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KarelXWB
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Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:30 pm

Earlier this month Flightglobal published an article about the importance of direct aisle access in the business class cabin. I recommend reading the article before continuing this discussion:

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...business-class-seat-design-397196/

Although more airlines are moving to a four-abreast J cabin, some are sticking with six-abreast as we have seen with the recently unveiled LATAM cabin for the 787 and A350. Which is understandable from some point of view because direct aisle means the airline will lose two seats per row. Now today @RunwayGirl tweeted the following patent around:

http://pbs.twimg.com/media/BkqJrRzIUAANTlt.jpg:large
http://twitter.com/RunwayGirl/status/456501370221105153

The image above shows the airline can stick with a six-abreast business class cabin (thus having two additional seats per row) and providing direct aisle access for every seat. Still the setup seems a bit cramped to me, like you are being pushed into a corner. Thoughts?

[Edited 2014-04-16 13:41:58]
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SonomaFlyer
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RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:35 pm

It beats the heck out of 8 across (lol) J class seating.
 
jetblue1965
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RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:37 pm

This feels like a variation of what JAL has done : 2-3-2 flat bed J but still all-aisle access

All-aisle is nice but I'd much prefer paying $5000 for a 2-2-2 flat bed versus $7000 for a 1-2-1. If I really don't want my sleep interrupted, I can always take the center seats of 2-2-2.
 
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Stitch
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RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:40 pm

Quoting KarelXWB (Thread starter):
Still the setup seems a bit cramped to me, like you are being pushed into a corner.

I think it might actually be popular because it improves privacy.
 
cloudboy
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RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:42 pm

I think I am missing something. First, I only see four seats. Second, you have seats squeezed together. To accomplish what the diagram shows (assuming we are talking about the same space as four seats would take up) either the seat itself has to be narrower, or the overall width of the cabin would have to grow.

Me thinks this might be a misleading diagram. Be interesting to compare it side by side with something like the staggared layout design.
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MaverickM11
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RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:43 pm

In most of my experiences, all-aisle access means less seat space--the aisle-access space has to come from somewhere. And as a passenger, and as I'm sure any airline employee concerned with cost-benefit, that's a lot of space to give up with no premium in fare, that you're only going to use a very limited amount, if at all.

Quoting jetblue1965 (Reply 2):
All-aisle is nice but I'd much prefer paying $5000 for a 2-2-2 flat bed versus $7000 for a 1-2-1.

I don't think there's much, if any premium for aisle access, for a whole host of reasons. It's $5000 for 2-2-2 or $5000 for 1-2-1. I can tell you which one airlines probably prefer...
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KarelXWB
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RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:46 pm

Quoting cloudboy (Reply 4):
First, I only see four seats.

The picture shows a narrow-body jet but it can also be used on a wide-body jet in 6-abreast.

Quoting jetblue1965 (Reply 2):
All-aisle is nice but I'd much prefer paying $5000 for a 2-2-2 flat bed versus $7000 for a 1-2-1. If I really don't want my sleep interrupted, I can always take the center seats of 2-2-2.

Well, this new setup still gives you the 2-2-2 flat bed layout and direct aisle access.
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tortugamon
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RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:47 pm

I wonder if this format can be easily adopted to 7-abreast in J. That system could become popular on some of the non-premium wider cabin formats. IFE screen size may have to shrink as well.

tortugamon
 
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RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:47 pm

Quoting cloudboy (Reply 4):
I think I am missing something. First, I only see four seats. Second, you have seats squeezed together. To accomplish what the diagram shows (assuming we are talking about the same space as four seats would take up) either the seat itself has to be narrower, or the overall width of the cabin would have to grow.

Me thinks this might be a misleading diagram. Be interesting to compare it side by side with something like the staggared layout design.

I expect this diagram is just the pair of seats along the walls (so A+B and E+F). On a widebody, there would be another pair (C+D) that probably is side-by-side or herringbone.
 
