Moderators: jsumali2, richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
User avatar
rjsampson
Topic Author
Posts: 450
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 12:00 am

What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 12:15 am

For the life of me: I don't understand why widebodies weren't configured as 3-3-3 from the outset. (?)

It's pretty obvious to the industry that not only is 3-3-3 more comfortable and easier for the crew to service -- but potentially having two passengers in order to exit/evacuate is unprecedented, and surely the safety implications would have been obvious?
"..your eyes will be forever turned skyward, for there.." yeah we know the DaVinci quote. Unfortunately, we're grounded :(
 
Iloveboeing
Posts: 466
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2005 11:02 am

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 12:22 am

I don’t really know, but my family and I flew on UA from IAD to CDG back in 2000 on their 772 and the 2-5-2 made it feel so cramped. I didn’t enjoy being in the middle section. But the fare was $300 round trip, so you can’t really argue with that!
 
IADCA
Posts: 2175
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:24 am

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 12:27 am

rjsampson wrote:
For the life of me: I don't understand why widebodies weren't configured as 3-3-3 from the outset. (?)

It's pretty obvious to the industry that not only is 3-3-3 more comfortable and easier for the crew to service -- but potentially having two passengers in order to exit/evacuate is unprecedented, and surely the safety implications would have been obvious?


2-5-2 makes a lot more sense in the context of 1970s and 1980s load factors than it does today. The middle of the 5 is an awful seat (trust me; I did a TATL in one with a bulkhead behind me, so I do know) but if you're only 85% full, then those seats are empty and every person either has a window, an aisle, or an empty seat next to them.
 
USAirALB
Posts: 2299
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2007 4:46 am

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 12:30 am

Besides that one middle seat in the middle section, I actually think 2-5-2 is superior personally because of the twin seats.

DL/UA/AA all had 2-5-2 on their 777s. DL was the first to shift to 3-3-3 around 2003~2005. UA began to switch around 2008 or so with the IPTE retrofit. AA only switched after the merger with US was announced and they immediately switched to 3-4-3.
RJ85, F70, E135, E140, E145, E70, E75, E90, CR2, CR7, CR9, 717, 732, 733, 734, 735, 73G, 738, 739, 744ER, 752, 753, 762, 772, 77E, 77W, 789, 319, 320, 321, 332, 333, 343, 359, 388
 
User avatar
RWA380
Posts: 5709
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 10:51 am

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 12:31 am

rjsampson wrote:
For the life of me: I don't understand why widebodies weren't configured as 3-3-3 from the outset. (?)

It's pretty obvious to the industry that not only is 3-3-3 more comfortable and easier for the crew to service -- but potentially having two passengers in order to exit/evacuate is unprecedented, and surely the safety implications would have been obvious?


It gave the carriers the opportunity to offer individual travelers & couples seating together, as well as being able to accomodate larger parties together like families, not that it's hard now. I am uncertain exactly why that changed, but I bet, as you mention, safety is the likely culprit.
707 717 720 727-1/2 737-1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 747-1/2/3/4 757-2/3 767-2/3/4 777-2/3 DC8 DC9 MD80/2/7/8 D10-1/3/4 M11 L10-1/2/5 A300/310/320
AA AC AQ AS BA BD BN CO CS DL EA EZ HA HG HP KL KN MP MW NK NW OZ PA PS QX RC RH RW SA TG TW UA US VS WA WC WN WP YS 8M
 
SpaceshipDC10
Posts: 6999
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:44 am

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 12:33 am

rjsampson wrote:
For the life of me: I don't understand why widebodies weren't configured as 3-3-3 from the outset. (?)


Probably because back then Y cabin was 2-2-2-2 configured. That is 2 seats, aisle, 2 seats, space, 2 seats, aisle and 2 seats. That middle space was certainly the reason of the 5 middle seats.

rjsampson wrote:
It's pretty obvious to the industry that not only is 3-3-3 more comfortable and easier for the crew to service -- but potentially having two passengers in order to exit/evacuate is unprecedented, and surely the safety implications would have been obvious?


Well if in a 2-5-2 you have one passenger per row that has to move two passengers in order to exit, in a 3-3-3 you have doubled the figure, and where you see it as unprecedented, it's been very common in widebodies to have two people between you and the aisle since the early days of the 747 and it's still continuing nowadays on other types.
 
steex
Posts: 1438
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 8:45 am

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 12:34 am

rjsampson wrote:
...potentially having two passengers in order to exit/evacuate is unprecedented, and surely the safety implications would have been obvious?


