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Why Is EK's J Class So Different On 388 Vs 77W?

Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:32 pm

Having flown EK in business class a few times over the last few years, I asked myself the question as per the title of this topic.

Whereas I consider the J hard-product on the A380 extremely good, I have the opinion the J hard-product on the 77W is much less comfortable.

This has nothing to do with the IFE, as the ICE system is the same on both (AFAIK). However, the seating is way different. The staggered seats on the 388 gives all pax direct aisle access, and also gives you quite a feel of privacy. On the 77W's however you find 2-3-2 seating, and although the seat itself is not bad at all - if you are unlucky you can end up in a middle seat. And no direct aisle access if you like to have a window seat.

The 388 also has the bar in the back, which is great to spend some time on a very long flight. Nothing like that on the 77W's.

Now that the 77W is the backbone of the EK fleet, and the 388 is to become a second backbone, wouldn't you expect a comparable product? Both types are used on longhaul flights, like to Aus/NZ and the US, so that should not be a factor.

Compared to other 77W operators with for example the herringbone or staggered seats I do consider the EK J class under par. As a passenger I therefore always try to get on the 388 if that is an option, and try to avoid the 77W.

I wonder if anybody shares my opinion. Also interested if anyone knows why EK has opted for these very different configurations.

Thinking of it, if I had to travel in Y it would probably result in the same conduct: avoid the 10 abreast seating on the 77W and instead go for 10 abreast seating on the 388. Must make quite a difference...


[Edited 2013-02-01 05:35:18]
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RE: Why Is EK's J Class So Different On 388 Vs 77W

Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:49 pm

IMHO, one issue with the 77W is that it is an 'in between width' for J. The A380 is at A330 width. It is too narrow for 7 across J so 6 across J has the width for comfort features (with EK's J).

The other advantage of the A380 is the low cost per M^2 of floor space per flight and the huge amount of floor space. The 77W just doesn't have enough J class passengers onboard to justify a bar. In effect, a whole row of J would be lost and that is too pricey. On the A380, J goes back to the tail. While the bar probably costs 6 seats of space, that is 6 seats spread out over 74+ paying customers. One the 77W, it would be 7 seats lost with then only 35 seats to pay for the bar. There is a reason VS is removing their bars (or they were, did they?)

It all comes down to cost to provide an amenity. Unfortunately for EK, they will have two J class products. Well, 3 if you compare to the regional fleet.

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RE: Why Is EK's J Class So Different On 388 Vs 77W

Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:42 pm

Quoting Focker (Thread starter):
I wonder if anybody shares my opinion. Also interested if anyone knows why EK has opted for these very different configurations.

I've flown in both and I think there are compromises to both. The EK J product is quite high density in both aircraft (esp. compared to SQ for example) but I actually prefer the J seat on the 777. I found the A388 seat to be more cramped by comparison but isle access does mitigate having to climb over your neighbour and the bar and lounge more than makes up for it. The personal minibar in EK A388 J is a complete waste of time IMO.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 1):
or they were, did they?

Nope they've kept it in the new upper class cabin but it takes up less space now as is staggered. This does mean that the rearmost window seats are almost in the bar which I don't fancy much (flying VS J in April so will make sure I get a seat away from that area).

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