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VC10er
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The history and creation of the “Slimline” seats?

Sat Dec 29, 2018 4:31 am

I have had this thought bouncing around in my head for a long time, but I was too sheepish to start a thread until now.

I realize that Economy Class seats have been going through changes over the years, and rather slowly until we are where we are today. (Makes me think of the frog in a pot of water...who won’t hop out as the temperature rises and, ultimately the poor frog notices too late)

Once upon a time, I’m going to guess easily over 10 years ago, an Economy Class seat had a few inches of cushion and decent, comfortable headrests and a recline you could actually feel.

Then about 15 years ago, I flew from EWR to LAS I noticed that my Continental seat wasn’t much more than the old checkered cloth seat that was basically just very taught fabric around a metal frame- IF there was cushioning on the back, I certainly didn’t feel it. It was extremely uncomfortable and made a 3.5 hour trip seem much longer. But, then I never got a “slimline” again for a long while.

Today, it seems like slimlines are the norm, (is this a US thing, or are the world’s other reputable airlines using them too?) It seems they have improved the slim seat design in terms of comfort a “bit”- but when and how did the transition start, how much change has occurred since the first generation and which airlines (US or other) were the first to fully embrace them?
How have seat designers/manufacturers worked over the years to innovate and complete for “best slimline design” to become the best supplier?
And last: what airline has the best, most comfortable slimline for Economy?
Thanks for any insights or stories!
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!
To Most the Sky is The Limit, For me, the Sky is Home.
 
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FlightLevel360
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Re: The history and creation of the “Slimline” seats?

Sat Dec 29, 2018 4:47 am

I have seen some extremely thin slimlines in Europe as everyone strives to become an ULCC. Same with China; new deliveries of narrowbody aircraft feature very bare-bones seats.

The slimline seat is such a complicated topic of discussion so I'll just go ahead and offer some of my favorite seat models:
- Recaro CL3710 (very common on longhaul aircraft nowadays)
- B/E Aerospace Pinnacle/Meridian/Aspire (a staple of narrowbody and some widebody aircraft now)
- Vector Y+ (only on CX A35K to my knowledge)

I highly dislike seats like LIFT by Encore (LOT 7M8) as well as the Recaro BL3530 because these are just too thin for my comfort and honestly are nothing more than ironing boards repurposed as airplane seats.
To me, it will always be:
- Bombardier CSeries
- Airbus A321neoLR and A321neoXLR
- EMBRACER ERJ-170, ERJ-175, ERJ-190, and ERJ-195
- MITSUBUSHI MRJ

Anti narrowbody-long range-twinjet gang. Long live the A380 and 747!
 
MrBretz
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Re: The history and creation of the “Slimline” seats?

Sat Dec 29, 2018 6:10 am

I think UA has the Recaro BL seats on their A320s. It is torture in economy but passable in economy+ especially if no one is next to you.
 
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flyingclrs727
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Re: The history and creation of the “Slimline” seats?

Sat Dec 29, 2018 6:48 am

I don't understand why the seat cushions of slimline seats have to be so skimpy on padding. The seat cushion bears most of the weight of passengers. Making them thinner does nothing to increase the seating density of the plane. I have had back surgery and really don't like slimline seats on long haul flights.
 
spacecadet
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Re: The history and creation of the “Slimline” seats?

Sat Dec 29, 2018 7:23 am

flyingclrs727 wrote:
I don't understand why the seat cushions of slimline seats have to be so skimpy on padding.


No doubt they save 3 or 4 cents on the cost of the cushion. The bean counters will tell you that with 200 seats on an airplane and hundreds of planes in the fleet, that adds up to "meaningful cost savings".
I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
 
questions
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Re: The history and creation of the “Slimline” seats?

