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757 from Dallas to Brussels

We are flying from Dallas to Brussels on an AA flight in mid-Sept. The reason we selected this particular flight had to do mainly with the travel time involved and the price.
So we are happy with both of those things but in looking at the plane configuration this plane looks like the same type we would take to fly to Las Vegas or Florida, not a 9 hour transatlantic flight.
We actually fly from Dallas to JFK but do not change planes at JFK so we will be on the plane for about 13 hours.
I have never had a long flight on such a small plane and I'm wondering just how uncomfortable it might be. I did select aisle seats so my husband and I are across from each other.
Just curious if others have been on this type of plane for a long flight and how was it? It seems as I get older I have become more claustrophobic or maybe I'm just crankier?

Posted by
8939 posts

I've found that on 757s the seats to be just as comfortable as on other long distance planes like the 767, 777, and 747. But the major downside of the 757 is that it has only one aisle down the center of the aircraft. This makes moving around the plane to stretch your legs or go to the bathroom problematic as the crew needs to use this aisle to serve passengers and move their carts around. On the other hand you're flying half way around the world in less than half a day so I just suck it up;)

Posted by
2193 posts

I agree with Michael…it’s not bad, and the aisle seats will make it more comfortable. I have flown on this equipment on transatlantic to Frankfurt but had a connection in Reykjavik…that helped. Still, if the price were right, I would have no problem flying non-stop on a 757.

EDIT: The downside is relative in my opinion. First, there’s no noticeable difference in the pitch and width of the seats in the 757 and 767 (for example). Seat comfort is essentially the same as Michael Schneider pointed out. And, I personally didn’t have an issue with the 757 aircraft’s single aisle…anytime I needed to get out of my aisle seat, I was able to maneuver around with no problem. For me, it didn’t matter if there were one or two aisles in this regard. Yes, you may need to wait for the cart to pass or you may need to wait for another passenger to pass…big deal. I’m not older and not prone to health complications from flying, but I can see how this might be important for older travelers or those with medical concerns that require alot of exercise. I didn't see anything about health issues in the original post...maybe there's something there. If I could get the same $425 RT fare I had on this flight before, I would book it again with zero concern about a single aisle. That’s just me. Others will disagree.

Posted by
10344 posts

I agree with Michael Schneider's post, in which he says that, in fact, there is a significant downside to flying a 757: that it only has one aisle, not two aisles like the wide-body aircraft.

Not having two aisles makes it significantly tougher to get exercise--an important thing for both comfort and in preventing DVT (deep vein thrombosis) for those travelers who, like me, are not as young as they once were.

Posted by
53 posts

Well this is one of the things I was a little worried about. My husband had blood clots in his legs which led to a pulmonary embolism. This was three years ago so he is no longer on blood thinners but his doctor definitely stresses that he not sit in one spot for a long time.
Having an aisle seat will make things a little easier but I hope the flight attendants don't give him any grief. Even on the wide body jets they tend to discourage people from moving around and yet they know that DVT's can be a real problem.

Posted by
10344 posts

Susan: Unfortunately, the flight attendants are required, as part of their job, to keep the aisles clear at certain times in the flight; and that will definitely be more of a problem for passengers on a 757 with one aisle, that it is on 767's, 777's and other wide-body aircraft that have two aisles.

It's not that the flight attendants intend to give passengers grief about this, it's just an unavoidable part of flying long haul on an aircraft with only one aisle.

As I'm sure you found out when your husband had the pulmonary embolism, exercising during the flight, for someone with this medical history, is really important. And realistically, given the one aisle, he's going to have to make a determined effort to get up and down the aisle.

It's a situation where medical needs of passengers sometimes conflict with the job the flight attendants are required to do.

Best of luck on this.

Posted by
4555 posts

Susan....do a search on the internet as well for exercises to help avoid DVT. There are many things you can do while remaining seated that will help ease the threat.

Posted by
21032 posts

Does he used compression stocking? If not, ask the doctor about them.

Posted by
9335 posts

Norm and I are on the same wavelength....here's an article on exercises you can do while sitting in your seat:

In Seat Exercises

Posted by
14 posts

I have not flown your exact flight from DFW to BRU, but I believe that AA configures some 757s with business lie flat seats rather than first domestic seats for international flights. The coach cabin I think is the same seat pitch and width as those in a wide body. So except for the single aisle issue, it should be the same. However, I am guessing that you can get off the plane at JFK and stretch your legs since it is probably there for at least two hours. Also, you might want to check seat guru here: http://www.seatguru.com/airlines/American_Airlines/American_Airlines_Boeing_757-200_B.php to get the best seats if they are still available.

Posted by
53 posts

Thanks all for your good suggestions. We will definitely check out the exercises. He wore the compression socks last year. He didn't care for them but he will wear them again this year as an added precaution.
I do hope we will be able to get off for a short time at JFK. That will break things up a little bit.

Posted by
2193 posts

A key learning and take away should be to double-check the cabin configuration before booking your flight next time using a site like www.seatguru.com or www.seatexpert.com. That should help you select an aircraft that meets all of your stated needs, including one with two aisles if that’s important to you to help alleviate concerns related to your husband’s condition. And in addition to travel time and price, it sounds like you’ll be better equipped next time to consider this health issue when booking your flight. It’s entirely possible that your time on the 757-200 is limited to the flight over, as it appears many of the options back home are on a 777 aircraft. If this is the case, then the one-aisle problem should only hamper you on the way over. And on the flight over, your husband still can get up, walk down the single aisle, and spend a little time in the lavatory/galley area either up front between business and economy or in the rear of the plane. Single or double aisle doesn’t matter here in my opinion, unless one prefers to do laps in a circular fashion, which may be better accomplished in a two aisle aircraft. Anyway, the in-seat exercises, of course, are a good idea regardless of aircraft, and it’s already been established that there are no noticeable differences between the economy class seats of AA’s wide body aircraft and this 757-200. Have you considered upgrading to the slanted flat seats in business class for more room? Another option might be to consider changing flights for a larger aircraft should you need two aisles. That might also help with your originally stated concerns regarding being uncomfortable or claustrophobic.