tioloko100
Topic Author
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Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:43 pm

Talking about airline economics not much revenue is generated from the economy seats but nonetheless they still constitute of majority of airlines passengers but these days they seem not to be doing well or maybe the airlines not giving much attention to them.
We have seen a lot of innovations with the /First/ Business class seats but not much for the cattle class, last time something new happened to Economy class I think it was when Air NZ came up with new roomier economy seats and since then passengers have been seeing a lot of deterioration.

http://flyingactive.com/content/86-h...lass-seats-getting-even-worse.html
 
aajfksjubklyn
Posts: 458
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:36 pm

The seats are becoming paperthin, and somehow the airlines say they are the same comfort. This is true of those 737 seats AA is using in Buniess and Coach. Its horrible.
 
cschleic
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:41 pm

The article says Southwest was shrinking seat pitch as part of a plan to add premium seating. That's not true, is it? I thought it was just to add seats period.
 
ZKSUJ
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:34 am

Quoting tioloko100 (Thread starter):
last time something new happened to Economy class I think it was when Air NZ came up with new roomier economy seats and since then passengers have been seeing a lot of deterioration.

I wouldn't call it roomier. Pitch on an NZ 77W has shrunk compared to a 744, and the airline is cramming 3-4-3 config onto the 77W vs 3-3-3 on the 772 (Which will be refitted to 3-4-3). This 'roomier' seating is the skycouch thing which is ok but has not had as gleeming reiews as first thought. PE on the New NZ product was so cramped they had to remove rows of seats from the 77W in order to increase leg room. This was within a couple of months of implementation as well so it wasn;t a good look. Seems like they are cramming seats on a 77W to get the numbers as close to a 744 as possible instead of opting for the 748I
So in NZ's case yes many feel eco class has gone down hill big time in terms of seat pitch and width. I asume many otehr airlines are the same
 
GSPSPOT
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:56 am

'Tis the Economy passenger's lot in life, it seems. Seats just keep getting thinner & harder and legroom keeps vanishing, whilst marketers trumpet "improvements". Sickening.
Finally made it to an airline mecca!
 
RamblinMan
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:04 am

Well at least many carriers are adding premium economy options so you can get a decent seat without springing for business class.
 
JAAlbert
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:03 am

Quoting GSPSPOT (Reply 4):
'Tis the Economy passenger's lot in life, it seems. Seats just keep getting thinner & harder and legroom keeps vanishing, whilst marketers trumpet "improvements"

I always love it when the pilot invites those of us in steerage to "sit back and relax." I think they should say "sit back and endure the flight the best you can"!
 
4engines4lnghll
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:35 am

The new AA 737 seats are far more comfortable than any other US carrier.

Quoting aajfksjubklyn (Reply 1):
4engines4lnghll
 
LLA001
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:38 am

I am 6'2" and flying economy in any airline longer than 4 hours is not fun for me. I am sure there are guys who are much taller than I am here and for them I feel really sorry.

Economy seats in the 70s and 80s would seem like premium for me as they would leave some room for a bit of knee space.
 
vaus77w
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:44 am

Quoting tioloko100 (Thread starter):

Talking about airline economics not much revenue is generated from the economy seats but nonetheless they still constitute of majority of airlines passengers but these days they seem not to be doing well or maybe the airlines not giving much attention to them.
We have seen a lot of innovations with the /First/ Business class seats but not much for the cattle class,

Economy seats are getting smaller?? Shock horror!

Seriously though, airfares are just so cheap nowadays that anyone can afford to fly. If you want more comfort, you gotta pay for it. Quit whining.
 
sweair
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:45 am

Quoting vaus77w (Reply 9):
Seriously though, airfares are just so cheap nowadays that anyone can afford to fly. If you want more comfort, you gotta pay for it. Quit whining.

I agree, we all have a choice, if we want comfort we have to pay for it. I endure economy because I mostly fly 4 hour or shorter flights now. I would never endure that for 13 hours however, its worth paying more if I had to sit for that long.