I don't mean to be flippant, but isn't that the case for twice as many people in a 3-3-3 configuration given that most people can't evacuate directly through their windows? The beauty of 2-5-2 was always that only one person in a row of nine had two other people between them and the aisle (and that person had two different routes to take if they so desired). While 3-3-3 may have better balance, that makes it so two people per row of nine have that situation.
 
User avatar
AirKevin
Posts: 619
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2017 2:18 am

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 12:47 am

rjsampson wrote:
It's pretty obvious to the industry that not only is 3-3-3 more comfortable and easier for the crew to service -- but potentially having two passengers in order to exit/evacuate is unprecedented, and surely the safety implications would have been obvious?

Slight problem. 747, A380, and nowadays, even the 777 are 3-4-3, so you would still have this issue regarding evacuation. Also, the 737, 757, and A320 are 3-3, so same problem there. The people at the window seat mostly can't evacuate through the window with the exception of the 2-4 that are sitting at an overwing emergency exit.
Captain Kevin
 
CALMSP
Posts: 3220
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2003 3:18 am

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 12:59 am

Flew UA LaX-HNL years ago on the 2-5-2 and this family of 4 loved having the full row of five together. But 5 individual pax would suck.
 
DenverTed
Posts: 475
Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2019 11:12 pm

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 1:00 am

For the early 9x configurations, the DC-10s and L1011 went from 2-4-2 to 2-5-2, and the 747s started at 3-4-2, which was nice, but asymmetrical.
 
Ziyulu
Posts: 895
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2016 10:35 am

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 1:19 am

I'm not understanding why the OP said it is safer to have 3-3-3? In 3-3-3, two pax per row have to climb over two people, while in 2-5-2, only one climbs, and he has a choice on which way to go.

When I flew on AA from ORD to PVG in 2010, I was in the middle seat of 5. After I got served food on one side, I hit up another flight attendant that was coming down the other side. I appreciated having twice the food and drinks.

If I were configuring an airline, I would put 2-5-2 in the first section of a 777, and 3-3-3 in the second section, that way, we can accommodate various family sizes.
 
tharanga
Posts: 440
Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 3:29 am

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 1:21 am

I disliked the L1011 because of the middle 5, and I'm actually amazed in hindsight that airlines carried that configuration over to more modern aircraft.
 
IADCA
Posts: 2175
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:24 am

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 1:37 am

RWA380 wrote:
rjsampson wrote:
For the life of me: I don't understand why widebodies weren't configured as 3-3-3 from the outset. (?)

It's pretty obvious to the industry that not only is 3-3-3 more comfortable and easier for the crew to service -- but potentially having two passengers in order to exit/evacuate is unprecedented, and surely the safety implications would have been obvious?


It gave the carriers the opportunity to offer individual travelers & couples seating together, as well as being able to accomodate larger parties together like families, not that it's hard now. I am uncertain exactly why that changed, but I bet, as you mention, safety is the likely culprit.


IFE was a big part of it. IFE underseat modules were designed to service no more than 3 seats. 3-3-3 means one fewer box - less cost, less weight.
 
User avatar
DL_Mech
Posts: 2488
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2000 7:48 am

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 1:38 am

tharanga wrote:
I disliked the L1011 because of the middle 5, and I'm actually amazed in hindsight that airlines carried that configuration over to more modern aircraft.


Was 3-3-3 even offered on the 777 to early customers? Anyone know the first airline with it?
This plane is built to withstand anything... except a bad pilot.
 
TTailedTiger
Posts: 2493
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2018 5:19 am

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 1:54 am

DL_Mech wrote:
tharanga wrote:
I disliked the L1011 because of the middle 5, and I'm actually amazed in hindsight that airlines carried that configuration over to more modern aircraft.


Was 3-3-3 even offered on the 777 to early customers? Anyone know the first airline with it?


Weren't Continental's 777 always 3-3-3? I heard that's why Delta switched to 3-3-3 because they were in Skyteam with Continental.
 
User avatar
TheFlyingDisk
Posts: 2105
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2008 12:43 pm

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 2:34 am

I actually liked the 2-5-2 arrangement, especially if it's an empty flight.