Sat Dec 29, 2018 7:34 am

VC10er wrote:
Then about 15 years ago, I flew from EWR to LAS I noticed that my Continental seat wasn’t much more than the old checkered cloth seat that was basically just very taught fabric around a metal frame- IF there was cushioning on the back, I certainly didn’t feel it. It was extremely uncomfortable and made a 3.5 hour trip seem much longer. But, then I never got a “slimline” again for a long while.


I remember those CO seats! And that was at a time when CO was suppose to be such a great airline. They absolutely were nothing more that CO’s signature fabric stretched over a metal seat. Awful!
 
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christao17
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Re: The history and creation of the “Slimline” seats?

Sat Dec 29, 2018 7:37 am

What is interesting is that I have a brochure of seat maps that UA gave to customers back in the early 80s, about the same time the 757 and 767 entered the fleet. The seat pitch for Y class is 35-36" - the same (or more!) than Y+ these days. Of course, seat padding was much thicker back then so the real leg room may not have been considerably more than it is today.
More than a dozen years flying in and around Asia...
 
tpaewr
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Re: The history and creation of the “Slimline” seats?

Sat Dec 29, 2018 8:12 am

questions wrote:
VC10er wrote:
Then about 15 years ago, I flew from EWR to LAS I noticed that my Continental seat wasn’t much more than the old checkered cloth seat that was basically just very taught fabric around a metal frame- IF there was cushioning on the back, I certainly didn’t feel it. It was extremely uncomfortable and made a 3.5 hour trip seem much longer. But, then I never got a “slimline” again for a long while.


I remember those CO seats! And that was at a time when CO was suppose to be such a great airline. They absolutely were nothing more that CO’s signature fabric stretched over a metal seat. Awful!




Another example of race to the bottom (which is driven by consumers NOT airlines) today on the rarest occasion I see those old CO fabric seat it is such a relief. Even the odd ball grey slim lines on the 320 are better than that God foresaken “signature” seat that is spreading like the plague.

sUA had those nice tan seats too, I was very impressed by the Y seat on the old UA 777. But they will all be ripped our soon too. For slim line 3X4X3 because CHEAP is what people want.

The public didn’t want AA’s Room through out coach, they didn’t want CO “meals at meal time” or at least they didn’t want pay a nickel extra for them. The flying public has brought all of this on themselves.
 
tpaewr
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Re: The history and creation of the “Slimline” seats?

Sat Dec 29, 2018 8:17 am

questions wrote:
VC10er wrote:
Then about 15 years ago, I flew from EWR to LAS I noticed that my Continental seat wasn’t much more than the old checkered cloth seat that was basically just very taught fabric around a metal frame- IF there was cushioning on the back, I certainly didn’t feel it. It was extremely uncomfortable and made a 3.5 hour trip seem much longer. But, then I never got a “slimline” again for a long while.


I remember those CO seats! And that was at a time when CO was suppose to be such a great airline. They absolutely were nothing more that CO’s signature fabric stretched over a metal seat. Awful!




Continetal was a great airline and it was about much more than seats. But don’t take my word for it.


Ignore the article, read the comments. Those are real pax. Does any airline today get that from its pax??

https://www.elliott.org/blog/is-contine ... y-carrier/
 
debonair
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Re: The history and creation of the “Slimline” seats?

Sat Dec 29, 2018 9:32 am

VC10er wrote:
Today, it seems like slimlines are the norm, (is this a US thing, or are the world’s other reputable airlines using them too?) It seems they have improved the slim seat design in terms of comfort a “bit”- but when and how did the transition start, how much change has occurred since the first generation and which airlines (US or other) were the first to fully embrace them?


I think the forerunner of slimline seats was JET2, which is still today basically a camping chair.
The best improvement award goes to German company ZIM and swiss - the fixture for the table is in the centre, giving extra space for the knees.
 
parapente
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Re: The history and creation of the “Slimline” seats?

