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4 Different Seating Configs On AA 737s  
User currently offlineozark1 From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 449 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 7874 times:

The f/a's were sent a message that soon we will have 4 different seating configurations.
Right now we have:
26------configured 16/132
111----configured 16/134
56------configured 16/144
These numbers do not reflect the newest configuration which will take seats out of main cabin to allow for extra room in the first rows of coach for those who pay for extra pitch.
All are staffed with 4 f/a's. They have told us they will continue to staff 4, but if we should happen to end up on say, a 16/132 or the newest one (which will also be below a total of 150), then we can depart with 3 f/a's if we have to.
Just thought this was interesting. Thanks.

30 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinecrAAzy From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 785 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 7845 times:
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I can confirm that there are 4 active configurations flying now since I just flew up on a newly configured 737 yesterday from MIA-DCA and we had 4 FAs working the flight. It's hard to miss the big blue stickers on the bins.

User currently offlinequestions From Australia, joined Sep 2011, 774 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 7777 times:

Quoting crAAzy (Reply 1):
I can confirm that there are 4 active configurations flying now since I just flew up on a newly configured 737 yesterday from MIA-DCA and we had 4 FAs working the flight. It's hard to miss the big blue stickers on the bins.

1) What are the "blue stickers" on the bins?

2) Were you in F or Y? If Y, was it version with new seats? If so, how were they?

3) Did F get new seats on this new config?


User currently offlineBA0197 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2011, 308 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 7777 times:

Yes, very comfertable aircraft if you ask me. From memory AA has taken out row 7 and put in a block on the B and E seats of row 16 and 17 reducing the capacity of the aircraft to 150. They have replaced the seat with a table thing that has drink holding inserts that is immovable. Great seats to sit in if you need some extra arm space  

Good to see that they will keep four of the FAs on. There is an FA from the MIA base that was stating her reputation on the airline reducing the number of rostered FAs to 3. Good on AA for keeping its premium stance.


User currently offlineflyfree727 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 658 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 7587 times:

Quoting BA0197 (Reply 3):
Good to see that they will keep four of the FAs on. There is an FA from the MIA base that was stating her reputation on the airline reducing the number of rostered FAs to 3. Good on AA for keeping its premium stance.

And she's right. AA plans to eventually staff with FAA minimums. The ONLY reason AA is continuing to staff with 4 is because of the high probability of a/c swaps to one of the config's that has FAA requirement of 4 fa's. The reason the non movable "work space" was added was to reduce the number of seats from 154 to 150, thus FAA minimum of 3 fa's. In the internal memo, we were also reminded that FAA permitting, the a/c would be dispatched with 3 fa's if AA is unable to staff the 4th position.
AA ORD


User currently offlineB727FA From United States of America, joined Jun 2011, 758 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 7530 times:

Hang on gang...they can ONLY do that if they do a new mini-evac with the reduced seating. If the a/c were proved with 4 they can't just "block" 4 seats or pull out a row to reduce to 3.

They must:
§ 121.391 Flight attendants.
(a) Except as specified in § 121.393 and § 121.394, each certificate holder must provide at least the following flight attendants on board each passenger-carrying airplane when passengers are on board:
...

(b) If, in conducting the emergency evacuation demonstration required under § 121.291 (a) or (b), the certificate holder used more flight attendants than is required under paragraph (a) of this section for the maximum seating capacity of the airplane used in the demonstration, he may not, thereafter, take off that airplane—

(1) In its maximum seating capacity configuration with fewer flight attendants than the number used during the emergency evacuation demonstration; or

(2) In any reduced seating capacity configuration with fewer flight attendants than the number required by paragraph (a) of this section for that seating capacity plus the number of flight attendants used during the emergency evacuation demonstration that were in excess of those required under paragraph (a) of this section.
...
ergo:
§ 121.291 Demonstration of emergency evacuation procedures.
(a) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(1) of this section, each certificate holder must conduct an actual demonstration of emergency evacuation procedures in accordance with paragraph (a) of appendix D to this part to show that each type and model of airplane with a seating capacity of more than 44 passengers to be used in its passenger-carrying operations allows the evacuation of the full capacity, including crewmembers, in 90 seconds or less.

