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2-5-2 V. 3-3-3? Why?  
User currently offlineIronminds From Australia, joined Apr 2001, 556 posts, RR: 3
Posted (14 years 1 month 2 hours ago) and read 1745 times:

Why do airlines configure planes like the MD10 in a 2-5-2 arrangement in coach, when 3-3-3 would be much more comfortable? I once rode in the middle of that 5 (and had two peple on either side once) and it SUCKED!

29 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlineAirnewzealand From New Zealand, joined Oct 2000, 2547 posts, RR: 6
Reply 1, posted (14 years 1 month 1 hour ago) and read 1622 times:

I recently flew Korean Air on the 777 and there configuration was 2-5-2. I loved it!!
I guess people all have different opinions.

By the way it hink you meant the MD11!


User currently offlineIronminds From Australia, joined Apr 2001, 556 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (14 years 1 month ago) and read 1605 times:

Yeah, MD11 would work here, tho I was thinking of the DC 10. Thanks...but anyway, if you're in one of the outer "2" sets of seats, that'd be great, but it just seems to me that the people in the middle get kind of a raw deal, especially if they are in the middle of a cabin in this sea of heads, having to climb over sleeping bodies every time they want to use the lav, etc. But, as you say, different strokes for different folks!

User currently offlineBostonBeau From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 469 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (14 years 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1582 times:

If you think about it, with a 3-3-3 arrangement, there would be TWO sets of people who would have to climb over two others to get to an aisle, whereas with 2-5-2 there is only one set of people who have to do that, and who can go to EITHER aisle. The other arrangement that would work is what they originally used on the B747 when it first entered service: 3-4-2

User currently offlineCNS From Germany, joined Mar 2000, 103 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (14 years 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 1554 times:

2-5-2 is terrible! And that seat configuration is also a reason why I wouldn't fly with NW DC 10 again. I hope they won't have a configuration of 3-3-3 in their new A 330's!


User currently offlineAirnewzealand From New Zealand, joined Oct 2000, 2547 posts, RR: 6
Reply 5, posted (14 years 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 1535 times:

It also depends on Seat pitch. Having 35", on Korean Air and seating in the middle seat for 12.50mins was no problem for me!! I didn't even wake up any passengers when i was getting out to go to the Lav.
But the thing i must moan about is that it gets very hot sitting in the middle seat.


User currently offlineAC_A340 From Canada, joined Sep 1999, 2251 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (14 years 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 1515 times:

The seat arrangement in most international full-priced scheduled carriers, like AC, etc. is 2-4-2 in the A330. While charter operators tend to go 3-3-3.

User currently offlineNwa747-400 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1337 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (14 years 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 1496 times:

NW DC10s are comfortable aircraft and I have even sat in the middle of the middle seat.

Having said that you are in for a much more enjoyable flight on the "2" side.

Don't let 2-5-2 stop you from flying the airline...just get to the airport a little earlier or reserve that "2"side seat ahead of time.

I am sure the NW A330-300s will have 2-4-2 seating and that will make them one of the most comfortable wide bodies around.

User currently offlineCNS From Germany, joined Mar 2000, 103 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (14 years 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 1487 times:

I liked to fly with the NW 744 very much, but the DC 10 was just terrible...
AMS-DTW I flew with 744...it was such a nice flight...but back DTW-AMS....terrible (DC10)!!!
I have reserved window seats 9 month before my flight...but NW gave us (3 persons) middle seats.... in the DC 10...WHY??
last year I flew with MH FRA-KUL-SYD//CNS-DRW-KUL-FRA...and we have reserved the seats 6 month before the flight...and we got the seats...and why???....because MH is much better organized...that's the only reason...
I will fly with NW again when they have their new A333...or I will only book flights on which they fly 747-200 or 744....


