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Airbus vs. Boeing 747 - What's the difference?

Airbus vs. Boeing 747 - What's the difference?

Feb 23rd, 2006, 03:14 PM
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Airbus vs. Boeing 747 - What's the difference?

Hi everyone.

We are headed to London this summer enroute to Portugal. We are getting ready to book our flights.

I'm a nervous nelly when it comes to flying -- I do not enjoy it at all. In fact you could say that I fear it.

My husband travels all the time for business. He falls asleep the moment he gets on the plane and never worries. He generally pats me on the head and tells me to do the same. I hold my breath until we land.

The dilemma is that I have a choice between the Airbus and a Boeing 747. I'm pretty sure I've been on an Airbus before, but have mainly flown on Boeing equipment. My husband can't tell me what the difference is because he dosen't pay attention to those kinds of things - he doesn't care. I'm afraid I do.

Is there a difference between the two types of planes for a trip 'across the pond' -- does anyone have a preference?

Thank you.

seetheworld is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 03:30 PM
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Hi see,

Go to www.seatguru.com

You will see what the seating arrangements are and what's good and not good about the passenger arrangements.

I am assuming that you are not interested in the technical specifications.

Are you sure it's a 747 and not a 777?
ira is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 03:32 PM
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>He falls asleep the moment he gets on the plane and never worries.<

A very good idea.

Have you considered ordering 3 martinis?

ira is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 03:37 PM
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Hi Ira. Actually alcohol is not a good idea, it makes me airsick

Um, somehow I've got it stuck in my head that there are safety issues with the Airbus. I don't want to be frightened out of this trip, so I didn't state it. But that's really what's on my mind.
seetheworld is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 03:43 PM
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BTW Ira, thanks for that site. Yes it's a 747.
seetheworld is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 03:46 PM
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Umm...Airbus is a company, not a plane. There are a number of different Airbus planes, the 320, 330, etc. I think the safety issues were about the 300 or 310, but I might be wrong (I mudt admit, I don't follow airline news all that closely).
KT is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 03:51 PM
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Either is perfectly safe. If Airbus had some issue with one of their designs, the FAA would ground the plane until it was corrected. Choose the one that offers the most comfort to you.
MorganB is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 03:52 PM
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Wouldn't be too concerned about the aircraft, as they are all a long tube with lots of boredom in them.

I'd check the airline out to see how they relieve the tedium & book accordingly (assuming you want quality of experience rather than cheapest flight)
alanRow is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 03:59 PM
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The main difference is that the Airbus design interposes computers between the pilot and the aircraft control surfaces.

Take the three martinis and relax.
Robespierre is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 04:02 PM
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One thing I like about the Airbus aircrafts are that there are two seats on the side and I believe three in the middle. That way you and your husband can sit together without having a third person there. Of course, no matter where you sit in coach it'll be a pain.
francophile03 is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 04:12 PM
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seetheworld, I travel across the pond every month and I am STILL a nervous Nelly gt;(

IMHO, the 747 is the most divine aircraft ever made. They are a little on the old side now.

I am assuming you may be flying one of the Airbus 330/340s. They are very comfortable aircraft, new and reliable. The Airbus problem you are refering to was a 310/320 that crashed in NY; I believe it was a maintenance issue.

If you are nervous, chose the airline based on safety record, not aircraft type.

BTW, I find, as Robespierre suggest, that a few drinks does wonders for me!

Good luck Ger

OReilly is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 05:13 PM
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It's a common misconception that the seating pattern is determined by the type of aircraft. No, it's the airline that tells Boeing or Airbus whether they want 3-3-3 or 2-5-2 or some permutation on the seating plan. And they change over time - for example American Airlines took rows out and sold their flights as offering "more room throughout coach." When the beancounters determined that they'd fill more seats - albeit with more unhappy knees - by putting those rows back in, they did so, a curse be on their seed.