Long gone are the days when economy was comfortable and fuel price was no worry at all.
 
ly7e7
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:51 am

6' 5'' here.
I stopped flying long haul in economy as it became unbearable in virtually all airlines. When I can't afford a business class ticket or the company would not pay for it I won't travel long haul. I adjusted my job accordingly and opted for more vacations closer to home. It also decreases my carbon footprint.

Given , some life circumstances may require one to travel long haul without the means to purchase an expensive business class ticket. But these circumstances are extremely rare and enduring a return flight in long haul economy once in a few of years is not a pleasant but doable experience.
2 things are endless: ignorance and space
 
sweair
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:56 am

I wonder what we will have to pay for the cramped economy when fuel prices have doubled again. I guess there will be a limit where air travel goes down, price vs comfort. Flying was not as cheap 20 years ago however and that kept many on the ground.
 
Bongodog1964
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:10 am

Fortunately I no longer fly economy long haul, however my experiences were that the claims of the individual airlines were no guarantee of my comfort.
They may claim to have more leg room, seat width etc due to innovative seat designs, but the best judgement is whether my knees touch the seat in front. I'm only 5'8" so I shudder to think if the discomfort some must endure.
A good example of this was flights a few years back on BA and VS, both claimed the same seat pitch, yet my knees brushed the seat pocket in front of me on VS but were well clear on BA.
Few of us travel with a tape measure, so how accurate are the quoted pitches ? Reducing seat thickness has already been mentioned, do airlines also make adjustments to the angle of the seat base to influence where our knees end up ?

Seat width is another issue, airlines claim that they can acheive 10 abreast on 777's without us noticing, is this really true ? After all I can notice this extra inch or so a 320 gives over a 737 at arm rest height, I can also notice that the difference in fuselage curvature makes the outboard seat on a 320 less comfortable for a tall person, than the equivalant seat on a 737.

My conclusion to the question would be that on shorthaul as the 320 has increased its market share over the past decade or so its extra width has increased economy comfort.

Meanwhile on long haul, carriers heading for 10 abreast on 777's have deccreased overall comfort.
 
AirbusA6
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:30 am

It's a drip drip process, having just travelled on MH's new A380s, they may be shiny and new, and have wider seats that the previous 744s, but legroom isn't as good as before (the seats are also not tall enough)
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flyingalex
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:34 am

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 13):
Seat width is another issue, airlines claim that they can acheive 10 abreast on 777's without us noticing, is this really true ?

It's not, at least not for me. A couple of years ago, I flew on an Emirates 777 which had 10-abreast seating and connected to a Thai 777 which had 9-abreast seating. The difference was very noticeable indeed! Even more so on the return.

As a result, I now avoid Emirates flights operated with the 777.
Public service announcement: "It's" = "it is". To indicate posession, write "its." Looks wrong, but it's correct grammar
 
huxrules
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:37 am

I cant stand the seats on A320s. As a tall guy my knees are impacted directly in the seat in front of me. Most of you don't know it but there are metal wires in the magazine pocket of most A320 seats. These line up directly with your knees and actually leave an indentation in my case. Economy equals pain for me. Unfortunately it is sometimes impossible to get the economy plus seats- I don't know why you cant buy these seats at the time of purchase (at least on us brands). My tallness has lead to great things in my life but when I'm in economy i'm essentially handicapped.
 
tomkell92
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:45 pm

I hate it how most UK airlines offer low cost flights with really bad configurations. Most airlines only offer between 28" and 30" of legroom, which isn't very comfortable. Then you have BA who offer around 32" legroom, which is perfect, but when you look at the price for the flight, you die a little inside.

I can live with 30" legroom, just about, but anything less is a nightmare.
Tom Kellock
 
planeguy727
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:48 pm

Quoting huxrules (Reply 16):
Unfortunately it is sometimes impossible to get the economy plus seats- I don't know why you cant buy these seats at the time of purchase (at least on us brands).

