When row 21 is actually row 9: The method behind airline row numbers

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by sobore, May 3, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    http://www.cnn.com/2011/TRAVEL/05/02/plane.row.numbers/

    You wouldn't think row numbering on airplanes would be something worth spending time on, but the new United disagrees. Beginning June 9, the pre-merger United domestic fleet will be getting new row numbers to match the way numbering was done by Continental before the merger. This may seem like a waste of time, but frequent fliers will actually benefit from this change.

    Today, United's domestic fleet starts with row 1 in first class. Then coach starts at either row 6 or 8 and counts back from there. On an A319, that means that row 24 is the end of the line. Beginning in June, however, that airplane might seem longer. The last row will now be 34. Is it growing? Of course not.

    First class will continue to start at row 1, but now every domestic airplane will have coach starting at row 7 for consistency. And the exit row will now start at row 20, regardless of what row was before it. That means in the new configuration on an A319, for example, there will be a jump from row 12 to row 20.
     
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  2. COFlyerCLE
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    COFlyerCLE Gold Member

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    You'll absolutely appreciate this change in the event of an equipment change - especially if you were in a bulkhead or exit row. :)
     
  3. Sean Colahan
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    Sean Colahan Gold Member

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    In terms of equipment swaps and having people that pay extra (or elite and earned) for those bulkhead and exit row seats it makes complete sense. If I am flying and I have Seat 20A I don't have to worry that if they change planes, my exit row will disappear and make me a cranky flyer.
     
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  4. gobluetwo
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    gobluetwo Silver Member

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    This picture represents my feelings exactly. I thought it was silly and pointless at first, but the explanations above really make sense. It'll be nice to not have to worry about A319/A320 swaps!
    [​IMG]
     
  5. DLroads
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    DLroads Gold Member

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    Now, you think this is a challenge? I'll give you the real BEEF:

    Try evaluating the seat you'd have on a DL 757.
    Hint: There are more than 8 different configurations. Yep, consistency of seat numbers is VERY important.
     
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  6. craz
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    craz Silver Member

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    Problems a comin

    OK so say Im in the new row 7 on a Domestic 777 but it gets swamped for an Intl config now Row 7 will be somewhere in Biz and I will lose that bulkhead seat

    If they were gonna redo it then they should have had Y start with a # that would coinside with UAs 3 cabin planes and redone both UA and CO planes . Unless they really are going to gut FC from All of UAs planes. Also UA ps planes which will be getting new seats I guess will now have a max of 6 rows of seats in Biz otherwise another problem should they need to switch and use a reg 757
     
  7. EWR764
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    EWR764 Silver Member

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    The row renumbering will only be carried out on the narrowbody fleet, probably due to the concerns you address. I would wager that equipment swaps between narrowbody types are more prevalent than equipment swaps from narrowbody-to-widebody.

    I think this change makes a lot of sense.
     
  8. bez7
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    bez7 Gold Member

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    Still seems like a waste of resources, even if there are small benefits.
     
  9. Gatorray
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    Gatorray Silver Member

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    It will be a hoot sitting in the exit row and seeing all of the people counting in their heads...9, 10, nope not me, 11, I'm in 27, so I'm not even close, 12, 20....wait, what happened? Let me stop in the aisle and contemplate this even though I have a line of people behind me.
     
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  10. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    The benefits are not at all small. When you're selling specific seat assignments it is important that you can honor those even with operational issues. If you end up having to refund a bunch of customers because you're not able to get them the seats they paid for you have both a revenue and a PR problem. The small investment of changing the little stickers under the overhead bins is trivial relative to that.
     
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  11. Mackieman
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    Mackieman Gold Member

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    I disagree that the benefits are small. They are, in fact, quite substantial. Aircraft are swapped regularly in the domestic narrow-body fleet, and not having to either manually rearrange everyone or have the computer do it at random (which results in horrible, horrible seats for a lot of folks) leads to better efficiency for the GA and a better IRROPS experience for passengers.

    Before CO redid everything, my wife was in 5A on a 738 which was bulkhead Y on that configuration. Our aircraft went MX and they swapped to another 738 that had more F seats, thus making 5A evaporate as a seat in Y. The computer reseated her in 15B (non-reclining row infront of the exit row). With the new seat numbering, this no longer happens.
     
  12. Rob
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    Rob Gold Member

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    Completely agree with Seth (which makes me a little afraid). With multiple A320 configs flying around and the possibility of a swap to an A319, it'd be nice to know for sure if I book an exit row that it's not going to change out from under me at the last minute.
     
