Soxfan
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Economy Class Headrests On Long-Haul Flights

Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:34 pm

Hi Everyone,

I recently flew PHL-TLV on US A330-200's, some of the newest aircraft in their fleet (#284 and 285, delivered 2010). I was a little surprised that on such new planes utilized almost solely for long-haul travel, headrests were not installed on the seats in Y class (neither winged nor flat). I would think that many passengers would benefit from that amenity as they try to sleep on a flights of such great length (~12 hours), and I also believe that the US A330-300's DO have that amenity in Y.

Are headrests considered a costly option when designing and purchasing seats? Anyone know why they might not have been considered for such a new long-haul plane?

Thanks for your thoughts,

Soxfan  
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GSPSPOT
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RE: Economy Class Headrests On Long-Haul Flights

Wed Aug 08, 2012 1:14 am

Huh? Economy class on a U.S. carrier with headrests of any kind?? We can only dream...
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United1
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RE: Economy Class Headrests On Long-Haul Flights

Wed Aug 08, 2012 1:16 am

Quoting GSPSPOT (Reply 1):

Huh? Economy class on a U.S. carrier with headrests of any kind?? We can only dream...

Every pmUA aircraft and I believe the vast majority of the pmCO fleet have headrests in Y.

[Edited 2012-08-07 18:16:57]
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1337Delta764
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RE: Economy Class Headrests On Long-Haul Flights

Wed Aug 08, 2012 1:36 am

Quoting Soxfan (Thread starter):
I would think that many passengers would benefit from that amenity as they try to sleep on a flights of such great length (~12 hours), and I also believe that the US A330-300's DO have that amenity in Y.

They are being removed with the new seat installations. At the same time, DL is adding them to all new Y seat installations on international aircraft. However, DL has no plans to install them on domestic aircraft.
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qqflyboy
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RE: Economy Class Headrests On Long-Haul Flights

Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:56 am

Quoting GSPSPOT (Reply 1):
Huh? Economy class on a U.S. carrier with headrests of any kind?? We can only dream...

With the exception of 55 757s which have not yet undergone the cabin refurb, every AA a/c features adjustable headrests in all cabins.
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AA94
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RE: Economy Class Headrests On Long-Haul Flights

Wed Aug 08, 2012 5:02 am

Quoting United1 (Reply 2):
Every pmUA aircraft and I believe the vast majority of the pmCO fleet have headrests in Y.

  

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 3):
They are being removed with the new seat installations. At the same time, DL is adding them to all new Y seat installations on international aircraft. However, DL has no plans to install them on domestic aircraft.

  

Quoting qqflyboy (Reply 4):
With the exception of 55 757s which have not yet undergone the cabin refurb, every AA a/c features adjustable headrests in all cabins.

  

I thought that this was a standard feature in Y on many long haul aircraft, but I guess I was mistaken. I feel like I shouldn't be surprised that US Scareways' *very comfortable* A330s don't have them.
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USAirALB
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RE: Economy Class Headrests On Long-Haul Flights

Wed Aug 08, 2012 5:10 am

I found it very odd that when the US A332s first came out that they didn't come installed with headrests, especially since the older A333s used to feature them. Maybe they will install them later..who knows.. The seats are still comfortable, and feature good legroom.

All A330s are now refitted with new seats in both cabins and new IFE.

Quoting AA94 (Reply 5):
I feel like I shouldn't be surprised that US Scareways' *very comfortable* A330s don't have them.

US's A330s aren't even as comfortable as AA's new 773 in Y. That configuration in Y...so spacious!

But seriously, have you been on a US A332 or a US refurbished A333? There is nothing wrong with the seats or legroom.
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RE: Economy Class Headrests On Long-Haul Flights

Wed Aug 08, 2012 6:59 am

Quoting GSPSPOT (Reply 1):
Huh? Economy class on a U.S. carrier with headrests of any kind?? We can only dream...

Um, what airline have YOU been flying??!?! CO's domestic 737NG fleet even has winged headrests... you sticking with Spirit Air, I presume?

