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Long Haul Seating Differences - 757 Vs. 707/DC-8  
User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20640 posts, RR: 62
Posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 5654 times:

Just as sure as your dad would tell you he used to walk three miles in the snow every morning to school when you asked your mom to pull out the station wagon to drive you three blocks, every time talk about the 757 doing trans-Atlantic runs comes up, if someone complains how uncomfortable they are, it's brought up that we used to fly those routes (with multiple stops, even!) on the 707 or DC-8 without any problems.

My question is, for those of you who remember, weren't the 707 and DC-8 better equipped seat-wise in coach for those trips?

On my first 707 flight, I was too young to even think about something as esoteric as how far apart the seats were, and it made little difference to me then. As I grew older, I recall flying non-stop between coasts on TWA 707s, and the seat and pitch were quite comfortable (who knows, maybe I'm just jaded now). Flying later on the UA Super DC-8, it still stands out in my mind that the legroom was quite non-standard to what we were growing used to, and the chair was a more substantial affair. All things considered, I'd still rather fly a Super DC-8 long haul if I was flying coach, just based on past impressions of all types.

My understanding is that the current 757s flying across the ocean are fitted with the same seats you'd find on a domestic trip, with 31" or thereabouts of seat pitch, not exactly the most comfortable for everyone.

Is my memory just faulty about the narrow-bodied long haul jets of the past, or is there no difference? Would the 757 be more accepted if the seats were just a bit more comfy? Perhaps we should be qualifying our saying the 707 and DC-8 were just fine, because they were that much better seat-wise.


International Homo of Mystery
7 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineLongHauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 4987 posts, RR: 42
Reply 1, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 5576 times:

When Trans-Canada Airlines introduced the DC-8-40 in the early 1960s, the seat pitch of Economy and First Class was the same!!! That was the design of the DC-8, as all seats were aligned with the windows, with a 40 inch seat pitch.

While Economy had good leg room, (still with 6 abreast) the 110 or so passengers had access to 4 lavatories. The 24 First Class passengers with the same leg room, enjoyed 4 abreast seating, with foot rests, a stand-up bar and a 5 seat lounge. Oh and yeah .. they had to battle over 2 lavs. All in all, it sounds pretty comfortable.

As the DC-8 evolved at Air Canada, First Class eventually was reduced to 20, then 16, then 12 ... all with the same 2 lavs, bar and 5 seat lounge!! Economy seat pitch was reduced to 36 inches, so the windows were no longer aligned with the seats, and every 7 or so rows, had only a portion of a window out of which to view.

So, yes, I would have to say, that although the B757 would have IFE/audio/films etc, and the DC-8 did not (until the very end of service), I would have to give the edge to the DC-8 in terms of comfort.



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlineBohica From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2701 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 5570 times:

Quoting AeroWesty (Thread starter):
Just as sure as your dad would tell you he used to walk three miles in the snow every morning to school

You forgot the part about going uphill in BOTH directions.  Smile

If they would put the 707/DC-8 seats in the 757 and at the same seat pitch it would be much more comfortable. Around the time the 757 came out, airlines started installing thinner seats to save weight at the expense of passenger comfort. Give me a 707 or DC-8 any day.


User currently offlineIsitsafenow From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4984 posts, RR: 23
Reply 3, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 5566 times:

You gotta remember the DC8's model 30's thru 50 did not hold as many people as the 757. If I remember right, with F anc C the 707's and DC8's were someplace around 24 in F and 120 in C. Those numbers may not be exact but they are close. The seats and pitch were a bit bigger then the planes of today.
safe



If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20640 posts, RR: 62
Reply 4, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 5527 times:

Quoting LongHauler (Reply 1):
When Trans-Canada Airlines introduced the DC-8-40 in the early 1960s, the seat pitch of Economy and First Class was the same!

Holy cow! And I thought "three feet for your two legs on Western Airlines" was something.

Quoting Bohica (Reply 2):
You forgot the part about going uphill in BOTH directions

Our dads went to the same school, eh?  Wink

Quoting Isitsafenow (Reply 3):
The seats and pitch were a bit bigger then the planes of today.



Quoting LongHauler (Reply 1):
So, yes, I would have to say, that although the B757 would have IFE/audio/films etc, and the DC-8 did not (until the very end of service), I would have to give the edge to the DC-8 in terms of comfort.

Alright, that's good to have as confirmation. So when we wax on about how hard could it be to fly a 757 to Europe, our flying SFO-HNL-NRT-HKG-BKK in a narrow-body was a completely different affair in comparison.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineBrightCedars From Belgium, joined Nov 2004, 1289 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 5343 times:

Some airlines are still providing decent service on narrow-body aircraft e.g. ME who's A321 seats only 149 or so. Economy is 3-3 at 32" with PTV and business is 2-2 at 48".

I am convinced a 757 can be as comfortable as any wide body if you apply comfortable metrics and modern entertainment to it.



I want the European Union flag on airliners.net!
User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 5300 times:

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 4):
Quoting Bohica (Reply 2):
You forgot the part about going uphill in BOTH directions

Our dads went to the same school, eh?

. . . . in the blinding snow . . . . .

I'd take a 707 or a Diesel 8 any time and day over a 757 on a long haul.

UAs DC8s were awesome when they did the ANC-HNL flights in the 80s . . . compare them now to a 757 and even in F it's not nearly as comfortable a flight.

Note also that UA had 5 abreast (3-2) coach seating in their DC8s for a time:

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Photo © Robert L. Bradley



Give me "the good ole days" any time.

[Edited 2006-05-30 10:54:35]

User currently offlineYYZYYT From Canada, joined Apr 2005, 955 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 5185 times:

I have a different issue with the DC 8. On my last trip on one (August 1986, Worldway Canada YYZ-FRA - was in FRA getting ready to return the next morning when Worldways went under. fun!) was quite comfy, 2-3 seating IIRC

BUT, the windows were set lower than other aircraft, and I had to bend forward slightly to see out (which is, after all, the best part about flying). Has a sore neck by the time that we disembarked.


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