(1) An actual demonstration need not be conducted if that airplane type and model has been shown to be in compliance with this paragraph in effect on or after October 24, 1967, or, if during type certification, with § 25.803 of this chapter in effect on or after December 1, 1978.

(2) Any actual demonstration conducted after September 27, 1993, must be in accordance with paragraph (a) of appendix D to this part in effect on or after that date or with § 25.803 in effect on or after that date.

(b) Each certificate holder conducting operations with airplanes with a seating capacity of more than 44 passengers must conduct a partial demonstration of emergency evacuation procedures in accordance with paragraph (c) of this section upon:

(1) Initial introduction of a type and model of airplane into passenger-carrying operation;

(2) Changing the number, location, or emergency evacuation duties or procedures of flight attendants who are required by § 121.391; or

They can't just "send it with 3" b/c that's the seats they have...IF the plane has been PROVED with three, but they CHOOSE to staff with four, then they can go out with 3, but that's only "IF."

Italics mine.



My comments/opinions are my own and are not to be construed as the opinion(s) of my employer.
User currently offlineN243NW From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1630 posts, RR: 20
Reply 6, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 7509 times:

Quoting questions (Reply 2):
1) What are the "blue stickers" on the bins?

Likely the "Main Cabin Extra" stickers that identify the particular rows below them as MCE rows.



B-52s don't take off. They scare the ground away.
User currently offlineqqflyboy From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2276 posts, RR: 13
Reply 7, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 7476 times:

Quoting B727FA (Reply 5):

AA's original 738 configuration was 16/132, requiring only three F/As. So it was previously certified for three. And AA has always certified their aircraft for the absolute minimum, like four F/As on the 762 and five F/As on the 763 (even though they are usually staffed with between seven and nine, depending on the level of service).



The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect my employer’s views.
User currently offlineqqflyboy From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2276 posts, RR: 13
Reply 8, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 7470 times:

The following are the current 738 configurations. Note they will all have the last configuration of 16/134 when all is said and done.

16/132 is the original 738 configuration w/ original seats
16/144 was the new configuration with new seats prior to MCE (deliveries beginning in 2009)
16/138 is the new MCE configuration
16/134 is the final configuration with MCE and Preferred Seats (AA has blocked four center seats aft of the exit rows with tables to bring minimum crew down to three.)



The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect my employer’s views.
User currently offlineBA0197 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2011, 308 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 7470 times:

Quoting flyfree727 (Reply 4):
And she's right. AA plans to eventually staff with FAA minimums. The ONLY reason AA is continuing to staff with 4 is because of the high probability of a/c swaps to one of the config's that has FAA requirement of 4 fa's. The reason the non movable "work space" was added was to reduce the number of seats from 154 to 150, thus FAA minimum of 3 fa's. In the internal memo, we were also reminded that FAA permitting, the a/c would be dispatched with 3 fa's if AA is unable to staff the 4th position.
AA ORD

Ah, a/c swaps would do it   urgh.... perhaps I'm too optimistic.


User currently offlinecrAAzy From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 785 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 6785 times:
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Quoting questions (Reply 2):

1) What are the "blue stickers" on the bins?

2) Were you in F or Y? If Y, was it version with new seats? If so, how were they?

3) Did F get new seats on this new config?

I was in F but was easily able to look back during boarding and see the blue MCE stickers on the bins. Same old Y seats but with more legroom - it was noticable too from just standing there looking back.

