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2-5-2 Seat Configuration - Why?  
User currently offlineEconoBoy From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 157 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 11536 times:

Having read a flight review complaining about claustrophobic 2-5-2 seating layout in economy, and having once had the misfortune myself to be seated in the middle of a row of five on a long haul flight, I wonder why airlines persist in using this layout instead of 3-3-3. What advantages does 2-5-2 offer?

70 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineSunshine79 From UK - England, joined Jan 2006, 1759 posts, RR: 31
Reply 1, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 11526 times:

What size aircraft would that be?


Formerly alcregular, Why drive when you can fly?
User currently offlineEconoBoy From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 157 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 11503 times:

The review mentions a 777, in my case, it was an MD11 (sometime ago).

User currently offlineCarpethead From Japan, joined Aug 2004, 2940 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 11494 times:

Advantage: If seated in a window seat, only one seat/person to hop over.

I have only once sat in the dreaded middle 2-5-2. A less than one hour hop between HND-ITM on a JAS 777 a few years ago.

Quoting Sunshine79 (Reply 1):
What size aircraft would that be?

Most likely a/c types are 777s, MD-11s, DC-10s, and L-1011s.
I believe Airbus widebodies can be fitted to nine-abreast like in high-density config but not sure if they can be 2-5-2 and/or 3-3-3.


User currently offline777ER From New Zealand, joined Dec 2003, 12082 posts, RR: 18
Reply 4, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 11435 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR

UAs domestic B772 have 2-5-2 seating.

User currently offlineMEA-707 From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4302 posts, RR: 36
Reply 5, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 11422 times:

The idea of 2-5-2 is that now only 1 in 9 seats has two seats between them and the aisle, and you can put big families in the fiver.
3-3-3 has two out of 9 with two seats between them and the aisle, but everyone here will agree these two are more then compensated by their window and probably willing to give up their ease to move around for that.
A compromise is to have 2-4-3 configuration, I believe Swissair MD-11s had these, but that makes the aircraft weight unbalanced and also people might not like the a symetric look.



nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
User currently offlineMotorHussy From New Zealand, joined Mar 2000, 3135 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 11341 times:

Quoting MEA-707 (Reply 5):
A compromise is to have 2-4-3 configuration, I believe Swissair MD-11s had these, but that makes the aircraft weight unbalanced and also people might not like the a symmetric look.

I used to enjoy this layout on NZ's DC-10-30's back in the late 70's to mid 80's from AKL-HNL-LAX, AKL-NAN-PPT and AKL-PPT-LAX with my three siblings.

Also, from experience, a great thing about the 5 central seats is that on a quiet longhaul, they make for a great bed.

Regards
MH



come visit the south pacific
User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 11295 times:

Quoting EconoBoy (Thread starter):
What advantages does 2-5-2 offer?

Less middle seats - the bane of every Y traveler. That simple.

3-3-3 puts a three middle seats in every row. 2-5-2 puts on middle seat in every row. It's that simple.


User currently offlineMEA-707 From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4302 posts, RR: 36
Reply 8, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 11271 times:

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 7):
3-3-3 puts a three middle seats in every row. 2-5-2 puts on middle seat in every row. It's that simple.

This is only playing with semantics, you don't count the 2nd and 4th seat of the centre block as 'middle seat' just because it technically isn't, but everyone will agree it is at least as miserable seat then the middle seat of the window block, the 2-5-2 brings at least as many undesirable seats as 3-3-3.



nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 11228 times:

Quoting MEA-707 (Reply 8):
you don't count the 2nd and 4th seat of the centre block

Nope - but Seat #3 of the center block is a middle seat.

Not semantics . . . . 2-5-2 has 2/3rds less center seats. Seat #3 in the center of the 5 seat center block is the center seat. . . . the 2 and 2 side blocks have no centers.

3-3-3 has a center seat in each block . . . therefore 3 center seats in each row. . . .

It's not semantics - it's simple math.

