When 3-4-3 in economy is bearable

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This topic contains 18 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  maxgeorge 22 Oct 2016
at 22:35

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 19 total)

  • icenspice

    CDG 2E to Osaka Kansai
    Aircraft: B772


    I had checked in online the previous evening and reserved an aisle seat in row 48 (I can’t remember which).

    Dropping off my bag at LUX next morning I discovered my seat had been changed to 36A and there were no aisle seats available.

    I am quite claustrophobic and the thought of being trapped at the window for 11+ hours didn’t exactly put a spring in my step.

    I was one of the last to board at Paris and found myself beside a lovely couple from Clermont-Ferrand.

    I explained to the CC member what had happened. He came back, apologised and confirmed there were no aisle seats left but that 45A was free after take-off.

    So, a new window seat but this time 2-4-2. What a difference!

    Having said that, I had numb-bum syndrome by the time we were flying over Copenhagen! but I was rewarded with fantastic views of Shikoku, Kobe and Osaka before turning south to land at KIX.

    The CC member who helped me looked familiar, but it was only when I got home that I realised he was the spitting image of the late Bruce Chatwin.

    But I got to speak to him again as it was the same crew on the return flight 48 hours later.

    And after all that waffle, go for the back few rows on a 3-4-3 configured triple 7.


    The issue I have iceandspice is that 1) these seats are more popular so they likelyhood of their being a spare seat next to you is small, and 2) I think im right in saying the armrests dont lift up.


    Plus you are uncomfortably close to the lavatories, and just have to hope you don’t end up with a noisy queue of people waiting to use them while resting on (and rocking) your seat back….


    Like Ian says, the lav’s are a pain, on the other hand the close proximity to the aft galley is a bonus.

    I’ve flown a few times on AF’s triple 7’s and try and if only two of us, or I’m travelling alone I’ll try and nab the 2 seats at the back.

    A horrible configuration, I can’t sleep at the best of times and on these planes it makes sleep almost impossible. So, I spend quite a bit of time standing in the makeshift, self-serve area at the back. A fantastic service that AF lay on.
    I’ve spent many an hour shooting the breeze with strangers and crew as Asia passes below us.


    Absolutely, canucklad. I am certain I would enjoy shooting the breeze with you in the galley. Every few hours on one of those flights I find that going for a dander does the world of good.

    Ian, I don’t understand why being so close to the toilets is a pain. We all have eyeshades and headsets. In the unlikely event that one of my frosty looks doesn’t work if someone repeatedly rocks my seat, it only takes a few firm words.

    Superchris, yes it’s a bit of a lottery with those twin seats. Perfect if the other is vacant and, if not, you never know what to expect beside you!

    Fortunately for the lady in 45B I was not in a talkative mood LOL

    I can’t remember if the armrests were flexible.


    What is the problem with armrests not lifting up ???


    Bonsoir Christophe

    I am supposing we all need an uplifting armrest at times!

    One observation I forgot to mention….has AF increased legroom on this aircraft? Certainly the impression I got.

    And I know this will not go done well, but CDG is emerging as my favourite hub.


    Down well ?


    If your FA was a Bruce Chatwin doppelganger, Icenspice, I hope you checked your pockets and possessions for lifted valuables prior to arrival at KIX.

    Chatwin was a notorious fraud and conman, as hosts upon whom he had imposed himself, or anyone with real knowledge of Chubut or the outback who had read his fanciful travelogs, could attest.

    Still, I hope you enjoyed Osaka. KIX is an easy and convenient airport, with swift access to Namba or Shin-Osaka. It’s just inexplicable that JAL’s 787 services there offer only constricting angle-flats.

    Time for Chatwin’s ( purloined ) champagne?


    Hello max George!

    Having read all his books, published letters and two biographies, I don’t think there was any malintent involved. He was one of those people who, by nature, gets his own way.

    Fanciful…probably, but by all accounts someone with a magnetic character.

    As for Japan, unfortunately I didn’t have the time to visit Nara !??


    I think the answer to the question When 3-4-3 in economy is bearable is when traveling in business class


    Which, in the case of Air France, looks suspiciously like BA First ?


    Agreed, icenspice, Chatwin was an entertaining writer, but too often passed fantasy off as fact.

    I hold a grudge against him for encouraging tourism to Esquel and beyond, an area of exquisite beauty that I had almost to myself till Theroux rode the train down and Chatwin blustered by.

    And being a prize bludger certainly did not diminish his talent.

    Nara? Yes, worth a journey, easier and quieter than Kyoto, preferred by the Japanese. Next time you have a few days get a Kansai rail pass (westjr.co.jp) and discover gems like Kurashiki, Koraku-en or Kinosaki-Onsen.

    The hot springs at the latter should work wonders on the aches of seat 45A.

    Or travel, as Chatwin claimed to do, with a miniature of champagne in your pack.


    Or was it his favourite eau de cologne, or am I thinking of someone else?

    Thanks for Japan tips, max. I hope to return one day soon.


    No, I was thinking about Robert Tewdr Moss whose life was also cut short.

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