This Week on BNET (August 11 – 15)

How Important is Aircraft Type?
Do people really care what type of plane they’re flying on? A report from Boeing says that they do, but I’m not entirely convinced on this one.

Air Canada’s Olympic Ads Work, United’s Don’t
United and Air Canada have both put out ads as official Olympic sponsors. While Air Canada’s work for me, United’s do not.

Northwest’s Smart WorldPerks Marketing
There are plenty of reasons not to like airline marketing, but I received an email from Northwest after my latest booking that was very smart on their part.

United and American Make Opposite Fleet Moves
United is likely to cancel its narrowbody commitments while American is ramping up. Why are the two airlines taking such different tacts?

American and British Airways Apply for Antitrust Immunity
Now that open skies between the US and Europe has opened up Heathrow, American and British Airways and looking to catch up to the other alliances.

9 Responses to This Week on BNET (August 11 – 15)

  1. Steve says:

    Of course we care about what kind of aircraft we fly!!!
    A CRJ versus an ERJ. An A319 versus a 757! A 747 versus a 767. Its all about comfort.

  2. A says:

    The type of aircraft I fly makes a huge difference. Being a frequent flyer of both NWA and AA I always try to avoid NW’s old DC-9 and AA’s MD80, although it’s not always possible. Long haul makes less difference but given the choice I often go AA on the 777 over NW and the A330 but that’s mostly airline preference – “what’s on the inside.”

  3. Skinny says:

    I gotta agree with the above statements, even before I started working in aviation I always compared aircraft. I’ll take a CRJ or an ERJ before jumping into a Saab 340, Dash-8, or Cessna 402 anyday.

  4. CF says:

    Steve – I agree, it’s all about comfort. So does it really matter to you if it’s an A319 or a 757? I know the Airbus narrowbodies are a bit wider, but I’ve never been able to tell the difference. But beyond that, does it matter? Sure, it’s nice to fly a widebody vs a small fry, but that’s not aircraft-specific as much as it is aircraft-type specific. I mean, in that case, I might be agnostic about whether I’m on a 767 or A330.

    A – So why do you avoid the DC-9 and MD80? Is it just because they’re old? Or is it because you get stuck in the back near the loud engines?

    Skinny – Well sure, a jet vs a loud and slow prop is definitely a reason to pick one vs the other. But what if the choice is between a CRJ and ERJ. Does that matter?

    I guess my point is that there are types of aircraft: widebody, narrowbody, prop, rj, etc. For the most part, I’d think the average traveler wouldn’t care which planes they’re on within those categories.

  5. A says:

    Cranky, to answer your question, it’s personal preference. I prefer a 737 over the DC-9/MD80 airframe. It feels more comfortable to me. As for age, I always avoid the CRJ’s and they’re relatively new. And I’d still much rather fly on an L1011/DC-10 (with modern interior of course) over any new 777 or A330. Call me a fan of the tri-jets, but I found them to be fabulously comfortable planes.

  6. DCAview says:

    I think the folks who read CF are going to be the folks who care what type of aircraft they’re on. It’s the other 99 percent of the world that don’t.

    Even after putting up with my airplane dorkiness for years, my wife can identify precisely five kinds of aircraft: “big ones” (widebodies), “three-and-threes” (737s, A320 family), “two-and-threes” (MD-80s), “little jets” (RJs), and props. Most people, I think, look at aircraft in exactly the same way.

    CF’s right: For most people, it’s what’s inside the plane that matters — and even then, it’s an issue of perception.

    About a year ago, I traveled with a friend in Economy Plus on a United A320. All my friend — who is literally 4’11”, by the way — could focus on was how *tight* she thought the legroom was, and how much more she liked the legroom on the airline she usually flew: AirTran. Like I said, it’s all about perceptions.

  7. Jason H says:

    I personally don’t care which aircraft I fly. As others have said, it’s what’s inside that counts. That being said, I like to try to fly aircraft I’ve never flown before, even if others think they are horrid. Personally I’m excited I’m going to be flying a Q200 in another month. I like to check off the aircraft I fly. Comfort is nice, but I’d love to fly a 727. I really enjoyed flying a refurbished Piedmont DC-3.

  8. David SF east bay says:

    I’ve never cared for United’s animated type ads. Airline ads in general turn be off anyway. The ones that show the inside of the plane always show you first class and/or business class but never the cramped coach section.

    Plane type does make a difference I think. The longer you will be in the plane, the more comfort you would want. An hour flight you won’t die if you are in a cramped plane, but no one enjoys that same aircraft being used on a 5 hour or more flight. Three hours may be the limit for a cramped coach seat.

  9. Bobber says:

    On United long-haul, I ALWAYS choose the non-747 option, even preferring their 767 over the antiquated Jumbos. Anything smaller, I don’t really give a monkeys, unless there is more chance to get an upgrade in a slightly larger 1st cabin (domestically). Agree with Jason H: it is fun to fly in planes you haven’t been exposed to before (even some of the Ilyushins!).

    All airline adds are tat.

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