With yesterday’s merger announcement between American Airlines and US Airways, I thought it’d be appropriate to feature USAir in this week’s installment of Vintage Airline Seat Maps.
Appearing below is a Boeing 737-200 seen flying the skies in 1987. All of my seat maps from that year show USAir operating nothing but single-class aircraft – does anyone know when USAir officially added first class?
This “guppy” of a 737 seated 120 passengers with an aft facing row 1, complete with tables. Now that must’ve been fun if you were traveling in a group – game of poker anyone?
You’d find me either near the leading edge of the wing in 6A or 6F, or towards the rear in 16A or 16F to watch the reverse thrust action on those engines.
Where would you sit?
USAir Boeing 737-200 Seat Map
USAir BAC 1-11 Seat Map
USAir Douglas DC-9-30 Seat Map
Piedmont Airlines Boeing 767-200ER Seat Map
Top 10 Viewed Vintage Airline Seat Maps
It’s time for another Vintage Airline Seat Map and I’ve selected a Delta Air Lines Boeing 737-300 from 1987.
I previously posted Delta’s 737-200 seat map, which offered 12 seats in first class unlike the eight here. Coach on this bird seated 120 passengers.
In first class, you’d find me in 2D as I preferred – and still do today – the right-hand side of these small cabins to avoid a direct view into the galley. And in coach I’d be keen on a window seat up front, likely not the bulkhead.
Where would you sit?
Delta Air Lines Boeing 737-300 Seat Map
Top 10 Viewed Vintage Airline Seat Maps
Delta Air Lines Boeing 737-200 Seat Map
Delta Air Lines DC-10-30 Seat Map
Instead of posting a new Vintage Airline Seat Map this week, I decided to take a look at my site’s analytics and post the top 10 viewed seat maps since I began blogging in 2010. Obviously the earlier maps have had more opportunity for greater pageviews, but the top 10 didn’t come as a surprise to me. And I’ve published 73 maps since I introduced Frequently Flying in December 2010. Here’s the list and links:
- American Airlines Boeing 707-123
- United Airlines DC-10-10
- American Airlines Boeing 747-100
- American Airlines Boeing 747-SP
- United Airlines Boeing 737-200
- United Airlines Boeing 747-SP
- American Airlines Boeing 707-323
- United Airlines DC-8-52
- Pan Am Boeing 747
- TWA Boeing 747-100
One of my favorites didn’t make the cut and came in at #22, so as an honorable mention check out:
Continental Airlines DC-10-10 Pub Configuration
Happy Thanksgiving Weekend!
Here’s a unique one for this installment of Vintage Airline Seat Maps. Pictured below is a Pan Am Boeing 737-200 seating 116 passengers in an all coach configuration. Well… they designated rows 1-4 as Clipper Class, and those were likely sold as such when these birds were originally flying in Europe.
According to several threads on Airliners.net, Pan Am’s fleet of 737s came stateside once their European routes were dismantled.
Row one was likely rear-facing and I wouldn’t particularly like to look at the whole cabin, so you’d find me in a window seat a bit further back. No real galley appears to be present and I would assume there were indeed two lavatories in the rear, unlike how it’s marked.
Where would you sit?
Continental Airlines 737-100
United Airlines 737-200
Pan Am 747
Pan Am 747 v.2
It’s time for another Vintage Airline Seat Map and I’ve selected a “guppy” seen flying the skies in 1987.
Formerly a People Express aircraft, Continental Airlines flew the Boeing 737-100 appearing below in an all coach class configuration seating 118 passengers.
I flew on a bunch of -200s in my early years of flying and did occasionally sit towards the rear of the aircraft because I liked to watch the engine “come apart” after landing when reverse thrust kicked in. The -100 had the same engine configuration.
Seat 2A looks to be the best window seat on this aircraft, so you might also find me there.
Where would you sit?
Here’s a nifty video a friend sent me showing a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 getting a thorough wash before it goes in for its C-check in Houston. One of the lead mechanics provides audio commentary throughout the short video even noting, “The main purpose of the wash isn’t cosmetic. It’s to clean up components for inspectors the next night to inspect everything and get a good look.”
