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UAL: Value Added Of Backwards Facing C Seats  
User currently offlinebavair From Germany, joined Jul 2011, 125 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 17884 times:

Hi,

I haven't found anything on this topic in the search so I hope it hasn't been discussed to death already.

Over the past couple of weeks I have been able to regularly go into United aircraft and couldn't help myself but wonder why there are backwardsfacing Business seats. In the case of BA, for example, I can fully understand as it enables more isle access, although I'm not particularly fond of it. However, for UAL, it is a classic row of seats facing backwards.

One theory a friend of mine came up with is that this way less cables would have to be laid as the IFE for two rows are mounted together. However, we came to the conclusion that since the seat also needs it's own cables for power etc. there's not really much value added.

When all seats face forward, each seat can have a little space under the one in front for the passengers legs to go under which would save a little bit of space (maybe enough for an entire additional Eco row or two if you add up the entire biz class. At the same time, most people prefer moving forwards (see people's behaviour on trains).

For the layout that United has, I really can't see any value added unless it really does have to do with it being able to reduce cabelling or the number of IFE units. I hope someone can shed a bit of light on this.

Regards,

BAVair

52 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineartsyman From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 4745 posts, RR: 34
Reply 1, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 17791 times:

It actually has to do with saving space. The foot well of the person facing backwards goes into the space below the tvs at the feet of the person facing forward etc. This is why the foot space isn't very wide. This saves about 18 inches per row, and allows for an extra row of seats over all front facing seating. Oddly enough, once flown in them, I have heard a lot of passengers say that they prefer the backwards facing seats. The angle is better for sleeping

User currently onlineB747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 17063 posts, RR: 10
Reply 2, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 17767 times:

Quoting artsyman (Reply 1):
I have heard a lot of passengers say that they prefer the backwards facing seats. The angle is better for sleeping

True, because the backwards facing seats will give you a slightly head up angle as airplanes fly a few degrees nose up.



Work Hard, Fly Right
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25057 posts, RR: 46
Reply 3, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 17754 times:

Yes simply put, you can fit more rows by alternating forward/rear facing.

As mentioned several reason buy additional space including - the foot rest areas are offset and essentially back into each other, also doubling up on the IFE screen consoles back to back save you space.

While initially there was some concern about customer adoption, the rear facing seats along with the perception of privacy, and sense of space is scoring higher on rear facing seats versus traditional ones forward ones.

So maybe the military was onto something besides rear facing seats also being safer.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineatcsundevil From Germany, joined Mar 2010, 1183 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 17542 times:

Rear-facing makes no difference aside from being in the lie-flat position.. As mentioned above, all aircraft take a slightly nose-up angle when in cruise, so being rear-facing means you're closer to 180°, as opposed to front-facing, which goes beyond 180° in-flight. Unless you drink enough (like me), the position makes a big difference in whether or not you actually sleep. Some aircraft with front-facing seats accommodate for this as a design feature, others do not. So, it's better than one may think...but should you be facing in a direction you don't desire, booze is a better remedy than wondering why the seat faces a weird direction. Works for me, anyway.


1954 1974 1990 2014 -- Los geht's!
User currently offlineblueflyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 3967 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 17302 times:
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Quoting LAXintl (Reply 3):
the rear facing seats along with the perception of privacy, and sense of space is scoring higher on rear facing seats versus traditional ones forward ones.

Say what? I do recognize the possible benefits of the slight head elevation (I sleep facing forward, rearward and sideways), but I don't get the perception of privacy at all. I can't remember a single flight where I was facing backwards on the aisle and not, at some point, staring at someone facing forward two rows down across the aisle. That isn't privacy.

As for the sense of space, in these new United seats, unless the seat next to mine goes unused, there isn't any! There's not even storage room.



I've got $h*t to do
User currently offlinecaribair From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 4 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 16926 times:
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I find terrible distribution of seats in UA business 2-4-2 in the 777 & 744. If you get in the the four seat in the middle you feel like in Coach. The UA 777 ex CO is complete diferent all look forward in a 2-2-2 configuration. Much more enjoyable.
There is no comparison with the sense of privacy that BA J gives you and with the new distribution in J that AA, DL or US will have , UA will be force to review their strategy very soon.


User currently offlinecosyr From United States of America, joined Jul 2012, 386 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 14834 times:

I'm sure United did the measurements and it all makes sense, but only because they chose to have all the seats parallel, not staggered or angled like all the other modern business class seats. BA makes sense, because putting a backwards facing seat next to a forward one means more shoulder room, and the expense of foot room, since feet are smaller. It's obvious when you look at the swiveled drop down window between the seats, exactly what the advantage is of the BA design, and doesn't look like an issue that it is 8 across on a 777. United has all the shoulders lined up, at least in each part of the row.