UA allows this at time of booking. So does US.

Part of the problem with economy is that the public has come to see traveling on a "cheap" fair as some sort of god given right. As long as the general public insists on making decisions only on airfare the situation won't change.
I want to live in an old and converted 727...
 
Alnicocunife
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:00 pm

Louis CK: “Everything’s amazing and nobody’s happy!" Very funny about how difficult travel is today and nobody is happy.

Yes, coach flying over 4-5 hours is no piece of cake compared to a wooden ship or a steam train hauling hundreds of people over a week or month to get anywhere.

Profit is the reason. It always has been the reason! You get what you pay for, it always has been that way. I believe I am just like everyone reading this, I prefer to fly on any airlines First Class seat. I just cannot afford to always pay for it.
 
GSPSPOT
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:13 pm

Filling those cramped, non revenue-producing economy seats is what gives business travelers the frequency of service they desire. You can't have one without the other! So airlines might as get serious about trying to improve the poor steerage passengers' existence in the back.
Finally made it to an airline mecca!
 
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downtown273
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:25 pm

Quoting RamblinMan (Reply 5):
Well at least many carriers are adding premium economy options so you can get a decent seat without springing for business class.

For many airlines "Premium Economy" is Economy + free extras (extra baggage, food, priority check-in and boarding, advance seat reservation, more flexible tickets, etc.). Basically, it doesn't really cost the airline that much money and can charge twice as much compared to just Economy.

Earlier this week I was on CPH-OSL on a SK's MD81. Rows 1-5 were Business Class (same seats, empty middle seat), rows 6-21 were Economy Extra (Premium), the rest (rows 22-33) were Economy. They only have one type of seats onboard so they change the Business/Premium/Economy "areas" pre-flight.
 
parapente
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:26 pm

Best economy flight I ever had was a on a new 777-300er Air Canada flight.Huge wide seats,decent legroon (5'11") a large digital screen and great service. Better than many 2nd grade business flights frankly.

It is for me what makes the 777 so special.Cannot imagine what it's like with 10 across .The 787 was designed to be 8 and comfortable - but sales took off ( and the Mk1 350 died) when they "introduced" the 9 option.Same for the 350 I guess - fine at nine but a pig pen at 10.
 
eaglepower83
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:45 pm

Quoting 4engines4lnghll (Reply 7):

The new AA 737 seats are far more comfortable than any other US carrier.

Agreed.
Was on 2 AA 738s a few months ago and my friends and I were pleasantly surprised how comfortable the articulating recline seats were.
I know everyone's different, but they worked well for us on our 2.5hr flights.
 
dfambro
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:22 pm

Quoting vaus77w (Reply 9):
Seriously though, airfares are just so cheap nowadays that anyone can afford to fly. If you want more comfort, you gotta pay for it. Quit whining.

In many cases the only option is to pay much more - often several times more - to get much more room in a premium cabin. So there isn't an option to pay just somewhat more to get a little bit more room.

An example from my recent past - family of 4 flying US east coast to Hawaii on UA on our preferred dates, $2600 in econ, $20,000 is business. The route euqipment is a 'high density' pmCO 764 with no E+.

Saying "stop whining" would be legitimate if there was an E+ type option at, say, $3500-$4000 on that itinerary. When the only alternative costs nearly 8 times as much, then it's really not an alternative.
 
hohd
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:36 pm

Fuel prices are lower or stable for the last 4 years. It will NEVER come down, if it does, it will be a bonus. Compared to inflation, fuel prices are not very high. BA and other airlines continue to charge "fuel surcharges", knowing that it will never come down. It is time that they adjust the base line price for fuel.

