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Economy Seats Getting Worse?  
User currently offlinetioloko100 From Australia, joined Jul 2012, 119 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 14543 times:

Talking about airline economics not much revenue is generated from the economy seats but nonetheless they still constitute of majority of airlines passengers but these days they seem not to be doing well or maybe the airlines not giving much attention to them.
We have seen a lot of innovations with the /First/ Business class seats but not much for the cattle class, last time something new happened to Economy class I think it was when Air NZ came up with new roomier economy seats and since then passengers have been seeing a lot of deterioration.

http://flyingactive.com/content/86-h...lass-seats-getting-even-worse.html

86 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineaajfksjubklyn From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 904 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 14190 times:

The seats are becoming paperthin, and somehow the airlines say they are the same comfort. This is true of those 737 seats AA is using in Buniess and Coach. Its horrible.

User currently offlinecschleic From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 1248 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 14154 times:

The article says Southwest was shrinking seat pitch as part of a plan to add premium seating. That's not true, is it? I thought it was just to add seats period.

User currently offlineZKSUJ From New Zealand, joined May 2004, 7106 posts, RR: 11
Reply 3, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 13812 times:

Quoting tioloko100 (Thread starter):
last time something new happened to Economy class I think it was when Air NZ came up with new roomier economy seats and since then passengers have been seeing a lot of deterioration.

I wouldn't call it roomier. Pitch on an NZ 77W has shrunk compared to a 744, and the airline is cramming 3-4-3 config onto the 77W vs 3-3-3 on the 772 (Which will be refitted to 3-4-3). This 'roomier' seating is the skycouch thing which is ok but has not had as gleeming reiews as first thought. PE on the New NZ product was so cramped they had to remove rows of seats from the 77W in order to increase leg room. This was within a couple of months of implementation as well so it wasn;t a good look. Seems like they are cramming seats on a 77W to get the numbers as close to a 744 as possible instead of opting for the 748I
So in NZ's case yes many feel eco class has gone down hill big time in terms of seat pitch and width. I asume many otehr airlines are the same


User currently offlineGSPSPOT From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3029 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 13710 times:

'Tis the Economy passenger's lot in life, it seems. Seats just keep getting thinner & harder and legroom keeps vanishing, whilst marketers trumpet "improvements". Sickening.


Finally made it to an airline mecca!
User currently offlineRamblinMan From United States of America, joined Oct 2010, 1138 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 13679 times:

Well at least many carriers are adding premium economy options so you can get a decent seat without springing for business class.

User currently offlineJAAlbert From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1600 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 13469 times:

Quoting GSPSPOT (Reply 4):
'Tis the Economy passenger's lot in life, it seems. Seats just keep getting thinner & harder and legroom keeps vanishing, whilst marketers trumpet "improvements"

I always love it when the pilot invites those of us in steerage to "sit back and relax." I think they should say "sit back and endure the flight the best you can"!


User currently offline4engines4lnghll From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 64 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 12983 times:

The new AA 737 seats are far more comfortable than any other US carrier.

Quoting aajfksjubklyn (Reply 1):



4engines4lnghll
User currently offlineLLA001 From Turkey, joined May 2005, 93 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 12943 times:

I am 6'2" and flying economy in any airline longer than 4 hours is not fun for me. I am sure there are guys who are much taller than I am here and for them I feel really sorry.

Economy seats in the 70s and 80s would seem like premium for me as they would leave some room for a bit of knee space.


User currently offlinevaus77w From Australia, joined Aug 2011, 143 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 12888 times:

Quoting tioloko100 (Thread starter):

Talking about airline economics not much revenue is generated from the economy seats but nonetheless they still constitute of majority of airlines passengers but these days they seem not to be doing well or maybe the airlines not giving much attention to them.
We have seen a lot of innovations with the /First/ Business class seats but not much for the cattle class,

Economy seats are getting smaller?? Shock horror!

Seriously though, airfares are just so cheap nowadays that anyone can afford to fly. If you want more comfort, you gotta pay for it. Quit whining.


User currently offlinesweair From Sweden, joined Nov 2011, 1823 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 11557 times:

Quoting vaus77w (Reply 9):
Seriously though, airfares are just so cheap nowadays that anyone can afford to fly. If you want more comfort, you gotta pay for it. Quit whining.

I agree, we all have a choice, if we want comfort we have to pay for it. I endure economy because I mostly fly 4 hour or shorter flights now. I would never endure that for 13 hours however, its worth paying more if I had to sit for that long.

Long gone are the days when economy was comfortable and fuel price was no worry at all.


User currently offlinely7e7 From Israel, joined Jun 2004, 2256 posts, RR: 19
Reply 11, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 11513 times:

6' 5'' here.
I stopped flying long haul in economy as it became unbearable in virtually all airlines. When I can't afford a business class ticket or the company would not pay for it I won't travel long haul. I adjusted my job accordingly and opted for more vacations closer to home. It also decreases my carbon footprint.

Given , some life circumstances may require one to travel long haul without the means to purchase an expensive business class ticket. But these circumstances are extremely rare and enduring a return flight in long haul economy once in a few of years is not a pleasant but doable experience.



2 things are endless: ignorance and space
User currently offlinesweair From Sweden, joined Nov 2011, 1823 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 11471 times:

I wonder what we will have to pay for the cramped economy when fuel prices have doubled again. I guess there will be a limit where air travel goes down, price vs comfort. Flying was not as cheap 20 years ago however and that kept many on the ground.

User currently offlineBongodog1964 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 3584 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 11362 times:

Fortunately I no longer fly economy long haul, however my experiences were that the claims of the individual airlines were no guarantee of my comfort.
They may claim to have more leg room, seat width etc due to innovative seat designs, but the best judgement is whether my knees touch the seat in front. I'm only 5'8" so I shudder to think if the discomfort some must endure.
A good example of this was flights a few years back on BA and VS, both claimed the same seat pitch, yet my knees brushed the seat pocket in front of me on VS but were well clear on BA.
Few of us travel with a tape measure, so how accurate are the quoted pitches ? Reducing seat thickness has already been mentioned, do airlines also make adjustments to the angle of the seat base to influence where our knees end up ?

Seat width is another issue, airlines claim that they can acheive 10 abreast on 777's without us noticing, is this really true ? After all I can notice this extra inch or so a 320 gives over a 737 at arm rest height, I can also notice that the difference in fuselage curvature makes the outboard seat on a 320 less comfortable for a tall person, than the equivalant seat on a 737.

My conclusion to the question would be that on shorthaul as the 320 has increased its market share over the past decade or so its extra width has increased economy comfort.

Meanwhile on long haul, carriers heading for 10 abreast on 777's have deccreased overall comfort.


User currently offlineAirbusA6 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 2013 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 11189 times:

It's a drip drip process, having just travelled on MH's new A380s, they may be shiny and new, and have wider seats that the previous 744s, but legroom isn't as good as before (the seats are also not tall enough)


it's the bus to stansted (now renamed national express a4 to ruin my username)
User currently offlineflyingalex From Germany, joined Jul 2010, 1016 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 11156 times:

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 13):
Seat width is another issue, airlines claim that they can acheive 10 abreast on 777's without us noticing, is this really true ?

It's not, at least not for me. A couple of years ago, I flew on an Emirates 777 which had 10-abreast seating and connected to a Thai 777 which had 9-abreast seating. The difference was very noticeable indeed! Even more so on the return.

As a result, I now avoid Emirates flights operated with the 777.



