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Old Feb 18, 12, 11:03 am   #1
 
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Does Comfortable economy exist???

I fly from Oklahoma to Europe a few times a year, and our company policy requires we buy an economy ticket on flights under 14 hours - which is miserable. I'm a big guy - 6-2 and I just can't sleep sitting straight up. I've tried United Economy plus - even got an entire row to myself, but those seats are still horrible.

My question is - is there any economy class on any aircraft that reclines significantly more than the 10 degrees or whatever that you get on your standard 737?

I don't have to lie flat - to me even the F seats on an MD-88 are infinately better for sleeping than coach. But can that level of recline be approximated in coach on any aircraft?
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Old Feb 18, 12, 11:06 am   #2
 
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Some international carriers offer Premium Economy. But that often costs 2-3 times regular economy so I suspect your employer might not pay for that.
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Old Feb 18, 12, 11:09 am   #3
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if you use the same carrier/alliance, you could get enough to do an ug from time to time....w/status that gets 2x rdm, you get north of 20k each trip....
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Old Feb 18, 12, 11:12 am   #4
 
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Originally Posted by clacko View Post
if you use the same carrier/alliance, you could get enough to do an ug from time to time....w/status that gets 2x rdm, you get north of 20k each trip....
Or accumulate some extra miles on that carrier with an affinity credit card.
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Old Feb 18, 12, 11:17 am   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbriscoe34 View Post
I fly from Oklahoma to Europe a few times a year, and our company policy requires we buy an economy ticket on flights under 14 hours - which is miserable. I'm a big guy - 6-2 and I just can't sleep sitting straight up. I've tried United Economy plus - even got an entire row to myself, but those seats are still horrible.

My question is - is there any economy class on any aircraft that reclines significantly more than the 10 degrees or whatever that you get on your standard 737?

I don't have to lie flat - to me even the F seats on an MD-88 are infinately better for sleeping than coach. But can that level of recline be approximated in coach on any aircraft?
As others have noted, some international carriers offer a very expensive 'Premium Economy' product. Pitch is usually 36" or greater (I'm thinking of AF, TK, TG), one less seat per row, so seats are wider, much wider armrest, much more legroom. Sometimes there's a foot-rest, although I've read that it doesn't work for folks over 6'.

Unfortunately, IME, the downside to all of these is that the recline is still very limited (much less, I think, than you used to see years ago in economy, where sometimes you felt like the head of the pax in front of you was practically in your lap if they were fully reclined). The three carriers I mentioned all use a new (awful) type of 'sliding' seat - it doesn't really recline, it sort of slides forward. The idea was that the pax would get some recline without actually intruding into the space of the pax behind. It just ended up being a seat that doesn't really recline enough for good sleep.

I personally still go for Premium Economy - the benefits for me generally outweigh the negatives, but I also do it because I'm often flying carriers where I have no chance at pre-booking an exit row - I have often observed that if I could get an exit row, I'd be just as comfortable (or uncomfortable, given the lack of recline) for a lot less $$.
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Old Feb 19, 12, 2:34 pm   #6
 
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Originally Posted by clacko View Post
if you use the same carrier/alliance, you could get enough to do an ug from time to time....w/status that gets 2x rdm, you get north of 20k each trip....
areu you familiar with people who have really gotten an ug from y to c on a transatlantic, more than once in a lifetime? if it has ever happened i think there only 1. i have however,heard somebody in middle europe offers that. air hungary, or air chez or somebody like that.
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Old Feb 19, 12, 2:59 pm   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbriscoe34 View Post
I fly from Oklahoma to Europe a few times a year, and our company policy requires we buy an economy ticket on flights under 14 hours - which is miserable. I'm a big guy - 6-2 and I just can't sleep sitting straight up. I've tried United Economy plus - even got an entire row to myself, but those seats are still horrible.

My question is - is there any economy class on any aircraft that reclines significantly more than the 10 degrees or whatever that you get on your standard 737?

I don't have to lie flat - to me even the F seats on an MD-88 are infinately better for sleeping than coach. But can that level of recline be approximated in coach on any aircraft?
I think the short answer to your question is no. Actually for leg room, UA E+ is about as good as you will get on a TATL flight. Was your issue with UA E+ the recline or the condition of the seat?