And economy plus also gets pricey, BA often charges 2 times economy and at that point many passengers revert back to economy. In United E+ is a joke, they just often little more leg room, same elbow room (which is important to many passengers)and additional baggage allowance. Not many passengers who are not frequent flyers travel on E+ so the additional baggage allowance is not that relevant.
 
danielkandi
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:48 pm

LH slimseats are good tbh, very surprising. But seatcushion is soo tough nowadays... really sucks!
Flown on : md80, md95, Avro RJ85/100, Q400, Atr42/72, a319/320/321, a332/a333, a343/346, b733 and up, 757, 747, 767 and
 
jcavinato
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:59 pm

An interesting thing I see in some of the promotional literature that the airplane makers use:

A photo of a women traveling with two little kids on each side of her. Lots of words about the "space" of the plane, etc., etc.

Of course, she's about 5'4", slim, and pretty. You see lots of seat back space behind her and her kids, and it gives the impression of lots of normal passenger comfort.
 
ly7e7
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:09 pm

Quoting jcavinato (Reply 27):
An interesting thing I see in some of the promotional literature that the airplane makers use:

Ditto. and this is before the Photoshop. Whatever works to create longer legs and necks and bigger eyes and breasts works here too.
2 things are endless: ignorance and space
 
babybus
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:23 pm

Quoting vaus77w (Reply 9):
If you want more comfort, you gotta pay for it. Quit whining.

It's not always about comfort, it's about safety too. Too many seats in a cramped economy cabin and you have problems trying to exit the plane in an emergency. If you were in a window seat and had to get out quickly it doesn't help if you can only do that by facing forward gripping the seats in front and shuffling along the seat row.

Even the exit rows have dangerously tight seat pitch.

Quoting tomkell92 (Reply 17):
Then you have BA who offer around 32"

I wonder where they take that measurement from? Could it be the first few rows after J class on a A320? Certainly towards the back of the A320 the seat pitch must be more like 29 inches.

There needs to be a legally defined and enforced seat pitch offer. If I buy on an airline, like BA, saying they offer 32 inch legroom and I end up with the more likely 29 inch legroom there should be heavy financial penalties for mis-selling.
and with that..cabin crew, seats for landing please.
 
RyanairGuru
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:46 pm

Quoting babybus (Reply 29):
I wonder where they take that measurement from? Could it be the first few rows after J class on a A320? Certainly towards the back of the A320 the seat pitch must be more like 29 inches.

Good point. In July I flew BA GLA-LGW-JER, and happened to be on the same plane in and out of LGW. On the GLA-LGW leg I was in row 5 and on LGW-JER I was right at the back somewhere. The difference was night and day!
Worked Hard, Flew Right
 
huxrules
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:58 pm

Quoting planeguy727 (Reply 18):
UA allows this at time of booking. So does US.



United allows you to buy econ plus seats after booking. Not as a separate class. However - as if they ready my post and got on it - I just received an email from delta saying they have opened up econ plus booking during booking. They must have read my mind.
 
spacecadet
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:16 pm

I don't mind paying a reasonable amount more for comfort, and I am glad there are some airlines out there now that are willing to take my money. For a long time, there was nothing in between the bargain-basement cattle class and the stratospherically expensive business class.

Economy's surely no better than it used to be but I appreciate Economy Plus (as distinguished from "Premium Economy", which is a different thing) that's available on carriers like Delta and JetBlue. If I'm flying cross country, I'll pay $50 extra (or whatever it is) for 4 more inches of legroom. If I'm already paying $350 for a ticket, the difference between $350 and $400 is not that big but the difference in my comfort and enjoyment of the flight is huge.

btw, "Economy Plus" is economy with extra legroom and maybe one or two other niceties thrown in. "Premium Economy" is supposed to be a biz class-like experience at a lower price than biz. The two terms aren't interchangeable, although some airlines probably do mix them up (most likely for marketing purposes, to make their E+ offering sound better than it is). Most don't, though, in my experience. I think the problem is more that most regular people don't understand the difference.

But that's why Premium Economy still costs a lot while Economy Plus only costs a little bit more. In fact, whatever the airline actually calls what they have, you can tell whether it's E+ or PE by how much they charge. If it's 10-20% more than economy, that's E+. If it's 100-200% more, that's PE.