Look at this CO 777 Y Cabin. Count the number of center seats in this 3-3-3 config. There are 76.
http://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Con...nental_Airlines_Boeing_777-200.php

Look at this UA 777 Y Cabin. Count the number of center seats in this 2-5-2 config. There are 32 .

http://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Uni...ited_Airlines_Boeing_777-200_D.php

Look at this DL 777 Y Cabin. Count the number of center seats in this 3-3-3 config. There are 70.

http://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Del...elta_Airlines_Boeing_777-200_B.php


User currently offlineCX777Fan From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 294 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 11192 times:

I agree with MEA-707. Saying the 2nd and 4th seats in the middle aren't "middle" seats is a bit silly really. If I'm in the second or fourth seat, then there is one person on one side and three people on the other. That sounds pretty "middle" to me. Give me 3-3-3 any day!!!

User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 11178 times:

Quoting CX777Fan (Reply 10):
Saying the 2nd and 4th seats in the middle aren't "middle" seats is a bit silly really

I don't know where you got the idea I said that.

Let me see if I can do a simple graphic here:

XX will indicate a seat. A will indicate an Aisle. CS will indicate a CENTER SEAT

2-5-2 Seat Rows:

XX XX A XX XX CS XX XX A XX XX

3-3-3 Seat Rows:

XX CS XX A XX CS XX A XX CS XX

Now which one do you think has more Center Seats?

2-5-2 or 3-3-3?


User currently offlineAeroTycoon From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 101 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 11124 times:

One advantage is ease for the passenger.

A fair bit of travelling is done by people travelling in pairs. Couples travelling together can take the two seats and have some relative privacy. For a couple on a full longhaul flight, not having that third seat (and accompanying stranger) is nice!

Also MD-80/DC-9 family with the 2-3 seating, although not used for longhaul trips.


User currently offlineCPH757 From Denmark, joined Sep 2005, 684 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 11097 times:

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 11):
2-5-2 Seat Rows:

XX XX A XX XX CS XX XX A XX XX

3-3-3 Seat Rows:

XX CS XX A XX CS XX A XX CS XX

Now which one do you think has more Center Seats?

2-5-2 or 3-3-3?

That depends on how you interpret center. Center as a geometrical center or center as a seat with a seat next to you left and right. The correct one in this case is the latter, as the discomfort of a center seat applies to both #2, #3 and #4, even though only #3 is the geometrical center. That leaves 3 seats with "center properties", thus as bad as 3-3-3, except that you now have one seat without windows with 2 seats to the aisle.

The geometrical definition is irrelevant in this case, as it doesn't express anything about comfort.

The result of the 2-5-2 is that some people are made better off (windows seats and the seat next to), while other are made worse off. The idea could be that people who care when they order the ticket, also do the effort of reserving a seat making them better off (typically FF's). Those that don't, would to a higher degree tend to be indifferent, or closer to indifferent.

Quoting MEA-707 (Reply 5):
A compromise is to have 2-4-3 configuration, I believe Swissair MD-11s had these, but that makes the aircraft weight unbalanced and also people might not like the a symetric look.

AY and KL still have this configuration on their MD-11's. This is really the best distribution, as it makes the 2 seat row better of, without making anyone else worse off, as the 2 middle seats in the 4 seat row still only have one seat to the aisle. It is also easier to distribute groups easier when row width are different.

[Edited 2006-01-12 13:41:25]


Last flight: SAW-CPH on H9 on 02/11/09 - Next Flights: 23/12/09 CPH-AAL on QI, 30/12/09 CPH-LHR on SK, 19/01/10 CPH-CDG-
User currently offlineGeo772 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2004, 519 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 11029 times:

I prefer a 3-3-3 config over a 2-5-2.

I can't really say why, I just do.



