787-9 appalling World Traveller seats

Old Feb 1, 2020, 7:54 am
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The Dreamliners, like the A350s and A380s are generally better planes for long-haul travel due to humidity and cabin pressure factors. I can't really get decent data on each and sadly I think different airlines operate to different comfort levels. I wish there was proper data out there on that.
Sadly, on the downside, the dreamliners (and 777s) now seem to have been targets for ever more cramped seating by squeezing in 1 too many seats across the Y cabin.
I try to be pretty informed about these things and have indeed played the lottery of Y. BA with theoretical seating and AA with Main Cabin Extra tip the odds a wee bit in my favour.

I did an 11 hour flight with AA on a 772 recently, in Y. MCE 10 across. There are precisely 4 seats in Y I would select. I got one of them on purchasing the ticket. Turns out it was 17.0 inches across, with just 20.75 inches total taking in both the arm rests. The window wall was only 1cm further away and that tapered to less than NIL at the shoulder. As my shoulders are 21.5 inches across (I am not big) there is physically not enough space to avoid my shoulder encroaching my seat mate's space.
On the day, the lottery worked in my favour and my seat-mate was slight. Given it was a dry and noisy 777 it was an okay flight.
Looking around the cabin I saw a lot of twisted bodies and the aisle significantly narrowed by protruding shoulders, arms and legs.
I would not fly in that cabin for a work flight and I would recommend against it for my team in the approvals process.

I came back on a 788. AA again. By contrast, the seat space is 17.25 inches. The cabin environment is much better than the 772. The flight was just 8 hours. The shoulder room, overall, about an inch better. Still cramped and still a risky old lottery should a seat-mate have similar shoulder width to mine. The seat itself was less comfortable. There are very very few seats I'd be okay with at purchase time. I lucked out and seat-mate was not large.

In each case, as one-offs in the future, I would risk the same seats again coupled with insights (guessing) into likely loadings for the day. I also have the premium gauged that I'd pay extra to go in Premium Economy and take out the seat-mate risk inherent in my Y ticket.
Crazily, it looks like the A350, throws these calculations out. The +1 effect hits the Premium cabin at 8 across. The Y cabin is relatively okay at 9 across!
None of this works to BA advantage as they don't have a MCE equivalent and I suspect, as a BA Silver these days, I'm too far down the pecking order for theoretical seating to save me in Y.
Lots to think about, dare I say over-think about

Last edited by littlefish; Feb 1, 2020 at 8:00 am
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Old Feb 1, 2020, 12:30 pm
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Originally Posted by WHBM
No more 787 for me on long haul.
Totally agree. I did LHR-CAI on the BA 787 - only 6 hours but it was enough for me to say 'never again'. I had to get up from my aisle seat with my meal tray and wait for my seatmate to eat his dinner because it simply wasn't possible for the poor guy. When the CSM came by later to ask how everything was, I told him; his response was "well, we [crew] think it's a fantastic aircraft." A short haul A320 would have been preferable.
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Old Feb 1, 2020, 12:35 pm
  #63  
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Originally Posted by ajamieson
Totally agree. I did LHR-CAI on the BA 787 - only 6 hours but it was enough for me to say 'never again'. I had to get up from my aisle seat with my meal tray and wait for my seatmate to eat his dinner because it simply wasn't possible for the poor guy. When the CSM came by later to ask how everything was, I told him; his response was "well, we [crew] think it's a fantastic aircraft." A short haul A320 would have been preferable.
I would agree with this. I flew LAX-EWR on a UA 787 last year and would prefer a narrow body any day of the week.

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Old Feb 1, 2020, 12:36 pm
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I just got off one of these in WT this morning (BA34). I can tell you 14 hours on that seat was terribly uncomfortable. Iím a fairly average 177cm/72kg bloke. Leg room seemed fine, but oh my the width - just no space at all.

I do think this is the kind of thing that benefits from standards oversight, rather than pure capitalism. Itís the same principle with room sizes in new home development.

With perfect competition - sure, people would be able to choose 2-4-2 for 10% more. But in practice, because the minimum isnít set there, it falls to the minimum it physically can.

Last edited by likethis; Feb 1, 2020 at 12:44 pm
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Old Feb 2, 2020, 2:16 am
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Originally Posted by 13901
Recaro.

it's a design 'feature' of these Recaro seats, mounted on BA's 777 and 787 fleets (as well as a number of other airlines, I'd say some QR and JL planes from memory). Basically, the seat back is designed to be slightly larger in correspondence of the upper torso and shoulder areas than it is in the lower part of the seat. As it does, it prevents the armrests from going all the way up. A bit stupid I know.
CLASSIC overthinking a problem. My problem with armrests is usually the height that they're set at. I find many airlines have them set too low and as such I can only use 1 comfortably.
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Old Feb 2, 2020, 2:43 am
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I have avoided the BA 787 in Y on the back of the things I have seen written on here from posters that I consider to be very knowledgeable and measured.

