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Posted by
7164 posts

The only new airline seat configuration needed are “fewer and larger seats” in general.

Posted by
6098 posts

The only new airline seat configuration needed are “fewer and larger seats” in general.

So biz class seats, and fares, for all?

I am sure everyone is in favor of the bigger seats--- not sure the requisite fares would be popular

Posted by
5484 posts

“fewer and larger seats”

Air travel was so much more pleasant prior to the 1978 airline deregulation act. Coach class seats had more room before 1978 than now and a filled middle seat seemed to be an exception. And first class was more affordable relative to coach.

After the 1978 deregulation took hold and the "groundlings" voted their limited dollars for discount airfares, the race to the bottom took off. The collateral damage to airline deregulation is tourist attractions are crowded and reservations, sometimes months in advance, are needed. (Remember when Rick Steves use to recommend just calling ahead the day before?)

So yes to fewer and larger seat with more recline along with free food and drinks and refundable airfares. Just keep the cost low.

Posted by
6098 posts

So yes to fewer and larger seat with more recline along with free food and drinks and refundable airfares. Just keep the cost low.

This is on the 'to do ' list.

It is scheduled to happen right after Tesla reduces the price of the Model S to $5,000. and upgrades the battery range to 1000 miles, and reduces the charge time to 10 minutes.

This is a fact.... my crystal ball said so! Just wish I knew what is means by, it happens on Star Date 5533.7 ?

Posted by
1500 posts

So every time I see this type of post on how we want more room i remind everyone that several years ago American Airlines actually gave you what you want it. More room in coach

Of course when it came time to actually but Delta was $20 cheaper so you bought Delta. American gave up on more room

. We want the impossible we want cheap airfare, great service, lots of room and safe airplanes. Something has to give folks. And I’d rather it wasn’t safety

Posted by
4194 posts

I'm not holding my breath....though maybe that would help when flying in the brave new era before us.

I don't see how this "Janus" seating really keeps people farther apart. The backward facer seems just as close to the front-facers in the same row. And since the cabin air is recirculating everywhere, the risk is from (or to) everyone on the plane, not just your seatmates. I appreciate the Roman god reference though.

Posted by
1905 posts

So yes to fewer and larger seat with more recline along with free food
and drinks and refundable airfares. Just keep the cost low.

Sarcasm? I hope.

Posted by
837 posts

Other than the reference to the three-sided shield, I have the same question as Dick—how is this any different in mitigating contact? Reminds me of table seating on a train with probably less room. Brings back memories of when Southwest was using older planes that had four seats facing each other. Only benefit I’m seeing. I think, is that it makes it easier for the middle seat occupant to get up and use the lavatory.

Posted by
2305 posts

One person with COVID-19 does not matter how you are seated. Airlines are scrambling for solutions. UV lights kill airborne pathogens. This has been known for years. Maybe they should look at installing these.

Posted by
2510 posts

Seems there’ll be no more arguments about lowering your seat back!

Posted by
1878 posts

Even better if they can extend the barrier down to the arm rest, so that I don't have to fight for half an arm rest or have someone's bulky jacket spilling into my lap. Or, having a nodding off passenger doing so on my shoulder.

Posted by
1168 posts

The only new airline seat configuration needed are “fewer and larger seats” in general.

Actually backwards seating is easier on the back. But some people get airsick when facing backward (I am not one of them).

I believe that a backward seat PLUS the side shield will give more separation. Not six feet though.

Posted by
6098 posts

"Backward” seating actually moves your center of gravity forward into the hip area.

Actually backwards seating is easier on the back.

??

Posted by
6027 posts

Face it, there's never going to be safe distancing on a plane, period!

Posted by
1215 posts

Changing cabin design also costs a lot of money at a time when airlines have 80% of their fleets parked and are probably telling the cleaning crews to make sure to check for loose change in the seats as they do their sweeps in the remaining planes in use. They'll also probably have to go through FAA recertification for that radical of a cabin redesign, which has both time and money costs.

