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Gasman
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A Vs B Pax Comfort

Sat Feb 14, 2015 3:57 am

Let me immediately make one thing very clear - I think both Boeing and Airbus make unbelievably good, safe, technologically cutting edge aircraft. Anyone who says categorically either is "better" is, IMHO, a fool. One thing we can be sure of - is that without the existence of either, the quality, innovation and value of the remaining player would plummet. Aviation enthusiasts should be overwhelmingly grateful that both companies exist, and both are successful. They keep each other in check.

They have slightly different angles, and slightly different focuses. Airbus for example have for three decades gone the way of the sidestick. I believe this to be a mistake, and I know there are plenty who would agree. Airbus have always embraced computer technology slightly ahead of Boeing, who for their own reasons have been more reticent. Boeing have only made a half-hearted attempt at the VLA market. And so on.

But one area where I believe that Airbus now have the lead, is in cabin ambience and passenger comfort. There are a few examples, and I am coming to believe it may be no accident. IMHO:

- the A320 is more comfortable to travel on than a 737. A bit airier, and it feels roomier.
- the A330/340 series aircraft offer a comfortable 2-4-2 config in Y. This is preferable to 3-3-3 on a 777, and galaxies better than 3-4-3 on a 777. 3-4-3 isn't great on anything; in a 777 it is particularly bad. Also on the A330/340, no-one has been tempted to try a 2-3-2 config in J (as KLM and Emirates have done on the 777).
- 3-3-3 on the A350 works. Early reviews suggest it is preferable to 3-3-3 on the 787, which is considerably tighter.
- the A380 from a passenger perspective is generally highly regarded in every class. You never seem to read gripes about any carrier's A380 product here (as opposed to the 777).

All of these examples are basically just expressions of the relationship between fuselage diameter and an economically viable seating config. It seems to me Airbus are getting it right.
 
SYDSpotter
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RE: A Vs B Pax Comfort

Sat Feb 14, 2015 4:07 am

Quoting gasman (Thread starter):
- the A330/340 series aircraft offer a comfortable 2-4-2 config in Y. This is preferable to 3-3-3 on a 777, and galaxies better than 3-4-3 on a 777. 3-4-3 isn't great on anything; in a 777 it is particularly bad. Also on the A330/340, no-one has been tempted to try a 2-3-2 config in J (as KLM and Emirates have done on the 777).
- 3-3-3 on the A350 works. Early reviews suggest it is preferable to 3-3-3 on the 787, which is considerably tighter.

Yes but some LCC's have put 9 across on A330's and some will do 10 across on A350's, both won't be much fun either.

Sure, Airbus might be putting some additional emphasis on cabin comfort but that won't stop opportunistic carriers from cramming in additional seats.
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TheRedBaron
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RE: A Vs B Pax Comfort

Sat Feb 14, 2015 4:17 am

You were actually making good points until this:

Quoting gasman (Thread starter):
Airbus for example have for three decades gone the way of the sidestick. I believe this to be a mistake,

that is your opinion, but I bet statistically the 73X and the A32X series are matched in accidents...

Quoting gasman (Thread starter):
- the A320 is more comfortable to travel on than a 737. A bit airier, and it feels roomier.

The confort issue is very changing because of different seats, pitch and materials, I like the A320 over the 737, but I have been to very ugly and uncomfortable A320 cabins (old America west and UA aircraft), and I have used the new DL 739ER with sky interior on economy plus, and they are WAY WAY more confortable and roomy than some other A320 I have traveled.

Also the newer storage overhead compartments are WAY better than older ones, the point is that A and B are improving their product if the carrier WANTS IT, for example Interjet in Mexico has stupendous 31 and 32 inch pitch and for a Low cost airline is almost unheard of, they are very confortable and roomy and having a fleet of airbus a320 and Sukhoi Superjets makes them quite unique, Aeromexico has newer 738 and they have horrendous pitch and the seats are not the slim kind so getting in or out of a window seat is an olympic feat.

Airbus and Boeing produce very confortable planes, the airlines with their seat form factor make them torture chambers.

