Boeing 737

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by arshavin, Mar 16, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. arshavin

    arshavin Silver Member

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    Currently sitting in middle seat of Boeing 737-800. Never been so squeezed and uncomfortable. Long 4 hours from SFO to ORD ahead of me. Sigh.
     
  2. flyforawg

    flyforawg Silver Member

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    Book at the last minute?
     
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  3. gregm

    gregm Gold Member

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    Sorry. (What's a middle seat? :rolleyes:)
     
  4. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    Which airline are you flying? If you book a coach fare ticket in advance, most airlines provide a choice of seating (although disappearing from some). With many airlines, you can also "buy up" to seat with extra legroom. As I'm 6'5" and have experienced a few such uncomfortable long haul flights, I've become super-attentive to booking such seating as available immediately upon confirmation of my ticket purchase. If you wait on this until you show up at the airport, you may find that you have waited too long.
     
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  5. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Try 3-4-3 on the 777s, 3-3-3 on the 787s, one of the many LCCs/charter operators or a variety of other aircraft configurations with even tighter seat spacing.

    Have a nice flight. :)

    Somewhere around a third of the passengers will end up in a middle seat on a narrow-body aircraft. It happens. I just did EWR-OSL in a middle seat and survived just fine. I'm sure you will, too.
     
  6. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    Offer to buy up, sure the FA will take your money.
     
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  7. arshavin

    arshavin Silver Member

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    As expected, the flight was one of the most uncomfortable rides ever. Thankfully the flight had wifi, slow but workable which helped to pass time. I also had similar seat on ORD to LGA which was my final destination today. It was a last minute travel for work purposes to attend couple of meetings on Monday and turn back to SFO. Thankfully, the flight back is Jetblue with a window seat on A320. I am looking forward to that flight.

    Speaking of flights back from NYC to SFO area, is there a direct flight which leaves NYC area late at night and arrives in the morning in SFO. My travel agent in office said there is none. Finally I was booked 8.20 flight which reaches back to SFO at midnight.
     
  8. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Sounds like you've had quite the privileged travel life so far.

    Nope...there's no westbound overnight flights. Because of the distance and total travel time you'll always land in California about 3 hours after you depart the east coast. And there isn't much in the way of demand for a 3am departure which lands at 6am.
     
  9. blackjack-21

    blackjack-21 Gold Member

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    Greg!

    I am once again completely discombobulated that there are so many on here and other BB's, such as TOBB and OOBB (other other BB's) plus MOBB's (Many!) who, being the uddermost highest Zirconium elites, or even higher too, have never, ever, experienced the joy and wonderment of "L"avatory class or similarly kettleized designationed seating. So allow someone who has had the diSTINCT pleasure of often being relegated to such a pain\seat in a three seater configured overwing situation try to enlighten those who sit in their wider, longer pitched, flatbeded, pillowed, amenity kitted, fawned overed, seats, with their nuts appropriately warmed as they receive their flat warm bubblies and real silverware on a tablecloth for a sometimes better omelette.

    Since my wife is usually flying with me, and she likes the window seat so she can count the clouds as we travel before she naps, and me being the gentleman that I am, I'm stuck in the middle "seat" in most configuations, luckily though, not on a jungle jet, Dash8, or B767, or the right side of a MadDog80, which have some two seaters. Many airlines have gone with the infiniteseably wider window and aisle seats, thereby reducing those seats middleized by that configuration to a slightly smaller available bumspace, for those of us with the ever expanding back ends.This perception of reduction of sizeable seating area comes with the opportunity also to fight over who gets to use which armrest, and of course the everpresent possibility of someone's 33 pound flightbag falling directly on their head when the overheads pop open during severe turbulance, or when someone is unable to fully insert their oversized luggage over my head, and on their third attempt usually dropping it on my noggin as their arms are too tired at that point to lift it and fully shove it in where it really doesn't belong anyway. Add to that my enviable luck of someone sitting in the aisle seat next to me, who, for one reason or another, has decided to forego the usual yearly shower that most of us attain at some point (mine is scheduled at midnight tonight) and comes running down the aisle at the last minute, breathless (good thing too, as they forgot to gargle after their late meeting's garlic filled repast), sweating profusely because they forgot to replace their deodorant and aftershave which ran out three weeks ago, and stinking profusely after a last minute delay for his flight which arrived at T-Y, while our flight is leaving from T-A, and other examples of which I'd alluded to in another thread. Add to that, they're undoubtedly slightly overweight at 352 pounds, but it's okay, as they're a center on the university junior football team.Then for most of the seven hour eighteen minute flight (if not delayed at departure, or a severe headwind making the flight ninety minutes longer, as happened to me, or circling LHR for what seems like forever while awaiting landing clearance) insisting on enumerating all that he had done in the last 29 days, leaving me with a numbness and ringing in my ear on landing.

