and out..

Figure this correlation.. if the seats and pitch goes up, the fares should go up equally.. and no one wants that.. so people will just have to squeeze whatever they can into their seat and be happy!



Aiming High and going far..
User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26196 posts, RR: 76
Reply 12, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 5994 times:

I think the coolest thing is that the LCCs actually have the best pitch (in the US, not Europe). WN is at 33, B6 is 32-34.


Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineBoeingATL From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 144 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 5810 times:

Figure this correlation.. if the seats and pitch goes up, the fares should go up equally.. and no one wants that.. so people will just have to squeeze whatever they can into their seat and be happy!

Yet major carrier AA managed to squeeze an extra inch or 2? And UA and DL are the ones fighting bankruptcy?

There is no justice somtimes. I'm 2 meters tall and how do you think I feel when someone next to me (5'8") complains about being cramped?



boeingATL
User currently offlineBoeing7E7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 5706 times:

Figure this correlation.. if the seats and pitch goes up, the fares should go up equally.. and no one wants that.. so people will just have to squeeze whatever they can into their seat and be happy!

Dumping six seats won't hurt anyone and if they had a little thing called service anymore, a $5 fare increase wouldn't mean jack. Seat width isn't the issue, leg room is.


User currently offlineJ.mo From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 656 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 5670 times:

It's genetics...


Oh, seat pitch? My bad. Big grin



What is the difference between Fighter pilots and God? God never thought he was a fighter pilot.
User currently offlineChrisrad From Australia, joined Dec 2000, 1055 posts, RR: 8
Reply 16, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 5641 times:

Malaysia Airlines, Air New Zealand, Thai amongst others still offers 34" inch pitch in economy, THAT should be the norm, not 31"


Welcome aboard Malaysia Airlines! Winner of Best Cabin Staff 2001,2002,2003,2004,2007,2009,2012
User currently offlineM404 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 2220 posts, RR: 5
Reply 17, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 5596 times:
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Yesterday I read that some charter carrier had decided on a 28" pitch on it's new aircraft. Anyone remember who that was?


Less sarcasm and more thought equal better understanding
User currently offlineDAL767400ER From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 5721 posts, RR: 46
Reply 18, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 5426 times:

>Yesterday I read that some charter carrier had decided on a 28" pitch on it's new aircraft. Anyone remember who that was?<
Wouldn't that be classified as torture? I don't know which airline announced that, but likely a UK-based charter airline, as those have a tendency for a lack of pitch (didn't Britannia have 29" some years ago?)


User currently offlineIndy From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 4522 posts, RR: 18
Reply 19, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 5375 times:

ERJ170... people are getting taller and "big"ger. So why are the airlines going in the opposite direction with the seats? I'm waiting for someone to figure out they can squeeze more people in a jet if they go with a 16" wide seat and a 28" pitch. Put in a proper seat and charge accordingly. Don't make the seats so small and uncomfortable that people can't use them and then try and rip them off with a high fare for what should be considered a normal seat.


Indy = Indianapolis and not Independence Air
User currently offlineGkirk From UK - Scotland, joined Jun 2000, 24815 posts, RR: 56
Reply 20, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 5369 times:

The 28" Seats aint as bad as people make out. The one's who complain have probably never flown on an a.c with 28" seat pitch.


When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
User currently offlineBennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7210 posts, RR: 3
Reply 21, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 5336 times:


I am 5 foot 6 so the pitch is not a problem.

My beef is the elbow room, however if they go from 6 abreast down to 5 then that would really hit costs, so I suppose that I will have to grin and bear it.


User currently offlineShamrock_747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 5262 times:

31" is a reasonable compromise used by many of the world's leading airlines. It may not be the most comfortable arrangement but increasing the pitch would result in less seats in the economy cabin. Some pax moan about lack of space, but I'm sure they'd be the first to say something when fares increase due to a lesser number of seats.

Many airlines now have enhanced economy cabins offering extra legroom and seat width for good value prices so "there isn't enough room" isn't really a valid excuse anymore on airlines such as BA and VS - the pax have a choice.


User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3697 posts, RR: 28
Reply 23, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 5242 times:

The 28" Seats aint as bad as people make out. The one's who complain have probably never flown on an a.c with 28" seat pitch

Please say you are joking. The only flight I've done recently in coach (that was more than 40mins) was on UA in E+ and I found it very claustrophobic and this was on a relatively short hop from LHR-IAD.

