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Everything You Want to Know About Where to Sit on a sUA 767 (3-class International)

Everything You Want to Know About Where to Sit on a sUA 767 (3-class International)

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Old Nov 20, 07, 10:00 am
  #1  
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Exclamation Everything You Want to Know About Where to Sit on a sUA 767 (3-class International)

Originally Posted by Ari View Post
There appears to be an ethernet socket in the seat (see photo) . . . I'm sure it isn't activated though it may be wired for future [possible] use.
There is both an RJ45 socket and USB.

I spoke with one of the UA HQ guys that seemed to be a point person on the technical aspects. He said they wanted to include the RJ45 in case anyone comes up with a workable in-air Internet function again. Currently disabled.

Personally I was very impressed by the fact that it seemed UA made some hardware decisions that will increase the life of the seats and allow them to do some neat things in the future through the relatively easy software upgrade route.

For those that didn't notice, I was on the flight with Gene.

I know for a fact that he will do a much better job than me of giving details and pictures, but thought I'd try to take the time to share some thoughts etc.... I'm currently going through the thread and trying to answer some questions.

I sat in 2A (First) on the outbound and Gene tested the rear-facing business (6K, I think). He was taking 2A on the way back.

As far as I could tell, there were no other FTers on board (I asked everyone in First). I thought there was going to be at least one other, but maybe not. Also, Gene and I appeared to be the only non-UA people on board that knew the plane was going to be the new seats ahead of time.

Out of 5 of us in the F cabin, the other 4 were OP-UPs. I was the only one who upgraded with a SWU... guess that was a mini-mistake. hehe. One person was even a double OP-UP.. not sure how they decided that. All of the UA people were in business.. so I guess they needed to bump up enough people.

By the way: As others have seen/guessed, Gene's turn around time in FRA was way too short for him to post anything. We got in late, so he barely had time to shower and get queued back up to board. I know he was planning on posting lots of pictures/videos/comments once he got to IAD.

Some random thoughts from talking to the UA tech guy on the flight:
- in the same way that very generic things go through TONS of testing to get used on the Space Shuttle.... using any tech stuff on the airplane takes a lot of testing and certification/approval from the FAA... so they can't just slap in some equipment.
- We had this discussion around the size of the media server storage (about how you can't compare the price of picking up a hard drive at the store or building your own computer to the price UA has to pay per MB of storage for a in-air system).
- UA had the same concerns with wireless.. I think its more from the perspective of: right now it won't be used.. so if we want to get something easily/cheaply approved for future use, lets use a RJ45 socket and not worry about wireless.

Frankly, there have been some issues that have cropped up that were not noticed during ground-based testing... so it wouldn't surprise me for them to pop it out of service briefly if they think they can fix certain things with a quick software fix.

In particular:
-Ch 9 feed has to come from the cockpit, into the media server, get digitized, sent to your seat, and then played... and the volume is WAY too low (you can't hear it if the engines are louder than taxi speed). They can easily fix this as the algorithm (etc) that converts it to a digital signal just needs to have the volume bumped way up. Was interesting to note that they said since no other airlines does it, Panasonic had no prior experience having to do that so not surprised it needs an adjustment.

-The in-flight map is having trouble dealing with some of the data it gets from the cockpit. I didn't take a picture, but on our flight we apparently flew from IAD down to central africa and then back up to NY (in about 1 minute) due to the IFE system accepting 1 piece of bogus data (location).

-Once they started flying the system, they noticed (and I frequently noticed) some artifacts in AVOD playback (skipping picture and sound). They think it must have something to do with how the media server is handling data from the cockpit, because they massively stress tested the system on the ground and it never happened.

PS: I was told that the first time the full system had ever flown was just on Friday, and that was when they noticed some of these issues. I was pretty impressed the system worked as well for this point of development.

Last edited by FlyinHawaiian; Jul 13, 08 at 4:57 pm
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Old Nov 20, 07, 10:52 am
  #2  
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First, before it seems like I'm nitpicking or just have negatives or anything, I'd like to say:

I was very impressed with the overall experience. I really enjoyed getting to meet so many people from UA that have been working on this for a long time. It is sometimes easy to get jaded reading things on FT (which are often negative... just the nature of the beast that people tend to post their issues). But my personal impression was that the people that have invested a lot of time in this really want to get it right. They have the same attention to detail, love of flying, interest in cool technical gadgets, and having a great long haul seating experience that many of us on FT do.

They also seemed very interested in our feedback, and I got the distinct impression (Not just lip-service) that one of the big reasons they are going slow at the beginning is that they are definitely planning on making changes and improvements (where it makes sense) based on customer feedback. (In fact they pointed out a few things, like the pull out tray table in First, that has already been identified as something that needs to be redesigned).

