17" on airplanes

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jrock2004, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. jrock2004 macrumors 6502

    May 4, 2008
    Wondering for the people who have taken their laptop on a plane, how did it fit? Did you struggle with it? Should I not use it and just use my tablet? Thanks
  2. Valkyre macrumors 6502

    Dec 8, 2012
    depends on the aircraft. If it is the small boeings that do short distances up to 3 hours don't expect a 17" to be easy to use.

    I recently used my 15" rmbp on such a small boeing and while i could use it, it wasn't comfortable. Not much room.

    Now if you go into one of those big planes that cross the atlantic or do long distances, the leg room and generally the passenger seat is much more spacey and comfy. I guess you could use a 17" there without problems.

    But on small planes the 15" is already the max.
  3. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Unless you fly Business or higher, I would avoid a 15" or 17" laptop. When the person in front of you reclines their seat, prepare for a broken laptop or at best you lid will be pushed down.
  4. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
  5. ECUpirate44 macrumors 603


    Mar 22, 2010
    I use my 15" on this plane all the time, no issues.

  6. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    I've seen people using a 17" MBP and other 17" laptops in cattle class on long-haul flights, so it is possible. I have a 17" but wouldn't try to use it on a plane. Apart from having space to use it, it's not going to fit in the seat-back pocket so it would be a damned nuisance if you didn't have an aisle seat.

    I think it also depends a lot on your physical build - if you are tall/fat/broad-shouldered then you're going to have difficulty using it. If you're skinny and fit comfortably in a cattle-class seat then I hate you (but you'll probably have more luck with your laptop).

    If you just want it for music and movies, then a tablet is going to be far more convenient and comfortable, and will fit in the seat pocket once you've chucked the duty free catalogue on the floor.
  7. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I don't know about 17" laptops - they do seem a little larger then I prefer but I've never run into a problem using my 15" laptops on a plane. Perhaps I've lucked out that the person in front never fully reclined but in any event its never been an issue
  8. Throw Out macrumors regular

    May 12, 2012
    Personally, I suggest you use your Tablet.
    I went to Brazil w/ an 11" Laptop and it was quite uncomfortable.
  9. yusukeaoki macrumors 68030


    Mar 22, 2011
    Tokyo, Japan
    I used my 17in Business and First class.
    The space is big enough to use the laptop but on economy, dont even think about it.
  10. blazeken996 macrumors member

    Jan 29, 2009
    Very hard to fit on a economy class seat. If you regularly take business or first, then it shouldn't be a problem.
  11. KevinC867 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2007
    Saratoga, CA
    +1. I travel with both my 15" rMBP and my iPad. If I get upgraded to 1st/Business class, I use the laptop. Otherwise, I use the iPad.
  12. MTD's Mac macrumors regular

    MTD's Mac

    Mar 18, 2010
    Los Angeles
    The lack of portability in these types of scenarios is likely one reason Apple is exiting the 17" notebook business. For me, on a 737, the 13" notebook size is perfect, feels a bit large on the tray table but in such close quarters the screen feels much bigger than a tablet would.
  13. jrock2004 thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 4, 2008
    Well just to give you an update. I am using the 17" in the economy class seating. It barely fits. The laptop lid is not up all the way and it is kinda pain. Maybe it is time I downgrade to an air.
  14. duervo macrumors 68020


    Feb 5, 2011
    I used to use laptops or tablets on flights, but it became too much of pain. Now, I don't use anything on airplanes, unless it's my phone put in airplane mode. I just have to reach in my pocket to grab it.

    To get anything else involves getting it from my carry-on that's either down by my feet, or up over my head. It's too much of a nuisance for me to bother. I'd rather just sleep or listen to music on my phone.
  15. vpro macrumors 65816


    Jun 8, 2012
    All the time on tour.

    I have to book first class or business class if I know I have to complete time sensitive work while in transit towards my destination. If I don't, then I don't bring anything with me but the most important things like ear plugs for myself and air fresheners for my smelly cabin neighbours ^_^
  16. terriyaki macrumors 6502a

    Aug 4, 2005
    I wouldn't be able to deal with using a 17" during a flight.

    I've had a hard enough experience as it is trying to use a 13" (although that wasn't an Air).
  17. andyb12 macrumors newbie

    Jan 26, 2013
    that is true, in the lower classes it will be tight with a 17" screen. if your not in business class , you will have a hard time in most planes. I fly all the time for business and my best friend is my ipad, trust me. get a little keyboard if you need that and you are set with most things.
  18. bniu macrumors 6502a

    Mar 21, 2010
    No idea. I've owned my 17" MBP for almost two years now and still have yet to find out. Haven't flown in economy since before I bought my 17" MBP, and even then, haven't seen a regular economy seat since 2009.

    From what I've heard from others though was it works ok in premium economy seats (exit row, bulkhead, extra legroom seats) but definitely not regular economy.

Share This Page