Re: A330/340 vs. B777

Date:         15 Jan 97 04:23:55 
From: (H Andrew Chuang)
Organization: Concentric Internet Services
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In article <airliners.1997.209@ohare.Chicago.COM> Niels Sampath ( wrote:
> >I do agree that nine abrest and ten abreast are less ideal than eight
> >abreast when the flight is *full*.  Airlines do hope every flight is
> >full, but most airlines can realistically fill their planes 60-70% full,
> >annually.  Thus, for most flights, the dreadful middle seat of the 2-5-2
> > configuration is not an issue.
> No. It is an issue to the poor sap who is in the centre
> seat and won't be a repeat customer.

Don't forget 2-5-2 is not the only configuration available, there are 2-4-3
and 3-3-3.  Yet, most of the airlines opt for 2-5-2.

Also, in a full flight, an airline can assign most of the middle seats to
passengers who are travelling with a party of three or more.  Thus, the
ones who sit in the middle may not feel as dreadful.

>I can't see Boeing saying to
> airlines: `you'll only have 60-70% capacity, don't worry about that
> centre seat being occupied(!)'

That's not the exact words Boeing uses, but it actually does use the fact
that most of the flights are 60-70% full as one of its marketing "ploys".
Go visit Boeing's homepage.  I believe they say on a B747 flight with 60%
seats filled, everyone will be sitting next to an empty seat.  (To have
an empty seat next to you on an Airbus widebody, the load will be at
50%.  For the B777, it will be 55.6%.)

> Tho I suppose this may become true
> after they lose all those initial centre seat customers.
> >According to Boeing, the standard economy
> >seat on the B747 and B777 is 1.5 inches wider than than the standard
> >economy seat on the A300/310/330/340.
> 		     ^^^^^^^^
> Oh? Nice of Boeing to skew the figures with all those short range 300s/310s

Tell me one manufacturer that doesn't "skew" the figures to sell its
products.  Boeing does it, so does Airbus.  Nevertheless, as Karl
pointed out, the A300-600R and A310 are hardly short-range airplanes.  Many
trans-Atlantic, Europe-Middle East/India, Europe-Africa, SE Asia-Japan
flights are operated with the A300/310.

> especially when airline interiors are set by -airlines-. Ever been on a
> Tower Air 747? They seem to have lost that extra 1.5 inches.<g>

Seat pitch is a strong function of airlines.  However, seat width is
usually not.  If you use a charter operation as your example, then you
should really compare it with Airbus planes with nine-abreast seatings.
Then, I believe Boeing's widebodies still have the advantage.  Given
the same seat pitch, I do find the wider economy seats on the B747 and
the B777 are very desirable on a long flight.

> >Nevertheless, comfort is a very subjective thing.  Also, some people will
> >believe what they are told to believe.
> Your last comment is unclear.

Some people won't assimilate the information that are given to them.
They are told Airbus's 2-4-2 economy configuration is more comfortable
than Boeing's 2-5-2.  They are also told Airbus's 2-2-2 business
configuration is more comfortable than Boeing's 2-3-2.  Some will accept
these statements without even analyzing the information.  That's what
I meant by "some peple will believe what they are told to believe".

IMHO, Airbus's claims are true only when the flight is more than 85-90%
full.  Otherwise, the wider seats should win.