    And I won't even begin to mention the lineups for the lessthenpristineneverenough lavs, that may stretch from the aforementioned shortness of lavs at the back, almost completely to the bukhead at 2L. Add to that the often unedible paid for snacks and "meals" which may cause added lineup additions, leading me to often beg for a second or third helping of those wonderful small bags of pretzels (used to be almonds or even peanuts, but no more) to assuage my famishedness.

    And while the quietitude of the rear is measureably less then in the muffleized confined portion of the forward part of the aircraft, because we sit a bit closer to or behind those large round fan things that hang from the wings and have to endure the screams of those who, like me, are squished into those contraptions they fondly call "middle seats", still, as I have often said of our twice visited trips to the breathtaking Grand Canyon, "everyone should see and experience it at least once in their lifetime".

    Since you never get to see the enormous lineups to deplane the masses behind your compartmentized compartment because you're always amongst the first to deplane and never look back to see the shoving, elbow swinging, fighting for seat row leaving, flight bag dropping on you on the way down, fun that eminates from all those poor souls to your rearest, you have missed so much in all your elited flightness.

    Therefore, Greg, you are seriously missing something that so many of us have enjoyed so frequently that it may even become habit forming. You have indeed led a very sheltered life.
     
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  10. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    FWIW, I should think that a main point - and major attraction - of participating in Milepoint (or TOBB :eek:) is to learn pertinent information about air travel so as to be able to avoid such painful experiences. As a tall individual having been stuck (more than once) in uncomfortable seating on US air carriers, I'm very much into "pain avoidance". As such, I've found quite valuable information about how to find better seating and avoid the "cattle car seats" through Milepoint conversations. Hopefully, this will also be the case for arshavin and blackjack21 in the future!

    A separate conversation is the abysmal state of affairs regarding deteriorating customer service that the US airline industry has fallen into. Both of these topics are covered in many past Milepoint strings.

    Let's hope for more enjoyable air travel experiences for you both in the future!
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2014
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  11. gregm

    gregm Gold Member

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    Sometimes I'm just a little sarcastic, in the name of humor. Truth be told, I've sat in a few middle seats. Very few. It wasn't a sheltered life. My Dad worked for TWA and non-revs (me!) rode in F all the time. As for now, I'm lucky that I have 100% control of my travel arrangements. I make sure I'm never in a middle seat. It's easy; there are none up front. (Well, except for AF):)
     
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  12. blackjack-21

    blackjack-21 Gold Member

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    The middle seats you may have sat in years ago are nothing like the recent models, with slimline seats making for even less padding, and slideability making them seem to have even less pitch, and the width really seeming to be less then the window or aisles. AC has five new B773's with 31" pitch in the back and many complaints on the J seats up front, and even the cabin crews dislike them. Older model 773's and their 772's at least have 32" pitch so a bit more bearable.

    My attempt at humor in the above short novel was nonetheless, in part, reality. ;)
     
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  13. arshavin

    arshavin Silver Member

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    I am not sure what is your point by saying about the privileged travel life but I do expect some sort of satisfaction as a customer. I realize such uncomfortable travel has become new normal but I still get frustrated with such poor experiences. Having said that, the return flight on Jetblue (A320) from JFK to SFO was so much pleasurable. I am not sure whether this is a privilege or not but I was expecting similar experience on those flights too.

    I am not that tall but when I see taller guys stuck in the middle row seats, I thank my genes I am not that tall. it does not happen often though :-(
     
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  14. gregm

    gregm Gold Member

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    Hmmm...I've had a sheltered life for not riding in middle seats and you have a privileged life for riding in a middle seat....:) Life sure is funny.
     
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  15. blackjack-21

    blackjack-21 Gold Member

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    Correct....because we're now retired and my wife is now always with me on all our travels, even on a short drive (or longer, as today's four hour drive), and unless I can get us into a two seater on a plane, I'm relegated to a middle cramping. Definately don't consider I'm privileged in doing so, but no choice so there ya' go. We'd gladly switch with you, having been in the pointy end of some planes, or upstairs occassionally in the past, but as it now stands...or sits!
    And besides, the shrimp in our salad served before the main course were so very small.....! :rolleyes:

    And yes, you're definately missing the "enjoyment" of sharing a rear cabin experience with all of those of us mentioned in the short writing that I have wroten (or is it rotten?) above .;)
     
  16. Betty Boop

    Betty Boop Gold Member

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    One of the best answers WVER on MP!

    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint
     
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  17. blackjack-21

    blackjack-21 Gold Member

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    Many thanks, BB, I think/hope, if I could only figure out what a WVER is. Possibly a "WhatEver"? WhenEver? :confused: ;)
     
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  18. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Simple. If you've never/rarely sat in a middle seat over a reasonably long travel life you're doing pretty well. Lots of people do it all the time - tens of thousands every day, in fact - and everyone survives it just fine, as you also did. That you have never been more "squeezed and uncomfortable" as on a 4 hour flight says to me that you're doing just fine in the bigger picture.

    Because middle seats exist at all? Or something else? More than 20% of passengers on mainline flights are likely to find themselves in a middle seat these days. It is part of the travel experience for many travelers.