Quoting USAirALB (Reply 6):
But seriously, have you been on a US A332 or a US refurbished A333? There is nothing wrong with the seats or legroom.

I'm no fan of USAirways, BUT... I flew on their 333 to FCO eleven years ago, and I have yet to find a similarly pleasant coach seat anywhere in the sky! LOVED the adjustable lumbar support.
 
qf002
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RE: Economy Class Headrests On Long-Haul Flights

Wed Aug 08, 2012 7:14 am

The new BA product (in the 77W, 767's and a handful of 772's) has awful headrests... The wings are at a fixed angle with a piece of fabric stretched across them. And they don't go anywhere near as high up as they used to (they don't even go past the top of the seat from memory). No support at all.

I guess it comes down to cost. I guess it's not such an issue on (what I would consider) mid-haul aircraft like an A330. I'm just hoping that we don't see headrests disappearing from true long haul aircraft...

Quoting USAirALB (Reply 6):
US's A330s aren't even as comfortable as AA's new 773 in Y. That configuration in Y...so spacious!

But seriously, have you been on a US A332 or a US refurbished A333? There is nothing wrong with the seats or legroom.

Have you been on an AA 77W?
 
knoxibus
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RE: Economy Class Headrests On Long-Haul Flights

Wed Aug 08, 2012 3:07 pm

You have three possibilities:
- No headrest;
- 4 or 6 way adjustable headrest;
- Hammock style headrest (à la BA);

To it, obvisouly, you associate a cost (option from the seat manufacturer). The "worst" case would be the adjustable headrest, both in terms of price and weight, then comes the Hammock.

The hammock style is a kind of a 50/50, some people really like it, some others hate it.

To not have it on long haul flights is a bit of a no go for me, I can't imagine for the life of me flying more than 8 hours without one.
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max999
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RE: Economy Class Headrests On Long-Haul Flights

Wed Aug 08, 2012 4:26 pm

Quoting AA94 (Reply 5):
I thought that this was a standard feature in Y on many long haul aircraft, but I guess I was mistaken. I feel like I shouldn't be surprised that US Scareways' *very comfortable* A330s don't have them.

On some non-US carriers I've been on, they also have footrests for Y seats. Those are even better than headrests since it helps alleviate the pain of very cramped legroom on a long-haul flight.
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tommy767
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RE: Economy Class Headrests On Long-Haul Flights

Wed Aug 08, 2012 4:30 pm

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 7):
Um, what airline have YOU been flying??!?! CO's domestic 737NG fleet even has winged headrests... you sticking with Spirit Air, I presume?

Yes but that doesn't make up for the fact that sCO's seats are about as uncomfortable as a park bench.
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AA94
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RE: Economy Class Headrests On Long-Haul Flights

Wed Aug 08, 2012 5:20 pm

Quoting USAirALB (Reply 6):
But seriously, have you been on a US A332 or a US refurbished A333? There is nothing wrong with the seats or legroom.

I flew on a US 333 last summer, one of the most uncomfortable flights I've ever been on. The equipment boxes under the seats are killer, and I found seat pitch rather tight, especially when the person in front of me reclined back. Not sure if the cabin has been since refurbished, but last summer's configuration was rather rough.
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BA747400
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RE: Economy Class Headrests On Long-Haul Flights

Wed Aug 08, 2012 6:39 pm

Was on a DL 757 a couple of weeks ago, and having been away from DL for a while (UA/CO/B6 loyalty), was surprised to find no head rest in Y...the things you get used to! For a tall guy like myself, no headrest = no sleep, so I'll be consciously staying away from DL as a first choice for this reason.

It's a small thing, but for some of us, it really makes a big difference.
 
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1337Delta764
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RE: Economy Class Headrests On Long-Haul Flights

Wed Aug 08, 2012 7:11 pm

Quoting BA747400 (Reply 13):
Was on a DL 757 a couple of weeks ago, and having been away from DL for a while (UA/CO/B6 loyalty), was surprised to find no head rest in Y...the things you get used to! For a tall guy like myself, no headrest = no sleep, so I'll be consciously staying away from DL as a first choice for this reason.