Public service announcement: "It's" = "it is". To indicate posession, write "its." Looks wrong, but it's correct grammar
User currently offlinehuxrules From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 132 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 11135 times:

I cant stand the seats on A320s. As a tall guy my knees are impacted directly in the seat in front of me. Most of you don't know it but there are metal wires in the magazine pocket of most A320 seats. These line up directly with your knees and actually leave an indentation in my case. Economy equals pain for me. Unfortunately it is sometimes impossible to get the economy plus seats- I don't know why you cant buy these seats at the time of purchase (at least on us brands). My tallness has lead to great things in my life but when I'm in economy i'm essentially handicapped.

User currently offlinetomkell92 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2012, 67 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 10103 times:

I hate it how most UK airlines offer low cost flights with really bad configurations. Most airlines only offer between 28" and 30" of legroom, which isn't very comfortable. Then you have BA who offer around 32" legroom, which is perfect, but when you look at the price for the flight, you die a little inside.

I can live with 30" legroom, just about, but anything less is a nightmare.



Tom Kellock
User currently offlineplaneguy727 From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 1247 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 10063 times:

Quoting huxrules (Reply 16):
Unfortunately it is sometimes impossible to get the economy plus seats- I don't know why you cant buy these seats at the time of purchase (at least on us brands).

UA allows this at time of booking. So does US.

Part of the problem with economy is that the public has come to see traveling on a "cheap" fair as some sort of god given right. As long as the general public insists on making decisions only on airfare the situation won't change.



I want to live in an old and converted 727...
User currently offlineAlnicocunife From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 165 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 9949 times:

Louis CK: “Everything’s amazing and nobody’s happy!" Very funny about how difficult travel is today and nobody is happy.

Yes, coach flying over 4-5 hours is no piece of cake compared to a wooden ship or a steam train hauling hundreds of people over a week or month to get anywhere.

Profit is the reason. It always has been the reason! You get what you pay for, it always has been that way. I believe I am just like everyone reading this, I prefer to fly on any airlines First Class seat. I just cannot afford to always pay for it.


User currently offlineGSPSPOT From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3029 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 9819 times:

Filling those cramped, non revenue-producing economy seats is what gives business travelers the frequency of service they desire. You can't have one without the other! So airlines might as get serious about trying to improve the poor steerage passengers' existence in the back.


Finally made it to an airline mecca!
User currently offlinedowntown273 From Spain, joined Aug 2005, 302 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 9682 times:

Quoting RamblinMan (Reply 5):
Well at least many carriers are adding premium economy options so you can get a decent seat without springing for business class.

For many airlines "Premium Economy" is Economy + free extras (extra baggage, food, priority check-in and boarding, advance seat reservation, more flexible tickets, etc.). Basically, it doesn't really cost the airline that much money and can charge twice as much compared to just Economy.

Earlier this week I was on CPH-OSL on a SK's MD81. Rows 1-5 were Business Class (same seats, empty middle seat), rows 6-21 were Economy Extra (Premium), the rest (rows 22-33) were Economy. They only have one type of seats onboard so they change the Business/Premium/Economy "areas" pre-flight.


User currently offlineparapente From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2006, 1581 posts, RR: 10
Reply 22, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 9657 times:

Best economy flight I ever had was a on a new 777-300er Air Canada flight.Huge wide seats,decent legroon (5'11") a large digital screen and great service. Better than many 2nd grade business flights frankly.

It is for me what makes the 777 so special.Cannot imagine what it's like with 10 across .The 787 was designed to be 8 and comfortable - but sales took off ( and the Mk1 350 died) when they "introduced" the 9 option.Same for the 350 I guess - fine at nine but a pig pen at 10.


User currently offlineEaglePower83 From United States of America, joined Oct 2011, 231 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 9454 times:

Quoting 4engines4lnghll (Reply 7):

The new AA 737 seats are far more comfortable than any other US carrier.

Agreed.
Was on 2 AA 738s a few months ago and my friends and I were pleasantly surprised how comfortable the articulating recline seats were.
I know everyone's different, but they worked well for us on our 2.5hr flights.


User currently offlinedfambro From United States of America, joined Nov 2009, 327 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 9069 times:

Quoting vaus77w (Reply 9):
Seriously though, airfares are just so cheap nowadays that anyone can afford to fly. If you want more comfort, you gotta pay for it. Quit whining.

In many cases the only option is to pay much more - often several times more - to get much more room in a premium cabin. So there isn't an option to pay just somewhat more to get a little bit more room.

An example from my recent past - family of 4 flying US east coast to Hawaii on UA on our preferred dates, $2600 in econ, $20,000 is business. The route euqipment is a 'high density' pmCO 764 with no E+.

Saying "stop whining" would be legitimate if there was an E+ type option at, say, $3500-$4000 on that itinerary. When the only alternative costs nearly 8 times as much, then it's really not an alternative.


User currently onlinehohd From United States of America, joined May 2008, 419 posts, RR: 0
Reply 25, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 9421 times:

Fuel prices are lower or stable for the last 4 years. It will NEVER come down, if it does, it will be a bonus. Compared to inflation, fuel prices are not very high. BA and other airlines continue to charge "fuel surcharges", knowing that it will never come down. It is time that they adjust the base line price for fuel.

And economy plus also gets pricey, BA often charges 2 times economy and at that point many passengers revert back to economy. In United E+ is a joke, they just often little more leg room, same elbow room (which is important to many passengers)and additional baggage allowance. Not many passengers who are not frequent flyers travel on E+ so the additional baggage allowance is not that relevant.


User currently offlinedanielkandi From Denmark, joined Sep 2012, 61 posts, RR: 0
Reply 26, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 9296 times:

LH slimseats are good tbh, very surprising. But seatcushion is soo tough nowadays... really sucks!


Flown on : md80, md95, Avro RJ85/100, Q400, Atr42/72, a319/320/321, a332/a333, a343/346, b733 and up, 757, 747, 767 and
User currently offlinejcavinato From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 520 posts, RR: 0
Reply 27, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 9543 times:

An interesting thing I see in some of the promotional literature that the airplane makers use:

A photo of a women traveling with two little kids on each side of her. Lots of words about the "space" of the plane, etc., etc.

Of course, she's about 5'4", slim, and pretty. You see lots of seat back space behind her and her kids, and it gives the impression of lots of normal passenger comfort.


User currently offlinely7e7 From Israel, joined Jun 2004, 2256 posts, RR: 19
Reply 28, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 9426 times:

Quoting jcavinato (Reply 27):
An interesting thing I see in some of the promotional literature that the airplane makers use:

Ditto. and this is before the Photoshop. Whatever works to create longer legs and necks and bigger eyes and breasts works here too.



2 things are endless: ignorance and space
User currently offlinebabybus From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 29, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 9008 times:

Quoting vaus77w (Reply 9):
If you want more comfort, you gotta pay for it. Quit whining.

It's not always about comfort, it's about safety too. Too many seats in a cramped economy cabin and you have problems trying to exit the plane in an emergency. If you were in a window seat and had to get out quickly it doesn't help if you can only do that by facing forward gripping the seats in front and shuffling along the seat row.

Even the exit rows have dangerously tight seat pitch.

Quoting tomkell92 (Reply 17):
Then you have BA who offer around 32"

I wonder where they take that measurement from? Could it be the first few rows after J class on a A320? Certainly towards the back of the A320 the seat pitch must be more like 29 inches.

There needs to be a legally defined and enforced seat pitch offer. If I buy on an airline, like BA, saying they offer 32 inch legroom and I end up with the more likely 29 inch legroom there should be heavy financial penalties for mis-selling.


User currently offlineRyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 5571 posts, RR: 5
Reply 30, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 8908 times:

Quoting babybus (Reply 29):
I wonder where they take that measurement from? Could it be the first few rows after J class on a A320? Certainly towards the back of the A320 the seat pitch must be more like 29 inches.