Sat Dec 29, 2018 9:46 am

I would like to strongly endorse 'flyingclrs727's point.It is imho a very good one.
The weight of a human body falls primarily on the seat cushion not the backrest.It is ( on the whole) your ass that gets 'numb bum'.As he states the seat cushion does not effect legroom in any way.So yes why not a decent seat cushion??
As for the back upright -well on short journeys I am not so sure it matters that much.It certainly 'buys' the airline 2" over earlier seats which obviously adds up over the length of an LCC.
It is time that a new type of measurement was introduced btw.Historically it has been to the back of the upright thus assuming the padding is always identical.Obviously today it's not.So a slimline ( backed) seat at say 29" is actually identical in terms of legroom to an 'old' 31" pitch.
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: The history and creation of the “Slimline” seats?

Sat Dec 29, 2018 10:49 am

flyingclrs727 wrote:
I don't understand why the seat cushions of slimline seats have to be so skimpy on padding. The seat cushion bears most of the weight of passengers. Making them thinner does nothing to increase the seating density of the plane. I have had back surgery and really don't like slimline seats on long haul flights.


It might not increase the density, but it does reduce weight. Slimline seats are known to weigh very little, not even half as much as a traditional seat. In an aircraft everything is about weight reduction, so this makes sense. Also some models of slimline seats cannot be reclined, the seat backs are fixed in their position. The reclining mechanism also weighs quite a bit, so by leaving this out they reduce weight even further.

I agree some older models slimline seats are not very comfortable, but most of the newer ones are.
 
aviationaware
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Re: The history and creation of the “Slimline” seats?

Sat Dec 29, 2018 10:52 am

spacecadet wrote:
flyingclrs727 wrote:
I don't understand why the seat cushions of slimline seats have to be so skimpy on padding.


No doubt they save 3 or 4 cents on the cost of the cushion. The bean counters will tell you that with 200 seats on an airplane and hundreds of planes in the fleet, that adds up to "meaningful cost savings".


As a finance professional I am undoubtedly among those you are disparaging as beancounters here. Let me just tell you that the real beancounters are the customers who are largely unwilling to pay for more comfort. The airline industry is competitive these days, the age of government monopolies is over.
 
Bongodog1964
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Re: The history and creation of the “Slimline” seats?

Sat Dec 29, 2018 10:52 am

parapente wrote:
I would like to strongly endorse 'flyingclrs727's point.It is imho a very good one.
The weight of a human body falls primarily on the seat cushion not the backrest.It is ( on the whole) your ass that gets 'numb bum'.As he states the seat cushion does not effect legroom in any way.So yes why not a decent seat cushion??
As for the back upright -well on short journeys I am not so sure it matters that much.It certainly 'buys' the airline 2" over earlier seats which obviously adds up over the length of an LCC.
It is time that a new type of measurement was introduced btw.Historically it has been to the back of the upright thus assuming the padding is always identical.Obviously today it's not.So a slimline ( backed) seat at say 29" is actually identical in terms of legroom to an 'old' 31" pitch.


Fully agree, seat pitch is only relevant to the person designing the interior layout of the plane, the two important dimensions are the distance between the front face of one seat and the back of the seat in front, and the distance between the front to back length of the seat cushion. They define the comfort of your flight.
 
VC10er
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Re: The history and creation of the “Slimline” seats?