It's a small thing, but for some of us, it really makes a big difference.

For DL, winged headrests in Y are only to be installed on international aircraft. I personally wish DL would install them on domestic aircraft, however, the headrests probably add weight, and with high fuel prices it might not be worthwhile. Also, some of the existing seats on DL's domestic aircraft are not designed for winged headrests, and would require replacing the seats entirely. Only the Weber 5751s on the 737NGs, domestic 763s and some MD-90s, as well as the Weber 5150s on the 75X fleet support winged headrests, however, don't expect for DL to add them anytime soon. Also, the 739ER fleet will have B/E Aerospace Pinnacle seats, however, I wouldn't be surprised if they don't have winged headrests.
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RE: Economy Class Headrests On Long-Haul Flights

Wed Aug 08, 2012 7:42 pm

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 11):
Yes but that doesn't make up for the fact that sCO's seats are about as uncomfortable as a park bench.

Indeed, but the topic of this conversation is "Headrests," not "Park Bench."

Quoting AA94 (Reply 12):
The equipment boxes under the seats are killer, and I found seat pitch rather tight, especially when the person in front of me reclined back.

The equipment boxes can be found on most every major carrier, including CO on their 777's.
And, the US 333 originally had one-two MORE inches of seat pitch than the competition; according to seatguru, however, they've been squashed to 31, which is on par with CO's 767s and various other widebodies from various other airlines.

So, unfortunately, what you experienced is not unique to US or their 333.
 
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RE: Economy Class Headrests On Long-Haul Flights

Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:56 pm

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 14):
For DL, winged headrests in Y are only to be installed on international aircraft. I personally wish DL would install them on domestic aircraft, however, the headrests probably add weight, and with high fuel prices it might not be worthwhile.

Anything that moves also requires maintenance. Personally I've always considered winged headrests useless gimmicks. A pillow works better.
 
USAirALB
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RE: Economy Class Headrests On Long-Haul Flights

Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:51 am

Quoting AA94 (Reply 12):
I flew on a US 333 last summer, one of the most uncomfortable flights I've ever been on. The equipment boxes under the seats are killer, and I found seat pitch rather tight, especially when the person in front of me reclined back. Not sure if the cabin has been since refurbished, but last summer's configuration was rather rough.

They reconfigured it.
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aviateur
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RE: Economy Class Headrests On Long-Haul Flights

Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:55 am

Those economy-class headrests are never designed right anyway. They aren't tight enough around the neck; your head just flops to the side. It's a half-assed design.


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Soxfan
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RE: Economy Class Headrests On Long-Haul Flights

Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:10 am

Quoting aviateur (Reply 18):

It depends on the airline and plane, like others have said. I flew on a US E190 which had vertically-moving headrests, but not winged. (Interesting that such a small plane would have it but not the A330, although I recognize it's likely a different kind of seat.) I know there have been endless debates on A.Net about the importance of IFE on long flights, but I feel like this is something that goes above that debate since it could potentially affect a passenger's condition upon arrival (being able to rest the head comfortably, have an easier sleep, and feel more refreshed and less sore upon landing). Some may say the A330 is a mid-range aircraft, but at least in this case it is being used on what I consider to be a long-haul flight, if not ultra long-haul (DL uses a 744 on the same route from JFK) and having a headrest, in my mind, can really make a difference, especially with little seat pitch.
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RE: Economy Class Headrests On Long-Haul Flights

Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:51 pm

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 7):
I'm no fan of USAirways, BUT... I flew on their 333 to FCO eleven years ago, and I have yet to find a similarly pleasant coach seat anywhere in the sky! LOVED the adjustable lumbar support.