In general Airbus' airplanes have slightly wider fuselages than Boeing's (for comparably-sized planes) so an Airbus 330 or 340 MIGHT give you an extra half inch of seat width in an 8-abreast row. Or the airline may have told them they wanted wider aisles, so no extra buttage. Depends. Use seatguru.com.
Gardyloo is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 05:48 PM
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Check seating configurations at sweatguru.com; they are, as Gardyloo has pointed out, totally determined by the individual airline company, not the maufacturer.

We will not discuss the differences in technology between the 747 which has been called one of the safest aircraft every built to the Airbus Industrie equipment.

Take a chill pill and for once, fall asleep before your husband does...he, you, and everybody here will thank you for it.
Intrepid1 is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 05:49 PM
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sorry..too many chill pills here..that's seatguru.com

and another suggestion..get old "pats me on the head [like a pet????" to spring for two FIRST CLASS seats.
Intrepid1 is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 06:05 PM
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No need to worry about whether it's a Boeing or Airbus product. Most accidents and incidents are caused by human error. Factors like the airline's maintenance standards and crew training are paramount.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 06:16 PM
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In the air you won't know the difference between a Boeing and an Airbus. But the most pleasant plane I ever flew on was the Lockheed L-1011 Tri Star. It was like a magic carpet ride.
hopscotch is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 09:18 PM
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Thank you for the feedback.

Let's just clear something up from the start Intrepid , the pat on the head is to say "Don't worry, it'll be fine" and a first class ticket wouldn't make a difference. I've always been a reluctant flyer -- more so over the last year. Thanks ORielly for admitting to being a nervous nelly also

I can certainly understand how for some, it might not matter which equipment to fly. I see it all the time with my husband. The TA at the office books his flight and he just goes.

I usually don't book our vacation tickets, but at the moment, it's my job. I'm faced with information that I never thought (knew) about before (and recalling bits and pieces of information). It is probably a bad idea for me to be the one booking our tickets -- oh well.

Thank you for making the point about how it's the airline's decision in configuring the seats -- I did not know that.

Now where can I find me a magic carpet, preferably with rainbow colors?
seetheworld is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 09:43 PM
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There are various models of Airbuses that airlines use across the Atlantic. Most use the newer A330 and A340, but some use the older A310. All three models share the same fuselage width, and except for Canada's Air Transat and Europe's Thomas Cook, all use a 2-4-2 seating layout in coach.

Until the commencement of A380 service later this year, the B747 (most airline use the -400 model) is hte largest commercial airliner. In coach, basically all airlines use a 3-4-3 seating.

If you compare the two coach configuration, most will prefer the airbuses. There're more "bad" seats on a 747 than an Airbus, and the average seat width is slightly narrower in a 10-abreast 747 compared to a 8-abreast Airbus.

In general, you'll find more overhead luggage space per passenger on a A330/340 than a 747 (except for the very new 747 deliveries - like those to China Airlines, which don't fly US-Europe).

The 747, being an older design, is also noisier than an A330 or A340, though probably about same as an A310.

Seat pitch and entertainment will depend on airline, so can't compare that.


Well, that's for coach. But many people flying business or first class prefer the 747. First, there's the upper deck. [A few airlines do put coach seats up there, but very rare.] It's quiet, it's exclusive, and until the A380, it's the only way you can fly on an upper deck.

And even on the main cabin, it's very quiet near the front of a 747. And many people love the spacious feel of the plane - it has a much larger fuselage than an Airbus afterall.

But again, the actual feature and comfort will depend on the airline. So, if you have specific flights in mind, let us know and we can comment on it. And make sure you tell us what class you're flying. Makes a big difference.
rkkwan is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 09:59 PM
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You might have read the article about safety on the Airbus aircraft but they have some positive feedbacks. If I remember that it was saying it has a better safety record than the 747 aircraft.

Both aircraft are good planes, so it's going to be a good flight. I spent 35 years building aircraft and I haven't any problem in Airbus or Boeing planes.

blackduff is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 10:02 PM
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Tony5 is offline  

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