back to article Airbus flies new passenger airplane aimed at 'long, thin' routes

European aviation giant Airbus this week successfully flew a new "long, thin" passenger airplane that the world's airlines think could let them open new routes. The plane is called the "A321XLR" and is the newest member of the single-aisle, twinjet, A320 family. The "XLR" is the important part of the name because it stands …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Have you seen the news ?

    people are so desperate to "holiday" they'd be towed behind the thing.

    1. Robert Sneddon

      Re: Have you seen the news ?

      Duct-tape class -- half the regular ticket price but they duct-tape you to the wings.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Have you seen the news ?

        "Duct-tape class -- half the regular ticket price but they duct-tape you to the wings."

        I thought that was RyanAir & EasyJet !!!

        :)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Really?

          Don't be silly. The duct tape would be a paid-for extra on that service.

  2. Qarumba
    Coat

    Long Range for a Proton

    Is 4,700 nano-metres really that far?! Maybe if it were 4,700NM I'd see more clearly what its unique selling point is :-)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Long Range for a Proton

      Hell no, micro-journeys rae the new hottest thing. 3 hours in the security queue, 30 min boarding, 4700nm of movement, congratulations, this was your CO2 reduced holiday and all the annual leave you'll get this year.

      I suspect Ryanair will be on this like a shot.

    2. Fazal Majid

      Re: Long Range for a Proton

      The A350-900ULR has a 9700 nautical mile range, and can do London or New York to Sydney non-stop, Qantas is trialing this as part of its Project Sunrise service due in 2025. It's still a twinjet but a much bigger one, with a capacity similar to early B747 Jumbo Jets.

      The A321XLR is a much cheaper and economical jet that can still serve some fairly hefty point-to-point lines like most transatlantic lines.

  3. Lars Silver badge
    Coat

    Why

    If my seat is comfortable why would it matter how wide the body is, and why would more people onboard be more comfortable for me.

    Rich people tend to fly in smaller aircraft with less people around, after all.

    1. Warm Braw

      Re: Why

      The real issue is how wide the body next to you is...

      The Concorde interior was tiny, though you didn't have to spend much time in it.

      1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

        Re: Why

        On the rare occasions I fly, I find it's (lack of) length that hurts more than width.

        1. Little Mouse

          Re: Why

          Ooooh - Matron!

        2. MyffyW Silver badge

          Re: Why

          Both width and length are overrated (in absolute terms). It's how comfortable I am in the specific situation.

        3. martinusher Silver badge

          Re: Why

          What about those prototype double deck seats that were demonstrated recently? You get both legroom and a bit of extra width -- provided you don't move (and don't suffer from claustrophobia).

          Having been conned into taking a Delta 757 trans-Atlantic from Copenhagen to New York (the airline substituted this narrow body for a wide body) -- things were getting just a bit desperate as we neared America. That was quite a few years ago. I've never flown this airline since.

      2. WhereAmI?
        Angel

        Re: Why

        You are so not joking. We were on an intra-US Delta flight having booked one of their extra-wide, extra-legroom seats when this git of a large American crashes down into the seat beside me, knocking me aside in the process and slapping his hands down on the armrests. Happy chappy - got both armrests despite being late on the plane. I said nothing but gradually proceeded to invade his space over the course of the next half-hour until he was so uncomfortable that he moved across to the other side of his seat.

        You don't always have to make a fuss...

        1. MyffyW Silver badge

          Re: Why

          Full marks for that expert repulsion of a space invader.

      3. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Why

        The real issue is how obesely wide the bodies were next to me (Two on one side & one on the other) for a 13 overnight flight from hell in 1999 back to the UK.

        In flight movie was Wild WIld West.

        Not a flight I will forget (& I have tried - Icon).

        1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

          Re: Why

          So sometime in the last century, the company diverted me to NYC. So far so good, apart from seeing a weather forecast for a bright sunny day and 28 degrees, which was a rude shock when I walked outside as I'd just arrived from Rio... why don't the USA use proper degrees?

          Time to go back to London, and the airline couldn't find my reservation. Y'know, the one I had in my hand like you used to have when everyone carried little folders around.

          Don't worry, they said, we'll either put you up overnight and send you in the morning, but we might be able to get you on this one...

          Yup. They did. Back row, in the middle seat of a 2-5-2 layout. Surrounded by a large number of competitors of the marathon held in NYC earlier that day, none of whom had apparently found time to shower or change before flying home.

          I've tried to forget, too...

          1. Gene Cash Silver badge
            Joke

            Re: Why

            none of whom had apparently found time to shower or change before flying home.

            Not only does it save on water, nobody invades your space!

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Why

              This is why you should always carry some garlic cloves with you.

              Just tell security you're afraid of vampires but they won't allow wooden stakes on board.

              :)

              1. David 132 Silver badge
                Happy

                Re: Why

                Garlic cloves, a Durian fruit, and a can of surströmming. You'll get all the space around you that you could ever want.

                1. that one in the corner Silver badge

                  Re: Why

                  But can you bear to go back to your own seat after a visit to the loo?

                  Unless you took the fruit and the can with you, which would probably mean they'll just tape over the door and leave your unconscious body there until the landing.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Why

                  Ah, durians.

                  I once cleared out an entire Picadilly Underground train carrying a durian from London's China Town to Ealing Common on a sunny Saturday morning. I sat in the first cabin (the one with the driver) and I only deduced afterwards that the wind had carried its smell throughout the entire train through all the open windows. I did get an incling when people at Hammersmith visibly recoiled when the doors opened and didn't get in or swiftly did a 180 and left again, but it was only at my final desitnation that I realised I was in an entirely empty tube, which in my experience happens pretty much never.

                  As for the smell - I worked in chemical industries for quite some time so I can ignore even the worst sweaty unwashed tourist now. That said, I don't think I could bring myself to eat durian, as much as the happy (birthday) recipient offered me. Not happening.

                  As I'm still somewhat of a social being (despite being in IT for years :) ) I didn't repeat that one. Some things are only funny once..

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Why

                    Lovely post - I am still chortling at the visual.

          2. Pen-y-gors

            Re: Why

            Problem in reverse.