Good point. In July I flew BA GLA-LGW-JER, and happened to be on the same plane in and out of LGW. On the GLA-LGW leg I was in row 5 and on LGW-JER I was right at the back somewhere. The difference was night and day!



Worked Hard, Flew Right
User currently offlinehuxrules From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 132 posts, RR: 0
Reply 31, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 8751 times:

Quoting planeguy727 (Reply 18):
UA allows this at time of booking. So does US.



United allows you to buy econ plus seats after booking. Not as a separate class. However - as if they ready my post and got on it - I just received an email from delta saying they have opened up econ plus booking during booking. They must have read my mind.


User currently offlinespacecadet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3629 posts, RR: 12
Reply 32, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 8574 times:

I don't mind paying a reasonable amount more for comfort, and I am glad there are some airlines out there now that are willing to take my money. For a long time, there was nothing in between the bargain-basement cattle class and the stratospherically expensive business class.

Economy's surely no better than it used to be but I appreciate Economy Plus (as distinguished from "Premium Economy", which is a different thing) that's available on carriers like Delta and JetBlue. If I'm flying cross country, I'll pay $50 extra (or whatever it is) for 4 more inches of legroom. If I'm already paying $350 for a ticket, the difference between $350 and $400 is not that big but the difference in my comfort and enjoyment of the flight is huge.

btw, "Economy Plus" is economy with extra legroom and maybe one or two other niceties thrown in. "Premium Economy" is supposed to be a biz class-like experience at a lower price than biz. The two terms aren't interchangeable, although some airlines probably do mix them up (most likely for marketing purposes, to make their E+ offering sound better than it is). Most don't, though, in my experience. I think the problem is more that most regular people don't understand the difference.

But that's why Premium Economy still costs a lot while Economy Plus only costs a little bit more. In fact, whatever the airline actually calls what they have, you can tell whether it's E+ or PE by how much they charge. If it's 10-20% more than economy, that's E+. If it's 100-200% more, that's PE.

I don't expect to get this extra room for free and I don't complain about paying for it. I just don't need to pay 1,000% more for it, because I don't need all the other stuff business class gives me, and I don't really need 80" of seat pitch either. 38" is fine, and just keep everything else the same as regular economy. This really wasn't even an option on most airlines until a couple of years ago, and I always seek it out now whenever I fly. It's definitely a differentiator between airlines for me.



I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
User currently offlinefrmrcapcadet From United States of America, joined May 2008, 1718 posts, RR: 1
Reply 33, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 8394 times:

Even the old standard of 35 inches or so of pitch is great, and six seats abreast.


Buffet: the airline business...has eaten up capital...like..no other (business)
User currently offlineliftsifter From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 316 posts, RR: 0
Reply 34, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 8411 times:

Quoting vaus77w (Reply 9):

Fares are CHEAPER now? I remember having a return fare ORD-AMM for $800 in 2006 now I'm lucky to get the fare for $1400. With airlines charging a "fuel surcharge" these days, it's really ridiculous.



A300 A310 A319 A320 A321 A332 A333 A342 A343 A346 A380 B738 B744 B763 B772 B77W B787 Q400 E190
User currently offlineAADC10 From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2091 posts, RR: 0
Reply 35, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 8153 times:

Why not make economy seats worse? Yes, they are getting worse and market forces are driving everything that way. Most passengers are looking for the lowest fares so the smallest seats with a minimal level of service help keep the price low. In addition, reduced economy service allows for buy ups, for both seats and other services. Continuing to make economy less comfortable and reducing service drives more passengers to pay for upgrades, or at least be loyal to an airline to get some basic amenities that everyone got for free in the golden age of the 1970s. There is every reason to believe that the race to the bottom will continue for quite some time. You can thank deregulation.

User currently offlinezkncj From New Zealand, joined Nov 2005, 533 posts, RR: 0
Reply 36, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 8002 times:

Quoting liftsifter (Reply 34):
Fares are CHEAPER now? I remember having a return fare ORD-AMM for $800 in 2006 now I'm lucky to get the fare for $1400. With airlines charging a "fuel surcharge" these days, it's really ridiculous.

In some markets fares have gone down, example in 1999 Auckland to Sydney would cost between $600-800 an entry level one way ticket. Now its common to pick up a ticket for around $129-159 for a entry level fare


User currently offlineplaneguy727 From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 1247 posts, RR: 1
Reply 37, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 7948 times:

Quoting liftsifter (Reply 34):
I remember having a return fare ORD-AMM for $800 in 2006 now I'm lucky to get the fare for $1400.

One implication of your comment is that the cost to the airline of moving one person on that route has not changed in 6 years. Your follow on about fuel surcharges explains, clearly, that costs to the airlines have gone up. This is part of why fares are going up. Of course if you standardize on one time, controlling for inflation, you can find many examples of fares being lower.



I want to live in an old and converted 727...
User currently offline1337Delta764 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6531 posts, RR: 2
Reply 38, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 7950 times:

Quoting 4engines4lnghll (Reply 7):
The new AA 737 seats are far more comfortable than any other US carrier.

How so? DL has these same seats (Weber 5751) on several of their aircraft.



The Pink Delta 767-400ER - The most beautiful aircraft in the sky
User currently offlineIAH59 From Pakistan, joined Nov 2012, 464 posts, RR: 0
Reply 39, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 7879 times:

United seats are uncomfortable.

User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5589 posts, RR: 8
Reply 40, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 7873 times:

Quoting tioloko100 (Thread starter):
Talking about airline economics not much revenue is generated from the economy seats but nonetheless they still constitute of majority of airlines passengers

Actually you are very wrong here, economy seats are the profit driver and generator for airlines. The premium seats are a big expense but are an important and smart part of the strategy of many airlines, one that allows passengers to choose within the airline itself (not move on to a new airline) and as they "travel on" in life they can upgrade and take advantage of the additional benefits of the higher seating groups.

Regarding economy seat comfort, yes they are getting more uncomfortable as the airlines trim and remove everything they can from the seat to maximize the very important revenue that the economy passenger generates for the airlines.

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineseahawks7757 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 160 posts, RR: 0
Reply 41, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 7673 times:

The Recaro seats on Alaska's 900er's are fantastic. My 3 hour flight felt so easy I wasn't ready for it to be over. Also they gave everyone another inch of space which is great in there already spacious cabin.

User currently offlinecoolfish1103 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 404 posts, RR: 1
Reply 42, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 7617 times:

I think the new JL seats are actually better...

What's worse is trying to get miles on discount fares, nearly none.


User currently offlineTGV From France, joined Dec 2004, 874 posts, RR: 20
Reply 43, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 7370 times:

Quoting ly7e7 (Reply 11):
I stopped flying long haul in economy as it became unbearable in virtually all airlines. When I can't afford a business class ticket or the company would not pay for it I won't travel long haul. I adjusted my job accordingly and opted for more vacations closer to home. It also decreases my carbon footprint.

Same here : when the company where I worked changed its policy for Eco flight in all cases, without any consideration to the flight durations, I left it and am now in a company where travel in inly by train.
For vacations I search Premium Eco first (real Premium Eco), but if, as it is often the case with AF the fare is the double of the Eco fare, while the space offered is only 40/50% more, then I look elsewhere. It can be business or eco on airlines which still have an acceptable leavl of comfort : for example my next trip wil be in Eco on an SQ A 380, quite good if you ask me.

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 13):
Seat width is another issue, airlines claim that they can acheive 10 abreast on 777's without us noticing, is this really true ?

People who say they don't notice the difference either have never flown in 10 abreast 777s, or flew with empty seats next to them.
When you have been in permanent elbow/arm contacts with your neighbours during a 12 hours flight, not sleeping a second due to their movements, you know exactly what means a 10 abreast 777 and you manage to avoid them in the future.
        