I don't expect to get this extra room for free and I don't complain about paying for it. I just don't need to pay 1,000% more for it, because I don't need all the other stuff business class gives me, and I don't really need 80" of seat pitch either. 38" is fine, and just keep everything else the same as regular economy. This really wasn't even an option on most airlines until a couple of years ago, and I always seek it out now whenever I fly. It's definitely a differentiator between airlines for me.
I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
 
frmrCapCadet
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:57 pm

Even the old standard of 35 inches or so of pitch is great, and six seats abreast.
Buffet: the airline business...has eaten up capital...like..no other (business)
 
liftsifter
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:08 pm

Quoting vaus77w (Reply 9):

Fares are CHEAPER now? I remember having a return fare ORD-AMM for $800 in 2006 now I'm lucky to get the fare for $1400. With airlines charging a "fuel surcharge" these days, it's really ridiculous.
A300 A310 A319 A320 A321 A332 A333 A342 A343 A346 A380 B736 B737 B738 B744 B763 B77L B77E B77W B788 E190
 
AADC10
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:19 am

Why not make economy seats worse? Yes, they are getting worse and market forces are driving everything that way. Most passengers are looking for the lowest fares so the smallest seats with a minimal level of service help keep the price low. In addition, reduced economy service allows for buy ups, for both seats and other services. Continuing to make economy less comfortable and reducing service drives more passengers to pay for upgrades, or at least be loyal to an airline to get some basic amenities that everyone got for free in the golden age of the 1970s. There is every reason to believe that the race to the bottom will continue for quite some time. You can thank deregulation.
 
zkncj
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:20 am

Quoting liftsifter (Reply 34):
Fares are CHEAPER now? I remember having a return fare ORD-AMM for $800 in 2006 now I'm lucky to get the fare for $1400. With airlines charging a "fuel surcharge" these days, it's really ridiculous.

In some markets fares have gone down, example in 1999 Auckland to Sydney would cost between $600-800 an entry level one way ticket. Now its common to pick up a ticket for around $129-159 for a entry level fare
 
planeguy727
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:45 am

Quoting liftsifter (Reply 34):
I remember having a return fare ORD-AMM for $800 in 2006 now I'm lucky to get the fare for $1400.

One implication of your comment is that the cost to the airline of moving one person on that route has not changed in 6 years. Your follow on about fuel surcharges explains, clearly, that costs to the airlines have gone up. This is part of why fares are going up. Of course if you standardize on one time, controlling for inflation, you can find many examples of fares being lower.
I want to live in an old and converted 727...
 
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1337Delta764
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:48 am

Quoting 4engines4lnghll (Reply 7):
The new AA 737 seats are far more comfortable than any other US carrier.

How so? DL has these same seats (Weber 5751) on several of their aircraft.
The Pink Delta 767-400ER - The most beautiful aircraft in the sky
 
iah59
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:20 am

United seats are uncomfortable.
 
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Tugger
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:36 am

Quoting tioloko100 (Thread starter):
Talking about airline economics not much revenue is generated from the economy seats but nonetheless they still constitute of majority of airlines passengers

Actually you are very wrong here, economy seats are the profit driver and generator for airlines. The premium seats are a big expense but are an important and smart part of the strategy of many airlines, one that allows passengers to choose within the airline itself (not move on to a new airline) and as they "travel on" in life they can upgrade and take advantage of the additional benefits of the higher seating groups.

Regarding economy seat comfort, yes they are getting more uncomfortable as the airlines trim and remove everything they can from the seat to maximize the very important revenue that the economy passenger generates for the airlines.

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
seahawks7757
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:16 am

The Recaro seats on Alaska's 900er's are fantastic. My 3 hour flight felt so easy I wasn't ready for it to be over. Also they gave everyone another inch of space which is great in there already spacious cabin.
 
coolfish1103
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:26 am

I think the new JL seats are actually better...

What's worse is trying to get miles on discount fares, nearly none.
 