I know the shoulders in the middle are lined up with the feet on the outside rows, but if you look at pictures of the cabin as a whole, the aisle does not zig zag, so I can't think they are getting quite the same advantage of alternating shoulders and feet that BA gets. Not to mention the psychological aspect of having 2 middle seats in Business Class?! I will not pay for that, but I am paying for UA's J (backward facing, since everyone says that's better for sleeping) with my wife to SYD this August, upstairs on 747. I'm going in with an open mind, but I have used the sCO J class seats and I like them. And most importantly, I like not having any risk of getting a middle seat when the tickets are upwards of $18k each!! (I do choose my seat ahead, but several annoying trips recently, UA has involuntarily moved me.)


User currently offlineEASTERN747 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 536 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 14676 times:

I flew to LHR from ORD in BA J. I was stuck in a backward seat and found it very uncomfortable. I found myself having to stare into the cabin behind J eyeball to eyeball with those folks. I also felt I was sliding down.

User currently offlinequestions From Australia, joined Sep 2011, 769 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 14540 times:

What is UA's plan for the J cabin? Will the seats be standardized, at least on common aircraft types?

User currently offlineRoseflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9590 posts, RR: 52
Reply 10, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 14540 times:

The backwards facing seats allow full flat recline at about 68 inch pitch instead of 74-78 that would be required if there is no overlap in the footwells.

Also, the width of 4 facing forward and 4 facing rearward on a row horizontally on the plane allows the seat to be wider at the shoulders. The sleeping area is tapered and provides adequate shoulder width in the sleeping orientation.
the one big problem is privacy. The middle seats are not good for privacy. Those seats offer an inferior product but usually go to nonrevs and upgrades. The 777 is worst with 25% of the seats being undesirable. The 767 is great, and the 747 has lots of other options. Last minute bookings on the 777 are bad for business passengers..



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlinecubastar From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 407 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 14237 times:

Quoting cosyr (Reply 7):
BA makes sense, because putting a backwards facing seat next to a forward one means more shoulder room, and the expense of foot room, since feet are smaller.

I totally disagree. Flying J on BA's 777 is very uncomfortable, awkward, and especially inconvenient when entering or leaving the window seat if the aisle seat is fully extended.

Quoting EASTERN747 (Reply 8):
flew to LHR from ORD in BA J. I was stuck in a backward seat and found it very uncomfortable. I found myself having to stare into the cabin behind J eyeball to eyeball with those folks.

On this, I totally agree. In my opinion, eight (8) across in the BA's business cabin does not compare favorably with any other airline business cabin.


User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25057 posts, RR: 46
Reply 12, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 13896 times:

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 5):
Say what? I do recognize the possible benefits of the slight head elevation (I sleep facing forward, rearward and sideways), but I don't get the perception of privacy at all. I can't remember a single flight where I was facing backwards on the aisle and not, at some point, staring at someone facing forward two rows down across the aisle. That isn't privacy.

As I said, the metrics seem to prove people have a perception of more spaciousness and privacy in the rearward seats.
Real or not does not matter, but its a positive perception people make.

Even before the product was rolled out there was plenty of testing including line of sight test involving seat placement and height of the IFE consoles to test things like privacy. Overall the selected configuration maximized levels of privacy and space tested.

Quoting cosyr (Reply 7):
I'm sure United did the measurements and it all makes sense, but only because they chose to have all the seats parallel, not staggered or angled like all the other modern business class seats.

Keep in mind the rows are not all parallel in single straight lines, they are offset with the rear/forward facing combination and meant to avoid people having to stare at each other.

Quoting EASTERN747 (Reply 8):
I found myself having to stare into the cabin behind J eyeball to eyeball with those folks.

As mentioned previously, the BA like issues was worked on carefully with the seat spacing and IFE consoles heights to minimize you ever having to stare at others.
Matter of fact UA seating blocks all line of sights to seats directly ahead of you, and only if you let your eyes wander off across the aisles can possibly observe others.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineVC10er From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 2885 posts, RR: 10
Reply 13, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 13765 times:
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Recently I have had the opportunity (4 times) to directly from a CO BF seat to a UA backwards seat. While I love the little storage space above your head on the CO seats, I have never found them to be cushy and comfortable, and have bumps/spaces between the seat back and butt cushion when in the bed position. While I loathe the lack of storage on the UA seat, (which I solve by bringing a small nylon cinch bag of my stuff) I LOVE the comfort in the United seat in either direction. At a bit over 6 feet tall, when I stretch out on UA, neither my head or feet touch the ends, so they are longer.
The seat itself is, for me, extremely comfortable, in all of its positions, especially the bed position.
I was in a rear facing seat yesterday for a 39 minute flight from Sao Paulo to Rio. I had just gotten off a flight in a CO seat for 9 hours from EWR. I slept better in that 39 minute flight!

