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Old 9th April 2018, 04:55 PM   #1
yflyer
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Default How perception plays a role in passenger comfort for Boeing (FlightGlobal Article)

A thought provoking article from FlightGlobal on perceived seat comfort.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/ar...omfort-447338/

I found these 2 paragraphs from the FlightGlobal article particularly notable:

For years, Boeing has been making the point that there is no direct correlation between seat width and perceived passenger comfort on widebodies. Most Airbus A350s are equipped with nine-abreast 18in seats in economy, while most A330s are eight-abreast. The most common configuration selected for the 787 is nine-abreast 17.1in seats. Craver dismisses Airbus research findings that maintain that its wider seats allow passengers to sleep better.

“Seat width is a poor predictor of passenger comfort and surveys bear that out,” he says. “Our competitor’s sample size on that survey was less than 10. We sample thousands [of passengers] and have found that the nine-abreast 787 beats the eight-abreast A330 in terms of perceived passenger comfort. Sure, if everything else is equal, people will prefer a wider seat, but things are far from being equal, and on the 787 we are often talking half an inch [of seat width]. Most people don’t even notice.”


As someone who travels often in economy, I personally disagree with everything in the above 2 paragraphs. I find 8-abreast A330's more comfortable than 9-abreast 787's, and definitely notice the difference when squeezed into a 9-abreast 787 or 10-abreast 777.

Maybe a once-a-year vacation traveller will not notice, but I believe frequent travellers will notice.

I think 9-abreast 787's are a great LCC config, but inferior to 9-abreast A350's or 9-abreast 777's for full service carrier long haul.
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Old 9th April 2018, 05:38 PM   #2
9V-JKL
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I think the keywords are "Most people don't even notice".

Only folks like us are the ones that notice the difference and make our choices accordingly.
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Old 9th April 2018, 05:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yflyer View Post
A thought provoking article from FlightGlobal on perceived seat comfort.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/ar...omfort-447338/

I found these 2 paragraphs from the FlightGlobal article particularly notable:

For years, Boeing has been making the point that there is no direct correlation between seat width and perceived passenger comfort on widebodies. Most Airbus A350s are equipped with nine-abreast 18in seats in economy, while most A330s are eight-abreast. The most common configuration selected for the 787 is nine-abreast 17.1in seats. Craver dismisses Airbus research findings that maintain that its wider seats allow passengers to sleep better.

“Seat width is a poor predictor of passenger comfort and surveys bear that out,” he says. “Our competitor’s sample size on that survey was less than 10. We sample thousands [of passengers] and have found that the nine-abreast 787 beats the eight-abreast A330 in terms of perceived passenger comfort. Sure, if everything else is equal, people will prefer a wider seat, but things are far from being equal, and on the 787 we are often talking half an inch [of seat width]. Most people don’t even notice.”


As someone who travels often in economy, I personally disagree with everything in the above 2 paragraphs. I find 8-abreast A330's more comfortable than 9-abreast 787's, and definitely notice the difference when squeezed into a 9-abreast 787 or 10-abreast 777.

Maybe a once-a-year vacation traveller will not notice, but I believe frequent travellers will notice.

I think 9-abreast 787's are a great LCC config, but inferior to 9-abreast A350's or 9-abreast 777's for full service carrier long haul.
Agreed. You notice for sure, particularly during meal service where you can't eat without knocking elbows. If you're unlucky to end up next to the variety of passenger who believes the armrest is theirs alone it can be hard to even read. Another aspect that improves comfort on long flights is the ability to diagonally re-angle oneself in the seat every now and then.

It's all very well and good to survey a lot of occasional travellers, but how many aircraft manufacturing executives actually ever take a 10 hour flight sitting in their own Y cabin. That's a statistic I'd love to know!
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