The one time I flew on MH's 777, I managed to score a whole row of 5 to myself. It was a good ride, I tell you.
I FLY KLM+ALASKA+QATAR+MALAYSIA+AIRASIA+MALINDO
 
AAIL86
Posts: 463
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 6:00 am

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 2:56 am

USAirALB wrote:
Besides that one middle seat in the middle section, I actually think 2-5-2 is superior personally because of the twin seats.

DL/UA/AA all had 2-5-2 on their 777s. DL was the first to shift to 3-3-3 around 2003~2005. UA began to switch around 2008 or so with the IPTE retrofit. AA only switched after the merger with US was announced and they immediately switched to 3-4-3.


Correct. If you're traveling alone, it hardly matters. It you travel with a friend, partner, colleague, etc, the 2 block is significantly more comfortable. Also why the MD-80/90 / 717 / A220 are awesome.
The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason - Benjamim Franklin
 
USAirALB
Posts: 2299
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2007 4:46 am

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 3:01 am

TTailedTiger wrote:
DL_Mech wrote:
tharanga wrote:
I disliked the L1011 because of the middle 5, and I'm actually amazed in hindsight that airlines carried that configuration over to more modern aircraft.


Was 3-3-3 even offered on the 777 to early customers? Anyone know the first airline with it?


Weren't Continental's 777 always 3-3-3? I heard that's why Delta switched to 3-3-3 because they were in Skyteam with Continental.

Correct. As I said above CO was the only US carrier with 3-3-3 from the get-go. New DL 777 deliveries post 2002 had 3-3-3 and other 777s were reconfigured. I don't know if CO was the specific reason, though.

I believe BA was always 3-3-3, and AF initially was 3-3-3- as well.
RJ85, F70, E135, E140, E145, E70, E75, E90, CR2, CR7, CR9, 717, 732, 733, 734, 735, 73G, 738, 739, 744ER, 752, 753, 762, 772, 77E, 77W, 789, 319, 320, 321, 332, 333, 343, 359, 388
 
paulduwon
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2018 3:29 am

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 3:13 am

Not a 777, but when MD-11 flew passengers commercially, they also had 2-5-2 configuration. I remember how god-awful it was to fly in that very central seat on DL's NRT-ATL flight. Back then, there wasn't even an IFE!

But back to 777s, is it just me, or does anyone else thought ANA's 2-4-3 was one of the best seating arrangements?
Ideal for families, groups, single travellers, and couples. I thought it was an everybody-wins configuration.
 
User avatar
NWAROOSTER
Posts: 1336
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2005 2:29 pm

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 3:28 am

The only nice thing about the 2-5-2 arrangement was that on the red eye flights it usually had a number of open rows in the center group and you could flip up all the seat arms and actually lay down. :old:
Procrastination Is The Theft Of Time.......
 
cschleic
Posts: 1806
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2002 10:47 pm

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 3:38 am

What were really nice were the KLM MD-11s that were 2-4-3. Lots of variety. In the 3 row, you could get a single on one side and a couple on the other with an empty in between.
 
questions
Posts: 2337
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:51 am

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 4:36 am

cschleic wrote:
What were really nice were the KLM MD-11s that were 2-4-3. Lots of variety. In the 3 row, you could get a single on one side and a couple on the other with an empty in between.


2-4-3 was also on early 747’s.

Other than previous IFE requirement and desire for less complexity, I don’t understand why it was not more popular. Now that IFE technology is changing, e.g., DL streaming, why not 2-4-3 on the A350?
 
Jet-lagged
Posts: 908
Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2002 11:58 pm

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 4:55 am

2-5-2 used to be pretty common.

Fortunately I flew that DC-10 middle seat only once, and it was a short hop between two cities in Texas.
 
directorguy
Posts: 1403
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 10:58 am

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 5:57 am

EgyptAir used to have 3-4-2 on their 772s. Ideal as different group sizes could be accomodated.
 
deltairlines
Posts: 7083
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 4:47 am

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 6:12 am

Give me 2-5-2 as a single traveler everyday of the week. As a window seat person, that meant only one person to climb over to get to the aisle for those times I was stuck in coach.
 
User avatar
rjsampson
Topic Author
Posts: 450
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 12:00 am

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 6:37 am

Ziyulu wrote:
I'm not understanding why the OP said it is safer to have 3-3-3? In 3-3-3, two pax per row have to climb over two people, while in 2-5-2, only one climbs, and he has a choice on which way to go.


