Quick question I've been meaning to ask for a while: Can an airline pick how "quiet" their planes are?
This question popped up years ago when I had my first flight in a 73G, with WN. I thought it was a nice bird, except that I found it to be more noisy than Airbus narrowbodies, so I was kind of disappointed. My best friend who is a pilot as well noticed this too. Not long after I went on several 73G flights with both CO and AM and I thought their planes were much quieter than WN's. All flights had pretty high pax loads, were cruising between FL380/400 and averaged about 2hrs of flight time, so they were all in very similar conditions. My best friend accompanied me on many of these flights as well and he noticed the difference too.
So my theory is: I figured southwest, having a fetish for ultimate efficiency and lighter weight, maybe sacrificed some sound proofing material/fixtures. AM and CO, being concerned a bit more with pax comfort, did not.
So, my fellow a.nuts: was I hearing (or not hearing) things? Was it my imagination? Or is there some truth in my theory?
[Edited 2009-01-23 10:00:33]