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787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 4:59 pm

When Boeing was touting the 787 one of the major consumer-focused features was a comfortable cabin including, among other features, Y class in a 3-2-3 configuration. At that time, Boeing had to have known that if airlines could configure the Y class cabin with 8-abreast or 9-abreast, the vast majority of airlines would choose 9-abreast.

Why did Boeing not just design the aircraft with a cabin wide enough to comfortably accommodate 3-3-3 seating?

767 15' 6" (7 abreast)
330 17' 4" (8 abreast)
787 18" (9 abreast)
350 18' 5" (9 abreast)
777 19' 3" (9/10 abreast)
747 20' (10 abreast)
 
jetblue1965
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RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 5:04 pm

Quoting questions (Thread starter):
When Boeing was touting the 787 one of the major consumer-focused features

That's the issue .... Boeing is CUSTOMER- focused, not consumer focused. And their customer is the airline, and that means delivering a CASM killer at all costs.
 
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Tugger
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RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 5:08 pm

Quoting questions (Thread starter):
Why did Boeing not just design the aircraft with a cabin wide enough to comfortably accommodate 3-3-3 seating?

I believe it was because then it would have competed much more directly with the great and mighty 777. And for both market reasons and internal program group reasons they did not want to do that.

Of course the market is the market and it gets what it wants. I am positive the 787 program group intentionally made it just wide enough to take the extra row while being able to keep a straight face during program reviews.

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RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 5:09 pm

Quoting jetblue1965 (Reply 1):
Quoting questions (Thread starter):
When Boeing was touting the 787 one of the major consumer-focused features

That's the issue .... Boeing is CUSTOMER- focused, not consumer focused. And their customer is the airline, and that means delivering a CASM killer at all costs.
Quoting questions (Thread starter):
Why did Boeing not just design the aircraft with a cabin wide enough to comfortably accommodate 3-3-3 seating?

Not everybody wanted that many seats, but I'd guess there were design efficiencies with the width they used. Perhaps wider would have meant an expensive new component or material...or they were repurposing some design elements from the 777 and they saved money by not recreating that element.
 
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RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 5:11 pm

This is seemingly only a real life or death battle on A.net and when discussing the 767 and 777, both of which offer "luxurious" Y class seating widths, this still wasn't good enough for the same people screaming about the 787 seat width now. The 767 was too small, it couldn't carry LD3s side by side, the 777s engines were too loud, the planes were made in Seattle...there was always something wrong with the planes and there always will be.

Same goes for the opposing fanboy camp. We can discuss it all we want and think what we want, the only thing that matters is planes out the door, payments made to either manufacturer and then paying bums filling seats. The day 1000 787s take off empty because seat width becomes a real issue is the day Boeing will build a new airliner exclusively designed around the typical coach class passenger.

Don't hold our breath though.
 
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RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 5:15 pm

Remember as well that Boeing's initial sales pitch to airlines was a spacious 8-abreast cabin.
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RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 5:21 pm



Quoting questions (Thread starter):
Why did Boeing not just design the aircraft with a cabin wide enough to comfortably accommodate 3-3-3 seating?

Boeing designed the 787 to be as absolutely light as possible for the payload and range market segment. The cabin width gives flexibility to airlines. Most airlines want maximum number of seats with minimal fuselage structure weight. Wider cabins means heavier fuselage and more drag. Fuel burn is more important than economy seat width for 90% of airlines.

Quoting wingman (Reply 4):
This is seemingly only a real life or death battle on A.net and when discussing the 767 and 777, both of which offer "luxurious" Y class seating widths, this still wasn't good enough for the same people screaming about the 787 seat width now. The 767 was too small, it couldn't carry LD3s side by side, the 777s engines were too loud, the planes were made in Seattle...there was always something wrong with the planes and there always will be.

Economy seat width is one of the absolute favorite topics of many people on A.net. Every single thread about 777s eventually ends up with people complaining about 17 inch wide seats. Many 787 threads are headed that way too.