User currently offlinePHLFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 851 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (14 years 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 1471 times:

2-5-2 seating is only terrible if you are stuck in the middle seats of the middle section, otherwise 2-5-2 is fine. If you are flying alone and want a window seat, you only have one person between you and the aisle compared to 2 people in 3-3-3 or 3-4-3 or even 3-3 for that matter.

If you are flying with someone, 2-5-2 or 2-4-2 is still better because no one else is in your row with you. When I travel with my family, 3-3 or 3-4-3 is still not a good option because there are 4 of us. You either all have to sit in the middle section, or have someone across the aisle. With 2-5-2, 2-4-2, or 2-3, you can have 2 in one row, and the other 2 behind. 2 window seats and 2 aisle seats, perfect.

I have only been stuck in the middle seat once, and that was on a DL L1011 between MIA and ATL a few years ago.

User currently offlineN312RC From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 2683 posts, RR: 16
Reply 10, posted (14 years 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 1456 times:

I would have to say 3-3-3 would be better. I would really hate to get the middle seat in the 2-5-2. I think the 767's 2-3-2 is the most comfortable in the air. The 747's 3-4-3 isnt that bad, mind you it was a bit annoying being at the window seat.

User currently offlineMEA-707 From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4431 posts, RR: 34
Reply 11, posted (14 years 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 1452 times:

Although it sounds logical (3-3-3 stucks up two people with the problem of climbing over 2 pax to get to the lav) I´d still deeply prefer a 3-4-3 or 3-3-3 configuration; don't forget these two people in the last cases are being "compensated" by the pleasure of a window seat. I always try to get a window seat, and I can because I only need to .... walk... once on a 6+ hours flight. Otherwise I wouldn't opt for one, because I wouldn't like to be a bore for the other pax. Pax who insist on getting a window and then get up every hour disgust me.

nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
User currently offlineNwa747-400 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1337 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (14 years 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 1447 times:

The flight has too be over 80% full before people HAVE to be sitting in the center seat. With lighter loads the 5 seats gives families a little more space and couples and singles can sit out on the 2 side.

with 3-3-3 you start putting people in the middle seat with much lighter loads and people at the windows are doing the double climb over.

2-5-2 at NW will be gone soon in favor of 2-4-2 which is one of the best configurations around.

By the way, you can only reserve seats with NW 3 months in advance (90days) I have tried when I book flight very early in advance and they put in a request but you should always call and check your seats. With NW I call 90 days prior and get the seats and with all airlines I call closer to the flight (about 1 week out)to check my seats are still reserved and to see if there are any better seats.


Call and reserve the best seats you can get on the phone in advance (these won't always be great seats but you will at least be sure you are together)


Get to the airport early and request the exact
type of seat you want (if you want an exit row window
just simply ask "may I please have an exit row window seat). I sometimes even take a look at the seat maps from the websites and make a list of seats I would want and keep it out when I check in.

The key is getting to the airport early so you can checkin before most other people for your flight. Your chances of better seats are much higher and families travelling together have a much better chance of all sitting on one row.

Sorry for that little tangent......


User currently offlineDeltAirlines From United States of America, joined May 1999, 8943 posts, RR: 11
Reply 13, posted (14 years 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 1406 times:

I prefer the 3-3-3, because you have a better chance of being closer to the window, plus you don't get the dead middle climbing over people. I think the 767s 2-3-2 is really comfortable, and the 3-4-3 on the 747 and some 777s is pretty nice.


User currently offlineDeltaRNOmd-80 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (14 years 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 1378 times:

When my dad went to make the reservations for my Delta flights this summer (leave June 16, return July 14), I told him to ask the travel agent to book us on window seats just behind the wing, that way I can see the rudders go up and down, I think thats cool. Do you also have to ask for these seats at the airport or are they already yours once the travel agent books them?