Flown on A300B4/600,A319/20/21,A332/3,A343,B727,B732/3/4/5/6/7/8,B741/2/4,B752/3,B762/3,B772/3,DC10,L1011-200,VC10,MD80,
User currently offlinePM From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 6867 posts, RR: 63
Reply 15, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 10974 times:

Much as I agree that being in the "middle" (which is only meaningfully defined as having a passenger to either side, whether you're in the geometric centre of the cabin or not!) is no fun and much as having two passengers to either side is doubly as unpleasant, the plus side of 2-5-2 is that those who always get windows (which, let's face it, we all do) is that you only have one stranger between you and the aisle. I've flown an MAS 777 in Economy with 2-5-2 and a KLM 777 in Economy with 3-3-3 and, with a window seat, I'd probably prefer the former.

User currently offlineParisien From France, joined Dec 2000, 821 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 10825 times:

Apparently the 2 5 2 configuration was preferred for UA 777s after consultation with pax and crew (this based only on a conversation with crew members). True, fewer seats where you have to climb over 2 people to get to the aisle (rather than calling them middle seats, i opt for this). And if the plane is not fully full necessitating the use of the dreaded center seat in the 5 seat row, no pax would be more than 1 seat away from the aisle.
That said, a friend flew on UA without requesting a seat and was automatically given the center seat of the 5 for a 12 hour flight (SFO to europe)...luckily the plane was not full and she actually got the whole row to herself and had the best flight ! but you would think with the logic of the configuration that they would assign those seats LAST !!!


User currently offlineChristao17 From Thailand, joined Apr 2005, 938 posts, RR: 8
Reply 17, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 10783 times:

Advantage of 3-3-3 seating:
During light loads, couples sitting together can share a set of three seats.

Disadvantage of 3-3-3 seating:
More likely to have to climb over 2 people to get to the aisle.

Advantage of 2-5-2 seating:
Less likely to have to climb over 2 people to get to the aisle.

Disadvantage of 2-5-2 seating:
Hmmm... can't really think of one. The middle seat of the five is just as inconvenient as a window seat in a 3-3-3 pattern.

Of course, it is just a matter of preferences, isn't it?



Keeping the "civil" in civil aviation...
User currently offlineBigD From Canada, joined Apr 2001, 89 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 10656 times:

I guess it really is a question of preferences.

But let me tell you, being "stuck" between two drunk, smelly, snoring 6'6 tall football hooligans in the middle seat of a UA 777 IAD-AMS flight counts as my absolute worst flight ever. I hate 2-5-2! I'll never fly this configuration again and I usually fly at least 50K miles every year.

BigD


User currently offlineCommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11413 posts, RR: 62
Reply 19, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 10629 times:

It is done because many passengers travelling together as a couple enjoy having a bit more privacy and being a bit more secluded by sitting by themselves together in a 2-5-2 layout by the window than having a third person sitting next to them, as in a 3-3-3 layout. In addition, while it would be horrible to be sitting in the dreaded middle seat with a pairs of couples on either side, the instance of this happening is fairly rair. Often, the middle seats on lighter load flights are not even filled, and the vast majority of the time, when they are filled, it is with larger groups or families (i.e., the middle 5 seats filled with a family of 3, couple of 2, or a family of 4, and a single person). I am a huge fan of 2-5-2!

User currently offlineGogodude From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 8 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 10595 times:

I flew US Air to Rome in an A330 and it was 2-5-2.
Luckily my girlfriend and I were together on the side.

She told me a story that she once was in the middle seat in a 7-seat wide section. I asked her, "are you sure?" and she was adament. It was when she flew to Hawaii around 10 years ago. I assumed it was a 747.


User currently offlinePM From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 6867 posts, RR: 63
Reply 21, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 10566 times:

Quoting Gogodude (Reply 20):
She told me a story that she once was in the middle seat in a 7-seat wide section. I asked her, "are you sure?" and she was adament. It was when she flew to Hawaii around 10 years ago. I assumed it was a 747.

Really? I assume she's getting a bit confused. I cannot imagine ANY plane being configured - or being allowed to be configured - with a block of seats 7-wide!


User currently offlineGogodude From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 8 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 10548 times:

Quoting PM (Reply 21):
Really? I assume she's getting a bit confused. I cannot imagine ANY plane being configured - or being allowed to be configured - with a block of seats 7-wide!