Airbus knows that and has focused its marketing on economy seat width. A.net has bit into the marketing strategy of Airbus. I've seen them print giant posters about how the A320 is better than 737, A350 is better than 787 based on seat width. It's all marketing. This is one area that Airbus wins since it is easy for the consumer to relate to narrow economy seats. Things like operating empty weight and fuel burn are all invisible to the public but tend to be of greater importance for the airline that actually buys the airplane.

[Edited 2015-08-28 10:23:18]
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RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 5:23 pm

It was originally intended to have a spacious 8 abreast economy section, however, at some point (2005 ish?) They squeezed another 4 inches (?) out of the side walls due to more efficient noise insulation. This moved it from splendid and spacious 8 abreast to the torture instrument the hoi polloi have to suffer now.

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RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 5:23 pm

Quoting questions (Thread starter):

When Boeing was touting the 787 one of the major consumer-focused features was a comfortable cabin including, among other features, Y class in a 3-2-3 configuration. At that time, Boeing had to have known that if airlines could configure the Y class cabin with 8-abreast or 9-abreast, the vast majority of airlines would choose 9-abreast.

Why did Boeing not just design the aircraft with a cabin wide enough to comfortably accommodate 3-3-3 seating?
Quoting Tugger (Reply 2):
Of course the market is the market and it gets what it wants. I am positive the 787 program group intentionally made it just wide enough to take the extra row while being able to keep a straight face during program reviews.

Although I have yet to fly on a 787, so I can't comment on the comfort level of the 8 vs. 9 abreast seating, I do feel like Boeing pulled a fast one here. I was really disappointed when it became obvious that the 9 abreast would become the standard. I think the 767 and A330/340 lines have great layouts and liked the thought of the 2-4-2 for the 787. Even the 777 when UA and AA had the 2-5-2 was great. I hate the 3-3-3 on any plane. I even hate the 3-3 on the 737 and A320 for the same reason. I think the 2-2 of the E-Series are much more comfortable.
 
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RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 5:45 pm

Quoting BaconButty (Reply 7):

It was originally intended to have a spacious 8 abreast economy section, however, at some point (2005 ish?) They squeezed another 4 inches (?) out of the side walls due to more efficient noise insulation. This moved it from splendid and spacious 8 abreast to the torture instrument the hoi polloi have to suffer now.

(abroad with crap internet so no link)

If they hadn't gained those 4ish inches, would the 3-3-3 be possible? So maybe Boeing didn't actually plan this from the beginning?
 
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RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 5:50 pm

Here we go again!

Its just the same as the 777 which was designed for 9-abreast at 18.5" seats for most carriers and 17" at 10-abreast for low cost / budget carriers. Same with the 787 (9 vs 8). And the first two airlines took them in that configuration. This was ~2011/2012. Gas prices were North of $3.20/gallon (vs $1.26 now and similar to when the 787 was launched). The economics changed at the worst time (for Y customers) and airlines adapted and added a seat to get the economics back in-line with what they needed. LCCs are growing and taking share from Legacy carriers and the writing was on the wall. A couple carriers went 9-abreast and not enough people complained so it stuck.

Boeing gives Airlines choices much like Airbus does - who coincidentally has put together mock ups of 11-abreast A380s and 10-abreast A350s. Both OEMs do it, its for the airlines to decide.

Interestingly look at who the LCCs/Charter/Budget airlines have chosen: TUI/Thomson, Jetstar, Scoot, Air Austral, etc.

Carriers don't want to lug around more weight than they have to. 17.2-17.8 are where most airlines are coming out on seat width in their 787s which is still in-line or wider than 747s and 10-abreast 777s which are very common on long haul.

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par13del
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RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 5:50 pm

So what is preventing Boeing from putting out and AD stating that only 8 abreast is allowed in Y on the 787?
The sooner they do that the better since the much wider and more comfortable A350 will take away market share resulting in cancellation of existing 787 orders thus loss of profitability etc etc etc
The airlines who are cramming these seat in the a/c and are up front meeting the customers every day are getting a pass by pushing the complaints to the OEM who they do not see but can touch their a/c.
Think I'm wrong, when was the last time you heard pax blaming Boeing for 29" or 30" seat pitch.
 
