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uta999
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Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sat Apr 23, 2016 2:07 pm

What are the regulators and airlines opposition to rear facing passenger seating?

If you were on a high speed train, probably 50% of the passengers would be rear facing. They don't come off the train screaming or feeling sick.

It has proven to be safer and some military insist on cabins facing the rear. It could even be more comfortable in most situations.

Could it ever become a requirement that all new A/C and refits turn the seats around? It would certainly be a PR coup for an airline that were to offer it first.
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BubbleFrog
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RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sat Apr 23, 2016 2:11 pm

Happens in some Business Class setups, and I love it.

For Y, I simply don't think you could convince people of the merits.
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CrimsonNL
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RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sat Apr 23, 2016 2:23 pm

It's seen on the first rows on a lot of ATR's as well, and I've seen it on the DH7 too. Quite interesting to fly backwards I have to say!

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vfw614
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RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sat Apr 23, 2016 2:40 pm

For the most effective use of what is a rather limited space in an airliner fuselage, it has to be all backward or forward-facing. Mixing both directions would result in a waste of space (except for row 1). I doubt that it would be widely accepted - you could just as well have cars with backward facing seats, but it simply not done. It's a different story with trains as these frequently change directions, so the layout guarantees that at least half of the passengers are sitting in the direction of travel.
 
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RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sat Apr 23, 2016 2:51 pm

I, for one, prefer to be seated facing the direction of movement regardless of the mode of travel. I think many others would agree.
 
silentbob
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RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sat Apr 23, 2016 3:00 pm

Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 2):

It's seen on the first rows on a lot of ATR's as well, and I've seen it on the DH7 too. Quite interesting to fly backwards I have to say!

DH8-300 as well

Quoting copter808 (Reply 4):
I, for one, prefer to be seated facing the direction of movement regardless of the mode of travel. I think many others would agree.

That's pretty common, a lot of people don't like facing backwards when flying.
 
michman
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RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sat Apr 23, 2016 3:01 pm

Southwest had a "lounge" seating section back in the day with rear-facing seats --

http://www.blogsouthwest.com/flashba...nes%E2%80%99-interiors-over-years/

[Edited 2016-04-23 08:02:40]
 
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hOMSaR
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RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sat Apr 23, 2016 3:02 pm

Trains have rear-facing seats because there is no "forward" direction of a railcar: they can travel in both directions. So, you either have some seats facing backwards, or you have to have seats that can turn and then turn them at each end of the trip.

Planes only ever travel in one direction (not counting VTOL/helicopter type planes), so why not have them all face the same way.
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aloges
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RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sat Apr 23, 2016 3:19 pm

Quoting HOMsAr (Reply 7):
seats that can turn and then turn them at each end of the trip

That's quite rare AFAIK, but it's interesting to see/watch:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pt24C_7yOb4
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GlenP
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RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sat Apr 23, 2016 3:38 pm

Crabgrass Airways used them all the time on their VC10s & KC1011s.

Apparently a lot of the objection from the airlines is that passengers are believed to prefer to see where they're going, rather than where they've been, even if the latter is known to be safer.
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Francoflier
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RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sat Apr 23, 2016 3:45 pm

Quoting aloges (Reply 8):
That's quite rare AFAIK, but it's interesting to see/watch:

These rotatable seat designs mostly come from Japan. They have other types of reversible train seats as well. Some designs are actually pretty smart.
It turns out that Asian passengers feel very uncomfortable with travelling while seating backwards, for some reason, so most trains in Asian have to have reversible seats.

If the reluctance is enough to cover the cost of the more complex seats, the additional maintenance and the added manpower required to reverse them at the end of the line, then why not, I guess.

I, for one, like to travel 'backwards'.

On airplanes, however, I think they would be slightly uncomfortable after take off during the initial part of the climb.
Some airplanes have pretty steep climb gradients after take off and one would be hanging from one's seatbelt for a while. That probably wouldn't feel too nice.
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RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sat Apr 23, 2016 3:45 pm

Quoting uta999 (Thread starter):
If you were on a high speed train, probably 50% of the passengers would be rear facing. They don't come off the train screaming or feeling sick.

It has proven to be safer and some military insist on cabins facing the rear. It could even be more comfortable in most situations.