I only have one 787 Y experience, which was on AC. I recall it being uncomfortable, but I cannot say that it stood out as being noticeably more uncomfortable than the equivalent seat on any other aircraft- maybe I had set my expectations so low that the mere fact that I survived it was enough to convince me that it wasn't too bad.

By contrast I have flown frequently in Y+ on the BA 787 and find it to be very pleasant.
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Old Feb 3, 2020, 3:50 pm
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Originally Posted by likethis
With perfect competition - sure, people would be able to choose 2-4-2 for 10% more. But in practice, because the minimum isnít set there, it falls to the minimum it physically can.
However, it's not 10% more. At ticket purchase time (3 days before departure) PE was double Y. As it was we were probably paying more than many in PE able to buy well ahead.

Regarding the minimum it physically can be, I think we all thought when the 787 was designed and built, as it was specifically sized to be 8-across in Y, that would be it. The extra seat is not in the original design.
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Old Feb 4, 2020, 2:16 am
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BAís B789s and 10s are premium heavy aircraft, there are no economy seats in front of the rear doors, economy is the last section of the aircraft. These aircraft are revenue cash cows for BA. The additional economy seat per row isnít contributing enough to the total revenue, and may be detrimental because the product is so bad.
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Old Feb 4, 2020, 4:50 am
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Originally Posted by richardwft
BAís B789s and 10s are premium heavy aircraft, there are no economy seats in front of the rear doors, economy is the last section of the aircraft. These aircraft are revenue cash cows for BA. The additional economy seat per row isnít contributing enough to the total revenue, and may be detrimental because the product is so bad.
Not really.
In terms of revenue per square foot, Economy is up there as Club, and in terms of overall revenues WT is the second contributor after Club. And the first driver for choice in Economy is price, by a long shot, followed by timings and then by the rest. This is data based on thousands of data points that IAG provided to managers in airline finance courses. If you have 2-4-2 or 3-3-3 cabins in 787 and 777s you have, from the get-go, a unit (per-seat) cost disadvantage vs the competition of about 10/11%. And over an entire fleet... that hurts.

With regards to product satisfaction, I personally agree with everything that has been said on this thread: I'd rather have a Mid-J 747 or a RC 77E over a 10-abreast, believe it or not we're in the minority.The denser 77Es at LGW had a massive leap in customer satisfaction vs the non-densified one, and there's also an improvement from when a route moves from an old 777 to a newer 787. I remember sitting through a presentation that showed a jump of NPS on a Canadian route that moved from a Rockwell Collins 777 to a Thales 787; also, Emirates has a supremely high satisfaction level although it 50% of its flights on 10-abreast, 2-3-2 (and often non-lie-flat) Business seats... Go figure.
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Old Feb 4, 2020, 5:06 am
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Originally Posted by 13901
...

With regards to product satisfaction, I personally agree with everything that has been said on this thread: I'd rather have a Mid-J 747 or a RC 77E over a 10-abreast, believe it or not we're in the minority.The denser 77Es at LGW had a massive leap in customer satisfaction vs the non-densified one, and there's also an improvement from when a route moves from an old 777 to a newer 787. I remember sitting through a presentation that showed a jump of NPS on a Canadian route that moved from a Rockwell Collins 777 to a Thales 787; also, Emirates has a supremely high satisfaction level although it 50% of its flights on 10-abreast, 2-3-2 (and often non-lie-flat) Business seats... Go figure.
Iím sure PAX were happy to be flying on shiny new planes - but does that mean they were also happy with the higher density.

Are there any new/refurbished planes at the lower density to compare satisfaction scores against ?
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Old Feb 4, 2020, 6:27 am
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Originally Posted by 13901
Not really.
In terms of revenue per square foot, Economy is up there as Club....
Theyíre not office buildings.
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Old Feb 4, 2020, 6:37 am
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Originally Posted by richardwft
They’re not office buildings.
So what? It's still a perfectly comprehensible metric, when making money out of the available floor space is what BA is in the business of doing.
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Old Feb 4, 2020, 7:23 am
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Originally Posted by richardwft
Theyíre not office buildings.
Sales per square meter/foot are a measure of efficiency of an aircraft from a revenue side that is very widely used in the industry; it really allows to compare like for like.

[MENTION=213948]bafan[/MENTION]: I don't think there's a like-for-like comparison, on the same routes, that is statistically significant. At least, I've never seen it.
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Old Feb 4, 2020, 9:30 am
  #74  
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I've unfortunately experienced both 9 across on a 787 and 10 across on a 777, once by inadequate attention on booking and once by an equipment swap. Despite having unlimited foot room on the 777, it was intolerable on a 6 hour flight. The 787 was uncomfortable but not intolerable (despite less legroom).
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Old Feb 4, 2020, 10:14 am
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I flew to Dubai a couple of weeks ago in Y: it was the Gatters configured 777, but out of LHR obvs. I was in 20H (front row, aisle). I agree with the comments re: cramped... my partner was in the middle seat and said he was so close to the guy in the window seat that he could smell his bad breath for 7h40m,,...! He needed his snood around his mouth and nose to survive!
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