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RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 5:54 pm

Quoting EddieDude (Reply 5):
Remember as well that Boeing's initial sales pitch to airlines was a spacious 8-abreast cabin.

The airplane was designed for 2-4-2 seating. 3-3-3 was intended for LLC holiday charter type markets only, same as 777 3-4-3.

However, the airlines decided to cram 3-3-3 in the 787 for mainline international markets too, because they can. It really is miserable for 14 hour flight (which wasn't exactly low fare either), but of course the CEOs and executives making these decisions to make all coach passengers miserable will themselves travel in the lap of luxury.
 
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RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 5:58 pm

Popcorn time!

My humble opinion? Boeing probably went for the same 'comfort' marketing as Airbus did with the A380, but then economic reality set in and they realised that maybe 8 abreast would be less competitive with fuel burn per seat against the A330, which seems right to me because if we consider the A330neo to be 12-14% better than the ceo, but ~3-5% worse than the 787, taking away the seat advantage gained from 9 vs 8 abreast would lead to an A330ceo that is less fuel efficient, but possibly more cost efficient, and an A330neo which betters the 787's fuel burn per seat, with inferior but still acceptable comfort. Or smashes the 787's fuel burn per seat with a hideous 9 abreast cabin.

Out of interest. how does a 9 abreast A330 compare with a 9ab 787 in terms of efficiency? I've made loose assumptions but it it actually quite close?

Anyway the simple answer is that 9 abreast makes the 787 much more competitive, and widening the fuselage would add weight but probably not too much by the way of economic advantage, and I agree with the above, Boeing doesn't sell to us as passengers, but to airlines as customers. Airbus went for easy marketing, but I don't think it bothers that many people, otherwise people would boycott 787s en masse. I can't blame them, Boeing has always trumpeted the cabin improvements that the 787 does supply, and rightly so, why shouldn't they?
 
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RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 6:11 pm

Quoting MrHMSH (Reply 13):
Out of interest. how does a 9 abreast A330 compare with a 9ab 787 in terms of efficiency? I've made loose assumptions but it it actually quite close?

Since this is all about comfort it must be worse since the 787 is wider than the A330.

Quoting questions (Thread starter):
767 15' 6" (7 abreast)
330 17' 4" (8 abreast)
787 18" (9 abreast)
350 18' 5" (9 abreast)
777 19' 3" (9/10 abreast)
747 20' (10 abreast)
 
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RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 6:13 pm

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 10):

Boeing gives Airlines choices much like Airbus does - who coincidentally has put together mock ups of 11-abreast A380s and 10-abreast A350s. Both OEMs do it, its for the airlines to decide.

Interestingly look at who the LCCs/Charter/Budget airlines have chosen: TUI/Thomson, Jetstar, Scoot, Air Austral, etc.

I think the key gripe against Boeing is that the painful configs for Airbus are mostly reserved for charters and ULCCs while on the Boeings, the painful config is very much mainstream and dominant.

It's very easy to avoid 9-wide 330 or 10-wide 350, but it's virtually impossible to avoid 9-wide 787, and it's increasingly difficult to avoid 10-wide 777.

If airlines are truly discounting their seats to make up the seat discomfort, I'm all for it. The worst is when unsuspecting customers paid the same price for a worse product.
 
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RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 6:17 pm

Question: would it be possible for Boeing or Airbus to design a widebody comfortably for one configuration but have the overall width just slightly to narrow to make the extra seat impossible?
 
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RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 6:18 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 11):
So what is preventing Boeing from putting out and AD stating that only 8 abreast is allowed in Y on the 787?

Only the FAA can issue an AD, not the OEM.

Boeing decides the max seating capacity that they want to certify to. They could have done the emergency evacuation testing to only support 8 across seating configurations.
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RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 6:19 pm

Quoting United787 (Reply 16):

Question: would it be possible for Boeing or Airbus to design a widebody comfortably for one configuration but have the overall width just slightly to narrow to make the extra seat impossible?