            Coming home to UK from Hong Kong about 30 years ago. No problem with the seating (managed to get front row with extra leg space) but it was the first flight back after the Miss World contest, and half the plane was taken up by the contestants - imagine the queues for the loos before we landed as everyone redid their slap!

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: Why

              >imagine the queues for the loos

              Yes I can

              >as everyone redid their slap!

              Ah, a far more innocent explanation than my fevered mind was imagining

              (Nerd mode: "mile high" club is only 5200 ft at which level the fasten seatbelt sign should still be on)

        2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

          Re: Why

          I just realised I was thinking of "Blazing Saddles"... which raises other issues...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Why

            That's after eating too many dynamite chillies :)

    2. nematoad
      Stop

      Re: Why

      Not so much why as how?

      When I see the flight attendants struggling with trolleys and things up the single aisle I wonder how they put up with it. It doesn't look easy. So what is the magic trick?

      Having 200+ people on flights lasting up to 11 hours I do hope that they put more loos in. Standing waiting in the aisle for the loo with other people trying to get back to their seats is not one of my favourite occupations. Single aisle aircraft are the cattle trucks of the skies. Flying in a twin aisled a/c is chalk and cheese with a single aisled one. You can at least move in twin aisled ones.

      I hope that I am lucky enough never to have to fly in an A321XLR.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        I have had my fill of the cattle class.

        If I ever even think of taking a plane again, I'm paying a first-class ticket.

        The price alone will be an incentive to stay put, but if I really, really want to get somewhere by plane, I will no longer be stuck in a seat next to a whale.

        I'm 56 years old now. I'm done with putting up with constraints.

        I want my comforts, and I'm ready to pay for them (just not rich enough to charter a private jet).

        1. AdamWill

          Hah. Have you checked how much first class costs these days?

          Somewhere over the last two or three years, business and first migrated right out of the realm of "manageable as a splurge for the fortunate but not utterly loaded" into "Kardashians only" territory.

          When I flew transatlantic a couple of months back, business class was 4x the cost of economy. First class? Don't even ask. "Premium economy" cost what business class used to cost. Ugh.

          1. James Anderson

            I think Pascal is a USain (Septic Tank).

            US airlines "First Class" is what European business class was 20 years ago.

            Slightly bigger seat, slightly less crap service but not actually that expensive.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why

        Nah, just go medieval and open a window.

        No, wait..

        1. Pen-y-gors

          Re: Why

          I have an old German phrase book (1960s?) which includes , under "travelling by air", the memorable phrase "Will you please open a window".

      3. anothercynic Silver badge

        Re: Why

        Sorry to disappoint you but... they've already been doing this for decades. Remember the B707? Oh, and its successor, the B757 (the Flying Pencil)?

        The A321XLR effectively does what the 757 used to... and still does. The 757 is far from dead (ask Icelandair and Condor - People still love them). The difference is that the A321 is more modern, will have improved engines (the XLR is going to be a 'neo') and improved cabins (all neos tend to come with the latest Airbus cabin improvements).

        So... Same difference.

        1. martinusher Silver badge

          Re: Why

          I don't know about "people loving 757s". Airlines might because when it comes to cramped accommodation, noisy cabin and general horrible flying conditions this is the market leader (until the later versions of the 737 came out, that is). They were designed for 3-4 hour trips. Suddenly you're doing 8 or more. Forget it.

          I avoid these planes like the plague.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Why

            > "people loving 757s"

            I think pilots love it. It's light weight but has fairly beefy engines so can take off like a fighter and it has massive wake turbulence so ATC have to clear everything for miles around you - making you feel special.

          2. anothercynic Silver badge

            Re: Why

            There are plenty of people who still like flying in the 757... Sorry, but it's true. Compared to the A321, it's a crapshoot (almost like when you stepped into a BA 767 going to Athens and it felt like a true throwback to the nineties), but Icelandair and Condor are trying to make do with ancient* metal because it's a damn sight cheaper than a brand new A321 you have to wait for 5 years for.

            The A321 would at least improve the cabin experience a *lot*, despite the weirdness of being in a very, very long but narrow tube.

          3. WhereAmI?

            Re: Why

            Ah well. The 737 has been ETOPS rated for decades and someone (I think it was Norwegian but I could be wrong on that) finally started launching them across the Atlantic on a regular basis a couple of years ago.

            Not for me. No way Jose.

            As for the comment above about US airlines Business Class - take a look at Alaska Airlines. Their 'Business Class' doesn't even recline...!!!!!!

      4. martinusher Silver badge

        Re: Why

        You just reduce in-flight service. Nothing like running out of food and beverages to reduce the demand for things to eat and drink.

        I've got a relative suggesting I should visit the UK this Autumn. I can't claim to be in a hurry to spend 11 hours on a plane even if it is a direct flight. Especially as there are 'issues' with Heathrow and the surface transportation situation looks a bit hit and miss -- forget a hire car, trains need a mortgage or some kind of arcane local knowledge to work them without getting ripped off....the more I think about it, the less I want to think about it.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Why

          Just get the tube from LHR->London. It runs every few minutes,costs next-to-nothing but takes an hour while the train takes 30mins but only runs every 30mins. The Heathrow express takes 15mins but costs more than your flight and dumps you at Paddington where you have to wait for the tube anyway.

          If you can book a specific intercity train in advance it is super cheap. There is a site which even splits your fare on the same seat on the same train between all the dozens of rail companies running the same route so your ticket is even cheaper. Somehow this is efficient capitalism.

          While not quite TGV/Shinkansen speed, it's still a hell of a lot better than driving on UK motorways during the summer.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Why

            Tube? Liz line!

            #purpletrain

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: Why

              Haven't been to blighty for a few years - they didn't invite me to the jubbly !

              Aren't we going to call it the tube ? It goes underground = it's the tube.

    3. WhereAmI?

      Re: Why

      Or do as we have done on a couple of occasions - plan a long-haul flight a year to eighteen months ahead and save for Business Class. It doesn't hurt as much when it's done on a bit-by-bit basis and you cannot beat being able to sleep flat on an overnight ten-hour flight.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why

        Or fly on a half empty A380 and get the whole row to yourself. Lift the armrests and lay down. Had that a few times.

