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Why Brand New Lie-Flat Seats Not Horizontal?  
User currently offlineSSTsomeday From Canada, joined Oct 2006, 1276 posts, RR: 1
Posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 8587 times:

I find it difficult to understand how DL (and other airlines?) can be introducing a brand new product in BusinessFirst that will on it's first day already be behind the curve; i.e: lie flat seats that are not horizontal. Why introduce an archaic product that is outdated even before it's introduced?

I can understand that some airlines have reduced their economy product (KL putting 10 seats across in a 777) or lagged in their upgrade of economy cabins (eg: UA), since consumers in those cabins are allegedly buying solely on price. I also understand that not all airlines compete with SQ or EK.

However since the premium cabins are their bread and butter, and especially for airlines that have only Business Class but not First - why would they introduce a brand new product that already has low grades? Can they expect to stay competitive?

Are airlines, in general, retracting from previous product levels in Business Class to try and fit more people in those cabins? Have Delta's international competitors lowered the bar?

I don't get it.

Thoughts?


I come in peace
22 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAlitalia744 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 4764 posts, RR: 44
Reply 1, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 8573 times:



Quoting SSTsomeday (Thread starter):
I find it difficult to understand how DL (and other airlines?) can be introducing a brand new product in BusinessFirst that will on it's first day already be behind the curve; i.e: lie flat seats that are not horizontal. Why introduce an archaic product that is outdated even before it's introduced?

Can I ask what the heck are you talking about?

The new BusinessElite seats are horizontal lie-flats.

767 lie-flat:


777 lie-flat:



Some see lines, others see between the lines.
User currently offlineCallBell From Germany, joined Mar 2008, 223 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 8553 times:

There may not be the space available to install flat bed/seats. An airline wishing to install them will have to either increase the Business Class cabin size or reduce the number of seats. Either way could result in reduced revenues...

User currently offlineKiwiandrew From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 8632 posts, RR: 13
Reply 3, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 8453 times:
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if something is 'lie flat' then it is horizontal. Unfortunately confusion arises because some unscrupulous airlines which have fitted sloped beds refer to them 'lie flat' , which is , of course , a flat out lie


Moderation in all things ... including moderation ;-)
User currently offlineAfterburner From Indonesia, joined Jun 2005, 1220 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 8431 times:

The word 'flat' doesn't necessarily mean 'horizontal'. How about 'flat screen tv'?

User currently offlineKiwiandrew From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 8632 posts, RR: 13
Reply 5, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 8420 times:
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Quoting Afterburner (Reply 4):
The word 'flat' doesn't necessarily mean 'horizontal'. How about 'flat screen tv'?

I didnt say that it does , if airlines want to call their sloping beds 'flat' I have no objection , it is when they call them 'lie flat' that it becomes deceitful . Pick at random ten native English speakers and ask them what 'lie flat' means to them - I do not believe that you will get a single one who will take it to mean ' lying at a sloped angle'



Moderation in all things ... including moderation ;-)
User currently onlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 26026 posts, RR: 22
Reply 6, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 7787 times:



Quoting SSTsomeday (Thread starter):
find it difficult to understand how DL (and other airlines?) can be introducing a brand new product in BusinessFirst that will on it's first day already be behind the curve; i.e: lie flat seats that are not horizontal. Why introduce an archaic product that is outdated even before it's introduced?

What DL aircraft are you referring to? As far as I know the new seats DL is installing on widebodies are fully horizontal. That's not true for longhaul 757-200s as fully-horizontal seats take up a lot of space on a narrow-body. Even the all-business class PrivatAir BBJs and A319CJs operated for LH/KL/LX do not have horizontal lie-flat seats.


User currently offlineCba From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 4531 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 7747 times:



Quoting SSTsomeday (Thread starter):
I can understand that some airlines have reduced their economy product (KL putting 10 seats across in a 777) or lagged in their upgrade of economy cabins (eg: UA), since consumers in those cabins are allegedly buying solely on price

I think that airlines changing their coach configuration to 10 abreast 777s from 9 abreast will find economy travelers looking elsewhere, unless they undercut the fares of the competition offering 9 abreast 777s (or 8 abreast A330/A340s, or 7 abreast 767s).