Rdh3e
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RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:27 pm

That flight global was so light on detail or any actual analysis I'm amazed they could call it that with a straight face. Less than a page in a word document I'd bet.

That said, you'd have to get a pretty significant fare bump for someone like UA at 8 abreast in J to go to all aisle access. This "pass through" concept in the diagram looks like A) would be very difficult for overweight pax, and B) would be a total pain for the FA's to do their service.

[Edited 2014-04-16 14:46:06]
 
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RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:38 pm

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 5):
In most of my experiences, all-aisle access means less seat space--the aisle-access space has to come from somewhere. And as a passenger, and as I'm sure any airline employee concerned with cost-benefit, that's a lot of space to give up with no premium in fare, that you're only going to use a very limited amount, if at all.

If I'm reading your post right, I was thinking the same thing with regards to per-seat space vis-a-vis all-aisle access.

Quoting KarelXWB (Thread starter):
Now today @RunwayGirl tweeted the following patent around:

I think this is a rather nice design, not unlike what many have thought of (...myself......I wonder who owns the patent...). The compromise in this design is seat width. For the "aisle" seats to be canted outward towards the aisle, both seats have to be narrower than a traditional 2-2 configuration would allow for. As a result of the canting, you have three "triangles" of "wasted" space per seat pair. Obviously, these spaces could be used for storage (shoes, magazines, drinks), or for IFE electronics. Still, the compromise here is narrowing seat width.
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RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Wed Apr 16, 2014 10:15 pm

Quoting RDH3E (Reply 9):
That said, you'd have to get a pretty significant fare bump for someone like UA at 8 abreast in J to go to all aisle access

Though to be fair, UA is only 6 abreast on the pmCO 777's. In that case, the only people without direct aisle access are the window seats (or 1/3 of the seats) versus half of all seats on the pmUA 777/747.
 
ardian
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RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Wed Apr 16, 2014 10:38 pm

I absolutely like this concept, although I can imagine it would be slightly difficult for the FA's when they're serving the pax in the window seats.
 
codc10
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RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Wed Apr 16, 2014 10:41 pm

That 6-abreast configuration will still likely require about 78" pitch, which is a lot of real estate even for business class. By comparison, to accomodate that configuration on a 787 with the existing UA BF seats, about 48" additional floor space would be required.
 
cruiseshipcrew
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RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:45 pm

I wonder how much longer United can get away with having 8 across on their pre-merger United 777s before they have to come out with something new and fresh for them.

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hinckley
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RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Thu Apr 17, 2014 12:15 am

As a frequent international J Class passenger, I absolutely agree that direct aisle access without anyone needing to climb over you (along with fully flat beds) are the new standard. But this 4- vs 6-seat across trade-off is a false argument.

Most airlines are providing direct aisle access by using herringbone (CX, AC) or offset (LX, DL) configurations which reduce the number of seats per row but increase the number of rows. These configurations result in few to no lost J Class seats.

[Edited 2014-04-16 17:28:39]
 
JHwk
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RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Thu Apr 17, 2014 12:16 am

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 5):
In most of my experiences, all-aisle access means less seat space--the aisle-access space has to come from somewhere.

It does, but that space can be part of the space allocated to allowing one pax to do a lap dance (climb over) the aisle pax. It could also take advantage of depth that is currently lost in many of the herringbone layouts.

Quoting cruiseshipcrew (Reply 14):
I wonder how much longer United can get away with having 8 across on their pre-merger United 777s before they have to come out with something new and fresh for them.

I sure as hell am not willing to pay the business premium to sit in seats D&G anymore. For an upgrade it is one thing, but actually paying for those seats rather than flying a plane with 2-2-2 herringbone is an insult today. I'm guessing they are going to need to start replacing them on the 777's within the next 3 years. The 747s aren't that bad with 2-3-2.
 