No change to F class seats but it was the second generation F seat with DC power ports and the tray tables in the center that don't pivot out  


User currently offlineflyfree727 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 658 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 6623 times:

Quoting crAAzy (Reply 10):
it was the second generation F seat with DC power ports and the tray tables in the center that don't pivot out

NICE.. with the tray table in the center that pivots out, it is a sure thing a drink will get spilled with the window seat passenger goes to the lav.. why passengers don't pick them up or slide them back is beyond me. but its almost a given the drink will get knocked over.

AA ORD


User currently offlineAA767400 From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 2360 posts, RR: 26
Reply 12, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 6432 times:

Quoting qqflyboy (Reply 8):
16/134 is the final configuration with MCE and Preferred Seats (AA has blocked four center seats aft of the exit rows with tables to bring minimum crew down to three.)

Has AA been given approval to operate 3 FAs in this configuration? I read somewhere that the FAA goes by seats, and not by passengers where staffing levels are concerned. Although they have those seats blocked off by a table, the FAA might consider it a seat nonetheless.



"The low fares airline."
User currently offlineBizJet From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 275 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 6166 times:

Quoting AA767400 (Reply 12):
Has AA been given approval to operate 3 FAs in this configuration? I read somewhere that the FAA goes by seats, and not by passengers where staffing levels are concerned. Although they have those seats blocked off by a table, the FAA might consider it a seat nonetheless.

Why would AA do this if they couldn't reduce FA staffing?


User currently offlineAA767400 From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 2360 posts, RR: 26
Reply 14, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 6005 times:

Quoting BizJet (Reply 13):
Why would AA do this if they couldn't reduce FA staffing?

I read there was some technicality with it. Don't know if that still holds true. Corporations implement things all the time without fully doing their homework. The fact that they have 4 different configurations says it all. They went from 161/132, to 16/144 to match their main competitors. Adding a FA in the process. Then introduce MCE, and go to 16/138. And sometime after that, the bean counters decided that they'll take off 1 FA, and in the process of doing so, go to 16/134, by adding some makeshift table on top of a seat.

Give it a few months, and they'll pull off that table, and add the 4th FA again. I mean how many times will it take AA to get it right?



"The low fares airline."
User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20542 posts, RR: 62
Reply 15, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 5946 times:

Quoting qqflyboy (Reply 8):
16/132 is the original 738 configuration w/ original seats

I thought there were a couple of other iterations. The original 1999 configuration, then the 2000 MRTC configuration, then 16/132 when MRTC was taken out. I'm hard-pressed to find the posts from some time in the past which said which aircraft received how many rows of seats back. I recall something about not all the seats being restored in the post-MRTC seating arrangements on every plane type.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineBizJet From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 275 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 5761 times:

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 15):
The original 1999 configuration, then the 2000 MRTC configuration, then 16/132 when MRTC was taken out

I'm confused by the old 16/132 configuration. If I'm understanding correctly, this config didn't have MRTC or MCE. But at 148 total seats, it is significantly less dense than CO and DL before adding their extra Y legroom sections (16/144 for a total of 160 seats). Why did AA have 2 fewer Y rows without MRTC or MCE to explain it?

And at one point didn't AA's 738s have 20 F seats?


User currently offlineB727FA From United States of America, joined Jun 2011, 758 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 5663 times:

Quoting qqflyboy (Reply 8):
16/144 was the new configuration with new seats prior to MCE (deliveries beginning in 2009)

But with this configuration they HAD to certify the a/c to 4. Now, as long as they had a mixed fleet of >150/



My comments/opinions are my own and are not to be construed as the opinion(s) of my employer.
User currently offlineflyfree727 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 658 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 5660 times:

Quoting BizJet (Reply 16):
Why did AA have 2 fewer Y rows without MRTC or MCE to explain it?

First, the main cabin bulkhead seating legroom on the original 737-800 was VERY generous.
Secondly, there was galley cart housing aft of the aft lavs, but forward of the aft galley. The galley cart housing was just behind the aft lavs.

AA ORD


User currently offlineB727FA From United States of America, joined Jun 2011, 758 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 5608 times:

Not sure what was going on with my post...the forum was hinky at the time. Oh well...


