I’m definitely on a Cathay Pacific kick right now having just finished my complete trip report, so I’ve selected a Cathay Boeing 747-400 for this installment of Vintage Airline Seat Maps. This particular configuration was flying the skies in 1988 and I have to once again give special thanks to reader Will who graciously sent me several of the carrier’s seating layouts from the 1980s.
It seated a total of 363 passengers split up between First Class, Marco Polo Business Class and Economy Class. First Class extended beyond just the nose and occupied more than half of the space between doors one and two. United Airlines used to have a version that went fully back to door two and I thoroughly enjoyed flying on 747s with this type of layout. It felt like the entire plane was an exclusive privately operated luxury jet with an incredible amount of room to move about.
30 seats were found up front in the typical 2-seater configuration for First Class during that time period. Still much preferring to sit in the nose for its uniquely shaped aestheticism, you’d find me either in row two or three. Smoking seats, by the way, are the ones with a yellowish hue. That orange square behind the port-side lavatory is labeled as a “bar unit” according to the legend.
Most frequent flyers today prefer the upper deck for its feel of isolation from the rest of the plane and its normally personalized service, but given the volume of Business Class seats crammed into the upstairs section in the 1980s, you’d find me downstairs probably around rows 26 or 27. The mini-cabin at rows 20 and 21 might be unpleasant due to the proximity of both the First Class and Business Class galleys, not to mention being in the smoking section. Oh, and those “x” marks in front of rows one, 10, 20, 23, 31 and 57 denote bassinet positions for which I’d definitely steer clear of.
In coach, I generally book an aisle seat in the center 4-seater section on a 747 since those seats have a greater likelihood of the seat next to it being unoccupied. Here I’d go for rows 38 or 39 as last-minute standby seats are generally assigned front-to-back, so my unoccupied seat strategy has a better chance of coming through. I might consider rows 58 and 59 for the same reason. Also, I always pick the ‘G’ seats since the computer algorithm also automatically assigns last minute seats left to right.
Where would you sit?