I felt like many at UA understood that this premium cabin refurb (including the soft product updates to come later) will really make or break UA in terms of its goals to prosper and to be considered worthy to compete with the best airlines in the world (not just the US airlines).

To wrap up my posts for now, here are my thoughts on the seats:

New Business: I'll leave most of the details for Gene to provide since he sat in the seat for the whole trip. But I got to board a bit early and tried them out, and I thought it was AWESOME. I'm 6'2 and sometimes had trouble being totally comfortable in the old First Suite, so I was really worried about the length of the business bed. But I didn't have any problems at all, and thought it felt great from my brief trial. I can safely say, that if my airplane had these seats, I wouldn't really stress out over my C to F upgrade clearing or not (where now I won't fly if I can't confirm my upgrade ahead of time).

New First: AS BenjaminNYC and others have pointed out in the past, the new first is much more of an update or upgrade to the existing First Suite. I like to say its a Evolutionary change, not a Revolutionary change. [Now, of course, when comparing the current 767 config to the new 767 config, it is a HUGE upgrade... and the first cabin looks pretty cool with the 6 single seats.] I always felt that if they just had better IFE in the old first, that it was still a really great flying experience. So I really like the new seats, but wasn't blown away by the seat itself. Some quick points:
-TONS of storage around the seat now. One of the compartments could hold several animals or small children, it seemed.
-I *THINK* that the footrest is designed to be a seat for someone to come and sit and chat with you when you are seated upright. I forgot to try it, but from looking at it, I think it had better be someone small. The footrest isn't huge and the LCD sticks out so the person can't really sit back at all.
-The tray table (while better) still doesn't have support on both sides, so it does bend down when you put something heavy on the outside. But it is an improvement over the current First Suite table.

IFE: They definitely have some kinks to work out, but that is to be expected. Seemed to work a whole lot better than the stories I hear about when LH rolled theirs out. The almost 16" LCD is really nice.. and I found it to be very bright which made it easy to watch at different eye levels. They currently are planning a much more limited selection than I think people were hoping for (they are going to be rotating the movies out each month... so it isn't currently planned to have a huge selection of movies.
-I don't really want to give numbers, as I'm not sure what was told to me is completely right or if I am really supposed to share... but for general comparison, their system has about 1/3 to 1/4 of the space of SQs current system in the new 777.
-However, UA easily has the ability to increase the storage space and I think one of the things they want to do during the trial is see what people watch, what they don't watch, and get customer feedback on what needs to be done to balance cost and functionality.

Hope my posts gave everyone a small taste until Gene gets online. Feel free to ask questions and I will try and answer.

Merge: Sorry, just remembered there were two other questions I was going to answer:

1) Overhead space: seems like the same smaller size 767 bins to me. There was plenty of overall space in F (less people, same or more bins), but I had trouble fitting in my expanded carry on (I have one that is regulation, but then pops up to be taller)... I don't mind making it smaller, I am just pointing out that is the reference I use to test if the bin is the bigger one (my expanded bag fits fine in the 747 and 777).

2) Soft Product improvements: I did make a point of saying to Mr. Atkinson that although I was VERY exciting about the new seats, I hoped that UA didn't lose sight of the importance of soft product upgrades. I got a very positive response and acknowledgment by him. He said they were disappointed that it was going to take until mid to late next year to implement the soft product changes, but they definitely understood it was very important to their frequent flyers. Another UA person told me that they have already realized with the new C seats, that they are going to have to do something on the soft side in first to entice people to go that route. I think their goal is to eventually have a new seat with a comparable soft product that allows them to more aggressively market Int'l first for purchase, but they realize they have work to do there.
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Old Nov 20, 07, 2:27 pm
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http://genefowler.com/travel/airline...agegallery.asp
There may be bad pics, broken links, this is alpha version

More to come later
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Old Nov 20, 07, 3:01 pm
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Originally Posted by MSN_Flyer View Post
I was wondering, there seems to be a three-point seatbelt in First Class. It's not really clear on United's website. Is this true? Does business class have this? Seems strange.
The new F seats do have 3 point harnesses, apparently because of their "yaw" angle (with respect to the body of the aircraft). The new C seats all face straight forwards or backwards, and can use standard lap belts.
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Old Nov 20, 07, 3:02 pm
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Thanks for the pics!