That's called the 747. How many operators of 11-abreast 747 can you count ? Less than a handful ?

It's very much doable. It's just that greed counts more than anything else.
 
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RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 6:21 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 14):
Since this is all about comfort it must be worse since the 787 is wider than the A330.

I know, I meant specifically efficiency/fuel burn per seat.
 
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RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 6:24 pm

Quoting jetblue1965 (Reply 18):
Quoting United787 (Reply 16):

Question: would it be possible for Boeing or Airbus to design a widebody comfortably for one configuration but have the overall width just slightly to narrow to make the extra seat impossible?

That's called the 747. How many operators of 11-abreast 747 can you count ? Less than a handful ?

The 747 was originally built with 9 abreast seating and then airlines switched to 10 abreast. DC10s also were configured with 8 abreast seats but then airlines squeezed in 9.

Seat width debates have been going on since the 707 era.
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RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 6:26 pm

Quoting jetblue1965 (Reply 18):
That's called the 747.

Early 747 operators went 9-across in Economy, but economics invariably won out.

Airlines will happily provide more room in Economy if passengers are willing to pay for it. Boeing (and Airbus, and airlines of all sorts) instead cater to reality: For most travelers, price is king, and air travel is becoming (in relative terms) less expensive than ever, especially for longhaul travel. Everyone can't lose money on all longhaul flying for five years straight like Singapore Airlines, and thus every effort is made to maximize revenue, including the use of higher-density seating.
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RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 6:31 pm

Quoting United787 (Reply 16):
Question: would it be possible for Boeing or Airbus to design a widebody comfortably for one configuration but have the overall width just slightly to narrow to make the extra seat impossible?

Why on earth would Boeing or Airbus do such a thing to intentionally limit the capabilities of their customers? (the airline). If it ever came to that, and it never would, the competitor would design a comparable aircraft with the extra inch or two of width and clean house. Economics win.
 
jetblue1965
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RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 6:33 pm

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 20):
The 747 was originally built with 9 abreast seating
Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 20):
Early 747 operators went 9-across in Economy, but economics invariably won out.

Well the 9-abreast was unrealistically wide ... comparable to what "premium econ" is today, but air travel was also FAR more expensive once adjusted for inflation.
 
ec99
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RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 6:35 pm

I may be a heretic here but I for one don’t think the extra half an inch or so the A350 has per seat makes much of a difference. I fly AA at least once a month and mostly end up on 738s and US A320s. I know the 738s have 8/10 of an inch less seat width but I can honestly say that makes very little difference to me. If I were wider (fatter) my opinion might change but I just don’t care about seat width much. Seat pitch on the other hand is incredibly important and when flying on my own dime I’ll happily pay a 5%-10% more to fly B6 for the added 1-3 inches of legroom over AA.

All things equal, of course I want a wider seat. But in the grand scheme of things I think this is largely a red herring. A seat on a UA 787 is on average going to be the same width as a seat was on a 10 abreast CO 747 30 years ago. The erosion of seat pitch is what has made flying less comfortable.
 
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RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 6:38 pm

Boeing designed the plane at 2-4-2. NH and JL operate some at that. They were able to thin out the walls and fit acceptably comfortable seats and a wide enough aisle that it made sense to go 9 abreast.

Quoting par13del (Reply 11):

So what is preventing Boeing from putting out and AD stating that only 8 abreast is allowed in Y on the 787?

The fact that they want to continue to sell it in huge numbers.

Quoting jetblue1965 (Reply 15):
It's very easy to avoid 9-wide 330 or 10-wide 350, but it's virtually impossible to avoid 9-wide 787, and it's increasingly difficult to avoid 10-wide 777.