Posted by
920 posts

Until this health crisis, airlines made billions in profits. So wanting cheap fares means the airlines just made seats smaller and uncomfortable? I wish I could find the info I read on how much the major carriers made just on baggage fees alone. They got greedy in my opinion. I see some carries just announced higher baggage fees as well.
Just my opinion.

Posted by
1168 posts

@Joe32F

Backward seating puts less pressure on the back because of the plane configuration.

When airplanes are in the air they fly with their nose tipped up. They are not truly horizontal like they are on the ground.

Because they fly tipped up the seat is slightly tilted back. This is important.

When you are seated on the ground your weight travels through your spine and into your hips. Good! When you are in the air and tipped back your weight is now transferred into your lower back. Ouch! Anyone with lower back issues will be in pain.

Turning the seat backwards means that your weight goes forward instead of back. Your weight is transferred into the front pelvic area. But at least the weight is off the back.

Posted by
6098 posts

Cindy

Thank you for the explanation. I am fortunate to not have back issues, so was not aware that what seems to be a minor change of seat tilt would make such a difference

I was aware of the 'nose up' attitude but have never felt it, so really had not considered it.

Take care

Posted by
503 posts

Diane, I agree that the airlines got very greedy. The figure I remember hearing was that United made 3 billion in profit in one quarter. I don't remember the exact year, maybe a couple of years ago that I heard this. I was shocked at what the profit was for one quarter which is why I remember it. I have no sympathy for the airlines at this point. They have done nothing for their customers except make the flying experience more and more uncomfortable and don't get me started on the decline in customer service.

Posted by
1905 posts

[The airlines] have done nothing for their customers except make the
flying experience more and more uncomfortable

I will respectfully disagree. I'll defer to Brett Snyder aka the Cranky Flier to make the argument*:

"The industry at large has made massive improvements over the last several years. Airlines have invested in fast internet, added power outlets (except for you, Southwest), and provided a massive entertainment library for free. They’ve bought new aircraft that are better for the environment and, as in the case of the 787, have a better cabin environment. All of this has been done while keeping fares in check. Several airlines have invested in technology to track checked baggage. Baggage-handling rates have improved. Denied boardings have plummeted. And airline operations have improved overall, though there are obviously some notable hiccups.

"I’m not suggesting airlines have done nothing bad here. Have airlines increased the number of seats on airplanes and ripped out seatback screens? Yes. But until the feds decide there is a safety issue here, this is simply a business decision."

*from a response to Tim Wu's New York times piece and PBS Newshour comments, which are more about advocating an overly-simplistic bias (Airlines Bad!) than honest, thoughtful consideration of a complex topic. Snyder's response is a worthwhile read, especially for those who enjoy ideas and like to consider both sides of an issue.

Posted by
1088 posts

To those of you who want larger and fewer seats: Tell the airlines about it. And I don't mean write an email to their customer service department or contacting them through social media. Tell them with your wallet. Never buy a ticket in economy anymore, always buy premium economy or business class. And never fly low cost airlines, like Ryanair that plans to put 200 seats in a 737 MAX 8 (assuming they are ungrounded).

Posted by
1905 posts

I agree (a lot) with Badger. It's difficult to be intellectually honest in your complaint about seat comfort/size and legroom if you typically seek the cheapest economy ticket your can find. And when you fly a discount carrier, you are financially incentivizing the race to the bottom. The Basic Economy fare class on legacy US airlines exists because of the success of Spirit, Frontier, and Allegiant.

Posted by
1500 posts

Seat space is not going to be the problem in the event of an emergency. It’s going to be thepeople near who firmly believe that their laptop, purse and multiple carry-ons have to go with them.

Having seen it when you have to evacuate a hotel, I’m sure the plane will be full of idiots who can’t evacuate without their junk. . I’ve seen people trying to run down staircase in a 20 story hotel hauling their luggage. Matter of fact one of them worked for me and I told her she was to stand by the wall until the last person went past and I stood there to make sure she did. we were going to die together but she wouldn’t get tp kill anybody else

And yes the airlines made a lot of money. However they’re not making a profit off of those you paying the bottom feeder affairs and getting your seat assigned at the gate. The profit is from people like me who think it’s worth it to pay for premium Our business travelers sitting in the front that their company paid for. The profits that $4000 airfare not the $250. And if you look at some of those really cheap airfares that’s all they’re getting is a couple of hundred bucks Yes you are paying more but look at the taxes. Especially flying into some countries the taxes are half your airfare on the cheap airfares

Posted by
6136 posts

And yes the airlines made a lot of money. However they’re not making a
profit off of those you paying the bottom feeder affairs and getting
your seat assigned at the gate.

That's just the way I like it. I am very low maintenance when it comes to flying (of course I have preferences, but I understand what the tradeoffs are). I couldn't care less what seat I get or when it's assigned. And not contributing to obscene airline fees and profits is just a side benefit.

Re: the article - those plastic separators seem like they would really add to cabin turnover time if each partition needs to be disinfected on both sides every time there is a stopover. In the case of domestic flights with tight-ish connections, it would throw Southwest's (pre-COVID) business model out the window. The reason they've been so successful is partly because they can turn over the cabin very quickly.

Posted by
10860 posts

Until this health crisis, airlines made billions in profits. So
wanting cheap fares means the airlines just made seats smaller and
uncomfortable? I wish I could find the info I read on how much the
major carriers made just on baggage fees alone. They got greedy in my
opinion. I see some carries just announced higher baggage fees as
well. Just my opinion.

Its why so few people are successful in business; they just don't get it. Airlines DID make a TON OF MONEY!! But they SPENT a TON OF MONEY on overhead. A-B = depending on the year 4.5% to 9% in profits which they gave to 401(k) retirees. But with margins that tight all it takes is a war or a pandemic or some scare over safety to put them into negative numbers which the 401(k) retiree isn't going to appreciate.

Those baggage charges allow people with little or no luggage the opportunity to fly more economically. Sort of "social justice".

I was sitting "backward" on a fast train once. Honestly, I didn't like the window view. I am so accustomed to seeing things "come at me" rather than whooshing behind me. I think this may be the cause of "sickness" mentioned above. I found it interesting that this minor change had on my overall experience.
I am sure there is an entire science devoted to airplane seat configurations. A big guy like my husband needs a bigger seat. A shorty like me - you can stick on a fold-down military style seat with a seat belt and I can deal with it.
The "woes" of people lucky enough to travel.
For private jet-setters - their woes are the brand of champagne served.
Fuel per capita is a whole other topic. Environmentally concerned may prefer riding "crammed together" for fuel efficiency.
After looking at the referenced article - I wonder how well the seats and shields will be sanitized.
Also, the air will just circulate through the general cabin. I have gotten sick twice because of flying. One time - a youngster with a bad cold was just touching everything.

Posted by
1215 posts

Having seen it when you have to evacuate a hotel, I’m sure the plane will be full of idiots who can’t evacuate without their junk. .

After the Aeroflot 1492 accident last year, I noticed that Delta added strong language in their safety video and manual demos about 'in the event of an emergency evacuation. leave all bags behind'. Compliance is, as always, another issue.

Posted by
837 posts

Basic economy is still a system that smacks of inequity. I’m nearly 6-feet tall, and I want to know why I have to pay more to be comfortable on a plane than someone who is 5’4”? And not all of us work for companies that will foot the bill for the front section of the plane on business trips. If I want that, I pay for the difference in ticket price myself.

Re: internet, movie selection. Could care less if my knees are crammed into the seat in front of me. Like a lot of things in life, each traveler has a different priority, but we’re all paying the “price tag” for x person to get what they want even if y person doesn’t value a particular offering.

Argh.

Posted by
5484 posts

Basic economy is still a system that smacks of inequity. I’m nearly 6-feet tall, and I want to know why I have to pay more to be comfortable on a plane than someone who is 5’4”?