I was *assuming* (perhaps incorrectly, thereby making an @$$ of U + me) that 3-3-3 is safer than 2-5-2 specifically for FAA evacuation requirements, which are based on 100% load factor. I was thinking strictly about the middle seat, needing to evacuate, in either direction (perhaps directly laterally): Two passengers, an aisle, two more passengers, then window/door (i.e. 4 seats in either direction) whereas 3-3-3 would be 3 seats in either direction.

Bad assumption? Thoughts anyone?
Last edited by rjsampson on Wed Mar 11, 2020 6:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
"..your eyes will be forever turned skyward, for there.." yeah we know the DaVinci quote. Unfortunately, we're grounded :(
 
YIMBY
Posts: 723
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2016 4:32 pm

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 6:39 am

deltairlines wrote:
Give me 2-5-2 as a single traveler everyday of the week. As a window seat person, that meant only one person to climb over to get to the aisle for those times I was stuck in coach.


Me too. Also when travelling with spouse/friend or family. It is quite rare to travel with a group of 3. Every single time in a row of 5 seat (with a group smaller than 5) there has been an empty seat.
 
BR777
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:54 am

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 6:40 am

3-3-3 will need only 1 type of seat and on top of IFE boxes that would probably save some complexities.

However I normally travel solo or with my partner and mostly TPAC, so 2-5-2 would have been ideal. Now it's only down to 3-3-3 (787 / A350) or 3-4-3 (777), which none are particularly attractive when I'm stuck at the back of the bus :(

Gosh I missed A340s with 2-4-2!
 
vegas005
Posts: 316
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2005 12:25 am

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 7:19 am

rjsampson wrote:
For the life of me: I don't understand why widebodies weren't configured as 3-3-3 from the outset. (?)

It's pretty obvious to the industry that not only is 3-3-3 more comfortable and easier for the crew to service -- but potentially having two passengers in order to exit/evacuate is unprecedented, and surely the safety implications would have been obvious?



3-3-3 is the worst long haul configuration in the business today...i hate it ..
 
smi0006
Posts: 2565
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 7:45 am

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 7:28 am

Was 2-5-2 ever adopted outside the US?
 
cedarjet
Posts: 8802
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 1:12 am

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 7:49 am

2-5-2 is far superior, as pointed out above, the middle seat is the only seat that’s two seats from the aisle, and you have a choice of which way out, whereas 3-3-3 has two seats that are two seats away from the aisle, and there’s only one way out. Plus couples are the most usual group, and in 3-3-3 they’re always joined by a stranger.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
bananaboy
Posts: 1678
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2004 6:58 am

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 7:54 am

smi0006 wrote:
Was 2-5-2 ever adopted outside the US?


Yes. Air China, Cathay Pacific and Malaysian are amongst those who used it.
All my life, I've been kissing, your top lip 'cause your bottom one's missing
 
Max Q
Posts: 8415
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 7:56 am

It does minimize the number of middle seats however if you’re in that middle it’s a special kind of claustrophobic hell


On a couple of occasions I had the whole 5 seat row to myself, what a delight, stretched out as far as I wanted with no aisle cart bumping and I slept for hours
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
b4thefall
Posts: 94
Joined: Wed May 04, 2016 7:12 pm

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 8:39 am

I was unfortunate enough to once be stuck in the middle seat of a fully loaded Rich International L1011. MCO-YQX-BFS. Thank goodness for the refueling stop in Gander, where I was able to get off the aircraft and stretch my legs.
 
EL-AL
Posts: 1476
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2001 8:29 am

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 9:44 am

smi0006 wrote:
Was 2-5-2 ever adopted outside the US?

Transaero of Russia, used ex-UA airplanes.
every day is a good day to fly
 
raylee67
Posts: 885
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:06 pm

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 9:53 am

DenverTed wrote:
For the early 9x configurations, the DC-10s and L1011 went from 2-4-2 to 2-5-2, and the 747s started at 3-4-2, which was nice, but asymmetrical.


KLM's MD11 has 3-4-2 config till the very end. But I think it's the only carrier going with 3-4-2 on MD11. The others are all 2-5-2 or 3-3-3.
319/20/21 332/33 342/43/45 359/51 388 707 717 732/36/3G/38/39 74R/42/43/44/4E/48 757 762/63 772/7L/73/7W 788/89 D10 M80 135/40/45 175/90 DH1/4 CRJ/R7 L10
AY LH OU SR BA FI LX
AA DL UA NW AC CP WS FL NK PD
CI NH SQ KA CX JL BR OZ TG KE CA CZ NZ JQ RS
 
raylee67
Posts: 885
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:06 pm

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 9:59 am

smi0006 wrote:
Was 2-5-2 ever adopted outside the US?


