Odds and Ends: No butts about it; 737 Norway to Houston; MH370

No butts about it: Flight Global has this story  (free registration required) about the Airbus campaign for an international seat width standard. But while Airbus is touting comfort, it’s now promoting five abreast in the center section of its A380 economy section, reducing the 18.5 inch seating to 18 inches. The London Telegraph has this story on seat width and other stuff related to the increasingly crowded cabins.

737 Norway to Houston: No, this isn’t a type. The USA Today explains.

Tossing a lawsuit: An Illinois judge tossed the first lawsuit filed in connection with Malaysian Airlines Fight MH370 and threatened sanctions on the law firm that filed it.

And this has become indicative of CNN’s breathless, sometimes ridiculous coverage of MH370:

While Greg Feith thinks a probable cause of MH370’s disappearance may not be solved, another former NTSB member has a different opinion. John Goglia, however, was a board member, not an investigator, although he was a US Airways accident investigator.

28 Comments on “Odds and Ends: No butts about it; 737 Norway to Houston; MH370

  1. And of course- some outlets still push the ‘ secret landing ‘ somewhere, currently on list is the ** super duper secret ** field in Diego Garcia used by Military, with cargo ship traffic, sometimes civilian flights, and a listed waypoint for ETOPS . . .

    Not to mention the ‘ hiway to heaven or mothership ‘ crowd
    Coming soon – at least twenty books about the ” real ” cause…
    sure hope pieces are found which would at least 1) show it went south 2) did not land in Nirvanna and 3) give some closure to families.

  2. KLM had or still has a similar 737 flight from Amsterdam to Houston, also using a Privatair 737. They even had a separate “flying blue” club for Oil workers.

  3. In regards to the probability of finding MH370 I sit somewhere in between Greg Feith and John Goglia. Like Greg I recognize the particular difficulties associated with this case. On the other hand I also believe, like John, that everything will be undertaken to solve this case. There has been too much publicity around it so far. Actually I don’t recall any other crash that has received so much attention from the press. The whole world wants to know and commensurate efforts will be deployed to satisfy the public’s expectations.

  4. This sure feels oddly similar to the “4 engines 4 long haul” marketing phrase that worked so well to kill off the 777 15 or 20 years ago. And I realize that 18 inches is a nice neat figure in the anglosphere but I am still not sure why Airbus wouldn’t pitch it (get it?) in centimeters.

    In the end, marketing ploys that ignore customers (airlines and passengers) desires don’t seem to wind up winning many sales campaigns. Publicly denigrating Tim Clark’s products seems like a ridiculous plan to grow sales/market share.

    http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/airline-business/2011/04/virgins-new-beauty-queen-2-eng/

    • The 11 abreast A380 cabin still meets the 18 inch seat wdth Airbus promotes. Is that irrelevant?

      Since the 777x and 787 are marketed with 17ich wide seats the Boeing team has decided 17 must be perfectly ok / smart / the way of the future. I advise them to read some EK economy class trip reports and see if there are differences in opinion between 77W and A380 flights. Some passengers transfer between them and are not amused, to state it mildly.

      • as a relatively short (5′ 8″, 28″ inseam) and not skinny person (230lbs, wide shoulders, beer gut but not “fat”), I tell you pitch is much more important than width in economy.

        example: same day, same airline, 2 legs of equal length, one on a fairly new 737-800 one on a brand new (less than 2 weeks old) A320. window seats both flights (ugh! hate not getting aisle seats)

        the effective seat pitch on the 737 was about 2″ greater than the A320. and as a result everything about the flight was more comfortable.

        on the 737 getting in and out of the seat was easier, I could fold down my tray table without it touching my stomach, I still had leg/footroom after my backpack got stuffed under the seat and when the guy in front of me reclined his seat, I could still focus on the IFE display in my normal glasses.

        on the A320, getting into the seat involved gymnastics, I had to fold the tray table in half (fortunately, they recognized this would be necessary and had tray tables that could do that), had no foot room and when the guy in front of me reclined, I had to put on reading glasses in order to be able to focus on the IFE as the screen was so close.

        neither plane had sufficient seat pitch for me to have opened my laptop (can’t remember last time I had a flight where I could)

        honestly, I was so uncomfortable from the pitch related issues, the width of the seat had no value.

        • Bilbo I’m not aware of airlines reducing pitch because their seats/cabins are wider.. so it’s basically unrelated. Give me a wider seat over a narrower one any day!

      • I just book a flight online. I choose it because of the schedule-FIRST, and price-SECOND. Some people will go for price-FIRST, and schedule-SECOND.

        Almost no one will pick a flight based on having an an inch or less, wider seat. The airlines know this, which is why the 777 continues to sell.

        • The 777 continues to sell because its a good aircraft.

          How the thing gets configured is an airlines decisions based on how much they can abuse their passengers and get away with it. Race to the bottom as it were.

      • Ditto – I m pretty sure that whoever books EK does so hoping to get A380 plastered all over in their brochure and websites.
        Only geeks and FFs realise what they are getting before booking is final.

        Upon finding themselves in the sardine can seating – they dont probably come back.

        I m not sure how EK with 2 very distinct economy products can continue to function as a full service airline.

        Sooner or later – people will realise that Boeing products are simply not comfortable and vote with their feet. Airlines buying Boeing better wake up now otherwise it may be too late.

        • The VP of Immersat has claimed that a ‘ online ‘ periodic position altitude speed report thru their system ( ACARS type data ) would cost about ONE dollar per hour and is available today . . . this on one or two newscasts about 3 to 4 days ago.

    • Wasn’t the “4 engines 4 long haul” a Virgin Atlantic slogan, not an Airbus one?

      • Both Virgin and Airbus used the 4 engines 4 long haul, slogan. That is until Virgin decided to order large twins, and Airbus decided to build the A350.

      • “That is until Virgin decided to order large twins, and Airbus decided to build the A350.”

        Never let facts kill a good story line 😉 Airbus pioneered big twins in the early seventies fighting DC10s, L1011s and 707 / 727s.. And yes, the A330 too is older then the 777.

        • Considering the fact that its based on the A300, its older than the 767.

  5. Mr. Hamilton,

    Please, please tell me that CNN graphic is a Photoshop!! Please….

    They can’t be serious. I mean, in a sense, every plane will struggle to maintain altitude without GAS to power the engines…..

    • That 777 must be a terrible design if it cannot fly on empty tanks. The level of engineering failures @Boeing is truly shocking. Long live CNN coverage!!!

    • I just can’t get over the level of human stupidity displayed here. “Will struggle to maintain altitude!” No kidding!
      No wonder people believe in conspiracy theories. More stupid it is, more minds will welcome it:)

    • Privatair uses 737BBJs for over a decade to the US for LH and KLM.

  6. I like the Judge and his actions. Sometimes it does work the way it should (rarely but ….)

    • “I like the Judge and HER actions”. The judge is a female.

      I hope that she does not get some sort of backlash from some vocal minority for doing what I believe the majority find is the right thing.

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