I flew "backwards" hundreds of times on USAF transports. I don't ever remember a single person complaining. Southwest had row one facing back on some 732's for years (you had to "share" foot space with the people sitting across from you).

On the EC-130's I worked in all of us in the command post section sat sideways for our 12-14 hour missions, with no windows. When many aircraft had Flight Engineers and Navigators they were usually sitting sideways.

Bottom line, it doesn't make any difference to your body. It would be much safer in a survivable crash.

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RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sat Apr 23, 2016 3:53 pm

There must be a statistic out there that says you are safer to crash land when sitting backwards.  
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RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sat Apr 23, 2016 3:56 pm

Quoting aloges (Reply 8):

That's quite rare AFAIK, but it's interesting to see/watch:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pt24C...7yOb4

I know some Acela seats do that.It does take up more space, and issues with recline.

I think there is also the issue of the safety briefing. Having so many seats facing both directions are an issue, as not only can half of the people not be able to see the safety briefing, it would be much harder to have a TV screen for every seat that didn't have to be stowed on the ground.
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RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sat Apr 23, 2016 4:06 pm

The Sputhwest lounge seats where you shared foot space would have its merits for families, although being at an exit row, that wouldn't work. Some people aren't very respectful of others space on a good day, so I can only imagine how they'd be with this space on a plane.
 
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RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sat Apr 23, 2016 4:10 pm

Quoting rj968 (Reply 11):
with no windows

Whether or not someone feels uncomfortable travelling backwards most probably has a lot do with the possibility to see the outside world through windows and take visual notice of the direction of travel.
 
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RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sat Apr 23, 2016 4:16 pm

Quoting BubbleFrog (Reply 1):
For Y, I simply don't think you could convince people of the merits.
Quoting michman (Reply 6):
Southwest had a "lounge" seating section back in the day with rear-facing seats --

Yep, WN had it and it went away, so that should tell you it doesn't pencil out in the modern era. I will say I loved it though, for work it meant we could hold a mini meeting while in the air, for leisure it meant we could chat as a group.

Quoting BubbleFrog (Reply 1):
Happens in some Business Class setups, and I love it.

Row 20 E/F on the BA 744's, great seats for couples, certainly my choice of seats when flying BA.

Quoting copter808 (Reply 4):
I, for one, prefer to be seated facing the direction of movement regardless of the mode of travel. I think many others would agree.

My wife hates it (though she manages to put up with it when flying in club), she says that when flying through turbulence it feels like she is about to be thrown out of the seat, I don't get that at all.
 
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RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sat Apr 23, 2016 4:33 pm

I flew LGW-Bermuda on a BA 772 Business class in 2010 and the seating arrangement was 8 abreast, 4 forward and 4 backward, with folding partition to ensure privacy.

Indeed a very effective arrangement, taking advantage of the smaller width required for the legs, but a bit surprising when the passenger next/in front of you was folding his partition on anticipation of the landing !
 
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RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sat Apr 23, 2016 4:34 pm

My wife is prone to severe motion sickness. Facing backwards would require enough medication to knock her out for a week. Flying facing forward with a window is bad enough for her. I have flown in one of those first row, rear facing seats. It really isn't comfortable for me and I don't normally have motion sickness problems. I'm not sure how much safer rear facing seats are in most accidents.
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Areopagus
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RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sat Apr 23, 2016 4:53 pm

I flew in a rear-facing seat of a Sabreliner, and I was indeed hanging by my seat belt on climbout. I don't think many people will like it, especially those traveling with lap children.
 
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RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sat Apr 23, 2016 5:06 pm

Quoting jetwet1 (Reply 16):
Row 20 E/F on the BA 744's, great seats for couples, certainly my choice of seats when flying BA.

And window seats are great for privacy. Love it and will be sad when BA finally changes, if they opt to get rid of this. Feels no different and never had a problem with take off and landing. Other than the 'oh, this is different' moment my first time, can't say it's bothered me.
 
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RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sat Apr 23, 2016 5:30 pm

The sUA business class is half front facing and half rear facing.
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barney captain
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RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sat Apr 23, 2016 5:30 pm

Quoting Areopagus (Reply 19):
I flew in a rear-facing seat of a Sabreliner, and I was indeed hanging by my seat belt on climbout. I don't think many people will like it, especially those traveling with lap children.