On the A330, that is because things get so narrow in the aisles that doing an efficient service is impossible. If the A350 can do 10-wide without sacrificing the ability to do an efficient service and keep seats at least as wide as a 10-abreast 777, you better believe Airbus will do it.
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RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:08 pm

Quoting BaconButty (Reply 7):
hoi polloi

"hoi polloi" "BaconButty" - could you get any more English??  
Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 20):
The 747 was originally built with 9 abreast seating and then airlines switched to 10 abreast.

And the 747 at 10 abreast is still a significantly more pleasant passenger experience than 10 abreast on a 777 or 9 abreast on a 787. There's no doubt that airlines are getting greedier.

Quoting avek00 (Reply 21):
Airlines will happily provide more room in Economy if passengers are willing to pay for it.

No. This is a fallacy - as if airlines were sitting around saying "well we'd love to provide you with a bit more space if only you'd pay another fifty bucks". If airlines perceived that there was more money available to paid by Y flying passengers, they'd simply up their prices to benefit the shareholders - as NZ have done on their awfully cramped, overpriced Y product between NZ and the USA.
 
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RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:41 pm

Quoting jetblue1965 (Reply 15):
I think the key gripe against Boeing is that the painful configs for Airbus are mostly reserved for charters and ULCCs while on the Boeings, the painful config is very much mainstream and dominant.

Do you really think Boeing foresaw this? I think they were trying to build in flexibility, much like Airbus. I don't think it was that clear that fuel would do what it did.

Quoting jetblue1965 (Reply 15):
If airlines are truly discounting their seats to make up the seat discomfort, I'm all for it. The worst is when unsuspecting customers paid the same price for a worse product.

I think the price is the price that they can get not what they think it is worth. They will try to get the highest possible. However, customers have shown that they will fly LCCs and put up with it for a cheaper ticket. Legacies recognize that and they have to combat it and so they are dropping their prices as well.

Quoting par13del (Reply 11):
So what is preventing Boeing from putting out and AD stating that only 8 abreast is allowed in Y on the 787?

I honestly thought you were joking. Airlines are Boeing's clients - giving them less choices is not how you grow a business. Y passengers aren't loyal to Boeing, honestly, why should they do something good for Y customers that will hurt their own customers even if they could which they can't.

Quoting United787 (Reply 16):
Question: would it be possible for Boeing or Airbus to design a widebody comfortably for one configuration but have the overall width just slightly to narrow to make the extra seat impossible?

Giving your customers less choice is not a good business strategy. Comfort in Y is only as good as the additional $ it generates.

Quoting CitationJet (Reply 17):
They could have done the emergency evacuation testing to only support 8 across seating configurations.

They actually didn't even complete an evacuation test.

Quoting winginit (Reply 22):
Why on earth would Boeing or Airbus do such a thing to intentionally limit the capabilities of their customers? (the airline). I

Hear hear!

Quoting EC99 (Reply 24):

I may be a heretic here but I for one don’t think the extra half an inch or so the A350 has per seat makes much of a difference.

Agreed, and for those it does matter to can be won over by better service, better food, better IFE, better FAs, etc...seat width is not everything.

Quoting gasman (Reply 26):
There's no doubt that airlines are getting greedier.

I want airlines to be greedy. No problem with it. Someone will differentiate if customers force it.

About 15 years ago fuel was 6% of an airline's costs, a couple years back it was 40% of their costs, yet prices stayed about the same. How can that happen if airlines aren't making adjustments and they should, that is what businesses do.

Quoting gasman (Reply 26):
No. This is a fallacy - as if airlines were sitting around saying "well we'd love to provide you with a bit more space if only you'd pay another fifty bucks". If airlines perceived that there was more money available to paid by Y flying passengers, they'd simply up their prices to benefit the shareholders - as NZ have done on their awfully cramped, overpriced Y product between NZ and the USA.

And what do you think that has been responsible for the massive growth of Y+ and premium economy over the last decade? For flyers that just want the cheap ticket, its in the back, for those that do care, its in the front part of the back. Honestly, I don't get the outrage.

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RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:51 pm

Quoting questions (Thread starter):
Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Because it would have added weight and drag for no purpose. There are not more than a couple of airlines in the world that would avoid buying an aircraft because it has 17.2" economy seats.