      2. Tim99 Silver badge

        Re: Why

        From nearly egalitarian Perth we don't have First Class flights. We have been cut off from the rest of the Covid world until a few weeks ago, so the last time I bought tickets was Business Class for the nonstop Perth-London 787-9 (7,565 NM) three years ago. Mrs Tim99 and I were on either side of the aisle with our backs to the front bulkhead, just in front of the door. Take-off was 19:00 and after drinks, dinner, watching a movie and reading a book, the nice attendant made up our beds. I put on the supplied PJs and slept for nearly 8 hours. After breakfast we arrived at the LHR gate 17 hrs 20 mins later.

        The return flight was similar and took 16hrs 40 mins. We are in our 70s and thought that the trip was worth the money. My rough rule is that if I'm paying, and the flight is more than 4 hrs (from Perth they nearly all are) I go Business Class. I volunteer for an organization that regularly books me on aircraft - They put me on the Perth-Melbourne flight with the same aircraft, but in cattle class at the back. The seats are small and not particularly comfortable with little leg room, I certainly would not like to be in them for 17 hours.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. anothercynic Silver badge

          Re: Why

          The non-stop PER-LHR flight was arguably a delight if you were in business or premium. Economy was a bit iffy (then again, in the 787 I do *not* recommend flying with a window seat). But Project Sunrise, i.e. Qantas getting a bunch of A350-1000s configured in the same style as Singapore Airlines' non-stop SIN-JFK flights, now *that* ought to be interesting.

          Unfortunately for you Western Australians, Qantas moved the non-stop LHR flight to DRW in the Northern Territory, so you have the joy of flying there first before doing your jump. :-/

          1. Tim99 Silver badge

            Re: Why

            They've moved it back from Darwin to Perth without much notice. Two weeks ago our friends' daughter came back after living in the UK for 5 years. Her BA ticket was for Darwin then Perth - A few days before she was leaving they emailed her to say that the Darwin/Perth flight was cancelled and that they didn't code-share. She went online and found that the direct Perth flight had replaced it, and transferred to that. Looking online the Business Class fare has more than doubled since we did it to $17,700.

            1. anothercynic Silver badge

              Re: Why

              Blimey! That's a bit of a change... I must've missed the announcement somewhere. *goes off to peer at Business Traveller*

    4. Ian Johnston Silver badge

      Re: Why

      Rich people tend to fly in smaller aircraft with less people around, after all.

      Fewer people. Lesser people fly commercial.

      1. Outski
        Pint

        Re: Why

        I completely agree with the sentiment, but you missed the grammar nazi icon.

        Still, it's a summer Friday -------->

    5. Evil Auditor Silver badge

      Re: Why

      If my seat is comfortable...

      Then I'm in business class or whatever offers a flat bed on long-haul flights. Unfortunately, I'm one of the lesser people and therefore usually jam myself in economy. And hate being in this uncomfortable seat, unsuccessfully trying to sleep and getting grumpier by the minute.

    6. AdamWill

      Re: Why

      "If my seat is comfortable"

      Don't worry, it won't be.

    7. Fursty Ferret

      Re: Why

      Your seat might be comfortable but unless you have an iron bladder, you have an aircraft full of people who will need a pee at some point and 2-3 toilets to share between them. If the food is served from both ends, that's effectively a rolling roadblock and while people can get past they have to wedge their arse into your face.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    515 orders

    515 advance orders is a result.

    <obligatory snipe at Boeing>

    If Boeing weren't so focused on stretching the design of their oldest models instead of starting anew, they could be sharing in some of that demand.

    1. JassMan
      Trollface

      Re: 515 orders

      Good point except that this is a case of Airbus beating Boeing at their own game. The clue is in the name: the 321 has always been a stretched 320 (just like the 319 is a short body). This is truly Revolution through Evolution based on a really well engineered starting point, instead of cost cutting

      1. TeeCee Gold badge
        Facepalm

        Re: 515 orders

        Most importantly, this airframe is a modification to a modern one designed with the aid of computer modelling for high-bypass turbofans.

        The latest 737 is yet another rework-too-far of something built when turbojets, pencils and sliderules were the latest technology.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: 515 orders

          And more importantly this will be certified to be flown by A320, A319 (and some other model) pilots because the cockpit, computers and handling will be the same by design rather than trying to add computers to make it feel like a different 50year old airframe

          1. Korev Silver badge
            Windows

            Re: 515 orders

            Speaking of pilots, they'll need more than one pair for a journey this long. Where will their rest cabin be? And the same goes for the cabin crew.

            The result of cabin crew with no rest -->

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: 515 orders

              Generally a curtained-off row of first class seats - it's what everybody used for years until the S.E Asian long hauls started spec-ing crew rooms

            2. WhereAmI?

              Re: 515 orders

              The LR version has no designated crew rest area. It's highly likely that the XLR won't have either. The normal way of getting round this is to designate one First Class/Business Class seat next to the cockpit and rotate the flight crew in to it. Unfortunately the cabin crew aren't so lucky.

              1. Fursty Ferret

                Re: 515 orders

                In the UK (and Europe under EASA), you can fly for 14 hours without a break provided some constraints are followed at the planning stage.

                Not convinced the A321XLR is the right choice for the future. The wing design is relatively old and draggy, and struggles at higher flight levels compared to something like the 787, which will saunter up to FL430 and cruise along above most of the weather. A321XLR is capped at 390 (which it would only achieve while empty, and would be firmly in coffin-corner too).

                Also a big difference between setting off at .76 Mach compared to .85 on a 4000 mile journey. My personal feeling is that a new narrow body with a modern wing would have been the way forward here.

                1. anothercynic Silver badge

                  Re: 515 orders

                  Don't underestimate Airbus... that could, if the XLR turns out to be good at economics, be the next step for the airframe. :-)

    2. anothercynic Silver badge

      Re: 515 orders

      515 orders... It's because the 757 operators have begged Boeing for *years* for a new replacement. NMA (New Midmarket Aircraft)? Effectively a 757 replacement. Super stretched 737? Effectively a 757 replacement. Except we all know that right now Boeing can't even be trusted to organise a party in a brewery (I don't want El Reg to put me in the naughty corner), is not trusted by the FAA, is not trusted by various other bodies, and is also haemorrhaging money over 787 build quality issues (ask Qatar why they won't accept any 787s from Carolina someday), and their newest project, the new iteration of the safest airliner they ever built (the 777).

