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Narrowbody jets are becoming popular for transatlantic travel

Narrowbody jets are becoming popular for transatlantic travel, with airlines recognizing the cost advantage of flying smaller, more fuel-efficient planes between low-demand city pairs. ( More...

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The only ones making narrow body jets popular are the airlines, not the passengers. Regardless, how about a premium comfortable seat with amenities on any size aircraft on long haul?
ewrcap 8
Nothing makes a wide body more comfortable except for the psychological effect of more “airspace” in the cabin. You can be squished into a seat with no legroom in either type and in the wide body you have to get by more folks from a middle seat in the center section. Wide body seats are often no wider than narrow body seats and in the case of ten across seating are actually narrower. It all depends on how the airline outfits the cabin.
Kenneth Mino 4
As a larger passenger (6 ft., 240 lbs), I will attest that narrow body craft can be physically uncomfortable. Use of the lav is awkward at best and it can be painful about the head in turbulence. The curvature of the fuselage requires either a limbo dance posture or stooping, depending on the purpose of one's visit. Getting up just to stretch one's legs is all but impossible, of course, regardless of one's size. I really miss being able to depend on wide body aircraft on longer flights.
SkyAware123 2
6ft ? please. I'm 6-5 and fly economy. It's tight but not that bad. The curvature in your way ? (not the case, really.). Get an aisle seat. please. It's a 'busride' not a luxury cruise.
Mark Madeley 1
I'm 6'2" and 180lbs. Kenneth is a "wide-body" himself, I'm just a "narrow-body" myself and agree with Kenneth, especially when a "wide-body" is in the next seat. Aisle means you get hit by the carts and get luggage dumped on your noggin. But I admire your ability to origami yourself into economy. Great convo and thanks both for sharing.
SkyAware123 3
wow. you need to stop flying trash-airlines. You get only hit by carts if your legs are where they shouldn't be. Stop being a cry baby. And having a "wide-body" next to you has nothing to do with a wide-body or narrow-body plane.
People need to chill out. It used to take people 4 weeks to cross the ocean.
Mark Madeley 1
Waaaaaaaaaaah, waaaaaah, waaaaa-aaaaaah! :-D
strickerje 4
I agree; I know it's an illusion, but the wider cabin just feels more comforting to me even though the seats are the same.
Steve Stein 5
14+ hrs on a triple 7 from LAX to Sydney in coach, nothing feels big.
strickerje 2
Good point. Some years back, I suggested a trip to Australia to my wife. She said "only if we fly business class". I guess we're not going then. ;)
ewrcap 1
No. You gotta go! Just set aside some money each month. I agree with your wife.
Carole Hughes 14
I agree with Stephen, Sardines, thin seats, long flying time equals agony for the passenger
21voyageur 14
But unfortunately, the passengers are (no pun intended) only along for the ride as the shareholders are the real customers of airlines. Business plan is simply to put bums in seats, the more the better, and make sure the costs are as low as can be. Safety? Not too much due to cost (ref: 737-max) Unfortunately, for the general public aviation is now simply taking the subway at 32,000 feet.
paul gilpin 4
i couldn't let your comment go with just an upvote.
well said.
i agree.
ewrcap 3
It’s that evil capitalist system. If people stop buying, prices come down. Right now, there’s a waiting line and Americans have proven that nothing counts more than price. We will change to an inferior product to save ten bucks.
21voyageur 4
Yes you will. The spending tipping point for air travel is well past and the result is that flying these days is a commodity. The option for the affluent is 1st class, the very affluent option is the NetJets of the world. Unfortunately, those that have some disposable income (not affluent but well off) will find it harder and harder to find a product that fits their needs. My 2 cents worth.
ashannon38 1
Agony? Really? Come on. Woman up!
sconklan 10
I saw where British Air has (had) a special A318 outfitted with just 32 business seats that flew from London City Airport to JFK with a stop in Shannon to refuel and go through American Customs. There were only 8 passengers on it. I might handle that.
ewrcap 3
Check the price. Do you think they fly a 32 seat airplane for the same ticket price as a packed wide body with 300+ seats?
Sadly, BA001 was discontinued a few years back. 32 Club World seats and a snug environment.