United was first in the USA with a flat bed, now AA and DL can come up with a better seat. While United is often derided, they historically had a superior seat. Even their old recliner was very comfortable (during the recliner era), more so than CO's BF recliner and the stone hard seat on AA. When UA does away with their backwards/forward and Global First, it will leave them with an inferior BF only hard product in the USA. Pity, just as service is improving (a bit)!



The world is missing love, let's use our flights to spread it!
User currently offlinespacecadet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3624 posts, RR: 12
Reply 14, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 12955 times:

Quoting atcsundevil (Reply 4):
so being rear-facing means you're closer to 180°, as opposed to front-facing, which goes beyond 180° in-flight

I don't understand why they wouldn't just take the cruise angle of the aircraft into account when designing the seats. ANA's business class seats lie at about a 177 degree angle for that reason, so it feels fully flat when you're at cruise. Why wouldn't UA design their forward facing seats this way, and their rear facing seats at a 183 degree angle? It doesn't seem like rocket science.



I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
User currently offlinebrilondon From Canada, joined Aug 2005, 4197 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 12652 times:

Quoting cubastar (Reply 11):
On this, I totally agree. In my opinion, eight (8) across in the BA's business cabin does not compare favorably with any other airline business cabin.

I don't find the seats all that great in BA's business class. I would rather sit in Y+ and sit forward.



Rush for ever; Yankees all the way!!
User currently offlineJoeCanuck From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 5419 posts, RR: 30
Reply 16, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 11926 times:

I still can't believe that nobody has taken even a trial run with the Thompson Cozy Suites...even just as a trial run. To me, these things makes a lot of sense. I think somebody should convert at least a single plane to see it they work in the real world.

http://www.thompsonaero.com/index.php/products/cozy-suite



What the...?
User currently offlinejayunited From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 918 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 11208 times:

As an employee I have flown internationally on the 747, 767 and 777 both in forward and backward facing seats and I have to admit that the backward facing seat is better when in the full flat bed position and I think the 767 has the best layout with the 2-2-2. The 747 and 777 middle seats does make you feel like you are in coach but the reason why United went with this layout was because they wanted to keep all international aircraft in a 3 class layout this was of course prior to the merger.

Direct access to the isle in business class takes up a lot of space which is why American when they begin revamping their 777-200ER will be removing first class off those airplanes. On United IPTE 777 there are 221 seats in coach on the 777 that have the recliner type seats in business class you have 197 seats in coach. If United would have retained the 3 class cabins on their international fleet and gave all business class passenger direct access to the isle (without having to step over someone else's feet like people have to do on BA) they would have had to greatly reduce the number of seats they have in coach. What direction will United take going forward will we be a 2 class or 3 class airlines that debate is still raging on in the halls of world headquarter. But what many passengers hope for moving forward is that when the combined United revamps their international fleet probably at the end of this decade they will put a business class seat in that offers everyone direct access to the isle. Or hopefully once the A350-900 start arriving we will get some direction on what the combined United wants their business class to look like because I think the 787 for the time being will all get the CO businessfirst type seat because right now United is not working with any company on a design for a new business class seat.


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25117 posts, RR: 22
Reply 18, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 11044 times:

Quoting cubastar (Reply 11):
Quoting EASTERN747 (Reply 8):
flew to LHR from ORD in BA J. I was stuck in a backward seat and found it very uncomfortable. I found myself having to stare into the cabin behind J eyeball to eyeball with those folks.

On this, I totally agree. In my opinion, eight (8) across in the BA's business cabin does not compare favorably with any other airline business cabin.
Quoting bavair (Thread starter):
In the case of BA, for example, I can fully understand as it enables more aisle access, although I'm not particularly fond of it

That's not the reason. BA's 8-abreast J seats on 744s and 777s wouldn't fit if they all faced forward. The foot area doesn't require as much horizontal space as the actual sitting area, so by alternating forward and backwards-facing seats, they can squeeze in 8-seats across and generate more revenue in the same floor space.


User currently offlinequestions From Australia, joined Sep 2011, 769 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 10692 times:

I like the new UA F suites. But why were they designed facing outward toward the aisle vs toward the windows like the previous version?

User currently offlinecubastar From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 407 posts, RR: 5
Reply 20, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 10665 times:

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 18):
That's not the reason. BA's 8-abreast J seats on 744s and 777s wouldn't fit if they all faced forward. The foot area doesn't require as much horizontal space as the actual sitting area, so by alternating forward and backwards-facing seats, they can squeeze in 8-seats across and generate more revenue in the same floor space.

