zhiao
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Is 3-4-3 On A 777 Really That Bad?

Sun May 27, 2012 1:35 am

From all the comments and TR it seems that this type of configuration is really uncomfortable. So I am asking, is it really that bad? Isn't it simply a 757 style seat in terms of width?
 
Viscount724
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RE: Is 3-4-3 On A 777 Really That Bad?

Sun May 27, 2012 1:47 am

Quoting zhiao (Thread starter):
From all the comments and TR it seems that this type of configuration is really uncomfortable. So I am asking, is it really that bad? Isn't it simply a 757 style seat in terms of width?

It's not just the seat cushion width but armrests are also narrow and the gap between the seats is narrower so you're closer to your neighbour. Aisles are also very narrow. Overall it's just less pleasant than 9-abreast. Put 10 people in the space of 9 and it can't help but be less desirable. Also means a somewhat higher probability of a middle seat since 40% of the seats are middle seats, compared to 33% at 9-abreast.
 
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RE: Is 3-4-3 On A 777 Really That Bad?

Sun May 27, 2012 1:49 am

Try a 10-abreast DC-10 with 29" seat pitch...then welcome to my Omni Air Intl rotator home last December!
 
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longhauler
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RE: Is 3-4-3 On A 777 Really That Bad?

Sun May 27, 2012 2:11 am

Look at these pictures. Both B777s, both Air New Zealand.

10 abreast:

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Nicholas Young



9 abreast:

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Christian Waser



Look at how narrow the aisle is in the 10 abreast photo, vice how open the 9 abreast cabin is.

Now ... in which aircraft would you rather fly?
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zhiao
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RE: Is 3-4-3 On A 777 Really That Bad?

Sun May 27, 2012 2:16 am

Would 3-5-3 in an A380 still be better?
 
qf002
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RE: Is 3-4-3 On A 777 Really That Bad?

Sun May 27, 2012 2:23 am

It's tighter, but it's far from unbearable. Most of the people you hear going off their heads about it have never been on a 10 abreast 777... I can tell you that I didn't notice all that much of a difference between an EK 77W and the BA 77W, aside from the width of the aisles. The seats and armrests felt identical.
 
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RE: Is 3-4-3 On A 777 Really That Bad?

Sun May 27, 2012 2:23 am

Quoting zhiao (Thread starter):
Is 3-4-3 On A 777 Really That Bad?

Yes

Quoting zhiao (Reply 4):
Would 3-5-3 in an A380 still be better?

No
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RE: Is 3-4-3 On A 777 Really That Bad?

Sun May 27, 2012 2:24 am

Quoting zhiao (Thread starter):
From all the comments and TR it seems that this type of configuration is really uncomfortable. So I am asking, is it really that bad?

Yes it really is that bad, its noticably more cramped everyone is pushed up against the person next to them it was very unpleasent. It was only on a 3 hour flight but it was enough to put EK on my shit list.
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zhiao
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RE: Is 3-4-3 On A 777 Really That Bad?

Sun May 27, 2012 2:25 am

Is the seat the same width as on a 737?
 
rogercamel
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RE: Is 3-4-3 On A 777 Really That Bad?

Sun May 27, 2012 2:25 am

It really depends who you end up sitting next to.  

The extra space in 3-3-3 helps a little, but you can still get freaks next to you - earlier this week the person next to me started cutting his finger nails after take off - then moved on to his toe nails... not even 3-3-3 could rescue this! I got lost on my way back from the loo.
 
AngMoh
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RE: Is 3-4-3 On A 777 Really That Bad?

Sun May 27, 2012 2:29 am

Quoting zhiao (Thread starter):

From all the comments and TR it seems that this type of configuration is really uncomfortable. So I am asking, is it really that bad? Isn't it simply a 757 style seat in terms of width?

Yes, it is really that bad. Also because you are flying 12+ hrs.

The 757 seat is already hell on a 6 hour flight, especially if you are used to flying 8-abreast A330 or 9 abreast 777.

