2. On flights over 4 hours, would you pay $25 for more legroom?
3. On domestic flights under 4 hours, would you pay for more legroom?
Quote: (CNN) -- If your coach airline seat is uncomfortable, it's your fault.
That's the gist of one of hundreds of responses to a CNN.com report about airline seat comfort, configuration and cost.
Coach fliers may complain about airline seats, but U.S. airlines are filling those seats pretty successfully. A commenter called withReason7 suggests that consumers are getting what they ask for.
"I will continue to blame the passengers that will sit in any crappy seat as long as it's a little bit cheaper. THAT IS WHY THE AIRLINES ARE DOING THIS. Not because they are mean, because that is what MOST travelers want..."
The Traveler's Psyche is a CNN five-week series focusing on travel scenarios that stir emotion. We're starting with frustration and will wind up on a happy note in June. This week, we'll take a closer look at air rage, the TSA and relationship travel.
Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
AeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 18847 posts, RR: 64 Reply 4, posted (11 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 18916 times:
Quoting ikramerica (Reply 2): Yep, and that's why Y+ seating only takes up like 20% of the cabin.
In the late 1980s I was paying ~$800 for Coach round-trip from the US west coast to Europe. I generally sat in a marginally cushy seat that didn't leave me exhausted after 10-11 hours in the air.
$800 in 1988 is worth $1,455 in 2010 dollars. I'd happily pay a reasonable sum of miles or up to $700-800 more round-trip over today's airfares on the same routes for a REAL Y+ product to Europe such as BA's World Traveller Plus or AF's Premium Voyageur. (Last year I saw PV for ~$1,800 round-trip all-in after an online 10% coupon from AF, while plain Coach was ~$1,200.)
For Economy Plus on UA or Economy Comfort on DL, I'd value the extra legroom at about $100-150 each way to Europe or Asia. OTOH, I wouldn't book on AA at all if the risk was there to be placed in a row with 10 seats across without add'l legroom on the 777 due to a flight disruption of some kind after buying MCE.
While checking in a bag on a UA flight a couple of years ago, I asked the agent if there were any better seats available than what I'd been assigned. His reply was, "yes, but you'd have to pay extra," in a manner that suggested I wouldn't want to for the DEN-PDX flight, rather than stopping to look up the price to give me that option. Nowadays, I'd bet the same agent would have tried to sell me the upgrade, or it or a TOD offer would have come through a kiosk check-in or e-mail prior to the flight.
phatfarmlines From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1322 posts, RR: 1 Reply 7, posted (11 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 18806 times:
Quoting 727LOVER (Reply 5): Based on uniforms, seats, etc.can someone tell me the airlines in the above pics?
I think the 1st picture can be re-asked as: "Based on uniforms, seats, sleeveless man, business lady leaning away from sleeveless man, etc. can someone tell me the airlines in the above pics?" That pic brought a a good laugh to me.
With the help of internet enabled price transparency...
Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 4): I'd happily pay a reasonable sum of miles or up to $700-800 more round-trip over today's airfares on the same routes for a REAL Y+ product to Europe such as BA's World Traveller Plus or AF's Premium Voyageur.
The issue is how small the market is for a slight premium econ product. Most people are only willing to pay a *little* more for say a few inches more legroom or they are willing to pay the C/J premium. For US west coast to Europe, a seat that enables sleep is worth quite a bit.
While $7k might seem high, enough of the people willing to pay $1200 are going to consider a few grand more for the comfort. Its not that a better product couldn't be offered, it has to make sense from a yield management perspective.
Quoting ikramerica (Reply 2): Yep, and that's why Y+ seating only takes up like 20% of the cabin.
But only a certain airlines. My employer will not pay for Y+. It is Y or, for long enough flights J. I've been given free upgrades to Y+ and that was nice, but not nice enough to pay for the little room.
LAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 22046 posts, RR: 51 Reply 9, posted (11 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 18758 times:
Nothing new -
For most consumers Price, Price & Price is what matters the most.
IATA along with other trade organizations have for ages done their own global surveys which mirror the results that for discretionary and leisure travel, pricing is by far the most important purchase factor for consumers.