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 6):
Boeing designed the 787 to be as absolutely light as possible for the payload and range market segment.

  

Quoting EddieDude (Reply 5):
Remember as well that Boeing's initial sales pitch to airlines was a spacious 8-abreast cabin.
Quoting N1120A (Reply 25):
Boeing designed the plane at 2-4-2.

   Everyone knew from the beginning that the 787 was a 9Y airplane. Airline customers and Boeing engineers can both do math; they aren't fooled by gauzy filtered pictures of unrealistically massive Y seats. The 9Y part just wasn't said too loudly, to avoid hurting the 777 program prematurely.

Quoting par13del (Reply 11):
So what is preventing Boeing from putting out and AD stating that only 8 abreast is allowed in Y on the 787?

The fact that it would destroy the 787 program. The 787 would lose its economic advantage over the A330neo and A350, and would have to be sold cheaper than an A330 to compete. At those prices, Boeing could never make up development and initial production costs.
 
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RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:52 pm

I've read in the last few months news media articles where sometimes something like this was written :"Boeing/Airbus did an assessment and went to the customers to ask what they want..."

I mean, even a 2-man IT Start-Up - if they got some education on that in the past - will do proof-of-concepts prior asking for seed-money and spending thousands of $ into the build-up of their idea. Doesn't it make sense that Boeing/Airbus do the same before spending billions? Which goes to my point: maybe at this time (787 project start), the Boeing customer base were more interested for 8 than 9 abreast? Will you try to spend billion on a bigger plane for 9 abreast with all negative aspects of this decision (weight, fuel, etc.), because you think the future will ask for that, if your customer base tells you today "No!"?

Hmm...
 
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par13del
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RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:53 pm

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 27):
I honestly thought you were joking
Quoting tortugamon (Reply 10):
Here we go again!

I was, I should have copied your start.
I just do not understand why this is a Boeing problem and not an airline problem.
Perhaps it is because we can slam them with no response versus our favourite airline who we always call professional and do not want to "lump" in with what we deem non-professional airlines.

Quoting EC99 (Reply 24):
I may be a heretic here but I for one don’t think the extra half an inch or so the A350 has per seat makes much of a difference.

This I agree with, I wonder if BA even considered this option, leave the seats but loose maybe a row or two by increasing the pitch.
My money is on the complaints going way down, I think seat pitch on short or long haul is much more important than seat width, one cannot go lower in the seat with a 29 or 30 inch pitch.
One can only imagine the amount of seat damage due to the lower pitch.
 
ba319-131
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RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:56 pm

I have flown a 787 in Y with a 2-4-2 layout and it was fine, just like being on an A340/340. I have flown on a 787 with a 3-3-3 layout, it is most uncomfortable, that extra seat makes a huge negative difference,

I have also flown on an A350, QR surprisingly, Y was far more comfortable than the 787 - I'll do everything I can do to avoid flying 787's in economy.
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jetblue1965
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RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:02 pm

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 27):

Do you really think Boeing foresaw this? I think they were trying to build in flexibility, much like Airbus. I don't think it was that clear that fuel would do what it did.

I'll give you that one regarding the 777 - 10-abreast is indeed an unintended consequence of recent times. I don't think EK was the first one to go 10 but they surely deserve credit for mainstreaming that idea.

However, I disagree on the 787. It was optimized for the width of "8.5 seats" from the get go, and while they can pretend to offer unrivaled comfort in their marketing materials showing 8-abreast, behind the scenes they're very much actively pitching 9-abreast to the airlines as a way to drag them away from the 350 camp.

Airbus is much more honest regarding the 350. Their perspective is "9 means 9, period. If you go 10 you're on your own".
 
tortugamon
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RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:02 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 30):
I was

Dang! I was reading it right. My bad, should have known you were kidding.

Quoting par13del (Reply 30):
I just do not understand why this is a Boeing problem and not an airline problem.