I understand that. I just don't like BA's business class on the 74 or 77 with the fwd/back type of seat. I know that is the reason that they can fit 8 seats across in business. I just don't like it....too crowded. And......their seats are just not as comfortable as others.


User currently offlineBongodog1964 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 3547 posts, RR: 3
Reply 21, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 9875 times:

Quoting EASTERN747 (Reply 8):
I flew to LHR from ORD in BA J. I was stuck in a backward seat and found it very uncomfortable. I found myself having to stare into the cabin behind J eyeball to eyeball with those folks. I also felt I was sliding down.

How did you manage to stare through the solid bulkhead and the curtain ? There is zero visibility from the Club World cabin back to world traveller plus.


User currently offlinecosyr From United States of America, joined Jul 2012, 386 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 9784 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 12):
they are offset with the rear/forward facing combination and meant to avoid people having to stare at each other.

This doesn't make any sense. If they are rear and forward facing, you are by definition staring at each other. I assume you are referring to the staggering forward vs rear across the aisle, but in some ways that makes you even closer to staring at someone else. Without the bend in the middle of the seats that BA has, I don't see how from a physics stand point the United seats can be as wide. I do think with the tall walls on BA, that they could seem claustrophobic. But I would rather be in a box than rubbing shoulders with 2 strangers. Better still, I would rather no airline ever made a J class with more than 6 seats across...on any plane (and I prefer 5 on 767).


User currently offlinevfw614 From Germany, joined Dec 2001, 3996 posts, RR: 5
Reply 23, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 9661 times:

Anyone able to point me at a picture of an UA cabin to allow me to better understand what we are talking about?

User currently offlineairtechy From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 500 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 6725 times:

The reconfigured business class seating in Delta's 747's are the best seat....and seat arrangement... I have ever flown. Lie flat, direct aisle access, and plenty of storage space. I never partake of the on-board entertainment so that is not important to me. And their placement may result in fewer seats, but for some reason the airline still seems to be making money.

If I was United, I would struggle to defend an eight abreast seating arrangement that had people staring at each other.


User currently offlineRoseflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9590 posts, RR: 52
Reply 25, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 6782 times:

Quoting airtechy (Reply 25):
the reconfigured business class seating in Delta's 747's are the best seat....and seat arrangement... I have ever flown. Lie flat, direct aisle access, and plenty of storage space. I never partake of the on-board entertainment so that is not important to me. And their placement may result in fewer seats, but for some reason the airline still seems to be making money.

If I was United, I would struggle to defend an eight abreast seating arrangement that had people staring at each other.

The DL business seat is not the best for space efficiency. They only fit 14 on the upper deck of the 747 versus 20 for UA. While preferable, tat is a big cost.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlinemalaysia From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 3342 posts, RR: 0
Reply 26, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 6502 times:

I have been on both the Business First on UA 772/744 and CO 772. the CO seats are nicer have little side wall and dont make you share arm rest with other seatmate like the UA version. but all are good for sleeping in my opinion. I am thin and it suites me fine, but not for wider people.

the 180 value is there and no need or reason for Global First. I have been in First and meal service takes longer (extra plates) so less time to sleep between meals. but Global First does allow you to not have to step over anyone vs both Business First configs.

both backwards and forward had no effect on me, I did not notice the angle difference. only issue was the pax next to me forgot to lock the magazine panel and everything flew out on take off.

[Edited 2013-04-28 22:16:49]


There Are Those Who Believe That There May Yet Be Other Airlines Who Even Now Fight To Survive Beyond The Heavens
User currently offlinecaribair From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 4 posts, RR: 0
Reply 27, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 5877 times:
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In the 767 or the 744 upstairs are fine. But this is a good distribuccion in Business for a 10 hour flight?

United New Business Class On 777/No Room! (by ATLflyer Jul 27 2010 in Civil Aviation)


User currently offlinetoobz From Finland, joined Jan 2010, 778 posts, RR: 0
Reply 28, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 5701 times:

Uhh yeah UA is far behind DL. DL may have taken a hit financially on their setup, but their product is far superior. Maybe that's why DL has seen growth in corporate traffic quarter after quarter  

User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25057 posts, RR: 46
Reply 29, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 5403 times:

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 16):
Thompson Cozy Suites.

Last I heard the FAA said the design would not be certifiable due cabin safety issues.

Quoting cosyr (Reply 22):
If they are rear and forward facing, you are by definition staring at each other.

The IFE console blocks all your direct forward view

Quoting cosyr (Reply 22):
I assume you are referring to the staggering forward vs rear across the aisle, but in some ways that makes you even closer to staring at someone else.

In testing it was shown by staggering and moving the opposing facing row closer to you, there would be much less chance of people staring at each other each as it would take a much more sharp turn of your head to meet someone eye to eye.

