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Seat/IFE or Food/Service... What's more important?

Seat/IFE or Food/Service... What's more important?

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Old Oct 26, 13, 5:54 pm
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Seat/IFE or Food/Service... What's more important?

When traveling, do you care more about the seat/IFE or the food/service? As I could fall asleep in an economy seat listening to music, I care more about the food and service especially in a premium cabin.

Have any airlines invested in the seat/IFE at the expense of the food/service? Considering seat/IFE improvements are capital investments, wouldn't those be more cost-efficient over time. Have they reduced the staffing to save money?
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Old Oct 26, 13, 7:06 pm
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The answer is: It depends.

All these are secondary to me after route, times and cost.
IFE means little to me, as I prefer to read or listen to music. However, I've noticed it's a big issue to my sons' generation. (mid-20s)
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Old Oct 26, 13, 8:19 pm
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The true mark of an introvert is someone who can go transpacific and never once use the IFE (except maybe to have "flight plan" on the whole time). And who brought stuff to read/write but half the time doesn't get to that, either.

IFE still messes up the legroom on a number of planes in coach, BTW. The newer systems are better, but many planes in service still have the old boxes.

The seat situation in coach has gotten really bad, especially with Boeing blunders where they'll make a fuselage 9.5 seats wide and make airlines choose between 9 and 10, and then act surprised if 80% go with 10 and make 9 into "economy comfort" when it's more like the 10 being a new level of economy DIS-comfort! Airline seats should not be shrinking, especially on width, but that's what has happened in a case or two. Boeing needs to stop giving airlines choices, especting them to do the right thing and pointing fingers if they don't. Make it either 9 or 10 full seats wide.
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Old Oct 26, 13, 10:43 pm
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+1

I thought about this during the run-up to the 787. Billed as an extraordinarily comfortable plane, perhaps the most comfortable ever.

I found myself thinking big windows, mood lighting, higher humidity are all great, but they only go so far if you're still stuck in 9-10 across economy seating with 32" pitch for 12+ hours.
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Old Oct 26, 13, 11:54 pm
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Being able to get an aisle seat to watch IFE for sure. Most of the time I'm in Y class, so the seat is terrible anyway, thus getting up (without bothering the folks in my row) and walking is important too.

Here's an unfortunate example: I'd choose UA over NH, because although I'm conversant in Japanese, there's a much greater variety and quantity with UA. Can't say I ever like the service aboard either though.
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Old Oct 27, 13, 12:33 am
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For me personally it has to be the IFE

I would refuse to fly a international mid-long haul flight if it didn't have any IFE and I knew about it ahead of time.

I don't fly within the states all that much, but recently flew LAX-JFK and was utterly shocked that a 5hr flight didn't have any personal IFE !!

Absolutely none of my 140k milage flown this year has yet not to have personal IFE....with the exception of my flights within the U.S and one flight to SYD(only because they had to swap planes due to technicalities) and only 1 short hop 55min international flight......Get with the times airlines that are based within the United States!!
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Old Oct 27, 13, 1:21 am
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Anything below 6 hours, price is the key.

For example I paid $150 2 ways all in from SIN to NRT 2 weeks ago. No IFE, only b.o.b service available.
31" Seat pitch with recline. Not the most comfortable but not the worst either. SIN-TPE-NRT 1 hour transit at TPE to walk around and stretch.
Personally I do not see the need for IFE. All I need is my headphones and my phone fully loaded with songs and I can sleep throughout the entire journey.

Have booked another flight from SIN-TPE next year March, $120 2 ways all in.

And in case you're wondering, I'm talking about the offspring of SQ, SCOOT.
Flew with them several times and was mostly on time.
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Old Oct 27, 13, 3:04 am
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After price and routing, seat.

IFE, food, service are all subjective and not relatively important to me. I cannot recall the last time I used IFE. I make my own.
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Old Oct 27, 13, 5:59 am
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service: extends all the way from the ground through immigration (with priority access). dont have to servile and treat people like kings - just do it like the swiss: make people feel welcomed

seat: not just cushion and comfort. seat should be laid out SMARTLY such as swivelling tray to allow ingress/egress. good surfaces for working. maximized storage space for personal devices. power ports that work and are smartly placed. and neck support, too.


IFE: pointless now that everyones got personal devices.
Food: never had food good enough to be a differentiator. might change if someone is capable of stellar food. hasnt been the case. although the food on the ground should be of good quality
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Old Oct 27, 13, 8:22 am
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On anything over 3 hours legroom, neck support and lumbar support is everything.

Food, service or IFE doesn't matter unless the seat is great, but then I'm 6'6".
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Old Oct 27, 13, 9:25 am
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In Y? The only thing I care about is the seat.
  • The service is going to be mediocre to bad, I expect that.
  • The IFE is useless, I would rather have WiFi
  • To be able to use WiFi the seat has to have enough pitch that the pax in front of me doesn't crush my laptop on recline.
  • I have broad shoulders, so I don't want to be constrained the whole time.
So, in the Y cabin the seat is of utmost importance. In fact, I wouldn't even care if there were no IFE or service at all if I had a seat that was comfortable.

In J/F? The service. I paid a heft sum to be there, I know the seats will be up to par, so the service is important to me.
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Old Oct 27, 13, 10:01 am
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Between those options, certainly seat/IFE, and mostly seat. IFE only matters to me when I'm on a 6+ hour flight. I can bring my own food, and as long a I can get on, sit down, and put my earphones in, service can be non-existent and I probably wouldn't notice.

Most of these come below price, schedule, etc., except on long-haul. I chose an EK380 over other slightly cheaper options for an upcoming flight.
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Old Oct 27, 13, 11:33 am
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Seat first, IFE on long flights, absolutely.

A few months ago, I was horrified to find I'd accidentally booked a long UA flight to PEK with overhead monitors for IFE. Seriously UA? I'd flown this route before the merger and had individual monitors, albeit primitive ones with no AVOD and a pitiful selection (UA's IFE selection has always been the lamest, IMHO - children's flicks and a selection of the type of low-brow comedy that I can't stand). But overhead monitors in the 21st century on a long-haul? Seriously?

That was one long lame dreary flight.
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Old Oct 27, 13, 11:34 am
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Seat/IFE or Food/Service... What's more important?

Seat without question. If I'm going on a longhaul, EWR-NRT for example, I can bring some food, I can bring my own entertainment, I can't bring my own seat. IFE is second.
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Old Oct 27, 13, 12:11 pm
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Originally Posted by deniah View Post

IFE: pointless now that everyones got personal devices.
Everyone has their own devices, huh? If that's the case, there might as well be no IFE in F or J class...
Anyway, if there was no power point in my seat, I may not want to use up the battery, given the unpredictable nature of flying.

Although I said IFE is most important to me, I still take my own music/video players. The biggest issue about that is not knowing if the IFE/power point will be properly functioning. But since I'm talking about Y-class travel, every other category will likely be ho-hum or worse anyway, so there might as well be AVOD to forget about the rest of the flight.
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