Avoid 777 with 3-4-3 config in Y ! They are real sardine cans. (AF/KL for example)
User currently onlineseabosdca From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 5459 posts, RR: 6
Reply 44, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 7364 times:

Quoting tugger (Reply 40):
Actually you are very wrong here, economy seats are the profit driver and generator for airlines. The premium seats are a big expense

  

This may be true for low-cost carriers or carriers primarily serving vacation markets. But for the big business-oriented long-haul carriers of the world, the premium traffic is what makes the difference. Look at carriers like BA, ANA, and JAL. On long haul, they are getting progressively closer to having the standard economy cabin disappear. CX and SQ don't even have a standard economy product, when judged by the standard of most of the rest of the world's airlines -- it's all "economy plus."


User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5589 posts, RR: 8
Reply 45, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 7301 times:

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 44):
This may be true for low-cost carriers or carriers primarily serving vacation markets. But for the big business-oriented long-haul carriers of the world, the premium traffic is what makes the difference. Look at carriers like BA, ANA, and JAL. On long haul, they are getting progressively closer to having the standard economy cabin disappear. CX and SQ don't even have a standard economy product, when judged by the standard of most of the rest of the world's airlines -- it's all "economy plus."

Sorry but it doesn't. You are simply wrong. You are really only looking at the prices of the seats and not looking at everything else that goes along with premium seating classes. As a simple example F class seats replace 4-6 econ seats, and produce less ancillary revenue (baggage fees primarily now) and require far more staffing and support structures in the plane (i.e. hot food svc). Additionally throw in the fact that quite a few (though definitely fewer than was the case in the past) are not paid for directly but are "awards" for loyal frequent flyers paying a much lower rate (though expending points). Business Class seating is less of an issue but they still require more support and personnel and create less ancillary fees (by their nature, they are supposed to include of lot of things in their seat price) and still have a good portion that is occupied by FF's paying a lower upfront price (but again paying points).

I am not saying that the higher class seats do not generates significant revenue and are not a critically important part of most airlines profit structure. They are. But the bedrock of almost every airline out there is the economy passenger and their volume-consistent profitability that the airlines count on in order to support the other seating classes.

Where do you think loyalty and Frequent Flyer's begin, how do you think the vast bulk of those in the premium seats begin? Economy seating and passengers is the king for airline success ultimately.

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently onlineseabosdca From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 5459 posts, RR: 6
Reply 46, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 7238 times:

Quoting tugger (Reply 45):
Additionally throw in the fact that quite a few (though definitely fewer than was the case in the past) are not paid for directly but are "awards" for loyal frequent flyers paying a much lower rate (though expending points)

Only true on U.S. carriers. Pretty much no one in the gigantic premium sections of the carriers I mentioned isn't paying.

Quoting tugger (Reply 45):
As a simple example F class seats replace 4-6 econ seats, and produce less ancillary revenue (baggage fees primarily now) and require far more staffing and support structures in the plane (i.e. hot food svc).

That replacement of 4-6 economy seats may generate a fare 10-12 times higher.

In business, you're replacing about three economy seats and charging 5-7 times as much.

Quoting tugger (Reply 45):
But the bedrock of almost every airline out there is the economy passenger and their volume-consistent profitability that the airlines count on in order to support the other seating classes.

That is true for lower-cost carriers. It is not true for the likes of BA and ANA. If current trends continue, those carriers won't have to carry economy passengers at all in 15-20 more years. Even UA has made it completely clear that the economy passenger is an afterthought, and that the company's best efforts (and route planning) go strictly into planning around premium passenger volumes and making premium passengers happy.


User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5589 posts, RR: 8
Reply 47, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 7148 times:

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 46):
Only true on U.S. carriers. Pretty much no one in the gigantic premium sections of the carriers I mentioned isn't paying.

You are right the international market and drivers are substantially different than the intra-USA market. They are almost two different entities entirely. Are there other markets with as big a difference (the intra-EU market perhaps? China?)?

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 46):
That replacement of 4-6 economy seats may generate a fare 10-12 times higher.

In business, you're replacing about three economy seats and charging 5-7 times as much.

Your key word here is "may". You simply don't know how many of the seats are sold at full price and how many are not, and what the resulting rate actually is. And regarding the C seats, its not a one-for-one exchange, more like 1.2 (due to added legroom). And their are so many type of "business class" seats now, from just E+ to International Business Class which is significantly different from inter-USA business class.

Also I think you may be conversely assuming that all economy seats are priced and and going for the best bargain fares prices that we see making headlines and being advertised. This simply is also not true and a very incorrect assumption by many (not necessarily you).

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 46):
That is true for lower-cost carriers. It is not true for the likes of BA and ANA. If current trends continue, those carriers won't have to carry economy passengers at all in 15-20 more years. Even UA has made it completely clear that the economy passenger is an afterthought, and that the company's best efforts (and route planning) go strictly into planning around premium passenger volumes and making premium passengers happy.

I highly doubt it but as I cannot actually predict the future (wish I could) we will just have to wait and see. I think you are wrong. Regarding why airlines like UA say what they do, it is because they cannot compete with the actual economy-focused airlines like Southwest and so just verbally concede territory and attempt to appeal to those "that want more" and it works to some degree. Right now the airlines are all resetting the boundaries on what they are, primarily via consolidation and achieving greater market depth and power that way to continue forth. We don't know yet how things will shake out in the future.

And if you are right that airlines like BA, ANA, and UA do not carry economy passenger I believe they will absolutely have subsidiary or partner economy airlines that completely feed into them to provide the "base" they need to create sufficient premium passenger flights and routes.

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently onlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30977 posts, RR: 86
Reply 48, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 7008 times:
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When the Global Financial Crisis hit and Business Class travel started to contract, Qantas for a time considered re-configuring their A380s because the large Business Class cabins were going out at a low load factor while Economy was 100%.

Honestly, if premium cabin traffic was all-important, you'd expect the 747-8 to be doing significantly better since it can take a huge premium cabin load (at the cost of a smallish Economy cabin - see LH).

Instead, airlines are choosing the A380-800 because it's so big that in addition al a huge premium cabin, you can also have a huge Economy cabin (ironically, also see LH).


User currently offlineqf002 From Australia, joined Jul 2011, 2986 posts, RR: 2
Reply 49, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 6888 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 48):
Qantas for a time considered re-configuring their A380s because the large Business Class cabins were going out at a low load factor while Economy was 100%.

QF is reconfiguring their A380s with fewer J seats and more W/Y seats. They also recently finished reconfiguring their 744ER fleet to get rid of F and move towards larger W/Y cabins. The A330s will be next to get an overhaul, and it wouldn't surprise me to a smaller J cabin there as well (ie down from 30J to 26-28J).


User currently offlinebeachbum1970 From United States of America, joined Dec 2011, 59 posts, RR: 0
Reply 50, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 6833 times:

Quoting IAH59 (Reply 39):
United seats are uncomfortable.

Do you remember which aircraft you flew? The Y seats on many s-CO 737s are known for being uncomfortable. Those seats were made by Koito, which is no longer in business. s-UA usually selected seats manufactured by Recaro (at least in Y) and are very comfortable. The s-UA IPTE 777s, with the new 3-3-3 seating, are made by Weber, and are quite comfortable.

The "comfort" of the seats themselves of course depends on the seat manufacturer. Some cost more than others. It's the airlines that decide which manufacturer to choose (cheap, mid-range, expensive) and how to install them in their aircraft (30-inch, 32-inch, 34-inch pitch).

