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Boeing's 777 Problem: Delta and Everyone Else Want Newer Planes

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New airplane technology almost always trumps the old. The planes that are built today burn less fuel and need less maintenance than their predecessors. If you manufacture airplanes, however, this truism presents a tricky problem: How do you keep selling an older model after you announce its successor... (www.businessweek.com) More...

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ronay55
How to Lose Friends and Alienate People:

Many issues affect the NON-business or first class passengers in the "new and improved" airplane designs, so it's difficult to focus on even one.
At least in the cattle-class section, the "ancient" 747's still allowed the possibility for human dimensions in seating, aisle, and restrooms. The seats are actually even comfortably cushioned.
The "improved" 777's (BA) on the other hand, have extremely tight aisles and seating, and restrooms smaller than a TSA body-scan module. Armrests between seats (and aisle side) cannot be raised more than 3" or 4." It requires anyone needing egress to become a gymnast. If you are seated on the inside, a trip to the restroom forces you to climb over each armrest AND each occupant to accomplish it.
I'm handicapped, so unless my aisle seat is equipped with a moveable arm, I require help to have any hope of getting out! I've already experienced this situation, which for me and my seatmates, was a nightmare. Whoever was responsible for the design of this element should be required to try out their design themselves-- in a real 4 hr-plus flight!
I can only guess at what tortures are in store for the average flying public's future. I doubt if it will be a positive change.
In what appears to be a popular movement, I'm moving more to cruise travel. Even transatlantic crossings vs air travel are manageable now. For only a little bit more, a cruise can restore us to a more respectful, dignified human condition.

Is anybody listening? Somehow, I doubt it.....
rad2
They passengers vote with their wallets. What price speed? What price comfort? When enough passengers decide that trains, boats or cars are a better deal, changes will occur.
mlstove
I fly Delta pretty much exclusively (DTW) and it's my favorite plane to fly in simply because it gets back from AMS faster.

I was really amazed that Delta is utilizing the plane to move more people on flights to MSP for example, makes sense.

I guess my visions here are little off, because of it's power it's about one less hour in the air. I don't have the needs others badly and deserve for comfortable travel which I respect. What I'm getting at here, could someone show the economic difference of the newer 737 version versus the 777? It's a better aircraft than the 757 or 767 so what about throwing these older aircraft into the economic view? Delta is flying the 320 to which has less room than anything we are talking about.

It's an old marketing problem, you have a good product so do you revamp quickly to move with the times and which older model do you hit first? And the term "older" applies very quickly today doesn't it? You can't be myopic and look at one airline.
preacher1
preacher1 1
Well, it is a quandary for Boeing. The 777X is 5 years down the road. Delivery on a new 777 is 4 years. Why is a customer gong to spend the money, although some will, on a current model when, in a year, the latest and greatest will be on the street. Airbus will fill their delivery slots too and then we are back to square 1.
btweston
btweston 2
That's an interesting economic theory you have there... People don't want product X for reason Y, but they will buy it anyway instead of buying product Z even though it will hurt the bottom line. There is no Dana. Only Zuul.
bigkahuna400
bigkahuna400 1
Won't someone just buy (or pretend to buy)the 777-300, then when they get close in the mfg process (or before, just convert the orders for a good spot in the delivery line for a 777-X?
preacher1
preacher1 1
Problem is that DAL needed something to fly and that pretend don't get it.
rad2
My opinion, if it counts for anything, is this is all marketing and purchasing dance moves. Customers putting pressure on the manufacturers for a better product/deal. Only when then deals are signed and money is exchanged will the story be told. And that may not be the final story as some customers may decide to play a bit of craps just to roll the market.
SLKoeppel
There doesn't seem to be a problem selling B737-800 MAX. How about the same kind of improvements ?
rad2
737 is a short/mid range product. The long distance market is a different problem.
preacher1
preacher1 1
Because the 737 changes, although premature, were announced. The 777x has not, just if's and an's
ronay55
How to Lose Friends and Alienate People:
The "improved" 777 armrests between seats (and aisle side) cannot be raised more than 3" or 4." It requires anyone needing egress to become a gymnast. If you are seated on the inside, a trip to the restroom forces you to climb over each armrest AND each occupant to accomplish it. I'm handicapped, so unless my aisle seat has a moveable arm, I require help to have any hope of getting out! I have already experienced this situation, which for me and my seatmates, was a nightmare. Whoever was responsible for the design of this element should try out their design in real life!

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