Sat Dec 29, 2018 7:05 pm

The time, many years ago, when I had that stretched fabric seat on CO, it was indeed during the era when CO was a very loved airline. Continental was my 2nd airline of choice after United. But for one single reason: UA’s old recliner business class seat was much more comfortable than CO’s BF seat. (IMHO!) It was ergonomically perfect, with the best recline of almost any other airline. It was 80% a bed with the footrest up. Yes, CO was better than UA better on board service and food, nicer looking interiors, but for me, sleep and comfort was my paramount concern.
Given CO’s stellar reputation I was flabbergasted at how BAD that Y seat was.
Was it the old great Continental the airline that was the catalyst for “slimline” seats in the USA? Example: did CO test them out first, saw great financial benefits and yet they did not tarnish CO’s amazing reputation- sparking others to follow suit?
I loved the OLD rainbow Y seats on UA and recall that I was comfortable enough to fly many hours in them.
I’ve only sat in the new UA Y seat a few times, but on very short flights, for 2 hours it’s ok. From LAX to Tahiti- NO WAY! I can’t even imagine the torture of a middle slimline seat for 16-18 hour flights. It would require taking a lot of Xanax!
Although the back of the latest slimlines (with the TV and table) actually look much nicer than prior versions from an aesthetic standpoint.
So, having seen that the “look” of a slimline is now better designed, I was wondering which airline (US or international) has the best. Eg: what does Singapore or Qatar or LH/LX use for Y?
Does Delta have a superior Y seat than it’s peers?
To Most the Sky is The Limit, For me, the Sky is Home.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: The history and creation of the “Slimline” seats?

Sat Dec 29, 2018 7:17 pm

VC10er wrote:
Does Delta have a superior Y seat than it’s peers?


Don't presume that Delta (or AA, or UA) uses a single slimline seat. There's a big range of age, and of recentness of refurb across a very diverse fleet. But the question 'Why so little bottom cushion padding?' is a good one. Half an inch of foam across a rigid metal plate just doesn't do it for me.
 
ikramerica
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Re: The history and creation of the “Slimline” seats?

Sat Dec 29, 2018 7:30 pm

I loved everything about the old CO except the Y seat. But as silver, back then, getting upgraded wasn’t very hard, and at minimum I was in the exit row.

While I didn’t like UA service, their old Y seats were luxurious. Flew them to from Hawaii and was very comfortable for the whole flight. No PTV but I’m old enough that overhead movies don’t freak me out (as long as they are watchable).

What’s funny is that we are moving back to the very early days of aviation where seats are slings of fabric suspended between aluminum rails like a lawn chair.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
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FlyCaledonian
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Re: The history and creation of the “Slimline” seats?

Sat Dec 29, 2018 9:47 pm

It is happening in Europe as well. We - the consumer - want ever cheaper fares. Margins are reduced so the airlines want as many seats in the plane as possible. Slimlines help them do that. As others have said "perks" alone don't cut it such as MRTC on AA. Whilst people moan about BA going buy on board the truth is that a snack and a drink wasn't a selling point for those wanting a cheap city break. Even our charter airlines have had to go the same way. Gone are the he days of flying on holiday with Britannia (now TUI Airways) and getting a hot three course meal and inclusive drinks on a two hour flight to Majorca.

You can see the difference clearly by looking at BA's Gatwick A320s - 177 seats in all economy compared to 144 on their original A320s (now withdrawn) delivered 1988-1990. Partly that was due to more pitch - especially in the front part of the cabin. But they also had the converter seats that allowed them to switch from 3+3 to 2+3 with a flexible Club Europe cabin. Now the middle seat is blocked off (B and E) armrests adjusted to makes seats A, C, D and F slightly wider but with the bog standard pitch. The converter seats were pretty heavy due to the way the frames worked plus well padded. But equally it reflects a decline in Business Class travel in Europe. For example, in the 1990s BA's recently retired 767s could have a Club Europe cabin extending all the way back to door 3 on some popular business flights (the same on the long retired 757). But in their last cabin layout only the cabin between doors 1 and 2 could be configured for Club Europe.

I am 6ft 5 and slimline seats have got better in terms of improving my space with a 29" pitch but it's still tight whether I am flying British Airways (legacy) or Thomas Cook (charter).

Thomas Cook A321
Image
https://c1.staticflickr.com/6/5537/14413943542_1209e24a85_b.jpg

Image
https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3854/14227993269_ac7d4d560e_b.jpg

BA A320 with seats configured for Club Europe:
Image
https://cdn.businesstraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Side-view.jpg

For comparison here is the old Club Europe converter seat. Nicely padded ( always comfortable IMHO):
Image
https://travelupdate.boardingarea.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/IMG_2028.jpg
Let's Go British Caledonian!
 
