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Airline Staff: Americans React To Flying Airbus?

Fri Jul 12, 2002 10:24 pm

This is for the employees of UA, US, NW, AA, HP, Frontier, Jet Blue. How does the average American feel about flying on a European-built airliner? Do they know they're on an Airbus? Do they know Airbus aren't American? Do they mind? When they find that a foreign-built airliner flies just like an American-built airliner, are they surprised? Do they like the extra cabin width?
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
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RE: Airline Staff: Americans React To Flying Airbus?

Fri Jul 12, 2002 10:29 pm

The extra cabin width is at the wrong place. Your shoulder actually touches the side wall on the 320--this does not happen on the 737's.
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RE: Airline Staff: Americans React To Flying Airbus?

Fri Jul 12, 2002 10:52 pm

Here's a UA response:

While I feel and appreciate huge differences between my favorite A320 and Boeing's older narrowbodies, at least in terms of workspace quality, I rarely sense that any of my passengers can tell -- or even care -- that there's a difference. Most just board my Airbus as submissively and war-weary (you know -- that "I just want to get there... I don't care on what" posture) as on a narrowbody Boeing.

My passengers DEFINITELY react differently when they board a B777! "Oh wow! This one's MUCH bigger than the one from Omaha!" "Look at the cute little TV's in the seat....now how the %#$ do I turn it on?" ...There is one instance, however, when some passengers seem to perk up and look around when on an A319/A320: at engine start-up, the loud noise associated with the hydraulic systems and flap movings (it sounds like a very loud dentist's drill...) usually gets a few heads turned and the occasional worried remarks. The 'bus is a talkative girl!
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RE: Airline Staff: Americans React To Flying Airbus?

Sat Jul 13, 2002 2:37 am

The average American traveler does not notice whether the plane is Boeing or Airbus. I'm sure there are some out there that do and prefer to fly Boeing A/C since it's made in the states. There are not many of them however.
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RE: Airline Staff: Americans React To Flying Airbus?

Sat Jul 13, 2002 2:50 am

A US Airways response:
I have heard many positive responses about the increased cabin width on the 320 family aircraft and especially the over head bin size. Since the only 737's we fly are classics(-300,-400) a surprising number of our pax notice and appreciate the differences, just in terms of cleanliness, video monitors, quieter cabin, etc...Now as for the A330-300 we get responses very similar to what Flyua said about the 777. Our transatlantic pax seem to love that airplane. There are some who have chosen US based largely on the 333. But again, I think the percentage of our pax who even care what kind of airplane they are on is less the 20%. That's just the way the majority of the flying American public is. I haven't heard any complaints about flying on a European built aircraft. I really don't think the typical passenger cares one way or another.

RE: Airline Staff: Americans React To Flying Airbus?

Sat Jul 13, 2002 2:54 am

Most travelers don't know off of which aircraft they just stepped.
Most people do not choose flights based on aircraft type. If the price is right, I doubt 95% of flying Americans will care if it is a B737 or an A320.

Legroom is more of an issue than cabin width.

Personally, I prefer the MD-80.
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RE: Airline Staff: Americans React To Flying Airbus?

Sat Jul 13, 2002 2:58 am

No Airbus is 100% European, and no Boeing is 100% American...the magic word is called globalisation...

Airbus vs Boeing discussions make me just:  Yawn Yawn Yawn Yawn Yawn Yawn Yawn

Me & You & a Plane Named Blue...
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RE: Airline Staff: Americans React To Flying Airbus?

Sat Jul 13, 2002 3:04 am

I have noticed the difference when flying UA and changing from a bigger 757 to a smaller 319 while connecting through IAD. The 757 looked like a narrow pencil to me, and the 'smaller' 319 a much-wider cabin. Even an extra inch or so in seat width is welcome.

But I didn't base the itinenary choice on equipment. Y'a know, price, timing, FF miles, bonuses etc come way ahead in the list of priorities. Given an otherwise same deal, I'd take the 320-series any time.

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RE: Airline Staff: Americans React To Flying Airbus?

Sat Jul 13, 2002 3:07 am

Unless you're one of those aviation junkies, (That describes 99.9999999% of us on this site) you probably don't know a 737 from a CRJ. All that most people know it that it is an airplane, and it gets them where they need to go, whether it from NY to LA, or Boston to Seattle, most people don't book their flights for aircraft types, they book for the best fare they can get. Now having been a non-rev in the past, I honestly did choose most of my flights based on the aircraft type being used. When I worked for AirTran, I tried to avoid the 737s because I really don't like the three abreast seating, because it's a pain in the butt unless you have a row to yourself. When I worked for ASA, I flew nearly ever type of aircraft Delta flies, with the exception of the 737-800 and the MD-90 (neither aircraft were flying the routes at the times I wanted to fly) I basically booked my trips with aircraft types in mind. I tried to get most of my flights on widebodies because I would be more likely to get seated in Business Class than I would on a narrowbody. I only ever flew in Business Class in a narrowbody on Delta twice. But for the typical traveller, the aircraft type for the most part is irrelevent to them. As long as the flight's on time, and doesn't crash, that's alright for most passengers.

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