Me neither. Airlines make adjustments if that is what their customers are saying. Look at BA going to 17.8" seats - just the act of making the effort will pay dividends to the (probably) few customers who complained. Its not overcomeable.

Quoting par13del (Reply 30):
Perhaps it is because we can slam them with no response versus our favourite airline who we always call professional and do not want to "lump" in with what we deem non-professional airlines.

Maybe!  

tortugamon
 
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seabosdca
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RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:04 pm

Quoting Alfons (Reply 29):
Which goes to my point: maybe at this time (787 project start), the Boeing customer base were more interested for 8 than 9 abreast?

The Boeing customer base were quite interested in 9 abreast, at the lowest possible cost. Boeing gave them exactly what they wanted.
 
AWACSooner
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RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:22 pm

Quoting jetblue1965 (Reply 18):
That's called the 747. How many operators of 11-abreast 747 can you count ? Less than a handful ?

Just curious...who flies the 747 with 11 abreast? I can't think of any...
 
jetblue1965
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RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:22 pm

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 33):
Look at BA going to 17.8" seats - just the act of making the effort will pay dividends to the (probably) few customers who complained. Its not overcomeable.

The cabin is only so wide, so something has to give - either much narrower arm-rests or much narrower aisles, or a combination of both.
 
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cosyr
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RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:27 pm

Because the 787 was designed to be 2-4-2, and airlines opted for 3-3-3. If they had made it wider, airlines would have opted for 3-4-3 like the 777. The 777 was designed to be 3-3-3, and the A350 lucked out from its design process following the 787.
 
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aerorobnz
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RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:30 pm

Quoting gasman (Reply 26):
There's no doubt that airlines are getting greedier.

Getting lazier. Going 9 abreast is the easy option for airlines who wouldn't otherwise pull a profit. Rather than work out the more difficult underlying costs and improve efficiency they resort to the easier option which is to cram an extra row of seats and not address any core underlying issues. Aircraft manages to limit losses/maybe even break even or post a marginal profit and everyone gives each other back slaps for a job well done. Cue a hike in Fuel bills, an economic bust in home port economy or Political instability and they post a massive loss again. All the 9 abreast 787s, 10 abreast 777s you like won't help if the airline issues aren't fixed underneath. Staff costs, Union negotiations, insufficient fleet for schedule, high maintenance costs should all be addressed before you resort to making your customer base miserable.
Flown to 147 Airports in 62 Countries on 83 Operators and counting. Wanderlust is like Syphilis, once you have the itch it's too late for treatment.
 
jetblue1965
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RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:35 pm

Quoting AWACSooner (Reply 35):
Just curious...who flies the 747 with 11 abreast? I can't think of any...

I can't think of any either, but I'm sure there's some no-name charter airline in the 3rd world that might just be doing that.....
 
Max Q
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RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:37 pm

Quoting jetblue1965 (Reply 18):
That's called the 747. How many operators of 11-abreast 747 can you count ? Less than a handful ?

I'd say zero, the Queen of the skies rules.
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


Guns and the love of them by a loud minority are a malignant and deadly cancer inflicted on American society
 
MSPNWA
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RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:40 pm

There will never be a twin-aisle plane width that airlines won't adjust by one seat across. If you think configurations are bad now, just wait for another fuel price run-up. Airbus will be hit next since Boeing's widths were easier to tighten. You'l see more 9-across A330s, and 10-across A350s will show up.
 
32andBelow
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RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:40 pm

Quoting questions (Thread starter):
When Boeing was touting the 787 one of the major consumer-focused features was a comfortable cabin including, among other features, Y class in a 3-2-3 configuration. At that time, Boeing had to have known that if airlines could configure the Y class cabin with 8-abreast or 9-abreast, the vast majority of airlines would choose 9-abreast.

Because airlines would be jamming in 3-4-3 instead. It's never ending.
 
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seabosdca
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RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:46 pm

Quoting Cosyr (Reply 37):
Because the 787 was designed to be 2-4-2, and airlines opted for 3-3-3.

