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nomadic
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Northeast Airlines 'Seat And A Half'

Mon Apr 09, 2007 5:27 am

In late 1960s/early 1970s, just before the Northeast/Delta merger, NE had a successful promotion with their 'Seat And A Half'. On their 727s, if the flight was not full, a portion of the middle seat folded down to offer a divider as well as more room for those at the window and on the aisle. A few years later, TWA did the same thing on their 707s and 727s. The seat back became a table and the armrests folded up. Braniff also had something similar on the 727 fleet.

IIRC there were one or two other airlines with this type of configuration. Can anyone tell me who they might have been?


nomadic :?)
 
Airportguy1971
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RE: Northeast Airlines 'Seat And A Half'

Mon Apr 09, 2007 5:33 am

I think Frontier v1.0 had this feature on the 737.
 
AirlineBrat
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RE: Northeast Airlines 'Seat And A Half'

Mon Apr 09, 2007 6:00 am

United had that feature similar to that as well. Don't recall what aircraft type off hand as I was a real little kid back then. But I remember the upper half of the middle seat in a three+ seat cluster folded down. The back surface behind the head rest had a smooth hard plastic surface good for drinks and other personal items. The seat folded in a way that tray table was still available for the person sitting behind the folded seat.
I'm leavin on a jet plane. Don't know when I'll be back again....
 
nomadic
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RE: Northeast Airlines 'Seat And A Half'

Mon Apr 09, 2007 6:31 am

Quoting AirlineBrat (Reply 2):
The back surface behind the head rest had a smooth hard plastic surface good for drinks and other personal items. The seat folded in a way that tray table was still available for the person sitting behind the folded seat.

Thanks for the information. I did not know that United also had the fold down seats.

This is the exact set up that TWA had. I used to fly the 707's a lot between New York and Denver. I remember that even when the seats were folded down there was enough of the middle seat back remaining to provide privacy.

:?)
 
dutchjet
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RE: Northeast Airlines 'Seat And A Half'

Mon Apr 09, 2007 6:36 am

Many US carriers used these feature: the middle seat folded down like a console, the armrests could be raised, and a comfortable larger seat was created. It was very nice, the middle console was a convenient place for books and drinks. Of course, US airlines could offer these features in the 1960s and 1970s when fuel was very cheap, fares and yeilds were much higher, competition was regulated, and an airline needed a 55-60% load factor to make money. Braniff One, NE, TW and AA for sure had this feature, I am certain that there were others.

Such economy class accommodations are nothing more than history.....gone with F class lounges, 2-4-3 Y seating on 747s, Y class piano bars, economy class steak dinners and 34 inch pitch in coach. On the other hand, fares today are fraction of what they were in those times, when you adjust for the value of the dollar. You get what you pay for.

Sidenote: Accommodations such as the ones you are talking about is exactly what some European carriers do to create their Business Class cabins on short flights operated by narrow body aircraft.
 
jetjeanes
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RE: Northeast Airlines 'Seat And A Half'

Mon Apr 09, 2007 7:20 am

All seats will lay flat coming forward, if you have three abreast reach up at the top of the center seat and pull it down..
it will lie flat. some even have a small cup holder on the trayback,,,

you can walk through coach and fold every seat forward flat if you want.... but the f/a,s might get pissed...

now these new seats like emerites have in first class i know nothing about,,, Ive got a couple sets from an Ana 767 complete with the sound plug ins and light buttons and they all fold flat to about 2 ft tall..
i can see for 80 miles
 
Viscount724
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RE: Northeast Airlines 'Seat And A Half'

Mon Apr 09, 2007 9:01 am

Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 4):
Many US carriers used these feature: the middle seat folded down like a console, the armrests could be raised, and a comfortable larger seat was created. It was very nice, the middle console was a convenient place for books and drinks.

I always thought that was a gimmick that didn't serve much purpose. There was no need for the middle seat to fold down. In my experience that just reduced privacy because passengers in the row behind could see through the gap. If you wanted more space you could just fold up the armrests. And the empty seat was fine for books etc. And you could fold down the tray table in front of the empty middle seat for your drinks.

Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 4):
Sidenote: Accommodations such as the ones you are talking about is exactly what some European carriers do to create their Business Class cabins on short flights operated by narrow body aircraft.

Except I haven't seen any where the middle seat folds down. They just don't sell the middle seat which is all most people want. I prefer carriers that don't sell the middle seat (e.g. LX/LH/AF) than the very few remaining carriers like BA that still have convertible seats (6-abreast Y or 5-abreast C) as you still risk getting a middle seat on those. And you're closer to the passenger beside you in the 2-abreast side than in a 3-seat unit with the middle seat empty, but the 2-seat side on BA is definitely better than the 3-abreast side when they're part of the Club Europe cabin.
 
skyhawk
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RE: Northeast Airlines 'Seat And A Half'

Mon Apr 09, 2007 10:22 am

National,original, had this on their 727's for a while. Can't remember when we got them though.
 
luv2fly
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RE: Northeast Airlines 'Seat And A Half'

Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:19 am

The second coming of Braniff had that feature on there 727's.
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
rootsair
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RE: Northeast Airlines 'Seat And A Half'

Mon Apr 09, 2007 7:17 pm

Quoting Nomadic (Thread starter):
In late 1960s/early 1970s, just before the Northeast/Delta merger, NE had a successful promotion with their 'Seat And A Half'. On their 727s, if the flight was not full, a portion of the middle seat folded down to offer a divider as well as more room for those at the window and on the aisle. A few years later, TWA did the same thing on their 707s and 727s. The seat back became a table and the armrests folded up. Braniff also had something similar on the 727 fleet.

IIRC there were one or two other airlines with this type of configuration. Can anyone tell me who they might have been?

is there any picture somewhere about thsi. I can't really represent myself this seat and a half !

regards
BM
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longhauler
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RE: Northeast Airlines 'Seat And A Half'

Mon Apr 09, 2007 10:34 pm

Air Canada had those seats on their B727s and their DC-8s which were not fitted with Palomar seats; DC-8-53, DC-8-61 and DC-8-63s.

The seat back split in two, the forward half folded forward with arm rests fitted on the edges, and a table in the middle. The two inboard armrests folded up. The rear half stayed upright giving some privacy from the passengers behind you. The seat recline buttons for the two outboard seats were on the outboard arm rests.
Just because I stopped arguing, doesn't mean I think you are right. It just means I gave up!
 
nomadic
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RE: Northeast Airlines 'Seat And A Half'

Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:12 pm

Quoting JetJeanes (Reply 5):
you can walk through coach and fold every seat forward flat if you want.... but the f/a,s might get pissed...

On TWA flights, all middle seats were folded down when passengers boarded. They would be put up only if a pasenger was assigned to the middle. I remember thinking that, with all of those seats down, before too many people had boarded , the entire Y cabin looked like First Class.
 
nomadic
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RE: Northeast Airlines 'Seat And A Half'

Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:19 pm

Quoting RootsAir (Reply 9):
is there any picture somewhere about thsi. I can't really represent myself this seat and a half !

I am trying to find some pictures to post.

There are photos of old advertisements on several TWA memorial sites. Also, If you can find a site with old airline timetables, there is a picture of the Northeast 'Seat & A Half' on the cover of several of their 1960s schedules.

I will see if I can post the links.

nomadic :?)
 
JFKPurser
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RE: Northeast Airlines 'Seat And A Half'

Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:22 pm

AA installed these seats on their 707 and 727 Luxury Jets when they converted them with widebody-type interiors with enclosed OHBs in about 1973. Braniff did the same thing to their 727s.
 
luv2fly
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RE: Northeast Airlines 'Seat And A Half'

Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:33 pm

here it is.....


Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


You can cut the irony with a knife
 
AA787823
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RE: Northeast Airlines 'Seat And A Half'

Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:44 pm

This feature is also very similar to current inter-europe business class service. When I was on BA from LHR to FRA the seats were still three-three on an A320, but the middle on each side could be adjusted to either exist or not....but pitch remains the same. Kind of hard to describe if you have not seen it.
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nomadic
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RE: Northeast Airlines 'Seat And A Half'

Tue Apr 10, 2007 12:18 am

Thanks Luv2Fly

This is very similar to the TWA set up, and the others as well.