Might not believe it, but there was much testing and science put into the cabin configuration.

Quoting airtechy (Reply 24):
The reconfigured business class seating in Delta's 747's are the best seat....and seat arrangement...

Its not a bad design, except cocoon like seats have been around for a long period, and are starting to test ever more negatively with the public. For example Cathay had to relaunch its business class product and open the seats up more trying to get rid of the coffin feel that many cocoon designs elicit.

Also I do wonder about the massive of cabin space for fewer seats. If the revenue does not get a equivalent bump, the it ends up being an extremely expensive proposition.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlinemalaysia From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 3342 posts, RR: 0
Reply 30, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 5287 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 29):
The IFE console blocks all your direct forward view

But the side views can be strong, the other group across aisle is facing other way and they have direct view of you until you are flat asleep



There Are Those Who Believe That There May Yet Be Other Airlines Who Even Now Fight To Survive Beyond The Heavens
User currently offlinejayunited From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 918 posts, RR: 1
Reply 31, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 5290 times:

Quoting airtechy (Reply 24):
If I was United, I would struggle to defend an eight abreast seating arrangement that had people staring at each other.
Quoting toobz (Reply 28):
Uhh yeah UA is far behind DL. DL may have taken a hit financially on their setup, but their product is far superior.

I remember a lot of people on a.netters complaining when pmUA first started their cabin retrofit. Many of you were complaining because pmUA reduced the number of seat in business class to put lay flat seat in. The 767 went from 30 or 32 seats (I don't completely remember) to 26, the 747 went from 73 to 52 and the 777 went from 49 to 40 seats. United also remove seats in first class to accommodate the larger first class seat.

It is easy to sit here now and say that United went in the wrong direction with the 4 middle seats in business on the 747 and the 777. But my question to all of you who are complaining that UA does not provide direct access to the isle is this. If pmUA had gone with your idea and provided ALL business class passengers with direct access to the isle how many business class seats would pmUA been force to remove? OR how many seat in coach would pmUA been forced to remove in order to keep a sizable business class cabin? But keep in mind this one point as well how many OVERALL seats would pmUA need on their 767, 777 and 747 in order to make a profit on the flight?

These are questions that pmUA had to take into consideration yes they could have removed seats in coach and gave all business class passengers direct access to the isle but at what cost they could have drastically reduced the size of the business class cabin and gave all passengers in business direct access to the isle but at what cost? Before the merger pmUA was and wanted to remain a 3 class airline on all international trips across the Atlantic, Pacific and South America so comparing pmUA cabin set up to that of DL is because DL is a two cabin airline. Now comparing DL setup to that of pmCO is completely fair because both of those airlines are two cabin airlines in which case I believe that DL would win.

But to make this a little easier for all of you who say pmUA was wrong lets take AA and their 777-200ER: IF AA were to keep first class on their 777-200ER with the current set up that they now have on the 777-300ER how small would their first class cabin be? How many seats would they have in business class and how many seat would be in coach including main cabin extra? And finally would AA be able to make on on the flights without having to drastically raise ticket prices to make up for all the seat that would have to come off the plane to make room for direct access to the isle in business class? This is what you need to think about because there is a reason AA is removing first off their 777-200ER but back in 2007 when pmUA was planning the cabin retrofit removing first class off the airplanes was probably never considered as an option.


User currently onlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17420 posts, RR: 46
Reply 32, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 5238 times:

Quoting malaysia (Reply 30):

But the side views can be strong, the other group across aisle is facing other way and they have direct view of you until you are flat asleep

Honeslty it's no big deal. I know we live in a society that is petriefied of a stranger saying hello in the elevator or god forbid somebody calling your phone rather than texting you, but lie flat is still a better way to go, backward or forward, than economy. The UA J seat was ahead of the industry when it was introduced, and obviously several years later it now looks quaint by comparison, but it's still lie flat, as opposed to AA's previous J which was behind the curve the moment it was introduced. Direct aisle access is nice but it takes up a lot of space that people aren't paying for, nor using 99% of the time.

Quoting toobz (Reply 28):
Maybe that's why DL has seen growth in corporate traffic quarter after quarter

Either that or the sky high commissions



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25057 posts, RR: 46
Reply 33, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 5216 times:

Quoting malaysia (Reply 30):
But the side views can be strong, the other group across aisle is facing other way and they have direct view of you until you are flat asleep

Read what I said below...

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 29):
In testing it was shown by staggering and moving the opposing facing row closer to you, there would be much less chance of people staring at each other each as it would take a much more sharp turn of your head to meet someone eye to eye.

Might not believe it, but there was much testing and science put into the cabin configuration.

