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Boeing 747 Upper Deck - First Or Business?  
User currently offline1337Delta764 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6531 posts, RR: 2
Posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 10298 times:

I noticed that most airlines today have business class on the upper deck on their 747s. Some, though, like LH, have first class on the upper deck. Is there any reasoning whether the upper deck should be first class or business class?


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33 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineDeltaGator From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 6341 posts, RR: 13
Reply 1, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 10272 times:

Perhaps the "appearance" of being in an exclusive private cabin up top? Personally I prefer to be on the first level. When you're flying up front you don't have to fight with coach nearly as much to get out the loading door or drag your carry-on down the stairs.


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User currently offline1337Delta764 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6531 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 10241 times:

Quoting DeltaGator (Reply 1):
Perhaps the "appearance" of being in an exclusive private cabin up top? Personally I prefer to be on the first level. When you're flying up front you don't have to fight with coach nearly as much to get out the loading door or drag your carry-on down the stairs.

On the 747 replacement IMO, Boeing should add an elevator for the handicapped for the upper level.



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User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21526 posts, RR: 59
Reply 3, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 10227 times:

some airlines have Y+ upstairs, some have Y. Some have a mix of F/J, J/Y+. It's just an airline by airline thing.


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User currently offlineAn-225 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 3950 posts, RR: 40
Reply 4, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 10212 times:

UA has business, LH has first. Not sure about other airlines.

Alex.



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User currently offlineFlySSC From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 7412 posts, RR: 57
Reply 5, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 10204 times:

Air France had First Class at the upper of its B747-100/200 (6 seats on the -100, 8 on the -200) ... or Economy class on another version (27 Y seats).

Upper deck of the -300 : 57 S seats (Premium Economy)
Upper deck of the -400 : 30 J seats, now reconfigured with 57 Y seats.


User currently offlineTreeny From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2005, 319 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 10204 times:

I think a lot of this depends on the image the airline wishes to give versus 'bums in seats'

Lufthansa make no secret of their standards of Business and First class services hence PROBABLY their reasoning for having their First Class up top.

I think its more a case that in general there will be more seats filled in Business than first so it makes sense to have a seat config whereby there are more business than first seats. If you look at the BA 747-400 config for example, they dedicate their nose to First and then they have the 'main' business cabin along with seats upstairs - I may be wrong but I think it is more commercial than anything else......

Maybe I am wrong?


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30977 posts, RR: 86
Reply 7, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 10198 times:
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Could be weight of the product, as well as the design.

UA, SQ, NH, BA, CX, JL, etc. all have large suites which are probably pretty heavy. LH uses paired seats, which are probably much lighter.

Also, suites upstairs would be 1+1, which impacts capacity. Seats are 2+2, so you get twice as many in the same floorspace.

Hence the folks running suites put em up front.


User currently offlineSwissgabe From Switzerland, joined Jan 2000, 5266 posts, RR: 32
Reply 8, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 10177 times:

Japan Airlines, South African Airways and earlier Swissair have/had Economy class in some of their 747 fleet with SUD.


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User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8268 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 10116 times:

On the 747s I have flown (BA, QF & CX) First has been in the nose, which is a great place for them. Roomy & easy to get to.

Upper deck has been Business and is my preferred choice. It seems to be more private and the storage bins next to the window seat is a major plus for me. It also provides for 2+2 seating and that would be an uncomfortable fit for First seating.


User currently offlineTod From Denmark, joined Aug 2004, 1725 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 10069 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 7):
Could be weight of the product, as well as the design.

Usually not a problem. Seating may be heavier, but pitch is usually increased, resulting in little or no net impact.

Quoting Treeny (Reply 6):
it is more commercial than anything else......

Pretty much. The thinking is that the highest paying customers have the most convienent access, close to the door and no stairs to climb.

Tod


User currently offlineSllevin From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 3376 posts, RR: 6
Reply 11, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 10013 times:

As cool as it seems to be on the upper deck, I'd rather be in the nose. The nose is a lot quieter, and there's good sized overhead storage for rollaboards. Upper deck, while you have that neat little storage space between the seat and the window, if you have a 20" roller, there's no place to put it.

Steve


User currently offlineTonyBurr From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 1032 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 10002 times:

I prefer FIRST in the nose, like SQ, BA and UA. It is just "bigger" feeling. Plus the overhears are smaller on the upper deck.

User currently offlineTod From Denmark, joined Aug 2004, 1725 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (8 years 9 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 9908 times:

Quoting TonyBurr (Reply 12):
Plus the overhears are smaller on the upper deck.

The Boeing ones are really small, but the Heath Tecna and Jamco aftermarket ones are much nicer.

Tod


User currently offlineAirfoilsguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (8 years 9 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 9884 times:

Quoting Sllevin (Reply 11):
The nose is a lot quiete

I have noticed this as well. Why is the upper deck more noisy?


User currently offlineDebonair From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2428 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (8 years 9 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 9823 times:

Quoting Airfoilsguy (Reply 14):
have noticed this as well. Why is the upper deck more noisy?

Yeap, but it should be better on the -400! I have worked many many years ago with LH Maintanance, and we re-configuered the First-Class from Upper-deck to main-deck- because the "SENATOR"-Passengers complained about the noise those days on the B747-200.


User currently offlineGr8Circle From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 3105 posts, RR: 4
Reply 16, posted (8 years 9 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 9814 times:

The windows on the upper deck of a 747 are terrible...too slanted...and the bins along the sides just make spotting more inconvenient....well, just my way of looking at it...