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F737NG
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Re: The history and creation of the “Slimline” seats?

Sun Dec 30, 2018 12:09 am

Travelled this weekend for the first time on Ryanair's new slimline Zodiac seats.


Image

Image


Despite the extra pitch, they are the least comfortable seats I've been on during a European flight and was glad that it was only 1 hour on-board.

Slimline seats can be comfortable, just not these.
 
Ziyulu
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Re: The history and creation of the “Slimline” seats?

Sun Dec 30, 2018 12:25 am

That Club Europe middle seat is narrow. Do those seats sell at a discount?
 
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OA940
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Re: The history and creation of the “Slimline” seats?

Sun Dec 30, 2018 12:26 am

Look. The topic of comfort on these is higly subjective and up to each individual. I have heard both good and bad things about the exact same seat. Personally I've never had any discomfort on slimline seats (though I've only flown about 1h flights). I'm about to take my first FR flight as well late January so I guess I can experience a true LCC flight and have a comparison to everything else, but I doubt it'll be that uncomfortable for me.
A350/CSeries = bae
 
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FlightLevel360
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Re: The history and creation of the “Slimline” seats?

Sun Dec 30, 2018 12:38 am

MIflyer12 wrote:
VC10er wrote:
Does Delta have a superior Y seat than it’s peers?


Don't presume that Delta (or AA, or UA) uses a single slimline seat. There's a big range of age, and of recentness of refurb across a very diverse fleet. But the question 'Why so little bottom cushion padding?' is a good one. Half an inch of foam across a rigid metal plate just doesn't do it for me.


Delta uses the same seat (B/E Aerospace Pinnacle) across its narrowbody and widebody fleet. It's the same seat as UA, but with a screen.
To me, it will always be:
- Bombardier CSeries
- Airbus A321neoLR and A321neoXLR
- EMBRACER ERJ-170, ERJ-175, ERJ-190, and ERJ-195
- MITSUBUSHI MRJ

Anti narrowbody-long range-twinjet gang. Long live the A380 and 747!
 
b4thefall
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Re: The history and creation of the “Slimline” seats?

Sun Dec 30, 2018 12:55 am

As someone else touched on above, slimline seating has been a blessing for those of us who have occasion to fly on the euro LCCs or charter carriers who have always installed high density cabins.


I have flown many flights on EasyJet and Jet2 on their max capacity a319/20s and 733/8s. They feel like luxury compared to the 149 seat 733s and 180 seat A320s I used to travel on prior to the invention of the super slim line seating.


I vividly remember an agonising flight on an Airtours A320 from the UK to Turkey back in '99 (ish). My knees were jammed tight into the seat in front of me for the entire flight, and the person in front of me was quite irate that they couldnt recline their seat. On my recent EasyJet flight on one of their 186 seat A320s, i had enough room to move my legs comfortably in order to keep the circulation going. Yes, the seats are harder and they dont recline, but it is a price worth paying in my opinion. For the sake of comparison, i'm 6ft 1. YMMV
 
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FlyCaledonian
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Re: The history and creation of the “Slimline” seats?

Sun Dec 30, 2018 1:06 am

Ziyulu wrote:
That Club Europe middle seat is narrow. Do those seats sell at a discount?

It's not sold (the lack of an antimacassar is the giveaway). That is a photo from a BA 767 and shows the middle section of three seats converted for Club Europe. Essentially the two outer seats are pushed in, narrowing the middle seat and the middle armrests move as well. The two sets of two seats (by the window) will have been expanded to increase seat width, so the cabin switches from 2-3-2 to 2-2-2.

You can see the two window seats in the image below. The gap between the two seats shows they have been expanded for Club Europe use. As Euro Traveller there would be no gap. Conversely the middle seats would have a small gap between them when expanded for use as Euro Traveller, as can just be made out in the second image (all seats in Euro Traveller had no antimacassars on the headrests, hence this is a 2-3-2 layout).

