FlyBoeing
Topic Author
Posts: 835
Joined: Fri May 05, 2000 2:08 am

### How Much Would You Pay For Extra Seat Pitch?

I'm trying to put together a mathematical justification for offering passengers more seat pitch. I will assume that the whole cost of moving the plane is a fixed cost (i.e, no variances per load, just variation based on miles flown). I would like to show that, given a typical load factor on a 777's flight, an airline could expect more revenue (and therefore, profit) on a flight if they flew a plane that was full with fewer seats with more room rather than a 75% full plane with tiny seats.

So here's the deal: What percentage of the fare would you pay extra for 1 more inch of leg room? What would you pay extra for 5 more inches of leg room? How much extra would you pay for a 2" wider seat?

Note:
I got the figure 2" since, all other things equal, there would be 2" of extra lateral space per passenger if you turned a 777 from 9 across to 8 across.

Any input here?

US A333 PIT
Posts: 308
Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2001 8:36 am

### RE: How Much Would You Pay For Extra Seat Pitch?

For seats 2 inches wider with five inches more leg room I would pay 3 percent more. But the leg room is more important than the width.

Carioca Canuck
Posts: 632
Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2000 4:03 pm

### RE: How Much Would You Pay For Extra Seat Pitch?

As I fly 10+ hour intercontinental long distance I would pay \$50 CDN per additional inch.

Eraxandaf
Posts: 150
Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2000 3:54 pm

### RE: How Much Would You Pay For Extra Seat Pitch?

It's hard to say how much I'd pay. I'm 6'2 and would love more seat pitch. But unfortunately as long as airlines keep offering low fares to attract more pax (ex: last year Air France offered \$400 RT SFO-CDG and UA had an internet fare of \$300 RT SFO-CDG) there doesn't seem to be much incentive to reduce seats to increase pitch. I fly to Papeete each year on Air France where the price is standard at \$776.00 in econ. (usually bought at least 3 mos advance-the closer you get to departure depending on time of year, it goes higher). The business class fare is \$3,100 RT. I'd probably pay half that (up to \$1500) MAYBE if I were guaranteed a larger seat and better pitch. But that \$776 fare is tempting so I'd probably just bear it and make do for 8 hours. But I will pay a couple hundred dollars to fly what "I feel" is a better airline (i.e. I could fly Corsair or AOM for cheaper but choose AF - frequent flyer plan, better schedules, better food and entertainment on board). By the way, I priced SFO-LHR British Airways flights recently for about \$500 RT. The World Traveler PLUS was almost \$2,000 RT and that isn't even business class (at over \$6,000)! I guess it is not worth another \$1500 or \$5500 for a few more inches. Sad but true.

Guest

### RE: How Much Would You Pay For Extra Seat Pitch?

I generally fly First intercontinentally (usually SQ, BA, QF or CX). However, I fly Concorde too - and that obviously is both more expensive than F and has less legroom (roughly the same as in J, so say 38 inches).

airsicknessbag
Posts: 4626
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2000 2:45 am

### RE: How Much Would You Pay For Extra Seat Pitch?

0

Daniel

DCA-ROCguy
Posts: 3967
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2000 5:03 am

### RE: How Much Would You Pay For Extra Seat Pitch?

I wouldn't pay anything. At 5'11.5 and 190 lb, I haven't yet found a jet aircraft seat yet that doesn't have enough pitch for me. The Fokker 100's seats aren't wide enough for comfort, but the seat pitch on US and AA was fine when i flew those carrier's F100's. (Some turboprops could do with more seat pitch though).

Also, I drink lots of fluid and stretch my legs during long flights, so I don't worry about clot problems.

Jim
Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)

DeltaSFO
Posts: 2407
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2000 11:22 am

### RE: How Much Would You Pay For Extra Seat Pitch?

I generally fly First intercontinentally (usually SQ, BA, QF or CX). However, I fly Concorde too - and that obviously is both more expensive than F and has less legroom (roughly the same as in J, so say 38 inches).

Now what did that post contribute to this topic, other than to make you look like you're trying to impress us with your alleged worldly travel habits?

DeltaSFO
It's a new day. Every moment matters. Now, more than ever.

na
Posts: 9356
Joined: Sun Dec 12, 1999 3:52 am

### RE: How Much Would You Pay For Extra Seat Pitch?

Being 1,86 m tall (I´m not too firm with the "olde-worlde"-feet-system, but 1,86 m is 6 feet 2 or 3) I´m still looking for an airline that offers sufficient room for my legs. Even for a lot of money in business class on short-haul-flights you don´t get more than in economy intercontinental.
Privately I would never pay the rediculously higher fares of Business or even First Class.