And also, my shoulder width is 19". That does not fit in an 17" seat.
 
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RE: Is 3-4-3 On A 777 Really That Bad?

Sun May 27, 2012 2:32 am

The other side of this coin is that I remember 3-4-2 on the early 747s. THAT was a great way to fly! Alas, it's been downhill ever since. And why anyone thinks 3-3-3 is comfortable is beyond me...
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liftsifter
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RE: Is 3-4-3 On A 777 Really That Bad?

Sun May 27, 2012 2:46 am

I've been on two carriers with 3-4-3 77W's and I can say, as a fairly large person, It's not THAT bad. Given, anyone would rather be on 3-3-3 (or even 2-4-2), but it really isn't. EK seemed to cut more seat space as opposed to aisle space, while ANZ cut more aisle space. I have to say, getting out of the ANZ 777 was hell, aisles were cramped, and people wouldn't wait to get off.

Besides that, A340 all the way!   
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RE: Is 3-4-3 On A 777 Really That Bad?

Sun May 27, 2012 3:04 am

Quoting qf002 (Reply 5):
It's tighter, but it's far from unbearable. Most of the people you hear going off their heads about it have never been on a 10 abreast 777... I can tell you that I didn't notice all that much of a difference between an EK 77W and the BA 77W, aside from the width of the aisles. The seats and armrests felt identical.

Yes, it IS unbearable! Obviously this is a personal opinion but I found my 4 sectors (2x8 hours & 2x6 hours) on EKs 10 abreast B77W to be actually painful and extremely uncomfortable. Your kilometerage may vary! I also found the cabins cramped, dark and generally unpleasant, again personal opinion. As Viscount724 said in reply1:
"It's not just the seat cushion width but armrests are also narrow and the gap between the seats is narrower so you're closer to your neighbour."

I now go out of my way to avoid 10 abreast B777. Its not just a case of who is cheapest. For my forth coming trip to North America I was disposed to fly NZ and pay the extra $A200 for newer aircraft and better service, but when the B77W was introduced I chose to go with UA, down the back on the ever reliable B744!

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RE: Is 3-4-3 On A 777 Really That Bad?

Sun May 27, 2012 3:18 am

Although my only experience on the 10 abreast 777 Y class is flying EK on a BHX-DXB-KIX return routing. I still say in all honesty it isn't as bad as most people on here go on about. Legroom is all that makes the difference to me. (but being 6' 4" I don't think I will ever find a comfortable Y seat on any aircraft ever!)

My only complaint would be during meal service, it's hard to use a knife and fork without ramming your elbows into your neighbours body.

Apart from that I didn't find the flights felt cramped width-wise, that's more than can be said for a 2-4-2 Thomson 763 I flew to SFB a few years back. I could never complain about 777's after that!   
 
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RE: Is 3-4-3 On A 777 Really That Bad?

Sun May 27, 2012 3:22 am

It is bad ... but the person you sit next to makes the difference between "bad" and "that bad".

I recently flew on Emirates between Dubai and Bangkok ... and although I had a window seat, my neighbour to the left wanted to share his hairy arm with me the entire flight. Even as I nudged him several times to keep his arm on the arm rest (and not beyond into my space), it keeps returning.

The only option left (short of a shouting match) was to wrap myself in the blanket - which by the way is so thin it does nothing to keep one warm - and mitigate the feeling that my neighbour's hairy arm offers.

Earlier, I got off the Emirates flight from Houston to Dubai ... that one was a flight from hell ... there must have been at least 40 children (not counting babies) ... and their parents seem to think that once the aircraft is aloft, the entire plane is a fair ground for the visiting circus. Even in the midst of turbulence and the "fasten seat belt" sign is lit and the announcement made, many adults on this flight remain permanently fixed to the spot near the galley or emergency exit. Perhaps they did not want to return to their seat because they too hate the 10-abreast configuration.