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Gasman
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RE: A Vs B Pax Comfort

Sat Feb 14, 2015 4:35 am

Quoting SYDSpotter (Reply 1):
Yes but some LCC's have put 9 across on A330's and some will do 10 across on A350's, both won't be much fun either.

Correct, but I'd think you'd call these outliers. A couple of airlines put 8 abreast in a 767 for example. The fact that a few rogue outfits did this wouldn't detract me from the fact the 767 was/is a great aircraft to travel in.
 
timpdx
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RE: A Vs B Pax Comfort

Sat Feb 14, 2015 4:58 am

The DL 739 is a dog and on my avoid list. The sectors are generally long, and it takes FOR EVER to deplane if towards the back. Its a big bus. I can take the AS 1-2 hour segments on the 739 just fine, though. I am becoming a fan of old airframes, love the NZ 767, likewise the DL 717 and MD series with 2-3 seating, and the E-jets are good, even the CR7/9s are fine under 2 hours (I do these regularly BUR-PDX) with every seat window or aisle and quick carryon service jetside.

I flew my first A380 recently LAX-ICN on KE, real nice ride, I can finally appreciate the whalejet. I also flew one leg on DY on the 787 at 9Y, wow, cramped. But I flew in the Econ+ product on DY and it exceeded expectations. The dreamliner in general is also on my avoid list in Y.

TK does or did 9Y on my LAX-ISL legs last year and that is a nice ride. I have yet to do a 10Y 777 ride.

Most crammed cabins that I can remember is awful pitch that I have had on Airbus 340 legs on Virgin Atlantic and CX, and I remember my EY flight AUH-JFK not being particularly comfortable, either.

So in the end, I prefer older airframes in general, and the comfort level really varies by what the airline decides to shoehorn into the airframe.
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AA7295
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RE: A Vs B Pax Comfort

Sat Feb 14, 2015 5:08 am

Quoting gasman (Thread starter):
- the A320 is more comfortable to travel on than a 737. A bit airier, and it feels roomier.

I have to really disagree here. When a 737 has the Boeing Sky Interior, it is generations ahead of the A32X. In the past 3 weeks I have flown a VX A320, AA A321T, JQ A320, QF738, and VA738 and the Qantas and Virgin BSI 737's.... ah blissfill!

I actually found the AA321T to be very claustrophobic.... even in Main Cabin Extra.
 
ytz
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RE: A Vs B Pax Comfort

Sat Feb 14, 2015 5:16 am

The only point of comparison is seat width really. Airlines fully control seat pitch.

Boeing makes it far too possible for airlines to screw pax.

Airbus has 18" wide seats on all its platforms. Boeing pulls the PR stunt of 18.5" seats (like with the 787) but then airlines buy them and go 9-abreast with 17" seats. Ditto the 777 with ten-abreast 17" seats. Finally correcting this with the 777X.

The 737s all have 17" wide seats.

That extra inch seems unnoticeable until you sit three decently built guys in a row with their shoulders touching for several hours.

This is why I'll always prefer the 320, and I'm looking forward to the CSeries.
 
directorguy
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RE: A Vs B Pax Comfort

Sat Feb 14, 2015 8:40 am

For narrow bodies, I find A320s to be particularly comfortable in Y. For long-haul, I find the 777s (in 3-3-3) to be very comfortable even for long journeys. I found the 787 on QR particularly uncomfortable even for a short 50-minute flight.
 
oby
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RE: A Vs B Pax Comfort

Sat Feb 14, 2015 10:49 am

I must seriously disagree with the statements om the 73x vs 32x. I aways go out og my way to fly the 73x. Maybe the 32x is a little sider, but i must sat it is unnoticeable even om long runs.
The thing that really annoys me about the 32x is that it is extremely noisy. The sawing sound gods om forever, which i have never heard om the 73x.

For longhaul there is no doubt that comfort in a typically configured 33x is fantatic, though i do not ikke the slow climb carracteristics. This is were the Boeings have the edge
 
Vladex
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RE: A Vs B Pax Comfort

Sat Feb 14, 2015 1:21 pm

I disagree that duopoly is better than a monopoly since the other guy can just play on availability and price and bring another guy down but airplane business is so uniform and specialized that it's hard to see a solution
 
roseflyer
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RE: A Vs B Pax Comfort

Sat Feb 14, 2015 1:35 pm

One correction is that yes emirates has 7 abreast business class on the A330 and A343. They have some of the narrowest business class seats in traditional configuration. United has 8 abreast on the 777, but due to the forward and backwards seats the aisle is not actually straight so isn't exactly a consistent width head to toe which is relatively common on the flat seats kind of like staggered seating.