So maybe the configuration does not meet with your approval, however in extensive testing prior to roll out it was found that this was not an issue and could be alleviated by moving the opposite facing rows across the aisle closer together. So unless you are turning your neck, you are not looking at anyone head on.

Quoting jayunited (Reply 31):

  

All aircraft configurations by their nature are full of compromises, not the least being trying to maximize revenue for the available floor space.

Imo, United hit a major home run with the IPTE, and was by far the best premium product in the US when introduced in 2007.

Sure fast forward to 2013, and people might have different views as others play catch up, however its not like the UA product is 3rd world. Its still one of the better ones out there and quite relevant in today's market place.

If you want to talk about poor products, look at AA's business class - in rush to get something to the market in 2006 they made significant compromises and did not even come up with a proper lie-flat seat. Hence now in 2013, they are redoing the product realizing its about 2 generations behind peers.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlinetymnbalewne From Bermuda, joined Mar 2005, 947 posts, RR: 1
Reply 34, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 5127 times:

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 21):

How did you manage to stare through the solid bulkhead and the curtain ? There is zero visibility from the Club World cabin back to world traveller plus.

Incorrect. If you're in the last row window seat in Club you can see right into WTP. The curtain is rarely closed.



Dewmanair...begins with Dew
User currently offlineairtechy From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 500 posts, RR: 0
Reply 35, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 5011 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 33):
So maybe the configuration does not meet with your approval, however in extensive testing prior to roll out it was found that this was not an issue and could be alleviated by moving the opposite facing rows across the aisle closer together. So unless you are turning your neck, you are not looking at anyone head on.

Nice spinning! United is unfortunately saddled with a business class configuration that was questionable when introduced and is now clearly not the way the industry is going. Having the ability to place more people per square foot is only good if you can find people who want to be in the seats that occupy those square feet.

Fortunately, this can all be corrected by an upgrade to business class. It's only money ... right!


User currently offlineblueflyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 3967 posts, RR: 2
Reply 36, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 4908 times:
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Quoting LAXintl (Reply 12):
As I said, the metrics seem to prove people have a perception of more spaciousness and privacy in the rearward seats.

I understand it is based on metrics. It's not the first time I hold an opinion that is contrary to the majority, but usually I can understand why. This time I don't, I am somewhat puzzled that this setup came out ahead of other options they may have considered and definitively makes me wonder what other configurations they looked at.

I believe a (reverse) herringbone seating configuration provides a lot more privacy, and all the herringbone carriers I have flown on so far had more storage room than United's new seats.

Quoting jayunited (Reply 31):
But keep in mind this one point as well how many OVERALL seats would pmUA need on their 767, 777 and 747 in order to make a profit on the flight?

An equally valid question is why can't United apparently make a (sufficient) profit while providing aisle access from every seat while other airlines do?

I don't resent the reduction in seats, but I don't rely on upgrades to get one either. If a United flight is full, I find another one, or another carrier. I don't think the seats are that bad, certainly far better than coach, just not as good as the other carriers I fly, but quite acceptable else I wouldn't fly United. However if we are to look into United's considerations for choosing this particular seat and money is a factor, then asking why they can't profitably do what the competition does is an equally interesting question.



I've got $h*t to do
User currently offlineairtechy From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 500 posts, RR: 0
Reply 37, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 4800 times:

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 36):
I don't resent the reduction in seats, but I don't rely on upgrades to get one either. If a United flight is full, I find another one, or another carrier. I don't think the seats are that bad, certainly far better than coach, just not as good as the other carriers I fly, but quite acceptable else I wouldn't fly United. However if we are to look into United's considerations for choosing this particular seat and money is a factor, then asking why they can't profitably do what the competition does is an equally interesting question.

A very interesting question. I can only assume that United hopes to fill the business section with flyers on corporate contracts. These people would have to accept a less desirable seat arrangement that the contract provides. Probably means they had to cram as many seats in as possible to lower the contract price.

If economy has its economy plus, can we call this business minus?  


User currently offlinecubastar From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 407 posts, RR: 5
Reply 38, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 4713 times:

Quoting cosyr (Reply 22):
(and I prefer 5 on 767).
Quoting airtechy (Reply 37):
If economy has its economy plus, can we call this business minus?

You are right! And minus is exactly what it is.


User currently offlineADent From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 1369 posts, RR: 2
Reply 39, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 4710 times:

Quoting vfw614 (Reply 23):
Anyone able to point me at a picture of an UA cabin to allow me to better understand what we are talking about?

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Andrew Hunt - AirTeamImages
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Andrew Hunt - AirTeamImages



User currently offlinejayunited From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 918 posts, RR: 1
Reply 40, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 4582 times:

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 36):
An equally valid question is why can't United apparently make a (sufficient) profit while providing aisle access from every seat while other airlines do?

