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Old Oct 29, 05, 9:32 pm   #1
 
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Input from FTers on B787 Dreamliner Seating and Interior Configuration

On Friday 10/28 TheZipper and I met with Suzanne Boda, VP - Inflight and Laura Liu VP - International Marketing and Sales at Northwest's World HQ in Eagan, MN.

During our meeting it was brought up that Suzanne and Laura are responsible for configuring the B787 Dreamliner.

As the Boeing USA Launch Customer I thought Fters might want to comment on the features and ammenities we feel NWA should consider.

This is a great opportunity to present our thoughts, as frequent flyers and NWA pax, we know a lot about the present a/c and our feedback might help make the final configuration, overhead bins, closets, lavatories, galleys, etc even better.

I am sure all comments here will be read by the team working on the configuration of this new a/c.

RC
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Old Oct 29, 05, 10:19 pm   #2
 
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Can never have too much overhead space. IFE with back-of-seat screens, etc., would be nice, especially with DirectTV (if possible). 38-40-inch pitch leather FC seats, 34-inch pitch in coach, cup/glassholders in the drink "platform" between FC seats so I don't worry about knocking my drink over would all be dandy. This all domestic, BTW.

Int'l, the new WBC seats are nice enough, although better reliability would be good. Greater pitch for coach, of course, plus more overhead space would be neato.

The rest of the improvements I want have nothing to do with Boeing.
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Old Oct 29, 05, 10:22 pm   #3
 
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Radiocycle

Thanks for starting this discussion and bringing the feedback back to NWA . Also I guess that means that NW intends to go ahead with B787 at the full speed.

This is on my wishlist:
-Internet on board.
-I like the current WBC seats so they can stay But an RJ45 port is welcome
-Power outlets in the whole coach section
-Better food in coach. I know they improved somewhat in last 1/2 year in TATL, but still another improvement is welcome.
-Place AVOD boxes somehow differently (or shrink them) so that they were not taking some much space under the seats.
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Old Oct 29, 05, 10:38 pm   #4
 
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Can never go wrong with more overhead space.

At seat power plugs!

This may also be dumb, but better or bigger instructions posted on the outside of lavatory doors on how to open them. I don't know but I always notice people seem to have a problem figuring out how to open those doors.

Domestic FC seats or old WBC seats as economy seats, but that would be dreaming right heh, it is the DREAMLINER!

Last edited by railroadtycoon; Oct 29, 05 at 10:51 pm..
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Old Oct 29, 05, 10:44 pm   #5
 
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Thanks for the opportunity to provide input! At the top of my wishlist are wider seats for coach, or maybe the same seat width but a tad bit more space between adjacent seats. An inch or two would make a huge difference for me! Individual armrests would be great, of course (i.e. one for me and one for my neigbour). I am tall (6'3"), but given a choice between more pitch or more width, my vote is for wider seats.

- Martin
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Old Oct 29, 05, 10:55 pm   #6
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Second the motion on width versus pitch but doubt they will sacrifice that much revenue. I would like to see more closet space in all cabins -- the old DC10s had those suiter-hanger contraptions behind the movie screens that were excellent. Power for laptops, portable DVD players, etc. is more important than full Internet access. And how about a specially certified, guaranteed enthusiastic 787-dedicated inflight service staff... so the excitement of the new airplane isn't diluted by human factors, as happens now on the A330?
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Old Oct 29, 05, 11:08 pm   #7
 
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The new B787's will have wireless connections for AVOD

The new B787's will have wireless within the a/c, so there will not be any boxes (as we have in the A330-200/300) so storage space in coach should be much better (under the seat in front of your seat) than what presently exists in the current fleet.

RC
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Old Oct 30, 05, 12:07 am   #8
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Wireless internet would be amazing IMO.

Thing is.. what are the proposed specs of the interior?

I saw the demo on Boeing.com and it looks pretty cool
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Old Oct 30, 05, 12:20 am   #9
 
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Regarding overhead bin space.....make the bins an inch or two deeper, so that more bags can go in perpendicular to the bin. And before they get bought and installed, actually test them on real-life carryons. Get some Tumi's and Travelpro's and the like and actually see if they fit. Or better yet, take some of the proposed bins to the WC's in MSP, DTW and some other stations and have members try out their bags in the new bins - and get real-life data!

Adjustable reading lamps and effective air vents also go on my list. Adjustable headrests in both F and Y. Leather seating, at least in F if not the whole plane (I gather they have lower lifespan costs, IIRC).

Just how wide is this aircraft? Is it 767 width, 330 or 777?? Kill the middle seats whenever possible.

Probably a few more things, but that's it for now.
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Old Oct 30, 05, 12:51 am   #10
 
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List of requests...

Although my flying is 60%/40% Y to J, these comments are strictly about Y. I'm sure J will be fine. So my comments will refer to Y unless otherwise noted.

The Boeing website says the 787 is twin-aisle.

