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  • 31

A350-1000 maximum seating rises to 480

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Airbus's A350-1000 has been cleared for an increase in maximum accommodation to 480 seats, through the installation of modified exits. (www.flightglobal.com) Altro...

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sgbelverta
sharon bias 22
The USDA regulates how animals may be transported by truck, ship, or plane. And the rules are very specific about temperature control, water availability, total weight of animals transported and area available for movement. How about we let the USDA take over from the FAA on plane passenger safety and comfort, especially since we're being treated as cattle anyhow?
dnorthern
dnorthern 5
Apparently you don’t realize the FAA requires manufacturers to demonstrate, via live testing, the ability to evacuate a plane within 90 seconds at the rated pax load?

We (Americans) demanded air travel at Greyhound pricing. We got what we wished for. Now we complain.
jmilleratp
John Miller 11
But, that is only with passengers of average size. No overweight people. No disabled people. No passengers trying to take their carry-on's, etc. with them.
Leo12656
Leonardo Lage 5
"We (Americans) demanded air travel at Greyhound pricing. We got what we wished for. Now we complain"

Bingo....well said !!
stofer
Pat Barry 2
The FAA has instructed the A380 to retest the evacuation with "normal" people, so I have read.
'll pay up to 20% more to travel with an airline with a more comfortable seat or better entertainment system. I don't necessarily look for the lowest fare - quality is valuable to me.
cjmathews
craig mathews 1
you can already do this with most airlines. You either sit at front of economy (under various names like on Virgin AUstralia it's called economy XL or when yopu choose you actual seats, most airlines now have option to pay for better seats
Leo12656
Leonardo Lage 1
Exactly, even Low Cost and Ultra Low Cost carriers offer more comfortable choices for a fee.
med9344
Martin Doyle 1
The other day I was seated near the back of a loaded LH 747 into MCO from FRA. It took at least 45 minutes before folks near me started to even move, much less exit the aircraft. I counted at least 50 wheelchairs waiting on the jetway to transport physically challenged pax. Sadly, it will require an horrific scene of pax dying from fire in an otherwise survivable crash because they couldn't get out. The FAA tests are not realistic for many reasons. Likelihood of disaster has increased as seat pitch,etc have decreased.
dnorthern
dnorthern 2
Your observation is based on flawed logic. You based your comment on the availability a single point of exit and folks casually exiting the plane.

In FAA testing (and real life emergency evacuations) multiple exits are available. Not to mention flight crew would be aggressively managing pax exit.

As a factual matter, FAA evac testing is accomplished in a darkened hanger with 10% (randomized and unknown to the test subjects) exits being made unavailable. In other words, a statistically uncommon scenario.

Therefore, trying to extrapolate single point observation of pax normally exiting an ac to an emergent situation is simply flawed logic.
med9344
Martin Doyle 1
I am not making an empirical numerical comparison of a standard deplaning to an emergency. I am just observing the difficulty of getting that many people of all ages, sizes, and physical abilities off of a crowded plane. My technical analysis may be flawed, but no more so than the FAA standards are: !0% of exits blocked in a crash scenario? passengers compliant with not taking luggage? elderly, handicapped, children, flight attendants possibly incapacitated? I hope I am wrong.
Pax comfort can be optional based on fares with each flyer free to choose cramped or roomy, etc. Safety should not be an option.
dnorthern
dnorthern 1
Actually. You were. Calling something what it isn’t doesn’t make it what it is not
ADAvViation
those tests do not include overweight passengers, elderly and those that physical limitations; and the fact that I have observed evacuations where passengers take the time to grab their overhead baggage and personal items. they even manage to grab the cell phone for some videos
cjmathews
craig mathews 1
seat width hasn't changed on B737s/A320 family. Seat pitch can remain the same, while at same time leg room can be increased when airlines switch from a fairly normal seat to a slimline seat with thin seat back. It's all about the thickness of the seat back, NOT the seat pitch.
kbeller44
Kyle Beller 2
OMG... let it go already! do animals have a choice in how they are transported?

Look, I gave Frontier Airlines out of their Denver hub probably 10 tries, in which 7 of them ended in a complete catastrophe. Guess what?!? I do not fly them anymore under any circumstance. My choice. There are other options! I chose the other options for my own sanity and comfort.

Similarly I won't fly Norwegian because it ended up being a shit 30 year old Wamos Air Airbus... There are SOOOO many choices out there!