I am with you, buddy. I find it hard to believe. I still ask her sometimes and she still swears by it. But she was still a kid and a girl that knew nothing about airplanes. Things seem bigger and more annoying when you are a little kid trying not to bother the big people you have to step over to go to the bathroom!


User currently offlinePM From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 6867 posts, RR: 63
Reply 23, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 10545 times:

Quoting Gogodude (Reply 20):
I flew US Air to Rome in an A330 and it was 2-5-2.

Are you ABSOLUTELY sure? The USAir website shows a 2-4-2 configuration. I'm told that some charter airlines squeeze 3-3-3 into A330s (sounds awful) but I can't imagine that a legacy carrier would do so.


User currently offlineAirCanada014 From Canada, joined Oct 2005, 1513 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 10425 times:

EK considers a legacy carrier and their a/c 777 and 340-500 are 3x4x3.
I wonder what seat layout AC will have for their new 777-200LR and 777-300ER?


25 CPH757 : Well, she exaggerates a bit. That configuration is not allowed. According to certification rules (emergency wise) there can be no more than 2 seats t
26 PM : No. They indeed have 3-4-3 in 777s but certainly not in their A340-500s. They're 2-4-2 in Economy.
27 USADreamliner : 5: center seat have 2 pax at each side. 3: center seat have only 1 pax at each side. I choose the 3-3-3 configuration. For me it's not simple math, i
28 Post contains images Airbazar : I hate the 2-5-2 more than anything else. It has just as many "middle" seats (3/9) as a 3-3-3 except on a 3-3-3 I can get the window and still sit nex
29 Post contains images Keta : I fully agree. I'd rather be in the window seats on a 3-3-3, than in the middle of a 2-5-2. I'd count also seats 4 and 6, since if you sit there you
30 Bombayhog : If you travel in a group of three a lot then 3-3-3 would probably be fine for you, but if you travel a lot by yourself or in a couple, then 2-5-2 clea
31 Birdbrainz : This agrees with what I've heard. My father worked for UA, and he was told that the block of five was for families. However, the other argument about
32 Ckfred : Just a thought, but when the L-1011 and DC-10 went into service, they were 2-4-2. Only after deregulation was the 9th seat added to each row, making f
33 Lindy : Why people call UAL's 777 domestic? On which routes do they fly? Because I don't know single UAL 777 flight that is just domestic. Even if you fly fr
34 HAMAD : L1011's are 2-5-2 as well but some airlines tried getting out of this confirguration for example: Gulf air L-1011's had 3-4-2 as well as KLM MD-11's a
35 Slovacek747 : I really like the 2-5-2 seating arrangement. It's much better than 3-3-3 because many more people can sit by the window and only have one person to cl
36 Lincoln : If it was a US-registered airplane (or if it was regestered in a country that follows US FARs), 7 abreast would not be legal. US FARs (specifically,
37 AR385 : Ok, I'm officially confused between the semantics and the arithmetic calculations made here. So, I'll just throw my two cents. MX had its DC-10-15's c
38 HS748 : Yes it is semantics....the three seats in the middle of a block of five are all middle seats. You see what can be done with semantics?
39 IRelayer : I find these drawings and discussions pretty entertaining. Heh. What it comes down to is this though: The goal of getting a Y seat for most people is
40 UAL747 : I've never understood the argument that 3x3x3 is better than 2x5x2. IMHO, 2X5X2 wins. Since the pro 3x3x3 people always use the argument, "Well, in 3x
41 YULWinterSkies : Two advantages: One person instead of two has two people to disturb to reach the aisle. That person has the choice between two times two people to lea
42 Luniew : I take 2-5-2 any day, when traveling in this configuration its very nice to sit with my wife by ourselves. I usual make my reservations ahead of time
43 Hmmmm... : 2 5 2 makes more sense because most people who fly, not for business, are either flying with a companion, i.e. wife, or flying with their family. The