      Building yet another replacement is not on the cards (that's why the 777-X exists - an iterative improvement, or so they claim).

      So yeah... Airbus looked at the economics, figured out that another tank of fuel mid-fuselage can make the plane fly far enough to beat the old 757-200 (the long range model, FYI), and with the whole NEO project is giving Boeing a hiding.

      1. Fred Daggy Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: 515 orders

        Ok, I can see this extra fuel being turned into a profit center.

        There will be no free luggage on this birdy. Seat will be cheap, but luggage, nah. I think in the end, as a passenger, the a380 will still be an economic case for a long trip to/from Oz. And more comfortable. I have been on more than a few of the Swiss Neo's and I can almost stand it for an hour or two. I'd NEVER want to fly in it for more than that.

        I don't think i will ever, ever get on one of those, unless I am down to my last penny. (And then, why am I flying?).

        So, to summarise the problems.

        - If the airlines retain the current paper thin seats that the current single aisle planes have, the seat will be unbearable somewhere between 3 to 5 hours in to the flight. Or the number of seats will be reduced.

        - Airlines will need to a LOT more catering room for the 2 meal services. They might cut it down to one for even a 12 hour flight. Pray you leave from somewhere that has a decent food offering at the airport.

        - More dunnies

        - Luggage will be at a premium due to the greater need for fuel space

        - Overhead bins - forget it unless you are first on. I hope you can sleep, or can take sufficient legal stupificants to approximiate it because you won't be able to do much on this flight.

        - Tired crew with reduction in service levels.

        - One simply won't be able to stand up and stretch AT ALL in cattle class. It's difficult enough now on a long range flight.

        To summarise the summary:

        Airlines will milk this for every revenue penny they can and the paying passenger will suffer as a result.

        To summarise

        Capitalism is a problem

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: 515 orders

          > paying passenger will suffer as a result.

          Want more comfort, pay more and sit at the front. Want to travel to the other side of the world for a week's salary? Sit at the back.

          >Capitalism is a problem

          Because Passenger comfort was THE selling point of Aeroflot

        3. anothercynic Silver badge

          Re: 515 orders

          Sorry Fred, but you're looking at two vastly different flight markets. There is *zero*, and I mean *zero* chance of an A321XLR *ever* flying to Oz. From Oz to Bali, maybe, or from Oz to Christmas Island, or from Oz to NZ, but nothing further than that. There's a) too much seat demand for a plane for long, thin routes, and b) it makes zero economic sense.

          And no, luggage, sorry to disappoint you, is still only a fraction of what an A320/321 carries. If anything, there'll still be the luggage you want, your ticket price won't change much, and it'll be freight that'll be cut. If they need something bigger, it'll get upgraded to a widebody. Airlines like JetBlue like the idea of the XLR because it will fly a certain number of passengers on exploratory routes until such time that it proves more seats are needed and an upgrade to a widebody is economic. Delta wants something to replace the 757, so the XLR will do for the city hops they've done with the venerable Boeing.

  5. Disk0
    Pint

    It’s all about

    The legroom, it wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine there could potentially be room for an entite basketball league. Or 100 more Ohioans.

  6. Winkypop Silver badge
    Alert

    Long and thin eh?

    Surely, what people really want is long and wide?

    Aussies know the benefits of a proper long haul jet.

    Single aisle planes are a nightmare. Food trolleys, bog queues, kids and even sleeping sticky-out legs (I’m not joking).

    Give me a true wide-body for genuine long haul, ahh yes, the A380 is perfection, especially upstairs!

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Long and thin eh?

      >Single aisle planes are a nightmare.

      Hence my revolutionary new Mobius aisled aircraft

    2. ske1fr
      Trollface

      Re: Long and thin eh?

      How did I ever cope with flying to Singapore and back in a single aisle plane, twice?

      Oh yes, I remember, it was a BOAC VC10 ( a Qantas 707 one return leg) and I was 12. Unaccompanied. Plenty of leg room and I got to visit the cockpit! No, he didn't ask if I liked gladiator movies. I still recall the curvature of the earth from up front.

      1. Iznik
        Childcatcher

        Re: Long and thin eh?

        Similar plane, but on to Auckland via Perth or Darwin, then Melbourne or Sydney. 24 elapsed travel hours (including many refuelling stops) but arriving 36 hours later allowing for NZ being 12 hours ahead. Basically an opportunity to polish off any vast book you had wanted to read.

        As an unaccompanied minor there was no real need for cash, but I recall my mum insisting that travelling half-way round the world with only £2 was reckless.

    3. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Long and thin eh?

      A380s are popular with passengers. But airlines don’t give a shit about what passengers want.

      I recall in my memory when flying was exciting. Now it is something to be endured and dreaded.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Long and thin eh?

      Food trolleys tend to take care of sticking out limbs, especially if they take a run at it.

      Sorry, just being practical.

      1. that one in the corner Silver badge

        Re: Long and thin eh?

        Lunch will be served by our steward, Boudicca.

    5. This post has been deleted by its author

    6. anothercynic Silver badge

      Re: Long and thin eh?

      Except the economics for the airlines are not that good for the A380 (compared to the 787-X and A350-X series with better turbofans, better fuel economics, and even better construction).

      Don't get me wrong. I love the A380, it's a fab double-decker bus with decent comfort for the high volume routes (which is why Emirates will milk those airframes they have until they can't any longer), but the airlines hate the fact that they have to feed FOUR turbofans, not just TWO (same problem with the A340 series which was arguably a great plane).

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Long and thin eh?

        A380 is very fuel efficient if you can fill it.

        It was built for the Hub model of middle eastern airlines.

        And an assumption that China would end up with the same '737 as a bus' model as the USA but with 5x as many people on each flight, like the 747 short range in Japan

        And not at all because it was embarrasing that even Air France had to buy Boeing 747 for their most prestigous routes

      2. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: Long and thin eh?

        It's a shame the A380 didn't quite sell enough to allow Airbus to do a Neo/engine upgrade on the 380. It would likely have given them at least a dozen or so more orders (several airlines stated they would have liked a few 380s if it had newer and more economical engines but couldn't make it work as it was).

        1. anothercynic Silver badge

          Re: Long and thin eh?