Economy Plus on UA is actually a pretty comfortable way to fly in Y, especially on a long flight. The few extra inches of leg room make a huge difference for me. Just my opinion.


User currently offlineplaneguy727 From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 1247 posts, RR: 1
Reply 51, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 6523 times:

Maybe it's just me, but I don't think the decline in F travel is a result of the economy. As airlines upped the game in J passengers discovered it was just as good (or close enough). I think this switch was driven as much by the airlines changing hard and soft product as much as anything.

The core cost of operating the aircraft over a give route is relatively known (controlling for changes in fuel), so if you run a business and can add incremental revenue from Y class pax that have learned to not expect much, wouldn't you be sure to include opportunities to capture that income? Think of the change from Privatair to mainline on AMS-IAH (I think that was the route). Did fine with just J, but why not capture the additional revenue by having the Y class pax too.



I want to live in an old and converted 727...
User currently offlinebabybus From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 52, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 6312 times:

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 44):
This may be true for low-cost carriers or carriers primarily serving vacation markets. But for the big business-oriented long-haul carriers of the world, the premium traffic is what makes the difference.

That's not true either. Economy is the back-bone of any airline. You'll always get Y class passengers but many flights go out with no J or F class passengers. That's a lot of plane not used.

Remember how BA, PA and TWA all pushed Laker Airways out of the market. they did that because he was taking their valuable Y class passengers. If Y class was not important they would be very happy for another airline to take the burden.

We also know that an airline makes a good profit on a £189 LHR-JFK fare but our modern day scheduled airlines charge £450 and more on that route. That is one hefty profit for a tight seat and a rubbish meal.


User currently offlinetraindoc From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 360 posts, RR: 0
Reply 53, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 6274 times:

Just flew FRA-IAH on the LH 380. This plane has the new thin seats. Fortunately, my wife and I had an empty seat between us on the 3 seat side. As I am 6' 3" space does matter and I could sit crossways to be reasonably comfortable.

As to flying in Business, it was oversold and was not available at any price. But I am not whining.


User currently offlinecschleic From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 1248 posts, RR: 0
Reply 54, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 6035 times:

Quoting dfambro (Reply 24):
Saying "stop whining" would be legitimate if there was an E+ type option at, say, $3500-$4000 on that itinerary. When the only alternative costs nearly 8 times as much, then it's really not an alternative.

Exactly. I'd happily pay 10% or 20% more for 10% - 20% more legroom, with that space offered on some U.S. carriers, and more so with DL now. But too often the only option is 50% more for E+ or 300% more for F which isn't THAT much better than economy.

The unfortunate reality is, people have become obsessed with getting a cheap price for everything, and the airlines recognize it. So they act accordingly.


User currently offlinepvjin From Finland, joined Mar 2012, 1260 posts, RR: 3
Reply 55, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 6013 times:

As long as making seats and legroom smaller also can be seen in ticket prices I have nothing against it. I already traveled over 12 hours (with fuel stop in Halifax) to Cuba on Finnair 757 with no IFE and really small amount of legroom as it is on tight charter configuration and had no problem with that. I fly to get from point A to point B, cheaper the price more I can do it, comfort doesn't matter.


"A rational army would run away"
User currently offlinevasu From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 3914 posts, RR: 0
Reply 56, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 5996 times:

Quoting pvjin (Reply 55):
I fly to get from point A to point B, cheaper the price more I can do it, comfort doesn't matter.

I'm the same - Though I know everyone is different, I much prefer the quantity of flights over the quality of the seats/service!


User currently offlineMAN2SIN2BKK From Thailand, joined Feb 2009, 238 posts, RR: 0
Reply 57, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 5523 times:

I had the misfortune to fly in economy for the first time in 2 years in a crowded LH A321 from LHR to FRA last month; the experience even for a short flight was awful and not helped by the lack of service.

User currently offlineEricAY05 From Finland, joined Sep 2010, 99 posts, RR: 0
Reply 58, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 5433 times:

I am 6 foot tall, don't have any excess weight and I only have two problems with flying longhaul: people who are so large that they occupy "my" space and those damn IFE boxes! If I am lucky enough to avoid these, the seat pitch on most airlines is just fine, after all its not like I'm trapped in the seat forever.

User currently offlineCPHFF From Sweden, joined Aug 2011, 143 posts, RR: 0
Reply 59, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 5440 times:

Quoting vaus77w (Reply 9):
Seriously though, airfares are just so cheap nowadays that anyone can afford to fly. If you want more comfort, you gotta pay for it. Quit whining.

  

Compare Y fares today vs. 20 years ago.
Compare fuel prices today vs. 20 years ago.

Somethings got to give........



Detroit is bankrupt. Don't forget to thank UAW folks!
User currently offlineEricAY05 From Finland, joined Sep 2010, 99 posts, RR: 0
Reply 60, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 5246 times:

Quoting CPHFF (Reply 59):

That is true, but very often the extra comfort is not in proportion with the extra price. Let's say that you can quite easily book a return ticket from Europe to NYC for around 500e. If you want to fly business, you get some extra comfort, while the increase in price is not "some", but maybe 5x (is this about correct?) the price you pay for your discounted economy fare. The comfort certainly does not increase 5x! I know that it's impossible to really measure comfort this way, but I hope most people get the point.

Thus, I would not say that low airfares is a valid argument to defend uncomfortable economy seats. For many people flying would become a nicer expreience if they just took better care of themselves in their everyday lives. A healthier body survives flying much better than a mistreated one. Of course the tall people are an exeption, but the wide people in the majority of cases are not.

Economy comfort is often an option, but again you rarely see sales in this travel class and again might end up paying unproportionally much for a very slight improvement in seating comfort. For example the economy comfort seats on KLM's 77W are just as narrow as the rest of the economy seats.


User currently offlineTriple7X From Singapore, joined Dec 2012, 41 posts, RR: 0
Reply 61, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 5196 times:

Quoting EricAY05 (Reply 60):

I totally agree with you, the truth is airlines need to make profit in order to survive in the Aviation Industry.....



1x Airbus A300B4-600R, 2x Airbus A330-300, 2x Boeing B777-300/-300ER, 4x Boeing 777-200/-200ER, 7x Airbus A320-200
User currently offlinedanielkandi From Denmark, joined Sep 2012, 61 posts, RR: 0
Reply 62, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 5173 times:

Eric, not only are they the same width, but they are rockhard to sit on. Honestly, i wish eco comfort at least had a softer seatcushion, otherwise calling it eco comfort is a bit of an overstatement. I just did AAL-SFO return, and the 2 longhaul legs were like night and day, even though I did Comfort both ways. Difference was, I forgot my own pillow (being drunk you forget things) in SFO, so I had not head support on my way home. Plus someone huge sat next to me enroute to AMS... So not much proper sleep heading home. I'd rather pay more than the 100 euro extra, if the seat was good.


Flown on : md80, md95, Avro RJ85/100, Q400, Atr42/72, a319/320/321, a332/a333, a343/346, b733 and up, 757, 747, 767 and
User currently offlinespacecadet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3629 posts, RR: 12
Reply 63, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 4866 times:

Quoting EricAY05 (Reply 60):
Economy comfort is often an option, but again you rarely see sales in this travel class and again might end up paying unproportionally much for a very slight improvement in seating comfort. For example the economy comfort seats on KLM's 77W are just as narrow as the rest of the economy seats.

I think these Economy Plus type seats (whatever the airline actually calls them) are still a fairly new market that airlines are still trying to figure out. Clearly *some* airlines have found a way to make money from them because they're actually expanding the number of them available (JetBlue is doing this).

