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Seat Arrangements On Boeing 777: 2-5-2 Vs 3-3-3?  
User currently offlineTupolev160 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 14089 times:

We all know that most of the airlines use the 3-3-3 or the 3-4-3 layout on this model, with all the discomfort it brings.Yet, some other airlines, such as Transaero or Malaysia Airlines use the much more passenger-friendly 2-5-2 layout.
How did it come the 3-3-3 became much more popular over the 2-5-2 and do you know of any other airlines besides those two using a similar seating configuration in economy?
Who/what factors decide about that and is there any way for passengers to give their voice over which seating arrangement they prefer to endure on long and ultra-long haul flights? Which seating arrangement do you enjoy better? Thanks.

[Edited 2012-03-28 15:57:56]

[Edited 2012-03-28 15:58:39]

[Edited 2012-03-28 15:59:04]

52 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinePanAm788 From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 291 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 14079 times:

IFE boxes host 3 seats each. A 2-5-2 configuration requires 4 boxes, while a 3-3-3 configuration requires 3, saving weight. Also the 3-3-3 configuration avoids the horrible seat in the middle of the 2-5-2 section. There was a recent thread on this, I believe (not that this isn't a good topic).


heroes get remembered but legends never die
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25205 posts, RR: 22
Reply 2, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 14068 times:

Quoting Tupolev160 (Thread starter):
How did it come the 3-3-3 became much more popular over the 2-5-2

2-5-2 is horrible for passengers who wind up in the middle seat in the 5-abreast section.

I believe another reason is that 2-5-2 requires 4 underseat control boxes for the inflight entertainment system while 3-3-3 only requires 3 (one for each 3-seat unit). 3-3-3 also reduces the number of seat types needed and makes maintenance and seat replacement easier.

3-3-3 also means a greater chance of an empty seat next to you if the flight isn't full compared to 2-5-2.


User currently offlineTupolev160 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 14002 times:

I looked for a similar topic before posting but didn't found it. Why would the middle seat in the 2-5-2 be more uncomfortable than the windows seats on 3-3-3. Not everybody loves windows and you would still have to cross two people to get to the corridor. Just that here there would only be 1 line of people that would need to cross two guys, instead of 2 as on 3-3-3. Just try to exit from A or I seats during the meal in a 777. Im really irritated with the 3-3-3 and especially 3-4-3 arrangement while - i might be the only one on this - i never saw the point of introducing IFE into aviation. I purely hate it and can't understand why can't we live even few hours without electronics and entertainment, is like being dependent on a psychoactive drug.

User currently offlinehhslax2 From Bahrain, joined Jan 2012, 124 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 13942 times:

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 2):
2-5-2 is horrible for passengers who wind up in the middle seat in the 5-abreast section.

Not if you play your cards right. I sat next to a guy once that was hitting up the flight attendants in both aisles for booze during dinner and drink services.

Quoting PanAm788 (Reply 1):
A 2-5-2 configuration requires 4 boxes, while a 3-3-3 configuration requires 3

I don't buy that argument, unless our airline workers aren't smart enough to be able to wire seats in different rows to the same box. Sure it's not as pretty, but it can be done.


User currently offlinerwy04lga From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 3176 posts, RR: 8
Reply 5, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 13906 times:

Just a guess....Having only 3-seat sections, rather than having both a 2-seat section and a 5-seat section, can only make it easier for an airline.


Just accept that some days, you're the pigeon, and other days the statue
User currently offlinekmot From United States of America, joined Feb 2010, 71 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 13872 times:

When I worked at UA as a Flight Attendant, I loved the 2-5-2 layout. Unless the flight is completely full, the center seat was left empty. In addition, it better allowed families of 4 to sit together. The other plus was that more people were only one seat away from an aisle.

User currently offlineTupolev160 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 13848 times:

Quoting kmot (Reply 6):
The other plus was that more people were only one seat away from an aisle.

That's just what i was talking about.

Quoting rwy04lga (Reply 5):
Quoting PanAm788 (Reply 1):
A 2-5-2 configuration requires 4 boxes, while a 3-3-3 configuration requires 3

I don't buy that argument, unless our airline workers aren't smart enough to be able to wire seats in different rows to the same box. Sure it's not as pretty, but it can be done.

I think the same way, why would it be difficult to pass a cable under the carpet or through the floor.


