Airline seats; do we fit or is sitting in coach subjecting us to potentially dangerous conditions?
10 years ago, an airplane seat was somewhat roomy, and the airplane usually had two sections; business / first class and coach. A few years ago, and a few airline mergers later, the planes began to be reconfigured so that they could charge more for some coach seats, while they took some room away from the rest of coach. A few more years have passed and the business/first class sections are getting larger, while the coach sections are seating more people, or for an upgrade, you can have a coach seat with the room you previously had 10 years ago.
While the cost of flying a plane has increased due to fuel costs, and with it, the cost of seating, the divisions or class structure that is know being created by the airlines is such that those who are wealthy have even more room, those in regular coach who are flying domestically or internationally have even less room than they did a few years ago, while the planes are flying at higher capacities because they have reduced the number of planes they are flying.
This is currently creating some unique problems, since sitting in too small a space for a long time can have side effects including venous thrombosis, claustrophobia, and those who have chronic problems who are in some discomfort are likely to hurt worse while they fly in those ever smaller seats. In some cases, flights are being diverted as fights occur in cabins because someone decided to recline their seat, making the passenger in back of them even more uncomfortable.
According to the NY Times, research is now showing the newer seats being placed in planes are being designed with faulty data, and as a result, people are being made more uncomfortable because as the airlines try to squeeze every dollar of profit out of a flight as they can with more add on’s and even more seats, eventually some enterprising attorney will likely form a class action suit when enough people begin to suffer from the unhealthy conditions on todays flights.
Some airlines, such as Spirit have seats that are pre reclined, so you need to squeeze into them and you cannot change the position of the seat at all. Other newer designs are now streamlining the seats to make it so people get a little more leg room from a thinner seat. This has been done successfully in cars so why not flights?
With all the additional fees and such, why aren’t the airlines making a huge amount of money already? What if there is a lawsuit, how will they respond then? Will they be forced to give us back the space we used to enjoy?
Check out this article in the NY Times health section
he Problem With Reclining Airplane Seat Design