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[Speculation] Possibility of Lie-Flat Seats on Transcon Routes?

[Speculation] Possibility of Lie-Flat Seats on Transcon Routes?

Old Feb 19, 18, 6:59 pm
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[Speculation] Possibility of Lie-Flat Seats on Transcon Routes?

https://viewfromthewing.boardingarea...untry-flights/

A reader that I regularly correspond with shared notes from his 45 minute conversation with a senior Alaska Airlines executive (senior enough to be appointed by the board). This reader is a San Francisco-based regular Virgin America customer unhappy with the product changes.

Alaska has several Airbus narrowbody planes on order (‘neos’). And this executive says that Alaska intends to take possession of several of them “and use them to compete with Mint, DeltaOne, etc. on transcontinental flights between [Los Angeles and San Francisco] to East Coast destinations like New York and elsewhere.”

The seats aren’t yet selected, but this executive “assured it’s not a question of ‘if’ but rather of ‘when.'”
YMMV on these rumors (which is why I titled this "Speculation"), but interesting that AS is already backtracking a bit on their plans. I guess nuking VX's service offerings from orbit in totality might not be the way to go...
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Old Feb 19, 18, 7:29 pm
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Well, at least those neos will be able to make it between BOS and SFO.

https://thepointsguy.com/2018/02/win...ts-diversions/
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Old Feb 19, 18, 9:32 pm
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Originally Posted by DrAlex View Post
Well, at least those neos will be able to make it between BOS and SFO.

https://thepointsguy.com/2018/02/win...ts-diversions/
Also, doesn't the plane weight less (and can thus carry more fuel, all else being equal) if there are fewer passengers possible because the front of the plane has been spread out in that configuration (more so than on other planes)? Or do the more complex seats upfront "counterweigh" the fewer passengers that an airplane thus configured can seat?
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Old Feb 19, 18, 10:49 pm
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Originally Posted by sdsearch View Post
Also, doesn't the plane weight less (and can thus carry more fuel, all else being equal) if there are fewer passengers possible because the front of the plane has been spread out in that configuration (more so than on other planes)? Or do the more complex seats upfront "counterweigh" the fewer passengers that an airplane thus configured can seat?
A321 NEOs wouldn’t have the range problems A320 CEOs have nonetheless. The range is way better.
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Old Feb 19, 18, 11:06 pm
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Lie-Flat Seating Coming to AS Transcon Flights?

According to View From The Wing's Gary Leff, a reliable source of his tells him that a "senior Alaska Airlines executive" who is on the board of directors says that AS wants to compete in the premium transcon market like between LAX/SFO and NY with lie-flat seats. The source says "“assured it’s not a question of ‘if’ but rather of ‘when.'”

Full story here: Alaska Airlines May Add Lie Flat First Class Seats for Cross Country Flights

EDIT: Okay okay i see there was another thread on this. Yes I did a search but didn't internally translate "Sub Fleet" in the thread title as the same topic. I also see the threads have been merged.

Last edited by Oakshadow; Feb 20, 18 at 3:39 pm
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Old Feb 19, 18, 11:40 pm
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Even the A321ceos came with extra fuel capacity, so they never had the problems the 320ceos did in winter.
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Old Feb 20, 18, 2:21 am
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A second hand unsourced conversation with an AS exec appointed by the board, who is willing to share potential but certain seat selection that would be 2-3 years out and meanwhile let competitors figure out their own response? Uh, ok. I suppose it could all be true.
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Old Feb 20, 18, 3:31 am
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For a thread about the possibility of lie-flat seats on Alaska's trans-con routes, there sure are a lot of comments here about the range of the 321NEOs...

Just curious - what does the range of the aircraft have to do with whether it's outfitted with lie-flat seats?

Do the seats weigh more - so much more that the aircraft's range would then be inhibited? On average, do people who can afford to purchase lie-flat seats weigh more? So much more that all that extra avoirdupois would affect transcon range?

Or is it just idle wasting of time and print. Like this post.
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Old Feb 20, 18, 6:41 am
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Originally Posted by Seat 2A View Post

Just curious - what does the range of the aircraft have to do with whether it's outfitted with lie-flat seats?
Less weight of seats, people, and baggage per unit area of cabin floor space. Less weight carried = longer range.
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Old Feb 20, 18, 7:05 am
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Please don't feed the clickbait blogger.
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Old Feb 20, 18, 8:37 am
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Seems complete nonsensical based on everything AS said publicly. And even the wording itself just says they intend to take A321NEO and install some kind of seat. No word on what kind of seating. Would it be shocking if AS decides to keep A321NEO around for transcon? No, every other carrier is doing it. Seems to be an exaggeration to conclude that AS is putting lie flats on transcon.
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Old Feb 20, 18, 9:23 am
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I give this very little credence... it flies in the face of everything else we've heard about AS slotting itself in between true premium transcon products and WN/F9/NH.
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Old Feb 20, 18, 9:52 am
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Hmmm interesting! I have been saying for a while now that AS can't just blow off the Jet Blue threat. I think AS would be smart to install lie flats in a small sub-fleet and use it on premium transcons.
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Old Feb 20, 18, 10:59 am
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While I'm sure the SWOT analysis and strategic planning sessions at AAG have discussed lie-flats, I'll be surprised if this comes to be. But I don't have the numbers for first class sales in the SFO and LAX transcon markets. I wonder how accurately all the integration issues were contemplated before AAG purchased Virgin America? They knew the Delta relationship was ending, but how about whether AA was going to change the partnership? Obviously, they didn't realize how the distraction would exacerbate the Horizon mess. Merging two very different brands and cultures has created customer service challenges that are eroding brand reputation. Safety - let's hope there are no distractions in that area. The deterioration of Mileage Plan (or reversion to the mean) has also been concurrent with the acquisition. Mergers/acquisitions are not easy.
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Old Feb 20, 18, 11:27 am
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Originally Posted by BearX220 View Post
I give this very little credence... it flies in the face of everything else we've heard about AS slotting itself in between true premium transcon products and WN/F9/NH.
We don't know how narrowly they might use a sub-fleet, chasing premium $ passengers.

SEA/SFO/LAX to NYC/BOS/DCA? Maybe that could work. (And I do mean DCA, not DCA+IAD+BWI.)

From everywhere on the West Coast to everything east of Chicago? Forget it.

Maybe they're not getting the premiums they expected from 41" seat pitch in F. Maybe B6 Mint (and AA/DL/UA response to it) is killing the traditional VX transcon routes.
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