What I would pay is up to 15% more if an airline would offer 8-10 cm (4 inches) more legroom in economy. The width of a seat is not quite such a problem for me. I wouldn´t pay more than 3% plus if there would be 8 seats instead of 9 in a row.

wilcharl
Posts: 1171
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2000 11:19 am

### RE: How Much Would You Pay For Extra Seat Pitch?

if i was a paying customer id pay the 25 bucks on FL to upgrade on a flight over 1 hr 15 mins

jaysit
Posts: 10186
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2000 11:50 pm

### RE: How Much Would You Pay For Extra Seat Pitch?

If you raise pitch from say 31 to 34 inches, that is 3 inches per row, it translates to a lost row of seats every 11 rows. Thus, on a 3-class 777 which usually has about 25 Y class rows, that would mean a loss of about 18 seats. So the airline would have to make up that lost revenue somehow or another. Basic algorithm:
(Total seats at 31)/(Total seats at 34)*(original price at 31). That would mean at least 10% more per seat. However, airlines would also have to recover any lost profits incurred from selling a full house during peak periods. So, add another 5-10% to the price.

Given that some routes are only profitable during certain peak periods, when airlines cram in as many pax as possible, and are also restricted from making additional flights during those periods, I doubt very much if seat pitch will increase any time soon.
Atheism is Myth Understood.

Posts: 324
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2000 5:24 pm

### RE: How Much Would You Pay For Extra Seat Pitch?

If your looking for seat pitch....fly the business class of an upper deck on the Qantas 747-SP. There are 12 seats up there in total - 6 on each side.... I dont know inches but i swear there was a lot of room up there.

ana767
Posts: 138
Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2000 10:50 am

### RE: How Much Would You Pay For Extra Seat Pitch?

I'd probably pay up to 10% domestically and 15% internationally for 2-3 more inches in pitch. Extra seat width would be nice, but is not that important to me.

FlyBoeing
Topic Author
Posts: 835
Joined: Fri May 05, 2000 2:08 am

### RE: How Much Would You Pay For Extra Seat Pitch?

I can't believe that most of you guys'd rather pay for extra seat pitch rather than seat width. Maybe it's just that I'm a squat person, but I'd love to have a wider seat.

Jaysit:

Admittedly there would be some lost seats. But you have to figure that:

1) There are some empty seats on every flight, anyway. The expected load factor is maybe 80%. In recessionary times, the load factor goes down anyway.

2) The carrier charges the passenger more anyway.

Factor (2) explains why my hypothetical carrier would only charge 10% more for giving 30% more space (increasing legroom to 37" and turning a 777 into 2-4-2... space goes up on a square foot basis) I figure that in UA's domestic 777's, there are 318 coach pax. Given an 80% load factor, they collect 254 coach-pax-revenue units on average.

If I got to that plane, it'd hold 244 coach pax. Since there are both fewer seats on my plane, it'd be easy to fill up; plus, we sell 10 fewer low fare tickets on places like priceline.com. The base average fare for my carrier would be larger since we squeeze out the low fare passenger who was taken on to fill seats. Figure the average fare goes up 2%. Add the 10% extra fare that the passenger THINKS is justified since he gets more space, and you get 1.1 * 1.02 and therefore we get

273 coach-pax-revenue units on average.

Of course all of this depends on us flying the planes full, or at least 92% full to get the same amount of revenue per planeload that other carriers get. That's the problem. Would enough people go for my carrier since it offers 30% more room for 10% more cost?

This is of course only an international carrier. It wouldn't make any sense to do anything other than cattle car the pax from Duluth to Minneapolis.

I figure we could get all those passengers since I'd offer some unique service enhancements and codeshare with jetBlue. I'm figuring on adding the following:

1) Connexion Internet ports on my aircraft for uninterupted Internet service to pax with Ethernet cards. We'd also rent portable computers at cost for the pax. Initially, the price would be low enough to cover the costs; then, as pax find that they'd rather fly with my carrier, we'd rachet it up.

2) Instead of PTVs (and paying obscene prices for installation and maintenance) , offering a free DVD player rental to every passenger who wants it

3) Having a seperate lounge at our hub with nice seats and enforced quiet zones.

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