Almost all DC10 worldwide ended up with 2-5-2. Most MD11 started with 2-5-2 too. Some early deliveries 772 also started with 2-5-2. But usually when the 772 and MD11 were retrofitted with the airlines' updated products, they move to 3-3-3.
319/20/21 332/33 342/43/45 359/51 388 707 717 732/36/3G/38/39 74R/42/43/44/4E/48 757 762/63 772/7L/73/7W 788/89 D10 M80 135/40/45 175/90 DH1/4 CRJ/R7 L10
AY LH OU SR BA FI LX
AA DL UA NW AC CP WS FL NK PD
CI NH SQ KA CX JL BR OZ TG KE CA CZ NZ JQ RS
 
AleksW
Posts: 103
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:18 pm

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 10:33 am

smi0006 wrote:
Was 2-5-2 ever adopted outside the US?

Finnair had 2-5-2 on their MD-11 too. Not sure if it was modified closed to its retirement, but in the early 2000 it was 2-5-2.
 
User avatar
VirginFlyer
Posts: 5571
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2000 12:27 pm

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 10:35 am

Comparing 2-5-2 and 3-3-3 from a desirability perspective:
  • If you take just aisle seats as desirable, then 2-5-2 is superior, since 8/9 passengers in a row are in an aisle seat, or one seat away from the aisle, whereas in 3-3-3 only 7/9 are in an aisle seat or one seat away from the aisle.
  • If you take aisle and window seats as equally desirable, then 3-3-3 is superior since all passengers are no more than one seat away from either an aisle or a window, compared to 8/9 passengers being no more than one seat away from an aisle or window in 2-5-2.
  • However, 3-4-2 is the best - all seats are no more than one seat from an aisle or window (the advantage of 3-3-3), and 8/9 seats are no more than one seat away from an aisle (the advantage of 2-5-2), plus it allows for different group sizes to be accommodated more easily.

On the downside, 3-3-3 only requires one type of shipset of seats, whereas 2-5-2 requires two types, and 3-4-2 requires three types.

I do hope 3-4-2 makes a comeback however - it seems the best of the bunch.

V/F
It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens. —Bahá'u'lláh
 
workhorse
Posts: 796
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2005 11:35 pm

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 10:35 am

In today's world of Economy Plus and Economy Minus, 2-5-2 could make a whole lot of sense.

Put Economy Minus seats into the middle block of 5 with tight pitch and Economy Plus on the sides with bigger pitch. This way, Y+ pax will have either a window or an aisle AND better legroom.
 
SpaceshipDC10
Posts: 6999
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:44 am

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 10:38 am

raylee67 wrote:
KLM's MD11 has 3-4-2 config till the very end. But I think it's the only carrier going with 3-4-2 on MD11.


I believe about ten years before their retirement, they were reconfigured to 3-3-3.
 
User avatar
DLHAM
Posts: 512
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2016 1:10 am

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 10:38 am

Oh routes with many couples and families and not only business travelers thats a great configuration. You have the 2 seats for couples, and the middle section for a family of 3 and a couple, or a family of 4 and a individual, or a family of 5. On 3-3-3 a family of 4, which are not too uncommon, always has to be separated 3-1 or 2-2. Also with couples you always have a single seat left.
My Instagram Account: Instagram
 
CURQ400
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 10:29 am

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 10:50 am

rjsampson wrote:
Ziyulu wrote:
I'm not understanding why the OP said it is safer to have 3-3-3? In 3-3-3, two pax per row have to climb over two people, while in 2-5-2, only one climbs, and he has a choice on which way to go.


I was *assuming* (perhaps incorrectly, thereby making an @$$ of U + me) that 3-3-3 is safer than 2-5-2 specifically for FAA evacuation requirements, which are based on 100% load factor. I was thinking strictly about the middle seat, needing to evacuate, in either direction (perhaps directly laterally): Two passengers, an aisle, two more passengers, then window/door (i.e. 4 seats in either direction) whereas 3-3-3 would be 3 seats in either direction.

Bad assumption? Thoughts anyone?


Sorry, man. What you’re saying doesn’t make much sense. (Or you’re not conveying it very well.)

For starters, that second set of passengers you’re talking about climbing over aren’t there, as there aren’t are seats in front of the exits on these planes, you waltz right out of the full sized exit doors.