Airbus marketing has won the economy seat width argument for now. Boeing marketing pushed for the 777 and 787 having the widest economy in the industry just like the 747 original did. Unfortunately airlines know they can get away with 17 inch seats so they squeezed in an extra seat.
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BestWestern
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RE: A Vs B Pax Comfort

Sat Feb 14, 2015 2:05 pm

Nothing beat an aisle seat on a DL MD11.
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BrianDromey
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RE: A Vs B Pax Comfort

Sat Feb 14, 2015 2:28 pm

Personally, I prefer the cabin environment of the Airbus aircraft over Boeing. I detest the low window belt on the 737 and the high levels of background noise on the 777, the 77W is especially bad, even up front. The A330/340 is superior in my mind. The major issue is the height of middle overhead bins, which are quite a stretch, they do seem accommodating, however.

Quoting gasman (Thread starter):
Also on the A330/340, no-one has been tempted to try a 2-3-2 config in J (as KLM and Emirates have done on the 777).

EK do. It was also featured on the DJ A330s that they got from EK, Im not sure if that has changed now.
 
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fallap
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RE: A Vs B Pax Comfort

Sat Feb 14, 2015 2:47 pm

Don't forget the typical 2-3-2 config in the Boeing 767

When travelling solo I generally don't care much about the seat config, since I always choose an aisle seat on longhauls. I do go out of my way to find an A330/A340 or a B767 when travelling with a companion.
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CXB77L
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RE: A Vs B Pax Comfort

Sat Feb 14, 2015 2:52 pm

Quoting gasman (Thread starter):
But one area where I believe that Airbus now have the lead, is in cabin ambience and passenger comfort. There are a few examples, and I am coming to believe it may be no accident. IMHO:

I think that is a matter of opinion. Cabin ambience and passenger comfort is undoubtedly a subjective measure, and to suggest that Airbus has the lead is quite frankly, rubbish. Passenger comfort is largely dependent on the hard product that airlines put on the planes. This is something that the manufacturers do not control; the airlines (to the extent that it complies with certification requirements) have the sole discretion, and thus it is highly unfair to place the blame on manufacturers.

Quoting gasman (Thread starter):
the A330/340 series aircraft offer a comfortable 2-4-2 config in Y. This is preferable to 3-3-3 on a 777

I disagree. The 777 feels wider and has a higher ceiling. The fold up bins give the cabin a sense of openness and space like no other aircraft. A330/A340 is noticeably narrower and has a lower ceiling. By that measure, the 777 is positively palatial.

Quoting gasman (Thread starter):
3-3-3 on the A350 works. Early reviews suggest it is preferable to 3-3-3 on the 787

Don't forget that the A350 is narrower than the 777. 3-3-3 on an A350 may have very similar seat widths to the 777, but it's bound to have narrower aisles or narrower seats, or both. So why does 3-3-3 on the A350 'work' but 3-3-3 on the 777 does not? Or are you also saying that 2-4-2 on an A330/A340 is preferable to 3-3-3 on an A350?

Quoting gasman (Thread starter):
the A380 from a passenger perspective is generally highly regarded in every class. You never seem to read gripes about any carrier's A380 product here (as opposed to the 777).

Funny you should say that, but also say:

Quoting gasman (Thread starter):
3-4-3 isn't great on anything

I guess that excludes the A380?

What product an airframe has doesn't depend on the airframe but how the airlines choose to configure it. SQ, for instance, has the same J and Y seats in both the A380 and the 77W (77Ws with new J class excepted), configured in the same way with the same width and pitch.

The problem is that some carriers, most notably EK, don't have the same consistency across the range. Had EK restricted the 77W to 9-across in Y, like it was designed for in the first place, then, like SQ, it can have the same consistent product throughout its fleet.