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RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Thu Apr 17, 2014 12:22 am

Quoting cruiseshipcrew (Reply 14):
I wonder how much longer United can get away with having 8 across on their pre-merger United 777s before they have to come out with something new and fresh for them.

It's not as bad as it seems. UA's seats take up pretty much the same amount of space as BA's seats... with the legroom offset in both directions where the mutual TV screen section is. Just BA rotates the seats differently so it doesn't appear to take 8 abreast. Comfort wise they should be able to get away with it for as long as BA can... the issue may be passenger perception. UA may have been better off alternating the 2 middle seats in different directions with some kind of privacy thing to avoid the appearance of 8 abreast/staggering them slightly different. but in theory they should provide similar comfort levels. Id say you're biggest issue is that wonderful looking seat AA are now using. That's just upped the game a lot!
 
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RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Thu Apr 17, 2014 12:28 am

Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 17):
It's not as bad as it seems.

I've flown it many times. The seat's padding is fine, but the total lack of privacy and the fact that there is zero storage compared to what the competitors are offering now is the major drawback in my mind. They might still keep them at more than 4 across, but they need to up the privacy several notches. I also hate on the 767 that you're pretty much looking directly into the person across the aisle that is facing you.

Quoting JHwk (Reply 16):
The 747s aren't that bad with 2-3-2.

The 747 has 2-4-2 also.
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SIA747Megatop
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RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Thu Apr 17, 2014 12:41 am

Direct aisle access in the be all and end all, seat storage and space are also very important.

The airlines with successful reverse herringbone seats (CX, SQ, QR) still offer very spacious products with lots of space and storage around the seat area whilst still maintaining privacy with high walls. This is not the case for traditional herringbone seats a la VS, NZ, DL, 9W which give a coffin-like effect due to the high walls in such close proximity to each other with next to no in seat storage. There is no breathing room. There are very few flat surfaces for drinks other than the one cup holder and tiny armrests.
Edited to add: Another problem with traditional herringbone seats is that you can see the bare feet of the passenger across the aisle in your immediate line of sight. Furthermore, the width of traditional herringbone seats restricts the size of the IFE screen to the width of the seat. SQ's new 18" screen (with frame) wouldn't fit in this space.

This concept seems to suffer from the same problem. High walls work in business class work but I find them giving an illusion of less space and feeling more cramped if such walls are close together, I imagine this concept being no different, especially considering it is derived from the bog standard 2-2-2 setup which also generally lack storage and personal space.



[Edited 2014-04-16 17:47:20]
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RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Thu Apr 17, 2014 1:17 am

Quoting RDH3E (Reply 9):
That said, you'd have to get a pretty significant fare bump for someone like UA at 8 abreast in J to go to all aisle access. This "pass through" concept in the diagram looks like A) would be very difficult for overweight pax, and B) would be a total pain for the FA's to do their service.

I agree.

I would never fly UA in its 8 abreast J out of principal when Y is only one more seat abreast for less than 1/3 the cost. I expect the J seat to have significantly more width than the Y seats... The length of the bed / flat bed becomes irrelevant if the seat is so narrow that it is hard to turn or you feel cramped. Also, when I fly J I do not expect to have to climb over somebody, or disturb them, to access the isle. It makes it even worse if you have a narrow seat to begin with and still have to climb over somebody in full recline without disturbing them...

Long live the massive bench seats in the SQ 77W J class!
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RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Thu Apr 17, 2014 2:38 am

If I am looking at the diagram in the original post correctly and it shows the flat-bed seat fully extended, it looks like, while pinched, it does offer the window passenger access to the aisle behind a wall without having to climb over the aisle passenger. While I really like the BA seat, I didn't like having to try to climb over the guy behind me, waking him up because I couldn't clear without bumping him or the seat. So I would prefer this configuration given a choice over that. It does look like it's probably difficult for the F/A to serve the window passenger as it is on BA.