Even in cruise most aircraft ride 2-3% nose up. It never bothered me, but I can see how some may not like it.
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FredrikHAD
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RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sat Apr 23, 2016 7:59 pm

Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 2):
It's seen on the first rows on a lot of ATR's as well

I fly ATR-72-500 and -600's on occasion and I often like to sit in the first row where the seats are rear-facing, mainly because they are far from the props and I believe it's the quietest (or least noisy...) seating and its "unlimited" legroom. The downside is that the seatback is even more upright than the front-facing seats and can't be reclined at all. To my surprise, the seats 2C and 2D opposite of the two rear-facing seats in 1C/D (if rows are numbered starting with 1) are a LOT noisier than 1C/D in the -600, but not on the -500, which is really odd.

Last monday, I flew an ATR72-200, but that model has a totally different cabin layout and no rear-facing seats, which seems to be the case with most (all?) ATR-42's as well.

In general, I have nothing to object towards being seated rear-facing, and the acceleration problem people have noted in this thread are not of any concern for me at least. You get the same feeling on approach and landing in a front-facing seat anyway. Safety-wise I'm not so sure a rear-facing position would be so much better since you risk getting hit by flying objects, but of couse, a severe crash with a frontal impact may be more gentle to the body when seated rear-facing.

While we're on the subject; why are seatbacks so short? A tall individual would most likely get a whiplash in most seats on impact since the seatback ends somewhere between the head and the shoulders.

/Fredrik
 
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RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sat Apr 23, 2016 8:46 pm

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 21):
The sUA business class is half front facing and half rear facing.

Yes, and with the exception of the takeoff roll and the first 30 seconds or so of climb, there is no notable difference. I actually slept better in a rear facing seat than a forward facing seat and I think it was due to the slight nose up attitude.
 
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RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sat Apr 23, 2016 9:00 pm

As long as there is more legroom than in the standard AW139 offshore configuration I don't have an issue with flying backwards. It is quite annoying having another mans knee almost in your groin.

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RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sat Apr 23, 2016 9:04 pm

Back when the middle seat was left open and there was other premium options on the NE Shuttle here in the US, I would have thought this would have been practical. It would be a premium lounge type setting for premium short haul travel. But as others have said above the wasted space and shared legroom negate any benefits.

I remember in the post 9/11 days there were lots of concepts discussing making all seats rear facing because of apparent safety (perceived).

Rear facing business class seats (bc of the efficient use of space) is about all we can expect.
 
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Groover158
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RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sat Apr 23, 2016 9:35 pm

Quoting silentbob (Reply 5):
That's pretty common, a lot of people don't like facing backwards when flying.

That's interesting when you consider that probably more than 99% of aircraft pax will never have experienced flying backwards to be able to make an assertion that they don't like it.
 
loalq
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RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sat Apr 23, 2016 10:11 pm

Flown many times facing backwards with BA on business (actually the best seats are facing backwards on BAs business class) and just last week flown backwards with EY on the 789. I dont remember not even once in this flight that I actually noted that I was flying backwards...
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RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sat Apr 23, 2016 10:46 pm

My first ever flight was on a British Caledonian BAC 1-11 [at that age I didn't realise there were different variants so not sure which one] . Six of us sat in two over wing exit rows but the first of the two rows was facing backwards so we were knee to knee with the person opposite.

I was facing backwards and thought it was quite normal and I was quite happy. It came of more of a surprise really when I realised that it was the exception rather than the norm.
 
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KLM11
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RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sun Apr 24, 2016 12:36 am

I remeber the WN lounge when I was a kid flying SAN-TUS once. The headrests on the rear-facing seats were much higher than the forward facing seats.

My best experience flying backwards was when I was a ramp rat at SNA airport. One day a pilot offered to take a couple guys up in a C680 (Citation Sovereign) and since we were slow and my lead was being nice that day, we took him up on the offer (only catch was no lunch break). 3 high-performance takeoffs had the three of us in the back grinning from ear to ear. On the third and final takeoff we switched seats and I chose to face backwards. I recall thinking that if the seatbelt were to break, I'd be slamming face first into the rear bulkhead. Despite the combined power of a C680 and an even crazier SNA-style takeoff, I never felt the least bit motion sick. Undoubtedly the coolest flight of my life to date.

