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How Much Would You Pay For Extra Seat Pitch?  
User currently offlineFlyBoeing From United States of America, joined May 2000, 866 posts, RR: 2
Posted (13 years 3 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 2524 times:

I'm trying to put together a mathematical justification for offering passengers more seat pitch. I will assume that the whole cost of moving the plane is a fixed cost (i.e, no variances per load, just variation based on miles flown). I would like to show that, given a typical load factor on a 777's flight, an airline could expect more revenue (and therefore, profit) on a flight if they flew a plane that was full with fewer seats with more room rather than a 75% full plane with tiny seats.

So here's the deal: What percentage of the fare would you pay extra for 1 more inch of leg room? What would you pay extra for 5 more inches of leg room? How much extra would you pay for a 2" wider seat?

Note:
I got the figure 2" since, all other things equal, there would be 2" of extra lateral space per passenger if you turned a 777 from 9 across to 8 across.

Any input here?

13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineUS A333 PIT From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 310 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (13 years 3 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 2503 times:

For seats 2 inches wider with five inches more leg room I would pay 3 percent more. But the leg room is more important than the width.

User currently offlineCarioca Canuck From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (13 years 3 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 2497 times:

As I fly 10+ hour intercontinental long distance I would pay $50 CDN per additional inch.

User currently offlineEraxandaf From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 154 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (13 years 3 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 2497 times:

It's hard to say how much I'd pay. I'm 6'2 and would love more seat pitch. But unfortunately as long as airlines keep offering low fares to attract more pax (ex: last year Air France offered $400 RT SFO-CDG and UA had an internet fare of $300 RT SFO-CDG) there doesn't seem to be much incentive to reduce seats to increase pitch. I fly to Papeete each year on Air France where the price is standard at $776.00 in econ. (usually bought at least 3 mos advance-the closer you get to departure depending on time of year, it goes higher). The business class fare is $3,100 RT. I'd probably pay half that (up to $1500) MAYBE if I were guaranteed a larger seat and better pitch. But that $776 fare is tempting so I'd probably just bear it and make do for 8 hours. But I will pay a couple hundred dollars to fly what "I feel" is a better airline (i.e. I could fly Corsair or AOM for cheaper but choose AF - frequent flyer plan, better schedules, better food and entertainment on board). By the way, I priced SFO-LHR British Airways flights recently for about $500 RT. The World Traveler PLUS was almost $2,000 RT and that isn't even business class (at over $6,000)! I guess it is not worth another $1500 or $5500 for a few more inches. Sad but true.

User currently offlineCeilidh From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (13 years 3 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2485 times:

I generally fly First intercontinentally (usually SQ, BA, QF or CX). However, I fly Concorde too - and that obviously is both more expensive than F and has less legroom (roughly the same as in J, so say 38 inches).

User currently offlineAirsicknessbag From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 4723 posts, RR: 34
Reply 5, posted (13 years 3 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2481 times:


0

Daniel 


User currently offlineDCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4466 posts, RR: 34
Reply 6, posted (13 years 3 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 2473 times:

I wouldn't pay anything. At 5'11.5 and 190 lb, I haven't yet found a jet aircraft seat yet that doesn't have enough pitch for me. The Fokker 100's seats aren't wide enough for comfort, but the seat pitch on US and AA was fine when i flew those carrier's F100's. (Some turboprops could do with more seat pitch though).

Also, I drink lots of fluid and stretch my legs during long flights, so I don't worry about clot problems.

Jim


User currently offlineDeltaSFO From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 2488 posts, RR: 23
Reply 7, posted (13 years 3 months 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 2469 times:

I generally fly First intercontinentally (usually SQ, BA, QF or CX). However, I fly Concorde too - and that obviously is both more expensive than F and has less legroom (roughly the same as in J, so say 38 inches).

Now what did that post contribute to this topic, other than to make you look like you're trying to impress us with your alleged worldly travel habits?

DeltaSFO



It's a new day. Every moment matters. Now, more than ever.
User currently offlineNa From Germany, joined Dec 1999, 10358 posts, RR: 11
Reply 8, posted (13 years 3 months 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 2462 times:

Being 1,86 m tall (I´m not too firm with the "olde-worlde"-feet-system, but 1,86 m is 6 feet 2 or 3) I´m still looking for an airline that offers sufficient room for my legs. Even for a lot of money in business class on short-haul-flights you don´t get more than in economy intercontinental.
Privately I would never pay the rediculously higher fares of Business or even First Class.