The only time I've done 28" pitch (must have been) was when we went skiing and the company hired a JMC aircraft. The flight was only from LGW-LYS but found it agonisingly painful. I'm glad I was in BA F the week after!



"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
User currently offlineERJ170 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 6729 posts, RR: 18
Reply 24, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 5223 times:

Indy,

I agree... the seat situation can be a little binding.. but why are they going smaller? to fit more people in an aircraft.. to make money.. to cover their expenses that continue to rise all the time.. the days of the 80s and 90s are gone.. airlines had a different luxury then.. money was not an issue for most.. but today, almost every airline is having some sort of money issue. Even the might Southwest and jetBlue are not making as much money as they did earlier.. so they have to do what they can do to maintain finincials..

Can taking out 6 seats make a difference? Well, let's see.. here's an example.. if you are working hourly and make $20/hour.. would 6 hours every week from now on make a difference? I would think so.



Aiming High and going far..
25 Gkirk : Im 5 ft 10, and find the seating not too cramped at all, unless your sitting next to a big person. My flights tend to be on average, 4 hours long, eg
26 DAL7e7 : I'm a 5' 10" 13 year old and the seat pitch doesn't bother me. In fact, I hardly ever lean the seat back at all, even on my LAX-OGG flight. Fbgdavidso
27 AeroWeanie : I was once on a Garuda (or Merpati?) F-28 that had what must have been 24" or 26" seat pitch. Even with totally trashed seat cushions, I couldn't get
28 ANNOYEDFA : The reason they are going in opposite directs with seats is because fares are lower NOT HIGHER! Do you people seriously live in dream world aviation!
29 ZRH : The 28" Seats aint as bad as people make out. The one's who complain have probably never flown on an a.c with 28" seat pitch. You are joking! Every ex
30 Hotje : 28", hmmmmmm. Either Corsair or Martinair. Martinair is one of the charter carriers for a country known for having quite tall citizens. I don't get it
31 Elwood64151 : Gone are the wonderful days when it cost $750-$800 to fly coach from Atlanta to JFK on a DC-6B instead of $200-$250 on an MD-88 (inflation adjusted).
32 Boeing7E7 : Unfortunately, you're wrong. The industry has been commoditized. You can't offer better service and more room and be able to expect more bookings. Mos
33 RedDragon : Just out of curiousity, how is seat pitch determined exactly? I understand it's the distance from the back of the seat in front of you to the front of
34 Iowaman : Thank god Allegiant no longer has a 29" seat pitch, that wasn't enough for a 3+ hour flight.
35 Jmc757 : You will find 28" seat pitch on a number of British registered charter aircraft. 29" is the standard but there are a few seats on the charter aircraft
36 Fbgdavidson : you consider LHR-IAD short hop? Indeed. Anything over 10hrs for me is a long flight. Even the flight crew often say, 'For this short flight to Washing
37 Elwood64151 : Seat pitch is the distance between any point on a given seat, and the same point on the seat in front (or behind) - so in this case you're measuring f
38 Luxair : Hotje wrote "I don't get it, so I don't fly them" Exactly what I do, I prefer to pay a bit more and get some comfort rather as to sit in a 28" torture
39 Wdleiser : Wasn't the 34inch Seat pitch with the old style seats though? Now you have more leg room thanks to the thin seats and get the same reclination?
40 AeroWesty : SEATS MAKE MONEY NOT LEG ROOM!!!! No matter what an airline offers you will still fly it! No, not true. America West has lost several thousand in busi
41 WindowSeat : AnnoyedFA, I'm sorry, but since you don't actually SIT in those seats it is natural to feel that seat pitch should be smaller. So I don't blame you.
42 Post contains links StanstedFlyer : http://www.ebookers.com/afo/flights/flight_help.html#leg_space This is a handy little tool if you have a choice, and some are quite surprising!
43 NWA757 : Great Info. Very interesting.
44 Tod : The new Corsair 744 will have a variety of pitches in Y class. Some 31, lots of 30 and even an assortment of 29's for those so inclined.
45 Perspicax : Isn't the number of seats on an aircraft also limited by FAA/JAA regulations regarding evacuation times, etc.?
46 KLM11 : Enough with Y Class, even some carriers are lacking on the "nice" seat pich in domestic/regional Business/First Class. NW has only 35'' of seat pitch
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