My comments/opinions are my own and are not to be construed as the opinion(s) of my employer.
User currently offlinebmibaby737 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 1806 posts, RR: 9
Reply 20, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 5596 times:

Does anyone have a list of fleet numbers asssociated with each configuration?

User currently offlineAA767400 From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 2360 posts, RR: 26
Reply 21, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 5515 times:

Quoting flyfree727 (Reply 18):
First, the main cabin bulkhead seating legroom on the original 737-800 was VERY generous.
Secondly, there was galley cart housing aft of the aft lavs, but forward of the aft galley. The galley cart housing was just behind the aft lavs.

Yes, those extra cart spaces, and storage compartments above them were great! Don't forget those two additional coat closets between first and main cabin. It was a comfortable plane. Now it's bare bones, even with all the bells and whistles of the BSI.  



"The low fares airline."
User currently offlineckfred From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 5221 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 5336 times:

I think when AA first got the 738s in 1999, it was 20F/126Y. Then came MRTC in 2000, and the seating went to 20F/114Y, eliminating 2 rows of coach seats. Then, AA decided to cut back on F, due to low demand. So, they took out 1 row of First and put 2 rows of coach back in. That went to 16F/126Y. When MRTC was dropped, only 1 row of coach seats was added. That made it 16F/132Y, which was the configuration, until the new 738s started to arrive in 1999.

But, here are a couple of issues.

First, AA must have crunched numbers and decided that the cost of having a fourth F/A was outweighed by the additional revenue from 12 additional coach seats. Between additional ticket revenue, additional fees (checked bags, alcohol and snacks, etc.) and cutting down the size of the coach galley (saving weight), it must have made a lot of financial sense.

So, the MCE configuration without the blocked center seats gives a total configuration of 154 seats. Does that mean that the ticket revenue and additonal fees from the last 4 passengers doesn't justify the cost of the 4th F/A? It must take an extra 8 to 10 passengers to justify the cost of the 4th F/A.

Second, when AA started receiving new 738s in 1999, the plan was to upgrade the cockpits and cabins of the 738s delivered between 1999 and 2002. Now, I've been on older 738s that have received their cockpit upgrades. They have the "patches" where the eyebrow windows were removed.

But, I was on a older 738 flying SEA-ORD in July of 2011 that the cockpit upgrade, but still had the old cabin. Intsead of the LCD monitors located between PSUs, it still had the TV monitors over the aisle. In October of 2012, I flew a round trip ORD-BOS in which both 738s still had the old cabin and seating configuration.

Is it safe to assume that the cockpit upgrades of the older 738s were on a different schedule than the cabin refurbishments?


User currently offlinetommy767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6584 posts, RR: 9
Reply 23, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 5326 times:

Not surprising considering they have something like 170ish 738s?!?


"Folks that's the news and I'm outta here!" -- Dennis Miller
User currently offlineqqflyboy From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2276 posts, RR: 13
Reply 24, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 5157 times:

Quoting AA767400 (Reply 12):
Has AA been given approval to operate 3 FAs in this configuration? I read somewhere that the FAA goes by seats, and not by passengers where staffing levels are concerned. Although they have those seats blocked off by a table, the FAA might consider it a seat nonetheless.

Only as of recent, yes, AA has received FAA approval. AA originally installed the tables thinking that would automatically block them, but alas, as others have stated, the FAA considered otherwise. Only recently was AA given permission to operate the aircraft with three F/As. The fleet will still be bid with four flight attendants owing to subs, but of course that will end when the fleet is complete. However, the aircraft can and will be dispatched with three F/As in the event of a sick call/injury/short notice/lack of replacements should the a/c indeed be the 16/134 config.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 15):
I thought there were a couple of other iterations. The original 1999 configuration, then the 2000 MRTC configuration, then 16/132 when MRTC was taken out.

