ANA to cram more passengers on board their 777-300ERs

Flying the same planes with more passengers on board increases profits, right? And so ANA joins the ever-growing collection of airlines cramming an extra seat across in the back of their 777s. No more 2-4-3 layout in the back; welcome to 3-4-3.

The new ANA seatmap, courtesy of the carrier.

The new layout only adds 14 seats to the plane, upping the capacity to 264 from 250 that the prior layout offered. That’s mostly because there aren’t all that many economy class rows to begin with. Still, it also likely means losing the very comfortable extra armrest in the middle of the 4 section and overall narrower seats. I got to fly on the 2-4-3 layout in February and found it reasonably comfortable. I think it a safe bet that the new version will be less so.

Note the double-wide arm rest between the two pairs in the middle section. That’s likely to disappear as an extra seat is crammed in to each row.

Of course, ANA is not the only carrier pursuing such an approach. Far from it, really. American Airlines chose that layout for their new 777-300ERs. Emirates, Air Canada, Air France, Austrian, China Southern, Air New Zealand, TAM, Jet Airways and KLM all have it on some of their 777s, too. And my good friends over at RouteHappy tell me that China Airlines, Etihad, JAL, Scoot, Philippines Air, Aeroflot and Aerosvit are doing it, as well.

Much like switching to slim line seats to save weight and add more passengers into the same space this seems to be the direction the industry is headed. Unlike the slim line seats, however, it is hard for any airline to even remotely claim that these changes will increase passenger comfort. It will be interesting to see which other airlines choose to reconfigure their 777s versus retire them in the coming years.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. evil airlines … all Boeing’s fault

    used to be airlines improve Premium Econ is justify the upsell value proposition

    now it’s worsening Y- to a point that people will pay the Y+ premium just to have an *acceptable* seat

    before it’s a short list of airlines to avoid …. now it’s a short list of airlines that i can still consider

  2. Do you know when this is effective? I am scheduled to take ANA 777-300 on a United award ticket in November. Might see about switching to Singapore.

  3. So, the 777X is supposed to offer greater comfort for 10 across seating. How long before we see 11 across seating prior to 777X deliveries?

  4. As long as they have a premium economy to upsell/upgrade to I don’t have a huge issue, but not having a premium economy for a plane that can fly for +/- 18 hours will make me think at least twice.

    1. There’s always been something better to buy up to though, right? And are you really willing to spend that much more for the Premium Economy product? It is not typically a cheap fare difference.

  5. Seth
    I like your blog as it posts the real news that matters to most flyers not just those at the pointy end for free kind.
    All carriers are going in the direction of squeeze the masses and shower the few with extras. ANA is no exception

  6. Write us once you’ve taken the Air Canada HD B773ER with 398 seats in Y at 10 across. Nice! Ugh!

    1. Basically the same thing for the Y seats, Stephan. The main difference is that ANA still has a lot more premium seats on their 77Ws so the total number of passengers on board will be lower. But just as cramped in the economy class section.

  7. ANA has had 10 across on its domestic 777s for a long time now, FWIW. They only fly 1-2 hour segments though.

  8. Anyone in this game who still flies BOB deserves what they get. No excuse for having to fly longhaul in economy when it is so easy to get virtually unlimited points at low/no net cost. If you don’t know how to do that, you’re reading the wrong blogs.

  9. Hello Seth,

    Have you flied with ANA lately? Do they really enforce the rule of a total weight of 22 lbs for all of your personal items and 1 carry-on bag combined?

    I found it pretty absurd, the limit for the carry-on bag is ok but seriously who would try to weigh the carry on AND personal items (handbags, laptop bags etc) together?

    Thanks in advance for your insights,

    1. I flew them in February SFO-NRT and there was no weighing of cabin baggage. But I also was coming in on a connecting UA flight so never stopped by the ANA counter.

      And, yes, most airlines outside the USA have weight limits for carry-on bags.

  10. My case will be the same. I’m gonna fly with United Airlines from FL to Houston then take 2 ANA flights from Houston to Tokyo (operated by UA) then from Tokyo to Vietnam (operated by Air Japan). So for my 2 ANA legs, i wont have to stop by the ANA counters. Hopefully I should be fine.

    I just can’t imagine how long the counter check-in/boarding process would be if they have to weigh all your carry-on bags and personal items together…

    Thanks much,

    1. Houston to Tokyo operated by UA doesn’t have the ANA rules. And you’ll clear transit security in Tokyo and go straight to the gate so you should be OK.

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