User currently offlineVV701 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 7531 posts, RR: 17
Reply 17, posted (8 years 9 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 9752 times:

My guess is that where F or C are located would depend mainly on how the upper cabin size jibes with the number of seats the airline has determined that it needs in each class. It would be ridiculous to have fewer seats of a given class in the upper cabin than there was space to install there. It would be inefficient to use the upper cabin for 90 per cent of the seats of a given class and then have to create a small cabin elsewhere for the other 10 per cent.

User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9634 posts, RR: 52
Reply 18, posted (8 years 9 months 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 9727 times:

I honestly prefer first class to be in the nose. The 2X2 first class seats on Lufthansa aren't great if you are travelling alone. I actually prefer to avoid them since if I am travelling first class since I don't want to sit next to someone. I prefer privacy. I think the A340s are much more comfortable with the 1X2X1 seating since you can sit alone if you are not travelling with anyone.

Business class is very nice on the upper deck. UA and NW both have business class up there. Virgin puts their upper class suites (along with premium economy) up there, so a suite style seat can fit.



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User currently offlinePixuk From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2003, 322 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (8 years 9 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 9541 times:

Virgin have two different configs. On their LHR aircraft, the top deck is half J (Upper Class Suites) in 1 + 1, and half W (Premium Economy) in 2 + 2.

On their LGW 747s, there is less demand for Upper Class, so those are only in Zone A on the main deck, whilst the entire top deck is W in 2 + 2.

Pete


User currently offlineMatt72033 From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 1617 posts, RR: 4
Reply 20, posted (8 years 9 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 9528 times:

Quoting Pixuk (Reply 19):
On their LHR aircraft, the top deck is half J

which i believe is used as a sleeper cabin on night flights!


User currently offlineRedneckslim From Congo (Brazzaville), joined Sep 2005, 97 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (8 years 9 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 9418 times:

I just came back from a trans Asia in world business class on NWA in seat 73-A upper deck... Windows SO low you have to slide way down in your seat to see, steeps really painful on the knees and get impacted on the way out. Exit rows upper deck are no big deal, ilse seat has a f/a facing you on t/o and landing and window seat has no window...bfd! Other than useless windows 73-a is the best seat. Down below 10-a or 10-k are great, much better line of sight for viewing, and a feeling of spaciousness with an open cabin. upperdeck is over rated and for first timers. the new seats are ok but I liked the old blue cloth first class seats that were sold as business class when first was dropped from NWA.

User currently offlineZrs70 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 3170 posts, RR: 9
Reply 22, posted (8 years 9 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 9385 times:

The prob with LH's first class upstairs is that it is difficult to access (for elderly, infirm, wheelchair, etc.). Usually, the airline has Biz both upstairs and downstairs, so it is a non-issue. But for those who wish to fly LH in F on a 747, but don't want to/ can't climb the stairs, then they can't fly in F at all.


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User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3706 posts, RR: 28
Reply 23, posted (8 years 9 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 9282 times:

Quoting DeltaGator (Reply 1):
drag your carry-on down the stairs

There is a reason why it is called carry-on  Wink

Quoting Treeny (Reply 6):
If you look at the BA 747-400 config for example, they dedicate their nose to First and then they have the 'main' business cabin along with seats upstairs - I may be wrong but I think it is more commercial than anything else......

This works best, partly because if BA put Club World in the nose they wouldn't get any more than the current 14 F seats in.

Nose works best for F in the 747 if you have a suite/demi-cabin type product like BA, SQ, CX, QF. However I really like the 747 upstairs, I've flown it many times with BA in Club World and like the exclusive feel (probably a little perceived there Big grin) but most recently I've stuck to flying LHR-IAD-LHR where the 777 and 747 operate together. The 747 is far superior in it's own right as check-in seem to fill the main deck first, (I've flown with four other passengers upstairs before and with 2 FAs the service is superb!), more personal space if you get a window seat, two bathrooms. Pretty much everything about upstairs is better than the 777 or downstairs.


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User currently offlineTod From Denmark, joined Aug 2004, 1725 posts, RR: 3
Reply 24, posted (8 years 9 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 9204 times:

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 23):
I've flown with four other passengers upstairs before and with 2 FAs the service is superb!), more personal space if you get a window seat, two bathrooms. Pretty much everything about upstairs is better than the 777 or downstairs.

All good, except the bins.

[shameless plug mode] At least the Heath Tecna bins in the photo are much nicer than the OEM product [/shameless plug mode]


25 GQfluffy : Excess weight. No need for it. Why do you think this?
26 1337Delta764 : With the likely use of composites, the airframe would be lighter than a 747-8, therefore allowing its use. BTW IMO the 747 replacement should have tw
27 Tod : Although weight is an important consideration, space is also extremely valuable. Then it wouldn't be a 747 would it? Tod
28 1337Delta764 : Exactly. It would be the 747's successor, and also an A380 killer.
29 Willyj : With LH's first class product they fit 16 seats upstairs. AF has/had a similar sized F seat on their 744s and they fit 13 seats in the nose. So, LH fi
30 Jwenting : And then of course there are airlines that operate a 2 class layout and so don't have any first class seats to place, like KLM.
31 Post contains links and images Fbgdavidson : I find the bins are superb. I don't find the need to bring on 82" rollaboards (and if I did I'd get the crew to put it in the cupboard). I usually ca
32 Tod : The sidewall stowbins are my favorite. You can stash all you little mid-flight amusements in there. I designed my first set back around 1980 and they
33 RoseFlyer : The point of using composites to make a plane lighter is to lower the weight, not make room for more extravagant things. The cost of an elevator in t
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