I think the economies of scale probably don't really work when you're talking about increasing seat *width* for these types of seats. Even though you'd only have to remove one seat per row, that still probably ends up doubling the number of seats removed for the entire E+ cabin. (I'm guessing the airlines would have to remove one row to fit the entire E+ section, so 8 or 9 seats in most cases. If there are 8 or 9 rows of E+, removing one seat per row would double the number of removed seats.) So then you'd have to double the premium already. Now, imagine that you have to also use totally different seats for this small cabin - not just the same economy seats moved a couple more inches apart on the track. So you have to actually customize and buy these seats and install them. Now we're talking even more money.

Some airlines have done this, but they end up just calling it Premium Economy and charging a whole lot more for it. JAL's Premium Economy, for example, looks pretty nice: http://www.jal.co.jp/en/inflight/inter/premium_y/

But it's insanely expensive for what it is. Last time I flew JFK-NRT, it was about $1,400 for economy and $3,500 for premium economy. (Business was about $5,500, so it was about halfway between.) I think they mostly use this for upgrades - I can't imagine people pay for this.

Meanwhile, I could have paid about the same base fare ($1,400) on DL and then upgraded to Economy Comfort for something like $100, and I would have had the benefit I *really* care about - legroom - without much extra expense at all.

I can't remember why but we ended up flying ANA anyway (I know how to get an exit row with them), but I remember they went around the terminal on both legs of the trip offering upgrades to their PE for $300. But we said no to that because their PE is really not much different than E+: http://www.ana.co.jp/int/svc/w_en/py/seat/777_300_02/

Obviously they were having trouble filling up the cabin at regular price and they seemed to still have trouble filling it up at a discounted price.

My sense is that there's really not much of a market for these "business lite" cabins, with both more seat width and more pitch and upgraded other services, because the prices are too high. If someone can pay $3,500 for an airline seat, they're probably just going to pay $5,500 for real business class - they're already into the realm of paying way more than necessary just to get where they're going, so they obviously have plenty of discretionary money. There *is* a market, though, for just more legroom at a reasonable fee. But that fee has to be reasonable; I don't think anything more than $100 really works, and it's going to be tough for any airline to do that while upgrading more than seat pitch.



I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
User currently offlineusxguy From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1017 posts, RR: 5
Reply 64, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 4710 times:

Not sure if anyone saw this thread on Crankyflier.com:

http://crankyflier.com/2012/12/04/me...e-need-for-wider-seats-guest-post/

I thought this made for a very interesting guest post. How wider seats could find their way on to airplanes…

The most difficult part of traveling for someone who is fat is in fact the traveling itself. I’m no small person, but thankfully I’m not OVERLY huge. But I still dread getting on an airplane if my upgrade doesn’t clear, or there’s someone in the middle seat. I stand at 6’1 and clock in at just over 300 pounds – so I’m someone you probably wouldn’t choose to sit by (which makes flying Southwest Airlines a bit more comfy for me). I’m also a frequent flier and spent 14 years in the business so I’ve been able to experience being fat on both sides. Airlines are squeezing us in with each new seat design or aircraft as we, in general, get wider.



xx
User currently onlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30977 posts, RR: 86
Reply 65, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 4691 times:
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Quoting spacecadet (Reply 63):
Some airlines have done this, but they end up just calling it Premium Economy and charging a whole lot more for it. JAL's Premium Economy, for example, looks pretty nice: http://www.jal.co.jp/en/inflight/inter/premium_y/

But it's insanely expensive for what it is. Last time I flew JFK-NRT, it was about $1,400 for economy and $3,500 for premium economy. (Business was about $5,500, so it was about halfway between.) I think they mostly use this for upgrades - I can't imagine people pay for this.

In such a situation I'd likely just buy two adjoining Economy Class seats for $2800 and enjoy having 34-36" of seat width (by raising the adjacent armrest). And since you had paid for two seats, you could have the chicken AND the beef.  


User currently offlinespacecadet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3629 posts, RR: 12
Reply 66, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 4608 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 65):
In such a situation I'd likely just buy two adjoining Economy Class seats for $2800 and enjoy having 34-36" of seat width (by raising the adjacent armrest). And since you had paid for two seats, you could have the chicken AND the beef.

That probably *would* be a better deal. The downside is having to convince the person two seats over from you that that's actually your seat that they're dumping all their stuff on  



I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
User currently offlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 13110 posts, RR: 100
Reply 67, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 4457 times:
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I find it amusing people will complain but not pay for more room. AA tried MRTC and failed. People voted with their wallet.

Quoting vaus77w (Reply 9):
Seriously though, airfares are just so cheap nowadays that anyone can afford to fly. If you want more comfort, you gotta pay for it. Quit whining.

My thoughts. There are plenty of Y+ opportunities for those who want a litlte space.

Quoting tomkell92 (Reply 17):
Then you have BA who offer around 32" legroom, which is perfect, but when you look at the price for the flight, you die a little inside.

And you wonder why more and more take away the legroom...

Quoting planeguy727 (Reply 18):
Part of the problem with economy is that the public has come to see traveling on a "cheap" fair as some sort of god given right.

The problem is price transparency. Who doesn't check at least two websites for fares (unless you company forces you to use only one)?

Quoting spacecadet (Reply 63):
Clearly *some* airlines have found a way to make money from them because they're actually expanding the number of them available (JetBlue is doing this).

   I was amazed at how well B6 is doing selling their extended legroom.

Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently onlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30977 posts, RR: 86
Reply 68, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 4233 times:
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Quoting spacecadet (Reply 66):
That probably *would* be a better deal. The downside is having to convince the person two seats over from you that that's actually your seat that they're dumping all their stuff on.  

I'd just put my carryon under my seat for take-off, then drop it on the adjacent seat during climb-out (after the "10K Ding"). If the adjacent passenger asks about it, I'd explain I purchased two seats for comfort and flash them the boarding passes.  


User currently offlineElPistolero From Canada, joined Feb 2012, 1019 posts, RR: 4
Reply 69, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 4081 times:

Quoting CPHFF (Reply 59):
Compare Y fares today vs. 20 years ago.
Compare fuel prices today vs. 20 years ago.

Somethings got to give........

Arguments like these always strike me as superfluous.

Time does not stand still. The aviation market is significantly larger than it was 20 years ago. Technologically, we have seen some remarkable innovation in engineering and computing. There's an entire economies of scale angle that you've perhaps deliberately, ignored. It applies throughout the supply chain - the cost of producing an aircraft is relatively cheaper today than it would be to produce the exact same aircraft 20 years ago, and the demand for greater fuel efficiency means that the aircraft being built today are far more economical and offer lower fuel consumption than 20 years ago. Throw in more efficient airports, more use of technology throughout airline ops etc - and you can see a whole lot of costs that have 'given'.

As for the topic, are seats worse? Yes. In 2005, I flew AC YYZ-LHR, followed by EK LHR-DXB. The AC 767 had the most comfortable Y seats I have ever experienced (they wouldn't be out of place in my living room, appearance apart). But no IFE. EK's 777 was in the 3-4-3 configuration, but it had IFE. Two similar duration flights. I remember thinking about which option I preferred more - comfortable seat (long gone courtesy of project XM) or EK's crap seat with IFE.

In the end, I concluded that since I rarely sleep in Y on flights - even red-eyes (too many crying babies), I would go with the latter. Seems airlines have come to the same conclusion. Entertain people, and they won't worry about comfort. Can I complain? Not really. I knew what was coming, but I wasn't opposed to it. And now that its here, well, c'est la vie.

With more airlines choosing the 17" wide seat options on the 787s (that would be 3-4-3 on the 777s), its only going to get worse.


User currently offlineYTZ From Canada, joined Jun 2009, 1994 posts, RR: 24
Reply 70, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3953 times:

Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 69):
With more airlines choosing the 17" wide seat options on the 787s (that would be 3-4-3 on the 777s), its only going to get worse.

