Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Pleasing Cattle Class

Cathay Pacific is FINALLY doing something about its fixed-back shell seats in economy class and will replace them with the traditional recliner seats starting in March.

I sat in them earlier this year on 13-hour flights back home and it was not comfortable. The seat didn't lie back but just curved at another angle. What's the point of that?

People had already started complaining about them as soon as they were introduced, but the airline had to grin and bear it since it cost so much to install them.

And they probably lost some of their customers (me included) along the way.

It's not the first time the airline made a mistake with its seating after passengers complained the old herringbone business class seats were "coffin-like" and were replaced with new winder and longer seats.

Most of the passengers are Chinese -- a number of them are going to be superstitious so don't even begin to start designing things that seem remotely associated with death.

So why doesn't Cathay Pacific listen to its customers in the first place?

Meanwhile back to economy where most of us fly, the first aircraft with traditional seats will start on the routes to Sydney and Toronto (via Vancouver) about three months from now. A total of 36 Boeing 777-300ER and 26 Airbus 330-300s will be refitted by December 2013.

The new economy class seat will have a cradle mechanism where the footstep of the seat will rise simultaneously when the back is reclined to give more support to the back and leg to the passenger than the average reclining seats.

And the airline is also trying to put a spin on cattle class with its premium economy class.

Here the seat pitch or the distance between the rows of seats will be 38 inches, six inches more than Cathay's economy class. Premium class passengers can also get a special menu and a designated check-in counter.

Oooh a whole six inches more. Here is definitely where length matters.

And how much, pray tell is this privilege of six more inches?

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