The sloped "lie flat" seats save a considerable amount of space over a full flat bed. I recently flew AA in J on a 763, and although having the full flat bed would have been nice, sleeping in their sloped seats was quite easy. DL probably figured that it wasn't worth it on the 763, but the 772 fleet will have full flat beds in J as they generally fly longer hauls.

On a 6-8 hour transatlantic flight it isn't as big of a deal, but the for the 14+ hour super long haul 777 flights, having the lie flat seat does go a long way.


User currently offlineAdam42185 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 416 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 6985 times:

My dad once asked an F/A about his non-horizontal lie flat *bed* and she told him that it was slightly angled to offset the slightly nose up pitch of the aircraft during cruise -- is there any truth to that?

User currently offlineBa97 From Canada, joined Apr 2004, 377 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 6940 times:

Lie flat is not necessarily "flat". I have noticed that the beds are not necessarily horizontal to the floor. I get the "feeling" that some sit at a slight angle to counter the nose up of the plane?
In particular on Club World and J class beds on Qantus I felt my toes down a bit below my head when on forward facing. On AC beds I do not feel it but then they are at an angle. There is a difference in seats that go "flat" and those that you "lie flat". AC and KLM had J seats that were "Flat but you were at an angle compared ot the floor as the leg support came up and the back tilted to give a flat surface.

I agree having a bed on a 7 hour or less flight is a bit of a waste. On longer flights, it sure makes things nice.



there is economy class, business class, first class...then Concorde..pure class
User currently offlinePellegrine From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 2495 posts, RR: 8
Reply 10, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 6866 times:



Quoting SSTsomeday (Thread starter):
i.e: lie flat seats that are not horizontal. Why introduce an archaic product that is outdated even before it's introduced?

Fully flat seats take up more floor space/pitch than angled flat seats. No matter what the configuration.

Quoting Kiwiandrew (Reply 3):
if something is 'lie flat' then it is horizontal. Unfortunately confusion arises because some unscrupulous airlines which have fitted sloped beds refer to them 'lie flat' , which is , of course , a flat out lie

Usually the difference is denoted by the phrases 'lie flat' and 'flat bed'. 'Lie flat' seats can be angled (the seat is flat, but it's angled relative to the floor), 'flat bed' seats are fully flat and parallel to the floor.

Yes sloped or angled 'lie flat' seats save a lot of space, as the feet of the person behind will go under the head of the person in front. Horizontal flat bed seats must either be in the form of a herringbone configuration, a BA/EY type config which sacrifices width (8-abreast business in the 777), or a SQ style config which allows one to sit normally but lie down diagonally relative to direction of travel.



oh boy!!!
User currently offlineDuckredbeard From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 49 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (5 years 7 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 5653 times:

They do lie flat, but they aren't that comfortable. I am 5'8, about 160 lbs and I found them to be mostly awkward. Most of those who tried them out before the plane rolled across the tracks agreed. The tray table is a puzzle to stow. We actually had people who had never before been in the seats race to see who could get their tray tables put away the fastest.

User currently offlineDxBrian From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 135 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (5 years 7 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 5620 times:

I have yet to ride in a business class seat which lies parallel to the floor. I have ridden in CO 777s which have the "lie flat" and are angled at maybe 10 to 15 degrees from the horizontal. As previously mentioned, they do save space by having the feet of one row under the head section of the row in front. I don't like them for three reasons; 1) if you are in the window seat and have to get out to use the lavatory it can be very difficult to get out of your seat and across the aisle seat to get to the aisle, 2) it's probably my imagination but I feel like I am sliding off and 3) the seats do not recline as much as the 767 seats do in "full recline". I sleep better in the 767 BF than in 777 BF.

Disclaimer - I have not been on either of these airplanes since 2005 and things may have changed.


