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jamesgrudge
Topic Author
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Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2020 5:25 pm

Angled-flat Seats in Business Class Design

Fri Aug 07, 2020 5:36 pm

British Airways has introduced fully flat seats in '95 in Business Class. Then, in 2002/2003 other Airlines started introducing Angled-flat seats (they recline to approx 170 degrees). Why introduce angled flat beds instead of improving on the British Airways design? Is it due to the safety requirements, certification issues, cost, or design challenges? Judging from what is reported online, everyone is unhappy with angled flats and prefer the fully flat experience.
 
VSMUT
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Re: Angled-flat Seats in Business Class Design

Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:27 pm

Cost and space. A full lie-flat will cost more than an angled seat. The angled seat will allow closer spacing, because you can better tuck the feat under the seat in front of you.

But it is a bit unfair to say that everyone is unhappy with angled seats. Excepting a few airlines early on, big recliners were the industry standard for business class. I'm certain most passengers were jubilant about moving onto angle-flats at the time.
 
jetwet1
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Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 4:42 am

Re: Angled-flat Seats in Business Class Design

Fri Aug 07, 2020 11:35 pm

jamesgrudge wrote:
British Airways has introduced fully flat seats in '95 in Business Class. Then, in 2002/2003 other Airlines started introducing Angled-flat seats (they recline to approx 170 degrees). Why introduce angled flat beds instead of improving on the British Airways design? Is it due to the safety requirements, certification issues, cost, or design challenges? Judging from what is reported online, everyone is unhappy with angled flats and prefer the fully flat experience.


Actually, VS introduced the J2000 seat in 2000, an angled lie flat.

As Vsmut pointed out, even then cradle recliners were the norm, so angled lie flat was a big step up.

Heck i took a series of flights last year on Fiji which had the angled seat, i slept better on those than i ever had on BA/VS.
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: Angled-flat Seats in Business Class Design

Sat Aug 08, 2020 3:28 am

I kinda prefer a slight angle compared to totally flat since planes never cruise at a 0° attitude. It doesn't feel right for me to have my feet slightly above my head so I add a slight angle to my seat and sleep better. I even had a supervisor that went to the next level and slept backwards (head toward the nose and feet on the headrest!) In the flat seat. He said he did it precisely for the nose up attitude and that the FAs would look at him weird but he sure got his good sleep.
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hoons90
Posts: 3659
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2001 10:15 pm

Re: Angled-flat Seats in Business Class Design

Sat Aug 08, 2020 4:11 am

jamesgrudge wrote:
British Airways has introduced fully flat seats in '95 in Business Class. Then, in 2002/2003 other Airlines started introducing Angled-flat seats (they recline to approx 170 degrees). Why introduce angled flat beds instead of improving on the British Airways design? Is it due to the safety requirements, certification issues, cost, or design challenges? Judging from what is reported online, everyone is unhappy with angled flats and prefer the fully flat experience.


BA actually introduced the fully flat Club World seats in March 2000.
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PresRDC
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Joined: Thu Jul 22, 1999 5:00 am

Re: Angled-flat Seats in Business Class Design

Mon Aug 10, 2020 6:25 pm

Those angled seats were terribly uncomfortable and the argument that the aircraft flies at a nose-up attitude, so the angle isn't an issue never jived with my experience. If you made those seats fully "flat", your feet and ankles had to support your body weight. It basically felt like you were standing all night. The seats could recline to a cradle, which was more comfortable, but because the back of seat in front of you was solid (and close), being in that position often meant bumping your knees.

My rule was I would only book a business class on AA (my preferred airline) if I could confirm a first class upgrade. It just wasn't comfortable and did not meet my needs.
 
AirCanada787
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Re: Angled-flat Seats in Business Class Design

Thu Aug 13, 2020 3:58 am

TWA772LR wrote:
I kinda prefer a slight angle compared to totally flat since planes never cruise at a 0° attitude. It doesn't feel right for me to have my feet slightly above my head so I add a slight angle to my seat and sleep better. I even had a supervisor that went to the next level and slept backwards (head toward the nose and feet on the headrest!) In the flat seat. He said he did it precisely for the nose up attitude and that the FAs would look at him weird but he sure got his good sleep.


I also don't like my feet high that my head when sleeping and have heard from a few people that they like to flip around in lie flat seats when they can. Sometimes pod or seat designs don't make this possible. I do remember when Air Canada got its A340-500s in the info for the new angle-flat business class seats it said something to the effect that the angle was designed to compensate for the angle of the cabin in flight... I'm not sure I believe that really was the reason since it seemed like the seats had a steeper angle.
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