User currently offlineTOMMY767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6584 posts, RR: 9
Reply 8, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 13837 times:

3-3-3 was really nice when I flew LAX-IAD on UA in January.


"Folks that's the news and I'm outta here!" -- Dennis Miller
User currently offlineexFWAOONW From United States of America, joined Nov 2009, 404 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 13811 times:

Quoting kmot (Reply 6):
The other plus was that more people were only one seat away from an aisle.

Unless you have more aisles, how can you have more seat one away from an aisle?



Is just me, or is flying not as much fun anymore?
User currently offlinethreeifbyair From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 675 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 13774 times:

Quoting exFWAOONW (Reply 9):

Unless you have more aisles, how can you have more seat one away from an aisle?

In a 3-3-3 configuration, both window seats are 2 seats removed from the aisle.

In a 2-5-2 configuration, only the middle seat of the "5" block is 2 seats removed from the aisle.

I remember many flights on NW DC-10s in the 2-5-2 configuration - perhaps that was preferred before in-seat IFE became popular.

"2-5-2 vs. 3-3-3" is becoming one of A.net's eternal questions. Anyone want to revisit "When will NW Retire its DC9s?" while we're at it?    


User currently onlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2288 posts, RR: 7
Reply 11, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 13753 times:

Quoting exFWAOONW (Reply 9):
Unless you have more aisles, how can you have more seat one away from an aisle?

2-5-2:
at aisle: 4 seats
1 seat away: 4 seats
2 away: 1 seat

3-3-3:
at aisle: 4 seats
1 seat away: 3 seats
2 seats away: 2 seats


Long live the dying 2-5-2!


User currently offlineDualQual From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 767 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 13735 times:

Quoting Tupolev160 (Reply 7):
I think the same way, why would it be difficult to pass a cable under the carpet or through the floor.

Remember it's an airplane, not your living room. The certification for the IFE only allows for it to be installed a certain way. To deviate from that requires money for a new certification. It's probably not worth it.


User currently onlinedoug_Or From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3404 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 13733 times:

Quoting exFWAOONW (Reply 9):
Unless you have more aisles, how can you have more seat one away from an aisle?

Because the middle seat in the middle set is 1 away from both aisles



When in doubt, one B pump off
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25205 posts, RR: 22
Reply 14, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 13683 times:

Quoting exFWAOONW (Reply 9):
Quoting kmot (Reply 6):
The other plus was that more people were only one seat away from an aisle.

Unless you have more aisles, how can you have more seat one away from an aisle?

With 2-5-2, 8 of the 9 seats are no more than one seat from an aisle (all seats except the middle seat in the 5-abreast section). With 3-3-3 only 7 of the 9 seats are no more than one seat from an aisle (all seats except the 2 window seats).

The difference is that many passenges prefer window seats, thus don't mind being 2 seats from the aisle in exchange for having the window seat. However, nobody in their right mind would voluntarily select the middle seat in the 5-abreast section, but with today's high load factors many passengers will wind up in one of those seats if they check in late. With 3-3-3 the situation never arises.

If there were benefits to the carriers from 2-5-2, there would be more than the current very few with 2-5-2 on 777s. DL was 2-5-2 originally on their 772ERs but changed to 3-3-3. Isn't UA also changing the PMUA 777s from 2-5-2 to 3-3-3 to match the PMCO configuration?

As a sidenote, there were and may still be a few 777s with 3-4-2 seating like the original 9-abreast layout on early 747s (before they changed to 10-abreast 3-4-3 in the mid to late 1970s). Egyptair 772s were delivered with 3-4-2 and presumably still are. I think their 77Ws are 3-3-3.

Many MD-11s were also 3-4-2 (or 2-4-3). KLM's were 2-4-3 originally but when they updated the cabins and installed PTVs in Y class 3 or 4 years ago, the original 2-4-3 seats were replaced with 3-3-3. Swissair's MD-11s were 3-4-2 with the 3-abreast unit on the left side (facing forward). With KLM's original configuration the 3-abreast unit was on the right side.


User currently offlinealoges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8706 posts, RR: 43
Reply 15, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 13599 times:

I've grown to like 3-3-3. The reason is simple: when the plane isn't full, I have a much better chance of getting three seats for myself. Two seats are useless for sleeping and there are few blocks of five seats that do remain empty, apart from me sitting in one.


Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlinecarpethead From Japan, joined Aug 2004, 2954 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 13188 times:

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 14):
As a sidenote, there were and may still be a few 777s with 3-4-2 seating like the original 9-abreast layout on early 747s (before they changed to 10-abreast 3-4-3 in the mid to late 1970s). Egyptair 772s were delivered with 3-4-2 and presumably still are. I think their 77Ws are 3-3-3.

Most of NH's 77W have been reconfigured to 2-4-3.


User currently offlineUALWN From Andorra, joined Jun 2009, 2763 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 12885 times:

Quoting doug_Or (Reply 13):
Because the middle seat in the middle set is 1 away from both aisles

Which is a further advantage of the 2-5-2 layout. The window person (that would be me, for instance) in a 3-3-3 layout, only has one way to get to the aisle, and if one of the two pax between him and the aisle is asleep, or elderly, or whatever, he will have to bother him anyway. However, the (unfortunate) person in the middle of the 2-5-2 layout has two possible paths to the aisles, and he can choose the most convenient at any given time.



AT7/111/146/Avro/CRJ/CR9/EMB/ERJ/E75/F50/100/L15/DC9/D10/M8X/717/727/737/747/757/767/777/AB6/310/319/320/321/330/340/380
User currently offlineEY460 From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 268 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 12862 times:

I also believe that the 2-5-2 layout has several advantages over the 3-3-3 layout. However, airline's economics are pushing for the 3-3-3 so that's the most common one. Are modern IFE system boxes still grouped in 3?

User currently offlinetonystan From Ireland, joined Jan 2006, 1430 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 12628 times:

Quoting Tupolev160 (Reply 3):
Why would the middle seat in the 2-5-2 be more uncomfortable than the windows seats on 3-3-3. Not everybody loves windows and you would still have to cross two people to get to the corridor.

Research has shown that a Window seat is far more preferable then a middle seat. A middle seat with no personal space that requires you to disturb not just one but two people will always lose out to the same disturbance but with the ability to enjoy the views outside or rest your head up against the wall. Plus Windows are popular with many people requesting them at time of seat allocation so they are easier to offload regardless of how many people are seated beside it then a middle seat!



My views are my own and do not reflect any other person or organisation.
User currently offlineCXB77L From Australia, joined Feb 2009, 2609 posts, RR: 5
Reply 20, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 12502 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CHAT OPERATOR

Quoting Tupolev160 (Reply 3):
Why would the middle seat in the 2-5-2 be more uncomfortable than the windows seats on 3-3-3

Because a window seat in a 3-3-3 configuration at least has a window you can look out of, or, if someone doesn't like the window, they can lean against the wall. The middle seat of a 2-5-2 configuration could mean having 2 people on either side of you, without anywhere to lean even if you wanted to.



Boeing 777 fanboy
User currently offlineRaginMav From United States of America, joined May 2004, 376 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 12394 times:

Quoting threeifbyair (Reply 10):
Anyone want to revisit "When will NW Retire its DC9s?" while we're at it?

Yeah we need a new horse to beat, since those -9's are going to be replace by FL's 717's!  

Back on topic, I dislike 3x3x3 so much I went out of my way to book 767's for an upcoming trip to LHR. Two seats for me and the Mrs.


User currently offlinegemuser From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 5642 posts, RR: 6
Reply 22, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 12374 times:

Quoting RaginMav (Reply 23):
Back on topic, I dislike 3x3x3 so much I went out of my way to book 767's for an upcoming trip to LHR. Two seats for me and the Mrs.

It's better than 3-4-3 on a B777! Which EK, NZ, AF, & KL (at least) use on theirs

Gemuser



DC23468910;B72172273373G73873H74374475275376377L77W;A319 320321332333343;BAe146;C402;DHC6;F27;L188;MD80MD85
User currently offlineAA777223 From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 1246 posts, RR: 6
Reply 23, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 12520 times:

Quoting Tupolev160 (Thread starter):
Transaero or Malaysia Airlines use the much more passenger-friendly 2-5-2 layout.

No one has mentioned yet, by far the largest global airline to install 2-5-2, and keep it is AA. I think this is due to overwhelming input from AAdvantage members, like myself. I have started and contributed to threads like this numerous times. However, most of my logic has already been explained here. long live the 2-5-2!

