Economy Seating / International Flights

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by mapenn, Nov 14, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. mapenn

    mapenn Silver Member

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    Here's a total newbie question! Is "economy" seating on the big international flights the same as "economy" seating on domestic flights?

    I don't mind traveling economy around the country...but I'm not sure I could handle being that crammed in that same space for up for 10+ hours.

    I was just wondering if the seating layout on the bigger planes was more accommodating.
     
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  2. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    IMHV, it totally depends upon the carrier. Many non-US carriers had better (wider) seating, but even that is changing now. I'd become used to wider seats in coach seating on Lufthansa, but have noticed in my last couple of flights with them that some of their jets have "new" (i.e., narrower) seating arrangements. If you fly United Airlines internationally, it is absolutely worth paying the ~$200+ or so that they'll charge for "Economy Plus" seating.
    It will be interesting to read other Milepointers POV on this issue. Good luck! ;)
     
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  3. LAM

    LAM Silver Member

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    Depends on the carrier and I think the location of the seat. Maybe it is in my mind but if the seats behind an exit row are available they feel like to me they have more room. Don't do what I had to do on my 13+ hour flight to India. In order to have a window seat I had to sit in front of the lav. Not good for multiple reasons.
     
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  4. MSYgirl

    MSYgirl Gold Member

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    International economy sucks in my experience (unless you can sleep sitting up; I've turned into a contortion expert to make it comfortable since I have no choice). I've had a few issues with BA, so I started sticking with only AA metal for the routes. Now I get MCE (main cabin extra), and it's a small step up. I could upgrade with points, but I'm hoarding in anticipation of some new international trips in different parts of the world in 2014. I usually try to reserve a window seat so I have something to lean against while sleeping instead of flopping onto a stranger, and it frees up the armrest for the adjourning/middle passenger.
     
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  5. moongoddess

    moongoddess Silver Member

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    Before you book a flight, find out what plane is scheduled to be used on that flight and check Seat Guru to find the seat width in Economy class on that particular plane. Unfortunately many (most?) airlines are shrinking the width of the economy seats on their international flights to 17", which makes the flight a truly miserable experience. Business class is a lifesaver if you can afford it! And many non-US carriers offer an Economy Plus international product which gets you a wider seat as well as more legroom, and it's often a reasonably affordable option. (Unfortunately on US carriers Economy Plus generally just gets you more leg room, not a wider seat.)

    Do take seat width into account when planning your trip, and book a carrier that offers a wider seat even if it costs a bit more. Your body will appreciate it! Flying for 8+ hours in a 17" seat is an unforgettable experience, in all the wrong ways.
     
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  6. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    That is excellent advice! I always check www.Seatguru.com when I book a long-haul flight! If nothing else, it will help you to avoid those "red" colored seats in coach class that have even greater restricted size/seat mobility! :eek:
     
  7. MSYgirl

    MSYgirl Gold Member

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    I used to check Seat Guru and took its advice for a long haul, advice that turned out to be wrong. So I just pick and deal with it. :)
     
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  8. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    Do you recall what went wrong with the use of Seatguru? It would be good to know this. I've used it many times, and at least it provides some guidance, over what the airlines give (nothing!). :( Thanks!
     
  9. MSYgirl

    MSYgirl Gold Member

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    I don't recall the exact flight, but I was considering taking an exit row seat. The website said it wasn't a good seat with limited legroom, no window, etc. So I picked another uncomfortable seat. At boarding time I notice the same seat I passed on does have a window and way more room.

    I agree some guidance is better than none, and the rest can be figured out through experience.
     
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  10. Randy Petersen
    Original Member

    Randy Petersen Founder

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    There's some newer resources out there that you might find handy for the comfort question as seating as just seats can be a mystery based upon the size of the other person providing the advice, etc.

    You might click around RouteHappy, a quasi-partner of Milepoint and while SeatGuru is an automatic, there's also SeatExpert to consider as well, another quasi-partner of Milepoint. All these sites will provide some sort of cross-reference to getting a "better" seat for any flight.
     
  11. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    Hi, Randy Peterson,
    Thank you for the advice! I will definitely check out both Routehappy and SeatExpert in my next flight booking, and especially for the long-hauls! ;)
    I'm also going to quote your message above on another string where the enquirer is being advised to use seatguru.
    Newscience
     
  12. MSYgirl

    MSYgirl Gold Member

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    I like SeatExpert, quick and easy info. RouteHappy looks like it will take some getting used to since there is so much information on the page. Thanks for the suggestions.
     
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  13. moongoddess

    moongoddess Silver Member

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    Probably the biggest pitfall of all the online seat evaluation tools is that the airlines might swap planes after you've already booked your flight, substituting a plane with narrower Economy seats for the original plane with wider seats you thought you'd be riding on. And there's no way to predict metal changes like that! :( Still, if someone MUST fly Economy Class the tools are well worth using.
     
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  14. Randy Petersen
    Original Member

    Randy Petersen Founder

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    The problem these days with any seat change is "what's left". Almost always if you aren't onto a seat assignment soon, your choices are severely limited no matter what the guides say about the good/bad seats. What's more is that today more seats are in the "upsell" category so word to the wise that where your wallet used to be is also a consideration on changing seats. A bad seat may actually feel better than the sting of the cost for a "better" seat if airlines hold true to blocking aisle and other seats for "upsells".
     
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  15. moongoddess

    moongoddess Silver Member

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    That's very true. However, the difference between different Economy seats on the same plane is usually in the amount of legroom offered and whether or not the armrest moves, not in the actual seat width. So it makes a difference whether the OP want more legroom, more seat width, or both.

    And that's one reason I strongly encourage the OP to look at the new Premium Economy seats on many international flights. They're usually at least as comfortable as Domestic First Class seats (and often quite a bit more comfortable), but can be had for just a few hundred dollars more than an international standard Economy seat rather than the few thousand it takes to buy a Business Class ticket. For a lot of people, they hit a sweet spot on the price/comfort axis.
     
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  16. Photonerd71

    Photonerd71 Silver Member

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    I need a web site that can tell me where the screaming babies, kids that kick the seat, dude with smelly sandwich, etc etc are all sitting so I can make my seat selection. :)

    Sent using a small piece of fruit.
     
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  17. adrianors

    adrianors Silver Member

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    Oh I wish.. I'm 6' tall.. Traveling overseas it's awesome, you start to understand how a sardine feels inside a can.. If you are able to get the first row seats.. Do it.. They always have some extra leg room there.. If not, emergency exit might have (make sure that seats recline.. some don't). If they offer you more legroom for a fee, well.. Then is up to you, but in general what I do is ask the flight attendant to move upfront if there are seats available and sometimes they don't mind to do that.
     
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  18. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    The main thing us look of an empty row, and hope it stays that way, year ago AA would keep the middle seat empty, don't know about today...
     
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  19. newbluesea
    Original Member

    newbluesea Gold Member

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    AA never "kept the middle seat empty" It was in fact an elite benefit that adjacent seats were blocked until the aircraft started filling up.

    No such policy exists today and hasn't for what? well over 6 years???
     
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  20. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    I've had that "keep the middle seat empty" policy occur when I flew on LH business class r/t from the US, and one leg was on a small airplane (within Europe), where the seating was identical throughout the plane.
     
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  21. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    Many years ago AA keep the middle seat open, they also sent us from IND to DFW instead of ORD, for connections.

    I look at the seat charts to see if their are any seats open, before departure, many times their are several empty rows,

    It has been many years since I have rode in the back, but I have been know to move back there before the seats started making a bed.
     

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