I have previously flown on 10-abreast B777s with Thai, Air France and KLM ... yes, they too were cramped but it was not terribly unpleasant as my recent flights on Emirates. It is at the end of the day who you fly with that decides on your state of mind after the flight.

I walked off the plane feeling absolutely rotten ... even as I generally love flying.

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RE: Is 3-4-3 On A 777 Really That Bad?

Sun May 27, 2012 3:51 am

Quoting AngMoh (Reply 10):
The 757 seat is already hell on a 6 hour flight, especially if you are used to flying 8-abreast A330 or 9 abreast 777.

A middle seat on a trans-atlantic 757 is a disaster. If it wasnt for DL IFE, I would have gone crazy.
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JoeCanuck
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RE: Is 3-4-3 On A 777 Really That Bad?

Sun May 27, 2012 4:16 am

The worst thing I found about my 10 abreast EK experiences was the comfort, (or lack thereof), of the seat itself, no the width. I've spent 6 hour flights on a 17" wide 737 seat without a worry but after an hour or so on EK's 777's, my butt was already past numb to painful.

The cushions, ergonomics...everything just sucked...and really the least sucky thing was the 10 abreast configuration.

That being said, 9 abreast on an SQ 777 was fantastic...no need to worry about an upgrade.
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RE: Is 3-4-3 On A 777 Really That Bad?

Sun May 27, 2012 4:26 am

Quoting longhauler (Reply 3):
Look at how narrow the aisle is in the 10 abreast photo, vice how open the 9 abreast cabin is.

Now ... in which aircraft would you rather fly?

Which will customers pay for? Any customer willing to pay more is probably up in J. Otherwise too many seats are filled with 'internet specials.'

For airlines such as EK that try to minimize both J and Y expenses, I can see trying to push customers to upgrade.

In today's single digit profit margins, cost goes directly to charged fare. If the market will not pay more for 9-across Y... then there is no choice but to cram in more seats.

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RE: Is 3-4-3 On A 777 Really That Bad?

Sun May 27, 2012 4:34 am

OK, all this moaning about 10 across on a 777; why not vote with your wallet and fly with someone that is 9 across instead. Yes Emirates or Etihad are painful on a long flight, so fly instead with Qatar - better service as well etc
 
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RE: Is 3-4-3 On A 777 Really That Bad?

Sun May 27, 2012 4:42 am

That 10 abreast looks terrible. The Aisles are dangerously narrow, I could see big problems during an emergency evacuation.
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roseflyer
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RE: Is 3-4-3 On A 777 Really That Bad?

Sun May 27, 2012 4:49 am

Any economy seat on a long haul flight is bad.

One thing I have seen is that some people have commented that the ANA 787s are only ok in comfort. They are the widest economy seats in the sky and have 33 inches of pitch which is above industry standard. Yet somehow no one says they are comfortable.
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RE: Is 3-4-3 On A 777 Really That Bad?

Sun May 27, 2012 4:50 am

The only ten-abreast 777 flights have been on domestic Japan flights that last a little north of one hour. For that duration is tolerable. Not on a long-haul flight. Any carrier/aircraft combo, I stay away from even if they are cheaper.

Quoting MAN2SIN2BKK (Reply 19):
OK, all this moaning about 10 across on a 777; why not vote with your wallet and fly with someone that is 9 across instead.

Except that most people do vote with their wallets and go with whoever is cheaper regardless of aircraft configuration.
Only seasoned travellers and A-net members do really care.
 
zhiao
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RE: Is 3-4-3 On A 777 Really That Bad?

Sun May 27, 2012 5:00 am

Wow, I can't imagine being overweight and being in that configuration
 
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RE: Is 3-4-3 On A 777 Really That Bad?