44 AI : why not ???
45 STARalliance24 : Air Transat's A330-200 has a configuration of 3-3-3!
46 Amy : In 3-3-3. 5 people per row have to climb over someone to get to the aisle. 2 of those have to climb over two people. In 2-5-2, 5 people per row have t
47 Aerorobnz : 2-5-2 appears more cluttered and claustrophobic onboard, 3-3-3 appears bright and airy in comparison and even the 3-4-3 on EK 773s appears less so, it
48 Mir : Your logic is flawed because you're only considering a middle seat to be one in the exact middle of the row. I think that the more agreed upon defini
49 Luniew : How many abreasts is 787 going to have? The 777 is 7 inches wider than 787 dimensions. I hope they will have 2-4-2. At the end it still up to the airl
50 Post contains links DFW13L : All this talk about 2-5-2 vs 3-3-3. Here's the worst one in the industry...the Emirates 777. It has 3-4-3. Just check the seat maps on http://www.emir
51 474218 : Why 2-5-2? Because 3-5-3 wouldn't fit. If it would fit someone would have it.
52 Afterburner : I agree with you. The 2-4-3 configuration is the best compromise. Does this configuration really unbalance the aircraft? Then what about aircrafts li
53 Simpilicity : As far as we know World Airways puts 3-4-3 in Y class in all their MD11's. Then again, soldiers can hardly complain to anyone !!! Is an MD11 cabin muc
54 Post contains images Halls120 : Advantage of 2-5-2 seating: occasionally you get the entire row of five seats to yourself, and on on overnight flight, you get heavenly sleep stretch
55 Nonrevman : There could be one slight advantage the center seat in 2-5-2 has besides this. They will not have to worry about anyone waking them up and wanting to
56 TWA902fly : Well by definition on this website we're all aviation buffs, and i definately prefer 2-5-2 better than 3-3-3 when i travel alone. You get two chances
57 1011 : I too always travel with one other person so I try to pick a plane with 2 seats by the window because it sucks to sit by someone else since I always g
58 RJ111 : Sitting in the middle of a 2-5-2 is fine provided a fellow traveller is beside you. I could imagine it's a bit wierd if you are alone and in the middl
59 Jetlagged : Speak for yourself. Why should aviation buffs prefer 3-3-3? I'm a huge aviation fan, but travelling alone 2-5-2 is far preferable. To me it's all abo
60 Edelag : That is exactly why I am in favor of the 2-5-2 seating configuration. Why do you think that on 3-3 configuration on a narrowbody, the middle seats ar
61 Motopolitico : And that says it all.
62 AA777 : I flew on AFs 777s DXB-CDG-IAD, which was 3-3-3.... and I have to say, the last time I flew 2-5-2 was with AA MIA-EZE-MIA. I found the 2-5-2 much more
63 Iwok : Last summer I flew SFO-HNL on a 772. Great flight and ac, but lacking updated IFE. My favorite is still 2-3-2 on the 767. On transatlantics its almos
64 Post contains links Bri2k1 : How about ORD-DEN? I've also flown IAD-DEN, and both of those trips in the opposite direction. The timetables available at http://united.com/page/art
65 Lincoln : Besides the routes already mentioned, LAX-ORD is-or at least was in late 2003-served by a 772 (UA0100 or UA0125 -- one was my outbound 772, the other
66 NumberTwelve : LH had the 2-5-2 configuration on their DC 10's. Only 1 seat per row to hop over 2 other seats.
67 NW727251ADV : This question has been asked MANY MANY MANY times and has been answered MANY MANY MANY times. Boeing seems to be marketing an 8-abreast 3-2-3 config
68 Molykote : From a passenger standpointm my favorite widebody configuration is the 2-4-2 of the current Airbus products. This is partially because the center of t
69 AADC10 : One of the issues in 2-5-2 seating may not just be the seating, it may be the bulkhead. On UA 772s the bulkhead in the middle of the coach section has
70 Aerorobnz : Go last thing before you get on, and first thing when you get off and you won't even need to go onboard....
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