TGV
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:14 pm

Quoting ly7e7 (Reply 11):
I stopped flying long haul in economy as it became unbearable in virtually all airlines. When I can't afford a business class ticket or the company would not pay for it I won't travel long haul. I adjusted my job accordingly and opted for more vacations closer to home. It also decreases my carbon footprint.

Same here : when the company where I worked changed its policy for Eco flight in all cases, without any consideration to the flight durations, I left it and am now in a company where travel in inly by train.
For vacations I search Premium Eco first (real Premium Eco), but if, as it is often the case with AF the fare is the double of the Eco fare, while the space offered is only 40/50% more, then I look elsewhere. It can be business or eco on airlines which still have an acceptable leavl of comfort : for example my next trip wil be in Eco on an SQ A 380, quite good if you ask me.

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 13):
Seat width is another issue, airlines claim that they can acheive 10 abreast on 777's without us noticing, is this really true ?

People who say they don't notice the difference either have never flown in 10 abreast 777s, or flew with empty seats next to them.
When you have been in permanent elbow/arm contacts with your neighbours during a 12 hours flight, not sleeping a second due to their movements, you know exactly what means a 10 abreast 777 and you manage to avoid them in the future.
        
Avoid 777 with 3-4-3 config in Y ! They are real sardine cans. (AF/KL for example)
 
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seabosdca
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:17 pm

Quoting tugger (Reply 40):
Actually you are very wrong here, economy seats are the profit driver and generator for airlines. The premium seats are a big expense

  

This may be true for low-cost carriers or carriers primarily serving vacation markets. But for the big business-oriented long-haul carriers of the world, the premium traffic is what makes the difference. Look at carriers like BA, ANA, and JAL. On long haul, they are getting progressively closer to having the standard economy cabin disappear. CX and SQ don't even have a standard economy product, when judged by the standard of most of the rest of the world's airlines -- it's all "economy plus."
 
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Tugger
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:47 pm

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 44):
This may be true for low-cost carriers or carriers primarily serving vacation markets. But for the big business-oriented long-haul carriers of the world, the premium traffic is what makes the difference. Look at carriers like BA, ANA, and JAL. On long haul, they are getting progressively closer to having the standard economy cabin disappear. CX and SQ don't even have a standard economy product, when judged by the standard of most of the rest of the world's airlines -- it's all "economy plus."

Sorry but it doesn't. You are simply wrong. You are really only looking at the prices of the seats and not looking at everything else that goes along with premium seating classes. As a simple example F class seats replace 4-6 econ seats, and produce less ancillary revenue (baggage fees primarily now) and require far more staffing and support structures in the plane (i.e. hot food svc). Additionally throw in the fact that quite a few (though definitely fewer than was the case in the past) are not paid for directly but are "awards" for loyal frequent flyers paying a much lower rate (though expending points). Business Class seating is less of an issue but they still require more support and personnel and create less ancillary fees (by their nature, they are supposed to include of lot of things in their seat price) and still have a good portion that is occupied by FF's paying a lower upfront price (but again paying points).

I am not saying that the higher class seats do not generates significant revenue and are not a critically important part of most airlines profit structure. They are. But the bedrock of almost every airline out there is the economy passenger and their volume-consistent profitability that the airlines count on in order to support the other seating classes.

Where do you think loyalty and Frequent Flyer's begin, how do you think the vast bulk of those in the premium seats begin? Economy seating and passengers is the king for airline success ultimately.

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
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seabosdca
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Fri Dec 07, 2012 7:14 pm

Quoting tugger (Reply 45):
Additionally throw in the fact that quite a few (though definitely fewer than was the case in the past) are not paid for directly but are "awards" for loyal frequent flyers paying a much lower rate (though expending points)

Only true on U.S. carriers. Pretty much no one in the gigantic premium sections of the carriers I mentioned isn't paying.

Quoting tugger (Reply 45):
As a simple example F class seats replace 4-6 econ seats, and produce less ancillary revenue (baggage fees primarily now) and require far more staffing and support structures in the plane (i.e. hot food svc).