          Well, we'll have to see what happens... Emirates is arguably the largest operator, and it's done wonders for their revenue. Lufthansa currently is expecting to reintroduce the A380 to some routes (despite saying that they'd be phasing it out for the A350 on many of them) purely because of pent-up demand.

          I personally don't think the A380 is quite dead yet... GE and Rolls can still do tweaks on the engines to make them more efficient, but that's something they'll do when they've got the A350 line stocked with enough of them.

    7. Bruce Hoult

      Re: Long and thin eh?

      Yes, A380 is the best, but you can't always get one.

      I would much rather travel in an A320 for 11 hours than in a B777 with 3-4-3 seating. I absolutely hate those things.

      I love the 16 hour Dubai-Auckland A380 flights (17 the other way). Far far better than having a stopover and getting back on the same plane.

      Sadly it seems this stretched A320 won't even make Perth from Dubai, let alone Melbourne or Sydney. But either Singapore or Bali would serve as a reasonable halfway point to NZ.

      It also isn't going to manage Auckland to LAX or SFO. Other than the 747-400 (which have long gone from the route) the best time I've had between NZ and the US was with Air Fiji with their A330s (with a stop in Fiji of course).

      I haven't yet had a chance to fly in a 787 so I'll reserve judgement on those.

      Just someone kill the 777, please. Or at least make the airlines use 3-3-3 seating as they were designed for.

      1. anothercynic Silver badge

        Re: Long and thin eh?

        3-4-3 seating is the bane of *all* airlines. Any airline that does that to its economy passengers needs their head checked (although we know full well *why* they're using that layout... because it makes money).

        I've done the Air New Zealand B777 experience in both Premium (hello Space Seat!) and Economy (surprisingly roomy for the 3-4-3 layout, and I'm not a small person), but the 787 arguably sucks worse. Do not use a window seat on a 787. Even (and especially) the last row where there's an empty space next to you. Just. Don't. You will regret it.

    8. I don't know, stop asking me.

      Re: Long and thin eh?

      > Surely, what people really want is long and wide?

      Yes, they just don't want to pay for it.

  7. Altrux

    Stress that wing!

    Amazed they've extended the 1980s-era platform so far, but it was a good forward-thinking design. It can fit proper new-generation engines under the wing (unlike the 737), and even has real undercarriage doors (unlike the 737 with its exposed 'light aircraft' wheels). So well done to Airbus - and all on the original wing, albeit with those giant winglets. Surprised they've managed to roll this one with no actual increase in wing area.

    As for comfort, that's all down to the airlines and how much they are prepared to screw you by reducing seat pitch and fitting in an extra row. No reason this can't be a comfortable machine - but whether it /will/ be is another question.

    1. ThatOne Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Stress that wing!

      > No reason this can't be a comfortable machine

      Yes, one: Profit.

      As you said they will try to squeeze some 40 additional seats in length and an extra row in width, after all most passengers are starved leg-amputated pygmies, aren't they. What counts is the price per seat they can announce. (And if they coax more people into going business class, the more profit for them. Win-win.)

      1. Altrux

        Re: Stress that wing!

        Airbus is re-certifying the shorter A320 for 194 passengers now. Seat width is locked in (18", 3+3, still better than a 737), but they reckon they can get away with 28" seat pitch for another row. Mind you, other long haulers are already doing that. Grim - Malaysia Airlines used to have 34" economy pitch on their old 747s!

        1. WhereAmI?

          Re: Stress that wing!

          Delta had 36" pitch on the their first 777s and made a big fuss about it. It didn't last long, but I did get one run from LHR to ORD before the extra seats went back in.

        2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Stress that wing!

          These thin routes are going to be more business than "cram as many holiday makers into the cheapest seat possible" business model - so hopefully even in steerage that will be better than the hub-hub widebodies

  8. Adair Silver badge

    Must do better ...

    Get back to me when 12,000 miles in a single hop is comfortably doable—Manchester to Auckland.

    Having said that, after the first ten hours it's quite nice to get off, stretch the legs, have a decent coffee(!), etc., before steeling oneself for the next 12-13 hours. If only it didn't involve 'clearing Security' all over again. That really does take the shine off the pit-stop.

    Plus, I'll add my vote for more leg room any day. I usually pay extra to make sure I get it.

    [sigh]

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: Must do better ...

      The first ten hours you'll be queuing at security at MAN

      1. Korev Silver badge

        Re: Must do better ...

        I got "special assistance" through Manchester Airport a few years ago. I was wheeled in a pretty much straight line through the airport whereas the building made everyone else snake around in quite an indirect route.

        I guess having a nice chap wheel me costs money, whereas the passengers are just supposed to spend as much money as possible before they fly.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Must do better ...

          > I was wheeled in a pretty much straight line through the airport

          New Ryan Air special package - for a small fee we chop your legs off: you get better parking spots, wheeled through security AND don't have to worry about our new zero-legroom seating

          1. Christoph

            Re: Must do better ...

            And you don't have to pre-pay to use the steps.

          2. David 132 Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: Must do better ...

            Ah, you've reminded me of this old Fascinating Aida skit. Absolutely hilarious and a classic.

          3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Must do better ...

            "New Ryan Air special package - for a small fee we chop your legs off: you get better parking spots, wheeled through security AND don't have to worry about our new zero-legroom seating"

            ...although, due to staffing levels and costs, there may (will!!) be times when we forget about you and you get left on the plane while the cleaning crew work around you.

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: Must do better ...

              >cleaning crew work around you

              RyanAir, not a problem

        2. ske1fr
          Holmes

          Re: Must do better ...

          My suspicion is that the cattle shed atmosphere in Gatwick recently was hitting their profits from concessions so they cut the traffic to restore their revenue streams...

        3. Snowy Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Must do better ...

          Special assistance almost feels like cheating.

          Some airlines will upgrade to larger leg room for free.

          Also remember the queue bypass also works when you land going through immigration has never been so easy.

          1. Korev Silver badge

            Re: Must do better ...

            > Special assistance almost feels like cheating.

            I did feel sort of guilty, but I wouldn’t have liked to have done the whole distance on crutches.

            I’ve seen some recent horror stories about people waiting hours on aeroplanes because the airports to support people needing special assistance.