User currently offlineAirbus_A340 From Hong Kong, joined Mar 2000, 1563 posts, RR: 19
Reply 15, posted (14 years 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 1366 times:

DeltaRNOmd-80 don't you mean the flaps, ailerons and spoilers  Smile

On the topis, i prefere 2-5-2 as there is only one person in each row that has the "double excuse-me" seat. If the seating is 3-3-3, there are two people, the ones next to the window that have a "double excuse-me" seat. Also the middle seat on the 2-5-2 gets filled up when the flight gets full. So I would have to go with the 2-5-2.
Trev aka Airbus_A340

People. They make an airline. www.cathaypacific.com
User currently offlineDeltaRNOmd-80 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (14 years 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 1357 times:

Whatever they are  Smile

User currently offlineFlyVirgin744 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 1313 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (14 years 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 1354 times:

As mentioned above, 2-4-3 would be the best but only a few do it. People flying just two can have privacy, parties of three can have privacy, 4 can sit in the middle, for five, two can have a side and the other 3 can have the other side, six could have two rows of the three side etc..... It makes the most sense.

Doesn't this look nice?:

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Photo © Philippe Gindrat

Sometimes I go about in pity for myself and all the while a great wind carries me across the sky.
User currently offlinePHLFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 851 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (14 years 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 1346 times:

RE: 2-4-3

Who uses this configuration, and on what type? I remember SR had this configuration on its MD11's I think?


User currently offlineDfleet7 From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 153 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (14 years 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 1352 times:

i was just on a united 777 that was 2-5-2 and although i was occupied by the ptv and window, i would probably rather have a 3-3-3 arrangement on overnight flights. the only reason is that when the cabin is not jam backed, it is easier to sleep on three seats rather than two!

User currently offlineQantasAirways From Australia, joined Mar 2001, 1280 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (14 years 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1348 times:

Same here
I went on an EVA Air MD-11 and they had 2-5-2, even though I got an aisle both times, i really hated it.


Spirit of Australia
User currently offlineSIA_B777 From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 469 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (14 years 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 1318 times:

I like the B744 configuration the best (3-4-3)!

Going to NRT from LAX on SIA I got stuck with the window seat! I don't think I ever gone 10 hours with going to the bathroom once! It got a little cramped after hour 6.

My return trip (TPE to LAX (we went from NRT to TPE)), me and my dad shared the middle row! Yep, we both got 2 seats! No being cramped here! A little taste of first class in economy! You could push back the armrest and lay down. The one complaint was that the very next day they would start a new round of movies (We traveled Dec. 31)! I had to watch the same ones that I saw on my NRT-LAX flight.

Well, just something interesting, I got home with 3 seconds left in the year!  Smile

User currently offlineGib From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 285 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (14 years 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 1324 times:

If I'm not mistaken, doesn't Air Tahiti Nui operate it's 340 in a 2-2-2-2 config. in coach??

User currently offlineNwa747-400 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1337 posts, RR: 4
Reply 23, posted (14 years 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 1291 times:

Those must be pretty narrow seats and pretty narrow aisles to get 2-2-2-2.

User currently offline777gk From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1641 posts, RR: 18
Reply 24, posted (14 years 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 1275 times:

Air Tahiti Nui has their seats in a 2-2/2-2 configuration in coach, while still maintaining two aisles. The A340 is set up with 4 sets of two seat pods, with each person getting their own armrest, which is quite comfortable.

25 Laxewrman : Although 3.3.3 has the emotional, psychological "appearance" of a less crowded cabin, logic dictates that 2.5.2 is clearly preferable from a passenger
26 Zoomer : If the airline has an intelligent seat allocation program, the middle seats of a 2-5-2 will be the last to be allocated except where families of three
27 ILOVEA340 : 3-4-2 is what swissair has on their MD-11's. I like this set up. Hey anyone ever been in a tower air plane. didn't they do a 2-6-2 or was it 3-4-3?
28 Fanoftristars : I really can't say the one I prefer, because I have never flown on a 3-3-3 or a 2-4-3. I really don't mind the 2-5-2, and I have never been "stuck" in
29 Imkeww : All A34X have 2-2/2-2.
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