Important safety tip: avoid US Air 333s

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My flight back from Paris (CDG-PHL) was an on Airbus A330 (specifically, a 333, though this is the only kind of A330 that USAir flys). Anyway, the important thing to know here is that Airbus has chosen to put the flotation device under the seat in front of you in a plastic bracket. This pretty much cuts off half of the underseat area (the left half in my case), so you're pretty much reduced to only putting one leg under the seat in front of you and crossing the other one. If you're really flexible, you might be able to squeeze both legs in but it's not comfortable. Plus, USAir has no Economy Plus, so the seat pitch is ridiculously short. Not a good way to spend 8 hours.

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9 Comments

How about "Avoid US Air?"

Well, I generally agree with this, but my PHL-SFO flight was an a 321 and I was in 9C, which was just fine.

The A320 is a lot newer plane. The early airbuses are pretty vile (I've been in truely awful A319s), but the A320 is pretty good.

I think the A330 came out before the A320.

(That, and I'm annoyed at American for the flight I took SF to baltimore. I shoulda taken southwest: you get better food, the seats are more comfortable, and the planes are less, emm, vintage.)

According to Wikipedia, the A320 was first delivered in 1988. The A330 in 1993, the A319 in 1996.

Yeup, your right.

I think it might be airline config as well.

Um, hello? Hasn't anyone heard of Seatguru before? Don't book a flight without it.

Note that most of the domestic USAir flights I have taken actually have a *larger* seat pitch than standard "Economy Minus" seats on United.

However, the one really annoying feature of USAir is their insistence that you not use any headphones during takeoff or landing. I have some noise-canceling headphones, and none of the other airlines (UA, DL, AA, etc.) ever say anything if I try to wear them during takeoff or landing. On US, however, the flight attendants enforce the "No Electronic Devices" sign with religious zeal.

Of course, this says that the vaunted "economy plus" of united is only 1" more seat pitch than jet blue behind the emergency exit (35" vs 34"), and that the tight seats on all the majors are equal/worse than the low-cost Jetblue (30-31" vs 32")

I so prefer airlines that don't treat the economy class as second class citizens.

I've absolutely heard of seatguru. I expected to sit in a short seat pitch seat. However, Seatguru doesn't have anything about the plastic bracket. I've added a comment about it. Also, when you're booking a last minute trip to France during the tourist season you kind of take what you can get. My flight was booked on United but I couldn't get United metal the whole way.

Nick: you're right about Jet Blue. Unfortunately, one often finds oneself having to fly one of the major non-discount carriers. For instance, JetBlue does not fly to Paris.

Well, I'm still kicking myself last week for flying a major to Baltimore rather than Jet Blue to IAD and getting a rental car. Would have saved me time and grief.

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