Sun May 27, 2012 6:36 am

Quoting qf002 (Reply 5):
I can tell you that I didn't notice all that much of a difference between an EK 77W and the BA 77W
Quoting qf002 (Reply 5):
it's far from unbearable

I agree. Having flown EK 777s many many times I really don't have an issue with it. I once flew the entire way from MAN to BNE in middle seats and it was fine. (For the record I'm 176cm and 70kg - so not that big but still about average)
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jetfuel
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RE: Is 3-4-3 On A 777 Really That Bad?

Sun May 27, 2012 6:42 am

It should be outlawed by the WHO. EK is a low cost economy airline. Its dangerous and terrible
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qf002
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RE: Is 3-4-3 On A 777 Really That Bad?

Sun May 27, 2012 7:31 am

Quoting gemuser (Reply 13):

I guess it really does come down to the individual reaction to the space. I'm tall and broad, so I feel at least a little bit cramped in any Y seat on any airline, so perhaps didn't notice the lack of space on EK because it's a feeling I'm used to. I also think the seats used makes a big impact as well -- 14.5 hours SYD-DXB on a brand new 77W felt a (tiny) bit more bearable than 8 hours up to the UK with one of their older 77W's with the older seats.

Quoting aviasian (Reply 15):
which by the way is so thin it does nothing to keep one warm

What is with EK's blankets? They are utterly terrible -- a far bigger problem IMO than the 10 abreast config.
 
Gemuser
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RE: Is 3-4-3 On A 777 Really That Bad?

Sun May 27, 2012 9:05 am

Quoting MAN2SIN2BKK (Reply 19):
OK, all this moaning about 10 across on a 777; why not vote with your wallet and fly with someone that is 9 across instead. Yes Emirates or Etihad are painful on a long flight, so fly instead with Qatar - better service as well etc

But that is exactly what I now do! No more B77W 10 abreast, I avoid them like the plague, see reply 13.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 18):
Which will customers pay for?

I will pay for 9 abreast on a B77W or 10 abreast on a B744 or 8 abreast on an A330. I won't pay for 10 abreast on a B77W.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 18):
Any customer willing to pay more is probably up in J

Lightsaber, please don't get me wrong, but that is an silly comment! With the difference between Y and J being anything between 300% and 700%, out of Australia anyway, I believe there is a market between Y & J, it's called W or Y+, but it is still over priced being between 100% & 300% above Y. Something in the 15-30% range would be reasonable for 34" pitch and 18" width.

Quoting jetfuel (Reply 25):
It should be outlawed by the WHO. EK is a low cost economy airline. Its dangerous and terrible

I agree, the 10 abreast B77 are only one aspect. On the four sectors mentioned crews ranged from quite good (1 crew) thru below average (2 crew) to the very worst I've ever seen (1 crew). To be fair the crews on the two A332 sectors were top notch.

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RE: Is 3-4-3 On A 777 Really That Bad?

Sun May 27, 2012 9:11 am

Just flown on EK's 3-4-3 77L and it was not the worst 3-4-3 777 I had flown on. While the seats were narrow, the seat pitch was reasonable. A few times during the flight, I would walk around as I didn't really like sitting for the entire 7 hrs flight.

I can't imagine myself flying more than 10hrs on this configuration.

Like what others have mentioned, all depends on who is sitting beside you, I was lucky that a smaller built lady was my seat mate and it was not too uncomfortable.

Cheers
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byronicle6
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RE: Is 3-4-3 On A 777 Really That Bad?

Sun May 27, 2012 12:42 pm

The only 10 abreast 77W flights I have been on are EK AKL-MEL & BNE-AKL which are only 3-4 hours. I didn't have any problems with it but I can see it becoming a problem on a long haul 10+ hour flight.
But as others have said, it depends on who is beside you. Id rather be on a 10 abreast 77W with smaller seat mates who haven't overdosed on perfume, nor put on nothing at all, than a 9 abreast with crying babies and large smelly seat mates
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planejamie
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RE: Is 3-4-3 On A 777 Really That Bad?