You shouldn’t be “climbing over” any passengers either, as they will have left the seats, you’re only climbing over seats.

Using your thinking, the person on the window side of a 3-3-3 configuration would also have to climb over 2 people to get to the aisle and then another 2 people to get to the exit, still making 3-3-3 “unsafer.” (Though I find both plenty safe.)

SpaceshipDC10 wrote:
raylee67 wrote:
KLM's MD11 has 3-4-2 config till the very end. But I think it's the only carrier going with 3-4-2 on MD11.


I believe about ten years before their retirement, they were reconfigured to 3-3-3.

Indeed, KL’s MD-11 were definitely 3-3-3.
 
kapnoc4389
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:19 pm

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 10:56 am

I only had the chance to fly in 2-5-2 once with my wife. We flew Moscow-Miami with Transaero back in the day and we had two of the 3 middle seats. Needless to say it was a terrible experience.
 
MIflyer12
Posts: 8020
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:58 pm

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 11:09 am

cedarjet wrote:
2-5-2 is far superior, as pointed out above, the middle seat is the only seat that’s two seats from the aisle, and you have a choice of which way out, whereas 3-3-3 has two seats that are two seats away from the aisle, and there’s only one way out.


And jet 10,000+ 737/757/32X narrowbodies are in operation with window seats two seats from the aisle.

The performance standard is evacuation time, not 'How many seats from the aisle are you?'
 
oldannyboy
Posts: 2571
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 8:28 am

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 11:34 am

AleksW wrote:
smi0006 wrote:
Was 2-5-2 ever adopted outside the US?

Finnair had 2-5-2 on their MD-11 too. Not sure if it was modified closed to its retirement, but in the early 2000 it was 2-5-2.


Finnair also had a good number of MD-11s in higher density config with 3-4-3
 
airbazar
Posts: 10157
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2003 11:12 pm

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 11:53 am

Max Q wrote:
It does minimize the number of middle seats however if you’re in that middle it’s a special kind of claustrophobic hell

It has the same exact number of middle seats: 3 per row.
What it minimizes is: the number of seats more than 1 seat away from the aisle, the AVOD equipment, seat complexity, and weight.
The 3-3-3 also allows for larger overhead storage bins on the window sides as with 3 seats the bins can be extended further without protruding over the aisle.
Having said that, the loss of the 2-seat cluster was a big loss but it's making a come back in the form of premium economy.
 
Kno
Posts: 547
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:08 pm

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 12:24 pm

rjsampson wrote:
For the life of me: I don't understand why widebodies weren't configured as 3-3-3 from the outset. (?)

It's pretty obvious to the industry that not only is 3-3-3 more comfortable and easier for the crew to service -- but potentially having two passengers in order to exit/evacuate is unprecedented, and surely the safety implications would have been obvious?


Not sure how 3-3-3 is more comfortable, safer or easier to service? With 3-3-3 you have 2 people in every row that need to climb over 2 people to get to the isle. With 2-5-2 you only have 1. Further more 3 is typically an unusual number to travel with - couples and individuals and families are more likely - a couple or an individual benefits more from 2-5-2, as does a family with the middle 5. Let’s say the flight is not so full, 2-5-2 offers the opportunity to stretch out and nap in the 5 row.

2-5-2 is an excellent configuration and it’s a shame that airlines did away with it.
 
Kno
Posts: 547
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:08 pm

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 12:26 pm

airbazar wrote:
Max Q wrote:
It does minimize the number of middle seats however if you’re in that middle it’s a special kind of claustrophobic hell

It has the same exact number of middle seats: 3 per row.
What it minimizes is: the number of seats more than 1 seat away from the aisle, the AVOD equipment, seat complexity, and weight.
The 3-3-3 also allows for larger overhead storage bins on the window sides as with 3 seats the bins can be extended further without protruding over the aisle.
Having said that, the loss of the 2-seat cluster was a big loss but it's making a come back in the form of premium economy.


I’m fairly certain the bin configuration is the same on 777s regardless of 2-5-2 or 3-3-3
 
Lukas757
Posts: 46
Joined: Sun May 08, 2016 11:59 pm

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 12:30 pm

rjsampson wrote:
Ziyulu wrote:
whereas 3-3-3 would be 3 seats in either direction.


I’m not 100% sure if I completely understand what you mean, but when evacuating only laterally in a 9-abrest Plane, you always have 4 seats in either direction if seated in the middle seat.

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos