UAL747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 20344 times:
It's always puzzled me why First class is in the front of the aircraft. While I understand the ideology that first means a ride up front, and in a very small way, you are sort of the "first" to get to your destination..LOL. The only other reason I think is maybe it's because it's usually quieter in the front of the aircraft.
But other than those reasons, can anyone give me a good reason as to why first is always up front?
The reason I ask is because someone in another thread mentioned that the A345/346 gets nose heavy with heavy first suites installed, but also, I wonder if aircraft don't get tail heavy with so many more passengers in the back, or do seats and pax make up only a small part of the weight of the aircraft?
EvilForce From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 2, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 20351 times:
Other than being quieter.....when flying or upgrading to first the only advantage to being "in front" outside of that is getting off the aircraft first. Otherwise it wouldn't matter if the 1st class cabin was in the rear, upstairs, or whatever. It's all about ease of getting on and off the aircraft. If they had a 1st class in the rear with a separate boarding entrance I'm sure most would be fine with that too. At least that's my 2 cents worth.
Seabosdca From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 4708 posts, RR: 4 Reply 5, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 20233 times:
Quoting EvilForce (Reply 2): If they had a 1st class in the rear with a separate boarding entrance I'm sure most would be fine with that too.
I doubt it. They would complain about being "in the back of the bus." People have long associated the front of any transportation conveyance with prestige for a huge variety of reasons, from steam engine soot (falls on people at the back) to better views ahead to frequently bouncier rides in the back to proximity to the operator to a perception of the back as the place for rowdy kids.
I think history, not first-on first-off, explains the position of first class. If the back of transportation conveyances were the prestigious place to be, F/C/J would be in the back, and jetbridges would reach to the back to ensure first-on first-off for the premium pax.
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RNOcommctr From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 826 posts, RR: 3 Reply 8, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 20182 times:
I have a book about airline history that has a photo of what I believe is a DC-6, showing first class passengers deplaning through a rear exit, with the economy class folks deplaning from a front exit. Seems like there were more airline attendants helping the first class passengers. As I remember, the caption said first class was in the back because there was less noise there... certainly this would not be the case with a DC-9 or 727, but possibly was true for the old prop planes. By the way, everyone in both classes was dressed in suits and ties/skirts and dresses!
That is the real reason why first class on jets is at the front. On the early jets the front was significantly quieter, and that's still true but to a lesser extent than on the early 707s and DC-8s etc.
First class on 2-class propeller aircraft was at the rear for exactly the same reason. The rear of propeller aircraft is normally much quieter than the front.
EvilForce From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 11, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 20170 times:
Quoting Avt007 (Reply 6): It's been my experience on the 747 that up front is louder than the back. But being able to disembark first is the main reason.
On the 747 I like being upstairs. It's very quiet. No screaming babies and parents letting their kids run around to keep them entertained. That's what I dislike most of all in MD11 or A330s. You're trying to sleep and kids are running past you repeatedly.
Viscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 23169 posts, RR: 23 Reply 12, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 20017 times:
Quoting Mariner (Reply 7): In those old piston engine aircraft, quietness had a lot to do with it. The seats at the front, ahead of the wing and engines, were quieter, by some margin.
In fact the rear of piston engine aircraft was by far the quietest part which is why first class was always at the rear of piston-engine types. In the larger piston types that had a few rows of seats in a cabin ahead of the wing, that was usually the loudest part of the aircraft. I'm quite sure you won't find any evidence that 2-class piston engine types ever had first class at the front. Of course many piston types operated in an all-first class configuration where some passengers got stuck in the noisiest seats near the engines by default. Frequent travellers on those aircraft usually asked for a seat as close to the rear as possible.
The early turboprops (Britannia, Viscount, Vanguard, Electra etc.) maintained the tradition of putting first class at the back. They were also noisier at the front but not quite to the same extent as the piston types.
Eghansen From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 13, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 19970 times:
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 9): That is the real reason why first class on jets is at the front. On the early jets the front was significantly quieter, and that's still true but to a lesser extent than on the early 707s and DC-8s etc.
Especially on the Boeing 727. God, the back sure was noisy in those planes!!
57AZ From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2550 posts, RR: 2 Reply 16, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 19834 times:
Quoting Seabosdca (Reply 5): People have long associated the front of any transportation conveyance with prestige for a huge variety of reasons, from steam engine soot (falls on people at the back)
Actually, on US passenger trains the coach accommodations were almost always at the front and first class accommodations at the rear. The reason for this was noise, comfort and the view. Locomotives (with their associated noise and dirt) were always at the front of the train. Cars on the rear of the train also ride smoother than those positioned towards the front. If a train carried a dining car or lounge car, they were almost always positioned in the middle of the train in between the coach and first class cars for reasons of comfort and convenience to the first class passengers. Some trains were also provided with an observation car which was almost always reserved for first class use. Older lounge cars had deep observation platforms to allow one to enjoy the view without choking on smoke and cinders. Later on, railroads employed solarium observation cars that had an enclosed rear compartment with picture windows. These were regarded as improvements in that the observation end could be used in all weather and eliminated the risk of someone falling off the observation platform (they had very low railings). When private railcars were handled on a train, they would be placed at the rear of the train unless the train had a first class observation car assigned. In that case, they would be placed ahead of the coach accommodations but behind the baggage and railway post office cars.
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JamesJimlb From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1023 posts, RR: 2 Reply 17, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 19766 times:
the front, imo, is the smoothest ride, i flew CO in the farthest sest back and the taxi by itself made me motions sick ( i dont get motion sick easy) then i flew first same type of A/C ( 757-300 ) and i didnt even feel us taxiing.
in addition to boarding from the back i believe canada 2000 did that.
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PanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 8291 posts, RR: 26 Reply 20, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 19443 times:
Quoting Eoinnz (Reply 10): Lufthansa has their First Class located on the upper deck.
On the 744s only of course and they still get off the plane first, the crew holds C class pax back and Y follows them anyhow. Many airlines make sure that F pax get off first, regardless where the sit and then C follows before the rest of the crowd disembarks.
I remember the BEA Vanguards having the F class in the rear of the aircraft.
MAH4546 From Sweden, joined Jan 2001, 31749 posts, RR: 73 Reply 21, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 19421 times:
Quoting EvilForce (Reply 11): On the 747 I like being upstairs. It's very quiet. No screaming babies and parents letting their kids run around to keep them entertained. That's what I dislike most of all in MD11 or A330s. You're trying to sleep and kids are running past you repeatedly.
I can't remember the last time I've been in a kids-less premium cabin. On my Sunday LAX-MIA flight in business (AA 772), I've never seen so many kids in a premium cabin. I counted 14 (out of 37 seats), including one crying baby, and a brother/sister pair, neither who could have been older than 6, in a row to themselves. (And for the record, I'm not complaining about kids in the premium cabin, there's nothing wrong with it, but I've just noticed a trend that it's becoming a lot more common).