[Edited 2012-03-29 07:20:06]


Sic 'em bears
User currently offlinecipango From Ireland, joined Jul 2009, 611 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 12118 times:

Quoting carpethead (Reply 18):
Most of NH's 77W have been reconfigured to 2-4-3.

2-4-3? Not sure if this is real or a typo?


25 Post contains links CXB77L : Yes, it's real: NH's lowest density configuration on their 77Ws only seat 215, with Y class in a 2-4-3 configuration. https://www.ana.co.jp/wws/japan
26 EY460 : I know that I'm going off topic, but is ANA removing premium economy from his planes? The B777-300ER is the only plane offering it.
27 YULWinterSkies : Also, the overhead bins are better designed to fit 3-3-3 rather than 2-5-2. Never mind, long live the A330 and the 2-4-2.
28 Viscount724 : At KL and NZ only the 77Ws are 3-4-3. Their 772ERs are 3-3-3.
29 gigneil : 3-3-3 sucks. Bad. NS
30 gigneil : 3-3-3 sucks. With teeth. NS
31 Tupolev160 : Hope someone from the airline industry who decides about these things heard us...
32 gemuser : Don't know about KL, but NZ is converting their B772s to 3-4-3 according to the NZ Aviation thread. Gemuser
33 pnd100 : 3-4-2 or 2-4-3 appears to be the ideal configuration in my humble opinion. Is this configuration not economically viable or technically unsound? Why
34 Schweigend : United had their 777s, first delivered in Spring 1995, configured 2-5-2 because they were initially meant to replace DC-10s one-for-one, and DC-10s ar
35 Viscount724 : I can't recall any 3-3-3 DC-10s or L-1011s. There were 3-4-3 DC-10s and L-1011s, mainly those operated by charter/leisure carriers, although BA's ear
36 Post contains links and images ZSOFN : I often travel with my wife so 2-5-2 is preferable as you tend to get the ideal window/aisle combination - that said, of all the aircraft with a pote
37 scutfarcus : Etihad's 777s have 3-4-3 ... I was kind of shocked when i discovered this after being told what a great airline they were. Seems to have been a recent
38 Tradewinds : Flew NH's 773 JFK-NRT and back last month and really liked the layout. Good options for people traveling as a family, as a couple, etc.
39 Post contains images pnd100 : See this is what I was saying. From a passenger standpoint I feel that this layout (2-4-3 or 3-4-2) provides the most flexibility. I wanted to know w
40 mogandoCI : people keep measuring seat desirability by # of seats from aisle .... and forgot that a window seat is highly preferable to a large swath of the popul
41 YTZ : True. But it's only relevant when load in the Y cabin is greater than 88%. Do airlines actually get that high often?
42 RyanairGuru : It is a recent change, last time I flew on an EY 77W back in 09 it was 3-3-3. Did you still have a good flight regardless?
43 mogandoCI : These days, 88+% is all too often, esp on the popular long haul flights where the 777 plow, which makes matter much worse because it's a bad seat for
44 BE77 : The main advantage to the '5' was in the bad old days of regulation and when many, many companies subsidised their national carriers. Once tourist sea
45 CoachClass : Yes, when the L1011 first came out, there was a space (mini-closet) where the middle 5th seat is now located, that had hooks to hang your coats and s
46 fiscal : No it does not. In each set of three seats there is a middle seat. Typical - money first customers second As was mentioned before, at least in the 2-
47 mogandoCI : Other than choosing A330/340 operators (and the rare A380 operator that bothers to put Y in the upper deck), good luck finding airlines that still do
48 Post contains images fiscal : About to do a PER-LHR in economy (run out of money for J seats) Luckily Malaysia do an a333 PER - KUL then a 747 with a couple of 2 seaters at the re
49 Viscount724 : But I would much rather be in a middle seat one seat from an aisle than in a middle seat 2 seats from an aisle (in both directions).
50 Concordski : Can't stand the 2-5-2 layout. When I fly I only take the window seat, even at night. There's no chance of getting a row of 3+ seats to lie down on wit
51 EY460 : Actually, since several families of 3 or more persons will ask for that central seats to seat together, the chance for a solo traveller to get the or
52 Burkhard : When I was yound I had many flights on an L1011 with a 3-4-2 seating, which I find bettter than both of the alternatives discussed here: Only one seat
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