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: Must do better ...

              > Special assistance almost feels like cheating.

              In the USA the New York->Florida route is known as the miracle flight. Every old lady in NY needs a wheelchair and priority boarding, but sprints off the plane in Miami like Ursain Bolt

              1. imanidiot Silver badge

                Re: Must do better ...

                I've seen that happen. As far as I'm concerned people like that should get blacklisted from priority boarding and assistance until they can prove they actually need it. If there's one thing I can't stand it's asshats taking away time of well-willing people that are already overworked and thus preventing people who actually need it from receiving good service or getting treated like liars and cheats when they can just about manage to walk up a short 10 step staircase every once in a while before needing to sit down again.

                To be fair to the old people though, getting INTO the airport and onto the plane often involves standing for hours on end, which they might not be able to do. Getting off the plane is quite often a leisurely stroll to the baggage claim, where they can then sit down, and then a leisurely stroll straight out of the airport without much stopping. Getting from the front door to the plane has never taken me less than 45 minutes and once over 2 hours, getting from the plane out the front door was usually 10 to 15 minutes (excluding waiting for luggage) and never more than 30 even with waiting for luggage.

      2. Winkypop Silver badge

        Re: Must do better ...

        “ The first ten hours you'll be queuing at security at MAN”

        Who do you know?

        Why so fast?

        Jealous.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Must do better ...

          >Why so fast?

          It's a new EasyJet service. You fly from Manchester(Prestwick) where you clear security and they then drive you to Manchester.

          For years Lufthansa had a special cargoes 'flight' from LHR to Frankfurt that was actually a truck. It always looked weird that the "flight time" was 12+ hours

    2. ThatOne Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Must do better ...

      > Plus, I'll add my vote for more leg room any day. I usually pay extra to make sure I get it.

      Don't worry, they will make sure you'll have to pay to get some.

      Next, pay extra to remove the poisoned spikes from your seat.

    3. Muscleguy
      Mushroom

      Re: Must do better ...

      Indeed, last time through Dubai heading to Auckland the security bod wouldn’t let the bottle of water bought in that very airport in. But would let me neck it. Maybe it was a special explosive which required passing through kidneys to activate it?

  9. Headley_Grange Silver badge

    "...all the comforts of a wide-body interior..."

    Outside of First- and Business-Class, remind me what those are.

    1. Altrux

      A greater choice of toilets to queue in front of!

  10. heyrick Silver badge

    Thin body, wide body...

    ...the part that gives me the heebeegeebees is being in a flying sardine can. The shape of the can is not the important part.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Thin body, wide body...

      Flying is safe. Not flying (when you should be) on the other hand...

      1. imanidiot Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Thin body, wide body...

        It's not the flight that kills you, it's the sudden stop at the end when you meet the ground ;).

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No space for the crew rest area

    Long haul flights and a tired crew. Sounds like a wonderfully safe arrangement!

    https://simpleflying.com/airbus-a321xlr-crew-rest/

    Anyway, I don't care because 21st century air travel has become so unbearable that I've decided to forgo the experience entirely.

    1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

      Re: No space for the crew rest area

      Anyway, I don't care because 21st century air travel has become so unbearable that I've decided to forgo the experience entirely.

      Air travel is environmentally completely unjustifiable and none of us should be doing it, no matter how nice the experience. You'd be amazed at how quickly the Guardian nukes comments pointing out that "The ten best long haul yoga holidays" is not remotely compatible with their stance on climate change.

      1. ThatOne Silver badge

        Re: No space for the crew rest area

        > Air travel is environmentally completely unjustifiable

        That might be true, but try to go to Australia by train...

        In our even accelerating society and economy, it's unfortunately unavoidable. Ocean liners won't cut it with business men, especially on trips like New York - Tokyo. Heck, by the time you arrive there your smartphone will be out of support!

        My point is, not all air traffic is vacations: IIRC the last time I traveled by plane for a vacation was 1990...

        (Didn't downvote you.)

        1. Pen-y-gors

          Re: No space for the crew rest area

          But, to be fair, how many business people really NEED to travel these days? Have they not discovered Zoom?

          And bringing back the great ocean cruise ships sounds like a pretty neat idea. S.S. Oriana from Southampton to Sydney via Bombay and Singapore. And the food's better than British Airways.

          1. PhilipN Silver badge

            Oriana

            Thanks for the memory. Saw her docked in Southampton with a few other liners - maybe a Queen but I forget - when taking the harbour cruise. Yes when I was very small.

          2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: No space for the crew rest area

            >And bringing back the great ocean cruise ships sounds like a pretty neat idea

            I think Priti Patel has plans for something like that. First fleets, convicts and islands off Australia were in the criminal justice bill

            1. eldakka

              Re: No space for the crew rest area

              > I think Priti Patel has plans for something like that.

              Nah, she needs planes. Rwanda is landlocked after all.

            2. Fred Daggy Silver badge

              Re: No space for the crew rest area

              I will insist on a large re-homing fee for any future political prisoners of HMG. Backdated to the first batch, ca 1788. Payable within 21 days.

          3. doublelayer Silver badge

            Re: No space for the crew rest area

            Ship travel isn't particularly climate-friendly either. You use less fuel per minute, but you spend a lot more minutes burning it. Basically, traveling isn't climate friendly and minimizing emissions means minimizing consumption (of everything, especially travel). That argument never excites people. A return to sailing ships powered by entirely renewable wind, anyone?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: No space for the crew rest area

              Basically, traveling isn't climate friendly and minimizing emissions means minimizing consumption (of everything, especially travel).

              For the plebs of course. Never the elites.

          4. ThatOne Silver badge

            Re: No space for the crew rest area

            > But, to be fair, how many business people really NEED to travel these days?

            Admittedly you don't need to travel to waste your time emitting hot air, but there are still many things which require you to be there, hands on. You can only do so much blathering in front of your screen.

            .

            > And bringing back the great ocean cruise ships sounds like a pretty neat idea.

            Beware! This is the 21st century, so you won't get the luxury cabins and salons, you will be parked like cattle in bunk beds in itsy-bitsy teeny polka dot cabins, and fed in sinister refectories making your average hamburger franchise look like a posh gourmet restaurant (it's not like you can walk away, do you). And then will come the low cost versions, where you have to buy little bags of peanuts to survive the trip...