However, I was recently spoiled by the 4-abreast J configuration on CX, so it would be very hard to go back to something lesser than that. I will look forward to trying AA's new product.
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thaiflyer
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RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Thu Apr 17, 2014 3:20 am

I'm travelling on almost a weekly basis and i have to admit i don't really care about the view any more.
A comfortable seat with direct access is much more important then the view.
Most of the time i even skip the food so i can get the maximum sleeping time.
So the new direct access seat is a welcome change for me.
 
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RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Thu Apr 17, 2014 3:32 am

Quoting Pellegrine (Reply 10):
The compromise in this design is seat width

I was thinking the same. I was trying to work it out, and I doubt that the seat in this diagram is more than 18" wide, and more like 17.5" IMHO.
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modesto2
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RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Thu Apr 17, 2014 9:01 am

I flew sUA 777 BusinessFirst a few weeks ago for the first time, and I wasn't impressed. I bumped elbows with the passenger seated next to me on several occasions, there's absolutely no privacy, and there's no personal storage space. I was concerned but also very interested in testing the 8-abreast configuration and sadly, my experience confirmed my suspicions. I only flew UA because its network is most useful for my travels, but I'd much prefer another carrier.
 
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RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:40 am

Quoting SIA747Megatop (Reply 19):
This is not the case for traditional herringbone seats a la VS, NZ, DL, 9W which give a coffin-like effect due to the high walls in such close proximity to each other with next to no in seat storage. There is no breathing room. There are very few flat surfaces for drinks other than the one cup holder and tiny armrests.

In the case of DL, the coffin-like effect really only applies to the seat in a flat-bed position. Although the 777 armrest comes down to give more room and has plenty of space for personal effects (you just have to look), the 767 has fewer places to stuff things. The walls on the 777 are a bit higher, but you can still see across the plane quite easily; the 767 feels slightly more cramped, but because the seats are offset, you somehow get more privacy. On both, there is plenty of room for drinks.

The challenge for me is trying to sleep; I sleep on my stomach, and that is very difficult in the narrower flat beds, as my arms cannot go above my head or over to my side because there simply isn't room. If I lie on my back, I do feel like I'm sleeping in Memorial Cemetery, as my legs have to be somewhat together to fit in the foot bin. All-in-all, the only way I think I could sleep on a plane is if I had an actual bed, and I believe only LH has that at this point in First.
 
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RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Thu Apr 17, 2014 11:14 am

Quoting modesto2 (Reply 24):

Which seat did you have?
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Bongodog1964
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RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Thu Apr 17, 2014 11:18 am

Its an interesting concept, anyone familiar with the rearmost seats in each BA Clubworld section will know that they are popular because they have access in this form to the rear of the aisle seat. The first question is, what would be the minimum size of the gap that would be permissible, the larger the gap the more seat rows lost. This leads on to the next question, if it results in say 25% less J class seats, and bearing in mind that the added benefit is only really to the seats away from the aisle, will passengers willingly pay 25% more.
BA could implement this very quickly with their existing seating, and could have done at any time in the past decade or so. I suspect that they have done the figures and concluded that its financially not worthwhile. From a passenger viewpoint its only a problem when the seat is in flat bed mode, and how many times are you likely to want to get up and go walk about in the middle of the night ?
 
jetblue1965
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RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Thu Apr 17, 2014 1:44 pm

CX 77W (77G with no F) uses reverse herringbone, and fits 26 seats between doors 1 and 2

AC 77W (low density 42J) uses the VS/NZ herringbone, and fits 24 seats between doors 1 and 2

AC 77W (high density 36J) uses LX/SN seat, and fits 36 seats between doors 1 and 2 (20 out of 36 seats have "all-aisle" access with no one climbing over them)

It's not completely apples-to-apples (due to pantry and toilet layouts), but that can give a sense of how much less space efficient it needs to be in order to achieve the "holy grail"
 
jayunited
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RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Thu Apr 17, 2014 1:54 pm

