Economy class passengers rarely think of having much “personal space,” but the seating that All Nippon Airways is introducing on its 787-8s may change their mind. At least a little bit.
ANA selected a seat from Sicma Aerospace that does not recline. Rather than the seat back tilting back when a passenger pushes the recline button, the bottom slides forward a maximum 3 inches.
The advantage of this configuration, says Boeing Services & Support Vice President Mike Fleming, is “that only you control your personal space.”
This means a passenger in front of you cannot snap your laptop or upset your meal tray if you because he suddenly reclines his seat.
The downside for tall passengers is that when they recline forward, rather than gaining space going backwards they gain it by shoving their knees toward the seat in front of them. “Ouch” for the very tall.
But in ANA’s defense, it is offering a generous 34-in. pitch between the seats, so even with the 3-in. slide the distance to the next seat will not be more than the 31-in. pitch that is common in economy for many carriers.
Another feature of the economy class seats: When the seat is inclined forward, a tiny bar indicator on the side of the seat that is visible from the aisle turns red. The indicator is so discrete that many passengers may not notice it. But flight attendants will. They can tell at a glance whose seat has not been placed upright for takeoff or landing.
When the seat is properly upright, the bar is green.
Boeing says the 787-8 is wide enough for nine-abreast seating, which most carriers configure in a 3-3-3 arrangement. ANA seats eight abreast in a 2-4-2 configuration.
For its domestic routes, ANA is flying just 12 passengers in business. There are 252 seats in coach. At 264 total seats, the ANA 787-8 is slightly above the 250-seat top end of Boeing’s nominal seating range.
For long haul flights, there will be 46 business class seats and 112 in economy.
The short-haul business class seating is in a standard six-across configuration. But for long-haul flights, the seats are staggered and can recline to a flat bed.
The Japanese have long been known for the resourcefulness of their lavatory planning. On the 777, they asked Boeing to get rid of the “big bang.” No, the request had nothing to do with particle physics.
The Japanese were referring to the annoying noise that a falling toilet seat makes. Boeing found one that lowered slowly.
The Japanese also were the first to ask for windows in lavs so passengers did not feel quite so claustrophobic.
There are windows for the 787 and an arm that automatically lowers the toilet seat should passengers forget.
The cockpit of the 787 offers pilots the Electronic Flight Bag so they don't have to lug heavy flight charts around.
Now, ANA says it will use iPADS in the same way for training its flight attendants. It has ordered 6,000 of them. Imagine the delight of the Apple store clerk who took that order!
ANA says a single iPad, which weighs 0.7 kilograms (1.5 lb.), can store the equivalent of three training manuals weight 2.2 kilograms (nearly 5 lb.).
Flight training manuals may be updated as often as three times a year. Using iPADS means the upgrades do not have to be printed off and distributed; they can simply be electronically transmitted to the iPAD.