I guess every airline has it's good days and bad days. I flew US on a similar aircraft FCO-PHL in Y about 8 years ago. It was the most uncomfortable aircraft I was ever on. The flight was oversold so every seat was filled. There was no legroom. Almost no recline. No Headrests. IFE did not function. 9 hours of agony. I have tried to stay away from US and anyone's A-330's (at least in Y) ever since.
 
GSPSPOT
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RE: Economy Class Headrests On Long-Haul Flights

Thu Aug 09, 2012 9:06 pm

Quoting United1 (Reply 2):
Every pmUA aircraft and I believe the vast majority of the pmCO fleet have headrests in Y.
Quoting qqflyboy (Reply 4):
With the exception of 55 757s which have not yet undergone the cabin refurb, every AA a/c features adjustable headrests in all cabins.
Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 7):
Um, what airline have YOU been flying??!?! CO's domestic 737NG fleet even has winged headrests... you sticking with Spirit Air, I presume?

Guess either I haven't noticed, or our household is married to the wrong airline. We usually fly DL. When I look at the economy cabin, all I see are these featureless slabs of blue leather...
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phxa340
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RE: Economy Class Headrests On Long-Haul Flights

Thu Aug 09, 2012 9:28 pm

Quoting USAirALB (Reply 6):
But seriously, have you been on a US A332 or a US refurbished A333? There is nothing wrong with the seats or legroom.

Agreed its pitch is at 31, not bad, similar to the other airlines plus its IFE is awesome. EVA Air had 12 movie options, US had 50 + and good size screens.

US definitely won't creat an SQ experience but if you get a ticket at the right price ...
 
tonystan
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RE: Economy Class Headrests On Long-Haul Flights

Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:13 pm

Quoting qf002 (Reply 8):
The new BA product (in the 77W, 767's and a handful of 772's) has awful headrests... The wings are at a fixed angle with a piece of fabric stretched across them. And they don't go anywhere near as high up as they used to (they don't even go past the top of the seat from memory). No support at all.

Agreed, I absolutely HATE them!

The problem is they are not actually head rests. They are designed to support the neck and your head rests above them. Now I need something to rest my head against so that it doesnt roll sideways adn then forward and end up with me doing a nodding dog which results in me waking myself up. The new BA ones just dont aid sleep for me. The old ones however are brilliant.

But I personally think the best ones are the winged ones such as Aer Lingus have on their shorthaul fleet (and BA too on their own aircraft....dont talk to me about the BMI ones which have nothing).

I believe a lot of the "hammocks" on BAs new seats are being broken by passengesr forcing the "wings" to bend, so much so that they have included a picture in the High Life magazine explaining how they should be used! lol
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tommy767
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RE: Economy Class Headrests On Long-Haul Flights

Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:29 pm

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 15):
Indeed, but the topic of this conversation is "Headrests," not "Park Bench."

A good headrest won't create comfort when the seat is as hard as a park bench.
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AZA330
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RE: Economy Class Headrests On Long-Haul Flights

Fri Aug 10, 2012 11:30 pm

Quoting Soxfan (Thread starter):
I would think that many passengers would benefit from that amenity as they try to sleep on a flights of such great length

Agreed. I flew US Airways MUC-PHL in November 2010 on an A332. Initially I was excited seeing that it was a fairly new airplane, but after a few hours, especially as I was trying to sleep, it became very bothersome that my head would just slide down no matter where I would try to lay it. Thankfully on the way back I was not in Y, otherwise it would have been a pain to try to sleep in that condition.

On the other hand I like the headrests BA has. The only issue I have noticed with the ones in the old World Traveller and World Traveller Plus cabins is that at times the headrest just does not stay up when you pull it up. It may stay up for a few minutes or even an hour, but eventually it slides down. I assume this is due to much usage. Overall, however, I think they are very good and comfortable.
 
PITingres
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RE: Economy Class Headrests On Long-Haul Flights

Sat Aug 11, 2012 12:01 am

Put me in the "who cares about headrests" camp. I've never seen an airline seat headrest, in any class, that did me the slightest good. Maybe US's market surveys showed that most people think the same. Or, maybe they are just pinching pennies, I dunno.
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