That replacement of 4-6 economy seats may generate a fare 10-12 times higher.

In business, you're replacing about three economy seats and charging 5-7 times as much.

Quoting tugger (Reply 45):
But the bedrock of almost every airline out there is the economy passenger and their volume-consistent profitability that the airlines count on in order to support the other seating classes.

That is true for lower-cost carriers. It is not true for the likes of BA and ANA. If current trends continue, those carriers won't have to carry economy passengers at all in 15-20 more years. Even UA has made it completely clear that the economy passenger is an afterthought, and that the company's best efforts (and route planning) go strictly into planning around premium passenger volumes and making premium passengers happy.
 
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Tugger
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Fri Dec 07, 2012 7:37 pm

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 46):
Only true on U.S. carriers. Pretty much no one in the gigantic premium sections of the carriers I mentioned isn't paying.

You are right the international market and drivers are substantially different than the intra-USA market. They are almost two different entities entirely. Are there other markets with as big a difference (the intra-EU market perhaps? China?)?

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 46):
That replacement of 4-6 economy seats may generate a fare 10-12 times higher.

In business, you're replacing about three economy seats and charging 5-7 times as much.

Your key word here is "may". You simply don't know how many of the seats are sold at full price and how many are not, and what the resulting rate actually is. And regarding the C seats, its not a one-for-one exchange, more like 1.2 (due to added legroom). And their are so many type of "business class" seats now, from just E+ to International Business Class which is significantly different from inter-USA business class.

Also I think you may be conversely assuming that all economy seats are priced and and going for the best bargain fares prices that we see making headlines and being advertised. This simply is also not true and a very incorrect assumption by many (not necessarily you).

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 46):
That is true for lower-cost carriers. It is not true for the likes of BA and ANA. If current trends continue, those carriers won't have to carry economy passengers at all in 15-20 more years. Even UA has made it completely clear that the economy passenger is an afterthought, and that the company's best efforts (and route planning) go strictly into planning around premium passenger volumes and making premium passengers happy.

I highly doubt it but as I cannot actually predict the future (wish I could) we will just have to wait and see. I think you are wrong. Regarding why airlines like UA say what they do, it is because they cannot compete with the actual economy-focused airlines like Southwest and so just verbally concede territory and attempt to appeal to those "that want more" and it works to some degree. Right now the airlines are all resetting the boundaries on what they are, primarily via consolidation and achieving greater market depth and power that way to continue forth. We don't know yet how things will shake out in the future.

And if you are right that airlines like BA, ANA, and UA do not carry economy passenger I believe they will absolutely have subsidiary or partner economy airlines that completely feed into them to provide the "base" they need to create sufficient premium passenger flights and routes.

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
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Stitch
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Sat Dec 08, 2012 1:09 am

When the Global Financial Crisis hit and Business Class travel started to contract, Qantas for a time considered re-configuring their A380s because the large Business Class cabins were going out at a low load factor while Economy was 100%.

Honestly, if premium cabin traffic was all-important, you'd expect the 747-8 to be doing significantly better since it can take a huge premium cabin load (at the cost of a smallish Economy cabin - see LH).

Instead, airlines are choosing the A380-800 because it's so big that in addition al a huge premium cabin, you can also have a huge Economy cabin (ironically, also see LH).
 
qf002
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RE: Economy Seats Getting Worse?

Sat Dec 08, 2012 3:07 am

Quoting Stitch (Reply 48):
Qantas for a time considered re-configuring their A380s because the large Business Class cabins were going out at a low load factor while Economy was 100%.

QF is reconfiguring their A380s with fewer J seats and more W/Y seats. They also recently finished reconfiguring their 744ER fleet to get rid of F and move towards larger W/Y cabins. The A330s will be next to get an overhaul, and it wouldn't surprise me to a smaller J cabin there as well (ie down from 30J to 26-28J).

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