As widely reported, American Airlines announced an industry record aircraft order yesterday for 460 jets spread across Boeing and Airbus. American’s tweets came alive in the morning and I clicked through one and watched part of the live stream from a Dallas Admirals Club where American’s Chairman & CEO Gerard Arpey made the formal announcement with Airbus & Boeing executives flanking his sides. The carrier will introduce Airbus A319 and A321 aircraft beginning in 2013 along with adding additional next generation Boeing 737s to their fleet. In addition to eliminating MD80s, the eventual retirement of American’s 757s and 767-200s was also mentioned, and for a more descriptive breakdown of the order, check out AAdvantageGeek’s posting today.
Also yesterday, American announced a $286 million loss for the second quarter of 2011, worse than analysts had anticipated and an unfavorable signal pointing to dismal full year results. According to an article by Terry Maxon appearing in the Los Angeles Times on July 1st, airline analysts claim AMR Corporation “will lose more than $600 million in 2011 and more than $100 million next year.” This while Delta and United are predicted to post profits of $1.2 & $1.3 billion respectively this year, with both carriers likely earning $1.7 billion in 2012. How long can American continue to hemorrhage money like this? No wonder they were first at bat in the attempt to shake up the distribution model whose annual expense for an airline is near the top after direct operating costs.
Next up, the Irish Times reported yesterday that American is planning to close its Dublin Ireland reservations center where approximately 130 employees currently man the facility that has been around for the past 15 years. The carrier informed the Irish Communication Workers Union and is now in “a period of consultation to discuss a proposal to outsource the work to an offshore location.” No disrespect, but I’m hoping offshore from Ireland means those jobs will come back to the U.S.
Finally, according to the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV), American Airlines has clarified its policy on transporting non-human primates (monkeys) to outright ban the acceptance of such animals intended for “laboratory research, experimentation or exploitation purposes.” Very welcome news and how sad to think that some airlines still accept monkeys for this purpose. Only one U.S. airline remains on BUAV’s list of carriers that “do or would” fly primates destined for the research industry. Eh hem… paging Continental Airlines. I will follow up this post with a direct inquiry to United to see if they’re even aware Continental is on the list.
Southwest Airlines has been in the news in recent days for a couple of incidents, and successfully winning government approval to proceed with the AirTran Airways merger.
Yesterday, Flight 1919 from Denver skidded off runway 13C after landing during a rainstorm at Chicago’s Midway Airport. None of the 134 passengers or five crew members were injured. It’s nice to see they disembarked using jet stairs according to the picture in the linked article. The cost to replace each escape slide, had they been used, can reach into the upper thousands of dollars according to various sources.
Image courtesy AirTran Airways
Also yesterday, the U.S. Justice Department cleared Southwest’s acquisition of AirTran Airways. There are several routes where Southwest and AirTran overlap in nonstop service, but I would expect scheduling adjustments and service reductions to occur in those markets, depending on demand. Many of them originate from AirTran’s home base in Orlando and include nonstops to New York-LaGuardia, Minneapolis, Chicago-Midway, Kansas City, Detroit, Boston, and many more. Both carriers do also have a presence in long-haul transcon routes, such as Los Angeles & San Francisco to Baltimore. In the end this merger was about Southwest’s biggest “hole” in their network, namely Atlanta, where they will now enjoy an extensive route structure courtesy of AirTran.
Finally, NTSB inspections of the Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 that decompressed due to a rupture in the fuselage over Arizona earlier this month are pointing to errors in the manufacturing process at Boeing. The results are preliminary and no final determination has been made, but it appears the rivet holes holding overlapping sections of the fuselage together were too wide. Inspections of about 190 737s made around the same time as the Southwest jet are continuing with about 75% completed to date.
It’s time for another Vintage Airline Seat Map, and I’ve selected a United Airlines Boeing 737-200. Seating 109 passengers in a two-cabin configuration, this bird was an absolute workhorse for United during its tenure with the carrier & affectionately called the “guppy.” I flew it many, many times in both cabins and really enjoyed watching the reverse thrust panels activate on landing when I sat near the back. It was a noisy little jet, but fun to fly according to the pilot’s I flew with when I interned at United and could jumpseat in the cockpit. As a passenger, I preferred 2 C or D up front, or the first few rows of coach.