IMHO, the best config in economy... 767s with 2-3-2. Would love to see 2-3-2 seating, if not then 2-4-2 like on 330. I will avoid 777 and 747 like the plague when in economy because of the threesome seating (3-3-3 and 3-4-3).

How about front section of economy w/ 34" pitch for elites, and Y-/B-fares?

Depending on the plane layout, I would also love to see a tiny forward Y cabin like on CO's 767-200s... should be exclusively for elites. Row 16-18 are pretty nice!

I like the variable sun shades that can be electronically dimmed... I hope they don't give up on that one.

Lavs at the FRONT AND BACK of each cabin. That way people can get up during meal service. If you have 3-section cabin (J/Y/Y) why don't they put J lav at very front (Door No 1), then shared or one-each J+Y lav at first section break (usually Door No 2), and then more lavs at each section. How annoying is it on the 333 that they won't let you use the J lav if you're seated in Row 10 so you have to wait forever to go even though you finished your ....ty meal 20 mins ago!

No IFE boxes taking up legroom, although RC says this is reality. Hope he's right!

Winged headrests.

Foot cutouts at bulkheads.

Individual air vents. Miss those when I fly the DC-10.

Footrests in Y.

WIFI.

I'm assuming laptop power (actual socket, not that empower rubbish) and personal AVOD is a given as it's on the A330.
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Old Oct 30, 05, 1:22 am   #11
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I can echo what most have said. Bigger bins, footrests, wider seats. One thing that always seems dumb, is that even on new planes they have ashtrays in the lavatory. Itīs seem so dumb to show a graphic for smoking at eye level, and then higher up have all the no smoking signs.

Internet would be great, as would IFE, live TV would make the time on long flights go much easier.
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Old Oct 30, 05, 7:04 am   #12
 
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How about a real leap in WBC service like Virgin and BA are doing? True lie flat beds and office suite configurations with work stations for the seats in business class. There was a very good article in the Wall Street Journal about enhanced service levels in business class with pictures.
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Old Oct 30, 05, 7:12 am   #13
 
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I assume these planes will primarily or exclusively be used for transoceanic flights. Comments below are for economy and what can be done to the plane's interior -- not things that can be done to service (food, etc.).

* Ethernet/wifi, power, and no boxes under coach seats would be huge improvements.

* Similar individual vents and reading lights as on the A330s

* Lavs all in the back -- this is a relatively small widebody plane, and wouldn't it be nice if everyone congregated in the back? Perhaps make that rear galley a bit more passenger friendly, with space made specifically for passengers to get a drink of OJ, water, or whatever.

* Although more legroom would be nice, I would prefer that each passenger has their own armrest, not a 2" wide armrest to share with their neighbor.

* Similar AVOD system as A330s but make the screens slightly larger and more moveable. When the person in front of you reclines on the A330s, it can be difficult to move the screen so that the video is still viewable, especially for tall passengers.

* Do NOT put the flight attendant call button with the video controller.

Thanks Radiocycle, Suzanne, and Laura. If you're looking for someone to volunteer to serve on some customer input panel, sign me up!
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Old Oct 30, 05, 7:33 am   #14
 
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WBC:Y ratio

RC,

The most important factor, IMHO, is the ratio between WBC and Y seats.

NW 744--- 65:338 roughly 1:5

NW 332--- 32:211 about 1:7

NW 333--- 34:264 about 1:8

UA 744 (FC/BC)--- 87:260 about 1:3 (and 1/3 of Y is E+)

UA 777 (FC/BC)--- 61:198 about 1:3

There are way too few WBC seats on 332/333 which makes upgrade extremely impossible. Therefore NW could not afford any SWUs like UA because the demand for WBC is so high. The consequence is that high mileage international flyers (100k/yr) leave NW. Who wants to sit in NW's cramped Y for long international flights with virtually small hope of upgrade and no E+? This is a huge mistake by NW in my view.

NW should carefully design 787 and maintain at least 1:5 or even 1:4, 1:3 WBC/Y ratio.

As a math professor, I pay particular attention to numbers.

Thank you for doing this!
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Old Oct 30, 05, 7:37 am   #15
 
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* No cellphone access, and preferably no in-seat phone-type thing

* 2-3-2 seating would be excellent, but I also doubt they would lose that much revenue.

* Something for the elites! Bulkhead separated cabin, a little extra seat pitch/width/recline, something.

* better lumbar support -- dunno if this is a Boeing thing or something that can be configured by NW or aftermarket

* errata: footrests, personal airvents, LED reading lights as opposed to halogen/incandecent/fluorescent. Pick up an LED flashlight sometime. They're cheap, and I think you'll like the light quality a lot better.

---

Glad to hear that AVOD will be wireless. That should free up some precious legroom. Overhead bins are fine, IMO. I think people carry-on too much as it is, or they overpack. Besides, I think that might be something that Boeing can't change.
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