User currently offlineLoneStarMike From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 3868 posts, RR: 33
Reply 13, posted (5 years 7 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 5583 times:

NW (and others) had lie flat beds in the 1950's.

http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/adaccess/T/T22/T2283-72dpi.jpeg

Now that looks comfortable!  Smile

LoneStarMike


User currently offlineAA1818 From Trinidad and Tobago, joined Feb 2006, 3439 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (5 years 7 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 5566 times:



Quoting Cba (Reply 7):
I think that airlines changing their coach configuration to 10 abreast 777s from 9 abreast will find economy travelers looking elsewhere,

I have seen this written so many times before on this site. Economy passengers have so many other things to care about than how many people across. For 80% of economy pax, losing a 1/4 inch in seat with (or less) is not going to be noticeable. I bet if you polled economy pax disembarking an 8 hour flight, many of them would struggle to tell you how many seats there were in a row.

Chosing an airline based on seat width and number of seats across is sooo NOT a priotity for economy pax. They care more about seat pitch, IFE, Food service, FF loyalty, PRICE, schedule, and everything else over the number of seats in a row. So long as 10 abreast is tolerable on a flight, there is no significant disadvantage to doing it.

Quoting Adam42185 (Reply 8):
My dad once asked an F/A about his non-horizontal lie flat *bed* and she told him that it was slightly angled to offset the slightly nose up pitch of the aircraft during cruise -- is there any truth to that?

I've never heard that one before. If it's not entirely true, then kudos to the F/A for coming up with a great "excuse"! hehe

I fly AA Business class between various mostly on the 767 POS-MIA and 777 JFK, ORD or MIA-LHR and the angled, lie-flat seats are just fine. If you want a bed at 37,000 feet, fly first. Simple. The angled seats offer enough comfort for anyone to get some rest on a long flight. Cars, buses and even some trains aren't as comfortable as an angled business class seat. At the end of the day, you fly as a means of transportation, not for a bed so you can sleep.

AA1818



“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.” J.M. Barrie (Peter Pan)
User currently offlineBramble From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (5 years 7 months 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5461 times:



Quoting SSTsomeday (Thread starter):
Why introduce an archaic product that is outdated even before it's introduced?



Quoting SSTsomeday (Thread starter):
especially for airlines that have only Business Class but not First - why would they introduce a brand new product that already has low grades?

Questions that are being asked about the recent Aer Lingus cabin upgrade.

Quoting Adam42185 (Reply 8):
My dad once asked an F/A about his non-horizontal lie flat *bed* and she told him that it was slightly angled to offset the slightly nose up pitch of the aircraft during cruise -- is there any truth to that?

Now that is a great answer.

Quoting LoneStarMike (Reply 13):
Now that looks comfortable!

The bed or the lady to read you a bedtime story?


User currently offlineQqflyboy From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2298 posts, RR: 13
Reply 16, posted (5 years 7 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 5420 times:

According to the dictionary on my Mac, flat means, "smooth and even; without marked lumps or indentations." So, an angled or sloping seat can still be flat, provided it is smooth. Flat and level are being confused here, and they are not the same.


The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect my employer’s views.
User currently offlineBurj From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 902 posts, RR: 4
Reply 17, posted (5 years 7 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 5315 times:

From what I've seen on-line there does (finally) seem to be a concensus forming over terminalogy...

"cradle" = old style first class seat, it may have a good foot rest and a lot of recline, but you still "sit" in it as it "cradles" you...

"lie flat" = a seat that has a configuration that is completely flat so that is is possible for you lie on it sideways

"flat bed" = a "lie flat" seat that is ALSO horizontal just like a BED in a house/hotel is ALWAYS horizontal....


As others have pointed out....Delta's newest BusinessElite product it is installing on int'l 777 and 767 are all FLAT BED products....


User currently offlineDC8FanJet From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 397 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (5 years 7 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 5222 times:

United's new First & Business Class suites are completely "lay flat", fully 180 degree flat beds, just came in from Amsterdam yesterday in Business class.

User currently offlineGustyOrange From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 220 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (5 years 7 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 5113 times:

Does anyone know when CO will be introducing the new J seats? I'm particularly interested in hearing when the 757's will have the new seats/beds.

g


User currently onlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 26026 posts, RR: 22
Reply 20, posted (5 years 7 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 5095 times:



Quoting AA1818 (Reply 14):
fly AA Business class between various mostly on the 767 POS-MIA and 777 JFK, ORD or MIA-LHR and the angled, lie-flat seats are just fine. If you want a bed at 37,000 feet, fly first.