    JetBlue has more legroom on average than UA/AA (unclear which you were on for the SFO-ORD-LGA trip). That certainly helps the flight feel more comfortable. And the A320 seats are a bit wider than the 737 seats which also helps. If you were expecting the same experience on AA/UA in a middle seat as you were on JetBlue in a window seat then I'm not really sure what to say other than that those expectations were probably not so well-formed to begin with. Maybe using a site like RouteHappy in the future to get a more coherent view of the in-flight experience plus the times/fares would be useful?
     
  19. Betty Boop

    Betty Boop Gold Member

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    Oops. Sorry it was late and I was using phone! It was meant to be EVER.

    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint
     
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  20. gregm

    gregm Gold Member

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    Maybe that makes him more lucky than privileged.
     
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  21. euromannn
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    euromannn Gold Member

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    RouteHappygood tip.

    I don't fly in exit aisles anymore since seat width si reduced by 2 inches. Airlines sell expanded leg space.....
    but I like my aisle seat at 22 inches!
     
  22. arshavin

    arshavin Silver Member

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    I think you are stuck on the middle row aspect of the seating. The guys seating beside me in the aisle and window seats were equally uncomfortable. Anyways, I still stand by what I said and will not choose a 737 middle row seat ever especially when the ticket was 700 USD one way. I am glad I forced my travel agent to change to Jetblue on the way back.

    Thanks for the Routehappy tip. I didn't know of it.
     
  23. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I rarely have it as my first choice, but I've flown in one a few times recently and was VERY happy I did. It usually meant getting where I wanted to be hours earlier than the window or aisle seats would have given me and that time is worth something to me, especially if it means dinner with my wife or more time with friends at the other end. No one I know wants to sit in a middle seat. But very few people I know get so worked up over it.

    If JetBlue works for you then go for it. I happen to love their product and fly them a decent amount. It helps that I'm based in NYC and they have a lot of destinations I can get to from there. If you're on the west coast it is a much harder decision to justify IMO. The extra 3ish inches of legroom really is nice.
     
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  24. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    I haven't been in a middle seat for years, but recently they have all hit at once. And partially by my own choice.

    The first was due to an equipment change where my confirmed F seat was lost due to an equipment change. I knew they couldn't help that, and I didn't make a fuss. As I was boarding, the GA handed me a $300 voucher "for being so nice about it." No idea if that was true or protocol, but I promise you that the following 45 minutes of discomfort were more than negated by the extra $300 I knew I was not going to have to spend this year.

    I'm no fan of the slimlines that UA has chosen, and that's what my seat was. Hard. To make matters worse, the recline button was inoperative, so I wrote to UA so that they would know to fix it. I stated clearly that I was not looking for any compensation, as I felt the $300 voucher was plenty generous. I got a reply and 5,000 miles in my account within about 3 days anyway.

    On my way home to Costa Rica later that week, my RPU on Copa had failed to clear out of LAX, but I got a CPU a T-24. The schedule had me waiting a little over 6 hours at PTY for my connection to a confirmed CPU. I asked the TA at LAX if they possibly had anything sooner. She got me out on the first flight, albeit in... you got it... a middle seat in economy. I was so glad to be getting home 5 hours sooner after flying all night on the red eye that it didn't bother me one bit!

    I flew AV last week SJO-BOG-MDE on an award ticket, and AV always offers an UG to BOG for $159. I always buy it. This time they didn't offer and I didn't ask, as I decided that I want a Herman Miller chair, and 4 RTs to Colombia without UGs will pay for it. Once again... Middle seat to BOG and last row from BOG-MDE. Fine. The Herman Miller chair will give me much more pleasure than any UG.

    On the way back, I got another middle seat on the BOG-SJO leg! It was so funny to me, that it didn't even bother me. I've been so spoiled for so long, that I figured this was just long overdue. "Herman Miller. Herman Miller. Herman Miller," I kept thinking. LOL!!!

    The cool part is that riding up front is a much less friendly environment in most cases. I'm not a talkaholic, but I enjoy a conversation with a nice, interesting person. I speak fluent Spanish, and I met some really interesting people back there that more than made up for the temporary comfort of a cushie seat for a few short flights.

    While I would like to try to get an aisle or window (hard to do on an AV award, as they don't let you choose your seat until check-in, and even then it's rarely the seat you really get, IME), I think I'm going to stop paying for upgrades on theses short intra-Latin American flights altogether. Most Colombians and Costa Ricans are incredibly friendly, and those who are flying are doing so for a job that means they are smarter than average. That makes for some very interesting, pleasurable and educational conversations that just don't happen at the front of the bus.
     
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  25. flyforawg

    flyforawg Silver Member

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    It's policy. I had a similar situation in SFO. Confirmed 1st nixed due to equipment changed. Choices were
    1. Take a seat in coach on the same non-stop(probably middle)
    2. 1st on two legs of next available flight.
    I went with option 2.

    Agent said the compensation is set based on mileage. Had to correct the agent who was going to give me a smaller amount voucher, so I heard the explanation and the rationale for it.
     
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