Quoting TheRedBaron (Reply 2):
Airbus and Boeing produce very confortable planes, the airlines with their seat form factor make them torture chambers.

  

Quoting YTZ (Reply 6):
Boeing makes it far too possible for airlines to screw pax.

Airbus has 18" wide seats on all its platforms. Boeing pulls the PR stunt of 18.5" seats (like with the 787) but then airlines buy them and go 9-abreast with 17" seats. Ditto the 777 with ten-abreast 17" seats.

This happens because of passenger's demands for lower fares. As long as passengers buy on price rather than comfort, airlines will find ways to get away with fitting narrower seats if it means that it can increase its margins. Boeing makes their cabins wider than strictly necessary for the configuration designed to fit in it, but airlines somehow find a way to squeeze an extra seat in.

Blame the airlines and the passengers. Not the manufacturers.

Quoting BrianDromey (Reply 12):
high levels of background noise on the 777, the 77W is especially bad, even up front.

Disagree. I think the noise issue has been somewhat exaggerated. I think the 77W is noticeably quieter than a 744.

Quoting BrianDromey (Reply 12):
EK do. It was also featured on the DJ A330s that they got from EK, Im not sure if that has changed now.

The ex-EK A332s have been withdrawn from VA's fleet.

[Edited 2015-02-14 07:50:29]
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afterburner
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RE: A Vs B Pax Comfort

Sat Feb 14, 2015 3:02 pm

Quoting CXB77L (Reply 14):
Quoting gasman (Thread starter):
3-3-3 on the A350 works. Early reviews suggest it is preferable to 3-3-3 on the 787

Don't forget that the A350 is narrower than the 777. 3-3-3 on an A350 may have very similar seat widths to the 777, but it's bound to have narrower aisles or narrower seats, or both. So why does 3-3-3 on the A350 'work' but 3-3-3 on the 777 does not?

He's comparing A350 with 787, not 777.  
 
CXB77L
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RE: A Vs B Pax Comfort

Sat Feb 14, 2015 3:49 pm

Quoting afterburner (Reply 15):
He's comparing A350 with 787, not 777.

What I was trying to get at, badly, was the omission of the 777 from that comparison. Given that the 777 is wider than the A350, and both come with a 3-3-3 configuration in Y, it would be prudent to include that for comparison purposes, would it not? So if the 3-3-3 configuration 'works' for the A350, why would it not 'work' for the 777? Also, he mentioned that

Quoting gasman (Thread starter):
the A330/340 series aircraft offer a comfortable 2-4-2 config in Y. This is preferable to 3-3-3 on a 777

I was just wondering if he would include 3-3-3 on the A350 as well?
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sassiciai
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RE: A Vs B Pax Comfort

Sat Feb 14, 2015 4:07 pm

Quoting CXB77L (Reply 14):
Quoting BrianDromey (Reply 12):
high levels of background noise on the 777, the 77W is especially bad, even up front.

Disagree. I think the noise issue has been overexaggerated. I think the 77W is noticeably quieter than a 744.

Well, I disagree with your disagreement!

I go out of my way to avoid the 777 as much as possible on my regular trips from BRU to MNL, often choosing an extra stop in HKG to ensure non-777 flights, and all this because of the much higher engine noise than in almost any other civil airliners of current vintage. Actually, 10-abreast in a 777 would be just about acceptable if it wasn't for that obtrusive, never-ending and inescapable roar for the entire duration. It spoils the fun, and makes it all very tiring! I have experienced it quite often, mainly on ME3 flights between Manila and the ME, with an A330 between BRU and ME before or after.

It's not a B versus A thing, I have enjoyed 747 and 767 long haul, as well as A330, A340, and A380. Somehow, the 777 is in a noise category of its own, one that I find horrid!
 
bgm
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RE: A Vs B Pax Comfort

Sat Feb 14, 2015 4:13 pm

I love flying both Airbus and Boeing aircraft.

For the narrowbodies, I do find that Airbus have the edge on passenger comfort. I find the A32X less claustrophobic. The seats are wider, the cabin is wider and the windows are at the correct height. It doesn't matter which 737 I fly in, for some reason it just feels cramped. I think it's a combination of having a smaller cabin, the aircraft is much closer to the ground, and the windows are too low (although not as bad as the CRJ). The A32X has the PTU barking, while the 737 has the engine groan/whistling combo. These are all minor things that in the grand scheme don't make a huge difference.