What carriers will opt for this 480 configuration? If the "cattle configuration" bothers everyone so much you're likely not the people that fly these carriers or at least the seat class that warrants "cattle configuration" status.

Any airports that will receive the -1000 with likely have plenty of airlines, aircraft, and seating tiers to select from.

Its driving down costs folks. Either don't book that flight, that airline, that seat, that route, that day, drive, increase your income, etc etc.
mariofer
mariofer 4
This is the same argument we hear every time an airline decides to reduce passenger comfort to increase profit; there are choices.. until the rest of the airlines do the same that is. Then, there are no choices. On average, seats have shrunk almost 4 inches in the past 30 years. Today's first class seats on some airlines are what economy seats were in the 80s.
666adt
And economy seats in the 80s were unaffordable to most folks. More people can fly now than back then, so if you want the economy-sized seats from the 80s, you'll pay business or first class prices today, which fares are roughly the same, in real dollars, as the economy seats back in the day.

We DO still have choices - price or comfort.
cjmathews
craig mathews 2
when you say economy seats, do you actually mean the legroom, rather than the seat width ?

B737s & A320 family have always been 6 across in economy IIRC.
cjmathews
craig mathews 2
economy seats on B737s/A320 families are exactly the same width as they always were.

Some airlines, mostly low cost, put 9 across in their A330s(the standard is 8) & some put 10 across in their B777/B787s (standard 9), although have to be careful using the word standard these days, as there's not really a standard for many things these days
KobeHunte
Kobe Hunte 0
These planes are so huge though that it might not even be "cattle configuration". Hopefully they are nice enough with giving some leg room so you can actually sit down for a few minutes without having someone kindly place a knee in your back.
grafael
George Rafael 1
This is from an industry that still instructs you on how to buckle a seat belt.....
dnorthern
dnorthern 1
FAA requirement.
666adt
Animals don't a choice whether or how to travel. Humans do.
stofer
Pat Barry -1
I reckon the Americans With Disabilities Act should regulate some degree of comfort on commercial aircraft. I rode (full fare, last minute purchase) on a Delta flight from Kansas to LAX after Delta announced it was preventing seats from reclining, and I could not believe how uncomfortable it was. A miserable experience. The fare was inconsequential. They just are bullying passengers into paying for the front cabin, and a minimum seat pitch is a reasonable request (33 inches versus the 30" or 32")at present
cjmathews
craig mathews 1
Pat, You don't seem to understand seat pitch. Seat pitch does not equate to legroom.

2 aircraft with same seat pitch, can have vastly different legroom, up to 10cm (4 inches) difference. A modern slimline seat has paperthin seat backs, while some old seats have seat backs up to 4 inches thicker. It's all about the seat, not seat pitch.
Jeraboam
Jeraboam 1
Obviously, I don't fully understand the definition of "seat pitch". I thought that it referred to the distance between the back of one seat to the front cushion of the seat behind it. This would mean that the thickness of the seat-back would only factor in to the number of rows an airline could squeeze in to an aircraft. The distance of x centimetres in seat pitch would remain constant for the number measured. Could someone expand on this confusion.
cjmathews
craig mathews 1
no, it's the distance between the back of 1 seat & the back on the seat in front or behind, actually measured at floor level.

To reduce seat pitch by 1 inch & maintain same legroom, airline must reduce the seat back thickness by 1 inch also. ! inch x 30 rows roughly means an extra row. Years ago, Southwest calculated their total profit was based on 1 seat per flight, so an extra row of 6 seats is huge !!!!
Jeraboam
Jeraboam 1
Thanks for the explanation. I'm looking forward to my next flight to europe with even thinner seat padding than before!
cjmathews
craig mathews 1
actually some of the newer slimline seats are very comfortable, but often seats on widebodied aircraft which are mainly used for medium to long haul flights are different to the seats you find on single aisle short haul aircraft, HOWEVER, there are new aircraft such as the A321LR which have 1 aisle, but can fly 7 hours or more nonstop with a full load of passengers.
patpylot
patrick baker 3
that many passengers, now reclassified as paying persons under detention, is a number that evokes incredulity. Save your nickels and dimes and pay for several more inches of butt-room. I await the first airline to put old style seating back, with knee and leg room, and to price it accordingly. Bet they will fly at 90% all day. Nostalgia Airways forever......
Duijn
Re: " I await the first airline to put old style seating back, with knee and leg room, and to price it accordingly"