Image
https://travelupdate.boardingarea.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/IMG_2033.jpg

Image
https://i.ytimg.com/vi/AKMU9xytNiU/maxresdefault.jpg

On the narrow body fleet the cabin went from 3-3 to 2-3 with the side reduced to 2 looking like in the picture whilst those on the three side were stretched apart to give more width.

Now it is just a 2-2 layout with the middle seat having a tray fitted across the armrest, which are also adjusted to increase the seat width. Less legroom than on the old seats but with the supposed advantage of all seats being window or aisle (the old layout had a middle seat on one side in narrowbody aircraft).

Adjusting the armrests and slotting on a tray table is a lot simpler then the old converter seats, which I think required a tool to operate the mechanism to expand/reduce the frames as appropriate. My understanding is that the frames were heavier than normal ones, plus were more expensive to maintain due to the moving parts. So you can see why moving to much lighter slimline seats would be an ad range plus cheaper from a maintenance point of view.
Let's Go British Caledonian!
 
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aerolimani
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Re: The history and creation of the “Slimline” seats?

Sun Dec 30, 2018 1:27 am

I think the poster's questions have been mostly answered, so I'll diverge a little.

I'll give you one MAJOR upside to the slimline seat: the solid back. In the old seats, people have a tendency to use the seat pocket to hold everything; water bottle, tablet, book, knitting, garbage, phone, backup battery, et cetera. I hate the way I can feel through the back of the seat, every time they shuffle stuff around in that pocket. When I'm trying to get some sleep, nothing is more certain to wake me up than that feeling. I also prefer not to have any screens. People poking away at the back of my seat is incredibly annoying.

As to the slimlines, I'll agree that the major problem is the bottom cushion, less so than the back. I travel with my own cushion, and I am always the envy of my seatmates. It really works for me. https://www.tetonsports.com/Cot-and-cam ... ushion.htm

Image
 
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intotheair
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Re: The history and creation of the “Slimline” seats?

Sun Dec 30, 2018 1:51 am

I am willing to bet money that 28" will become the standard pitch in narrowbody Y on the US legacies in 10 years' time. There was some backlash to AA's initial 737 MAX configuration that had some rows reduced to 29", but like the 10 abreast 777, I am sure the airlines will push through with it anyway, and consumers will have little choice but to get used to it or pay more.
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flyingclrs727
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Re: The history and creation of the “Slimline” seats?

Sun Dec 30, 2018 2:21 am

aviationaware wrote:
spacecadet wrote:
flyingclrs727 wrote:
I don't understand why the seat cushions of slimline seats have to be so skimpy on padding.


No doubt they save 3 or 4 cents on the cost of the cushion. The bean counters will tell you that with 200 seats on an airplane and hundreds of planes in the fleet, that adds up to "meaningful cost savings".


As a finance professional I am undoubtedly among those you are disparaging as beancounters here. Let me just tell you that the real beancounters are the customers who are largely unwilling to pay for more comfort. The airline industry is competitive these days, the age of government monopolies is over.


Well I am unwilling to buy tickets on any LH A380, because their Y seat for an 11 hour flight between FRA and IAH was horrible. I could not tell any difference between their short haul seats and long haul seats.
 
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FlightLevel360
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Re: The history and creation of the “Slimline” seats?

Sun Dec 30, 2018 2:57 am

intotheair wrote:
I am willing to bet money that 28" will become the standard pitch in narrowbody Y on the US legacies in 10 years' time. There was some backlash to AA's initial 737 MAX configuration that had some rows reduced to 29", but like the 10 abreast 777, I am sure the airlines will push through with it anyway, and consumers will have little choice but to get used to it or pay more.