For the widebodies, I love flying both the 777 and A330. The 777 cabin is bigger, but the A330 cabin has a better seat configuration, and is definitely quieter (actually, all Airbus planes seem to be quieter than their Boeing counterparts).
 
trnswrld
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RE: A Vs B Pax Comfort

Sat Feb 14, 2015 4:24 pm

Quoting oby (Reply 8):

For longhaul there is no doubt that comfort in a typically configured 33x is fantatic, though i do not ikke the slow climb carracteristics. This is were the Boeings have the edge

Yeah, from a passengers perspective those slower climb rates make for a very uncomfortable ride lol. Are you serious? Unless you are speaking from some other point of view, what difference could an aircrafts climb rate possibly have on passengers comfort?  
 
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afterburner
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RE: A Vs B Pax Comfort

Sat Feb 14, 2015 4:24 pm

Quoting CXB77L (Reply 14):
So why does 3-3-3 on the A350 'work' but 3-3-3 on the 777 does not?

OP didn't say that 3-3-3 on 777 doesn't work. He just said that he prefers 2-4-2 on A330/A340 than 3-3-3 on 777.
 
mmo
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RE: A Vs B Pax Comfort

Sat Feb 14, 2015 6:23 pm

Quoting gasman (Thread starter):
But one area where I believe that Airbus now have the lead, is in cabin ambience and passenger comfort. There are a few examples, and I am coming to believe it may be no accident. IMHO:

I guess I am missing something in this entire discussion. Granted both A and B control the width of the cabin, but apart from that there is little input they have from that point on. The individual airlines control the cabin layout, the number of lavs in the aircraft, placement of the galleys.

The airlines are driven by CASM and RASM. If the carriers had their way they would cram pax in just like the tube in London at rush hour. But, thankfully, there are regulations that prohibit that practice. The 3-4-3 squeeze on the 777 was the result of trying to increase revenue without increasing cost. When JetBlue first started service, the cabin was 162 pax, then to reduce cost the layout was changed to below 150 resulting in a reduction of a flight attendant. I have been on LCCs where the cabin is 180+ on a regular 320. That's uncomfortable! But, that is an airline decision not a manufacturer decision. All the manufacturer does is certify max passenger capacity.

As far as the noise level, on the 777 and in all Boeings in general, the simple fact it has to do with the environmental control system more than anything else. Boeing and Airbus have very different approaches to air con/pressurization.

Just my humble opinion!
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DocLightning
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RE: A Vs B Pax Comfort

Sun Feb 15, 2015 3:19 am

Quoting gasman (Thread starter):
- the A320 is more comfortable to travel on than a 737. A bit airier, and it feels roomier.

I've honestly never noticed a difference. Although I just had my first ever 737 with the Boeing Sky Interior and, I'm sorry, but that cabin kicks the butt of any A320. Hey, Airbus! Catch up!

Quoting gasman (Thread starter):
- the A330/340 series aircraft offer a comfortable 2-4-2 config in Y.

The 2-3-2 on the 767 is my favorite configuration of any airliner, although I won't complain about the 2-4-2 on the A330/A340. I do prefer the A330's cabin quiet over the 767's loud one.

Quoting CXB77L (Reply 14):
I disagree. The 777 feels wider and has a higher ceiling. The fold up bins give the cabin a sense of openness and space like no other aircraft. A330/A340 is noticeably narrower and has a lower ceiling. By that measure, the 777 is positively palatial.

Yes, but over against the wall in a 777 I feel like I'm crammed into a high-ceiling sardine can rather than a low-ceiling one. Doesn't help much. I do like the overhead's general look, though. Certainly I think Boeing has the better overhead design on both their widebodies and narrowbodies.

