raffik
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Why Do Airlines Provide Aircraft Type?

Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:57 pm

I was wondering why, when I look for flights, do the agencies and airlines provide aircraft type alongside the departure times and flight numbers etc.

To the average flier, is aircraft type going to make a significant factor when it comes to booking their next flight?
Will the majority of fliers know the difference between an A321 and B757? Thanks
- Alec
 
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seabosdca
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RE: Why Do Airlines Provide Aircraft Type?

Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:52 am

Frequent flyers don't know the technical differences, but they do know how to use things like SeatGuru to find and avoid lousy seats.
 
BMI727
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RE: Why Do Airlines Provide Aircraft Type?

Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:07 am

I imagine that the practice goes back many decades when aircraft type mattered much more than it did today, and airlines marketed the hell out of it. Whether your flight is on an A320 or 737 makes a difference. But what about the difference between an unpressurized DC-3 bouncing through the weather or a CV-580 flying above it? The smoothness and speed of a jet used to be a major competitive advantage while now it's just ubiquitous.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
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American 767
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RE: Why Do Airlines Provide Aircraft Type?

Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:36 am

Average travelers don't care, but we are in a forum full of people who care. Some of us are freaks like me. I never book a flight without knowing what aircraft I will be on.

Back in the 90s I would always look for 727s, my loved one. When flying American domestic, unless I fly to or from MIA, I will always look for MD-80s because I know it will soon get harder to get one. Unless you fly to or from DFW...it's now difficult to get a Super 80.
When flying to or from MIA, although I don't mind flying on a 737, I always look for a 757 because that one will also be hard to get soon. In a year from now when the new A319s and A321s will start arriving, I will look forward to fly on those as well. I prefer those over the 737.
Last summer, I flew on a 762 from MIA to JFK. I knew it would be my last ride on a 767-200. I was glad to fly on that one.

There are some people, however, who care even if they are not aviation fans. For example, when flying TATL they want to know if they will be on a wide body plane instead of a 757 because they will feel the 757 is small for those long haul trips.

Ben Soriano
Ben Soriano
 
timpdx
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RE: Why Do Airlines Provide Aircraft Type?

Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:43 am

My brother used to never care, but since he was stuck on a NB 757 TATL, a flight which he absolutely hated, he now pays attention. For business he does a good amount TATL and now avoids the 757 and would rather connect if that is what it takes.

As for me, I kinda look for 757 flights because they wont be around that much longer, but I would never ever want to do TATL on one (although I looked seriously at SEA-KEF last summer)
 
BoeingVista
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RE: Why Do Airlines Provide Aircraft Type?

Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:46 am

Quoting American 767 (Reply 3):
Average travelers don't care, but we are in a forum full of people who care. Some of us are freaks like me. I never book a flight without knowing what aircraft I will be on.

Yup, I'll usually pick an A330 over a 767 (quieter) and avoid MD11's like the plague. Also useful for finding rare and random aircraft like 743's and E170's.

I also try to avoid transcon on narrow bodies.

[Edited 2012-10-29 18:51:36]
BV
 
DariusBieber
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RE: Why Do Airlines Provide Aircraft Type?

Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:48 am

I don't mind taking a B757 TATL. I did DTW-DUS on a Northwest 757 a couple years ago and I was fine. I prefer it actually, less people on the flight make for an easier check-in, and easier to clear customs. (I went through DTW customs in less than 4 minutes, compared to almost an hour at ATL.)
Darius Bieber
 
RyanairGuru
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RE: Why Do Airlines Provide Aircraft Type?

Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:55 am

Quoting American 767 (Reply 3):
There are some people, however, who care even if they are not aviation fans.

Yep. Neither of my parents could tell an MD80 from an ATR, yet both have their "pet peeves". My father refuses to step foot on a 777 and my mother dislikes A330s and 80s (but likes 777s). Of course they don't actually name them, but say something like "I really didn't like that plane between X and Y", and then ask me to try and steer them away from flying on one again.