Sun May 27, 2012 3:41 pm

Quoting qf002 (Reply 5):
It's tighter, but it's far from unbearable. Most of the people you hear going off their heads about it have never been on a 10 abreast 777... I can tell you that I didn't notice all that much of a difference between an EK 77W and the BA 77W, aside from the width of the aisles. The seats and armrests felt identical.

I've flown EK 10 abreast and I wowed never to fly EK again and never to fly a 10 abreast 777 again. It is awful. I consider myself "average sized" though slightly tall, whilst the legroom was bearable, being squashed in those seats was not. BA's seats are 18 inches wide (at least the 772 ones are that I've flown on) EK's were far smaller. It's not just that though, the packed flight resulted in a very cramped feeling. I mean, the sides of the seat felt like they were touching my sides. I've sat in better train/bus seats than on EK and received better service/food out of a petrol station. I could go on about EK, ethics and other reasons I won't fly them but that's for other posts. It's not just the aisle being smaller, though that is a factor the seats are considerably narrower. The only point EK wins on is the IFE, but I don't fly an airline based on the type of IFE they have on offer, I fly based on price and the service I received (which BA has never let me down on apart from one or two occasions they've not been the cheapest).
 
EricAY05
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RE: Is 3-4-3 On A 777 Really That Bad?

Mon May 28, 2012 12:45 am

Here's something I don't think anyone has mentioned. I've flown two times on a T7 with the mentioned configuration. EK and KL. Both times I was seated in an aisle seat. Both times the flight attendants and passers-by kept bumping into my shoulder during the entire flight, even though I kept my both arms and elbows within the seat (= not putting elbows on the armrest). This was really annoying! I don't have particularly wide shoulders and am absolutely not fat. Had no problem with the person sitting next to me.

I would imagine that one should try to get the window seat to avoid this annoyance. If you are oversized, do not fly on planes with this configuration! BTW, the KL flight was in Economy Extra (luckily a free upgrade), so don't expect any extra room sideways there.
 
qf002
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RE: Is 3-4-3 On A 777 Really That Bad?

Mon May 28, 2012 1:21 am

Quoting planejamie (Reply 30):
BA's seats are 18 inches wide (at least the 772 ones are that I've flown on) EK's were far smaller.

BA has 17.5" seats in Y on all their long haul aircraft (at least according to the 3 websites I've just checked that on). EK's seats are marginally narrower -- about the width of a pencil. EK also offers 2-3" more pitch and their latest generation product uses a much more comfortable seat than BA. But it is a subjective thing at the end of the day.

Quoting EricAY05 (Reply 31):

Now this is an issue. I've had various parts of my body knocked about (shoulders) and crushed (toes, ouch!) by passing pax and fully loaded carts... The crew often seem to have a good time getting the carts up the aisles to start service and getting stuck at every seatback. And if service is underway, don't even bother trying to get to the bathroom...
 
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longhauler
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RE: Is 3-4-3 On A 777 Really That Bad?

Mon May 28, 2012 1:49 am

Quoting qf002 (Reply 32):
BA has 17.5" seats in Y on all their long haul aircraft (at least according to the 3 websites I've just checked that on). EK's seats are marginally narrower -- about the width of a pencil.

Yes, EK's seats are half an inch narrower, (big pencil), But as some mention, that is not the only issue. It is also the width (or lack of) of the armrest. It was noted that the armrest is quite a bit narrower in the EK aircraft. Not just between the seats, but also the aisle armrest, as a cushion from traffic, or the wall armrest, and how close to the wall you become as a result.

It would be interesting if Seat Guru (for example) also noted the width of three seats as a comparison as well.
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qf002
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RE: Is 3-4-3 On A 777 Really That Bad?

Mon May 28, 2012 3:00 am

Quoting longhauler (Reply 33):

It's definitely not an ideal setup (but there's no such thing as a properly comfortable setup in Y) but its certainly not the torturous and mental illness inducing situation that it has been portrayed by others as being. I'm not denying that others find it particularly bad, I've just not had that experience in the dozen or so flights I've done on a 10 abreast 777...

