Browsing Tag: Passenger Experience

A330neo Airspace by Airbus Economy class - Photo: Airbus

A330neo Airspace by Airbus economy class – Image: Airbus

Last Wednesday, I attended the London unveiling of “Airspace by Airbus“- the European aircraft maker’s bold strategy to create a distinctive cabin brand that it hopes will represent the pinnacle of passenger comfort and aircraft operational performance.

Grey London Sky by Gherkin - Photo: Alastair Long | AirlineReporter

Grey London Sky by Gherkin – Photo: Alastair Long | AirlineReporter

I must confess to being perplexed by what Airbus could possibly display in the tiny Searcys space on the top floor of the Gherkin building, especially on a cold and grey London morning. Luckily, Airbus had quite a bit of colorful things to show off and I was intrigued on what Airspace was all about and when we might start seeing it on actual Airbus aircraft. 

T4-TBIT connector at LAX: Walkway overlooking the ramp between TBIT and T4 at LAX.

T4-TBIT connector at LAX: Walkway overlooking the ramp between TBIT and T4 at LAX.

Updated 2/26 to fix Youtube video link.

On Thursday, the project at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to build a post-security connector (pdf) between the renovated Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) and Terminal 4 (T4) had a “soft opening” that vastly improves the airport experience for a significant number of passengers.

The $115 million project, which was originally set to open in early December 2015, is slated to include an outdoor patio, retail and food outlets, and a streamlined baggage transfer experience for those arriving on international flights and connecting onward. A small section for passengers walking to the customs and immigration was previously opened a couple of weeks ago.

With this opening, Terminals 4, 5, 6, and 7, as well as TBIT, are all connected behind security, meaning that passengers already in this area can walk to any of these terminals without the need to exit and reclear security. AirlineReporter has the first photos of the newly opened passageway…

A brand new EVA Boeing 777-300ER, currently the most popular 777 aircraft, at Paine Field (with 9-abreast economy)

A brand-new EVA Boeing 777-300ER, currently the most popular 777 variant, at Paine Field (with nine-abreast economy)

In October 2015, it appeared that Cathay Pacific was ‘flirting’ with the idea of changing its long-haul 777 economy class from a 9-abreast to a 10-abreast cabin. This appears to be correct, since Cathay Pacific gauged the responses of some of its most loyal Marco Polo customers in a recent survey to see whether they would accept a 3-4-3 configuration on their long-haul 777 aircraft.

BONUS: Flying a Cathay 777 Across North America in Business Class

“To understand the needs of our customers as well as the trend and development of the airline industry, Cathay Pacific periodically conducts research on different aspects of our offerings so as to continuously improve on our passenger services,” Julie Jarratt, Cathay Pacific Communications Manager explained to AirlineReporter. “Cathay Pacific, at this stage, has no decision to change the seat width and seat pitch of our 777 fleet.”

The economy cabin inside a Singapore Airlines 777

The economy cabin inside a Singapore Airlines 777

From an airline’s perspective, the rationale for a 10-abreast cabin is quite obvious. Not only does it provide a higher profit margin, by lowering its cost per seat mile, but it (theoretically) allows these savings to be put into other benefits for travelers in the form of cheaper airfares or enhanced services. In this sense, a denser cabin allows airlines to move greater numbers of passenger on fewer flights, which leads to fuel efficiency in the form of equated fuel burn reduction savings. I wanted to take a closer look at which airlines are taking delivery of the higher-density 777s, as that configuration is becoming more and more popular.

A surprise anniversary party at 40,000 feet! Karen got to wear the Emirate's singature uniform hat. Mayb I should have to cut the glare.

A surprise anniversary party at 40,000 feet! Karen got to wear Emirates’ signature uniform hat. Maybe I should have too, to cut the glare.

“Mr. Slutsken, would you and your wife please join us in the lounge at the back of the cabin?” asked the Purser, our flight’s senior cabin representative. She had a big smile on her face as she stood beside my business class seat in the Emirates A380 on our flight from Dubai (DXB) to Rome (FCO). I looked back at my wife; we both wanted to be right beside a window, so I was in seat 9K and Karen was in 11K on the remarkably quiet upper deck of the Airbus.

This was the second leg of our special anniversary trip. We always try to do something new for every fifth year, and this was our 35th anniversary. It doesn’t really matter when in the year it happens, so we had planned a trip to Italy in October, months after our actual anniversary date. We wanted to fly business class, and after much research and expert help, we decided to go the long way to Italy. We cashed in a whack of Alaska Airlines and hotel points for reward seats on Emirates. It would be our first time flying the airline, and also our first time in Dubai. Using Emirates’ Dubai Stopover Program, we were able to break our itinerary to spend a few nights before continuing to Rome.