I hope there is regulation that comes quickly that will deem 28 inches unacceptable for safety. Someone needs to step forward and solve the problem.
To me, it will always be:
- Bombardier CSeries
- Airbus A321neoLR and A321neoXLR
- EMBRACER ERJ-170, ERJ-175, ERJ-190, and ERJ-195
- MITSUBUSHI MRJ

Anti narrowbody-long range-twinjet gang. Long live the A380 and 747!
 
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Slug71
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Re: The history and creation of the “Slimline” seats?

Sun Dec 30, 2018 3:08 am

Unfortunately cost and weight have become the primary factors of seat design. And of course safety.
Comfort is the lowest priority now, and comes at a cost. Want more comfort, you'll have to shell out the extra cost for upgraded seats.

I have no clue on how the seats are made or designed, but with modern materials and design tools you'd think they could be better.

Formula 1 (and possibly others) seats are made to the driver. The shell is filled with those tiny styrofoam balls and then a resin is poured in. Or at least that's how they used to be done.
You'd think the seat manufacturers could round up a good number of people/employees of various shapes, sizes, and weights and create a number of 'shells'.
Take lazer profiles of the shells and then make a production shell using the common/average measurements. The cusion/foam then applied over that. At least in my mind it seems like it would add some level of comfort.
 
Prost
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Re: The history and creation of the “Slimline” seats?

Sun Dec 30, 2018 3:13 am

I’m not sure the year, but I’m fairly certain the date was 01 April.
 
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Re: The history and creation of the “Slimline” seats?

Sun Dec 30, 2018 4:41 am

I just bought a "cool memory foam" pad for my queen sized bed. Paid like $100 for it on Amazon; it's three inches thick. I'd love to see someone integrate something like that into an airplane seat.
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WALmsp
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Re: The history and creation of the “Slimline” seats?

Sun Dec 30, 2018 4:51 am

FlightLevel360 wrote:
intotheair wrote:
I am willing to bet money that 28" will become the standard pitch in narrowbody Y on the US legacies in 10 years' time. There was some backlash to AA's initial 737 MAX configuration that had some rows reduced to 29", but like the 10 abreast 777, I am sure the airlines will push through with it anyway, and consumers will have little choice but to get used to it or pay more.


I hope there is regulation that comes quickly that will deem 28 inches unacceptable for safety. Someone needs to step forward and solve the problem.


That's my biggest concern -- safety.
In memory of my Dad, Robert "Bob" Fenrich, WAL 1964-1979, MSP ONT LAX
 
OSL777FLYER
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Re: The history and creation of the “Slimline” seats?

Sun Dec 30, 2018 5:46 am

Slimline seats started to be quite common towards the end of the 2000's I'd say. Some airlines have horrible seats, then again some airlines like the former Air Berlin and current LH and EW have great slimline seats.

That being said, these seats are nice to sit in as long as the flights are not over 2.5 hours. Anything longer than that, they start to get uncomfortable.

Thankfully, I have not experienced slimline seats on long-haul yet, and if they come, I will stay away form the carriers that have them for as long as possible.

Living in Europe, we generally do not have flights longer than 3 hours, so fortunately we are not "stuck" with this problems like in the U.S. Although some exceptions are with airlines that fly to Tel Aviv, Beirut etc. Although I have never flown these sectors myself, I have read/heard from others who say that is in an ordeal to fly with these seats for that long.

The reason behind the seats are several. Yes, you can make 30 inches feel like 32. That is true.However, there is a maximum number of seats that an aircraft can take (wonder how long until airlines start to petition for that to be increased? Remember Ryanair wanting "half-standing" seats?). Therefore the main saving here is weight, which equals to less fuel which equals to cash saved. They say that one row of 3 seats can weigh as little as one single seat of the old style seats.

Although I understand airlines' need to be ever more profitable, there comes a point where enough is enough. Although, as some have mentioned, airlines do not necessarily care about that (e.g. 10 abreast B777).
 
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Slug71
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Re: The history and creation of the “Slimline” seats?