Also its important to note that the leisure and discretionary travel segment makes up now 80% of all global demand and continues to rise as ever more people take to the skies, so the importance of pricing will only continue to grow over other factors.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
AeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 18847 posts, RR: 64 Reply 10, posted (11 months 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 18615 times:
Quoting lightsaber (Reply 8): The issue is how small the market is for a slight premium econ product. Most people are only willing to pay a *little* more for say a few inches more legroom or they are willing to pay the C/J premium. For US west coast to Europe, a seat that enables sleep is worth quite a bit.
For a business traveler, I'd agree with you, even though many companies have Y-only policies, even for long haul. For a leisure traveler, not so much.
BA configures their 744s with 10-11% of the entire plane with WT+, or about 15% of the total WT/WT+ seats combined. If there was no value to BA in that, I doubt if the floor space allocated to the WT+ product would have lasted this long. With more airlines going to a tighter Y cabin in terms of space, the premium for Y+ looks better and better all the time (which might not be a simple coincidence) for those who can afford a bit more, but not 3-4x more for Business.
I also think that passenger mix has a lot to do with it—most likely the reason why airlines such as EK, who carry a lot of the VFR and blue collar foreign worker trade, haven't introduced a true Y+ product.
Yeah its Southwest, I think they are shots from the "Airline" show that they had on A&E a few years ago.
Yeah I agree, with what the article says. If the majority of travelers are demanding low fares, then tight seating configurations is what they will get. Its about people being cheap, as the article said, the majority of people asked would not pay a measly $25 for more legroom on a 4hr+ flight. The airlines would be more than willing to add wider seats and more legroom at a higher price, but who would buy those seats ? No one, because people would think that it is too expensive.
Also as the article mentioned, Americans are getting bigger and bigger. Can the airlines really be blamed, that a lot of their customers are getting bigger and outgrowing their seats?
If more people demand more legroom and pay the upgrade to "Economy Plus" and it becomes a growing trend, the airlines would see that and they would increase the size of their "Economy Plus Class" and before you know it, "Economy" is a thing of the past and the new norm is "Economy Plus". Obviously Im reaching here, but it could happen.
lightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 10682 posts, RR: 100 Reply 12, posted (11 months 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 18461 times:
Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 10): For a business traveler, I'd agree with you, even though many companies have Y-only policies, even for long haul. For a leisure traveler, not so much.
I fear my company will go Y-only soon. However, at LAX, there is a growing 'silver set' group who will pay for J.
Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 10): I also think that passenger mix has a lot to do with it—most likely the reason why airlines such as EK, who carry a lot of the VFR and blue collar foreign worker trade, haven't introduced a true Y+ product.
I 100% agree. Certain cities will be far more likely to support a Y+. The issue is a wider seat increases the cost 12% or more. More legroom by about 10%. But then, higher fare classes tend towards lower load factors (and are partially filled with upgrades). So the fare increase is greater than the cost increase.
I suspect some airlines also use Y+ to cut the 'free upgrades' from Y.
Quoting CapEd388 (Reply 11): Its about people being cheap, as the article said, the majority of people asked would not pay a measly $25 for more legroom on a 4hr+ flight.
$25 won't pay for the legroom. Better to put in another row... About 3% more legroom requires a 10% higher fare. With internet search engines, how many people research the details of the seats to verify one airline is worth 10% more than another for leisure seats? For business, I know many who are loyal to an airline for seats and service. There is a reason FF miles are like crack... Those who are hooked just have to have them.
vlad1971 From Netherlands, joined Jul 2005, 76 posts, RR: 0 Reply 13, posted (11 months 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 18420 times:
According to survey made by my airline most important for pax :
1) price for the ticket
2) on time arrival to destination
4) arrival of their baggage on time and undamaged
5) ease to check-in online and get boarding pass via web
6) possibility to collect miles for the future travel and upgrades
7) Leg space
8) meals and drinks ( BOB or free service )
9) entertainment on board
10) use of pre departure or arrival lounge
As you all see leg space , meals and IFE are not that important for the passengers . They just want to fly cheap , on time with their baggage and possibility to choose convenient schedules .
AeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 18847 posts, RR: 64 Reply 14, posted (11 months 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 18350 times:
Quoting CapEd388 (Reply 11): If more people demand more legroom and pay the upgrade to "Economy Plus" and it becomes a growing trend, the airlines would see that and they would increase the size of their "Economy Plus Class"
For UA's long-haul fleet of 777s, that's exactly what's happened.
IPTE-configured 777s now have a mix of 104 Y+/117 Y, vs. 77 Y+/114 Y on the WW1 configuration and 84 Y+/114 Y on the WW2 configuration.
I'm honestly surprised that DL was so conservative with their initial allocation of Economy Comfort seats on their international fleet. The cabins range from a low of 30 on some planes to a high of 42 of the 744s, according to seatguru.
Its funny you say that. See, that lady in the next row in the middle seat is smiling because her row is full, so the guy can,t sit next to her. But the lady in the foreground is distressed looking because she,s got an empty seat next to her!
seabosdca From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 4277 posts, RR: 4 Reply 16, posted (11 months 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 18233 times:
The headline of this thread is like "Water is wet."
And we treat it as regrettable here on A.net. But I'm one of these travelers! Up to a point -- and that point is almost exactly where AA's new 777 coach seats are coming out -- I'm happy to endure cramped conditions for a few hours if I can get a cheaper ticket. I have better things to spend my money on than a few extra inches that won't matter at all in the long run.
Most gorgeous aircraft: Tu-204-300, 757-200, A330-200, 777-200LR, 787-8
SSTeve From United States of America, joined Dec 2011, 434 posts, RR: 0 Reply 17, posted (11 months 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 18236 times:
I think there is a reluctance to pay for upgrades after booking because there's a feeling like you're getting fleeced-- would any of those other airlines that matched the same fare have offered better comfort for free, or less? If the booking engines like kayak and expedia could make it clearer where you get a few inches more legroom and IFE and for exactly how much, some more people might take advantage at booking. "Oh, sure, I'll pay $50 for a seat farther up with more legroom versus a middle seat, that might be reasonable, but let me compare that to some other airlines. Maybe I can get it for $20..." Once booked though, it's more along the lines, of "no, I paid for the ticket, and that's it. They want *more* money for me to escape that middle seat? Screw 'em."
vlad1971 From Netherlands, joined Jul 2005, 76 posts, RR: 0 Reply 19, posted (11 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 17951 times:
Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 18): If your airline is KLM, I'd be fairly shocked by this ranking, with the Dutch being the tallest population on Earth. 2" taller on average than Americans nowadays, the former record-holder
9252fly From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 1342 posts, RR: 0 Reply 20, posted (11 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 17428 times:
Quoting lightsaber (Reply 12):
I suspect some airlines also use Y+ to cut the 'free upgrades' from Y
...and many more to come! I suspect Y+ will take up some of the current J floor space on some airlines. The smaller J cabins with have a greater likelihood of being occupied by paying passengers. As someone mentioned,the internet created transparency in fares to allow consumers the ability to shop for the lowest fares where the purchase decision was sometimes decided by saving as few as $3 - $5. If one accepts that a seat is nothing more than a commodity,then it helps explain how we got to where we are today. Gone are the days when air travel seemed special and we wore our nicest clothes.
vatveng From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 892 posts, RR: 1 Reply 21, posted (11 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 17395 times:
Being someone of below-average height, my 5'6" frame (that's 1.67m for you metric folks) will easily fit into the smallest seat pitch in the sky. So, no, I will not pay extra for 2" of legroom I don't need.
rikkus67 From Canada, joined Jun 2000, 1464 posts, RR: 2 Reply 22, posted (11 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 17239 times:
Quoting 9252fly (Reply 20): If one accepts that a seat is nothing more than a commodity,then it helps explain how we got to where we are today. Gone are the days when air travel seemed special and we wore our nicest clothes.