Quoting American 767 (Reply 3):
Last summer, I flew on a 762 from MIA to JFK. I knew it would be my last ride on a 767-200. I was glad to fly on that one.

I flew on one MIA-LAX in February, my first - and almost definitely last - flight on the type. I'm glad I got one while they're still around.

Now I just need to find that elusive DC9...


(Question: I'm 90% sure that was my first 762 flight, but back in February 2002 I flew LHR-YHZ on AC. I think it was a 763, but can anyone confirm that? It was definitely a 767)
Worked Hard, Flew Right
 
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seabosdca
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RE: Why Do Airlines Provide Aircraft Type?

Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:57 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 2):
I imagine that the practice goes back many decades when aircraft type mattered much more than it did today, and airlines marketed the hell out of it.

I think that's right. Remember when airlines named aircraft types within their fleets?

Quoting timpdx (Reply 4):
now avoids the 757 and would rather connect if that is what it takes.

To each his own... but...   
 
AR385
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RE: Why Do Airlines Provide Aircraft Type?

Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:00 am

Quoting raffik (Thread starter):
To the average flier, is aircraft type going to make a significant factor when it comes to booking their next flight?
Will the majority of fliers know the difference between an A321 and B757? Thanks

Quoting American 767 (Reply 3):
Average travelers don't care, but we are in a forum full of people who care. Some of us are freaks like me. I never book a flight without knowing what aircraft I will be on.

Funilly enough, when I was getting my graduate degree this came up in Marketing class. "Average" travellers don´t care, basically because they fly very little. But to someone who flies every week on domestic or more than 3 times a year on long hauls, airliner type does matter. Maybe they won´t go as far as demanding a flight on an A330 instead of a 767 but they´d definitely will know the difference between a narrow body and a wide body.

Some also know that on your average long haul, flight time on a 744 can be up to 2hrs less than on a 767 on the same route. On my long hauls it´s usually a 1hr. difference, but it does become noticeable and relevant when you have to arrive and go to work.

Others don´t know the aircraft type, but they associate the airline with the comfort that a certain type provides. For example, some frequent fliers will always fly on LH because they are using a 744 on the route they need to use. If they get on an airline that is flying, say an A340, they won´t like it. At the very least they´ll notice the difference.

Then you have the geeks like us, who will actually choose to go out of our way to fly a particular airliner.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 2):
I imagine that the practice goes back many decades when aircraft type mattered much more than it did today, and airlines marketed the hell out of it. Whether your flight is on an A320 or 737 makes a difference.

You are correct. Nowadays I don´t care what I´m getting when flying short sectors, as, let´s face it, once inside, an A320 is just the same as a 737, for the "Average" passenger of course. And A320s and 737s are mostly all your choices nowadays.

However, if I had to choose flying the same sector between an ATR42 or an ER190, I would go with the jet. Most "Average" travellers think of turboprops as light aircraft and don´t feel safe in them. Again, the "association" phenomena plays a part here. If by chance the airline that used an ATR42 is say AA, they will most likely get off the aircraft upon arrival, cell in hand, calling their corporate travel agent not to book them on AA on that route ever again.

And, by the way, I´m not trying to start an A vs B thread. The above are just examples coming out of my head. Maybe some are a bit too extreme but I think in general "Average" travellers think along those lines. So it´s important for the carrier to differentiate, and showing the aircraft type goes some way to achieving that.
 
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American 767
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RE: Why Do Airlines Provide Aircraft Type?

Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:12 am

Quoting DariusBieber (Reply 6):
I did DTW-DUS on a Northwest 757 a couple years ago and I was fine.

You mean a Delta 757, because two years ago Northwest was already merged into Delta. I'm sure that it was a Delta plane. It is possible, however, that it was an ex-Northwest 757.