Sun Dec 30, 2018 4:38 pm

GEUltraFan9XGTF wrote:
I just bought a "cool memory foam" pad for my queen sized bed. Paid like $100 for it on Amazon; it's three inches thick. I'd love to see someone integrate something like that into an airplane seat.


I would think memory foam over a shell like I mentioned earlier should be pretty comfy. Or a hybrid foam / memory foam cushion. You have to keep in mind that the cushion is also a flotation device. I'm not sure how good the buoyancy of memory foam is. It's also heavy. So that's probably why it hasn't yet been used.
 
LH707330
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Re: The history and creation of the “Slimline” seats?

Sun Dec 30, 2018 7:31 pm

Arguably, slimline seats are the best increase in efficiency that we've seen in the last several decades. Depending on the aircraft, you get between 10-15% more seats with a weight saving to boot, that's basically like neo-ing the plane for a lot less money.
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: The history and creation of the “Slimline” seats?

Sun Dec 30, 2018 7:42 pm

Slug71 wrote:
GEUltraFan9XGTF wrote:
I just bought a "cool memory foam" pad for my queen sized bed. Paid like $100 for it on Amazon; it's three inches thick. I'd love to see someone integrate something like that into an airplane seat.


I would think memory foam over a shell like I mentioned earlier should be pretty comfy. Or a hybrid foam / memory foam cushion. You have to keep in mind that the cushion is also a flotation device. I'm not sure how good the buoyancy of memory foam is. It's also heavy. So that's probably why it hasn't yet been used.


And of course, how durable is it? How long will it last? If it's all ripped up after a month usage, it's worthless. It's got to be able to sustain some rough behaviour. People don't sit still in their seats, they're moving and shifting their butts. That takes a toll on the seat material, but some materials more than others.
 
MPadhi
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Re: The history and creation of the “Slimline” seats?

Sun Dec 30, 2018 7:59 pm

Slug71 wrote:
GEUltraFan9XGTF wrote:
I just bought a "cool memory foam" pad for my queen sized bed. Paid like $100 for it on Amazon; it's three inches thick. I'd love to see someone integrate something like that into an airplane seat.


I would think memory foam over a shell like I mentioned earlier should be pretty comfy. Or a hybrid foam / memory foam cushion. You have to keep in mind that the cushion is also a flotation device. I'm not sure how good the buoyancy of memory foam is. It's also heavy. So that's probably why it hasn't yet been used.


Memory foam also moulds to the body, reducing airflow and running a bit hotter. Might make the seat sweatier :?
 
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vhtje
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Re: The history and creation of the “Slimline” seats?

Sun Dec 30, 2018 11:54 pm

Slightly off topic but THE most comfortable seat I have ever had the pleasure to travel in was a recent RJ 787 flight in Club/business. The most padded seat with the softest leather. Really, really, enjoyable. My only wish is that had been a longer flight and overnight as I am sue it would have made a comfortable bed.

For the record the seats are the same B/E Aerospace Diamond seats as found on the AA transcon A321, but with thicker padding and white leather. It really is a special seat.
I only turn left when boarding aircraft. Well, mostly. All right, sometimes. OH OKAY - rarely.
 
UpNAWAy
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Re: The history and creation of the “Slimline” seats?

Mon Dec 31, 2018 12:29 am

intotheair wrote:
I am willing to bet money that 28" will become the standard pitch in narrowbody Y on the US legacies in 10 years' time. There was some backlash to AA's initial 737 MAX configuration that had some rows reduced to 29", but like the 10 abreast 777, I am sure the airlines will push through with it anyway, and consumers will have little choice but to get used to it or pay more.


I litteraly just got of AA 126 from Hong Kong in coach, it was not bad at all and my "bum" only started to feel it the last hour. I also travel with a cushion but never bothered to get it out of the overhead. Btw the thinnest and most uncomfortable seat I have ever seen was on a A319 Air France seat. Luckily the flight was only 1.5 hr.

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