Nope. The 787 was designed from the beginning as 3-3-3. If it had been designed for 2-4-2, it would have been the same width as an A330.
 
travelhound
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RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:46 pm

Quoting jetblue1965 (Reply 1):
That's the issue .... Boeing is CUSTOMER- focused, not consumer focused. And their customer is the airline, and that means delivering a CASM killer at all costs.

Everything is a trade off.

One could argue the cabin width of the 787 is better optimised for premium economy, business and first than the A350.

Where for many of us somewhat larger and wider males 18" seat widths are preferable, for the vast majority or our contemporaries a 17" seat is sufficient. Asian markets are different again, they generally have good diets and as such they don't consume as much of the worlds space as people in the west do. 18" seats are often not required.

If we consider economy customer buying choices, seat width would probably only rate first for a small minority. For the majority other considerations such as price, safety, connectivity, IFE, schedule, if first class have showers or if SRB owns the airline would be deciding factors.

In the last ten years airlines have been in a rush to add premium economy seating, often similar in width to what was offered in business 15 years ago. QANTAS for example typically have 12% of their economy seats in a premium configuration. One could argue the market for passengers who prefer a wider seat is catered for.

As such, why pay all the extra money to run a heavier aircraft when seat width only factors in a small percentage of buying choices.

On the economics side of the equation airlines could be fitting 9 wide economy seating into their 787 aircraft because they can do so without it impacting on the mission profile. As such airlines can offer more seats to the markets they serve for very little cost (CAPEX & OPEX).

At the end of the day, airlines have to fill their planes up with passengers. If an A350 costs 3% more per seat to operate as it offers 18" wide seats, that is a fairly large trade off to pay for the 10% of passengers who prefer wider seats (but can still make buying choices on other factors - i.e. price).

At the end of the day markets decides!
 
rbavfan
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RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:53 pm

The 787 at 18' 0" cabin width gives 59" triple seat with 19" isles & .5" space at side walls. The 737 has 59" triple seats with 20" isle. How is it that everyone is fine with the 737. but hates the cramped 787? Same seat & .5" narrower isle.
 
jetblue1965
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RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:56 pm

Quoting rbavfan (Reply 45):

The 787 at 18' 0" cabin width gives 59" triple seat with 19" isles & .5" space at side walls. The 737 has 59" triple seats with 20" isle. How is it that everyone is fine with the 737. but hates the cramped 787? Same seat & .5" narrower isle.

You know ... that wee bit of difference between a 1 hour SFO-LAX hop and that 15 hour LAX-MEL one ......
 
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BaconButty
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RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 9:02 pm

Quoting rbavfan (Reply 45):
How is it that everyone is fine with the 737. but hates the cramped 787

Average sector length.
Down with that sort of thing!
 
I380North
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2009 1:25 am

RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 9:10 pm

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 6):
Airbus knows that and has focused its marketing on economy seat width. A.net has bit into the marketing strategy of Airbus. I've seen them print giant posters about how the A320 is better than 737, A350 is better than 787 based on seat width. It's all marketing.

And then Boeing market attempting to finish off fatally wounded A340 suggested 10 across for 10-12% CASM improvement (screw the poor pax), and the airlines took up on it. Sometimes, you get what you pray for.

So, how difficult is it for A and B to choose an internal dimension which makes adding an extra seat becomes unacceptable for pax comfort?
 
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Ty134A
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RE: 787: Why Did Boeing Not Design A Wider Cabin For 3-3-3?

Fri Aug 28, 2015 9:11 pm

out of pure interest:

how would a B767-400 at 2-4-2 compare to an A330-300 in 3-3-3 and a B787-800 at 3-3-3 in terms of CASM - all eco of course?

i had the pleasure of "testsitting" a thomas cook 767 at 2-4-2, those were these non reclining seats with the small arm rest... it didn't feel too bad, and i am of average size. but probably it will get worse after more than 10 minutes in the seats.

it should feel the same as a Avro RJ at 3-3, flew one of Malmo Aviation a few days ago... also bearable, but probably not for 1 hours +.
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