A slightly different perspective on this and just a thought. The carriers that offer a 1-2-2 configuration (so approx 80% direct aisle acces) that are not in a staggered formation is actually quite clever as you cater for many people. You get those that want privacy and direct access (and a window), you cater for those that want to sit together but both have aisle access, and you cater for those travelling together who want to sit together, want a window and don’t mind climbing over there partner/colleague etc.
The 2 in the middle also work for 2 individuals travelling who don’t have to disturb each other to use the facilities. BA obviously fails in this regard as there is no way you can both face the same direction and get aisle access (ignoring all the seat up or down debate – to me the point of business class is to be able to lie flat??). The Airlines that offer the herring bone formations also aren’t great as you can’t sit “next” to your partner in the traditional sense. Also airlines like Emirates you can only sit together in the middle seats (and yesterday 2 of my clients got moved as on separate reservations with different itineraries to make space for a couple – they weren’t to chuffed). I shall be trying Etihad on Thursday and I want to sit with a colleague so it’ll be interesting how this pans out (not got seats allocated yet as we havn’t been given reservation details by Etihad).
So maybe Swiss, Finnair etc using 1-2-2 is the ideal layout for maixmum permutations of seating for passengers? Just a thought. You don’t have to agree with me!!
If it was just me travelling then in an ideal world I’d like a window with direct aisle access. If with a partner or in a group then to be sat with my partner facing forward with a window and the seat next to it also facing forward – if that wasn’t available then 2 middle seats with aisle access each side also facing forward.