I don't resent the reduction in seats, but I don't rely on upgrades to get one either. If a United flight is full, I find another one, or another carrier. I don't think the seats are that bad, certainly far better than coach, just not as good as the other carriers I fly, but quite acceptable else I wouldn't fly United. However if we are to look into United's considerations for choosing this particular seat and money is a factor, then asking why they can't profitably do what the competition does is an equally interesting question.

What other airlines flies the 777-200ER in a 3 class setting that also offers all business class passengers direct access to the isle. And don't say BA because many people have complained about having to step over the other passengers feet. So what airline has this set setup while keeping first, business and coach and how many seat are in each cabin? While your question is valid your question completely disregards the fact that most airlines that have direct access to the isle are converting to or already are 2 class on their 777-200ER which is what United wanted to retain..

And your second point is absolutely correct money was a huge factor for United back in 2006-2007 when United was in the planning stages. This is the main reason why United only refreshed the first and business class cabins on the 767 and 747. United didn't have the money to spend to refresh the coach cabins on those planes which is why coach still looks like it did back in the 90's. Now I'm not saying United's set up is right I think it is a horrible setup, 4 middle seats in business class but what other options could they have taken while still keeping the 3 class cabin?

Now if United would have waited like other U.S. airlines did they probably would have sacrificed first class on both the 767 and the 777 and left it only on the 747 fleet because as we all know you really don't need a first class cabin with all of the upgrades that airlines have made to their business class seats. Which is why in the future I don't see United being a 3 class cabin airline.


User currently offlineBongodog1964 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 3547 posts, RR: 3
Reply 41, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 4509 times:

Quoting tymnbalewne (Reply 34):
Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 21):How did you manage to stare through the solid bulkhead and the curtain ? There is zero visibility from the Club World cabin back to world traveller plus.Incorrect. If you're in the last row window seat in Club you can see right into WTP. The curtain is rarely closed.

Rubbish. Firstly, the configuration is such that the window seat is tucked round the corner and you only have a view of the solid partition, the aisle seat totally blocks the view of the aisle, and secondly the first thing the cabin crew do when they get out of their seats after take off is close the curtains, and they don't open them until they set the cabin for landing. I doubt you've ever sat in either the A or K seat.


User currently offlinequestions From Australia, joined Sep 2011, 769 posts, RR: 1
Reply 42, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3934 times:

Quoting cubastar (Reply 11):
Flying J on BA's 777 is very uncomfortable, awkward, and especially inconvenient when entering or leaving the window seat if the aisle seat is fully extended.

How do BA FA's do meal service to passengers seated in window seats?


User currently offlineblueflyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 3967 posts, RR: 2
Reply 43, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3802 times:
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Quoting jayunited (Reply 40):
What other airlines flies the 777-200ER in a 3 class setting that also offers all business class passengers direct access to the isle.

I think I understand the point you are trying to make, but as a customer and with all due respect, it is irrelevant in my opinion. It was United's choice to set itself certain criteria ahead of this project, not mine. If I were to choose among my options solely based on comfort, I should not and would not make allowance for these decisions, I would evaluate every option against all others without regard to type flown or number of classes on board, and I venture most other passengers would proceed the same way.

If the design of the 777-200 and the criteria United set for itself do not allow for a better configuration than the current one (I am no expert so I readily concede that point), that is United's problem, and since their competitors do make a profit, perhaps United needs to rethink some of its decisions.

In the real world (at least in mine), comfort is one of several factors, of varying importance, along with schedule and price, but if all other things are equal, United loses out to most competitors for long-haul flights. Fortunately for United, all other things are rarely equal.

Quoting airtechy (Reply 37):
I can only assume that United hopes to fill the business section with flyers on corporate contracts. These people would have to accept a less desirable seat arrangement that the contract provides.

My employer has a contract with United, but we are big enough to have arrangements with other carriers as well. To the best of my knowledge, our contract doesn't have any stipulation that United's 777 configuration violates, however.

Questions of comfort come into play for flight selection purposes. For example, if I fly to Europe from the US and I am expected to head straight to a meeting upon landing, I am allowed to ignore the cheapest suitable flight if it doesn't feature lie-flat seats in business in favor of one that does.



I've got $h*t to do
User currently offlinejfidler From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 355 posts, RR: 0
Reply 44, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 3490 times:

When I fly business class, it's on flights 10+ hours where I need the ability to rest and get work done. To me, the two factors I look at at lie-flat and aisle access but I don't care what direction I'm facing or if I can look out the window or not. The 2-4-2 configuration in PMUA does not work well for me as a business traveler traveling alone, though it's perfectly fine if you're traveling with someone you know.

On recent trips, I've actually chosen a routing with a connection instead of a direct flight on UA, just to get lie-flat and aisle access. I prefer AC's 777 for this reason and the prices were similar.