It would also be interesting if aisle width were included on seatguru (and the like), and perhaps the thickness of the seatback (though this is getting rather technical now...) -- that would create a much fairer comparison.
 
Viscount724
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RE: Is 3-4-3 On A 777 Really That Bad?

Mon May 28, 2012 3:01 am

Quoting georgiaame (Reply 11):
The other side of this coin is that I remember 3-4-2 on the early 747s. THAT was a great way to fly! Alas, it's been downhill ever since.

And I remember 2-4-2 on the early DC-10s and L-1011s, comparable to 3-4-2 on the 747s.

Quoting georgiaame (Reply 11):
And why anyone thinks 3-3-3 is comfortable is beyond me.

Agree, comfortable isn't the right word but at least it's better than 3-4-3.

Quoting qf002 (Reply 32):
Quoting planejamie (Reply 30):
BA's seats are 18 inches wide (at least the 772 ones are that I've flown on) EK's were far smaller.

BA has 17.5" seats in Y on all their long haul aircraft (at least according to the 3 websites I've just checked that on). EK's seats are marginally narrower -- about the width of a pencil.

As mentioned, it's not just the seat cushion width but the gap between the seats and the width of the armrests. Boeing's aircraft description document for the 777 shows 17 inch seats at 10-abreast and 18.5 inches at 9-abreast. Armrests are 2 inches wide at 10-abreast and 3 inches at 9-abreast. Aisle width is 17 inches at 10-abreast and 19.25 inches at 9-abreast (about the same as the 19.5 inch aisle on a 10-abreast 747). Since you need at least 17 inches to squeeze in one more seat, about 4.5 inches of that comes from the narrower aisles and the remaining 12.5 inches has to come from the space available to the remaining 9 passengers. Y class seats are narrow enough, so even a one inch difference is significant. It's the same with Y class seat pitch.
 
raffik
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RE: Is 3-4-3 On A 777 Really That Bad?

Mon May 28, 2012 11:07 pm

I flew on EK's 773 and 772 and I found the seating comfortable- with good leg room too.
I am not thin and there was plenty of room. The 9 a breasts are more comfortable but I personally find the 10 abreast not terrible.
- Alec
 
ba319-131
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RE: Is 3-4-3 On A 777 Really That Bad?

Tue May 29, 2012 4:24 pm

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 21):

- I myself have found the ANA 787 longhaul seat pretty good, but I'm not tall.
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trintocan
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RE: Is 3-4-3 On A 777 Really That Bad?

Tue May 29, 2012 10:57 pm

I have to agree with those who dislike 10-abreast 777s on long-haul services. The first 2 flights of mine on 777s were on BA 777-200IGWs between TAB and LGW and return. At that time BA flights to TAB and other "holiday" cities were operated in conjunction with AML and the planes used (G-VIIO/P/R) had dense 10 abreast seating in World Traveller and an overall 2 class configuration (with Club World, World Traveller Plus not having been invented yet). The cabin appeared very tight and cluttered and the legroom was very poor for a tall man (1.83m) like myself. To even stretch my legs meant squirming in the seat! The flights themselves were quite good and I enjoyed BA's service but that configuration really was unpleasant. Thankfully a year later BA did away with it as the AML arrangement ended.

I have not been on a 10-abreast 777 since but my memories of the AML configuration remain strong.

Trintocan.
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AirbusA6
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RE: Is 3-4-3 On A 777 Really That Bad?

Wed May 30, 2012 12:47 pm

I flew on AF to Cuba last xmas, and yes it was cramped, and yes the narrower aisle width was noticeable.

It's the sort of configuration which works if the passengers are smaller (e.g. East Asians who tend to be slighter in shoulder width as well as shorter), but would be a struggle for larger Westerners. It will be interesting if AA suffer any negative reaction (and BA become even more popular across the pond as a result)
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