Quoting timpdx (Reply 4):
I would never ever want to do TATL on one

Not a problem for me. I don't mind flying TATL on a 757. I have done it from JFK to BRU, and back, with both American and Delta. Most people don't like that, but it's OK with me.
Ben Soriano
 
tdscanuck
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RE: Why Do Airlines Provide Aircraft Type?

Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:18 am

Quoting timpdx (Reply 4):
As for me, I kinda look for 757 flights because they wont be around that much longer, but I would never ever want to do TATL on one (although I looked seriously at SEA-KEF last summer)

I've done the TATL run on 757's a couple of times (to/from DUB and KEF). I have, maybe, a slight preference to the 767 over the 757 but I'd much rather either of those two than the bigger stuff. Quicker load, quicker unload, smaller customs line, same seat.

Tom.
 
mogandoCI
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RE: Why Do Airlines Provide Aircraft Type?

Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:26 am

Having the plane type info is immensely useful ... I always try to book away from props and RJs whenever price differential is minimal
 
jetblueguy22
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RE: Why Do Airlines Provide Aircraft Type?

Tue Oct 30, 2012 4:00 am

To keep us aviation nuts happy . I think most business travelers avoid certain aircraft. I know prior to the DL 744 mods many of my coworkers avoided it like the plague. They'd take a silly connection if it meant they could get a 777. I know when I fly (which I have to admit isn't as often as some on this site) I try to avoid the larger CRJs. Sounds silly to most, but I hate them. The 50 seat RJs to me aren't bad. Sure the seats aren't the biggest. But the lack of a proper overhead bin on the larger ones are a nightmare. Instead of the 5 idiots trying to cram their roller bag in the bin you have 8 or 9. Props though I welcome. The hum of the props knocks me right out.
Blue
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aklrno
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RE: Why Do Airlines Provide Aircraft Type?

Tue Oct 30, 2012 4:51 am

I avoid NZ 767 business class. If I'm going to be on one I just fly economy. If its a 777 I go business premier. I also like to know if I'm on a plane with overhead space for my carry on. On United express some CRJ's have first class (and I can get upgraded) but others don't. Lots of reasons out there.
 
BoeingVista
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RE: Why Do Airlines Provide Aircraft Type?

Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:11 am

Quoting BoeingVista (Reply 5):
Also useful for finding rare and random aircraft like 743's and E170's.

Having said that I once used it to pick a Saab 340 over an ATR 72 flight because I'd never flown on a 340.. It was an experience but also the most uncomfortable flight ever! It seemed to be never ending...
BV
 
s5daw
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RE: Why Do Airlines Provide Aircraft Type?

Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:26 am

Quoting raffik (Thread starter):
To the average flier, is aircraft type going to make a significant factor when it comes to booking their next flight?
Will the majority of fliers know the difference between an A321 and B757? Thanks

Call me old fashioned, but I still prefer a quad engine over the oceans. Statistical probability of losing half of your engines should be much lower compared to dual engine planes.

On top of that, I find A340 more comfortable than 747 or A380 for that matter.
 
phette
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RE: Why Do Airlines Provide Aircraft Type?

Tue Oct 30, 2012 5:08 pm

To inform PAX what kind of aircraft it is, duh durrr..seriously,

Most passengers don't even know what the hell a 737 is much less a -900.
 
Cessna172RG
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RE: Why Do Airlines Provide Aircraft Type?

Tue Oct 30, 2012 5:34 pm

I plan my travel based on airline as the first criteria, with Northwest being my former first choice, now Delta, and aircraft type as the second choice. I'm kinda OCD about this--I prefer Airbus for almost all my travel, and a few years ago, I booked a specific flight to coordinate a vacation with one of the last DC-9-30 flights. After getting off at MSP and walking to the gate for my connection, I was shocked to see a 757-200 sitting there. As it turned out, the gate agent said that it was a last minute plane swap due to maintenance...boy was I bummed.