The most comfortable flight I've ever taken, though was the 787-8. The way that the windows keep the cabin dim and cool while allowing me to see out, the lower cabin pressure, the spectacular lighting sequences, and the quiet calm of the cabin all made it one of the least unpleasant long-haul trips I've ever taken.
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Viscount724
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RE: A Vs B Pax Comfort

Mon Feb 16, 2015 7:11 pm

Quoting aa7295 (Reply 5):
Quoting gasman (Thread starter):
- the A320 is more comfortable to travel on than a 737. A bit airier, and it feels roomier.

I have to really disagree here. When a 737 has the Boeing Sky Interior, it is generations ahead of the A32X.

Many passengers probably don't notice it, but I always find that the A320 family seems more spacious than the 737 due to 6 or 7 inch wider cabin, which also permits one inch wider seats than the 737 (or wider aisles or a combination thereof).

I prefer the 4-abreast Embraer 190 over either the A320 or 737.

Best widebody Y class configuration by far is the 2-3-2 767 where the load factor has to reach 87% before anyone has to sit in a middle seat.

[Edited 2015-02-16 11:12:59]
 
Gasman
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RE: A Vs B Pax Comfort

Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:50 am

Quoting sassiciai (Reply 17):
I have enjoyed 747 and 767 long haul, as well as A330, A340, and A380. Somehow, the 777 is in a noise category of its own, one that I find horrid!

Agree. I wouldn't say I find the 777 noise "horrid" but my impression has always been that this aircraft is a lot noisier than a modern twinjet should be.

Quoting trnswrld (Reply 19):
Yeah, from a passengers perspective those slower climb rates make for a very uncomfortable ride lol. Are you serious? Unless you are speaking from some other point of view, what difference could an aircrafts climb rate possibly have on passengers comfort?

Indeed. I had always gone "meh. You'd never notice it" in response to the low climb rate, but on my first flight on an A343 it was like "wow..... this is really true". In no way did it detract from the experience; if anything it enhanced it.

Quoting YTZ (Reply 6):
Boeing makes it far too possible for airlines to screw pax.

This is the crux of the issue. Boeing market their aircraft with 18.5 inch wide seats, and then when airlines queeze in an extra one with 17", they can do a Pontius Pliate and say "It wasn't us! It's the airlines, dammit."
 
baldwin471
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RE: A Vs B Pax Comfort

Tue Feb 17, 2015 1:44 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 22):

The most comfortable flight I've ever taken, though was the 787-8. The way that the windows keep the cabin dim and cool while allowing me to see out, the lower cabin pressure, the spectacular lighting sequences, and the quiet calm of the cabin all made it one of the least unpleasant long-haul trips I've ever taken.


Interesting how experiences differ, as my 787-8 flight was probably my least comfortable one! Granted, it was on a 9-abreast DY plane, but still, it just wasn't that pleasant. Whiney high pitched noise all the time, eurgh. The A380 is still top of my list. The 13 hours from LHR to KUL on that felt like 6. Lovely aircraft from a passenger viewpoint.
 
BD338
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RE: A Vs B Pax Comfort

Thu Feb 19, 2015 12:14 am

Generally there is very little to choose between either. The interiors/seats are generally airline and not manufacturer driven. So that cramped 30" seat at the back of DL 739 is much more pleasant in the back of a AS 739, for example.

Personal observations: A320 has a slight edge on making me feel in a brighter cabin than a 737 UNLESS the 737 has a Sky interior which is just light years ahead of anything Airbus can currently offer. I wish Airbus would fix the fuel pumps that often whirr away under the belly while on the ground. Can't understand why they are set up like that.

Sorry 757 fans, phenomenal performance but the interiors are so dated these days and so much noisier than a A321.

In the next group, I give the A330 the edge over the 767. Much quieter, and a more spacious feel. I've flown on DL 767 and 330's with the new interiors and the 330 still wins.

747...sorry, way too noisy in the cabin. 777, no real feelings, it is the epitome of a big tube with wings and it kind of feels that way inside.

787, A380 not flown. (yet)

But when it comes down to it, it does not make a difference in my flight choices, all are excellent aircraft that do the job they are asked to do very safely. One type I do go out of my way to fly is the E170/190 family but again that is probably more due to scope clauses that limit seat count and hence increase legroom and personal space, if it was crammed in like a CR2 sardine can then it might be a whole different thought even though it would be the same airframe.

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Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos