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Simon0654
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Where do old/discontinued J class seat products end up?

Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:16 am

When VS ditched the Dream suite on its A330s in favour of its 2003 design, I couldn’t help but wonder what happens to the physical discontinued product. In the main market, J seat designs across cabins are changing more often than my underwear - especially on carriers that are unifying their products across varying fleet types - so there must be stacks of removed herringbones, discontinued suites etc that no longer fit any of the main airlines operations but have some economical value to smaller/more distant carriers. I wasn’t a fan of the dream suite but given the option of that over the ancient business seat on Aerolineas Argentinas, I’d jump through hoops for one of the dodgy centreline crossovers.
I suppose my main question is why these seats (with a few minor and inexpensive design changes - fabrics, colour, faceplates) aren’t snapped up at a much reduced rate by low end carriers with fleet comparability, I.e virgin a330 retrofit could offer revised cabins to Aerolineas Argentinas 7 A330s that operate internationally? There are a million carriers that I can think of with aging products in their a331/2/3 that would never fork out for new retrofits. I know that many of you will likely hit back at me saying that the original carrier wont want their seats featured on lesser carriers, these secondary carriers have no money, etcetcbut that’s not the case for all. That didn’t seem to matter to virgin when their a340s went off to Iran as a permanent fixture with the 2003 current design upperclass seat still installed.
I have come across a few seat salvage companies but these only stock the before-Christ seats from the breakers yard. Surely these J seats are for the most part within their functional life and an easy fix for a cheap retrofit? They must be gathering dust somewhere...
 
unimproved
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Re: Where do old/discontinued J class seat products end up?

Thu Jul 18, 2019 3:49 pm

I think most of ours were given away, sold, used for cabin trainers, etc. At least a dozen ended up in company break rooms and offices.

It's one of those things people in middle management like to give away to get their name known.
 
strfyr51
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Re: Where do old/discontinued J class seat products end up?

Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:39 pm

At United, they end up in the Core building at SFO between Hangars #!1 and #2. where they are eventually parted out sold or scrapped. we have a lot of employees who buy and reuse them as well.
 
RJMAZ
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Re: Where do old/discontinued J class seat products end up?

Fri Jul 19, 2019 4:36 am

I'm surprised I have never seen old airline seats for sale. Maybe the seats are too contaminated with bleed air?

I purchased cinema seats from the a cinema that had a high end premium cinema that also had food delivered. Very nice seats for my home cinema with two rows of 4. I purchased off a guy who was doing the refurb.
 
D328
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Re: Where do old/discontinued J class seat products end up?

Fri Jul 19, 2019 4:57 am

Midwest sold their seats. I bought a set of the biz class seats on ebay for $150. I used them in my apartment in NY, now they are in the basement of my parents house.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Where do old/discontinued J class seat products end up?

Fri Jul 19, 2019 5:28 am

RJMAZ wrote:
I'm surprised I have never seen old airline seats for sale. Maybe the seats are too contaminated with bleed air?

I purchased cinema seats from the a cinema that had a high end premium cinema that also had food delivered. Very nice seats for my home cinema with two rows of 4. I purchased off a guy who was doing the refurb.


A simple search on eBay shows tons of old seats.

Why would they be "contaminated" by bleed air? If bleed air contaminated stuff, we wouldn't use it.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
TSS
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Re: Where do old/discontinued J class seat products end up?

Fri Jul 19, 2019 6:49 pm

Starlionblue wrote:
RJMAZ wrote:
I'm surprised I have never seen old airline seats for sale. Maybe the seats are too contaminated with bleed air?

I purchased cinema seats from the a cinema that had a high end premium cinema that also had food delivered. Very nice seats for my home cinema with two rows of 4. I purchased off a guy who was doing the refurb.


A simple search on eBay shows tons of old seats.

Why would they be "contaminated" by bleed air? If bleed air contaminated stuff, we wouldn't use it.


Maybe he meant "bleed air" from thousands of passenger's individual outflow valves, not from the plane's engines?
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Simon0654
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Re: Where do old/discontinued J class seat products end up?

Tue Jul 23, 2019 2:10 am

Starlionblue wrote:
RJMAZ wrote:
I'm surprised I have never seen old airline seats for sale. Maybe the seats are too contaminated with bleed air?

I purchased cinema seats from the a cinema that had a high end premium cinema that also had food delivered. Very nice seats for my home cinema with two rows of 4. I purchased off a guy who was doing the refurb.


A simple search on eBay shows tons of old seats.

Why would they be "contaminated" by bleed air? If bleed air contaminated stuff, we wouldn't use it.


I was waiting for this to appear. A ‘simple’ search on eBay reveals a bunch of pre-historic seats from the breakers yard. You don’t see any herringbone or lie-flats (or even many angled sleepers) that have been discontinued in the past 5 years. Certainly not at the volume that they’re being phased out.
 
Simon0654
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Re: Where do old/discontinued J class seat products end up?

Tue Jul 23, 2019 2:13 am

unimproved wrote:
I think most of ours were given away, sold, used for cabin trainers, etc. At least a dozen ended up in company break rooms and offices.

It's one of those things people in middle management like to give away to get their name known.


Thanks for the insider note! Interesting because these could easily be sold on at the price of a small second hand car to other carriers. You’d think the CFO would have something to say about whole cabins of seats falling off the face of the earth...
 
Simon0654
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Re: Where do old/discontinued J class seat products end up?

Tue Jul 23, 2019 2:15 am

RJMAZ wrote:
I'm surprised I have never seen old airline seats for sale. Maybe the seats are too contaminated with bleed air?

I purchased cinema seats from the a cinema that had a high end premium cinema that also had food delivered. Very nice seats for my home cinema with two rows of 4. I purchased off a guy who was doing the refurb.


Actually, that’s a good point that I forgot to mention in my original post. I think that united and delta are the only two that hold auctions and open days to get rid of old hardware.
 
TSS
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Re: Where do old/discontinued J class seat products end up?

Tue Jul 23, 2019 6:33 am

Simon0654 wrote:
unimproved wrote:
I think most of ours were given away, sold, used for cabin trainers, etc. At least a dozen ended up in company break rooms and offices.

It's one of those things people in middle management like to give away to get their name known.


Thanks for the insider note! Interesting because these could easily be sold on at the price of a small second hand car to other carriers. You’d think the CFO would have something to say about whole cabins of seats falling off the face of the earth...


I'd imagine most CFOs wouldn't want to fool with reselling the seats unless they could find a single carrier who wanted to take all of them in one lot. They're already a sunk cost, and the price of several small second-hand cars is hardly a drop in the bucket in the overall budget of a major airline. Another concern for the second-hand purchasing carrier is that the warranty as well as any parts & service agreement between the original purchaser and the seat manufacturer may not be transferable... not such a big deal with simple and common Y seats, but a huge deal with complex, articulated, powered, and sometimes almost unique J and F seats.
Able to kill active threads stone dead with a single post!
 
strfyr51
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Re: Where do old/discontinued J class seat products end up?

Tue Jul 23, 2019 6:57 am

TSS wrote:
Simon0654 wrote:
unimproved wrote:
I think most of ours were given away, sold, used for cabin trainers, etc. At least a dozen ended up in company break rooms and offices.

It's one of those things people in middle management like to give away to get their name known.


Thanks for the insider note! Interesting because these could easily be sold on at the price of a small second hand car to other carriers. You’d think the CFO would have something to say about whole cabins of seats falling off the face of the earth...


I'd imagine most CFOs wouldn't want to fool with reselling the seats unless they could find a single carrier who wanted to take all of them in one lot. They're already a sunk cost, and the price of several small second-hand cars is hardly a drop in the bucket in the overall budget of a major airline. Another concern for the second-hand purchasing carrier is that the warranty as well as any parts & service agreement between the original purchaser and the seat manufacturer may not be transferable... not such a big deal with simple and common Y seats, but a huge deal with complex, articulated, powered, and sometimes almost unique J and F seats.

At SFO we have a building we call the "'junkpile" which is the only building that has a street entrance off of Airport Road they have and sell all manner of surplus material and even parts to other airlines and consumers.
 
unimproved
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Re: Where do old/discontinued J class seat products end up?

Tue Jul 23, 2019 12:40 pm

Another thing to think about is that most seat upgrades are competition based. Why spend a lot of money (don't underestimate the electrical work needed to get those new seats in) when your competitors don't have it either?

Lie flat seats will start to trickle down into those markets after the 777's and A330's start going that way in a few years.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Where do old/discontinued J class seat products end up?

Tue Jul 23, 2019 3:27 pm

unimproved wrote:
Another thing to think about is that most seat upgrades are competition based. Why spend a lot of money (don't underestimate the electrical work needed to get those new seats in) when your competitors don't have it either?

Lie flat seats will start to trickle down into those markets after the 777's and A330's start going that way in a few years.


I don't understand. Lie flat in Business Class seats are already in widespread use on 777s and 330s, and have been for over a decade.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
Simon0654
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Re: Where do old/discontinued J class seat products end up?

Tue Jul 23, 2019 5:48 pm

To all responses to that last post. Thanks.

I suppose my point was, even if the sell on purchase price was just $1k per seat - for the airline selling them (taking VS as an example) that’s $33k per 330 cabin, x 8 cabins, that’s $264k. That’s a drop in the ocean holistically but it’s money for old rope and the cumulatively the annual salary of the full a330 cabin crew (not flight crew) for an entire year.
For the buyer (AR for example) who’s J class seats are well beyond any warranty and are falling to pieces (sideline, on my last flight with them, 3 seats in J had bed linen draped over as a ‘do not use’ message) anything would be an improvement, even if they stored the seats until each of their 330s went for maintenance rotation or maybe even c-check, that would drastically reduce any install costs or time out of service. It’s basic economics I suppose, for less than $1.5m purchase and install, they could revitalise their entire J 330 fleet which would otherwise cost tens of millions. Regardless of warranty, that’s a great deal for such a carrier.
Before anyone says it, I’m only using AR as an example as they have a comparable fleet and they’re not in the red. I know there’s corruption, other priorities etc.
I’ve really got a bee in my bonnet about this!! :)
 
Simon0654
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Re: Where do old/discontinued J class seat products end up?

Tue Jul 23, 2019 5:54 pm

Starlionblue wrote:
unimproved wrote:
Another thing to think about is that most seat upgrades are competition based. Why spend a lot of money (don't underestimate the electrical work needed to get those new seats in) when your competitors don't have it either?

Lie flat seats will start to trickle down into those markets after the 777's and A330's start going that way in a few years.


I don't understand. Lie flat in Business Class seats are already in widespread use on 777s and 330s, and have been for over a decade.


Thanks :)

Yeah, agreed, but that’s bad business sense in respect of a carrier benchmarking themselves against an equally rubbish carrier - but this is very much what happens.

In the same respect, this is another reason why I chose AR... almost all of the national carriers that compete on their routes offer a much newer and better quality product. We can apply this to many other scenarios across Africa, South America etc.
 
Simon0654
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Re: Where do old/discontinued J class seat products end up?

Tue Jul 23, 2019 5:58 pm

Starlionblue wrote:
unimproved wrote:
Another thing to think about is that most seat upgrades are competition based. Why spend a lot of money (don't underestimate the electrical work needed to get those new seats in) when your competitors don't have it either?

Lie flat seats will start to trickle down into those markets after the 777's and A330's start going that way in a few years.


I don't understand. Lie flat in Business Class seats are already in widespread use on 777s and 330s, and have been for over a decade.



I think this gent was meaning that when the big boys go through fleet renewal, Aerolineas Argentinas, TAAG Angola etc etc etc will be procuring the aging cast off a330’s, 777’s etc. Which may retain the seating configs.
 
Simon0654
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Re: Where do old/discontinued J class seat products end up?

Tue Jul 23, 2019 6:20 pm

Sideline - I suspect I'm probably looking for an answer that doesn't really exist beyond general indifference. Working in special projects for a large hotel group I often see hurried disposal of perfectly usable and high value FFE and OSE to keep up with HQ refurbishment schedules. In one property (where time was on our side), we trialled re-purposing, resale and donations. Across these methods and the massive reduction in chargeable disposal, we added around 1mil to the budget. Yes, it costs a fraction more to do, but that's a substantial sum in a budget of 40mil, also considering that we probably would have broken the ceiling if some of the FFE/OSE wasn't re-purposed. This practice doesn't normally happen because of indifference between operators, owners and managers - the budget is formed based on architectural & design elements which start at ground zero in the planning offices. Its easier to put things in the bin and start from scratch... when the money isn't coming from your own wallet of course. I would imagine its exactly the same in airlines... when you're making large sums of money (in the billions) you forget about the pocket change.
 
unimproved
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Re: Where do old/discontinued J class seat products end up?

Tue Jul 23, 2019 10:22 pm

Simon0654 wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
unimproved wrote:
Another thing to think about is that most seat upgrades are competition based. Why spend a lot of money (don't underestimate the electrical work needed to get those new seats in) when your competitors don't have it either?

Lie flat seats will start to trickle down into those markets after the 777's and A330's start going that way in a few years.


I don't understand. Lie flat in Business Class seats are already in widespread use on 777s and 330s, and have been for over a decade.


Thanks :)

Yeah, agreed, but that’s bad business sense in respect of a carrier benchmarking themselves against an equally rubbish carrier - but this is very much what happens.

In the same respect, this is another reason why I chose AR... almost all of the national carriers that compete on their routes offer a much newer and better quality product. We can apply this to many other scenarios across Africa, South America etc.

A lot of these carriers have a very large percentage of the routes at their hub, so the choice is often flying direct with a worse seat or flying with a better seat with a stopover. IMO flight schedules are more important, and I'll go with whatever gets me to my hotel quickest.

Even on a large carrier with differing products we have "star flights". Flights that will only be planned on the best cabins because they have a lot of competition, JFK, SFO, NRT, HKG, etc. Can't dispatch an a/c with broken IFE, APU or other comfort enhancing items for those either.
 
a320fan
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Re: Where do old/discontinued J class seat products end up?

Wed Jul 24, 2019 5:23 pm

I Imagine some would end up getting bought by movie/tv studios for use in sets.
A319, A320, A321, A330-200, A350-900, A380, 737-700, 737-800, 777-200ER, 777-300, 777-300ER, 787-8, Q300, Q400
 
TEY1330
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Re: Where do old/discontinued J class seat products end up?

Fri Dec 20, 2019 9:18 pm

I remember an old storefront in downtown Tulsa across from Spaghetti Warehouse was full of AA DC10 or MD11? interior furnishings, lambs wool covered business class, main cabin seats, cabin dividers, closets. You could see them through the windows. Long gone now.
 
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DL_Mech
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Re: Where do old/discontinued J class seat products end up?

Sat Dec 21, 2019 12:21 am

You have to consider that any Suite/Herringbone seat has to be disassembled to be removed from the aircraft. IFE is removed and reused on other aircraft, Seat assemblies are also reused on other aircraft. No one wants a bunch of suite walls and base plates. I recall a couple of truckloads of DeltaOne seat shells (minus seats/IFE) being thrown away from the Museum's 747. Also, I don't know if an airline has the ability to sell high value seats to other carriers. Would the manufacturer still support those seats at another carrier? After all, they are in the business of selling seats.
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B6JFKH81
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Re: Where do old/discontinued J class seat products end up?

Sat Dec 21, 2019 4:21 am

You also have to take into consideration a few supply chain factors. An airline won't purchase something as important as seats without some type of high level certificate (FAA 8130, EASA FORM 1, etc.) declaring them airworthy, etc. They will also want fully functional seats, which I can guarantee the seats coming off an aircraft are not, they probably need some sort of maintenance to rectify various issues that require parts which have 30, 60, 90, 120 day lead times. It is a huge headache. Plus, often times an airline wants to salvage parts to continue to support aircaft with that seat installed so they don't have to buy new.

Many times it just makes more sense to scrap the seats as it is a pain in the butt to sell them or re-certify them economically. This is what my airline is doing during the seat swap right now....salvage high use items, scrap the rest (although these are economy seats).

Now, if they "scrap" a business or first class seat (remove the data plate and ensure it is not airworthy), sure I guess they could sell to the general public, but again that is a lot of time and resources to appease the few out there willing to buy.
"If you do not learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it"
 
QF93
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Re: Where do old/discontinued J class seat products end up?

Sat Dec 21, 2019 12:35 pm

Simon0654 wrote:
To all responses to that last post. Thanks.

I suppose my point was, even if the sell on purchase price was just $1k per seat - for the airline selling them (taking VS as an example) that’s $33k per 330 cabin, x 8 cabins, that’s $264k. That’s a drop in the ocean holistically but it’s money for old rope and the cumulatively the annual salary of the full a330 cabin crew (not flight crew) for an entire year.


Not to be trite but for a carrier in a high labour cost country like VS in the U.K., the labour and administrative costs of carefully removing and cataloging each part; time spent coordinating and managing queries from potential purchasers; arranging the shipping and even just time spent accounting for the incoming money with the airline’s Finance Department (it’s not like the airline maintenance department has an online payment portal like the Sales department does to simply process a credit card payment automatically) probably eats up most of the revenue.

Most airlines are now staffed so lean courtesy of redundancy and outsourcing that they don’t have lots of staff with spare time on their hands to be able to add this to their existing duties.

For an airline like VS, I suspect the extra administrative and labour costs are just not worth the $264k in potential revenue.
 
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readytotaxi
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Re: Where do old/discontinued J class seat products end up?

Wed Jan 01, 2020 12:35 pm

They could have a use for a coach company doing long overland trips, just a thought.
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mikeinatlanta
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Re: Where do old/discontinued J class seat products end up?

Wed Jan 01, 2020 4:57 pm

Interesting discussion. Back in the day before powered seats, removed first class seats were somewhat comfortable and desirable. People always took those and used them in man caves and such. Back then you had no IFE in the seats either. They were simple, fairly light, and easy to setup at home.

More modern seats being phased out these days are horrible for anything and only really good for scrap. Even if the seat was serviceable, getting the electrics to function is a PITA. You then get to deal with a bunch of super low quality IFE built into them that isn't functioning. Next issue is that they are stupid heavy. I see these things scrapped in the bone yards all the time and very rarely do you see anyone want one bad enough to bother lifting it into the back of a pickup truck.
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