What I would pay is up to 15% more if an airline would offer 8-10 cm (4 inches) more legroom in economy. The width of a seat is not quite such a problem for me. I wouldn´t pay more than 3% plus if there would be 8 seats instead of 9 in a row.


User currently offlineWilcharl From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1160 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (13 years 3 months 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 2461 times:

if i was a paying customer id pay the 25 bucks on FL to upgrade on a flight over 1 hr 15 mins

User currently offlineJaysit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (13 years 3 months 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 2456 times:

If you raise pitch from say 31 to 34 inches, that is 3 inches per row, it translates to a lost row of seats every 11 rows. Thus, on a 3-class 777 which usually has about 25 Y class rows, that would mean a loss of about 18 seats. So the airline would have to make up that lost revenue somehow or another. Basic algorithm:
(Total seats at 31)/(Total seats at 34)*(original price at 31). That would mean at least 10% more per seat. However, airlines would also have to recover any lost profits incurred from selling a full house during peak periods. So, add another 5-10% to the price.

Given that some routes are only profitable during certain peak periods, when airlines cram in as many pax as possible, and are also restricted from making additional flights during those periods, I doubt very much if seat pitch will increase any time soon.


User currently offlineAduum From Australia, joined Sep 2000, 335 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (13 years 3 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2451 times:

If your looking for seat pitch....fly the business class of an upper deck on the Qantas 747-SP. There are 12 seats up there in total - 6 on each side.... I dont know inches but i swear there was a lot of room up there.

ADuum.


User currently offlineANA767 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 138 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (13 years 3 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2447 times:

I'd probably pay up to 10% domestically and 15% internationally for 2-3 more inches in pitch. Extra seat width would be nice, but is not that important to me.



User currently offlineFlyBoeing From United States of America, joined May 2000, 866 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (13 years 3 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2422 times:

I can't believe that most of you guys'd rather pay for extra seat pitch rather than seat width. Maybe it's just that I'm a squat person, but I'd love to have a wider seat.

Jaysit:

Admittedly there would be some lost seats. But you have to figure that:

1) There are some empty seats on every flight, anyway. The expected load factor is maybe 80%. In recessionary times, the load factor goes down anyway.

2) The carrier charges the passenger more anyway.

Factor (2) explains why my hypothetical carrier would only charge 10% more for giving 30% more space (increasing legroom to 37" and turning a 777 into 2-4-2... space goes up on a square foot basis) I figure that in UA's domestic 777's, there are 318 coach pax. Given an 80% load factor, they collect 254 coach-pax-revenue units on average.

If I got to that plane, it'd hold 244 coach pax. Since there are both fewer seats on my plane, it'd be easy to fill up; plus, we sell 10 fewer low fare tickets on places like priceline.com. The base average fare for my carrier would be larger since we squeeze out the low fare passenger who was taken on to fill seats. Figure the average fare goes up 2%. Add the 10% extra fare that the passenger THINKS is justified since he gets more space, and you get 1.1 * 1.02 and therefore we get

273 coach-pax-revenue units on average.

Of course all of this depends on us flying the planes full, or at least 92% full to get the same amount of revenue per planeload that other carriers get. That's the problem. Would enough people go for my carrier since it offers 30% more room for 10% more cost?

This is of course only an international carrier. It wouldn't make any sense to do anything other than cattle car the pax from Duluth to Minneapolis.

I figure we could get all those passengers since I'd offer some unique service enhancements and codeshare with jetBlue. I'm figuring on adding the following:

1) Connexion Internet ports on my aircraft for uninterupted Internet service to pax with Ethernet cards. We'd also rent portable computers at cost for the pax. Initially, the price would be low enough to cover the costs; then, as pax find that they'd rather fly with my carrier, we'd rachet it up.

2) Instead of PTVs (and paying obscene prices for installation and maintenance) , offering a free DVD player rental to every passenger who wants it

3) Having a seperate lounge at our hub with nice seats and enforced quiet zones.


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