Until a couple of years ago all of my long haul flying was done in Y. I am a big guy as well and the only way I could do it was to take UA E+, get a window seat, fill the void between my shoulder and the cabin wall with pillows, coat, etc and take an Ambien.

Are you restricted to UA? Could you get the Economy Comfort class on Delta? It is a newer product than UA and you might have a better experience.
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Old Feb 19, 12, 3:48 pm   #8
 
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Delta (and KLM) has Economy Comfort, which is basically Y with some extra legroom, recline and free alcoholic drinks (on DL, KL has those anyway) for not all that much more than regular Y, and discounted or even free with the right elite status.
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Old Feb 19, 12, 3:53 pm   #9
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Originally Posted by slawecki View Post
areu you familiar with people who have really gotten an ug from y to c on a transatlantic, more than once in a lifetime? if it has ever happened i think there only 1. i have however,heard somebody in middle europe offers that. air hungary, or air chez or somebody like that.

Me, many times on United.

Even if they don't hand you one for free, if you have the miles stacked up you may be able to use miles to upgrade.

As to economy seats that recline more than a few degrees, you probably won't find any because there's somebody right behind you. Without taking out quite a few rows to make more space (which they won't do) you won't get a decent recline.
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Old Feb 19, 12, 4:43 pm   #10
 
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Me, many times on United.

Even if they don't hand you one for free, if you have the miles stacked up you may be able to use miles to upgrade.

As to economy seats that recline more than a few degrees, you probably won't find any because there's somebody right behind you. Without taking out quite a few rows to make more space (which they won't do) you won't get a decent recline.
that's not very clear. you get ug because you beautiful, or an ug with miles? i spent a lot of time on the lh board. even honors guys never got free ug.

you say "me, many times on united. are you really saying that many times, nyc or some such to europe, you got an ug to c class from y? i saw an lot of nr's on ua in c going to europe, i don't know how they got there.
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Old Feb 19, 12, 4:49 pm   #11
 
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Originally Posted by slawecki View Post
that's not very clear. you get ug because you beautiful, or an ug with miles? i spent a lot of time on the lh board. even honors guys never got free ug.
Last year I got two op-ups between Europe and the US on AA. No miles or other upgrade instruments were used.
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Old Feb 19, 12, 5:23 pm   #12
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You could get a job with another company that does not have such a terrible travel policy, either that or as you seem to be connecting from a city with no overseas service, make your connections longer so that your flights are in fact over 14 hours. I mean 14 hours.......seriously, on a nonstop that would mean what, that they only cover better than Y for 20 or so flights Worldwide?
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Old Feb 19, 12, 5:29 pm   #13
 
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Originally Posted by hfly View Post
You could get a job with another company that does not have such a terrible travel policy, either that or as you seem to be connecting from a city with no overseas service, make your connections longer so that your flights are in fact over 14 hours. I mean 14 hours.......seriously, on a nonstop that would mean what, that they only cover better than Y for 20 or so flights Worldwide?
The 14-hour rule mirrors the policy for official US government travel, so the OP's employer may be a federal contractor.
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Old Feb 19, 12, 6:06 pm   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbriscoe34 View Post
I fly from Oklahoma to Europe a few times a year, and our company policy requires we buy an economy ticket on flights under 14 hours - which is miserable. I'm a big guy - 6-2 and I just can't sleep sitting straight up. I've tried United Economy plus - even got an entire row to myself, but those seats are still horrible.

My question is - is there any economy class on any aircraft that reclines significantly more than the 10 degrees or whatever that you get on your standard 737?

I don't have to lie flat - to me even the F seats on an MD-88 are infinately better for sleeping than coach. But can that level of recline be approximated in coach on any aircraft?
For a 6'6" guy like me the solution was good sleeping pills (told about the issue to my physician on my annual check-up and he prescribed me smth. for $5/30 pills) + good noise-cancelling head-phones.
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Old Feb 19, 12, 6:20 pm   #15
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Originally Posted by LongviewTX View Post
For a 6'6" guy like me the solution was good sleeping pills (told about the issue to my physician on my annual check-up and he prescribed me smth. for $5/30 pills) + good noise-cancelling head-phones.
+1000 to noise-cancelling headphones or sound-isolating earphones.

I've even taken to wearing the eyeshade (depending on where I'm sitting). I didn't think it would make a difference, but it does.

Slightly OT: ever see someone put the blanket over their head while sleeping during a flight? I don't think I could do that.
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