This. I used to be excited at the thought of AC fielding the Dreamliner. Now that I know AC is going to 9 abreast on the 787, the excitement has gone. Sadly, there really aren't many airliners that won't go 9-abreast on the 787.


User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 4972 posts, RR: 42
Reply 71, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 3917 times:

Quoting YTZ (Reply 70):
This. I used to be excited at the thought of AC fielding the Dreamliner. Now that I know AC is going to 9 abreast on the 787, the excitement has gone. Sadly, there really aren't many airliners that won't go 9-abreast on the 787.

9 abreast on the B787 doesn't scare me as much as 10 abreast on the B777! I too was hoping for 8 abreast on the B787, but they haven't officially announced anything. But time is against us. Had AC been the first customer for the B787, it likely would have been 8 abreast, much like the B777 is 9 abreast. But as higher density seating is becoming more and more accepted, the die is pretty well cast.

But ... look at the title of this thread. "Economy Seats Getting Worse?"

What to passengers want? A cheap seat. What are they getting? A cheap seat. Fares are cheaper now than they were 20 years ago, which are cheaper than 20 years before that, and 20 years before that.

So, are Economy seats getting worse? No, because they are getting cheaper. (Comparing to 1992 dollars, to 1972 dollars, to 1952 dollars and factoring in CPI). Are they comfortable? No, but that is not what the customer wants, or more to the point, wont pay for!

They are not getting worse, they are getting better. (cheaper)



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlineElPistolero From Canada, joined Feb 2012, 1019 posts, RR: 4
Reply 72, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 3783 times:

Quoting longhauler (Reply 71):
What to passengers want? A cheap seat. What are they getting? A cheap seat. Fares are cheaper now than they were 20 years ago, which are cheaper than 20 years before that, and 20 years before that.

So, are Economy seats getting worse? No, because they are getting cheaper. (Comparing to 1992 dollars, to 1972 dollars, to 1952 dollars and factoring in CPI). Are they comfortable? No, but that is not what the customer wants, or more to the point, wont pay for!

They are not getting worse, they are getting better. (cheaper)

'Cheaper' is a function of competition, not seat design. AF uses the same 777s with the same Y products to fly to the US and Canada. The prices at which it sells Y tickets in each country is different.

The extra seat per row allows airlines to sell seats cheaper, but whether they do that or not is based entirely on the market conditions, which is a simple way of saying that bad Y seats are not, in and of themselves, indicative of cheap prices. Only competition will decide that.

As for these comparisons to 1992 and 1972 - they are meaningless. It reminds me of Obama's remark about no longer having as many cavalrymen. It ignores the obvious : the rise of new aviation markets and the economies of scale associated with that, not to mention technological innovation. Different market conditions. FWIW computers (including the ones that brought the only improvement the Y product has seen over the last decade - IFE) are cheaper and better than ever before. Better, being the keyword. That said, I look forward to the day when someone reprimands me for complaining about the price of the latest $700 computer/phone by contrasting it with the price of a computer in 1972.

IIRC, ANA and JAL have gone for the 2-4-2 option on their 787s, so there is hope yet, but given that the EU/N. American TATL market is the market leader for deteriorating Y long haul products, I expect the EU and N. American carriers will go with 3-3-3. In some markets, this will make flights cheaper. In some, it probably won't.


User currently offlineMeanGreen From United States of America, joined May 2006, 142 posts, RR: 0
Reply 73, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 3765 times:

Ill say this: the Alaska coach seat was more comfortable to me than the US Airways A321 first class seat I recently occupied! The recline was horrible!

User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 4972 posts, RR: 42
Reply 74, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 3708 times:

Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 72):
'Cheaper' is a function of competition, not seat design.

Exactly! If prices were fixed and airlines competed with service, then a 10 abreast configuration would not exist.

But if prices were not fixed, then the passenger decides what is most important to him, and by a very wide margin that customer states that price is more important than service/comfort. Competition therefore is now with price. So, another seat per row is added, and the airline has more room to adjust price, and passenger has less room to breath, but got what he wanted, a cheap seat!



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlineYTZ From Canada, joined Jun 2009, 1994 posts, RR: 24
Reply 75, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 3516 times:

@longhauler

The problem though (as others have mentioned) is that airlines are only interested in catering to business pax and highly price conscious customers.

Customers with slightly higher disposable incomes willing to pay for better service, without full-blown J, have very limited options.

People say, there are plenty of airlines that offer premium economy. To start with, nobody does it inside Canada today. Even for the YYZ-YVR domestic long run. And then it's still not common enough on many sectors to have substantial price and service competition (like we see for J and Y). Hopefully, this changes in time.


User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 4972 posts, RR: 42
Reply 76, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3455 times:

Quoting YTZ (Reply 75):
Customers with slightly higher disposable incomes willing to pay for better service, without full-blown J, have very limited options.

Normally I would say that the Customer dictates what the airline offers, (eventually), but in this case I think you are correct. With no competition in Canada, Air Canada (or Westjet) really doesn't have to offer that product. When one does, then the other will have to. That is assuming of course that there is demand.

If one looks at the history of a "middle class" (for lack of a better term) in Canada, one can see that the competition between Air Canada and Canadian Pacific is what developed the product. Starting first with a section of economy, the two airlines "leap-frogged" each other until the final product. F/J, or J/Y B737s or F/J/Y DC-10s at CP, and F/J/Y B747s, L1011s, B767s or J/Y B727s and DC-9s at AC.

It was competition that developed the product. And right now in Canada, there is none.



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlineYTZ From Canada, joined Jun 2009, 1994 posts, RR: 24
Reply 77, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3427 times:

@longhauler

As cited in the other thread. Love what AA is doing with the new 321 TCONs:

http://aa.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=3560

Half of all Y seats are Main Cabin Extra. That should sell well. Sincerely hope, AC follows that model.


User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 4972 posts, RR: 42
Reply 78, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3388 times:

Quoting YTZ (Reply 77):
Half of all Y seats are Main Cabin Extra. That should sell well. Sincerely hope, AC follows that model.

Yes, but you will note that this configuration is in response to competition. AA already had their Flagship B767-200s which will be replaced with these A321s, competing with UA's PS service. The Main Cabin Extra product is of course, responding to UA's Economy Plus.

Until one of either AC or WS has a domestic Premium Economy product, then neither will! (If that makes sense.)



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently onlineseabosdca From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 5459 posts, RR: 6
Reply 79, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 3285 times:

Quoting YTZ (Reply 75):
The problem though (as others have mentioned) is that airlines are only interested in catering to business pax and highly price conscious customers.

Customers with slightly higher disposable incomes willing to pay for better service, without full-blown J, have very limited options.

That is because there are relatively few such customers, at least in North American markets.

Premium economy sections, where they exist, almost always have many fewer seats than J sections. (E+, which is just economy with a few more inches of pitch, is a different story.)

Most people who have enough money to justify paying for more than bare-bones Y are willing to pay for J.


User currently offlineYTZ From Canada, joined Jun 2009, 1994 posts, RR: 24
Reply 80, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 3217 times:

Quoting longhauler (Reply 78):
Until one of either AC or WS has a domestic Premium Economy product, then neither will! (If that makes sense.)

I get what you're saying. Just wish the stand-off would end! And if AC will go through a narrowbody fleet renewal at the end of the decade, might be a chance for them...so that us passengers are not waiting another decade!

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 79):
Premium economy sections, where they exist, almost always have many fewer seats than J sections. (E+, which is just economy with a few more inches of pitch, is a different story.)

Domestically though, you don't need more than E+.


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25300 posts, RR: 22
Reply 81, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 19 hours ago) and read 3108 times:

Quoting longhauler (Reply 76):
Starting first with a section of economy, the two airlines "leap-frogged" each other until the final product. F/J, or J/Y B737s or F/J/Y DC-10s at CP, and F/J/Y B747s, L1011s, B767s or J/Y B727s and DC-9s at AC.

Also F/J/Y 747s at CP. When they introduced J (using the original F seats but 50 of them instead of 28), they moved F class to the upper deck (12 sheepskin-covered sleeper seats). They dropped F class (as did AC around the same time) not long after but forget whether that was before or after the 742s were disposed of (traded to PIA for 4 of their DC-10-30s).

F class reappeared on CP (by then Canadian) when the 763s and 744s arrived as they were 3-class originally, but F didn't last long on those either. When F was dropped, J seating was upgraded on both types to be virtually the same as the former F product.


User currently offlinespacecadet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3629 posts, RR: 12
Reply 82, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 2956 times:

Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 72):
It reminds me of Obama's remark about no longer having as many cavalrymen. It ignores the obvious : the rise of new aviation markets and the economies of scale associated with that, not to mention technological innovation.

Unless I'm missing *your* point, I think you missed *his*, which is exactly the same point you're making. (His point was specifically that we no longer needed 500 ships in our navy because we weren't relying on outdated technology like battleships and PT boats - or horses and bayonets - anymore.)

Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 72):
IIRC, ANA and JAL have gone for the 2-4-2 option on their 787s, so there is hope yet, but given that the EU/N. American TATL market is the market leader for deteriorating Y long haul products, I expect the EU and N. American carriers will go with 3-3-3. In some markets, this will make flights cheaper. In some, it probably won't.

It is ironic that JAL and ANA have always offered a better Y product than US or EU carriers, despite the smaller average size of their domestic customers. But they seem to refuse to play in this race to the bottom game; they are not trying to attract the most penny-pinching customers. Their fares are routinely higher than the competitions' on the same routes. JAL obviously has had some trouble with their overall strategy but ANA seems to be doing pretty well with it. So I disagree (and always have disagreed) with comments like:

Quoting longhauler (Reply 71):
What to passengers want? A cheap seat. What are they getting? A cheap seat.

Tell that to ANA.

You may as well look at the success of McDonald's and conclude that if you own a steakhouse, you may as well pack it in. This despite the raging success of many well-known steakhouses across the country, who thrive even in a market saturated with fast food outlets. The market for a slightly better quality of food is definitely there, just as it is for a slightly better quality of seat. There are a lot of people with incomes in between the poverty line and a Fortune 500 CEO.

Quoting YTZ (Reply 75):
People say, there are plenty of airlines that offer premium economy. To start with, nobody does it inside Canada today.

I feel for anyone who lives in an area not served by an airline that offers E+ or PE, but Canada is a small market. Big country, small population. Not enough of a population to have much competition.

But like I said 20 or so replies ago, it's a fairly new concept to be selling seats that are just slightly upmarket of regular economy. Some airlines in the past, if they had these types of seats at all, would *only* use them for upgrades - you couldn't even buy them if you wanted to. (ANA was once one such airline.) It's only recently that a lot of airlines have started selling them, and some have had some success with it, depending on the price and how they're positioned. So hopefully it will be more common worldwide in the future. I will always maintain that the market is there for reasonably priced upgrades for a bit of extra space.



I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 4972 posts, RR: 42
Reply 83, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 2928 times:

Quoting spacecadet (Reply 82):
It is ironic that JAL and ANA have always offered a better Y product than US or EU carriers, despite the smaller average size of their domestic customers. But they seem to refuse to play in this race to the bottom game; they are not trying to attract the most penny-pinching customers. Their fares are routinely higher than the competitions' on the same routes.

They refuse to play in that race, because they can get away with it. They have a market that is willing to pay a premium for a better Economy product. That market does not exist in the United States to the point that any American carrier can fill a less dense Economy cabin at a higher fare.

Quoting spacecadet (Reply 82):
Tell that to ANA.

Tell that to AA's More Room Throughout Coach, or the first Midwest Express.

There were not enough American's willing to pay a premium for a better Economy product, so those products no longer exist.



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlineElPistolero From Canada, joined Feb 2012, 1019 posts, RR: 4
Reply 84, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 2842 times:

Quoting spacecadet (Reply 82):

Unless I'm missing *your* point, I think you missed *his*, which is exactly the same point you're making. (His point was specifically that we no longer needed 500 ships in our navy because we weren't relying on outdated technology like battleships and PT boats - or horses and bayonets - anymore.)

Just poor expression on my part. More or less aimed at debunking this trend of comparing airfares from 2012 to 1992 and 1972. The world's changed too much for those comparisons to apply.

Quoting longhauler (Reply 83):

They refuse to play in that race, because they can get away with it. They have a market that is willing to pay a premium for a better Economy product. That market does not exist in the United States to the point that any American carrier can fill a less dense Economy cabin at a higher fare

ANA flies to six or seven US cities. How do they command a premium there if the market does not exist? Again, it doesn't neccessarily boil down to the seat - the overall product matters. People will pay a premium if the service is up to scratch. North American carriers, in general, are not known for their service - and the EU carriers are following their lead.

Besides, on the issue of this extra seat per row, in order for it to have any real effect, the airline would have to run a very very high LF. Looking at EK's 3-4-3 on a 777 thats essentially 30 extra seats in a Y cabin of 304. That amounts to 10% extra seats. It only helps them if they're clocking 90%+ load factors a flight, otherwise those seats aren't making the other seats any cheaper. EK can pull that off on some routes, but how many N. American carriers manage a 90%+ LF on a year round basis? Furthermore, is there a cost associated with carrying the extra seat (weight, maintenance etc)? TBH, I doubt AF runs up a 90%+ LF in Y on the vast majority of its routes. So the assumption that the extra seat will help allow airlines sell seats cheaper...it requires too many questionable assumptions.

Besides, this whole notion of cheaper seats ignores the reality of ancillary fees and nickel and diming, which are more true in N. America than anywhere else in the world. Most North American carriers are Ryanair (+ IFE in some cases) in domestic Y, albeit at significantly higher prices. The nickel and diming is very similar to ULCCs. This, too, should be factored into all of these questionable cost comparisons (cheaper now than XXXX AD).

[Edited 2012-12-12 19:08:50]

User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 4972 posts, RR: 42
Reply 85, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 2740 times:

Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 84):
ANA flies to six or seven US cities. How do they command a premium there if the market does not exist?

Out of interest I checked tomorrow's flights in Economy.

From LAX to NRT, NH is the same price as UA or US. From ORD, NH is the same price as UA, and JL is cheaper than both. NH is cheaper than DL or UA from JFK/EWR to NRT, so it would appear that they are not commanding a premium fare, or are at least comparable to the competition.

But in reality, the point I was making is that for most of the time, it is the passenger that sets the fare and comfort!

If sufficient demand exists for a premium product, to the point that the passenger will pay for it then all airlines must offer that premium product or lose clientele. The passenger decides what he wants, and searches the company that offers it. But, as we know, the vast majority of passengers are looking for the cheapest fare.



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25300 posts, RR: 22
Reply 86, posted (1 year 9 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 2487 times:

Quoting longhauler (Reply 83):
Quoting spacecadet (Reply 82):
Tell that to ANA.

Tell that to AA's More Room Throughout Coach, or the first Midwest Express.

There were not enough American's willing to pay a premium for a better Economy product, so those products no longer exist.

TWA's "Comfort Class" lasted about as long as AA's equivalent "More Room in Coach".
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XuksUYX7Jg


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