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RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sun Apr 24, 2016 2:23 am

Quoting francoflier (Reply 10):
These rotatable seat designs mostly come from Japan

Seats that can be positioned in any direction have been common on US built railroad cars for more than a 100 years. Some of the more basic systems in 1910s-40s commuter cars have only the seat back move position. On long distance coaches have a foot pedal operated system that allows the entire seat to pull out and rotate. I have rotated a coach full of these many times on 1940s-50s era coaches back in the 1990s when I worked with Railroad equipment.

Quoting jetwet1 (Reply 16):
WN had it and it went away,

I always enjoyed those seats on WN.
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RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:18 am

Quoting michman (Reply 6):
Southwest had a "lounge" seating section back in the day with rear-facing seats

Miss those when traveling with friends or business associates. Cold do business without cranking your kneck the whole flight. Never believed the "when -700 introduced new seat standards could not be met on rear facing seats." If thats true why do ATR's have rear facing seats.

Also when facing rear you really get a real for how steep the plane can climb.
 
Beatyair
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RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:43 am

They tested this, I don't know, around twenty years ago. The said rear facing was safet, but it was not likely be pass angers that tried it out. For so reason on planes we hate it and trained we like it.
 
CXfirst
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RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:58 am

Aircraft generally cruise with a slight pitch up. Probably not all that noticeable in a comfy business class seat, but, perhaps it would be noticeable in an economy class seat after a few hours. You'd feel like you were sitting even more upright with perhaps the tendency to slip a bit forward out of your seat.

Trains don't generally have that problem.

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RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sun Apr 24, 2016 4:04 am

Quoting michman (Reply 6):
Southwest had a "lounge" seating section back in the day with rear-facing seats --
Quoting Prost (Reply 14):
The Sputhwest lounge seats where you shared foot space would have its merits for families, although being at an exit row, that wouldn't work. Some people aren't very respectful of others space on a good day, so I can only imagine how they'd be with this space on a plane.

I flew in this section twice with a large group of travel agents PDX-BOI-SLC & SLC-PDX, with more than a dozen in our group the lounge, near the back of the plane, was a nice place to have fun with your friends & drink. I'd hate to ride there when I'm by myself.
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RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sun Apr 24, 2016 4:25 am

I flew WN rear facing seats, a bit odd to stare at a full cabin on take off but then again F/As do that every day from their jump seat and you get used it after the first minute or two.

Didn't used to like it on UA but one the other hand you can get some pretty cool pictures / shorts on takeoff and landing since the don't have tail cameras a la LX. No difference during other phases of flight, you get used to it and initial objections are mostly in the head and dissipate soon enough.
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RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sun Apr 24, 2016 4:40 am

Quoting rj968 (Reply 11):
I flew "backwards" hundreds of times on USAF transports.

I always flew "sideways" on webbed collapsible benches, with my back to the sparsely-spaced pothole windows, when "loaded" onto C-130 military transports many decades ago. Four to eight hour flights with cargo pallets against my knees & toes. Those who complain about tight seat width, pitch, and cushion have never experienced true discomfort in the air.
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RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sun Apr 24, 2016 7:28 am

Quoting loalq (Reply 28):
Flown many times facing backwards with BA on business (actually the best seats are facing backwards on BAs business class) and just last week flown backwards with EY on the 789. I dont remember not even once in this flight that I actually noted that I was flying backwards...

Take-off...?

Quoting jetwet1 (Reply 16):
Row 20 E/F on the BA 744's, great seats for couples, certainly my choice of seats when flying BA.

Upstairs, to the right, just by the exit, I think it's row 61, but would have to check.  
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RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sun Apr 24, 2016 7:36 am

I read that as FEAR Racing passenger seats lol
 
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RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sun Apr 24, 2016 7:51 am

I happen to fly Cyprus Airways in their On-Eleven which had in middle of these aircraft cabin two rows in lounge-like seats facing together, these were the only two rows facing together though; was little awkward to sit in that Aft facing seat, but very much suitable for a family flying together !! However, Aft facing is most popular in business jets, the nice thing about business jets is that your seating is not necessarily the one reserved for you & you can change your seating if not feeling comfortable.

Also in commercial airliners F/C suites you can find the option of ottomans in Fwd end of suite for the purpose of adding companionship to occupying passenger, however that ottoman mostly not occupiable during take-off, landing & turbulence so that companionship must have a regular seat reserved for him/her.

Quoting uta999 (Thread starter):
If you were on a high speed train, probably 50% of the passengers would be rear facing. They don't come off the train screaming or feeling sick.

Do not agree, some people feel dizziness from sitting in Aft facing train seats.
 
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RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sun Apr 24, 2016 8:52 am

Quoting aloges (Reply 8):
That's quite rare AFAIK, but it's interesting to see/watch:

I remember seating in busses and commuter trains that allowed to fold over the backrest.
( The seat cushion was symmetric. Backrests turned against each other allowed to store
bags and suitcases in the row space below while keeping the number of useable seats.)

Out of fashion afaics due to safety aspects and rather heavy upholstery.
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RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sun Apr 24, 2016 8:57 am

Finnair had a pair of rear facing seats in their ATR72s in the early 2000s
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RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sun Apr 24, 2016 9:13 am

Quoting michman (Reply 6):
Southwest had a "lounge" seating section back in the day with rear-facing seats --

I remember flying on WN from Austin to Houston Hobby back in 2004 and I picked the rear-facing seat in an emergency exit row to just try out flying facing backwards for once. The load factor was less than 20% but one tool sat in the seat facing me which made sharing leg room space something that required a bit more thinking than usual (none of the other booth seats in the booth I was in or the opposite booth were taken). Does anybody know what 737 sub type WN flew between Austin and Houston in 2004 as I'm curious what type I might have been on given these booths existed in various WN 737 sub types?

Notice the higher head rest on the rear-facing seats.


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RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sun Apr 24, 2016 9:21 am

Quoting uta999 (Thread starter):
What are the regulators and airlines opposition to rear facing passenger seating?

They are? I've flown facing backwards lots of times.

Quoting BubbleFrog (Reply 1):
Happens in some Business Class setups, and I love it.

For Y, I simply don't think you could convince people of the merits.

Nearly all my BA flights in business are rear-facing and, I admit a while ago now, but I've flown facing rearwards on a WN 737 as well.
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RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sun Apr 24, 2016 10:51 am

Quoting scbriml (Reply 44):
Nearly all my BA flights in business are rear-facing and, I admit a while ago now, but I've flown facing rearwards on a WN 737 as well.

Every time I fly business on BA I try to choose the rear facing seat, mainly because I have found out I wake up feeling better than when I sleep in a forward facing one. I wonder if that's because the aircraft attitude during cruise is slightly nose-up and therefore your head is a little higher than your feet when sleeping in the rear-facing flat seat, but it can be purely a subjective feeling.
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Clipper101
Posts: 697
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RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sun Apr 24, 2016 11:18 am

Quoting curlyheadboy (Reply 45):
I wonder if that's because the aircraft attitude during cruise is slightly nose-up and therefore your head is a little higher than your feet when sleeping in the rear-facing flat seat

Seat manufacturers usually incline seat full bed positions with an angle in reference to horizontal to compensate for nose up flight path tendency
 
StTim
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RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sun Apr 24, 2016 11:23 am

I prefer the rearward facing seats in BA Business. They are also safer as planes rarely reverse into objects.
 
curlyheadboy
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Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2005 6:56 am

RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sun Apr 24, 2016 11:41 am

Quoting Clipper101 (Reply 46):
Seat manufacturers usually incline seat full bed positions with an angle in reference to horizontal to compensate for nose up flight path tendency

Thanks for that, Clipper, I didn't know. I'll never be so picky again when I click on the seat map while booking  
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cathay747
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RE: Rear Facing Passenger Seats

Sun Apr 24, 2016 1:07 pm

Quoting readytotaxi (Reply 12):
There must be a statistic out there that says you are safer to crash land when sitting backwards.

Why does anyone think that all FA jumpseats face aft?
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