        2. Pascal Monett Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: try to go to Australia by train...

          Yeah, but, no one should go to Australia.

          1. Tim99 Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: try to go to Australia by train...

            I agree. I emigrated there from the UK 30 years ago. We want to keep it secret.

          2. Denarius Silver badge

            Re: try to go to Australia by train...

            you all will be pleased that due to the last two wet years means spiders and lethal snake populations have boomed. Almost routine to brushoff redback webs in my shed. For your own safety, stay away. Local Met office also think the long Wet is not over and the cold is continuing. In the last 2 weeks I have seen blue sky and sunlight for 1.5 days. I am beginning to think a temporary job in the center of the NT might be A Good Thing.

            As for air travel, only if I must. Getting crammed into a Covid haven like Sydney is too much to bear. Prefer 3 days drives to warmer climates up north. Somewhere like Mareeba where they grow coffee. Nearby locals have begun small scale cocoa growing and started a chocolate industry, right next to a dairy town with sugar refineries down on the coastal flats. Whats not to like. For the poms, tea is grown a bit further south.

        3. heyrick Silver badge

          Re: No space for the crew rest area

          Perhaps not all air traffic is vacations, but if you spend some time looking at what's flying overhead in FlightRadar24, you might get a shock.

          Earlier today, BCN to LGW (Barcelona to London Gatwick). An Easyjet flight passed over. This was followed five minutes later by a British Airways flight. Exact same route.

          If you call up a map of western France and tap on pretty much any plane that's going straight up or straight down, it's "somewhere in Spain" to "somewhere in Britain" (or vice versa). There must be easily a hundred each day. Every day.

          PS: upvote for by the time you get there your smartphone will be out of date. I had to put serious effort into not losing a mouthful of tea.

          1. ThatOne Silver badge

            Re: No space for the crew rest area

            > This was followed five minutes later by a British Airways flight. Exact same route.

            Sure, but I'm willing to bet they were both full(-ish). It could as well had been two Easyjet or two British Airways. Obviously at this point you'll mention optimization and using bigger planes, but unfortunately the world doesn't work like that: "Good enough" is the prevailing quality standard, and even (especially!) if there was just one airline handling all the passenger traffic, air traffic would remain the same.

            .

            > I had to put serious effort into not losing a mouthful of tea.

            Sorry... :o)

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: No space for the crew rest area

        Maybe go a bit slower and greener. Might be a bit of a wait for a long-haul version though.

        1. ThatOne Silver badge

          Re: No space for the crew rest area

          Well, it's true German commercial airships did indeed work quite well between the two world wars, and they reached as far as the USA.

          Unfortunately we know their problems: Helium is rare/expensive and hydrogen goes Hindenburg, airships are extremely sensitive to wind, and they are extremely slow: Aforementioned New York-Tokyo trip might take quite a while. Weeks rather than hours.

      3. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

        Re: No space for the crew rest area

        Because, they don't really believe it either.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm waiting for the option to be anaesthetised, flat packed and shipped as freight.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Rather than being bent at hips and knees and shipped as freight?

      On the face of it, the packing density ought to be better so it's a little surprising that no-one has tried this yet.

      1. ThatOne Silver badge

        > it's a little surprising that no-one has tried this yet.

        Wildly different form factors: You'd have to accommodate the average US (walrus-sized) male as well as the average (tiny) asian female. Now I know those are stereotypes, and many of you will feel offended if not outraged, but beyond your righteous wrath I hope you get the gist: It's cheaper and safer to let the animals passengers load and unload themselves.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          So? Fedex charge by weight and volume for air shipping.

          For an American you might want to look a bulk freight-brokers. It would also create a market for 747-freighters, so giving a boost to Boeing's troubled business

      2. grumpyoldeyore
        Go

        re: surprising that no-one has tried this yet.

        They have: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/apr/08/thinking-inside-the-box-the-welsh-teen-who-tried-to-post-himself-home-from-australia .

        There was also the Nigerian politician who didn't book the freight trip https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20211380

    2. Headley_Grange Silver badge

      You should read "Altered Carbon" by Richard Morgan

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Pint

        Dumarest

        High Passage - That is all.

        icon - Here's my version.

      2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        I have.

        Good book.

  13. Hawkeye Pierce

    Low bar?

    From the article:

    >> That the plane returned safely suggests those tests went tolerably well,

    That's a pretty low bar if your assessment of a plane returning safely is that it went "tolerably well" !!

    1. en.es
      Mushroom

      Re: Low bar?

      A good landing returns everyone to the ground safely.

      A great landing means you can reuse the plane!

      1. Pen-y-gors

        Re: Low bar?

        I have a lovely photo of my Grandpa standing next to a WW1 bi-plane with it's nose in a field of cabbages near Brooklands, where he was, I believe, a flying instructor. I don't know if he or a student was piloting.

        But as they say, any landing you can walk away from is a good one.

        1. Muscleguy

          Re: Low bar?

          It wasn’t upside down in the field having driven the heads of both crew into the ground. So that was a good landing on a soft field.

          1. werdsmith Silver badge

            Re: Low bar?

            I’m still concerned about loss of good cabbages.

  14. YetAnotherXyzzy

    Although Airbus is pitching this for long thin routes, I suspect it will be more commonly used to replace widebodies on existing routes. The tendency in the industry for some years now has been to move away from big planes and toward more frequent service with smaller planes. I personally am not a fan of this: big planes are quieter, smoother, less claustrophobic, and tend to be outfitted more nicely. However airlines have discovered that folks tend to prefer frequency of service over aircraft size so there you go.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Airlines have discovered cheaper planes to operate. They don’t care what passengers prefer.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        More supply and demand, I suspect. Airlines would prefer a large aircraft, fully booked, flying less frequently wherever possible. It's always cheaper. But persuading enough people to fly on your once per day huge aircraft is harder than filling multiple smaller aircraft flying at various times of the day, matching what the customers want to do.

    2. eldakka

      > Although Airbus is pitching this for long thin routes, I suspect it will be more commonly used to replace widebodies on existing routes.

      I don't.