It was an interesting service, with a part fuel load for take-off at LCY (short runway in the City of London). Landing into Shannon to uplift an Oceanic fuel load enabled the passengers to run through the interrogation by US Immigration on Irish soil, so the plane landed as an internal flight. Pick up bag and just walk off the plane to the taxi rank.
strickerje 2
I recall an operation called PrivatAir operating a similar service between Dusseldorf and Newark for Lufthansa using an A319. I thought they also had a scheduled Newark flight from Switzerland, but I can't find it now.
David GO 1
I've taken that flight a few times and it was terrific IMHO. Arriving/Departing LCY was a real benefit.
Peter Fuller 7
The past is the future: before the 1970 debut of the Boeing 747, narrowbody single-aisle jets were all there was.
21voyageur 1
And a bit more specifically,,,remember the Concord(e)? Single isle aimed at upper-crust travelers. Privileged travel on an A319 somehow has less panache.
ewrcap 2
I loved the Concorde but keep in mind it was a little narrower than a DC9 and the seats were narrow. Of course, 3 hours in said seats was quite liveable.
Diana Rose 6
Jettison comfort, it's all about the $.
You’re exactly right about being all about the $. A first class seat at coach price ain’t gonna happen! Especially since people keep buying the cheap tickets.
klimchuk 6
But coach service for business class price is happening all the time
Don’t pay it.
As long as there are long lines of people purchasing the cheapest seats no matter the discomfort, this will continue. Blame the company and shareholders all you want, but making a profit is capitalism. Do you want the airlines government run? Ho boy. BTW, prices wouldn't be any lower.
You're right, the price is all most people even look at. Personally, I buy tickets on an airline that has better service and better airplanes, and I'm happy to pay slightly more. (But it is really only slightly more.) In fact, I wouldn't fly trans-Atlantic if there were no better option than the US carriers.
Exactly my point sir. I don’t know why people continue to complain when the numbers tell the airlines they are spot on. Go figure!
ewrcap 1
Bingo! You got it!
I travel to Scotland frequently, and actually like flying business first on UAL's 757's. No foot traffic in the forward cabin, and the lav is behind the premium seats, but isolated form coach with a curtain. The mid door loading is great, too, as a premium passengers do not have to have elbows and knees bashed by coach traffic.

The 757 was premature in it's demise, and is actually a lot better than a stretched 737. It has double trucks underneath for the extra weight, and the RR engines are powerful and quiet.

But any longer flights, I still prefer the 777, 787 and 767, in that order. Of course, we all miss the 747, which would be the first choice.

Rumor has that Boeing was looking into putting new engines on the 757, and call it the 575-plus.
Carries more weight than a 737, more fuel, double trucks, and can take off from shorter fields than a lot of it's counterparts, which is helpful in hot weather.
21voyageur 0
Yup Boeing F'd up big time with the 757 but due to bad decisions backed themselves into a corner and now we have the "Franken737". Greed and being behind the competition (ie: Airbus) drove that decision. Too bad, have flown the full range of legacy Boeing birds (707,717,727,737,747,757,767,777) many times and is, to me, the best mid-to short long haul technology that the shining house on the hill ever produced.
I came to the USA in a Freddie Laker 747 back in 1978 for $69. Oh how I miss those days.
ewrcap 1
Georgina. Go to inflation $69 in 1978 is $300 today. Not sure you could find a RT for $600 today except in the off season but it’s not as bad as you might think.
Well my money bought a lot more back then. I found aDelta flight from Atl to Lax for 300 yesterday and thought that was pretty good.
Geoff Lane 4
Guess it is all psychological. Couple of years back I did a split flight from Heathrow to San Diego. A 747 on the first leg to Chicago, then a 737 for second leg. The 737 felt so tiny.
Diana Rose 7
Make the tube longer but narrower....pack'em in like cattle.
You mean, like the 200-seat Boeing 737-MAX8200 which Ryanair are hoovering up on distressed purchase deals from Boeing? At least there is an extra emergency exit down the side of the aircraft...
ewrcap 1
Or the non distressed 200+ seat A321.
ewrcap 1
Actually the max seating on the A321 is 236! Approaching DC-8 60 series.
Doug Fehmel 1
You must have never flown on a DC-8.
ADXbear 7
They suck... guess I was spoiled by real widebody aircraft.
CatheyFord 2
Just saw a video on how the 747 was built, it was brilliant.
They thought about including a lounge and finally figured out it could be up above the first level….that made history.
Doug Fehmel 2
I had flown on an Icelandair DC-8 a few times between Luxembourg and Keflavik. A long, narrow single isle airplane. Glad I got off in Iceland, as the very full flight was actually ending in Baltimore, MD. Caught it a few days later, on the return trip to Luxembourg.
Thomas Mchugh 2
From Ft. Dix/McGuire to Kuwait in a C-17 in nylon jump seats. I was lucky as a Field Grade got to sit near the front (warmer) of the aircraft. We got a box lunch and I had a lovely view of the comfort pallet. Did the flight in full battle rattle including ballistic vest. Got off the aircraft in Rein Main for 20 minute because they wouldn’t refuel with us on board.
Things haven’t improved much since I left Travis Air Base for Viet Nam in 1970. As a lowly Warrant Officer (helicopter pilot) my seat didn’t have a perk I can think of. Lol
Judy Greene 3
Narrowbody jets are HORRIBLE for tran-Atlantic crossing. I know, bc I’ve done it. I will never do it again. One aisle for 200 + people for 7 hours? NO>
ewrcap 1
I depends on where you are going. Not every TATL destination warrants a wide body. NY to Bristol or Shannon doesn’t warrant a 747. You have to consider the cost and bother of connecting through LHR waiting two or three hours for a connection (in a narrow body of course). So, the narrow flight that is 6 hours vs the connecting WB at 9+ hours. I would be fresher and brighter on the former. I’d rather go through customs and security at BRS than Heathrow any day also.
The meaning of the word popular is specific to being liked by people. Airlines aren't people. Popular with stockholders perhaps.
With a double aisle jet, you're not screwed during the meal or drink service trying to get to a bathroon with a blocked aisle. Usually they leave one aisle free for that. Last trip from Dublin to NYC, our 767 was replaced with a 757 and it was horrible.
J Leis 1
I will select another flight before I did that.
I still prefer the narrow body guys. I probably did a million miles in them. The wide body jets are like flying in a cheap movie theatre. Way too expansive for me. If I can not get the window seat I reserved I don't go.
Gerry Ward 1
Memories of having flown trans Atlantic on 707's and DC-8's before the advent of the Queen of the skies,were brightened the first time I boarded a 747. Wow! Space and room and a double aisle to walk around to keep the leg cramps at bay. Yesterday I flew a Max-9 from FLL to MSP. The window was forward of my seat so I was beside the bulging wall. Guy in the middle seat was also my build so ended up flying sideways in my seat so we could fit. The thought of a trans Atlantic flight on one of those was a horrible thought. I would reroute to get a wide body even if it made for an extra connection. Airlines market their "popular seating plan" to airlines, not to passengers. No trans-Atlantic on a narrow body for this guy thank you very much.
Chuck Lavazzi 1
Interesting. Unless it's a full recline seat, though, I'm not likely to pay business class prices unless those prices are a significant discount from regular business class.
Jesse Carroll 1
Until we get a Conservative President with some hevos, who can afford Business class? I'm 6'1" @220 #'s and pay extra for legroom. However, my feet still wouldn't fit behind a bulkhead! Got a pic somewhere I'll share if I find it!
Not going to fly much if any commercial from now on. Just putt along in my 80 mph truck!
Ken Endacott 1
Trans Atlantic flights of 7-8 hours are not long haul. 12 hour flights of which there are many around the world are long haul and 17 hour flights such as Singapore to NY and Perth to London are ultra long haul. What will the upcoming 19-20 hour flights such as Sydney to London be called?
Around the world in 80 coffees?
Ken Thompson 4
Call it what you want, the travel industry calls TATL flights LONG HAUL.
Peter Fuller 2
You want long haul? Here ya go:

“On September 29, 1957, a TWA L1649A Starliner flew from Los Angeles to London in 18 hours and 32 minutes…..The L1649A holds the record for the longest-duration, nonstop passenger flight aboard a piston-powered airliner. On TWA’s first London-to-San Francisco flight on October 1-2, 1957, the aircraft stayed aloft for 23 hours and 19 minutes….”

The L1649A was a long-range Constellation variant.

In those days, with no laptops, tablets, seatback screens, passengers could only sit there, eat, drink, sleep, read books or magazines, talk or play cards with traveling companions, all the while listening to the drone of engines and props. Of course the seats were probably roomier and more comfortable than we have now, and the passengers better behaved.

For a captain’s account of piloting a Los Angeles-London Connie flight:
Geoff Lane 2
Everything is comparative, Journey to Space Station takes around 24 hours whereas Ireland to UK can be just an hour. I would regard 7-8 hours as long haul, Sydney to London in one hop, that would be tiring but guess the split flight tiring too.
R Jolly 1
Dale Johnson 1
We traveled to Vietnam in a chartered 707 packed three seats on each side of the aisle. I didn't hear much grumbling.
Dale Johnson 1
As I recall it was a 18 hour flight with a stop in Hono. box lunch I think...long time ago in another place another world.
ewrcap 1
Really long-ass haul!😜
Diana Rose 1
Fly early morning, lots of empty seats at this time; lift arm rest, put feet up on adjacent seat, stretch out. Coast to Coast...NYC-LA is not full early a.m.
Dale Johnson 1
They used to fly DC8's and 707'ss, people passengers were happy and dressed up too. Now days people grumble if they don't travel in luxury while wearing flip flops and shorts with a bourbon in hand and creating a scene...It's a different world out there these days.
Lol! Best part about SWA’s unassigned seating is you get a shot at avoiding the above described types.
That's a good enough reason for me to stay away from the low demand cities. For me, the busier, the better!!

Tom Novak, I have a question for you: Do you have any connections to a place called Pringle, Pennsylvania????


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