A couple of items in C I've noticed:

1. It looks like 4 passengers are sharing a wall of IFE and footrest and facing each other (facing aft of the aircraft). This is really ackward, I think. I can't imagine how it feels when taking off and landing when I am facing aft

2. The seats look pretty cramped....especially the armrests being so close together. Not much privacy I'd imagine?

3. F seats look "cheaper" than current old F suites
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Old Nov 20, 07, 3:06 pm
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Originally Posted by SJPaul View Post
Gene, let me first echo the sentiments of others on this board and say Thank You for keeping up updated on the inaugural flight ^

In your first picture of the C seat, I couldn't help but notice how narrow the armrest was. Made me think that Y-style armrest battles could start taking place in C! What did you think of the shoulder room?
The armrests are movable. The window one will rotate 90 degrees up and the center and aisle ones will slide down out of the way to give more seat width. I did not notice any problem. I am medium stocky build and and my seatmate was slim and we had no fights
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Old Nov 20, 07, 3:08 pm
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Did you happen to notice if there were any seats in Y (bulkhead, exit row, or otherwise) with a decent amount of legroom? Also, are there new PSUs? I hope there are still individual air vents, right?
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Old Nov 20, 07, 8:42 pm
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Originally Posted by Starman View Post
I'm sure this has been discussed elsewhere, but, if you're in a window seat in one of these new C cabins, and the aisle seat is completely reclined, do you have any prayer whatsoever of getting out??
That is one of the reasons a chose 6K (rear-facing window). It is far easier to step over the reclined new seat that the current business seat -- especially when the seat in front of you is reclined. To get out of the current seat you need to lean back while supporting yourself by holding onto and disturbing the person in front. With the new seat you can hold on to the IFE housing which is very substantial when you step over.
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Old Nov 22, 07, 12:46 am
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Originally Posted by ssh View Post
So, gfowler, what did you end up thinking of seat 6K?
The quick answer is flying backward is no big deal and the stepover of the adjacent reclined seat is much easier than the current C seats.

I have moved all the pics and links to http://gfowler.smugmug.com/gallery/3868228 (thanks wireless). To keep the site up in the meantime I had to pay $150 to my web host provider for today's additional bandwidth. Also to keep the bandwidth down I had to temporarily remove most of other content on my site. For example, there were 567 views (at 3.5MB each) of my video of the NRT IFL beer machine.

It was an exciting day. I had no idea that my pics would generate so much interest. After another short nap I will be editing the videos.
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Old Nov 24, 07, 6:18 pm
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New Business Seat

The new seats do look great, though I don't see any storage space in or around the new seat. Gene as you seem to be the resident expert. Where does one put, the UA wash bag, headphones, the comp bottle of water or a pair of reading glasses? Is there a little draw or secret compartment that I'm missing from the pic's. Or is it as I fear, the redesign assumes everything goes on the floor under the footstool.
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Old Nov 24, 07, 7:23 pm
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Originally Posted by andrewgault1 View Post
The new seats do look great, though I don't see any storage space in or around the new seat. Gene as you seem to be the resident expert. Where does one put, the UA wash bag, headphones, the comp bottle of water or a pair of reading glasses? Is there a little draw or secret compartment that I'm missing from the pic's. Or is it as I fear, the redesign assumes everything goes on the floor under the footstool.
Welcome to FlyerTalk andrewgault1.

IMO that is the main shortcoming of the new design. There is almost nowhere to put anything except the overhead bins during takeoff and landing especially if you are in a rear-facing seat. On a forward-facing seat you can put a few things on the shelf under the video screen or under/over the foot stool. There will be some sort of holder for these small items added later. I don't know the schedule.

I am used to 744 upper deck window seats with the large storage bins and the storage space is an extreme difference. However if given the choice of 15A on a 744 or any new business seat, I would take the new seat.
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Old Nov 25, 07, 2:36 pm
  #12  
 
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Review of New 767 C seat FRA-IAD

Thanks to this thread (and a good amount of luck) my flight on UA953 FRA-IAD last Friday was in the new C.

Of course I found it very nice, but as Gene and others have reported, stowage is an issue with the new C seats (though F seems fine).

I posted a small review in the The Consolidated New Business Class Seat thread Review of New 767 C seat FRA-IAD for those interested.

I believe that must be the proper thread for continued discussions of the new cabins.
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Old Feb 11, 08, 12:07 pm
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Work in Progress - UA 767 (New Config) Steating Thread

Hello. Any experiences out there with the new coach cabin and coach seat features on the redesigned 767s with lie flat C class? I realize that a good portion of our FT community rarely sees E- or even E+ on international, but I thought it would be an interesting topic to some folks, including me. I am traveling across the pond next month on what looks to be a new 767 with Mrs. SV1K and we are in E+ on saver awards.
Thanks for sharing.
- SV1K
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Old Feb 11, 08, 12:58 pm
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I thought that they were going to leave it untouched.
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Old Feb 11, 08, 1:02 pm
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I thought they were adding digital entertainment system (opposite tape now), thinner more ergonomic seats, and a few touches? (I think I read about this on hemisphere. no, in fact, i am certain I read about this on Feb hemisphere, it stated the change not just in C/F but also in Y as well.)
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