The airline is selling you the use of a certain amount of space to transport you and your carry-on baggage from Point A to Point B. At least your size situation is vertical length and not width. Airlines typically now have policies addressing oversize width passengers. If a oversize width passenger can't fit in the standard seat belt and/or needs to raise the armrest to fit, the wide passenger may have to buy a second seat. https://www.ifly.com/overweight-passengers

However, there are some flyers who find they do not have enough space
to even sit in their seat and buckle their seatbelt. These passengers
are referred to as passengers of size, and many airlines require that
these passengers pay an additional fee to have a second seat. In
general, obese passengers on airlines who require a seatbelt extender
and/or cannot lower the armrests between seats are asked to pay for a
second seat on their flight, unless there are two empty seats together
somewhere on the plane.

You should also note that as a 6-footer, you are likely heavier than the 5-footer, but the airline isn't charging you a fuel surcharge to move you from Point A to Point B. Weight adds to fuel consumption.

Posted by
2788 posts

Face it, there's never going to be safe distancing on a plane, period!

The most accurate and sensible comment of all.

Posted by
6136 posts

Airlines typically now have policies addressing oversize width
passengers. If a oversize width passenger can't fit in the standard
seat belt and/or needs to raise the armrest to fit, the wide passenger
may have to buy a second seat.

To my knowledge, Southwest deals with this with the most tact and discretion. It's not widely advertised but I read that they will give an oversized person an adjacent seat (at no cost) if they let them know their situation ahead of time so they can preemptively block out that seat. There's no shaming or being punitive (or drama) involved, and everyone is better off in the end since there are many complaints about people "spilling over their seat" into someone else's.

Regarding OP's article. It's interesting that the airline industry is already working on a barrier method. The Janus method - if the middle person puts the seat back down - now the passengers in that row will have a nearly face-to-face view. This could be socially awkward for strangers.

Regardless of airline barriers - the unknowingly infected passenger is still flying and carrying a disease to others in another community. If not in the air - then on the ground.

Posted by
5484 posts

An effective vaccine for the coronavirus combined with herd immunity would be the best airline barrier. Before that happens, its UV and disinfectant fogging.

Posted by
645 posts

One advantage to Janis is that you would never have to fight with the overweight person next to you for your own space. No armrest contests either. But also no ability to talk with your travel companion. And how would you look after kids?

Posted by
6098 posts

With one-third of the passengers facing backwards, the pre-flight safety blurb will have to be done twice.... oh joy

Posted by
920 posts

“ Those baggage charges allow people with little or no luggage the opportunity to fly more economically. Sort of "social justice".

If only the airlines would enforce their carry- on policy!

Posted by
10860 posts

Basic economy is still a system that smacks of inequity. I’m nearly
6-feet tall, and I want to know why I have to pay more to be
comfortable on a plane than someone who is 5’4”?

I'm not nearly 6 foot, I am 6'-1" and I get it.

Who remembers when Southwest had backwards facing seats?. "Interesting" experience.

Posted by
8561 posts

With one-third of the passengers facing backwards, the pre-flight safety blurb will have to be done twice.... oh joy

British Airways business class has both front and backward facing seats. The pre-flight safety briefing is done once with one fight attendant at the front of the cabin and another at the back.

The one thing I don't like about the backward facing seats is the same thing I don't like about table seating on a train--you have no choice but to look into the face of the person sitting across from you. Going back to the BA business class where you do have alternating front and back seating, at least there is a full partition that can be raised if you want privacy. I doubt the backward coach seats will offer a full partition.

Posted by
3216 posts

if the middle person puts the seat back down ...

That assumes these seats even have a recline option. With the plexiglass surround, I think recline will be highly restricted if allowed at all with any of these options.

A lot of the newer seating systems already used on the lower cost airlines do not recline even a bit and are set at a "pre-reclined" angle. I am fine with this, but I know a lot of people who will not be happy if this is the option.

Basic economy is still a system that smacks of inequity.

Then I guess Business and First class is totally unacceptable because both give more room and better treatment? I am just happy that the options are there for those of us who may want to pay a little less to get where we need to go if we want or can choose a higher price option if we want to splurge a bit.

Who remembers when Southwest had backwards facing seats?

I do. I really liked them too. More knee room than the forward facing seat sections. I was doing a lot of short hop business trips when they had those. Those of us traveling together would turn one of the "lounges" into a party room on the way home with all of the free drink coupons Southwest used to hand out. Those were the days.