Quoting cruiseshipcrew (Reply 14):

I'm thinking the exact same thing, although UA announced last summer they had invited some top tier frequent flyers to Willis Tower to test out new premium seating I think UA is dragging this process out with the hopes of keeping the current sUA and sCO product on aircraft till probably 2018 when the A350's start arriving. With many airlines offering superior product in business class I wonder how long UA can continue to drag this out having to different products on our long haul fleet and even though the sCO product is better than the sUA product both products are still subpar because they do not offer all customers first and foremost direct access to the aisle and secondly a certain degree of expected privacy that many business class travelers have come to expect.

It's time for UA to make a decision on a new premium seat and get moving on a roll out to one single harmonious business class cabin and lastly make a firm decision about global first which IMO is not necessary if UA comes up with a quality business class seat offering all passengers direct access to aisle and better privacy and instead of global first get rid of E+ on the international fleet (with the exception being the B757 fleet for space reasons) and instead offer a full premium economy seating on all international flights. The only aircraft that would be exempt from this make over would be the 3 class 763 because those are slated to be retired some starting this year. If there was ever a time UA needs Jeff and his team to make a decision it is now on this issue because the list of airlines offer a superior product in business class continues to grow yearly while UA continues to drag out this process. There is no excuse that at this point in the merger UA still is not ready to present and install a brand new harmonious business class product across the fleet. It would have been nice had the product been ready to be installed on the soon to be delivered 787-9's.
 
asetiadi
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RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Thu Apr 17, 2014 2:13 pm

Let's hope all the 5 stars airlines and most 4 stars airlines not picking that kind of J class layout.

Looks cramped and ugly and weird. Stay with 1 - 2 - 1 for J. If you want to put 2 - 2 - 2 then do the old way, much better!!!
don't force something into a space that don't fit! No matter how you design it, it just won't fit!

Things like 3 - 4 - 3 on B777 also ugly.... do that on A380 or B747-8I.

Next thing we know, 11 abreast.... I dont understand why they always force things into the limit!
 
dean
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RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Thu Apr 17, 2014 3:03 pm

Quoting asetiadi (Reply 30):
Things like 3 - 4 - 3 on B777 also ugly.... do that on A380 or B747-8I.

It might be ugly, but from a business point of view it's beautiful. At the end of the day airlines care about the money they make. And 99% of passengers don't have a clue about typical seating arrangements on the A380 or 777. Actually I believe the 3-4-3 Y config on the triple seven is now more popular than the 3-3-3.

I personally like this "new" J config concept. If you take a look at JAL's latest J product you'll find a very similar arrangement, but without seats being angled. And as far as I remember it's 2-3-2.
 
jetblue1965
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RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Thu Apr 17, 2014 3:21 pm

Quoting dean (Reply 31):
Actually I believe the 3-4-3 Y config on the triple seven is now more popular than the 3-3-3.

More prominent, not "popular". Given the same price, I don't think any pax will willingly pick 3-4-3 over a 3-3-3.

Quoting dean (Reply 31):
And 99% of passengers don't have a clue about typical seating arrangements on the A380 or 777.

They might not know 388 versus 77W, but they'll definitely feel the shoulder width difference. I've flown both the redesigned CX 3-3-3 Y and the AF 3-4-3 Y on 77W ... the experience (hard product alone) was worlds apart.

3-4-3 should be reserved for mass tourism (e.g. ATH) or VFR routes. They don't belong to routes like SIN-LHR.
 
stAOdCt
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RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Thu Apr 17, 2014 3:37 pm

I think if priced and marketed correctly, there is definitely a market for full-flate business class seats without direct aisle access. On LHR - HKG for example, BA Club World is consistently cheaper than CX Business Class. Not every business class passenger has a corporate travel account and not every company is willing to pay top dollar. We have PEY for the same reason. More choices are good for customers.
 