The major difference between this and Northeast was that the NE seatback did not actually fold down as shown here. The seat remained upright and an insert folded out and became the divider between windo and aisle. A little hard to visualize without a photo. I am still looking for one to post.

nomadic :?)
 
neednewairport
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RE: Northeast Airlines 'Seat And A Half'

Tue Apr 10, 2007 5:16 am

As an FA for a US airline, you are right that we might get pissed if you started doing this .... just like yesterday when a 14 year old kid hit every call button as he deplaned..... I digress. Yes, most seats do end up folding forward. I know that none of ours at my airline, actually lay flat. Plus having the middle seat folded down blocks egress for the pax at the window seat which is a big no-no concerning FARS. Lastly, NOT all seats do this and I actually broke a seat once trying to get it to do that while attending to a medical situation......
 
Braniff727
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RE: Northeast Airlines 'Seat And A Half'

Tue Apr 10, 2007 5:33 am

Here's another exmaple from a Braniff ad.

Climbing
 
L1011
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RE: Northeast Airlines 'Seat And A Half'

Tue Apr 10, 2007 5:39 am

Eastern 727s also had the seat that NE had. The seat remained upright and an insert folded out. I never saw them used except by me. Apparently most people weren't aware of them. The only way I knew about it is that I read the ads promoting Eastern's new widebody look on their 727s. When they redid their interiors several years later, these special seats were gone.

Bob Bradley
Richmond, VA
Fly Eastern's Golden Falcon DC-7B
 
VC10DC10
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RE: Northeast Airlines 'Seat And A Half'

Tue Apr 10, 2007 12:52 pm

Quoting LongHauler (Reply 10):
Air Canada had those seats on their B727s and their DC-8s which were not fitted with Palomar seats; DC-8-53, DC-8-61 and DC-8-63s.

Out of curiosity, what were Palomar seats?

Also, regarding aircraft that (might) still have this sort of seat arrangement: if I find myself on a flight in Y with nobody in the middle seat (say, on Northwest or United -- not that this happens much to me any more), am I free to try to pull down the middle seat, or will I earn my flight attendant(s)' eternal wrath?

[Edited 2007-04-10 05:56:14]
 
Viscount724
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RE: Northeast Airlines 'Seat And A Half'

Tue Apr 10, 2007 1:39 pm

Quoting VC10DC10 (Reply 20):
Quoting LongHauler (Reply 10):
Air Canada had those seats on their B727s and their DC-8s which were not fitted with Palomar seats; DC-8-53, DC-8-61 and DC-8-63s.

Out of curiosity, what were Palomar seats?

They were the seats designed by Douglas and installed on all early DC-8s. Please see my Reply 9 in the following thread for more on those seats and a photo:
Why No Personal Air Vents On Most 777s? (by 1337Delta764 Apr 10 2007 in Civil Aviation)
 
Type-Rated
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RE: Northeast Airlines 'Seat And A Half'

Tue Apr 10, 2007 1:40 pm

Palomar seats were used on DC-8's. Instead of having the reading light in the ceiling over your head, it was in the seat back over your shoulder. And the air vents and F/A call buttons were in the seatback ahead of you. They were quite comfortable.
I don't ever recall seeing these type of seats in any other aircraft than a DC-8
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nomadic
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RE: Northeast Airlines 'Seat And A Half'

Wed Apr 11, 2007 2:12 am

Quoting Braniff727 (Reply 18):
Here's another exmaple from a Braniff ad.

Great picture. I am a big Braniff 1.0 fan and collector of memorabilia. I hadn't seen this one.

Thanks for all of the input from everyone. I had no idea that so many carriers used the fold down middle seats. They all wanted to remain competative.

I guess the next big thing was the 'Coach Lounge' lol

nomadic
 
VC10DC10
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RE: Northeast Airlines 'Seat And A Half'

Fri Apr 20, 2007 2:58 pm

Sorry to ask again, but does anyone have tips about which airlines still have a few folding seats?

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