Topic Author
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Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2004 5:14 am

A Flat Bed For Every Passenger?

Fri Oct 29, 2004 2:45 pm

I'd like to invite you to comment on my idea to provide flat beds to all passengers on longhaul flights, for use in a discount longhaul airline.

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This represents my new design for a 747 interior. It is meant for a discount airline, offering all flat beds for every passenger.

The 747-400 cabin is 2244 inches long, 100 inches high and 248 inches wide.

The beds are bunk beds, stacked 2 high.

The beds along the sides are perpendicular to the aisles, while the beds in the middle are parallel to the aisles.

There are no spaces between the beds - the only upright walking spaces are the two aisles. There is a thin divider of about a centimeter in width between beds.

All beds are 73 inches long and 24 inches wide. There is room for some beds to be a little longer for tall people. (For comparison, on BA, Club World beds are 73 inches long and 20 inches wide. In BA First, they are 78 inches long and 21 inches wide.) On my airline, people get wider beds. They get less airspace above their beds.

The 2 aisles are each 39 inches wide.

93 rows of beds will fit along the sides. (There are a lot more rows because there is no extra space between rows, its like a 24 inch seat pitch). 30 rows of beds will fit in the middle. With beds stacked two high, this gives us 432 passengers, all with a bed. There will be about 44 inches between the top of one bed and the bottom of another, assuming a six inch mattress.

I'm not leaving any room for galleys or lavatories, but I'm also not including the upper deck, so I think this kind of evens everything out. I'm not sure if the statistics I have as to 747 cabin size include overhead bin space as part of the cabin or not. This, in any event, will likely be an issue, although I feel we can put some storage space in the beds themselves.

I think this is great! What do you think? I am interested in both technical reasons why this could not be done AND in passenger reactions to this style of travel. The only thing dreadful about a long flight is the uncomfortable seat. If you can lie flat and relax, everything is beautiful. I'd much rather fly lying down in a capsule bed and not spend 18 hours in economy plus, but what do you think?

Possibly, there might be a way to engineer a way to convert regular chair-seats into two high bunk beds, but this would be more complicated than building my bunk bed capsules. You could lower your bed divider if you were traveling with your wife, or whomever. This is apparently possible on BA F class beds.

This concept is based on the Japnase capsule hotels. Each capsule onboard can have its own tv, shelf, seatbelt, light, etc...

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RE: A Flat Bed For Every Passenger?

Fri Oct 29, 2004 3:30 pm

My thoughts:
  • There would be plenty of hanky panky going on and many new members for the mile high club!

  • Would only be suited to night flights - who would want to be in a capsule on daytime flight from (say) LHR to LAX?

  • Sleeping in a capsule would be like sleeping in a coffin for me.

  • But a good idea nevertheless.
    MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
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    RE: A Flat Bed For Every Passenger?

    Fri Oct 29, 2004 4:56 pm

    How do you sit up and receive your meals?

    Interesting figures you quote though. Just remember that the rear maybe 5-6 rows curve in so you'd probably have to lose the centre aisle at that point. Leave a few rows out for all the emergency exits too.

    Geoff M.
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    RE: A Flat Bed For Every Passenger?

    Fri Oct 29, 2004 10:44 pm

    Nice idea - you'd have to get the beds certified for take of landing (this is possible - Philippine Airlines used to have beds on their upper deck, that were certified for take off and landing).

    Would you be able to meet evacuation requirements though ?
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    Topic Author
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    Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2004 5:14 am

    RE: A Flat Bed For Every Passenger?

    Sat Oct 30, 2004 1:48 am

    Thanks for the comments so far.

    As for meals - yes, that might be a problem. I was thinking of a discount airline where there is no sit down, formal meal service, but it could offer a snack bar (as on a train) where people could go for a bite or drink. Maybe a small lounge/restaurant booth on the upper deck?

    Mainly, I was thinking it would be mostly used for long night flights where people don't want much service. It wouldn't be much different than staying in a hostel, meaning its not for everyone, but I feel a long haul discount carrier is very needed. Many of the jets sitting in the desert are perfectly flyable. Airline execs justify buying new planes that are perhaps 10% more fuel efficient, which never covers the cost of financing new aircraft. I think I could fly 747-300s and -200s now in storage (are any 400s in storage?), which would burn a bit more fuel, but with 432 passengers in all flat bed seating and minimal services - I think this could work.

    Some people say the Japanese capsule hotels look like a morgue, which is true, but I think you can stack two bunk beds without the morgue effect.

    Another idea is that the capsule beds could just be another cabin offer of the economy service. I think my figures indicate you can put just as many of my capsule beds as you can regular economy seats. So, people could have a choice as between regular economy seats or a capsule bed.

    As for evacuation - I think my capsule beds make it easier to get to the aisle than crawling over 2 or more people in a conventional seat. Every bed has aisle access.

    Thanks for your comments.



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    RE: A Flat Bed For Every Passenger?

    Sat Oct 30, 2004 6:38 am

    Umm.....clatrophobic people wouldn't like to be in a coffin for a 13 hour flight from PHX-LHR....

    Other problems include the fact that some people want to be in an upright position for some time.

    Would the elderly be able to get into the bunks?

    Just my $0.02

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    RE: A Flat Bed For Every Passenger?

    Sat Oct 30, 2004 10:48 am

    Imagine being caught in the bunk underneath the kid who decides to jump on the bed for the entire SIN-EWR flight...

    Anyway, I like the idea, and would love it if an airline would introduce them.

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