Markam
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RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Thu Apr 17, 2014 3:52 pm

Quoting jetblue1965 (Reply 28):
AC 77W (high density 36J) uses LX/SN seat, and fits 36 seats between doors 1 and 2 (20 out of 36 seats have "all-aisle" access with no one climbing over them)

If I am not mistaken, it is actually 28 out of 36 seats which have aisle access, as all center-row seats have aisle access and only window seats every two rows do not have it, resulting in about 22% seats without aisle access. However, those are always window seats, and in my experience they are actually quite convenient when traveling in J with one's couple, so I think that the LX seat is probably the best compromise between comfort and space out there. The seat is comfortable (concededly a bit low and narrow on the feet, but nothing to complain about, especially if paired with a good soft product), cost-competitive in terms of space needed per seat, and it allows flexibility for business and leisure travel (more than 75% of seats have direct aisle access, so it is fairly easy for business travelers to find one, and the standalone window seats are truly amazing, but there is also the option of paired seating in the central row and by the window for couples traveling for leisure). Also, it provides more product differentiation with respect to the F product, so I think that LX have been very smart about it. IMHO a herringbone or reverse herringbone only makes sense for carriers which want to place themselves in the luxury market and can charge a premium for it, but probably only if they do not carry an F product which is not a suite. Otherwise from both a passenger and cost-competitiveness point of view I think that the LX seat or similar is the first-best way to go in terms of hard product (second-best would probably be the IB/EK seat which is staggered all-aisle but which I believe is still a bit more efficient than herringbone and reverse herringbone, although it loses about 1 seat per row compared with the LX solution).

  
 
pasu129
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RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Thu Apr 17, 2014 4:37 pm

Very interesting concept, however if they are catering these seats to J passengers, where are the power outlets and IFEs gonna be placed at? Obviously can't fit into the seat back in front of you, the divider between seat A, B and E, F seems too thin to accommodate one. In armrest?

I think it would work on narrowbody, because they generally have wider F seats than widebody J seats...
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civetfive
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RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Thu Apr 17, 2014 5:28 pm

I agree that all-aisle access is key on competitive routes, and so we'll likely see it on most US/Europe/Asia business routes. 1-2-1 Reverse Herringbone is my favorite layout, but the JL Sky Suite isn't something to laugh at either, and I think a pretty innovative design for making 2-3-2 work.

Another thing that I find really interesting is how different seat designs are more or less efficient depending on the aircraft. DL seems to be one of the first to have acted on this, realizing that the Thompson Vantage is one the most efficient all-aisle flatbed you can put on the 767 (something AA and JL are also now doing) while Herringbone and Reverse Herringbone are very space-efficient on the A330, 747 and 777. While other airlines wanted a consistent hard product, DL went for top efficiency, and my hats-off to them for that.
 
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RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:39 pm

Back to the diagram Fig. 1a, my thoughts:

With this setup, you are more or less head-to-head with your neighbor. I trust there is a partition at eye level for those who just don't want to be that intimate.

Realistically, the configuration shown could apply to both single and twin aisle aircraft. For the latter, just add the aisle and the other line of window seats. I do see real potential in this for narrow body premium service.
 
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Stitch
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Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:26 am

RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:58 pm

Quoting jetblue1965 (Reply 32):
They might not know 388 versus 77W, but they'll definitely feel the shoulder width difference. I've flown both the redesigned CX 3-3-3 Y and the AF 3-4-3 Y on 77W ... the experience (hard product alone) was worlds apart.

And yet they keep coming back, since 3-4-3 777 operators don't see a massive drop in load factor over time on those planes, which you would expect if customers flew it once and then refused to do so again.
 
Viscount724
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RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Thu Apr 17, 2014 7:28 pm

Quoting jetblue1965 (Reply 28):
AC 77W (high density 36J) uses LX/SN seat, and fits 36 seats between doors 1 and 2 (20 out of 36 seats have "all-aisle" access with no one climbing over them)

That's not correct. 28 (not 20) of 36 seats in the high-density J configuration have direct aisle access. The only seats without direct aisle access are the 8 window seats in the four 2-2-2 rows. All other seats in those rows, and all seats in the 1-2-1 rows have aisle access.
 
jetblue1965
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RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Thu Apr 17, 2014 8:03 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 39):
That's not correct. 28 (not 20) of 36 seats in the high-density J configuration have direct aisle access. The only seats without direct aisle access are the 8 window seats in the four 2-2-2 rows. All other seats in those rows, and all seats in the 1-2-1 rows have aisle access.

That's why i used the qualifyer "no one climbs over them". Those 8 seats can access the aisle but the window person may disrupt them.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 38):

And yet they keep coming back, since 3-4-3 777 operators don't see a massive drop in load factor over time on those planes, which you would expect if customers flew it once and then refused to do so again.

When you lower prices enough, people put up with anything (see Ryanair). It's mixing cause and effect. The lower prices fill the seats, but not that the popularity of the seat causing people to flock to it.
 
rdu2sfo
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Dec 06, 2013 8:58 pm

RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Thu Apr 17, 2014 11:47 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 3):

I think the privacy part is important. I don't have any evidence of this (famous last words on here) but I would be shocked if it is not a selling point in corporate contract negotiations. Both privacy for sleep and privacy to get work done. In far too many instances the type of people who would be paying for business class on an international flight are traveling for work and their work is of a nature that they couldn't get much of it done sitting in one of those packed-in seats in that United pic because the person next to them would be able to read everything they were working on.
 
tortugamon
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RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Fri Apr 18, 2014 12:24 am

Quoting jetblue1965 (Reply 32):
They might not know 388 versus 77W, but they'll definitely feel the shoulder width difference. I've flown both the redesigned CX 3-3-3 Y and the AF 3-4-3 Y on 77W ... the experience (hard product alone) was worlds apart.

And so are the clientele/profit margins. By putting in the additional seat they can be more competitive on price (even though the AF flights between CDG and HKG are usually more expensive on AF then on CX). If an airline knows their customer and specifically knows that their customer prefers ~10% cheaper flights than 5% more seat width or more accurately put: an airline knows that they will pay ~10% more for 5% more seat then great! It is my experience that most people chose an airline ticket based on price (first), timing (non-stop and time of departure) second, and airline/loyalty program is pretty close there too, and only then will the aircraft and its seat arrangement really enter into it for most people.

tortugamon
 
jetblue1965
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RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Fri Apr 18, 2014 12:31 am

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 42):

Exactly .... Price is the driver to fill the seats, not the seats' own merit
 
aklrno
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RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Fri Apr 18, 2014 2:44 am

Its kind of interesting to look at how age and culture affects opinions on direct aisle access.

In some cultures (I think mostly asian) seeing the soles of peoples feet is offensive. Americans don't seem to care.

Females and men under 40 can sit in their seat for remarkably long time if they have to. As men age past 40 that ability fades, and you need more access (sometimes immediate access) to a toilet. Last night I was on a 13.5 hour flight including dinner and breakfast. I must have gotten up at least 3 times during the night, then a couple of times in the morning to change my clothes and brush my teeth. I am very glad I was on an NZ 777 in business. I could easily get up when I wanted, didn't have to leap over anyone, and no one leapt over me.

In case you might wonder why it took 13.5 hours to fly LAX-AKL, for a long time the headwind was 135 kph.
 
stAOdCt
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Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:12 pm

RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Fri Apr 18, 2014 10:51 am

Quoting aklrno (Reply 44):
Its kind of interesting to look at how age and culture affects opinions on direct aisle access.

In some cultures (I think mostly asian) seeing the soles of peoples feet is offensive. Americans don't seem to care.