They already have. (at least Air New Zealand has). It's called Premium Economy. Six seats across instead of nine. Twice the legroom and pitch. It's twice the 'current' Economy price. But relatively, it's the same I paid for International Flights 25 years ago.
Jeraboam
Jeraboam 2
Re the cost of air travel: i have a wonderful old November 1942 war-time flight schedule for Trans Canada Airlines (now Air Canada). An economy return flight from Toronto to Vancouver cost $220 (average worker's weekly income was probably around $30). Today, the same flight costs about $600 (average weekly wage is about $1200). The 1942 flight required about 7 times the weekly wage; the 2019 flight costs about one-half of a weekly wage! The 1942 flight took about 15 hours with 5 stops en route; today's flights take a little more than 4 hours and fly non-stop. Does anyone have information about the seat pitch, number of seats, configuration and aircraft used at that time?

Toronto-New York cost $45 and took two hours.
SIERRA09
Ed Crist 2
Airlines will have no problem selling these cramped seats. Sorta like the fast food joints have no problem selling junk food. People want and will be willing to pay the cheapest price for a commodity, no matter how bad it is for them.
wopri
Another blow to minimum comfort for passengers.
jmilleratp
John Miller 1
And, especially to safety. Getting passengers out of the aircraft in an emergency will be more difficult.
dnorthern
dnorthern 1
And no whiners either.
KobeHunte
Kobe Hunte 2
Wow. That is a lot of seats.
yr2012
matt jensen 2
400 will not be able to evac the a/c in 90 sec
KobeHunte
Kobe Hunte 2
@matt jensen - You might be surprised...
kbeller44
Kyle Beller 2
Im going to go out on a limb and suggest they have taken this into consideration. Just a guess though....
julianjim
jim garrity 1
+Just asking for trouble!
emsvitil
EDWARD SVITIL 1
They made the restrooms even smaller.............
momokookie
What a news , bye bye A380 , 747 and the triple 7 .
grafael
George Rafael 1
Standing room only......
Justthefacs
Justthefacs 1
This has gotten tom be ridiculous. The only way to get this corrected is to mandate that all elected officials fly in the back of the plane.
dnorthern
dnorthern 1
Actually Alabama’s Sen Shelby (R) rode a cramped CRJ from BHM to DCA back in the day.
rutkowst
Tom Yablonski 0
I think the extreme cheapening of airfare is leading to a new, and much greater, golden age of travel for everyone. I just got from Denver to China and back for $378. Went there, ate really good food for three days, and came home. Crossed the Arctic, Siberia, and Mongolia on the way. It sure was cramped and uncomfortable as hell, but 2+13 hours and a subway ride later I was in Tiananmen Square. Fares like that seem to be the norm now. Given current prices, awesome trips can be done monthly or weekly instead of yearly. So I say pack us in and squeeze every dollar possible out of the fares. Higher density means more travel accessible to more people.
bettiem
bettiem 1
Your joy would be my nightmare. For me, take-offs, departures, approaches and landings are the essence of interest and pleasure for avgeek me.
stofer
Pat Barry 1
It really doesn't because the seats aren't constructed for an average male, and I'm not talking about overweight people. I can fit in a coach seat ok, but my legs are longer than average for a 6 foot male and my knees press hard against the back of the seat in front.
I rode in biz to Germany recently on Lufthansa and the laydown seat allowed no more than 6 ft person - I slept, but my head was pressed against the bulkhead and my feet could not lay next to each other so I stacked one on top of the other. What Boeing was thinking when they designed that is beyond me.
I've worked for two airlines in the past, and should I work for one again I would want to control the airport parking lot since people will pay for parking without blinking, yet will choose an airline seat for one dollar less.
xmitr
Don Whyte 1
Not in Canada where it costs almost twice that amount just to cross the country.
pd154
peter dunn 0
Everyone seems to think you have a choice. How many times have you paid for am upgrade or a certain seat, the airline changes the plane because of issues, or simply amalgamates 2 flights which have too many empty seats and you are stuck in a different seat even though you paid for a better one. That will happen here.
Jeraboam
Jeraboam 1
It has happened on every flight on TAP YYZ-LIS, both ways and usually without informing me in time to do anything but complain. Last flight my wife and I (both in our 80s) were moved three rows apart while the premium bulkhead seats we had paid for remained unoccupied! No refunds because we were both still in the so-called premium economy seats - one inch of additional legroom...

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