Oh, and the A330 is my ride across any ocean, by the way, even if I can't get it on Delta. I'll pay the extra few hundred dollars to get that plane, although if it comes up that someone is flying something about to retire I may concede a bit.
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s5daw
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RE: Why Do Airlines Provide Aircraft Type?

Tue Oct 30, 2012 5:45 pm

Quoting Cessna172RG (Reply 18):
Oh, and the A330 is my ride across any ocean

Just curious: why A330?
 
hrc773
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RE: Why Do Airlines Provide Aircraft Type?

Tue Oct 30, 2012 5:50 pm

Airlines always have their frequent flyers in mind when making any kind of decision. Airlines know that frequent flyers know a/c types and have their preferences so it comes in handy when choosing your flight.
 
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American 767
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RE: Why Do Airlines Provide Aircraft Type?

Tue Oct 30, 2012 5:50 pm

Quoting Cessna172RG (Reply 18):
I prefer Airbus for almost all my travel

I like Airbus narrow bodies: the A319, A320 and A321.

Quoting Cessna172RG (Reply 18):
After getting off at MSP and walking to the gate for my connection, I was shocked to see a 757-200 sitting there.

I understand your disappointment. But let me ask you this:
What aircraft were you on upon getting off at MSP (if you still remember) ? Were you on a DC-9? I don't know where you were coming from, but chances are you were because up until recently MSP was DC-9 heaven. And so was DTW. If you were on a DC-9 on the first flight of your trip, seeing an equipment swap on your connecting flight from a DC-9 to a 757 you should not have been that disappointed. I would have said myself: "Oh never mind, I was on a DC-9 recently".

If you are really fond of the DC-9, try to fly now on a DC-9-50 before it is too late. It will be too late before you know it.

Ben Soriano
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Josh32121
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RE: Why Do Airlines Provide Aircraft Type?

Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:04 pm

I think that in general, airlines have determined that passengers (customers) have better experiences the fewer surprises they have. The more information they share, the less likely there is to be a surprise (even if it's a negative situation). This started with publicizing aircraft type and has morphed into publishing the seat map (with occupied seats noted, none of which was publicly available 10-ish years ago pre-internet), the upgrade and standby lists, real-time gate information, real-time arrival/departure information, etc. I think this is a sea change from a generation ago when all companies (not just airlines) were very reluctant to share much of anything if it had the slightest chance of compromising a sale for fear that the information could be used against them.

(Although, I'm sure UA is feeling some of that now that they had to change some of those special 787 flights to non-787 equipment.    )
 
delta88
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RE: Why Do Airlines Provide Aircraft Type?

Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:25 pm

Maybe, i know this is quite a far long out shot, but maybe some people who fly think of safety? (I.E those living in the 70s with the DC-10 crashes), maybe they want an aircraft they think is "Safer"? Its a long shot, but im sure there are some people who think an A320 is safer than a B737-800 or an MD-83 VS an MD-82 ETC. I always thought that Airlines did that so people might know what kind of seating, service, and what kind of ride they may expierence on that particular flight, just a thouhgt.
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SRMD11
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RE: Why Do Airlines Provide Aircraft Type?

Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:37 pm

I think, it makes sense for people like frequent flyers or aviation enthusiasts. And, it's nice to have this Information. For the rest , let's assume 95% of the passengers, it's not relevant to them what type they are flying. The food or look like of the flight crew is much more the point. Followed by other amenities like the quality of the IFE. I'm often surprised by the fact, how nescient some passengers are. There are people... if they see a brand new Turboprop, they think it's a plane from WWII period because of the propeller's. As A.Neters and enthusiasts, we are living a bit in a nice bubble of know how and thirst of knowledge - outside this bubble, the world is different...
 
Cessna172RG
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RE: Why Do Airlines Provide Aircraft Type?

Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:16 pm

Hey Ben,

The route of flight was SEA-MSP-BWI, returning JFK-SEA nonstop. Aircraft in question were 757-300, DC-9-30 (subbed out to a 757-200) and then a 757-200 on the return. Normally I would have gone for the A320 to MSP, and transferred back through one of the hubs (cause it's fun...lol), but this routing was chosen particularly at the time, to ride on the old 9-30.
Save the whales...for dinner!!!
 
displane
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RE: Why Do Airlines Provide Aircraft Type?

Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:34 pm

Quoting delta88 (Reply 23):
Maybe, i know this is quite a far long out shot, but maybe some people who fly think of safety? (I.E those living in the 70s with the DC-10 crashes), maybe they want an aircraft they think is "Safer"? Its a long shot, but im sure there are some people who think an A320 is safer than a B737-800 or an MD-83 VS an MD-82 ETC. I always thought that Airlines did that so people might know what kind of seating, service, and what kind of ride they may expierence on that particular flight, just a thouhgt.

You're absolutely right. I used to work res and would receive those type of calls all the time. Where are the engines? Is it a jet or prop? Airbus or Boeing? Is it one of those "toy" planes?

There are some people that are steadfast in their belief that certain types of a/c are safer than others and won't book the flight despite the price. And it's people of all ages.

[Edited 2012-10-30 13:35:26]
 
jimbobjoe
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RE: Why Do Airlines Provide Aircraft Type?

Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:03 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 2):
But what about the difference between an unpressurized DC-3 bouncing through the weather or a CV-580 flying above it?

Perhaps there were other differences as well. Could you take as much hand luggage on board the DC-3 as you could on the CV-580? That might have been important to know before the trip.
 
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TWA772LR
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RE: Why Do Airlines Provide Aircraft Type?

Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:34 pm

Because they know this website exists.
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citationjet
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RE: Why Do Airlines Provide Aircraft Type?

Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:49 pm

I had someone tell me just last month that they were not looking forward to flying on an AA 737-800. I asked them why, and they said that the 737 was "an old design that had been around for decades". Yet he was happy with the fact that his first leg was on an AA MD-80. Go figure.....
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LH526
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RE: Why Do Airlines Provide Aircraft Type?

Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:54 pm

Quoting s5daw (Reply 16):
Statistical probability of losing half of your engines should be much lower compared to dual engine planes.

Statisticaly the propability is the same ... just saying  
Trittst im Morgenrot daher, seh ich dich im Strahlenmeer ...
 
DariusBieber
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RE: Why Do Airlines Provide Aircraft Type?

Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:33 pm

Quoting American 767 (Reply 10):
You mean a Delta 757, because two years ago Northwest was already merged into Delta. I'm sure that it was a Delta plane. It is possible, however, that it was an ex-Northwest 757.

No it was Northwest. They discontinued the route before merging with Delta.
Darius Bieber
 
JAGflyer
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RE: Why Do Airlines Provide Aircraft Type?

Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:47 pm

With easy access to things like SeatGuru, more passengers are becoming aware of the aircraft type and specifically avoiding some models (ie. CRJ instead of the "propeller plane"). To the average person who books their ticket 10 months in advance, doesn't OLCI, sits in the middle seat near the lav and sleeps for 95% of the flight obviously there is no importance in AC type.
Support the beer and soda can industry, your recycle old airplanes!
 
Archer
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RE: Why Do Airlines Provide Aircraft Type?

Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:09 pm

I didn't see anyone mention the great advantage (to me) of the 767 and 330. They both have 2 seats
on the window so if you are traveling with spouse or not it just seems to me much better to cross over
one person instead of two.
 
Flobo3
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RE: Why Do Airlines Provide Aircraft Type?

Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:45 pm

I was born in the mid 80s, but I know that there was a time when flying was something special. Airlines had there flagships, when the 707 appeared on the market, or the L1011 (absolutely love that aircraft) or the DC10s, not to forget the 747! Airlines in the, lets call it "good old times" did a lot of their marketing with the aircraft itself in the centre of attention!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIavXew9bPY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQac9s-tyXk&feature=related

So what would be a better advertisment for airlines than their state-of-the-art aircraft they use in daily service and let the people know what they are flying with. I do think people start to care about the type of aircraft they fly once they flew in a "shabby" one. Thats what LH is promoting on their website. I dont think LH will set up a website for the A380 (and I think they do it for the 747-8 now too) just for the enthusiasts out there. Korean shows its pride too!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvZA1rK8ajY

but as a matter of fact, flying has become a mean of mass transportation particularly in the high season vacation times ... but for the share of aviation lovers and business passengers, which is quite a large one, it does care too, and maybe prestige in the types of aircraft used is still a matter ... I might be wrong too, its just some thoughts  
 
tdscanuck
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RE: Why Do Airlines Provide Aircraft Type?

Wed Oct 31, 2012 1:14 am

Quoting s5daw (Reply 16):
Call me old fashioned, but I still prefer a quad engine over the oceans. Statistical probability of losing half of your engines should be much lower compared to dual engine planes.

This is one of the reasons they list type...some people use it. Although I would suggest you're looking at the wrong statistic. The probability of losing half your engines on a quad is lower than the probability of losing half your engines on a twin (although not as much lower as you'd think). However, that's not what's interesting...what's interesting is your probability of crashing...at which point quads and twins have no meaningful difference.

Quoting lh526 (Reply 30):
Statisticaly the propability is the same ... just saying

Probability of two engines failing on one flight (half engines on a quad) is lower than probability of one engine failing on one flight (half engines on a twin).

Tom.
 
nomadd22
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RE: Why Do Airlines Provide Aircraft Type?

Wed Oct 31, 2012 1:28 am

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 35):
Probability of two engines failing on one flight (half engines on a quad) is lower than probability of one engine failing on one flight (half engines on a twin).

You'd think so, but have two engine on a two holer ever failed for unrelated reasons? I've personally been on a 4 engine plane with two shut down for different reasons.
Anon
 
tdscanuck
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RE: Why Do Airlines Provide Aircraft Type?

Wed Oct 31, 2012 3:13 am

Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 36):
You'd think so, but have two engine on a two holer ever failed for unrelated reasons?

No.

Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 36):
I've personally been on a 4 engine plane with two shut down for different reasons.

The failure probabilities were different across quads and twins, for a while, because of the different maintenance requirements. Now that ETOPS has been extended to all extended range operations, that gap has closed up.

Tom.
 
s5daw
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RE: Why Do Airlines Provide Aircraft Type?

Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:22 am

Quoting Archer (Reply 33):
I didn't see anyone mention the great advantage (to me) of the 767 and 330.

That's exactly why I love A340. Plus it has 4 engines  
 
sweair
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RE: Why Do Airlines Provide Aircraft Type?

Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:36 am

After a horrible flight in a crowded A330 that is one plane I would avoid, and its french made too  
 
AirbusA6
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RE: Why Do Airlines Provide Aircraft Type?

Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:31 am

Yes, it's just the enthusiasts and frequent flyers who care... but it's the latter who are the key customers for an airline, and many of them are very knowledgeable about the planes in the sky, and the best seats. I suppose providing this information can have a negative effect, if you're operating a CRJ on a route and rival has a 767!

Talk to regular train commuters, and they'll mention the best train to catch, the best carriage to use etc, it's s similar thing.
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trent1000
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RE: Why Do Airlines Provide Aircraft Type?

Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:50 am

I have noticed various airlines showing the 738 as 'with winglets'.
 
danielkandi
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RE: Why Do Airlines Provide Aircraft Type?

Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:58 am

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 1):

Some do   I avoid Emirates for that fact. 10 abreast is a no go for me. I look at the aircrafttype, and choose my flights, based around the fastest possible journey, plus which aircraft i like. So we aren't all idiots when we buy tickets!
Flown on : md80, md95, Avro RJ85/100, Q400, Atr42/72, a319/320/321, a332/a333, a343/346, b733 and up, 757, 747, 767 and

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