Why don't you fly BA on the transatlantic routes you mention? Their Club World business class seats are truly flat.


User currently offlinePanamair From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 4977 posts, RR: 25
Reply 21, posted (5 years 7 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 4989 times:
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Truly flat 180 degree Business class seats can currently be found on:

Europe:

BA: 744; 777; 763
Open Skies: 757
VS: 744; A346; A343
LX: A333

North America:

AC: 77L; 77W; 763; (not sure about the A340/330s?)
United: 744; 763; (777 retrofit starting soon)
Delta: 77L; 764ER

Asia/Pacific:

SQ: A388; 77W
CX: 744: 77W; some A330
NZ: 744; 777
QF: A388
9W: 77W; A330
Kingfisher: A330

Latin America:

LA: 763
JJ: A330

Middle East/Africa:

SA: all widebodies
EK: A388 (??) - conflicting information - some websites say full-flat but the illustration on EK's website shows angled lie-flat
EY: All widebodies
QR: 77W; 77L
RJ: A340
KQ: 777??? (not sure - website says "lie-flat" which usually means angled, but also 180 degrees)


I may have missed a few others but the above are the majority...


User currently offlineTGV From France, joined Dec 2004, 874 posts, RR: 20
Reply 22, posted (5 years 7 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 4849 times:



Quoting AA1818 (Reply 14):
I have seen this written so many times before on this site. Economy passengers have so many other things to care about than how many people across. For 80% of economy pax, losing a 1/4 inch in seat with (or less) is not going to be noticeable. I bet if you polled economy pax disembarking an 8 hour flight, many of them would struggle to tell you how many seats there were in a row.

Chosing an airline based on seat width and number of seats across is sooo NOT a priotity for economy pax. They care more about seat pitch, IFE, Food service, FF loyalty, PRICE, schedule, and everything else over the number of seats in a row. So long as 10 abreast is tolerable on a flight, there is no significant disadvantage to doing it.

You are probably right in principle, the question is the value of the percentage (let’s assume your 80%) on the one hand, and the percentage of flights these flyers represents on the other: as frequent flyers are more likely to know about the issue, the percentage of flights for which the decision is impacted by this element is likely to be higher than the remaining 20%. Note that with the present crisis, as the percentage of frequent flyers fying Y is rising, for costs saving purposes, this points is likely to be more mportant than before.

Anyway your premises may not be always true. I was told of the terrible lack of comfort on-board the AF 77W by a friend who is not at all a Frequent Flyer (he does a long-haul flight every 1 or 2 years): he experienced such a plane on a flight between Paris and China shortly after they were introduced, and found this terrible. He told be about the 10 abreast, and swore never to fly again on these planes (he kept his promise). At the time I knew theoretically of these planes, but I did not have tried them yet. So even non-specialists can detect the problem. But in the case of my friend he does not represent a high number of flights (one or 2 return since his 77W flights).

In my case I am flying more frequently, and after trying the AF 77W, I decided to avoid all 10 abreast 777. And the very nasty changes in the Flying Blue program helped me, as I don’t consider suffering 12 hours in a 10 abreast 777 is worth the pain, even with a x2 multiplicator due to my status !

Presently I mainly fly between Paris and Hong Kong and, while my 2 first return flights this year were made on AF (Y, but on the 9 abreast 772) and KL (J), the next has been on CX (Y – 744 and 343). And in 2 weeks I will be flying the Eco Plus of BA (777/747 with 8).

So yes in my case 10 abreast is a real element of (non) choice, and at the end of the year it will be something like 5 to 6 return flights between Paris and Asia lost by AF KL in 9 months. Now I will stay with AF between Paris and Venezuela where flights are operated by 744 (the upper deck is very comfortable) or 343 (2-4-2 the best Eco config in the sky), at least as long as the 777 do not arrive there.

Side question: how many times have you flown a 10 abreast 777 on a more than 6 hour flight ?



Avoid 777 with 3-4-3 config in Y ! They are real sardine cans. (AF/KL for example)
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