      Most existing widebody routes are between major nodal airports. There airports have very high traffic through them, so it is more efficient to use fewer large aircraft than many small ones. There is only so many landing/takeoff events that can happen at a single airport. So having a single landing event with 500 passengers vs in the same time one and a half landing events (smaller aircraft can land closer together) with 150 pax planes is going to reduce the passenger capacity of an airport.

      No, what they want are long range planes that are capable of using the smaller, regional airports. An A380 just can't physically land at these sorts of airports, the runways are too short, the handling and refueling facilities are too limited. Therefore a smaller craft is required to use it for it to become viable at all. Using smaller aircraft allow new long range/international/intercontinental routes to be opened.

      One of the examples was New York to Rome. Using a A321XLR means you can add routes between regional New York airports and fly to regional Italian airports without having to travel to JFK in NYC or into (or out of) Rome, while the wide-bodies still fly the main New York to Rome route.

      Sydney to Tokyo means an A321XLR flying from a small regional Greater Sydney airport that doesn't have runways long enough for A380s, A350s, 777s or (larger models of) 787s, to a similar greater Tokyo regional airport. They open up new routes.

      1. YetAnotherXyzzy

        I hope that time proves you right and me wrong. That said, my pessimism comes from what airlines have historically done when narrow body aircraft with longer-then-previously-available range appear. The builders pitch them as ideal for long thin routes (that concept is hardly new) but airlines mostly use them on mainline routes to provide greater frequency vs. widebody service. There are entire airlines with nothing but B737s or A320s in their fleets (hello Southwest, hello Copa) and use them to provide frequent service on on routes of six hours or more. And customers like that.

        Mind, I see nothing wrong with people getting what they want, which appears to be frequency over comfort. Even if it's not what I personally want.

    3. Alan Brown Silver badge

      hub-and-spoke is generally more efficient for longhaul work

      When fuel prices rise substantially (and they will) a lot of this stuff will go away

  15. fidodogbreath

    It's how you use it...right?

    European aviation giant this week successfully flew a new "long, thin" passenger airplane...Today such routes are usually served by wide-body aircraft.

    So, rehashing the classic debate over length vs girth.

  16. Tron Silver badge

    Nope.

    Theory and practice are two different things when it comes to air travel. A lot of people are simply more comfortable with a twin aisle plane, feeling much less claustrophobic. In a 737 you feel like you are wedged inside a missile. A 777 feels a lot more pleasant. I would not want to fly London to Tokyo or Seoul in a thin plane and would happily use a different airline to avoid it.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Nope.

      I would tend to agree with you. If my flight is only a few hours (ie less than 4), a thin body doesn't bother me, but if I'm supposed to be stuck inside a tube for longer than four hours, I'd welcome the illusion of space to move in.

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: Nope.

        Besides that, over water I still prefer planes with four engines.

        ETOPS: Engines Turn Or Passengers Swim

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Nope.

          Over water I prefer a seaplane. When 2/3 of the world is your landing strip

        2. WhereAmI?

          Re: Nope.

          Mmmm. Doesn't work like that. In general if you lose half the engines on a twin, the other one is big enough to do all the lifting on its own. If you lose half the engines on a quad, the ground will come up sooner than you want. They are designed to lose one engine and keep going, not two.

          The exception will be the B747SP. Standing in West Drayton ATC as a Privileged Visitor, the operator on duty said 'watch that one' and pointed to a B747SP just departing CDG. Every minute or so he was requesting a change of altitude and by the time he was over London, he was already at cruise altitude. Apparently an empty B747SP can out-accelerate and out-climb some in-service fighters.

          1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

            Re: Nope.

            If you lose half the engines on a quad, the ground will come up sooner than you want. They are designed to lose one engine and keep going, not two.

            Not true, a fully loaded B747 freighter can handle losing two engines, even on one side, provided there is no accidental damage (as happens when the engines are forcefully separated from the plane).

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Willy-waving

    As that's what it's all about.

    707, 727, 737, 747, 744, 757, 767, 777, A32x, DC10/MD-11, VC-10, some sort of Antonov, 146, hs-748, f-27, dash 8, a saab (I think)...

    probably more.

    DC-3. Not a tourist jolly, a genuine scheduled flight where we had to disembark mid-way to allow hand-pumped

    refuelling to take place. I threw a spectacular strop and was allowed back on to the aircraft to collect my teddy.

    Didn't need it, was just pushing the boundaries. As toddlers do.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Willy-waving

      >I threw a spectacular strop and was allowed back on to the aircraft to collect my teddy.

      Not a good look for Captain

  18. Big_Boomer Silver badge

    Comforts? <roflmao>

    "and which Airbus insists offers passengers all the comforts of a wide-body interior." Well, I'm guessing that he is not 6'4" or else he enjoys having his knees mangled when the person in the seat in front asserts their God given right to recline their seat, even after being informed that doing so crushes your knees. Comfort and flying are 2 mutually exclusive terms so far as I am concerned, so I only fly if I absolutely have to. I personally can't think of a worse way to start/end a holiday.

    1. YetAnotherXyzzy

      Re: Comforts? <roflmao>

      Don't let price be your only criteria when booking a flight. If you do, then of course the cheapest tickets will be in the cheapest seats in the least comfortable cabins.

      Back in the day, I bought the cheapest seats I could find. They were uncomfortable but I was young and limber and didn't mind. Now that I am stiff and creaky, I can no longer be happy doing that. Rather than curse the airlines for my ageing body, I select more comfortable seats on more comfortable aircraft. For me the sweet spot is the "economy plus" (naming will vary) section, with economy service but enough room to be comfortable.

      Yes, that means paying a little more, which in turn means I travel a little less often than I would be able to if I were in the sardine section. But I don't want to be hating life, and I don't want to be blaming others when it was me who was too cheap to spring for a roomier seat.

      1. Big_Boomer Silver badge

        Re: Comforts? <roflmao>

        Economy-Plus seats are great but only seem to exist on long-haul flights. Short-haul planes don't have Economy-Plus or Business-Class seats and their so called "extra legroom" seats are actually the emergency exit seats, which I am not allowed to use for medical reasons. I have found my solution and it is to not fly unless I absolutely have to. The same applies to long bus trips. I either take the train or I drive.

        Finally, I am guessing that you are of average height and build. I'm sure life is wonderful if everything fits you.

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