I see PMCO planes do have lie-flat and all aisle-access in their BusinessFirst configuration, so I will fly UA on a route if that's offered.


User currently offlinetymnbalewne From Bermuda, joined Mar 2005, 947 posts, RR: 1
Reply 45, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 3330 times:

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 41):

Rubbish. Firstly, the configuration is such that the window seat is tucked round the corner and you only have a view of the solid partition, the aisle seat totally blocks the view of the aisle, and secondly the first thing the cabin crew do when they get out of their seats after take off is close the curtains, and they don't open them until they set the cabin for landing. I doubt you've ever sat in either the A or K seat.

I have often sat in A/K...the rear bulkhead window seats are my preferred option on the 777 or on the maindeck of the 747, most recently 2 weeks ago. Crew close curtains, passengers open them. I'm sure that's not a difficult concept for you to grasp, now is it?



Dewmanair...begins with Dew
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25117 posts, RR: 22
Reply 46, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 3298 times:

Quoting questions (Reply 42):
How do BA FA's do meal service to passengers seated in window seats?


They access the passenger the same way the passenger gets to/from the seat. It's quite awkward if aisle seat passengers have their seats fully reclined in flat-bed mode as cabin crew then have to climb over a passenger's legs while carrying meal trays etc.


User currently offlinecubastar From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 407 posts, RR: 5
Reply 47, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 3286 times:

Quoting questions (Reply 42):
How do BA FA's do meal service to passengers seated in window seats?

During cocktail or meal services, usually both seats (fwd. and backward) are in their upright or slightly reclined positions and the flt attendants can reach each tray table.


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25117 posts, RR: 22
Reply 48, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 3159 times:

Quoting cubastar (Reply 47):
Quoting questions (Reply 42):
How do BA FA's do meal service to passengers seated in window seats?

During cocktail or meal services, usually both seats (fwd. and backward) are in their upright or slightly reclined positions and the flt attendants can reach each tray table.

I disagree. In my experience, expecially on overnight flights, many passengers prefer to eat in the lounge before boarding (BA offers full meal service in many of their lounges) so they can spend the entire flight sleeping. I have seen many passengers completely skip the meal and bar service after boarding. They may have breakfast before arrival.

Obviously the situation is different on flights leaving at 8 AM than at 9 or 10 PM like many eastbound transatlantic flights. But even at 8 AM, many passengers may be connecting from other long haul flights and for them it could easily be midnight based on their body clock.


User currently offlinetymnbalewne From Bermuda, joined Mar 2005, 947 posts, RR: 1
Reply 49, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 3114 times:

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 46):
They access the passenger the same way the passenger gets to/from the seat. It's quite awkward if aisle seat passengers have their seats fully reclined in flat-bed mode as cabin crew then have to climb over a passenger's legs while carrying meal trays etc.

Some will also lower the divider and pass the tray over the aisle passenger and hand it to the inside passenger.



Dewmanair...begins with Dew
User currently offlinequestions From Australia, joined Sep 2011, 769 posts, RR: 1
Reply 50, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 2984 times:

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 46):
It's quite awkward if aisle seat passengers have their seats fully reclined in flat-bed mode as cabin crew then have to climb over a passenger's legs while carrying meal trays etc.
Quoting cubastar (Reply 47):
During cocktail or meal services, usually both seats (fwd. and backward) are in their upright or slightly reclined positions and the flt attendants can reach each tray table.
Quoting tymnbalewne (Reply 49):
Some will also lower the divider and pass the tray over the aisle passenger and hand it to the inside passenger.

Thanks. Sounds like it could be less than ideal for the FAs.


User currently offlinecubastar From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 407 posts, RR: 5
Reply 51, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 2666 times:

Quoting questions (Reply 50):
Thanks. Sounds like it could be less than ideal for the FAs.

I am sure that is is less than ideal for the F/A. Again, the terms; uncomfortable, awkward, and annoying come to mind.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 48):
I disagree.

Well, the question asked by the member "Questions" in reply 42, was "How do BA FA's do a meal service to passengers seated in the window seats. Thus, if they are wanting to eat on board the aircraft in flight, then my answer would have given him some insight into the situation.


User currently offlineRyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 5366 posts, RR: 4
Reply 52, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 2438 times:

Quoting jayunited (Reply 40):
What other airlines flies the 777-200ER in a 3 class setting that also offers all business class passengers direct access to the isle

None.

I'd never thought of it like that before, but while checking to see if there were any I'd missed I realised how non-standard all aisle access is.

I think some posters may have over-stated the importance of this upthread. If they are, in fact, right then somebody really ought to let AF, LH, EK, QR, SQ, JL, QF, KE etc etc know how uncompetitive their product is  



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