  13. craz
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    craz Silver Member

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    so what happens when they will need to switch a 757ps plane to a reg 757 which has been done already at times? unless they plan on having no more then 6 rows in the new BizFirst cabin = 24 seats Its very possible that if row 7 or 8 is Biz on the ps that now those people will be sitting in Y, and what if they were Paid passengers? just saying I think Y should have started after the # 7 to avoid all potential problems but I guess they didnt want to renumber the CO planes as well
     
  14. EWR764
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    EWR764 Silver Member

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    My mistake... the p.s. fleet will NOT be renumbered.

    I would wager that swaps from the p.s. 757s to non-p.s. 757s on JFK-LAX/SFO are exceedingly rare, and such cases would be troublesome even with renumbered rows. The change addresses the vast majority of 'normal' equipment swaps (consider longer-term schedule adjustments too, as well as day of departure) fairly well, in my opinion.
     
  15. SS255
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    SS255 Silver Member

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    The "set it and forget it" method of CO seat numbering has saved me a few times. Once you commit your favorite seats to memory you won't have to think so hard. ;)
     
  16. Pat+
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    Pat+ Silver Member

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    Retaining preferred/exit row seats in the event of an aircraft change is a nice benefit, but in addition this will GREATLY improve operations should last minute equipment swaps occur, namely in case of mechanical issues. I remember a LONG evening at ORD, when our plane went MX, we deplaned, a replacement aircraft was found... and then it took another 30 minutes to reissue everyone's BP. Just imagine the 200+ pax trying to reach the GA and negotiating a better seat. The idea that the same BP with the same seat assignment will continue to work on a replacement aircraft is awesome.
     
  17. Infinite1K
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    Infinite1K Silver Member

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    You make it sound like this happens quite a bit. If it is happening that often, then there are bigger issues.

    And even if it is an issue, you will never have the perfect solution unless the fleet consists of identical planes and identical seat configurations. The current method does not carry over for all the narrow bodies, forget about widebodies.

    But if you really did want to retain a passengers premium seat, I wonder if there was a magical device that could be used to execute an algorithm to map/compute seatmaps from type of aircraft to another aircraft and retain the premium seating areas.
     
  18. sdcarver
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    sdcarver Silver Member

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    I noticed Seatguru has seat charts showing before June 11 and one after June 11...

    sdcarver
     
  19. sdcarver
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    sdcarver Silver Member

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    The transition will be a pain, but I am looking forward to the consistency within the whole fleet of Narrow Bodies...

    sdcarver
     
  20. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Sure, because being able to plan ahead for equipment swaps is a bad thing somehow?? Having customers know that 21A is the same no matter which aircraft you're on is a bad thing? Seriously, what's the downside? the confusion of people who miss their row because they're not looking?

    :confused: Excluding the p.s. fleet it covers all the narrow body aircraft. As p.s. swaps are much less common than other aircraft swaps. Plus there's the issue of having consistent numbers for the bulkheads and exits to ease the seat selection process for the OCD folks who pay so much attention to it.

    Why do that when you can just have them numbered the same? Changing the row numbers is a relatively trivial effort with minimal costs. Coding something to remap everything would likely cost more. Issuing new BPs to everyone rather than just a select few on an equipment swap would be more work as well.
     
  21. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    Great news! I'm glad UA is finally doing this, after having almost been bumped out of E+ before when booked on a 320 in the exit row. Consistency in seat numbers on the bulk of the fleet (excluding the widebody and ps fleet) makes aircraft changes much easier to deal with for everyone.
     
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  22. Infinite1K
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    Infinite1K Silver Member

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    I keep forgetting that we are not allowed to question any decisions made and that we are all supposed to like them.

    Silly me. :rolleyes:
     
  23. bez7
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    bez7 Gold Member

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    So if it's of great benefit it then becomes laughable that it took so long.
     
  24. Mackieman
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    Mackieman Gold Member

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    You're free to question any decision you want, but rules of common discourse would dictate that one be able to defend one's argument with more than, "Making this change for legacy UA aircraft is bad because it was started by CO." Multiple posters in this thread have outlined the benefits of this sort of system. Iberia could've come up with the concept for all I care; this move simply makes it easier on the airline and better for us as customers in the event of a domestic equipment swap.
     
  25. Rob
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    Rob Gold Member

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    Why must every decision/change be questioned as if it's the end of the world? Pre-Merger United certainly had room for improvement. There are changes that are bad that people don't like that should be questioned. This is not one of them.
     
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