Culture may also explain why both ANA and JAL opted for relatively inelegant high walls in their J cabins. Their new business class looks exactly like corporate cubicles, which I assume salarymen are used to. To be serious, Asian cultures tend to place a higher emphasis on privacy, while Europeans tend to emphasize design.
 
jfidler
Posts: 387
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RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Fri Apr 18, 2014 5:23 pm

I fully agree with the article's premise. I have intentionally taken a non-direct flight on AC to avoid a direct flight on UA's dreaded 2-4-2 business class. I much prefer the aisle access on AC (1-2-1), and how no one ever needs to interrupt me to step over me and out of their seat. On trans-pac flights, the flights are long and everyone is on a different schedule, so this is much more likely than on a TATL flight (at least in my case, being on the East Coast).

As for price being the customer's deciding factor, I wonder how much that really is the case in C. A $500 difference between flight options is only a 10% difference on a $5k ticket. I also think business class travelers are less price-sensitive.

I think a potential compromise between the airline's quest for profit by reducing space, and the customer's desire for aisle access, is the 2-2-2 config. Anyone traveling alone who wants aisle access can choose a seat in the middle 2-set, since both those seats have aisle access. People traveling together can choose the outer 2-sets of seats.
 
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lightsaber
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RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Fri Apr 18, 2014 7:03 pm

The layout works.

Quoting KarelXWB (Thread starter):
Still the setup seems a bit cramped to me, like you are being pushed into a corner. Thoughts?

A little, but it provides sleep *and* privacy. I'm cheap. 4-across J will always be more expensive. If someone else is paying, of course I want 4 across! If I'm paying, this is a good configuration.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 3):
I think it might actually be popular because it improves privacy.

I would want that off isle seat at the window...

Quoting asetiadi (Reply 30):
Let's hope all the 5 stars airlines and most 4 stars airlines not picking that kind of J class layout.

4 across is for 5-star airlines. Just be prepared to pay for your real estate.

I personally want the most economical J as that is all my employer will pay for. If J is too much... Fly Y... (They skip past Y+.) They force a lot of employees to fly Y to Europe as the J is just too much for the non-stop. So I want to see more economical J.  
Quoting tortugamon (Reply 42):
and only then will the aircraft and its seat arrangement really enter into it for most people.

Concur. Seat is pretty low on the travel planning...  


Lightsaber
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spacecadet
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Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2001 3:36 am

RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Sat Apr 19, 2014 12:43 am

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 47):
I'm cheap. 4-across J will always be more expensive. If someone else is paying, of course I want 4 across! If I'm paying, this is a good configuration.

I'm curious how many people actually pay out of their own pocket for business class. I would guess it's a small percentage.

I'll be flying ANA business class JFK-NRT for the second time later this year. Both times I'll have booked mileage club miles converted from credit card points. I think that's a common way to do it. I don't know how many people can really afford $5,000-$8,000 for a business class ticket, nor would many companies I know of pay that for anyone other than the very top executives. Whenever I've had to travel for work, they've sent me in cattle class.

I think it's a mistake for airlines to try to cram as many seats into business class for that reason. The point of business class isn't to keep prices and costs low - that's what economy class is for. (And E+/PE is for people who want something a little better than economy without paying a lot more.) Business class seems to be where the well-heeled, frequent fliers and particularly savvy travelers manage to end up these days, and the airlines still make their money off those people. It's what first class used to be; first class itself is now for the super-rich, royalty and A-list celebrities.

Put it this way: if ANA didn't have 1-2-1 in business, I'd be flying JAL. Maybe all the time, not just for J class flights that AMEX/Chase pay for.
I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
 
KD5MDK
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RE: Direct Aisle Access Key For Business Class

Sat Apr 19, 2014 5:38 am

I've only gotten to fly long haul J once, and being in a window seat I was intensely uncomfortable when I had to bother my aisle neighbor to get out several times during the flight. My company has several preferred airlines and if I'm given the chance to travel intercontinentally (thus J, per policy) I'll be paying close attention to seating options in choosing my airline.

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