That is correct. I guess when I said original, I was referring to the current "base" configuration, as there are still some 20+ birds with the 16/132 config. Ckfred has a great breakdown of the true original config:

Quoting ckfred (Reply 22):
I think when AA first got the 738s in 1999, it was 20F/126Y. Then came MRTC in 2000, and the seating went to 20F/114Y, eliminating 2 rows of coach seats. Then, AA decided to cut back on F, due to low demand. So, they took out 1 row of First and put 2 rows of coach back in. That went to 16F/126Y. When MRTC was dropped, only 1 row of coach seats was added. That made it 16F/132Y, which was the configuration, until the new 738s started to arrive in 1999.
Quoting BizJet (Reply 16):
And at one point didn't AA's 738s have 20 F seats?

Yes, see Ckfred's reply above. The 738s were delivered new in 1999 with 20 first class seats.



The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect my employer’s views.
User currently offlineckfred From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 5221 posts, RR: 1
Reply 25, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4988 times:

qqflyboy:

I remember when the 738s started to arrive, they were being used out of ORD on routes with a lot of business traffic, such as ORD to LAX and BOS. That was the reason why they had 20 seats in First, for the upgrade opportunities for the elite flyers.

The interesting thing is that something similar is going on now. Since the MD-80s aren't being reconfigured for MCE, they are being relegated to routes that skew towards leisure flyers, and the 738s are being shifted to routes that skew towards business flyers. That's why places such as PHX, LAS, MCO, and TPA are seeing far fewer 738s and more MD-80s. The traffic skews towards leisure flyers who probably wouldn't pay for MCE and few elites who get MCE for free.


User currently offlineqqflyboy From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2276 posts, RR: 13
Reply 26, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 4872 times:

Quoting ckfred (Reply 25):

At the time AA also had a subfleet of MD-80s with 20 first class seats (not just the Reno birds). All for the reasons you mentioned.

The MD-80 is indeed getting MCE (originally it wasn't). Currently there is one MD-80 with MCE.



The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect my employer’s views.
User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20542 posts, RR: 62
Reply 27, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 4829 times:

Quoting ckfred (Reply 25):
Quoting qqflyboy (Reply 26):

Thanks for the interesting trip down memory lane, and confirming for me that other configurations existed. I'd recalled an MD-80 First with more than 16 seats, but couldn't remember if those were former TWA aircraft, or an intentional AA configuration for some markets.

I remember checking in one morning at PDX on a domestic First award ticket about 10 years ago, and I missed the check-in cutoff by one minute. The agent simply said not to worry since there was another flight I could take which had more Z space than usual, since the incoming aircraft had an unexpectedly larger than normal First Class section than was normally used for that flight.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineOB1504 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 3332 posts, RR: 9
Reply 28, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 4755 times:

The other night, two agents and a supervisor spent forty-five minutes explaining to a passenger that the seats he had originally chosen (16A and 16B) were no longer available on his flight because it had been substituted with one of the reconfigured aircraft on which 16B technically didn't exist anymore, and he refused to see the gate agent for a seat assignment, instead insisting that the airline involuntarily rearrange the other passengers sitting in "his" seats despite the fact that, again, no one could possibly be sitting in 16B anymore.

The different configurations on the 737 and 757 fleets can cause quite a headache for agents because some passengers are very picky when it comes to seat assignments and they are completely unfamiliar with the concept of an equipment swap.


User currently offlineckfred From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 5221 posts, RR: 1
Reply 29, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 4616 times:

Quoting qqflyboy (Reply 26):
The MD-80 is indeed getting MCE (originally it wasn't). Currently there is one MD-80 with MCE.

How quickly does AA anticipate getting the MD-80 fleet reconfigured to MCE? And how many rows of MCE will there be?


User currently offlineflyfree727 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 658 posts, RR: 0
Reply 30, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 4541 times:

Quoting ckfred (Reply 29):
how many rows of MCE will there be?

MCE rows on S80's will be rows 8-15, 40 MCE seats, 79 M/C seats

AA ORD


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