Bottom line for North Americans: deregulation happened. LONG GONE are the "Glory Days". People have to make the realization that yesterdays busses are todays airliners, period.
Cessna 172; King Air 100; Twin Otter; SAAB 340; Dash 7; Dash 8-100,-200,-300,-400; CRJ-200,700,900; ERJ-170; F-28; DC 9-
crAAzy From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 572 posts, RR: 0 Reply 23, posted (11 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 17078 times:
Nothing new here, and I personally see nothing wrong with this trend as long as airlines still provide a choice for people that want to travel with a higher class, more leg room, have a bigger seat, or have more amenities.
Heck they can squeeze 8 seats across in coach on a 737 as far as I'm concerned and hand out an ice cubes on a napikin for the people that want to pay less than what it actually takes to cover the costs of the flight. At the same time, you better make the experience worth the extra cost for those who are willing to pay for the better experience.
Now I certainly understand that some airlines choose not to do this (e.g. WN), some airlines choose to do a modified version of this (e.g. DL), and some airlines are still trying to keep a complete menu of options for their customers with F,J,Y+, and Y (e.g. UA. AA). Whether they can do it successfully is another question; however, as F cabins continue to shrink and become more exclusive - so should the level of service and amenities increase as well as the customer experience.
9252fly From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 1342 posts, RR: 0 Reply 24, posted (11 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 17057 times:
Quoting rikkus67 (Reply 22): Bottom line for North Americans: deregulation happened.
Forgot that's where is started. It's not all bad though,considering more of us can afford to travel by air. Problem is that it's gotten too much like riding a bus. I remember traveling across the country on a Greyhound bus in my younger years and recall some of the unsavory types one would meet,guess how they travel today?
25 LAXDESI: A 3 inch increase in legroom from 31"(Y) to 34"(Y+) takes up about 10% more cabin space(United 772 as per Seatguru). A 6 inch increase in legroom from
26 LAXintl: Btw - I don't believe calling passengers "Too Cheap" is right. Instead its simply the fact that people rightfully places a value on a product or servi
27 turn720: I'm old enough to remember the glory days of pre-deregulation. Back then the if the average American wanted to travel they hopped on a Greyhound bus.
28 silentbob: Greyhound is usually more expensive than airfare lately.
29 BD338: Count me in the 35% ...and in the 29% I'm glad I now have a choice. Many don't want it (but then complain about lack of room??) but some do and I'm g
30 spacecadet: The flipside to this thread is that a sizable percentage of people *will* pay extra for comfort. 35% is more than 1/3 of all passengers. Yet there are
31 m404: I dislike the word cheap. America and the rest of the world has had to learn to live with reduced expectations for so many reasons. News stories keep
32 frmrCapCadet: My position entirely, comfort, not luxury. I still suspect that many airlines want Y to be enough torture to move those who can afford it to an expen
33 ANPlatinum: I recently had to travel for 6 hours on a long distance bus to a town that had no air service. The bus seats were far worse than Y class on any airlin
34 9252fly: They do have them in South America. Stewards to tuck you into seats that rival J with a blanket/pillow,serve you a meal/drink,turn on the entertainme
35 PHX787: For me personally, I've set a particular budget and restraint on when I will use Y+ or when I'll stay in Y. 1) If the flight is longer than 8 hours. (
36 spacecadet: And now you know why it's considered an insult when people say "flying these days is like taking a bus" I see you're from Australia so this might not
37 cpd: The schedules are terrible, the 'high speed' train goes faster in the metro area than in the country (rubbish tracks in the country areas - which mig
38 Viscount724: Red Arrow, a Canadian bus company operating between Calgary and Edmonton and other points in Alberta does offer what is comparable to airline busines
39 fiscal: The CNN survey never asked me..... I for one would pay extra for additional space, but some airlines like QF, and to a lesser degree BA, do take advan
40 strangr: I normally travel with others and will commonly request an aisle seat, that way during the trip you can spread your legs straight out ahead, normally
41 par13del: Do we know who decided that 30" pitch between seats should be a "standard" or the 17" seat width? Pricing today seems to be based on those two benchma