9 Responses

  1. 02nz
    02nz at |

    Airbus is fundamentally right here – the “perception” things like the mood lighting and the bins can enhance the feeling of spaciousness, but they can’t substitute for actual space if your shoulders are rubbing against your neighbors. I prefer flying in Boeings with mood lighting and pivot bins (relatively few Airbus aircraft have the latter), but only if I’m in J. Boeing tried to do the right thing with the 777 and the 787, designing them for wider seats, but the airlines (particularly with the 787 but increasingly with new deliveries and retrofits of the 777 as well) opted to squeeze in an extra seat per row. Airbus arguably got it “just right” – the cabin width is just enough for 18-inch-wide seats in economy, while not being so wide as to create the temptation for the airlines to squeeze in one more seat (except for a tiny number of low-cost carriers that have gone nine-across on the A330).

  2. Hick K Son
    Hick K Son at |

    I agree with you. Airbus’ position seems to make more sense to me. When you’re sitting in 3-4-3 configurations for more than 3 hours, the armrest and shoulder positioning starts become a real first World problem.

  3. DaninMCI
    DaninMCI at |

    I guess I’d be fine if Airbus reduced the seat pitch from say 30 inches to zero but gave me a seat that was say 65 inches wide 🙂

    Seriously, good post. I always find discussions like this interesting. Thanks.

  4. 02nz
    02nz at |

    This discussion also reminds me a bit of the Airbus vs Boeing debate on noise/quietness in the cabin. Airbus aircraft have generally had quieter cabins, and Boeing has often tried to claim that the A380, for one, is actually too quiet. Having flown the A380 many times, I can attest it is indeed quieter than just about any other commercial aircraft, but definitely not “too quiet” – I still use earplugs. As with the seats discussion, each manufacturer puts out claims and research that benefit its bottom line, but here, too, Airbus has the stronger argument.

  5. Steven Sullivan
    Steven Sullivan at |

    I think it’s all important, but shoulder space is quite important, and makes a huge difference. But, I also appreciate the head room for the feeling of spaciousness, and ease of getting in and out of my seat without banging my head into the bottom of the overhead bins.

    What’s my ideal in economy? Pivot bins for the headroom and Airbus’s 18″ wide seat standard for the shoulder space, plus the wider Airbus aisle. I’m actually quite a fan of the work DL did on its ex-NW A-319/320 fleet. Those aftermarket retrofit interiors look sharp, the lighting is nice, the headroom is there, the bins are ginormous and hold a ton of bags, and both the seats and aisles are wide. The A-350 inspired bins the went with from the factor on their A-321s also achieve much of the same feeling. I’m not sure why Airbus seems to still treat this as an either/or situation when there are some limited applications that say “all of the above,” but I guess it’s their customer base driving those decisions. Regardless, it is nice to see Airbus finally doing some serious updates to its stock A-320 family interiors, which have been seen only minor evolution from their original 1987 design. That was long overdue.

    1. W Chris Burcham
      W Chris Burcham at |

      Not a huge fan of the DL 321 bins. Signage is poor as to bag stowage vs the 319 where they scream don’t put me flat.

    2. Steven Sullivan
      Steven Sullivan at |

      The 321 bins are an oops on the part of Airbus. They were supposed to be big enough to put bags on their sides, but they’re just a bit too small for that for many US size bags. The early 321s had signs in them to not place bags flat, but those were removed after the bags didn’t fit that way and allow the bins to close. It seems Airbus might have sized them to store bags conforming to European standards that way, not the US carry on standards.