Similar to: Delta Air Lines Boeing 737-200
Where would you sit?
Now that I have several Continental Airlines flights in both first class & coach under my belt, I’ve developed a list of service-related items I’d like to see in the combined carrier. These are in no particular order and are only comparing Continental and United Airlines on domestic flights.
- Boarding Process: United. Continental’s procedure offers boarding to first class and active duty service members first, followed by all passengers entitled to elite access. I think they board then by row number after that, but I have always been in the first or second group. United further divides the elite tiers and allows Global Services and 1Ks to board ahead of Premier Executives who board ahead of Premiers, etc. While I don’t see many flights in coach, I’m down with United’s process in sectioning the elites to ensure someone who flies 89,000 miles annually boards ahead of someone who flies just 26,000.
- Pre-departure beverages in First Class: Continental. While boarding is still in process, the flight attendants on Continental swim up and down the aisle taking full drink orders for first class passengers. You have your beverage of choice generally longer while sitting at the gate on Continental vs. the usual water or orange juice offering on United. Sometimes I’ve been turned down on United when asking for a coke, etc. The horror!
- Table Linens in First Class: United. Really no comparison here as Continental doesn’t put a linen down on the tray before your meal. Is it absolutely necessary? Probably not, but it offers a touch more class and might keep the tray from sliding in turbulence.
- Meals in First Class: Continental. I believe Continental operates their own catering company, but whoever does it is winning this category in my opinion. Maybe I’m just absolutely tired of United’s meals (except the newer chicken & pasta salad snack!), but both the lunches and dinners I’ve had on Continental have tasted better, and seem plated with more care by the flight attendants. Why does Continental win lunch flights especially? Two words… Angus cheeseburger.
- Prioritizing meal choices in First Class: United. Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but Continental doesn’t seem to prioritize meals by status, but rather from front to back of the first class cabin. Not earth shattering, but I appreciate always getting my first choice as a 1K on United.
- First Class seats: United. Admittedly United did just recently refresh the seating on the domestic fleet to all leather, but they just seem to be firmer and more comfortable. While the headrest sits uncomfortably low against your shoulders for takeoff/landing, it pivots and shapes more securely than Continental’s. I dare say the leather is higher quality, too.
- Nuts in First Class: United. Not other passengers, no, but rather the edible kind like cashews, almonds and the like. United serves them warm (most of the time) in a ceramic ramekin, whereas Continental gives a pre-packaged bag of nuts (like what you used to get in coach).
- In-Flight Entertainment: Continental. While not on 100% of the fleet, Continental’s live DirecTV offering 95+ channels absolutely wins hands down. United’s entertainment isn’t bad, per se, but if you fly with any frequency in the same month you often have nothing new to watch.
- Glassware/Stemware in First Class: United. How petty of me, I know, but I prefer United’s glassware. The bowls are larger for all types of glasses on United, and the wine glasses (now) provide proper stems. Nothing wrong with Continentals, so this is just a matter of personal preference. I also have a collection of airline glassware, so perhaps I’m a bit snooty in this area.
- Hot towel service in First Class: Continental. Again rather petty, but Continental’s towels are more like durable wash cloths vs. United’s one-use throw away 5-thread count mini-towelettes that practically disintegrate when using.
- Meal offering in Coach: Continental. Okay, they’re actually very similar now, but Continental still offers four snack boxes, plus that Angus cheeseburger is offered for sale, so I have to go with the meat. I may be in the minority, but United’s snack boxes are trying too hard to be fancier thereby increasing the price points and likely net proceeds.
- Economy class seats: Continental. Continental’s seats in coach feel more comfortable to my rump and seem to have more padding overall. Also, the headrest is more substantial and actually contorts & shapes better than their first class model.
- Boeing 737s/Airbus A320s: Okay, there can’t be a comparison here as United no longer has 737s and Continental never had A320s, but I’m an Airbus guy. They seem quieter and roomier from the inside, and from the outside I prefer the overall appearance of the A320. The 737 sits too low to the ground and the engine cowling shape is abnormal for my strange & dorky aesthetic taste.
So, what do you think… what would you like to see in the combined carrier?